Safs From Australia, joined Dec 2005, 199 posts, RR: 0 Posted (9 years 6 months 3 days ago) and read 18768 times:
What is the best way to travel from Downtown Seattle to Everett for the boeing tour? From what I can see, the options include bus, train or an all inclusive tour which picks you up and drops you back. It sounds like a good option however it does not give you a lot of time to look around (plane spotting, boeing shopping etc.) Any advice is welcomed about the best option and if applicable, what is the best tour which departs from Seattle etc.
Capital146 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2003, 2125 posts, RR: 40
Reply 2, posted (9 years 6 months 3 days ago) and read 18755 times:
Well, as fellow tourists, myself and Wilco737 did this exact tour just over a week ago and needed to get from downtown Seattle to the Boeing complex at Everett. We looked at taking public transport, but none of the buses or trains seemed to go to Paine Field and it looked like it was maybe a bit of a distance to walk from where public transport drops off in Everett.
We decided that by far the easiest option was to take the all inclusive tour, especially at the tour company, Gray Line, picked up and dropped off at the hotel we were staying at, the Sheraton Seattle. The price was just over $50 including taxes and the coach takes about 30-40 minutes on the freeway. Here's the link for the tour: http://www.etix.com/travel/servlet/o...ion&route_id=11585&franchise_id=26
As for time there, it was fine. Arrived at about 10:30, saw a short movie in the auditorium then were escorted to the factory and saw the production line. The guide was brilliant, very enthusiastic, funny and knowledgable. Unfortunately, no cameras are allowed in the factory. This part of the tour is all too brief and we were back at the main Future Of Flight building just after 11:30. We were then given until 13:30 to look around the exhibits, get something to eat at the reasonably priced cafe and, of course, buy lots of goodies from the Boeing store!! You can also head upstairs to the outdoor viewing terrace, where all movements can be seen. Unfortunately, NOTHING moved the whole time we were visiting! Parked aircraft were quite distant too.
By the time we reboarded the coach at 13:30, we had seen and done everything we had wanted to without having to rush.
.... of which about $35 is the cost of getting there and back; the tour itself is only $15 (not sure if that includes tax or not?).
Whilst the tour is OK, it's very short and nowhere near as good as it used to be before it became so commercialised; your actual tour takes 1 hour of which less than 15 minutes is actually inside the assembly area.
I found the interactive flight museum where you catch the tour particularly sparse and boring.
Quoting Capital146 (Reply 2): The guide was brilliant, very enthusiastic, funny and knowledgable.
Sadly, our guide tried to be funny but her jokes were pretty limp to say the least.
Having been to the 747 line back in 1998, I have to say I was quite disappointed with my trip just two weeks ago to the 777 line. My best advice is hire a car for the day then at least you can 'kill three birds with one stone' and take a trip out to Renton and Boeing Field too. A car will probably only cost you $100 for the day with full insurance and CDW, the same price as the Boeing tour for 2 people with a coach company from downtown.
A 2 day car hire allows you to get out to Mt Ranier and its surroundings, well worth the trip. Good luck ....
Bcbhokie From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 131 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (9 years 6 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 18686 times:
A few tips on renting a car in the greater Seattle area - King County levies an absolutely massive tax on car rentals at Sea-Tac, explicitly to soak tourists... it's something absurdly close to 20%. If your hotel is going to be in the city, look into renting from a non-airport branch of your favorite rental company and you'll find taxes to be much more reasonable; I've found the staff at the Avis depot in Bellevue to be particularly professional, if you're staying in that area.
While Seattle has a particularly good bus system, http://transit.metrokc.gov/ - in fact, I'd go as far as to say it's a contender for being the best bus system of any major American city - it does necessarily take a while to get from point A to point B. If you rent a car, you'll also be able to get to the Museum of Flight at Boeing Field, which is a must-see for any aviation enthusiast.
If you do go the Gray Line route, they as a company are very well-run and reliable.
QANTAS077 From Australia, joined Jan 2004, 5919 posts, RR: 36
Reply 7, posted (9 years 6 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 18677 times:
i'd agree with the bus system, was fast and efficient when i did the journey, took just on 45 mins to get to the everett bus station from downtown, think it was about $3. jumped in a cab and made the ride to the boeing tour building and was there in 10mins. caught a cab back to the station and jumped back on the 510 bus to Seattle. no dramas, no traffic to deal with, see the landscape as you let the bus driver do the work.
a true friend is someone who sees the pain in your eyes, while everyone else believes the smile on your face.
HPLASOps From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (9 years 6 months 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 18672 times:
I also found the tour to be a dissapointment. I rented a car (found one with Dollar for about $50 with everything included), drove up, bought the $15 ticket, and well, the movie was just a high speed 777 assembly. Our guide was very droll and spoke with a heavy accent making him hard to understand. Once we crossed the runways, all we did was go up to a mezzanine over the 777 assembly area and overlook for 20 minutes while the guide stuttered out a few facts. And my God, I couldn't believe how anal they were about cameras and cell phones. I felt like if my phone made any kind of noise they were gonna rip out the rubber glove on me. I realize they are in heavy competition with Airbus and they need to be careful with what information goes out to the public, but that tour was a straight up dissapointment. I know there was a lot more they could have shown us.
BCAInfoSys From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (9 years 6 months 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 18665 times:
Oh so sad. It's a shame you guys didn't make the SEA meet 2 years ago. I was interning with Boeing at the time and we were able to get some primo accommodations from the Boeing PR folks. (Any folks that were at the SEA Meet, feel free to chime in.)
The first stop of the morning was the Boeing Interiors Display Center tour. They have an interior cabin mockup of every plane in the Boeing fleet. (The 747 mockup was noticeably missing as they were updating it for the 747-800; which we all suspected, though it wasn't public knowledge at this point.) The highlight of the tour was the fact that ours was one of the first non-industry groups to be able to tour the 787 (then the 7E7) cabin mockup. (I think it was only a week or two before that it transitioned from Boeing Limited to public.) It was really neat as they had lights showing the difference between the A330/A340 cabin and the 7E7 cabin. It illustrated the different cabin curvatures as well as the bins.
Later day that I arranged for an engineering manager to take the eighteen of us on a 3-hour guided tour of the Renton 737 final assembly as well as the wing assembly building adjacent to final assembly. It was much better then the Everett tour, as we were actually on the floor and talking to the personnel who were assembling the aircraft. (Sad Everett has become a walkway tour only. If you want a good story, ask DL021 about talking to the mechanic in the wheel well while the landing gear as getting bolted on!)
Anyway, as far as your trip goes; I would recommend a trip to the Museum of Flight Restoration Center that's near to Paine Field, as well as some time at the water tower park area that's directly north of the runway at SEA. It's a bit tough to find, but it's a great place to sit for a few hours and have lunch while watching arrivals/departures. (Thanks ScarletHarlot!) Also, there’s some parking lots to the either side of the runways at BFI that make for some interesting spotting locations.