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DFW And IAH Spotting  
User currently offlineCactusA319 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 2918 posts, RR: 25
Posted (12 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 2517 times:


Hi I'm flying to DFW in a week via IAH and plan on doing a little spotting and photography whilst traveling. Are there any good spots inside the terminals at both these airports?

Also at DFW, is there a spot outside that is accesible without a car?

Thanks in advance!

16 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineJderden777 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 1755 posts, RR: 28
Reply 1, posted (12 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 2468 times:

terminals are no good for photography...windows are tinted and usually very very dirty...so dirty in fact that one morning (it was 10am and not a cloud in the sky) so the sun was shining brightly, and i had a DL 767 in the frame...usually you'd get a pretty good shutter speed, but mine was down to 1/45...so needless to say the terminals are not good...

outside the terminals there are good spots all the way around airfield drive (like a perimeter road) - mainly the Lufthansa cargo building and the A.Eagle hangar...but you'd have to get a car to get over there, but you could catch a cab...just call a cab whenever you need to go somewhere else...it's what i'd do...

but without a car i dunno what to tell you...when the hyatt west was still there you could take that junky TrAAin over there, walk through the lobby and out the other side, through the parking lot, and wind up right next to a taxiway with only a short fence between you and AA heavies taxiing from maintenance to their gates...good spot in the morning...however i think now this spot has been demolished with the building of that new international terminal...

contact josh rawlin, jay davis, matt mcdowell, or brian peters and see if they can pick you up or something. i remember a few summers ago josh rawlin was kind enough to come out and pick me up! so try and get a hold of them - they might actually have a get-together sometime down there...

good luck! hope you have nice flights down there!

jonathan d.



"my soul is in the sky" - shakespeare
User currently offlineAUS_Spotter From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 286 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (12 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 2438 times:

It is possible to take pictures through the windows at both airports as I have successfully done so on several occasions. However you have to be lucky and have the sun in the right spot and a clean window. Don't really have any spot to recommend, just walk around and look through the windows.

IAH window shots:

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Jason Knutson



Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Jason Knutson



DFW window shots still stuck in queue:
http://www.coasterphotos.com/temp/AUS/AA-F100-N1444N-122301-DFW-1.JPG
http://www.coasterphotos.com/temp/AUS/DFW-122301-1.JPG

As far as outside spots at DFW.....I'd have to agree with what Jonathan said above. You'd need a car to get anywhere.

Jason


User currently offlineDFW777 From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 41 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (12 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 2439 times:

Also depends what terminal you are in. Terminal D (Delta's) is horrible for window shots as they have those wierd sunscreen things. Terminal A & B however can be very good.

As for outside spotting, a cab to Founder's Plaza or the West Cargo / American Eagle areas are your only options. But you can get some great shots there:

http://www.lonestarthrills.com/temp/dfw-westcontrol.jpg

Jeremy


User currently offlineB757300 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 4114 posts, RR: 23
Reply 4, posted (12 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 2431 times:

Go to terminal D @ IAH. The windows aren't tinted much if @ all and don't reflect too from inside the terminal. Of all airports I've been to, IAH has the best windows for photography although I'm sure there are others that are better. If you want to go outside, try the top of the Terminal C parking garage. Now I’ve been up there before but not since 9-11 so I don’t know how the Houston cops are acting now. Before 9-11, they were always really nice.


"There is no victory at bargain basement prices."
User currently offlineThomasphoto60 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 4006 posts, RR: 26
Reply 5, posted (12 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days ago) and read 2434 times:

We here in Houston have been fortunate, no storm troopers as of yet! Most of the police that I have encountered have been polite, professional and laid back when it comes to photography. That is not to say that you won't run into one or two with a gestapo complex, but I have yet to see any evidence of that.

If you are flying via CO, then you will have full gate access to B, C and D! B757300 is correct, the windows at IAH are some of the best for gate photography that I have seen in my many travels....SFO is pretty good as well! Term 'D' does have a slight tint, but nothing to be too concerned about. Check out Jason's shots. The rooftop parking areas of B and A are closed due to renovation, though some adventureous souls have been up there, however, I would avoid them for the time being. C and A/B's rooftop parking areas are open and welcome visitors.

Have fun!

Thomas



"Show me the Braniffs"
User currently offlineB757300 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 4114 posts, RR: 23
Reply 6, posted (12 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 2420 times:

Thomas, one of these days we're bound to run into each other @ IAH. Big grin


"There is no victory at bargain basement prices."
User currently offlineAus_Spotter From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 286 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (12 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 2416 times:

When I was at IAH in November I wasn't able to get past the CO gates in terminal D. There were security agents at the top of the ramp checking tickets. If you didn't have a flight on KLM/LH/AF/BA they wouldn't let you through.

Jason


User currently offlineThomasphoto60 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 4006 posts, RR: 26
Reply 8, posted (12 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 2412 times:

Hummmh.....I didn't know that about the access (or lack thereof) to D. Frankly, I don't know what the rational is behind this measure. I would assume that once you have cleared the screeners having access to either int'l or domestic gates should make little diffrence.

My last flight out of IAH was early Dec (COEX), but I did not bother to check out D. So I guess I am a bit out of touch of whats been happening there as of late.

757300-

If you see a late model red Jeep Wrangler @ Lee or Rankin, that is probably me.

Thomas



"Show me the Braniffs"
User currently offlineTDM From United States of America, joined May 2001, 21 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (12 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 2391 times:

Jason, I'm not sure why you were denied access to the upper gates in terminal D, but that is not the normal course of action. There are 11 gates in total "at the top of the ramp" (including 4A and 6A) and CO is using at least half of those at any given time. The city assigns the gates, not CO, so frequently you will see CO jets way down at D11 and D12.

The European flights arrive about the same time that CO's CCS, BOG, and PTY flights arrive, not to mention several CO flights from Mexican destinations, followed soon by their Central American flights. All these flights continue on to domestic destinations after clearing customs (in fact the CCS flight continues on to AUS). In other words, CO has as many if not more passengers up in that section of the building as BA/KL/LH/AF combined. They would have to allow CO passengers up there, and a lot of them at that.

I am frequently in terminal D and I have never seen them check tickets once you've cleared security (except for the C gate where the DCA flights depart-but that's another story.) Perhaps someone quickly realized that rechecking tickets up in that section of the building was a pointless, knee-jerk reaction.


User currently offlineCactusA319 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 2918 posts, RR: 25
Reply 10, posted (12 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 2382 times:



That's great info. Thanks guys! What are some of the highlights at IAH?



User currently offlineB757300 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 4114 posts, RR: 23
Reply 11, posted (12 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 2375 times:

If you can get into Terminal D there are a nice number of international carriers you can see. Also, if you go to a certain part of Terminal C (I can’t remember which gates), you can clearly see most of Terminal D but those windows are usually dirty and reflect too much interior light

British Airways: 747-400 (I think they also have a 777-200 several times a week but it might have been dropped after 9-11)
Lufthansa: A340-300 (Heard it was a 200 but can’t confirm)
Air France: Either an A340-300 or 777-200
KLM: 747-400C
Continental: 767-200/400, 777-200
A good number of Central American, Caribbean and South American carriers



"There is no victory at bargain basement prices."
User currently offlineTDM From United States of America, joined May 2001, 21 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (12 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 2372 times:

In terminal C, you need to go to gate 17 or 18 on the north side of the airport to get the best view of the lineup at D.

British Airways is now using 777s for their daily flight to LGW. Their second flight still runs several days a week (I'm not sure which days) and it is also a 777. The switch from a 747 to 777 is a recent change.

Air France and Lufthansa are both still using A340-300s on their flights. As B757300 said, you will also see KLM and you may see TACA, Aviacsa, Aeromexico, Cayman Airways, Air Canada, Alegro, Air Jamaica, and others that haven't come to mind. World Airways runs a regular charter MD11 to Angola. Often it is sitting on the hard stand by terminal D.

As for CO, there is only one 767-400 a day and it departs mid-morning for HNL (usually gate 14). The afternoon flights to and from Europe, as well as NRT and a few EWR flights are operated by 777s. There is usually at least one sitting around somewhere (if you're lucky, you will see the Peter Max plane, but its usually operating out of EWR). The 767-200s also come and go through out the day. Most of those are domestic flights out of terminal C.

There is almost always an AN-124 or two sitting around, but they usually are not in view of the terminals. Have fun!


User currently offlineThomasphoto60 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 4006 posts, RR: 26
Reply 13, posted (12 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 2365 times:

Sadly what TDM says about our loss of the BA 747 is ture. However we will be getting it back in the Spring with the introduction of a LHR/IAD/IAH service.

As to 757300 comments concerning the dirty conditions of some of the glass at C looking out at D, this is to a certain degree true, but more often than not they are clean and perfectly useable. I have a few images here taken from that vantage point. The light depending on the time of day can really be nice as this view faces East. Below are 2 examples take from the gate area that 757300 referred to, I believe that this is the gate 9-10 area (north concourse)

Early morning light (backlit)

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Thomas Millard


Late afternoon light towards at D (IAB when the phot was taken) with a 300mm lens.

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Thomas millard



Please excuse the quality of these pics as they are old submissions scanned with a medicore quailty scanner.

Enjoy,

Thomas



"Show me the Braniffs"
User currently offlineAUS_Spotter From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 286 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (12 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 2359 times:

Hmm, interesting.

I had a connecting flight at IAH on NOV 13th and 19th. I didn't get a chance to walk around much on the 13th as I was hungry and by the time I finished grabbing a bite it was time to board my next flight. Coming back on the 19th my connection left from gate D-3 so I figured I'd see what was at the upper gates. I got to the top of the ramp and a little ways into the upper terminal where there was a line of security people and I was asked for my ticket. Showed them my ticket and I was told I couldn't be in that area and should go back to my gate. I thought this was pretty strange. Glad to hear that it wasn't a permanent thing although I don't know next time I'll have a flight through IAH (AA is usually cheaper from AUS and I end up connecting at DFW).

Thomas, I'm glad to hear that spotting at IAH isn't a problem from the parking garage. I'm going to be in Houston later this month and if the weather is decent I plan on spending an afternoon out there spotting.

Found another photo I have that was taken from inside terminal C looking at terminal D. This was one of my first submissions to airliners.net so it isn't the best quality. I have a bunch of photos taken through the windows from this same trip that came out pretty good, but this was the only one accepted. Guess if I went back now and scanned them I could probably get them accepted.

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Jason Knutson



Jason


User currently offlineTDM From United States of America, joined May 2001, 21 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (12 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 2351 times:

Thomas, just to clarify what you said, there are no C gates numbered 9 or 10. D gates are 1-12, C gates start at 14 (notice no gate number 13) and presently run through 48. Jason's photo was taken from C-14 and your photos look like C-16 or C-17 area. BTW, I love the DC-10 tails. I miss seeing them in IAH.

User currently offlineThomasphoto60 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 4006 posts, RR: 26
Reply 16, posted (12 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 2355 times:

Thanks TDM,

I was not certain of those gate#s. It has been some time since I have flown out of the north concourse.

I too miss CO's DC-10s.

Thomas



"Show me the Braniffs"
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