Tuesday, January 4, 2011

SJC Lends Helping Hand to SFO

Last week there a ground hold at SFO due to "inclement weather" (i.e. fog). Flights ended up getting diverted to SJC, an airport that stares at you confoundedly when asked about severe weather conditions. Every single flight I've taken out of SJC over the past few years has either left on time or early, and the 3 flights I've had out of the new terminal have been extremely convenient. Dec 26th is one of the busiest travel days of the year and I was able to park, check bags, go through security, and get to the gate in less than 30min. On the flip-side, every flight I have taken out of SFO over the past few years but one has been either delayed or cancelled. The convenience and consistency are why I always try to book out of SJC even if it ends up costing a little bit more.

Thanks Tom for the tip and for the photos below of SFO flights sitting in SJC waiting for the fog to clear up north. I would love to see Virgin planes land here all the time!


  1. I'm with you on loving SJC but, as a smack-downtown SJ resident who can pretty much touch the planes on their approach (yes, a little hyperbole but not too much :) ), I don't wish for greater air traffic.

    I think we breathe in enough air jet fuel as is. This is an issue for the city. Seriously. In addition, even though there are supposed to be curfew hours, flights still come and go in the very wee hours which, as you imagine, is not great for sleep.

    So, no, I don't relish the thought of having massive 747's landing out here or a greater frequency of smaller planes for that matter.

  2. Josh,
    No wonder I saw a Boeing "Triple 7" landing over south SJ the other day; thought for a second that American Airlines resumed the daily to Tokyo/Narita...oh well. Having flown out of SJC three times since the opening of Terminal B, the airport is great and a huge improvement over what it was

    However, I'm with anon 9:00 in that the "convenience" is holding back San Jose on many, many levels: downtown development, the development of the SJC site itself, noise pollution. Was at Christmas in the Park a few weeks back and my daughter had to constantly cover her ears as SW 737's roared overhead.

    Again (and we've discussed this before), long-term plans/studies should be implemented to relocate our airport to either SE Gilroy or Hollister. The future convenience of Diridon high-speed rail will mean a 15-20 minute convenient train ride to our future airport.

  3. Well the 787s coming out are much quieter than the plains in use today and they are more efficient with fuel. Hopefully they'll replace most of our fleet. I'm surprised they haven't developed hybrid planes yet they use primarily electricity to take off.

  4. Josh:

    I don't know who anonymous is but I too live downtown. My unit is in the AXIS Condos and I hardly hear the planes from my unit. I just love watching them land and takeoff plus I can get from my front door (9th floor unit not building front door)to gate 22 in under 15 minutes. Security is a breeze.

    It used to take me 2 hours round trip plus 80$ in shuttle fees to get to SF from my former home in Fremont. Not only do I save time, I also save money. I would hate it if they moved the airport further away, its so convenient and like Josh said, so beautifully designed.

    In the future I'm sure they will have quieter planes and maybe even vertical takeoff and landing too. But best of all, I am 1 hour closer to Hawaii, my favorite destination.


  5. Nice seeing a Virgin plane on the SJC tarmac. Hopefully they start flying in/out of SJC soon.

  6. Tom @ 1:43,
    Very nice post. Envy you and your downtown lifestyle (having a toddler and a wife who wants big house not conducive to me living an urban/downtown lifestyle). Even if the city of SJ decided to study a relocation of our airport, such a move would probably be at the very least 25-30 years into the future, so you'll be enjoying those landings/take offs for a very long time to come Tom. But dare to dream...

    From you 9th floor condo, look towards HP Pavilion and envision a Diridon high-speed rail station by 2020. Quick, easy access to SF and LA by rail, and ONLY 15 minutes to Gilroy. If an airport was ever constructed in deep South County or San Benito County it would only be about 15-20 minutes from Diridon Station to a future "Gate 22." And imagine the possibilities for our future downtown and the Mineta Site without a "Downtown Airport":

    "Circa 2040, Tom peers out of his 49th floor condo unit and amazes at what San Jose has become. With the San Jose/Central California Coast International Airport now in operation southeast of Gilroy, downtown San Jose now has a skyline worthy of a city housing 1.4 million people. As Tom gazes towards what was once San Jose's airport location, a vast Lake Mineta and park now serves a dense, high-rise city within a city, with the former Terminal B now acting as a shopping arcade for the masses."

    Hong Kong and Denver did it; so can we!

    Dare to dream?

  7. I am already dreaming on. Thanks Tony D.