JUL 28 07:32
SEA - LAX
Well, we got to the airport about 06:30 (way too early, but I like watching the ramp activity). Walked directly to Concourse D at SeaTac, security was uneventful and there were no lines. It was just starting to pick up. We got to the gate, D5, and found a seat. The gate agents were sitting behind the podium watching the ramp so we didn't know they were there. They popped up once the aircraft was taxied from wherever it was kept overnight. It was the first flight of the day on N962AS, an Alaska MD-83. No delays, right?
We got our boarding passes printed up and I was dismayed to find out I was placed in 9D. Y Class. That was strange, as I had expected the F Class upgrade. Apparently my mom had priority (HA!) and there was only one seat left in First. Oh well.
The gate agent informed us at about 07:15 that our flight would be delayed for 20 minutes due to "ATC". I was skeptical after watching that show on MSNBC (I know, silly me.. its the media after all). So I flipped on my ATC radio and tuned to SEA ATIS to find out that there were, in fact, gate holds for aircraft departing to LAX. Quickly I switched to Clearance Delivery and caught the readback of my flight, Alaska 288, and then the controller told the FO that we'd be wheels up precisely at 08:06 Lima. Sure enough, once we had boarded, the captain informed us that we were in a gate hold of sorts and that we would be in the air at 08:06. And we were.
We flew the SUMMA 5 Departure and we were on our way to LAX. The flight was uneventful until just passing Lake Tahoe when engine number two suddenly lost power, quieted down very noticably, the nose came up, and we banked. I could feel the deceleration and figured they were messing around with the engine, but after about a minute or so I was wondering. But, alas, I finally heard it spool up, the nose came down, we levelled out, and I could feel us accelerating again. It was foggy in LA and we landed uneventfully on 24R and taxied to gate 32. I was met by a friend from school who is in LA for acting and modeling and we went for coffee (coffee is better in Seattle, they had no idea what they were doing at the cafe I went to) then Santa Monica (the Pier) and went to her Venice Beach condo for a bit. Venice Beach is... interesting to say the least. Then we went to Long Beach and went to the hotel.
In the morning, we got a taxi to the Queen Mary where we boarded the Catalina Express Starship Express, a high speed catamaran that runs to Avalon.
We had a nice relaxing weekend on Catalina except when my watch went missing. Hmm. No idea where it went, but I saw a nice Breitling in Flying Magazine that I'll bug my mom for. hehe.
JUL 31 18:31
LAX - SEA
ALASKA 281 err ALASKA 501 (19:26)
We hopped the Starship Express in Avalon for the return trip to Long Beach. Then we got on the Metro Blue Line train.
About 10 minutes into the train ride we come to a screaching halt. Some idiot ran in front of the train ahead and made quite a mess. So much for the 18:31 flight to Seattle.
After about an hour of delays on the train, we finally make it to LAX. The gate agents, I have found, are much nicer in Seattle. Ours had quite an attitude but did, thankfully, get us on the next flight. It, too, was delayed.
N969AS came to the gate very late (I didn't even notice the time because of the earlier stress, we missed the dinner flight so I had to run to BK to get a burger-- ick-- and had barely enough time to get my triple grande caffe mocha extra hot with whip that wasn't extra hot before we boarded). I had ample reading material with the Wall Street Journal and Flying Magazine next to me and the flight went by really fast. We arrived in Seattle at 23:30 or so on 16R, taxied into the same gate we departed from, D5. Drove home as quickly as possible and came to the airliners.net chat room.
I guess even the best of vacations can end on a sour note.
Look for my report on a SEA-LAS flight later this month.