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IWA-BIL-DEN-PHX With Allegiant And Frontier + Pics

Sat Dec 08, 2007 3:16 am

When I heard Allegiant was going to be starting service out of Gateway, I wanted to give them a try, So here is the trip report on my day trip to Billings with Allegiant and return to PHX via Denver on Frontier Airlines. I hope you enjoy reading my report!

Flight info
Airline- Allegiant Air
Flight Number 644
Date, November 30th 2007
Seat 24F, Load Factor 80%
Route-Phoenix-Mesa (IWA) to Billings (BIL)
Departure Time, 7:00AM MST, Actual Departure Time, 7:10AM MST
Arrival Time, 8:44AM MST, Actual Arrival Time, 8:55AM MST
Aircraft. N948MA, MD-87
Flying time 1:45, at FL340.

My alarm woke me up at 5:00AM, and after a quick breakfast and a last minute camera check, My dad and I loaded up the truck and were off to Gateway airport, Being it was only 5:30AM there was very little traffic on the roads and it only took us 15-20 minutes to reach the airport. Getting to Gateway is really pretty easy, the terminal building is easy to find with signs directing the way, The terminal building is just off of Sossaman road and only a minute or two drive from the 202 freeway. All parking at AZA is free which is a nice touch, With the truck parked, we made our way into the terminal for check-in, I snapped this photo on the way into the terminal, It's off Allegiant Air N945MA bound for Stockton.
As we entered the terminal, It was quite crowded in the terminal Allegiant seems to be handling a good number of passengers. The check-in desks are located immediately to the right of the main entrance, Allegiant has all the check-in desks to them selves, Accept for a small desk used by Vision Air for their 3x weekly flights to VGT. Allegiant had the desks dedicated by the flights departing, The flights up for check-in this morning were flight 644 to BIL and flight 646 to SCK. The Stockton flight had the shortest line with only a hand full of passengers in contrast to the Billings flight who's line was almost out the door. It only took 15 minutes or so to get thru the line, We were then issued boarding passes and were given seats 28C and 28D, With the passes in hand we made our way over to the security check-point. There wasn't anybody in front of us, and believe it or not, There was actually a friendly TSA agent! she used our first names and wished us a good trip, Security at IWA is a much more relaxed experience than at larger airports like Sky Harbor, and it only took 5 minutes to get past it. The gate area is pretty small but is more then adequate for Allegiant and Vision Air's needs, There are 2 gates with more then enough seating, There is also a small travel store selling usefull last minute travel items. Boarding began around 6:30AM with elite customers boarding first, shortly fallowed by the rest of the passengers. Here are two shots I took while boarding.
Flight 644

A blurry shot of the PW JT-8s
We got on and made our way to 28C and 28D, Allegiant has some nice seats on their planes, Comfy blue leather seats with an adequate amount of room, we settled into our seats while the rest of the PAX got on, It was a pretty full flight around 80-90% LF. Just a few minutes before the boarding was completed my dad noticed that row 24 was open, So we asked the flight attendant if we could move a few seats up to the emergency exit row to which she kindly let us do. Row 24 has a lot of room, and it was only my dad and I in that row so the middle seat was empty giving us even more room. Shortly after moving to our new seats they began the safety briefing. After the safety briefing the pilots brought the Pratt&Whitney engines to life, What a cool sound those JT-8s make! After both engines were running smoothly the pilots executed a 180 degree turn and we began to taxi to the runway, We passed 4 DOJ charter aircraft parked on the ramp, there were 3 B737-400s and one MD-80. During the taxi I noticed that Gateway has a lot of taxi way improvements being worked on at the moment. At first I thought we were going to be using runway 12R but it turned out we were going to use 12C, We were number one for departure and the pilot flying applied power while lining up for take-off and we were rolling seconds later, It was a long smooth take-off roll with a graceful rotation and a powerful climb out for an MD80, Just seconds after take-off the pilots made a sharp 180 degree left turn and continued to climb up to our cruising altitude of FL340. About 10 minutes or so after take-off we passed 10 thousand feet and shortly after that one of the flight attendants announced that they would be coming thru the cabin with the drinks snacks and souvenirs that they had for sale.
A rough list of souvenir items that are available include, A 1:400th Allegiant Air MD-82 by Gemini Jets, Airizona themed pens and key chains, and other mementos like that, Snack item's for sale included, the usual soft drinks from the Coca Cola company as well as a large alcohol selection, There was also a large selection of common packaged snack's like Oreo's, Beef Jerky, Planters and Emeralds mixed nuts, M&Ms and Cheez-Its. My dad and I purchased two bottles of water and a bag of beef jerky and I also bought a 1:400th Gemini jets model of an Allegiant MD-80  Big grin
After the in-flight service was finished the crew announced that they were going to be doing a little game, It consisted of them walking down the aisle with a bag that the passengers could put a dollar into with there seat number on it, and once they collected the money they would randomly draw a winner from the bag and who ever the winner was got the entire bag of money. We put a dollar in, but we didn't win, The winner turned out to be a passenger up in row 14. After this little game was finished I settled in and listened to some music on my iPod, the rest of the flight was pretty uneventful. About an hour and a half after take-off we began to descend into the Billings area, shortly there after the crew came thru the cabin to take away the service items and prepare the cabin for landing. Decent went by pretty fast, we came in from the south and went up along the east side the city and made a sharp left turn to line up with runway 28R. Unfortunately I couldn't see much of the town due to the side of the plane I was sitting on, The pilot floated the plane quite a bit on landing before finally touching down a fair distance down the runway and only seconds after the main gear touched down the reverse thrust came on along with some aggressive braking action. The pilot exited on the last taxi way before the runway ended, and we taxied to the terminal, Our arrival gate was B-3 which handles Allegiant, Frontier and Horizon Air. All of Allegiant Air's flights from Billings are handled by Horizon Air. We docked at gate B-3 at about 8:50AM and the deplaning process began. After getting off the plane we went and had a good breakfast at the gateway restaurant before heading to check in for our Frontier leg of the trip.
All in all I highly enjoyed flying with Allegiant Air, The crew was friendly and service was good, Overall I give Allegiant an 8/10 and highly recommend flying with them! I also recommend flying from Gateway airport, It's very convenient to use and much more relaxed then some larger airports.

Here are some more photos from the flight and Billings airport photos.

Allegiant Air In flight menu

Contents of the menu

Airizona souvenirs on the in flight menu (sorry for how blurry the photo is)

N948MA after flying IWA-BIL ad G4 644

I hope you enjoyed my trip report! Thanks for reading!
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RE: IWA-BIL-DEN-PHX With Allegiant And Frontier + Pics

Sat Dec 08, 2007 3:16 am

Here is the next leg of the journey.

Info on the flight.
Flight Number 3811
Date, November 30th 2007
Seat 17B, Load Factor 90%
Route-Billings (BIL) to Denver (DEN)
Departure Time, 11:18AM MST, Actual Departure Time, 11:24AM MST
Arrival Time, 12:27PM MST, Actual Arrival Time, 12:32PM MST
Aircraft. N11193, ERJ-145XR
Flying time 1:08, at FL290.

After finishing our breakfast at the gateway restaurant we then went to the Frontier check-in desk to get our boarding passes. There was only one person in line in front of us, and we only waited for a few minutes before receiving our boarding passes, My dad had seat 1A and I got 17B. After getting our boarding passes we made our way over to the security check-point, There was a good sized line of people, and the line seemed to be moving very slowly thanks to a UPS guy going thru security to deliver a package to one of the airside stores. We still made it thru security in about 15 to 20 minutes or so. And it was then off to do a little spotting! Aircraft we saw include, A Key Lime Air Metro, A United Express CRJ, A Big Sky Beech 1900 and our Expressjet ERJ. I also saw a Delta CRJ once I was on the plane but I didn't get a picture of it.

Here are the spotting photos from BIL.

United 6593 to Denver

Key Lime Air Metro

United 6593 to DEN pushing back from gate A-1

Our plane to Denver

Flight 3811 to DEN

After wondering around the airport and watching planes for awhile it came time to board our flight, They began boarding from the back of the plane forward, So I got to get on first, This was my first time flying on an ERJ-145, And I have to say they are pretty small, I almost can't stand up fully in the cabin, and the seats are pretty tight  crowded  , very much like the seats on a CR2. I settled into my seat, At first I thought I was going to have the row to my self, But unfortunately another passenger had the seat next to me. We squished into the row and settled in for the one hour hop down to Denver. Boarding was completed quickly shortly fallowed by the door being closed, The usual safety briefing was done and we pushed back from the gate, I have to say the ERJ's engines are very quiet. With our 2 Rolls Royce engines running smoothly we then taxied to runway 28R to take-off, On the way to the runway we passed what looked like an Air Force plane, It looked like a Grumman A6 Intruder, I'm not sure what it was doing there. Once to the runway we only waited for a minute to let a Piper land and then we got our turn to take-off. The pilot lined up on the runway where we sat for a minute before the pilot flying applied power and the plane began to gather speed. It took awhile to gather enough speed to get airborne. Once airborne though we began to climb fast reaching the 10,000ft mark in only minutes. There were a few bumps on the way up to our cruise FL290. Shortly after passing the 10.000ft mark the in flight service began, It consisted of the usual in flight stuff, I chose a water for my self. The flight was pretty uneventful, or at least I think it was as I slept thru a lot of it  Smile Shortly after I woke up we started to descend into the Denver area, There were a lot of clouds in the area so unfortunately I couldn't really get a good view or a photo of any of the big mountains in the area. Decent went by quickly and before I knew it we had touched down on runway 16R with a nice long rollout without reverse thrust and the pilot exited the plane on a high speed taxiway exit and we were still moving pretty good on the taxiway. We didn't have to stop once during the taxi to the terminal and after a short time we parked at gate A-63 next to a nice looking Lynx Q400. A few short minutes later the door was opened and all the passengers began getting off onto a frozen 18F degree ramp to walk to the terminal. After entering the terminal I took a photo of our plane.

So this completes this leg of the journey, Stay tuned for the next leg of the trip to PHX.
Thanks for reading!  wave 
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RE: IWA-BIL-DEN-PHX With Allegiant And Frontier + Pics

Sat Dec 08, 2007 3:17 am

(Continuing where I left off) After getting off the previous flight from BIL, We then went over to the monitor to check the status of our next flight, F9 857 to PHX, We found it on the screen and saw that the departure was delayed till 2:55PM which later turned out to be a little off, With that in mind we then went off to do some spotting and find a Starbuck's. Before the photos here is a little info on the flight.
Airline-Frontier Airlines
Flight Number 857
Date, November 30th 2007
Seat 4B, Load Factor 90-100%
Route-Denver (DEN) to Phoenix (PHX)
Departure Time, 2:27PM MST, Actual Departure Time, 3:32PM MST
Arrival Time, 4:04PM MST, Actual Arrival Time, 5:05PM MST
Aircraft. N932FR "The Sarge" Airbus A319
Flying time 1:33, at FL340.

And here are the spotting photos!

Great Lakes aircraft on the ramp

Some Frontier planes at their gates, taken from the sky bridge

N910FR pushing back from the gate

A Continental B737 at the gate, loading up for IAH

Pushing back for departure

Taxing out for departure

Taxing to the gate

An hour behind schedule, taxing out for departure to MEX

Heading to the Great Lakes ramp

A United B777 taxing to the gate

After wondering around the A concourse for a few hours we checked up on our flight and the monitor still said an ETD of 2:55PM but we noticed that our plane still wasn't at the gate at 2:30PM, So we found an empty seat over by the Lufthansa gate to sit and wait for our plane to arrive. At around 2:40PM our plane "N932FR" finally arrived at gate A-42.

Our plane arriving at the gate

Shot from seat 4B on flight 857

And about 15 minutes later boarding began, Again they boarded from the rear of the plane forward, So this time we got on last being we had seats 4A and 4B, After a little while the general boarding call was given and we got on the plane, As we boarded I noticed that we would be flying with the Sarge "Bald Eagle" on this flight. I settled into my comfy seat and was checking out the TV, When they made an announcement that once we were in the air you would have to pay to watch anything on the TV other then the live map  Yeah sure Oh well.
Boarding was completed quickly shortly fallowed by the boarding door being closed and the jetway being retracted along with the safety briefing , We were then pushed back onto the taxiway at which point the pilot started up the 2 CFM-56 engines with a lot of smoke thanks to the freezing temperature. With our engines humming softly we then taxied out to our departure runway of 7R fallowing another plane (US Airways 737 I think) to the runway. We turned out to be number 1 for departure from this runway and were we sat for a few minutes before the pilot taxied the plane onto the runway shortly fallowed by the sound of the two engines revving up, Mere seconds later we were hurtling down the runway lifting off about half way down the runway with what felt like to me to be a lethargic climb out. It took a good 15+ minutes to pass the 10,000ft mark, Shortly after passing that altitude the crew then came thru the cabin with the drink service, This time I chose a Diet Coke for my beverage. I settled in with my drink and just relaxed watching the scenery out the window and sleeping for a bit. It was a very routine flight other then the departure delay.
Flight 857 en route to PHX, somewhere over the Four Corners area.

The Map on the TV

About a half hour out from Sky Harbor the captain came on to tell us the weather in the Phoenix area, He said it was 60F degrees with rain and cloudy skies, Sounded great to me! Big grin Can yo tell I'm from Phoenix because I am happy about lots of rain?  wink 
Anyway, About 100 nautical miles out from the airport the pilot flying began the decent, The Captain also came on to tell us that they had talked to ATC to give us an expedited approach to the airport, Though I'm not sure how expedited it was. The lower we descended the thinker and darker the clouds came to be and eventually we went into the clouds where it began raining very heavily, And being it was evening the strobe lights on the wing made this really cool effect with the rain streaming by the wing and you could see the rain being sucked into the engine. I wish I would have taken a picture  banghead  Anyway as far as I could tell using the live map we came in from the northeast and flew north of the airport before making a U turn and lining up with runway 7R. I wasn't able to see the ground untill we went below the 3,000ft mark and I could see downtown was covered in cloud/fog and rain which was pretty neat looking as it doesn't happen here in Phoenix in November/December very often. The pilot made a smooth touchdown on runway 7R around 5:00PM fallowed by the reverse thrust and braking action. The only bad thing about landing on runway 7R is that to taxi to the terminals you have to wait for traffic taking off on 7L, But this time we got lucky and only had to wait for a Mesa CRJ to take off before we were able to taxi across, Flight 857 docked at the Frontier gate next to NW B752 at terminal 3 at about 5:10PM iwith pouring rain. Once the door was opened we were able to get off pretty quickly thanks to our front row seats. Once in the terminal I took this badphoto of our plane at the gate.

At the gate.

I enjoyed flying on Frontier, They are a good airline and I wouldn't hesitate to fly with them again in the future.

So this completes yet another crazy day of spotting and trying new airlines and airplane types for me, And all in all I highly enjoyed the day.
I hope you enjoyed reading my report on Allegiant and Frontier! Thanks for reading!  wave 
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RE: IWA-BIL-DEN-PHX With Allegiant And Frontier + Pics

Sat Dec 08, 2007 4:25 am

Great TR and nice pictures. I'm a sophomore here at RMC in BIL and land on 28R a lot. It's nice to see Allegiant in here, and their prices are even nicer.

Thanks for sharing, I sure enjoyed. And if you come up to BIL again, look in the little green Pipers, because it just might be me!
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RE: IWA-BIL-DEN-PHX With Allegiant And Frontier + Pics

Sat Dec 08, 2007 9:16 pm

Nice T'R.

The pics are really good.

Great that you enjoyed your flight with Allegiant Air, seems like a nice carrier.

So which did you like best, Frontier or Allegiant Air???

Thank you for sharing.

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RE: IWA-BIL-DEN-PHX With Allegiant And Frontier + Pics

Sun Dec 09, 2007 12:33 am

Great trip report, its nice to finally hear a report from Allegiant and IWA.
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RE: IWA-BIL-DEN-PHX With Allegiant And Frontier + Pics

Sun Dec 09, 2007 3:15 am

Great trip report and pictures!!

Quoting Treebeard787 (Reply 1):
I settled into my seat, At first I thought I was going to have the row to my self, But unfortunately another passenger had the seat next to me.

Whenever I fly on the ERJ, I always take the "A" seats which are single seats, an aisle and window seat combined. Try and get one next time, they are much better than the B/C seats.
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RE: IWA-BIL-DEN-PHX With Allegiant And Frontier + Pics

Mon Dec 10, 2007 6:24 pm

Good report and photos, especially the spotting ones, do love those!

Quoting Treebeard787 (Thread starter):
After the in-flight service was finished the crew announced that they were going to be doing a little game, It consisted of them walking down the aisle with a bag that the passengers could put a dollar into with there seat number on it, and once they collected the money they would randomly draw a winner from the bag and who ever the winner was got the entire bag of money. We put a dollar in, but we didn't win, The winner turned out to be a passenger up in row 14.

- What a cool idea, $1 is nothing but if everyone plays makes an nice little win, like that.

Good stuff.

Many Thanks

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RE: IWA-BIL-DEN-PHX With Allegiant And Frontier + Pics

Mon Dec 10, 2007 6:57 pm

very nice report and pictures...
thanks a lot for sharing it.
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RE: IWA-BIL-DEN-PHX With Allegiant And Frontier + Pics

Tue Dec 11, 2007 5:02 am

Good report, nice to see some news about Allegiant at AZA / KIWA. Too bad you didn't get any shots inside the airport or even of the outside of the terminal, because I don't know what it looks like even though I live in Tempe.

Also, the reason your Denver departure felt lethargic is because of the high altitude there - I've flown out of there about five times or so and every time it felt a bit sluggish!
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RE: IWA-BIL-DEN-PHX With Allegiant And Frontier + Pics

Sun Apr 13, 2008 4:00 am

Great Report! The Denver Airport has some real good spots to take some pics. You did a great job of all those. Even though the F9 Airbus in the last picture is blurry, it is still my favorite, just cause it blends in the with the lights and stuff.
Finally F9! FSD-DEN 7-4-2011
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RE: IWA-BIL-DEN-PHX With Allegiant And Frontier + Pics

Sun Nov 01, 2009 4:25 pm

Thanks so much for posting your experience, and especially for including a few shots of Billings. That is my home town and the airport in which I used to work while in college. I miss it terribly - and really enjoy seeing pictures of peoples' experiences in and out of BIL.

Thanks and best to you.
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