I was recently on a United flight from Los Angeles to San Francisco. I've taken this flight a number of times and thought it was going to be another routine flight. But boy was I in for a treat. Not only was Channel 9 turned on, but we had the pleasure of having Captain Ed Contreras on board (some others have mentioned him on another website). I suspected something might be different when during his I'm going to turn off the seatbelt announcement he injected a few bits of humor. He said that since it was going to be a quick flight, the fasten seatbelt sign would be off for only a short time at which point you heard the chime and the sign went off, but then a few seconds later it wast turned on again. OK, so that was subtle humor. But then he also added a funny comment during the weather at San Francisco part where he said there were scattered clouds for aesthetics. But before ending his routine announcement, he went on to say how Channel 9 was a unique feature offered only on United which allowed passengers to listen to communications between the cockpit and Air Traffic Controllers. But then he also mentioned that if anyone was interested he would be going on Channel 9 and do a Flying Talk Show, providing more information about our flight. Sure enough, a few minutes later, he came on Channel 9 and spent about 15 minutes talking about some fun facts about the flight: The cabin was pressurized to be equivalent of what it is like at 6,000 feet. The reason it is 6,000 feet is that Boeing had done extensive research and discovered that if the cabin were to be pressurized for sea level, the plane would nee to be built like a Sherman tank. Pressurizing the cabin at this level is the equivalent of being at Lake Tahoe. This is pretty comfortable for most people, unless they are doing aerobic activities. That is why he asks passengers to refrain from performing any aerobic activities while on board. Many people who travel are concerned about their environmental footprint. But a passenger on this flight has a smaller carbon footprint than one that drives a car. He gave us the amount of fuel that they had loaded (which I now forget) but doing the math, each passenger was only using 8 gallons. Driving would not only use more, but would take longer. Since we were flying into San Francisco and it's famous weather and fog delays, he talked about visibility and that the real reason why visibility is needed is not because they need to "see" when they are landing the plane, but rather so that they can see their way off the runway. He described the route that we were taking (heading north-west-ish) and said that you might be wondering why we don't fly north straight up. The reason for the western deviation is that Los Angeles is actually quite a bit to the east of San Francisco. In fact Reno is actually further west than Los Angeles. It was clear that Captain Contreras was passionate about his job and still had the air of excitement that a 5 year old might have when they first fly. And the time and effort he took to do the Flying Talk show made the flight so much more enjoyable. Hopefully I'll have the opportunity to have Captain Contreras on future flights.