My First Non-Rev Flight

It was just supposed to be a quick getaway to California. The whole thing was more about the flight than it was about the destination. Funny how things work out sometimes.

I chose this past weekend to take my first non-rev (non revenue) flight because, for the first time since I was in college, I had MLK day off. Call me racist and superficial, but I kind of wish I could go back to having Black Friday off instead. But regardless, it was the only weekend in the next month and a half where I could leave for a whole weekend, so I picked an obvious destination and went for it. San Francisco is one of my favorite cities, it’s a short hop away, and I knew I could have fun there without needing to pre-plan anything. The biggest thing was trying out my new flight benefits and getting the hang of non-reving.

And to say I didn’t pre-plan anything would be an understatement. I almost forgot to pack my suitcase the night before, that’s how random and forgotten the trip was in my mind. I packed for potentially wet weather and was prepared for it to be cold and windy down by the bay.

I don’t think there could have been a more perfect weekend in San Francisco. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, the high for the day was 70 degrees, and there was no wind. My one full day to hang out in the city was Sunday and the day had a very relaxed feel to it.


I’ve become a huge fan of renting a bike in a city when I go to explore it. I’m excited to see the bike sharing craze that is spreading in the US (and Europe)! This weekend I rented a bike for the day from a bike rental company and followed a recommended path along the bay, across the bridge (yes, the Golden Gate bridge!) and into Sausalito, finally taking a ferry back to the other side. The 8+ mile bike ride ended up being the highlight of my weekend.

I highly, highly recommend the parks along the bay if you’re ever in San Francisco. I’d be content to lay in the grass and read a book all day in those parks. And the bike path was excellent with stunning views of both the bay and the bridge.

IMAG0259One thing I will say is that biking in San Francisco is not for the faint of heart. That bridge may look flat, but it felt like it was at an incline for 90% of it. Maybe it was the wind (or the fact that traffic is going opposite you when you use the bike path going that direction), maybe it is actually an incline, I honestly don’t know, but the bike ride was a killer workout for me. However, the couple of hills that I had to walk up and the bridge itself were totally worth it for the views and the experience of actually crossing the Golden Gate Bridge.

Long story short, I’ve never experienced such amazing weather in San Francisco before and I can’t believe that I was lucky enough to get to be there to enjoy it. And the icing on the cake that is my first non-rev adventure is the fact that there were first class seats available on my return flight. Seat 1A baby! I could literally extend my entire leg in front of me and the arm rest was wider than my Awana book.

An amazing day in San Francisco and my first ever first class seat…a pretty awesome first non-rev story in my book. And your first non-rev trip seems to become part of your identity when you work where I do, so I’m excited to have a good one. =D

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  • Christina long

    Hi Mandy! I’m going to be planning a trip to Northern Europe soon, and I was hoping you or someone you know could help me decide where to go. There are so many countries there I want to visit, but I don’t have enough time. I’ve been looking at Scotland, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, or the Netherlands. If you know anything about these places to help me decide some cities I could visit (not in every country listed, just general ideas. I’d be therefor a max of 10 days), I’d love if you could contact me for some help! Thank you!

  • Rebekah

    I love the idea of biking the area! Sounds like you’ve been to San Francisco before. I am joining Cal on a business trip there in a few days. Can you recommend things for a first time visitor with an interest in food, the arts, history, out doors, and who is low energy?

    • I love San Francisco! I’m so glad that you asked me about it. =)
      As far as food goes I’d recommend Boudin Bakery which is down by Fisherman’s Wharf. They have the best sourdough and they make it in adorable shapes (I always buy the turtle). They have an actual restaurant upstairs or a more casual eating place downstairs, both are good. You can also watch them make the bread.
      Ghiradelli Square is always popular and crowded but well worth a visit for some ice cream. You can also get the classic picture with the sign.

      One of the cable car stops is close to Ghiradelli square and even though you might have to wait in line for awhile I always recommend doing the cable car if you haven’t already. It’s just a classic San Francisco thing that you have to do at least once in your lifetime. =D Doing it first thing in the morning will minimize the wait time.

      I’ve still never been out to Alcatraz but it’s on my list of things to do and I’ve heard great things about it. I have taken the other boat tour that takes you out by the bridge and around the bay and it’s entirely worth it. You get a great history of san Fran via the audio guide that they give you.

      Pier 39 is great for shopping and hanging out.

      If the weather is nice I’d recommend spending some time in the park just southeast of the Golden Gate Bridge. I can’t remember the name of it right now but it’s a nice place to hang out and people watch. Any park between Pier 39 and the Golden Gate Bridge would work well for hanging out in. I’ve heard good things about Golden Gate Park but haven’t been to that one yet.

      I’m afraid I’m not much of an art lover so I can’t help you there. There are probably other things I’m forgetting too but if I think of anything else I’ll let you know. Feel free to reach out if you have any other questions!

      • Rebekah

        Thanks, Mandy! We had a great time. We stayed near the original port of San Francisco, known as the Ferry Building. On the second floor the seal of the Port is displayed in mosaic in the floor. The main floor is brimming with quality goods – sandwiches and cured meats at Tasty Salted Pig Parts; cheeses from around the world; rustic bread; mushrooms; my favorite chocolate at Recchiuti Confections; Blue Bottle drip coffee; and unexpected ice cream (Secret Breakfast: a creamy, salted vanilla base with bourbon and corn flakes).

        Tartine bakery in the Mission district, L’Oliver (a French restaurant), walking along the piers, and a ferry ride to get out of the city filled other days.

        Also, we didn’t sleep through the city celebrating the Giants’ World Series win. But we did experience the parade. The lineup actually came right by the apartment building we were in, so I went out and saw many of the players, a couple hall of famers, and the trophies as they headed to the official start of the parade route. Cal joined the masses for the parade near his office. How cool to be a part of that!?

        My list of things to do on future trips is longer yet!

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