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Jan '24 Photo Trip & Southwest Hotels Report (ONT-OAK)

Aviator C

Hello Community Southwest:




SoCalFlyer97 took his first flight for 2024 from ONT for a day trip to the San Francisco Bay Area via OAK. This flight was originally booked during last September's WOW50 sale with the inbound flight later rebooked from a $29 "Don't snooze on this sale" promo from last October. Upon my return to ONT, there was room for me at the Azure Inn near the airport. Here's the rundown...



I arrived at ONT shortly after 4:30am. The airport charges an $18 toll for economy parking per 24 hours which includes about 200 yards of walking or a ride on the shuttle. Rate was fair in my opinion for this day tripper. I opted to prepay which allowed me to quickly scan a QR code on the readers upon entering and exiting the lot. Got into the terminal and my outbound flight is on time.



Feeling like a VIP by going to the front of the TSA line. Did I mention somewhere else on this forum that TSA PreCheck and Global Entry are worth it? ONT also has CLEAR; however, I did not see any signage in the TSA checkpoint area for Priority Express Lanes. Screening took less than 5 minutes.


Gotta Luv those old-school red LED status displays...



On the 12th Day of Christmas, ONT was still in spirit with this decorative exit from the TSA checkpoint:



The sleeping 737-700 awaits the wake up call from the morning crew.




Outbound Flight:
Plane: 737-700
About 60-65% Full, On Time
Preboards: 0




Too bad I can't fly over the morning LA rush hour traffic in my car like I can on this Southwest flight.



Twilight sunrise from behind the plane at 34,000'


Passing by the San Mateo Bridge during final descent. Bridge toll $7; free for airplanes


OAK's Terminal 1 concourse got some new seating. No power outlets but they gave this old gate a fresh new look.


Time to get some work done in the terminal (and check this message board) before I head into town for my appointments. My work computer for some reason was not allowing me to connect to OAK's public Wi-Fi system which is powered through Boingo Wireless. Thankfully, a Vino Volo wine bar that also had free open Wi-Fi was directly in front of me and I had no trouble logging into theirs. Speeds were on par with Boingo's advertised free service but without having to watch a commercial...Nice!


There's the BART Beige Line cable people-mover that costs $7.10 for a 9 minute ride to the BART Coliseum Station...


...or the AC Transit bus that goes to the same destination at Coliseum BART for $2.50 cash ($2.25 w/ Clipper Card) at 10-11 minutes. I opted for the basic economy Ground Transportation option.


Getting ready to board my $4.95 train ride to Downtown SF to take care of some business. I guess it's the A-List's turn to get on.


Took care of my business in downtown San Francisco. Checked out the Fisherman's Warf area during the afternoon hours before heading back OAK.









This bird senses turbulence ahead. Better stay grounded at the gate.


On this 12th Day of Christmas, OAK too was still in spirit!





Headed over to the TSA Checkpoint...TSA was doing very frequent random secondary searches of baggage through the PreCheck Lane at OAK during my return; it looked like about 1 out of every four or five trays were pulled...and I won their lottery again. The search was a quick electronics inspection of my work laptop. Computer's network card likely had too much to drink from that wine bar from the morning...just kidding.



Return Flight:
Plane: 737-700, About 80% Full

Status: Minor delay of about 15 minutes from the gate
Preboards: 6

I wasn't able to get too many good skyline pictures from the return flight because the main cabin light was on and created a glare between the window and my camera, but I was able to capture a shot of the final descent.


OAK-ONT SWA1581 20240106.png


Upon second thought, I should have listened to that seagull. As the plane crossed over San Bernardino Mountains toward ONT, the descent got very bumpy (right on par with a ride aboard Disneyland's Indiana Jones Adventure)...still the pilots kept the plane on its prescribed route and with a perfectly aligned landing at ONT.


The flight also recovered about 10 minutes during the ride and arrived at the gate only five minutes behind schedule.


Now over to the Hotel...



I stayed at the Azure Inn which is less than a mile from ONT's main parking lot and booked the reservation through Southwest Hotels. The room was a near-last minute booking, done within 48 hours of the single-night stay; thus all the SW Hotel Points Plus options were non-refundable.


Yes, I stayed over at a hotel near my origin airport because I had business early the next morning near this area. No issues at all with Southwest Hotels Booking or Check-in. Here's the pricing run down which includes all taxes and fees:


Room Type: 1 King Bed
Rapid Rewards Points Plus: 2,000
SW Hotels/RocketMiles: $136


Competing Booking Site Rates:
Other 3rd Party Lowest Price per Trivago: $114
Direct: $113 w/ Loyalty
Markup $23 for 2,000 CP-Eligible RR Points: Great tradeoff in my opinion




For anybody who is a fan of vintage elevators might like the fixtures in the hotel's lifts. The chimes actually come from a real bell.



Full review of the inn forthcoming via TripAdvisor.

Prior SW Flight Reports:


Prior SW Hotels Reports:




Re: Jan '24 Photo Trip & Southwest Hotels Report (ONT-OAK)

Aviator A

Thanks for posting SoCalFlyer. It's always fun to read your trip reports.