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

SoCalFlyer97
Aviator C

Hello Community Southwest:

 

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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...

 

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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.

 

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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...

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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Twilight sunrise from behind the plane at 34,000'

 

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

 

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

 

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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!

 

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

 

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...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.

 

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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.

 

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

 

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

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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...

 

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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

 

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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.

 

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Full review of the inn forthcoming via TripAdvisor.


Prior SW Flight Reports:
https://community.southwest.com/t5/Inflight-Experience/Sept-23-Promo-Companion-Pass-Photo-Trip-Repor...

https://community.southwest.com/t5/Inflight-Experience/Nov-23-Photo-Trip-Report-SAN-LAS-with-Formula...

 

Prior SW Hotels Reports:
https://community.southwest.com/t5/Rapid-Rewards/December-23-Southwest-Hotels-Photo-Stay-Report-Coro...

https://community.southwest.com/t5/Rapid-Rewards/December-23-Southwest-Hotels-Stay-Report-San-Diego-...

 

Enjoy! 

1 REPLY 1

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

dfwskier
Aviator A

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