Aircraft Type: Q400
Schedule/Actual Time of Departure: 8:30/8:30(est.)
Schedule/Actual Time of Arrival: 9:20/9:10(est.)
Photo © Ryan Syferd
Had to go up to SEA for some family stuff, so instead of driving decided to hop the shuttle up there. That was an especially good choice after the night I had at work (not at all pleasant), so not having to worry about myself or the other idiots on the road was a nice change. Anyways, after dropping the car in economy we took the bus in the the terminal here at PDX. As usual of late, got to know the TSA agent a little too well to the gate down in A concourse, but that's security these days. The staff for Horizon are really top notch, as when we were figuring things out, the agents were helping anyone, not just the ones on the flights they were assigned to. Anyways, got our seats and headed out to the plane.
This was my first trip on the new Q400s and they are a trip. They're soooo long and thin that it is kind of freaky. My wife however had never been on anything smaller that a 737 so she was a little a apprehensive. Inside it felt pretty small, even for a regional prop, but it wasn't too bad. I just wouldn't want to spend more than about an hour in it.
A short taxi over to 10L and we were off. The take-off run was very short and then we were heading out towards SEA. The flight wasn't bad at all. A little bumpy but nothing I haven't been through before. We flew up and past SEA coming in from the north, so I got a great view of downtown, West Seattle, the southern industrial area and then on to a shaky landing.
SEA was pretty busy when we landed. Saw a World Cargo MD-11F, the ICC Cargo A300 that had left PDX about 10min. before us (saw him push when we were waiting) and a China Airlines 747-400F all on the way to the gate. After we deplaned, saw the AS Disneyland plane pushing out of its spot (and me with my camera back home!), which was a treat.
Aircraft Type: Q400
Schedule/Actual Time of Departure: 21:30/21:40(est.)
Schedule/Actual Time of Arrival: 22:14/22:00(est.)
Photo © Royal S King
Getting back was much worse than getting there. Apparently there had been all sorts of cancellations and delays on Horizon's system so things were a mess. And with us flying non-rev, things were a little tense(for my wife). I felt sorry for the agents because they were swamped. Combine that with how air travel has turned into "bus" service (I've seen nicer bus stations than QX's spot in SEA) and I can see how the agents were extremely stressed. One poor guy looked completely frazzled and ready to blow, so I figured talking to him about a lowly non-rev was not a good idea. So we went and found the next flight out to PDX and got listed and set-up for that. It was a Q400 again, so we were a little more used to it. After take-off the captain came on and said as they were expecting some rough weather the FA's were going to stay strapped in. Oh well, it was probably a long day for them anyways so I didn't mind. The flight back seemed to go faster than the flight up and it wasn't very rough at all. I've had worse over the North Pacific in a 747, so it wasn't that bad. Flew in from the west (past our house) and landed on 10R. Trip over, we went home.
I like Horizon. For what they do, they do it very well. They even treat us lowly non-revs with a measure of respect, which is nice, considering as a paying passenger on a major we got treated like sh*t. Our snack on the way up was a biscotti and water, but there isn't enough time to do much more, so that is really a non-issue. I had forgotten how busy SEA gets (during Xmas didn't help) which makes home (PDX) look so much more sedate. The Q400 was a unique experience, but wouldn't want to be riding much longer than we did. All in all, a good trip. They did a great job, even in this busy time of year.