I enjoyed a beautiful flight from Monterey to San Francisco on a United Express CRJ-200, just a short 77-mile journey over one of the most beautiful parts of California.
77-Miles Of Beauty On United Express: Review Of MRY-SFO On CRJ-200
This was my first flight out of Monterey Airport and I loved it: so convenient and small. The airport is even more user-friendly than Burbank Airport (my local airport in Southern California) and the entire process of check-in and security was easy.
I ran into a flight delay after I arrived, but was able to get some work done while I was waiting. No lounges here. Finally, we boarded 40 minutes after scheduled departure. No jet bridges here either.
Monterey (MRY) – San Francisco (SFO)
Sunday, November 27
Depart: 02:38 PM
Arrive: 03:30 PM
Duration: 0hr, 52min
Distance: 77 miles
Aircraft: Bombardier CRJ-200
Seat: 1A (Single Cabin)
The CRJ-200 is the most-loathed aircraft in the United Express fleet. The tight 2-2 seating (even in row one and in exit row 8) makes it the kind of aircraft you want to avoid for any journey over an hour. Here, the 77-mile jaunt to SFO wtih a flight time of less than 30 minutes was acceptable.
Despite the short flight time, the flight attendant offered small water bottles to passengers on request. I appreciated that gesture because on many flights of double or even triple that length a flight attendant would not bother to get up.
We stayed relatively low and it was a beautiful late autumn afternoon. The sun was low in the sky, the clouds beautiful, and I found the journey one of the most beautiful I’ve taken in terms of views out the window in quite some time.
The CRJ-200 has no wi-fi or streaming entertainment onboard. There are no plugs either. Due to the short flight (seatbelt light never went off), I did not get up to visit the lavatory.
We landed about at SFO at 4:10pm, 40 minutes behind. I still had plenty of time, though, before my connection. As we landed, we passed a beautiful Emirates A380 and Qatar Airways A350.
There’s not much to write about a 77-mile flight, but it was quite a beautiful one. California has a lot of issues, but there’s no denying it is one of the most beautiful places in the world, especially in the Monterey area. Even with the delay, flying from Monterey made more sense than driving up to San Francisco, which may be 77 miles as the crow flies, but is quite a bit further if driving.
I feel short-changed – thought this would be the Meal of the Week.
“On the menu you have A i r”
the meal of the week is on the carpet
I just love these small regional airports. My parents moved to a smaller micropolitan region and the airport there is great. Can get to the airport 20 minutes before the flight and still make it as security takes 5 minutes at most and the people there are nice. Also, it takes 25-40 minutes to connect to the main US3 hubs whereas it’s 1.5 hours to one and 3.5 hours to drive to the other. Even longer if you take the bus.
I love beginning and ending trips from this airport. Unfortunately, the MRY-SFO route is habitually delay prone- one of the first to be cancelled out of SFO when it’s socked in. I stopped flying this route years ago after too many scrambles to make the connecting flight made worse by UA apathy. I am excited to see what the plans for the upcoming terminal replacement and runway renovation bring.
It’s not just MRY-SFO, it’s also SMF-SFO. I live up in the Sierra Nevada foothills and United at SFO is my mainstay for work travel to Europe and Asia and I always do one-way car rentals and drive the 120 miles. It’s heartbreaking when I’m waiting at SMF for a DEN, ORD, or IAH flight and watch vacation travelers start to panic when delays due to fog (yes fog in San Francisco is for real) pile up.
Was the floor as dirty as it appears in your photo?
“There’s not much to write about a 77-minute flight,”. 77 mile and not minutes.
United can make a 77 mile flight take 77 minutes.
That floor is going to take 77 minutes to clean. What on earth were they thinking with popcorn in the snack basket
If you want a beautiful flight, you should try San Luis Obispo to Monterey. Straight up the Big Sur coast.
Agreed – it’s a beautiful drive up CA-1. Are there commercial flights between the two cities?
Yeah, SBP is a great little airport. United flies to SFO, LAX, and DEN (amazing flight as well over the Eastern Sierra and then the Rockies). American flies to PHX and DFW. Alaska flies to SEA.
Great looking terminal at Monterey….. except maybe they should stage all of those wheelchairs elsewhere instead of right in the middle of the ticket counter stanchions – looks like a hospital Emergency Room.
hospital emergency room? sounds like boarding.
Years ago completed same route on a PSA BAE 146…
Super cool everything..
Also SBA SFO on United years ago..
Love the small coastal airports
You clearly know how to use your iPhone for indoor picture taking. Impressive.
Is the terminal not air-conditioned? I have never seen that many ceiling fans in such a small area.
Most buildings in Monterey do not have air conditioning. Most years only have a few days when temperatures exceed 80F.
I plan to retire in Pebble and teach flying to keep busy (when not golfing). So, if you’d like to learn to fly, please look me up in 15 years!
15 more years? I’ll be pushing 50! 😉
One of my personal goals is to see if I can do a flight from all of the commercial airports in Florida. So far I’m at 14.
I know I can get all of them in a few days with some money and time, but that isn’t the point for me– just collecting them as I go through my travels.
The one I’m sad that I missed out on is Marathon- no longer commercial there.
Spectacular? Try BIH-SFO on UA or MMH to SoCal on Advanced Air during ski season and the summer.
I’ve spent a lot of time having drinks pre-flight at the airport restaurant, you should have headed up there. The food won’t wow you, but the view is fantastic.
Are you wearing SF Tramezza’s in your shoe pic?
I prefer the drive through Santa Cruz and up the coast to get to SFO. The less time spent on the 101 and 50 seater CRJs the better.
Hmm, the most “loathed” aircraft in the United Express fleet is most definitely the embraer 145. You also missed getting a shot of the ocean from the ramp or the restaurant upstairs. That is the best part of flying out of MRY.
I did miss that!
But I prefer the ERJ-145 over the CRJ-200 because at least the ERJ has single seats on the port side.
Someone else mentioned flying up the Big Sur coast and you asked if any airlines fly SBP-MRY. The answer is no, but until United/SkyWest retired the EMB-120 (the “bro”), there was a route similar to this. United Express/Skywest flew bro’s from Santa Barbara to San Jose (SBA-SJC) as recently as the late 2000’s and that route frequently went up the Big Sur coast. They used to fly the same aircraft into Santa Maria just north of SBA, and Crescent City way up on the Oregon border, and the latter also had some absolutely beautiful approaches over the ocean and redwoods. All of it ended when Skywest retired turboprops.