MONTCLARION: August 29, 2019
Spain was never on my bucket list. I don’t speak Spanish, and summers there can be searing-hot. But here I am, on a Norwegian Air nonstop flight from Oakland to Barcelona. It seems everyone I know has been to Barcelona this summer. The route has been popular, according to Anders Lindström, Norwegian Air’s director of communications for North America.
Yet sadly, Norwegian Air’s nonstops between Oakland International Airport and Barcelona and between Oakland and Paris will end Oct. 26. San Francisco International Airport (SFO) is getting these routes, just like they got our Oakland-London route.
Lindström admits that Oakland International has been fundamental in putting Norwegian on the map in the Bay Area but says that “with SFO, our flights appear more visibly in search engines and are more appealing to business travelers who enjoy our premium cabin.” He adds that since they moved their London route to SFO in March, they’ve seen “greater return and higher yields,” especially in premium.
I suppose that’s true. But flying international out of SFO adds levels of stress that you don’t have with Oakland International. In fact, check-in was so pleasant in the new international terminal at OAK that it felt more like a coffee shop than an airport. Since it’s only Labor Day weekend, there are still almost two months to fly nonstop on these budget-priced routes out of Oakland. Autumn in Paris and Barcelona means cooler temperatures and fewer visitors. Perhaps there’s room on your bucket list too for a fall trip after all.
Street talk: Oakland hills Councilwoman Sheng Thao is making a house call in early September to talk potholes and crime with neighbors on Cabot Drive. I plan to be there and really want to know why we can’t get the ever-growing potholes filled in Montclair Village. They are deep and destructive, especially on Antioch Court and along Mountain Blvd.
Lighter side: Sunday is the new Monday, at least that’s how it seems with all the Sunday happy hours sprouting up. Perle in Montclair is the latest to give patrons a break with a 4-to-6-p.m. happy hour menu that I’m told includes their famous $10 burger. Lao Tae is another good Sunday spot for bargain-priced eats and drinks. And if you’re out in North Berkeley, try Nico’s seven-day-a-week happy hour, which includes Prince Edward Island mussels doused with white wine and lit on fire at your table — dinner and a show!