Chugach From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 1041 posts, RR: 2 Posted (8 years 9 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 9703 times:
Due somewhat to chance, I got to take AS 66 enroute to Juneau last Friday. This is better known as a "milk run" flight, meaning it stops in the smaller towns along the way.
I was upgraded to first class prior to departure thanks to my MVP Gold status on AS. I'll break down each segment of the flight; it was flown with a 734. I'll also include the return portion, AS 67 nonstop JNU-ANC.
Going to Cordova, we boarded out of gate C1 at ANC. After pushback, there was a slight delay due to a problem with the avionics; the pilot came on over the intercom and said that we wouldn't need it today (conditions in ANC that afternoon were sunny and about 80 degrees). Upon completing the necessary paperwork, we made the short taxi over to runway 32 and did the normal departure over Knik Arm and headed east over the Chugach Range.
Flight time to Cordova was 34 minutes. Coach got the normal juice service, while first class had the usual choice of drinks and a pack of pretzels. We started our descent shortly after passing over College Fjord. We flew directly south of Valdez, passed over the town of Cordova, across the hill separating the town from the Copper River Flats, parallel to state highway 10 (the Copper River Highway), and landed straight ahead with a thud on runway 9 at Mudhole Smith Airport. We turned around while still in the runway and backtracked to the ramp.
Pictures from this leg:
The Chugach Range shortly after departure from ANC.
College Fjord, with Harvard Glacier and Yale Glacier:
Shortly before arrival in Cordova:
The Alaska Airlines terminal at Mudhole Smith Airport:
Ground time in Cordova was short so that we could make up some of the time lost while sitting on the ramp in Anchorage. Approximately three (3!) people boarded our 734 in Cordova, bound now for Yakutat.
Flight time to Yakutat was announced as 41 minutes. We taxied back to runway 9 and took off to the southeast. Routing between Cordova and Yakutat is pretty simple: just hug the coast. Service on this leg was identical to the first leg, and I had first class almost to myself (only one other passenger).
Descent into Yakutat was nothing short of spectacular. Great views of Mt. St. Elias and Mt. Logan before touching down smoothly on runway 11 at the Yakutat Airport. Once again we turned around in the runway (most rural Alaska airports don't have taxiways) and pulled up next to the Alaska Airlines building. Yakutat is one of, if not the, smallest towns in the world with jet service. It has a population of roughly 800 people and sees two flights a day on AS.
Pictures from the Cordova-Yakutat leg:
Glacier (not sure of the name) shortly after takeoff from Cordova.
Nice overview of the Copper River.
Mt. St. Elias, the second-highest peak in Alaska at slightly more than 18,000 feet.
Boat harbor in Yakutat shortly before landing.
Alaska Airlines terminal in Yakutat.
The Yakutat Lodge at the airport...sign says it all.
Our 734 taking a breather on the ramp at YAK.
The Yakutat-Juneau leg was similar to the first two. Flight time was announced as 43 minutes, and by my count, 21 people boarded in Yakutat. We departed from runway 11 and headed southeast, taking a turn to the west over Glacier Bay. We passed over Gustavus and Excursion Inlet, over the Chilkat Range and Funter Bay, past Auke Bay and the ferry terminal before passing over JNU and making the infamous 180 degree turn over Gastineau Channel before landing on runway 26 at Juneau International Airport. We parked at gate 3, where I disembarked and the flight continued on down to SEA.
Chilkat Range on descent into Juneau.
Auke Bay and the Alaska Marine Highway ferry terminal. You can see a ferry docked in the lower left hand corner.
Nice overview of Juneau International Airport and Mendenhall Glacier before making the turn for landing.
The Mendenhall Wetlands seconds before landing.
The following Monday, I hopped on to AS 67 to return to Anchorage. AS 67 is a milk run of its own, routed SEA-KTN-SIT-JNU-ANC. Once again I was upgraded to first. The flight was full. Service in first class was more extensive than on the way down, due to the longer stage length. Inflight service in first class consisted of pre-flight water, a choice of drinks while inflight, and a nice plate of cheese and crackers. I sipped on a glass of Jack Daniels while my seatmate entertained me with stories of blowing up cans of white gas in the Brooks Range. I love this state.
Flight time to Anchorage was 1 hour, 27 minutes, once again on a 734. We pushed back from gate 4 and took off from runway 8 at JNU, flying the length of the town before making a long turn to the west, passing again over Glacier Bay before turning northwest and following the coast. We begun our descent over Valdez, passing over Whittier before following the length of Turnagain Arm into Anchorage and landing on runway 7R. Arrival gate was C5.
View of a SEA-bound 734 parked at gate 3 from my seat on AS 67.
Downtown Juneau after takeoff.
The head of Turnagain Arm, shortly after passing over Whittier.
Turnagain Arm at about Girdwood/Alyeska.
Sleeping Lady and Cook Inlet while making the base leg turn to runway 7R.
Tbear815 From United States of America, joined Jun 2003, 704 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (8 years 9 months 12 hours ago) and read 9086 times:
Late in the last century, I had the great pleasure of flying an AS "milk run" Sitka to Seattle via Ketchikan. I had sailed the waters of the panhandle extensively, but the view from "on high" is incredible. Thanks so much for the great report and photos. It is an incredible state and we should all see what our gorgeous country looks like.
As for AS's fabled first class service; it's really too bad they burned the steak and you had to have the ever-present Alaskan salmon........
Jumbo747 From New Zealand, joined Apr 2006, 57 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (8 years 8 months 4 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 8854 times:
Ah Man! Thanks for reminding me of these magnificent views, I flew from SFO to ANC last July truly magnificent.
Great layout with the images attached along with their descriptions. Your luck with the weather throughout the journey was great. The photos were in great detail could you please allow me to ask what camera did you used. Thanks.
It's kind of an Alaskan slang term for a flight that makes lots of stops in small towns. A few examples are AS 61/66 (my flight), which is ANC-CDV-YAK-JNU-SEA and reverse; AS 64/65, ANC-JNU-PSG-WRG-KTN-SEA and reverse; AS 62/67, ANC-JNU-SIT-KTN-SEA; AS 122, a triangle that goes ANC-AKN-DLG-ANC; and the three daily flights that are routed ANC-OME-OTZ-ANC.
DC10Widebody From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 126 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 8591 times:
Chugach, I am curious how did you book this? I called Alaska reservations and they were clearly not amused and I was told (twice) that the system would not book this. Any hints that won't cost millions of dollars?
Chugach From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 1041 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 8586 times:
Quoting DC10Widebody (Reply 23): Chugach, I am curious how did you book this? I called Alaska reservations and they were clearly not amused and I was told (twice) that the system would not book this. Any hints that won't cost millions of dollars?
Did you try to book ANC-SEA on this flight? If so, that may be why. Although I've heard that it IS possible to fly the length of a milk run between ANC and SEA.
Flying ANC-JNU on this flight costs exactly the same as taking a nonstop flight.
: I was trying to book SEA-ANC on flight 67 and ANC-SEA on flight 66. I tried on alaskaair.com initially but it would only allow me to connect in Juneau
: Funny, I just happened to fly this same route on my flight sim a week ago (I used an AS 73G though...).
: Hey folks...just as an FYI, you can now book ANC-SEA milk run flights (AS 61/66 and AS 62/67, and AS 64/65) on alaskaair.com.
: Chugach, Thanks a lot for this great report. It was a pleasure to look at those pictures with my wife. Being both Alaskans we both think they are some
: An absolutely incredible landscape, stunning pictures. Thanks for taking the time for an excellent report, most likely the best I've seen yet! Also, w
: Simply fantastic, the pictures are stunning!! - I totally agree. Great stuff, many thanks. Regards Mark