Part 2 of my weekend with Frontier. Thanks to everyone who got through Part 1.
Continuation of: http://www.airliners.net/aviation-fo...ums/trip_reports/read.main/136079/
September 28: Morning
I woke at 8am the next morning. Far earlier than what I'd hoped for, as this night I'd not only be flying home, but completing a full work shift afterwards. I wouldnt see a bed again until at least 8am the next morning, so 24 hours of being awake lay ahead of me.
At 9:30 am there came a knock at the door, quite early i felt for housekeeping, who I sent away as i continued to pack my things for the airport. The room had been very nice. If a bit lonely. But nice, and I'd return here again. Before leaving I decided to take a panoramic shot out of my window of the view outside. My camera has a stitch mode, but the results were not very good at all. Sufficed with a couple of normal photos instead.
Walked to the Village Inn for breakfast. On the way, I passed the F9 headquarters again, this time in the daylight, and took several photos. Overhead and in the distance, jets roared off of a runway and banked to the south. I took long-zoom photos of these, knowing that they wouldnt be a.net quality, but fun nonetheless. The constant sound of jet roar was comforting in the bright sunny day.
Leaving the bright day and aerial spectacle outside, I went into the restaurant and was shown to a table for two. As I sat down with my menu, my happiness faded, and my mind again began to wander. And I figured it out...it was these restaurants, these damn restaurants, where my wife and i once would have talked, and laughed, over dinner or breakfast, in those rare moments where we truly got along. Restaurants were always a time of connecting with each other for us...and now being alone again, i found that empty seat across from me somewhat unsettling. Unnatural. This time, i did my best to ignore it. Again, my waitress regarded me curiously....apparently these thoughts were running through my head as she waited for my drink order. Again I got the question "are you ok?"
I told her i was fine, just had things on my mind, and placed my order for a chicken fried steak skillet. Which was delicious.
A brisk walk back to the hotel had me arrive just in time for the 11:30am shuttle to the airport, which would be driven by an ex-United ramper and Obama supporter. We had a very lively conversation on the way to the airport, and I tipped him what little cash I had, a pocketful of dimes. (All of my trip money had been on my bank card).
Finally I had my chance to explore the Jeppesen Terminal. I was surprised at the dark tones used at the checkin counters in contrast to the brightness of the ceiling, to me it kind of felt like an overcast day inside. As I walked along the checkin counters I took a few pictures of the interior, with a few TSA people and ticket agents keeping a wary eye on me the entire time.
Attempted to check in at Frontier, but with it being about 12:30pm, it was far too early for my 6pm flight out. Asked if my friend was available, and they said he hadn't arrived yet. So I went and explored the Jeppesen Terminal's central atrium, taking many photos on the way...and watching TSA watching me. (Note TSA discreetly hovering in 2nd image)
Finally, as expected, a TSA guy came up to me and asked if I was getting any good pictures.
I said "yes, the architecture in here is amazing, I hope you don't mind me taking some photos of it. I didn't take any of security areas, you can look if you like."
He said "no, that won't be necessary, just wanted to see how it was going."
We chatted for a bit about where the good suburbs of Denver were, and I mentioned that I might seriously consider moving to the area in the near future. He said life in Denver was great, and to watch out for the occasional tornado.
I continued taking photos of the terminal and got a few great architectural perspective shots, and with some exposure correction they might be usable. A passenger in the terminal came up to me and asked what I was taking pictures of, and i told her as well, it was the amazing architecture. She pulled out her digital camera and began snapping photos as well. Continued around the interior, and happen upon the displays at the far end of the terminal, grabbing photos of each, as well as the airport's executive building just outside. Also explored the west terminal side, and got a fascinating photo of pipes and cables leading to the terminal's roof canopy.
After that I decided to walk around the exterior of the Jeppesen Terminal, hoping to take some daylight photos of the building's roof. Across the roadway from where I stood, F9 animals taxied out to the runway and took off. I almost wanted to try to cross the road to get good pictures of this activity...but thought better of it, sufficing for a partial pic from where I stood. One great thing though is that the overall design of the terminal makes for some fascinating perspective shots.
At 2:00 I headed back to the F9 counter and attempted to check in again. It was still too early. So I called my friend and we met briefly, and unfortunately we couldnt do more touring together, so we bid each other farewell and I thanked him for the wonderful adventure the day before. He got me a boarding pass and I started exploring the terminals again.
Boarding pass in hand, I made my way to the bridge to A, and passed through security. This time voluntarily stripping down as I had in Salt Lake, avoiding the semi embarrassment of before. Through security, I stopped on the bridge and shot a few videos of aircraft taxiing underneath. I'm not sure if there are others in the world, but Denver's fascinating for its airbridge between the main terminal and Concourse A. It's tall enough that airplanes can taxi right underneath it, which makes for great photos and great video. Unfortunately, you can't get right up next to the glass to get an unobstructed shot below, the moving walkways are the closest to the glass you can get. So as I shot video and picture, people occasionally obscured my view, some tried to avoid messing up my video but I waved them forward, didn't want to hold anyone back, just as long as I could capture the basic idea of what goes on here. In the background, native american music played and was picked up by my camera mic. I have these videos on YouTube.
After getting enough photo and video, I continued over the bridge and took a few more photos and video from the elevator area there. Captured a few jets going under the bridge from here too.
Finally headed into the A concourse, finding myself standing in the exact place I had yesterday as my friend had shown me the abandoned fromer CO executive offices in the main atrium there. Took new photos and these actually turned out okay.
Decided to walk around A for a while and got a few more photos of animal tails and others, plus more interior terminal pics. Found Gate A25 which would be my departure gate for SLC later, and grabbed a photo of the screen there showing our expected tail, the penguins, Jim Joe Jay and Gary.
Heading back the other direction, grabbed shots of Mexicana, Air Canada, and the CO gates, which were few, thinking about the past and what CO might've been here at Concourse A had history been different. At the other end of the concourse, grabbed shots of the Lynx operation again, and of the gate where yesterday my friend had attended to some lost passengers.
In this area, I heard an announcement which, to my ears, came across slightly rudely. It was for the Airtran flight about to depart...which I'd just taken a photo of. They announced the names of several passengers, and said "Please proceed to Gate Alpha 48 immediately, the doors are closing for boarding and WILL NOT re-open."
I thought wow...pretty harsh, I've never had the chance to fly on Airtran but I wonder if that's common?
Continuing on, I spotted the Midwest gate counter and grabbed a photo, and Midwest is another airline which I hope will survive, but for historical purposes, I wanted to have this shot, just in case.
At lunch at Quiznos and had a terrifically overpriced 8 inch sub, Bourbon Street Chicken. Delicious, but at a dollar an inch, I won't be doing that again. Sat at a bar stook and took more photos of the airbridge from A to Jeppesen. Listened to folks behind me cheer for the NASCAR race which was in progress.
Met an F9 ramper there and chatted for a few about the company. She clearly enjoyed the work and felt I would too if I gave it a try. Further cementing the idea in my head that this was a real possibility for me.
After lunch, I headed back to the B gates to explore the rest of United's operation at DEN. Today I was not wearing my F9 T-shirt, just my usual Hawaiian shirt, so I didn't feel too nervous about being over there. Took photos of the central atrium, as well as many interior shots of the concourse. Found a few 737s there with blue bodies and grey noses and vice versa, which I photographed. Headed in the direction of the commuter terminal and took a few shots of the Cr7 and 9s that I could see out there, very sleek in the UA blue livery. My exposure was again set too low for these, however, so they didnt turn out.
It was around this time that it dawned on me that Northwest Airlines wouldn't be around much longer, and I hadn't paid them much justice yesterday in my photo taking. I looked for the time, 4pm...crap...not enough time really to head to C, then back again to UA, and still make it back for boarding at A25. So I shot a photo across the ramp of the red-tail parked opposite. And resolved to fly NWA again before they were completely gone.
Back to the atrium, and across, into the part of UA's concourse I hadn't explored yesterday. Several photos of the interior and of grey aircraft outside followed. I wished for more blue planes, being reminded of just how much I dislike UA's old grey scheme. At the end of the concourse, the sky over the rockies was darkening as thick clouds moved over. The contrast was superb in my LCD and I took what I felt to be a winning shot of the sky there. Reviewing it on the comp, the pic is awful.
Took a pic of the biplane hanging from the ceiling in this area before heading back to A for my flight. N777UA was parked at the gate nearby. Wasn't this UA's first 777? I think so...
Back to A25, several animal tails along the way got their photos taken courtesy myself, I loved the turtle tail, shame it didn't turn out. Near A25, another agent was more than happy to let me grab a new photo of an aicraft at her gate, where I'd done the same thing a couple of hours ago. Very friendly.
Last part of this TR got cut off, so gotta make a part 3. Apologies!
[Edited 2008-11-01 20:41:50]