QX/AS 2510 ONT-PDX
Equip: CRJ-700 (N600QX)
Load Factor: 100%
Scheduled Dep.: 920A Actual Dep.: 923A
Scehduled Arr.: 1135A Actual Arr.: 1120A
Photo © Matthew I. Smith
We left early to get to ONT in order to get breakfast and everything. We arrived at 7:00 to check-in. We used the ITM (instant travel machine, aka self check-in), were issued our boarding passes, and went up the stairs to security. Getting through ONT is quite easy, its probably the most underserved airport for its size in the country. Our departure gate was 206, but we had about an hour and 15 minutes until boarding, so we stopped by Carls Jr. which was the only place open at that point. We proceeded to the gate and waited. At 845A, the CRJ we were to take pulled into the gate, and I remember thinking, "We will be pushing back out of this gate in less than 40 minutes..." It seemed like a really short turnaround, but I guess its possible with CRJs...
We began boarding at 900A. As I moved from the jetway into the aircraft, I was greeted by a very pretty F/A. Her name was Malaika, she was blond, blue eyes, and had a hibuscus flower in her hair. I remembered what Larry the Cable Guy had said about F/As: "Whatever happened to good-looking flight attendants? On this one flight I was on, I got the Oak Ridge Boys with titties." Larry is great, but in this case, I was glad he was wrong. But enough about that; I could go on and on about beautiful F/As Anyway, we pushback only a few minutes behind schedule, and taxi out to runway 26L (26R was closed, and it looked like construction was going on. Can anyone tell me what's up?)
A few minutes into the flight, the F/As (there were three of them on this 70-seat CRJ) began the snack/beverage service, which included this weird donut-y type of thing (which was good) and coffee/tea. An hour and a half later, Our descent was fun, dodging around mostly cloudy skies above Portland and it's suburbs. We had a strong tailwind on this flight, and despite leaving a few minutes late, we arrived at 1120A, 15 minutes ahead of schedule, landing on runway 28L. Our arrival gate was A12.
I had a very good first impression of QX and the CRJ-700, starting with seeing the beautiful F/A, then sitting in the nice, roomy leather seats. This seemed a whole different aircraft compared to the NW CRJ-200 I went on last winter. One thing though: I'm 6'2", and the lavatories in the CRJ (-200 and -700) are kind of a squeeze, to say the least... But other than that, I rate the first flight a 9/10.
QX/AS 2135 PDX-RDM
Equip: DHC-8-Q200 (N363PH, "City of Boise")
Load Factor: 100%
Scheduled Dep.: 210P Actual Dep.: 211P
Scehduled Arr.: 250P Actual Arr.: 250P
Photo © Stefan Welsch
This was my first time in PDX, and I got a very nice impression of it. I checked out some of the bookstores in the C concourse, ate a slice at this place called "Pizza Schmizza," and took pics, which, because of my idiocy, were erased, including a pic of the daily NW A330-200 at the gate... Unfortunately, I was not able to see the daily LH A340 arrive, because my flight departed at 210P, and LH was scheduled for 230P, but was delayed until 300P, so I made to my final destination before it even got into PDX.
We boarded at 150P out of gate B1. This involved walking onto the tarmac and stepping up into the aircraft on stairs (I love doing that!). I quickly took my seat, and looked around the small cabin. It was nice; I didn't expect SQ kind of service or seat pitch for a 35 minute flight! I liked watching the props start up, and we soon pushed back and began taxiing for runway 28L. The takeoff run was very short, maybe only 3,000-4,000 feet, and our climb fairly steep. We began turning toward Redmond/Bend, and encountered a little turbulence, but nothing exceptional. We flew by some spectacular mountains, and as we began to descend, I noticed something interesting: the sheer volume of trees. It wasn't like rainforest thick, but it was just mile upon mile of trees 20-30 feet apart.
We landed at the very small airport, parked, and disembarked into the baggage claim area of the airport. We got our bags quickly, got our reserved rental car, and began our week-long vacation at Eagle Crest Resort in Redmond. Overall, I liked the Dash-8-200; I always like a prop. We were served drinks on the 39-minute flight, and I was overall satisfied. I rate that flight 8/10.
QX/AS 2142 PDX-RDM
Load Factor: 100%
Scheduled Dep.: 910A
Scehduled Arr.: 950A
We missed this flight, because we left our house at 820A for the flight, and didn't even get to the airport until 840A. Skywest (United Express) had flights to PDX at 948A and 1230P, but we opted instead to rebook on QX/AS 2128 departing at 310P...
QX/AS 2128 RDM-PDX
Equip: DHC-8-Q200 (N355PH)
Load Factor: ~80%
Scheduled Dep.: 310P Actual Dep.: 322P
Scehduled Arr.: 350P Actual Arr.: 355P
Photo © Jason Whitebird
We went through security at RDM easily, and waited in the small waiting room. An announcement is made that our flight is running about 20 minutes late, but its no sweat. We begin boarding at 305P, and as I walk out to the plane, I snap this pic:
I get into my seat, 7D, which isn't a very good seat for photography; the engine is right in the way a clear shot out the window. But nonetheless, I managed to take a few:
Some mountain in North-Central Oregon...
Portland suburbs on descent...
Thrilling (!) shot of the wheel at touchdown...
We were served drinks on the flight, I had water. Once again, I was satisfied with the Dash 8, it performs its short-haul duty well. 8/10. I spent some time walking around PDX, and luck was on my side as I saw the LH A340 sitting at the gate. I took two pics of it, both are horrible (I mean 2MP with digital zoom) quality, but I can tell you that it was D-AIFD:
Photo © MUCpictures
After that, it was time to head to gate A9 and wait for:
QX/AS 2517 PDX-ONT
Equip: CRJ-700 (N610QX)
Load Factor: 100%
Scheduled Dep.: 540P Actual Dep.: 553P
Scehduled Arr.: 750P Actual Arr.: 752P
Photo © Jason Whitebird
I was disappointed as soon as I entered the aircraft and saw my seat: the window was scratched/clouded over and it pretty much precluded any real chance for me to take good pics out of it. Luckily, I had my trusty iPod...
We took off of runway 28L, and about 20 minutes after takeoff, the pilot announced we were passing over Redmond/Bend, where my journey had originally begun. We were served cookies and apple chips (plus I brought my own pretzels), and served a choice of drinks, including wine or beer. I simply chose Sprite. An hour or so into the flight, we passed over Yosemite, offering spectacular (albeit scratchy/clouded) views. Our descent into ONT was familiar to me, and we landed at ONT's runway 26L at 749P almost exactly on schedule. Before we left the airport, I snapped this shot of our aircraft at the gate (205):
A CO 737-800 had just arrived and I tried to take a picture of it, but my camera started acting weird, so I said "Screw it," and went home. Once again, I love the CRJ-700, but I was disappointed that my window was scratchy/clouded and I couldn't see. Overall, 7/10.
This was my first experience with Horizon Air, my first flights to PDX and RDM, and I was very happy with them. QX flight crew were attentive and professional (not to mention one of which was one of the prettiest I had ever seen), and PDX and RDM are very easy airports to get through and use. Overall, I'd rate this trip an 8.5/10, and I look forward to using QX and PDX again in the future.