Heathrow-San Francisco 10and half hours your recommendations and tips?

(19 Posts)
FeetUpUntilChristmas Sun 08-Sep-13 10:39:28

I'm on enforced rest so if you have any more questions later I'll be happy to help if I can.

NationMcKinley Sun 08-Sep-13 09:19:52

Nothing useful to add except have a fabulous time! We went to SF before we started breeding and it was wonderful. I also hope you feel better soon smile

Earthymama Sun 08-Sep-13 09:07:42

Thanks both,

All of that is very useful. DP and I been crazy busy and I am not very well so we haven't really got together to look at all these responses in detail.

We are having family lunch, 10 of us, at a local pub and then we will have a quiet evening.

I think we will try to look at our itinerary and our 'flight plan'; I am sat in living room with SmallestDGS and I am freezing so it's layers and cwtchy clothes and socks for me!!

Have I said how pleased I was when DP said, do ask on MN. They will definitely help!grin

FeetUpUntilChristmas Sun 08-Sep-13 08:39:21

Alcatraz - we went back this year for the first time in nearly 20 years and thought it was really good. It does sell out and it is usually recommended to book in advance, alcatrazcruises is the official site.

FeetUpUntilChristmas Sun 08-Sep-13 08:31:45

I've flown United to SF a fair few times, last time was this July. I assume you are leaving on a morning flight from Heathrow. There is very little economy on the plane and if you can afford it I recommend upgrading to economy plus, it's not usually that expensive and the extra legroom makes the flight much more pleasant.

I find United in flight service more relaxed than UK carriers, after take off there will be a drinks service, you have to pay for alcohol, but they have a good range of free soft drinks, then after about and hour to hour and half you will get lunch, recently this has been a chicken dish or a beef dish, a garden salad and a brownie or similar. If you are nearer to the back of he cabin it is unlikely that you will have a choice. There is another drinks service with lunch the they clear away, after this the cabin tends to go quiet with many people resting or watching TV, to try to overcome jet lag I try to rest after lunch as it would be night in SF then be more active for the second part of the flight. You should have decent in flight entertainment. During this period of the flight the cabin crew spend most of there time in the kitchen area, passing through the cabin from time to time with water and orange juice. I always take a bottle of water and a small snack on board so I am self sufficient, but you can go to the kitchen area if you want a drink. About an hour and a half before landing, the cabin comes back to life and lunch is served, this will either be a hot wrap (which I don't like) or a turkey and cheese roll plus a packet of crisps and a chocolate bar.

I don't know about crochet needles sorry, if you decide to pick exit rows they do have extra leg room but the seats are narrower because the seat tray is in the arm.

Just one last thing, sorry this is so long but I hope it helps, cabin baggage on US flights is 1 piece of cabin baggage and a personal item, US citizens take this to mean the largest wheeled case they can get away with and a rucksack or large handbag. What this means is that there is not enough overhead storage space, if you are travelling on a economy ticket, and are not a member of the United loyalty programme you will be in one of the last groups to board and there maybe very little storage space left, even back in economy as the large cases are put wherever there is space, not where their owners are sitting.

Finally I am always cold especially on long haul flights which I find draughty.

runawaysimba Sun 08-Sep-13 03:20:03

If you can request seats and can't get an exit row, request the very back seats (assuming you're flying economy). The plane narrows, so the two sets of back side seats are rows of two, instead of 3, so you get a little more side-to-side space and no need to worry about disturbing anyone else when you want to move around.

Earthymama Sun 08-Sep-13 03:07:44

Sweetestcup
Thanks for adding to this thread.smile

DP and I were uncertain about Alcatraz but everyone who has been recommends it so we are reconsidering, in fact, I am sure we will include it.

I have an iPad so we are going to put music, some TV and a couple of movies on. DP will be on her Kindle, trying to relax, she's a nervous flier.

I am a voracious reader, ex-library person, but have been poorly which has affected my ability to concent. . . . .

rate smile so I thought some audio books might be useful too.

I am glad you are enjoying SF; no-one has a bad word to say about the city, which is lovely.

sweetestcup Thu 05-Sep-13 06:39:47

Im in San Francisco just now, we flew United economy from Glasgow via Newark (had a few nights in New York first), I wasn't really looking forward to the flight, especially with my 5 and 11 year old but it was actually fine. Food was fine, if a bit odd - they served lunch (chicken and veg or lasagne) at 1030am and then a snack about 2, the snack was a turkey and cheese toasted sandwich, crisps and a chocolate, that would have done lunch! You get movies music and games free to, at least we did on the transatlantic flight, the internal flight all we got was free drinks, all meals and TV had to be paid for. I read a lot, its surprising how quickly time goes. I love it here, we were at Alcatraz today!!! And the weather is lovely. Enjoy!!

Knitting and sewing needles are allowed in hand luggage. It does not say anything about crochet hooks however.

You may well have to buy moisturiser airside unless you can find this in a bottle of less than 100ml beforehand.

Hope you have a great holiday in SF.

Earthymama Mon 02-Sep-13 23:25:55

By the way CMOT, I have all the Witches books on my Kindle (as well as on the shelf) and intend to read Long War and probably All the Sam Vimes books.

You have to have comfort reads when heading into the unknown, I feel.

Earthymama Mon 02-Sep-13 23:23:20

I love layers, it has to be very VERY warm to get me to take me vest off!! ( I blame my mother, I wore a liberty bodice when small; it offered very little liberty but ensured a lifelong ability to feel a draught)

We are flying from Terminal 3 with United Airlines.

Re moisturiser, etc will we have to buy these in the airport.

And does a crochet hook count as an offensive weapon?

(I realise I am outing myself as old gimmer here what with tales of deprivation and knitting my own yoghurt but hope you can spot the twinkle in my eye)

Which terminal at Heathrow are you using?. Is it 3 or 5?. That will have some bearing re facilities airside.

Re filling up an empty water bottle from the tap, the only place you would likely be able to do that at Heathrow is the ladies washroom. Would not therefore bother, buy a bottle of water and some food airside.

As its a day flight I would try and stay awake for the duration. Watch the films. Do not rely on the airline to fully provide re food, airline food is not necessarily all that great. If you're flying Virgin, you may want to take a small cushion to sit on as well, their seats are minimally padded particularly in economy.

specialsubject Mon 02-Sep-13 10:12:38

take an empty water bottle through security, fill it at the tap and take on board. Drink regularly. No booze.

long hauls are never fun in economy but you get seat back TV with hours of entertainment, so enjoy. Take a book too.

book an aisle seat and walk around every hour or so. If it is a day flight, don't sleep, I find it makes me feel terrible. When you get there it will be late night body clock but still daylight - go out for a walk, stay awake as long as you can and then crash. The jet lag will be worse on the way back.

CMOTDibbler Sun 01-Sep-13 08:50:26

Wear layers - leggings, jersey tunic, long sleeved cardi, pashmina, take warm socks to wear.

Don't drink alcohol, it makes you all dried out. No makeup, just good moisturiser and eye gel.

Try and sleep as much as possible, then wait till 10pm local time to go to sleep when you get there

RatherBeOnThePiste Sun 01-Sep-13 08:36:51

Take a pashminery thing as a wrap, it can get cold.

wintersdawn Sun 01-Sep-13 08:32:01

depends on what time your flight is. last time I went to San Francisco I had time to watch a movie have some food and a wander round the plane before a nice sleep and another movie as we landed. do get up and wander around for a while at some point if you can. They will have blankets for you to cover up with but as with all travelling if you can layer up it's a lot easier to then adjust temp dependant. enjoy it's an amazing place to visit.

Earthymama Sun 01-Sep-13 07:29:44

Haha, that's my usual approach to flight to Greece!!

I was wondering about getting cold, (I hate getting cold!) and being comfortable.

OldBeanbagz Fri 30-Aug-13 17:13:28

My pre-children routine would be a double G&T and sleep all the way.

Post DC i feel i have to stay reasonably sober so will generally involve Kindle books and in-flight movies.

Earthymama Thu 29-Aug-13 19:10:39

DP and I are going to SF for just over 2 weeks in mid-October. I have never been on a long-haul flight so please share your ideas to make it as comfortable as possible.

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