This is my first official trip report on Airliners.net so don't expect a lot as I try to figure this thing out.
March 28, 2007
Denver, CO to Seattle, WA
Alaska Air #539
Scheduled Departure: 12:07 PM
Actual: 12:05 PM
Scheduled Arrival: 2:08 PM
Actual: 2:03 PM
I planned on arriving at DEN at around 10:00 AM or so in order to check in on time and get plenty of pictures as well. I planned on walking the sky bridge between the terminal and A Concourse, catching the train to B, checking B out (I wanted to get pics B15 where the jet way collapsed on the UA757's wing), and then catch the train to C where I would get more pics prior to boarding. Unfortunately, my plans fell apart.
As I approached DEN on Pena Blvd, I saw the notice that all parking near the terminal was full due to spring breakers. In addition the Pikes Peak lot was full so I ended up driving out to the Mt Elbert lot where I waited in line for about 15 minutes before I could get into the lot. To my dismay I had to prepay for parking instead of paying when I left and I had brought just enough cash to cover the charge. I don't like to use credit cards and try to use ATMs if I need $$. I ended up parking and had to wait about 20 minutes for a shuttle bus to come by that wasn't already full. I was able to take this picture as I waited.
I finally boarded the bus and finally arrived at the West Terminal at 10:40. AS has their check-in in the East Terminal but I figured that by the time the bus finally got there I could beat the bus which I did. I checked in and headed to security.
Security was packed. Both north and south checkpoints were full of spring break travelers and the wait was over 30 minutes. Since I wanted to check out the A Concourse I decided that I'd be smart and go through security upstairs. Me and 500 other people.
I asked the TSA worker how long the line was and she said about 15 minutes. Well those 15 minutes stretched into 40. It was now 11:25 and I wasn't meeting my timetable. I snapped a few quick shots of the sky-bridge and Frontier Gates.
I hustled downstairs to the trains for the ride to C Concourse.
I forgot that the train had to stop at B Concourse first and my anticipation of perhaps missing my flight began to grow. At last we arrived at C and I hurried up the escalator to the boarding level and entered a mad rush of people. I have never seen DEN so busy. I managed to snap a few pictures on the way to my gate.
I arrived just as they were announcing final boarding.
I managed to get onboard and find my seat. Unfortunately I had a 5-year old crack addicted, ADD, Starbucks drinking boy seated behind me who decided it would be fun to stretch out his legs and push his feet into the back of my seat. And I don't think he took a breath between words the entire flight. To make matters worse, he was traveling with his grandmother and they were returning from Disney World and had been up since 4:30 AM Orlando time and he was excited to get home. As you can imagine I really enjoyed my flight.
I did notice that gate B15, the one that collapsed on the UA 757 was blocked off with cones and yellow tape.
We took off on 17R and circled around to the west for our climb out. As we passed over Loveland/Ft. Collins the turbulence started and didn't stop until Sun Valley. I don't know what was worse, the aerobics instructor kicking my seat or the bouncing around the sky. We began our approach into SEA and landed on 16L. I was able to get a few cool shots of Boeing Field and Evergreen's Super Tanker as we were on final.
The business end of the 737
Boeing Field Museum w 747, Concorde, and others
Evergreen's Super Tanker
As we taxied in we followed a WN 737 and he turned left and we turned right. I got some more shots of the AS and QX ramps.
We finally arrived and parked at gate S3 (?).
As I was waiting for my flight to be called I heard a loud engine sound and was able to snap this pictyure of China Airlines A340 taking off:
March 28, 2007
Seattle, WA to Medford, OR
Horizon Airlines #2457
Scheduled Departure: 3:10 PM
Actual: 3:10 PM
Scheduled Arrival: 4:30 PM
Actual: 4:20 PM
As I walked out to my plane I managed to snap this picture of QX anniversary Q400:
I had an aisle seat and the lady next to me didn't appreciate me having my camera out. She made it her business to tell me that no electronic devices were to be used during the flight. I told her that I was documenting my flight for a major website but she seemed unimpressed. As the FA came through the cabin for final checks before takeoff, my seatmate asked to her to remind me to put away my camera. The FA asked me to put it away due to FAA regulations and security. So I got no pics of our taxiing out. I was able to sneak this picture of Mt St Helens later on.
One thing I particularly liked was the complementary beer and wine on both the AS and QX flights. The service was great and our FA's were extremely professional. I'd pay an extra $100 just to fly AS in the future due to their service.
After what seemed like a quick flight we began out approach into MFR and I was able to snap this quick shot of the airport before my seat mate could stop me. We made a left downwind into RWY 32 and landed without any problems. After a quick taxi we parked and my flying for the day was over.
April 2, 2007
Medford, OR to Portland, OR
Horizon Airlines #2226
Scheduled Departure: 6:25 PM
Actual: 6:15 PM
Scheduled Arrival: 7:24 PM
Actual: 7:20 PM
I arrived at the MFR airport 1 ½ hours before my scheduled departure but had to wait for twenty minutes for someone to help me with my checked bags. I guess everyone was out on the ramp servicing another aircraft. Eventually, the agents showed up and I was able to check in as well as make an additional reservation for trip I plan on taking in late-May. Like I mentioned above, I will gladly pay extra to fly AS/QX now. I had made an on-line reservation with UA/OO and had it on hold but I cancelled the reservation and booked through AS/QX instead. I had two $25 flight coupons which I used as well which brought the price of the ticket down to the range of the UA one. The agent was most helpful and within a few minutes I had a new reservation, a new confirmation number, and was checked in for my current flight.
Since security is a joke at MFR I took my time and decided to check out the old Red Baron restaurant. It closed a while back but the new leaseholder has opened the lounge area and made the restaurant area a spotter's heaven (if you can call it that in MFR). I was able to sit at a table and watch the occasional C172 shoot touch-and-goes while I waited for my flight to come in. I saw the -8 on R downwind for runway 32 so I decided to head through security and walk the 40 feet to my gate. It took all of 30 seconds.
We boarded a few minutes later and I noticed the flight was only half-full. To my dismay I discovered that my batteries in my camera were dead so I have no pictures for the return flights.
We arrived in Portland on runway 10L which surprised me since AS and QX usually use 10R/28L. We taxied past the UA gates and around C concourse and parked at gate D3.
I deplaned and walked toward C Concourse to check on my flight to DEN. My ticket said I had an 8:10 PM departure but the gate had a delayed departure time of 8:30 PM. So I decided to see if the famous PDX wireless Internet worked and to my surprise it worked quite well. I logged onto to the AS website to get an update and it showed an 8:10 PM departure. I happened to look out the window and saw a F9 RJ taxi past and park at my gate.
I loaded up the laptop and walked to my gate where they were announcing the boarding of my flight.
April 2, 2007
Portland, OR to Denver, CO
Horizon Airlines #2506
Scheduled Departure: 8:10 PM
Actual: 8:10 PM
Scheduled Arrival: 11:40 PM
Actual: 11:15 PM
I waited to board and was the last one on. As I walked to my seat I noticed the plane only had about 20 passengers aboard and the exit row on the left side was vacant. I found my seat and discovered a 20-something with his I-pod sitting there. I asked him to confirm and he said, "Yea, dude. I have 15A." I said, "You're in 15B and that's my seat." He said, "No way dude, A is the aisle seat and B is the window. I know because I work for this airline."
I asked the FA to explain to Mr. Frequent Flier exactly how the seats were laid out. The FA started singing: "A-B-C-D-E-F-G." He continued, "A is the window and B is the aisle and you need to be in the window seat." Mr. Attitude said, "No way man, I have the aisle and I%u2019m not moving."
I asked the FA, "I noticed nobody was sitting in the exit row, do you mind if I sit there?" He said that would be fine.
I took my place in the exit row and as soon as I was seated they closed the door and we taxied out.
The flight was uneventful until we crossed over Logan, UT. As soon as we hit the Wasatch Mountains we encountered mild to moderate turbulence that continued until we were on downwind to 35L at DEN. The turbulence sucked because in-flight service and drinks stopped and I had to hold my cup full of ice and can of Coke so they wouldn't spill. Mr. Expert Flier in 15B almost had a nervous breakdown due to the gentle rocking. He said that he hadn't experienced that much turbulence since he was over Baghdad during "shock and awe", and that he would be writing a letter to Horizon because their pilots weren't trained in turbulence avoidance. I thought he said earlier that he worked for QX but I kept my mouth shut and let him blab. What a putz.
We landed on 35L twenty-five minutes early due to tail winds and taxied to the gate. I took the train to baggage claim and was happy to find my bags already on the carousel waiting for me. I found the Mt Elbert shuttle and was at my car by midnight and was home by 12:45 AM.
Overall, I was very pleased with AS/QX. The FA's were friendly, pleasant, and eager to please. They even joked around with the passengers and at one time thanked the pilots for "peddling faster than normal in the cockpit in order to get us to Denver ahead of schedule." The only downside was the idiot in 15B.
[Edited 2007-04-12 08:05:05]