Date: Friday, December 19, 2003
**Note: All times are local time.
The semester is over and it was time to head home for a well deserved vacation. Anyway, I was scheduled to fly home the day before, on Thursday (Dec. 18) leaving Grand Forks on Northwest flight #2922 (GFK-MSP) and continue on to Boise on Northwest flight #1275 (MSP-BOI). Thursday night came around and I was at the GFK Airport shortly after 6:00 p.m. for my scheduled 6:45 p.m. departure. As I walked towards the tickets counter, they made an announcement that the incoming flight from MSP was scheduled to arrive at 6:56 p.m., which meant there was no way in hell that I would make my connecting flight in MSP and that I would be stuck in Grand Forks for another night. The friendly ticket agent re-booked me on another flight for the next morning to Boise via Minneapolis and Seattle.
The next morning, Me and two of my friends who also flew to MSP on the same flight headed out to GFK airport were we arrived shortly before 4 a.m. for our 5:25 a.m. departure. I already checked-in the night before, since my flight was canceled and I didn’t want to drag my suitcase back to campus. We decided to pass through security at 4:30 a.m. and I was selected for additional screening which only took a few minutes.
GRAND FORKS, ND (GFK) – MINNEAPOLIS, MN (MSP)
Airline: Northwest Airlink/*operated by Mesaba
Seat: 7F (Window)
Photo © Ken Cheung
Photo © Ryan C. Umphrey
Scheduled/Actual Departure: 5:25 a.m./ 5:43 a.m.
Scheduled/Actual Arrival: 6:31 a.m./ 6:33 a.m.
Flight Time: 45 minutes
Our aircraft was parked at Gate 2 and was all ready to go. Boarding was called shortly after 5 o’clock. The flight this morning was pretty full. I entered the aircraft and found my window seat (7F) as more people continued to board. We taxied away from the gate around 5:35 a.m. and made our way to runway 35L were we stopped for two minutes. Full power was applied and off we were in to the dark morning sky. We made a sharp right hand turn heading toward the southeast and straight for the Twin Cities. Flight time was announced as 45 minutes and the two female flight attendants distributed water and orange juice in small containers about 15 minutes into the flight. The flight was pretty short and the cabin was very quiet on this early morning flight. We started our decent as we got closer to MSP. We made a few turns and passed right over downtown Minneapolis. We entered the downwind for runway 30R, we got lower and lower, turned base, gear down and flaps full and a smooth touchdown shortly after 6:30 a.m. We taxied to gate C25 were everyone disembarked. Me and my friend split up so we could all make our connecting flights.
MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL, MN (MSP) – SEATTLE-TACOMA, WA (SEA)
Airline: Northwest Airlines
Aircraft: Boeing B757-200
Seat: 18F (Window)
Photo © Dan Hornseth
Photo © Jay Piboontum
Scheduled/Actual Departure: 7:30 a.m / 7:46 a.m.
Scheduled/Actual Arrival: 9:07 a.m./ 9:08 a.m.
Flight Time: 3 hours 7 Minutes
After arriving from Grand Forks, I made my way over to Concourse F, were my flight to Seattle would leave at 7:30 a.m. As I arrived at Gate F8 boarding has already started and I walked down the jetway to the aircraft. I found my seat and settled in for the 3 hour flight to Seattle. We had another full flight. Pushback was a few minutes late and we taxied to runway 30R. We had a few aircrafts ahead of us and other planes coming in for landing. We lined up and another powerful take-off in the blue morning sky with the rising sun in the background. I love the take-off of the 757, but the cabin was really cramped and I had a hard time sleeping, but I still slept most of the way to Seattle. We were cruising at 33,000 feet and about an hour into the flight breakfast was served, but all I wanted to do was sleep. I woke up again as we flew over the mountains of Montana, which was covered by a thick fog. The captain was very informative and came over the PA every 30-45 minutes to announce our position and remaining flight time. We flew right over the City of Spokane and I had a good view of the airport. We got closer to Seattle and we started out decent over the snow covered mountains. We continued our decent and made a left turn heading south passing right over downtown Seattle. I was seated on the right hand side of the aircraft, so I had an excellent view of the Space needle and Seahawks stadium. We touched down on runway 16R. We left the runway and passed a United B777 and pulled up to Gate S8 on the South concourse. Overall, the flight was ok. The flight attendants were very friendly, and I was surprised they served breakfast. The cabin of the B757 was a bit cramped, but the scenery along the way was great! Anyway, I left the gate and tried to find out were my flight to Boise would leave. I took the Subway over to the Main terminal and saw that my flight would leave from Gate D7.
SEATTLE-TACOMA, WA (SEA) – BOISE, ID (BOI)
Airline: Alaska Airlines
Aircraft: Boeing B737-400
Seat: 8A (Window)
Photo © Stefan Welsch
Photo © Tim Samples
Scheduled/Actual Departure: 10:24 a.m./ 10:40 a.m.
Scheduled/Actual Arrival: 12:39 p.m./ 12:44 p.m.
Flight Time: 1 hour 4 minutes
I arrived at the gate and boarding was called shortly after. This was another full flight so they started to board the aircraft from the rear. This would be my first time flying on Alaska Airlines and I was very excited, since I heard so many good things about this airline, I was really looking forward to this flight. I was one of the last passengers to board and was greeted by a friendly flight attendant at the door. I had Seat 8A, another window seat and got a seat right next to a Horizon Air Captain who was flying home to Boise and we started to chat right away. We pushed back and taxied to runway 16L, were we took off around 10:40 a.m. The seats were very comfortable and the seat pitch wasn’t bad either. The flight passed by pretty quickly since I was talking with the Horizon captain most of the time. A snack and beverage was served 15 minutes into the flight, and I had some OJ and some peanuts. The flight attendants were very friendly and made the flight very enjoyable. We stared our decent and touched down in Boise 45 minutes after 12 o’clock. We taxied up to Concourse A were we disembarked via stairs. I got my bags and headed home. I was very impressed by Alaska Airlines, all the good things I heard about them were true and I can only recommend them.
Thanks for reading and hopefully I will be able to include some pictures on my return trip in January when I’m flying back to Grand Forks via Minneapolis. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to ask. Merry Christmas!