Another trip to Boise for football, but this time a different route than I took before. My cheapest way to get there was by mixing airlines, so I was flying out to Boise on Southwest and back on Delta. There were a couple of firsts on this trip, both on the way out there. It would be my first time flying to Denver and my first time flying Southwest.
The game was on Friday night in Boise on September 4. Unfortunately my work schedule prevented me from leaving any day but Friday as well, but no matter. I prefer to fly early anyway.
I woke up ridiculously early at 3:00 AM, eventually getting in my car and leaving at 3:40
I had my boarding passes already on my phone.
I parked at 4:30 and took a short ride to the North Terminal.
I actually was checking a bag for the first time in over a decade so I did have to make a quick stop. I dropped it off and was off to TSA. The line there was forever, but that’s why we leave early.
Early morning load on the train
And down to the train. I had some time to explore, so I went out to Concourse F to see what I could see. Not much for picture taking since it was still dark, but there was some activity with Delta’s Johannesburg and Dubai flights arriving. At that point I worked my way back to gate C4 where my own flight was leaving.
Southwest Airlines Flight 134
Depart ATL: 7:05 AM (was actually 7:14)
Arrive DEN: 8:25 AM (was actually 8:10)
Photo © Flightline Aviation Media - Bruce Leibowitz
My first flight on Southwest. I’m not sure how I feel about cattle call boarding despite being in the A group. I grabbed seat 10F for the first flight.
My view before leaving
We pushed at 7:14 and headed for runway 26L
Some good stuff at Concourse E
Takeoff was pretty solid and much better than my last flight on a 737-700
The sunrise as we climbed
We cruised at 38,000 feet. It was a pretty nondescript flight. We had our rounds of drinks and snacks at 7:50 Eastern which was a nice change from my American flights earlier this year where I got nothing. I surfed the web and streamed TV via the onboard player app and generally just enjoyed the ride. We began descent from FL380 at 7:37 Mountain Time (how appropriate!) and made our way north for a landing on runway 16L
We landed and made our way to gate C34.
My look at an -800 out the window
N437WN that just brought me there. I don’t remember where it was heading next.
Something, something artsy with the Delta A319?
I left myself 4 hours to explore the airport, and that I did. I ended up walking over 3 miles in that time.
Panoramic of the Concourse C train station from above
And a normal shot
New Frontier A320 looking great
There is so much hilarity to this being in Denver.
Looking down Concourse B
787 coming in from Houston and turning around to head to Tokyo
After so much exploring it was time to fly to Boise. Denver is a really cool airport. I’m glad I routed myself that way.
Southwest Airlines Flight 734
Depart DEN: 12:20 (was actually 12:17)
Arrive BOI: 2:15 (was actually 2:05)
Photo © Marlene Leutgeb
It was just across the way from where I arrived that I made my way to. Gate C31 was my departure gate.
I boarded with the A group again at 11:47 and took seat 14F this time. The window was in a better position for me to look out because I’m a tall guy.
My view out the window
Pushing back at 12:17. Canyon Blue everywhere. We taxied to runway 17R for takeoff. I’ve always heard of Denver having long taxi times. Both directions we were fine. I guess I lucked out.
Takeoff. We made a pretty hard turn to head north. Takeoff wasn’t super powerful, but rather steep. It was quite a bumpy ride getting out of there too. Not that I had a problem with that.
We made our way up to 40,000 feet. I’ve only been up that high a handful of times. Kind of cool. Food service began at 12:42 as we got up to cruise. It was a bit different from the first flight of the day. They handed out bags of pretzels and peanuts versus the big snack box from earlier. No complaints from me either way.
Looking out from the top of the world
Just enjoying the view
Banking over the mountains as we started our descent at 1:34
And getting closer
Our approach was straight in to runway 28R. We stopped really hard. Not really sure why, but hey again I won’t complain. We then taxied to gate B17 and I started my football journey.
Pulling in to the gate
It was marginally nicer than the 90s and muggy I left in Georgia
Saw this on the road in Boise. She was holding two Dunkin Donuts frozen drinks on the back of a bike. Safe right?
Pano of the smurf turf
Also I had some sugar cookie fudge from Cabela’s. So good.
Catching a burger at Big Jud’s
Unfortunately my time in Boise came to an end and I had to fly back to reality in Atlanta on Sunday September 6.
My phone is always a champ at reminding me
I was surprised to have the SKY boarding zone. I’m not sure what qualified me for that, but I’ll take it.
I was dropped off at BOI at 11. I dropped my bag with bowling equipment at the Delta counter and headed for TSA which turned in to a bizarre experience for me. It was partially my fault. I forgot to take my headphones out of my pocket which then fulfilled the life-long dream of some guy who put his hand on my crotch. Then they swabbed my hands for explosives. Sure. Whatever makes them happy. Then I was told they had to search my bag. Fine, I have nothing to hide. They dig through and of course there’s nothing special except dirty clothes and phone chargers…and another box of fudge I bought at Cabela’s before I left. Y’all, they swabbed my fudge for explosives. I do have good news though. After I got home I’ve eaten some and it hasn’t exploded. Good to know I didn’t buy exploding fudge.
Anyway I went exploring what of the airport I could. Not a ton going on, but it was a nice place to hang out.
And a Southwest Beats aircraft
I made my way to the very end to Delta’s mainline gate gate B22.
Delta Air Lines Flight 1444
Depart BOI: 1:00 PM (was actually 12:59)
Arrive SLC: 2:05 PM (was actually 1:55)
Photo © Paul Robbins - Nashville Aviation Photographers
This was my first flight on an Airbus A320 in 14 years. The only A320 flight I had taken before was on US Airways on a MHT-PHL segment, though I have flown the A319 quite a few times in between.
I boarded with the SKY zone and took my seat in 5A
As a 6’3” man Economy Comfort is my friend
We pushed at 12:59 and headed for runway 10L
Nice takeoff. It was a little bumpy, but nothing nuts.
I didn’t take many pictures until we started getting close to Salt Lake City. Unfortunately the air was very smoky from the wildfires and there wasn’t much to see. We cruised at 33,000 feet and had a round of snacks and drinks at 1:20, actually beginning descent at 1:28 so the whole cabin didn’t end up with service given our limited time in the air.
Descending toward the city
Passing by the airport
Banking a hard left
Landing on runway 34L and taxiing to gate B18
757-300 in the distance. Not sure where it was headed.
I had a few hours to explore and explore I did.
California One was parked right next to us
Looking down the B concourse
It’s just like being at home
I guess Salt Lake City enjoys mediocrity
757 heading to Orlando
The maze of codeshares
I grabbed a bite to eat and eventually found my departure gate to Atlanta which was C13.
Delta Air Lines Flight 2060
Depart SLC: 5:15 PM (was actually 5:12)
Arrive ATL: 10:51 PM (was actually 10:27)
Photo © Jason Whitebird
Finally after years of keeping tail numbers in my log I have a repeat aircraft. I flew on N557NW JAX-ATL back in 2013. It had just recently exited mods. Man it’s like a whole new airplane. Looks great.
The beast before boarding
We boarded at 4:37. Again I boarded with the SKY zone and took my seat in 16F. Interesting the first 2 rows of Economy Comfort are forward of the L2 door. That wasn’t the case before.
Speaking of things not there on my last flight on this airplane, a brand new PTV
A319 next to us going to New Orleans
We pushed at 5:12 and taxied to runway 34R
A319 heading the same direction we were
Some paint I don’t see at home
Takeoff was exactly what we all know and love about the 757, powerful, steep, not super fast. I love these airplanes.
City from above
Sometimes when your flight notebook and airplane match things just work out.
Pretty shortly after takeoff I set my watch to Eastern Time. Once we settled in at 39,000 feet there was cabin service. I haven’t seen Delta bring around a big snack box, but they did. Pretty cool.
Keeping it simple.
Sun gradually setting as we headed east.
I was quite disappointed. My PTV wasn’t getting NBC or about half the other live channels, so I spent the money on internet to stream the Sprint Cup race from Darlington. Shame.
Flight Radar 24 with my location services on my phone actually working. Interesting to see the exact distance in the delay, which isn’t much.
And one from the dark.
Since it was dark I didn’t take any more pictures. There was a round of coffee at 9:09, though why you’d want to caffeinate yourself that late at night I’m not sure and another round of cabin service at 10:02. We came in over the west side of Atlanta and landed on runway 8L taxiing to gate A15.
Great flights. It was a good first experience on Southwest. Delta’s new interiors are great. Once everything gets outfitted it’s going to be fantastic.
[Edited 2015-09-10 07:57:18]