Back in may i was looking for an excuse to travel. I have a few friends that live in the Seattle area, home of my favorite aviation company, maybe you have heard of it, they are called Boeing. Well one of my friends was thinking about moving back to Northeast Ohio, so i figured i should get back out there while i still had an excuse!
While i was looking for fares, it was right about the time that airlines were beginning to see a fuel crunch affecting fares. My hometown airline, CO was around $500 for a non-stop from CLE to DEN, but the times were bad, as the return was a red-eye that was not very comfortable the last time i went to Seattle.
Then i checked the box for "nearby airports" on Kayak and found my flights. $300 round trip from CAK (much closer and more convenient to my home in Cuyahoga Falls) on F9 (frontier airlines) I had been wanting to fly F9 for awhile and here was my shot! I booked in Late may, which is a key plot point later on, and quickly my august departure date approached and indeed arrived.
My sister agreed to take me to the airport, which is a much easier drive about a half an hour, vs the hour it takes me to get to CLE. Anyways, enough chatting, on with the report!
First, i must say i was impressed by CAK. Its size and efficiency makes it a great place to travel through. I arrived at the airport curb at 5:30pm and had checked my bags, gone through security and was airside literally by 5:50. And security was not empty, they just efficiently moved people through. Now i am a bit of a photographer, and on this trip i decided to take my tripod along on the trip. This meant that would have 2 checked bags. In june F9 added a $25 charge for a second bag, but since my ticket was purchased previous i did not have to pay. When i turned in the bags in CAK i was not even told about this, and they checked my bag as normal.
Here are a few shots from the small terminal at CAK
Televangelist Earnest Angely has his famed 747SP "Star Triple Seven" at CAK
F9 flight 498
N914FR- Stretch the Great Egret
quick shot of our bird Inbound from DEN
I had moved myself up into seat 4A for this flight, as i wanted to be near the front. The cabin was very nice, and new looking. The problem i noticed in the boarding area though, was there seemed to be a lot of kids...i don't have any kids, and i guess they need to be able to fly too, but the problem with these kids, is they were ALREADY fussy, and we hadn't gone anywhere yet! i had my noise cancelling headphones, and they were put to the test.
I boarded fairly late, as my row was near the front, and i don't feel the need to rush onto a plane with assigned seats. As i approached my row and pointed at the window seat, the middle aged woman in the middle seat said, under her breath, but not quiet enough so i couldn't hear "my god!"
now i am a big guy, but i am certainly not the biggest guy i have ever seen fly. my seatbelt buckles with plenty of room to spare, so to this lady..."shove it!"
i nessled into my seat and got prepared for the flight with my ipod and headphones. i also made sure my wallet was close, as i wanted to sample the new food selections that F9 had prepared.
boarding was quick, even though the flight was full, and soon we were taxiing out.
here is a video of takeoff, including Mr. Angely's 747-SP
shot of the field after our turn
So, i was prepared for the charge of the food, and my only problem with the snack service, was the fact that they did snacks first, and beverages second. So in my row in the front, i was nearly done with my meal before they ever reached me with a beverage. I had packed my own beverage though, that i purchased on the ground after security.
I had the Big Apple Turkey sandwich, which really was good. It could have used more turkey, but the flavor was excellent. It had turkey, brie cheese, slices of apple and a nice dijon mustard on a very flavorful bread.
some shots from the air
first class style engine shot!
overall, the service was OK, although i didnt need much attention from the FAs once i got my sandwich.
we landed in a beautiful sunset
the "tent" terminal
more frontier action
unloading was painless, and I knew i only had about an hour for a connection, and as i raced up the jetway, i got to the terminal, looked around and saw that i would be taking the same Aircraft to SEA! so i headed to the restroom and back to have a seat at the gate.
Again, stretch the Great Egret.
This time i had the window seat on the other side of the plane, and luckilly, the middle seat was open. With the lights on, here is the legroom on the A319
Here is a shot of the cabin, this A319 had the cloth seats.
Here is the evening takeoff from denver
This flight was dark, and i was tired, so i slept for most of it.
Here is the landing in Seattle.
We parked next to a virgin america airbus
After some fun in seattle, including a trip to the museum of flight, it was time to come home. I took the downtown airporter from my hotel to SEA.
Security at SEA was a MESS! frontier's gate is with the international departures, and so i had to stand in a security line or about 400 people, and 45 minutes just to get thru. By the time i got thru, they had started pre-boarding. This allowed me a chance to go get some food, as i hadn't eaten all day. I grabbed a bagel from a nearby shop, and then got on the plane.
N948FR - The pelican (i dont know his name!)
another virgin america buddy
Here is the take-off in SEA
on this trip i resisted the directTV decided to watch a movie, and it was a good choice, i watched Be Kind Rewind, and it took me from wheels up right up until we started our decent. it was pretty funny too.
Here is the landing in denver.
After taxiing to the gate, spotted some more animal action
Now this time i really didnt have much time for anything in Denver, the connection was listed at 40 mintues, but once i got off the plane, boarding had already started for my flight home. i hit the restroom, but didnt have time to do any shopping. i was fairly hungry for dinner, but couldnt find a reasonable place to eat near my gate in denver. i guess i was stuck with another frontier sandwich!
i did make time to grab a shot of this BA 777 coming in.
N904FR - Grace the Swan
Here is the takeoff in DEN
this time i got a roast beef sandwich and some weird chips. i didnt find out until i bought them that they were rice chips, not potato or corn...they werent bad, just had a strange crunch to them. the sandwich was OK, but the beef wasnt the best quality.
I bought the direct TV and spent most of the trip watching the comedy central roast of bob saget.
shortly after we started to decend.
Overall, not a bad flight. the FAs came thru with beverages a few times, and i stayed out of trouble.
Here is the landing at CAK
We got in to akron around 11:30 PM
Here is F9s gate at CAK, Gate 11
Overall i really enjoyed flying frontier. The planes are new and nice, the direct TV is great, even though you have to pay for it. and although you have to pay for food now, it isnt all that much more expensive than something you would buy in the airport.
If you made it this far, congrats! thanks for reading.