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Miles flown for stories
2014: 138,116
2013: 330,818

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First Southwest Flight With Family

Southwest Boeing 737-700 fresh from the factory

Southwest Boeing 737-700 taxing at KPAE

In the summer, my wife and I were planning a Christmas trip to Disneyland with our two toddlers (ages 2 and 4).  We were looking to get out of cold Denver for the holidays, and had visited Disneyland in December a few years ago and thought all of the decorations were really cool.  We decided to pull the trigger in late summer and I went work booking our travel.

I’m a very loyal United Airlines flyer, being Denver-based, and try to fly them exclusively.  However, flights to the Los Angeles-area at Christmas, even months in advance, were ridiculously expensive.  I’ve also recently come to grips with the fact that, having a newly-two-year-old daughter, four airline tickets really start to add up.  So, I looked at the options on Southwest Airlines (WN) and was shocked – less than $200 round-trip for direct flights between Denver (DEN) and Orange County (SNA), which was less than half the cost of other options.  I had never booked myself on WN, but couldn’t pass up the huge cost difference, especially for such a short flight. (Note – since I booked my “first” WN flights, I actually ended up flying on them to the Bahamas on a short-notice trip).

Continue reading First Southwest Flight With Family

Southwest Pulls a Dreamlifter and Lands at Wrong Airport!

Photo of WN 3014, evacuated on the airfield at the wrong airport! - Photo: Scott

Photo of WN 3014, evacuated on the airfield at the wrong airport! – Photo: Scott Schieffer

Details are still coming in, but according to @scottDallasTX and other media sources, Southwest Flight 3014, from Chicago (Midway) landed at the wrong Branson, MO airport this evening (cause there are tons of Branson airports).  Again, details are coming, but it appears they landed at the College of the Ozarks airport (PLK), with only a 3700′ runway.  Does anybody know – is that long enough for a 737 t0 take off?

This is strangely reminiscent of the situation last month where a Boeing 747 Dreamlifter, operated by Atlas Air, landed at the wrong airport in Wichita.  When fields are in close proximity, mistakes can happen.

Tweet from a passenger on WN 4013

Tweet from a passenger on WN 3014 – via Twitter

According to Scott, the landing was efficient, but scary.

More to follow!

Update (7:20PM PDT): It looks like the Southwest Boeing 737-700 CAN take off with this limited runway, albeit likely empty.  Expecting a big day tomorrow for internet viewers?  (H/T to Managing Correspondent @BigMalX).

All Things 787: Blogger Profile

Boeing shared this photo of the 787-9 flying over Mt. Rainier.

787-9 Dreamliner flying over Mt. Rainier – Photo: Boeing

We don’t feature a lot of writers on our “Blogroll” section of the site, but All Things 787 has been a mainstay.  Started by Uresh Sheth (@ureshs) in 2008, the site digs in to the nitty gritty of 787 production and delivery details.  As a data geek, I’ve spent many hours delving in to the spreadsheets on All Things 787, and as a frequent flier, I’ve often looked at delivery positions, hoping for a future flight to be serviced by a new-build Dreamliner.  The site has had over 5.3 million views since its inception, which means many others share my same interest.

What has always impressed me the most about All Things 787 is the amazing detail (which, translated, means Uresh has to have exceptional access and sources).  As Uresh is a friend of Airline Reporter, I recently reached out to him for an interview about his site, the 787, and the readers that help fuel his enthusiasm.

Detailed delivery status of Boeing 787 - Image: All Things 787

An example of the detailed delivery status of the Boeing 787 – Image: All Things 787

Continue reading All Things 787: Blogger Profile

What to Get an AvGeek? We Have Airline Gift Ideas

An Alaska Airlines aviator bear. Photo: Alaska Airlines

An Alaska Airlines aviator bear – Photo: Alaska Airlines

With only a week remaining until Christmas, are you one of the millions still searching for gifts at the last minute?  Or is family pestering you for gift ideas?  Or do you not care it is Christmas and still want to get some cool airline-related swag?

Why not grab the perfect AvGeek present for that special someone in your life?  All of the major carriers and aircraft manufacturers have online stores where you can shop to your heart’s content.

Don’t forget that you can also shop for yourself!  The AirlineReporter.com Staff also welcomes AvGeek gifts of any kind.

Continue reading What to Get an AvGeek? We Have Airline Gift Ideas

Delta Unveils a Special “Spirit of Seattle” Livery – Alaska Responds

Delta unveils special "Spirit of Seattle" livery on a Boeing 737 in Seattle. Image: Delta.

Delta unveils special “Spirit of Seattle” livery on a Boeing 737 (N809DN) in Seattle – Photo: Delta Air Lines

In October, we gave our $.02 on the Delta expansion in Seattle, home base of “partner” Alaska Airlines.  Delta had announced new service on a number of routes that Alaska was already serving.  In theory, this was to feed Delta’s growing international gateway from Seattle.  We opined that it was possible Delta and Alaska were going to start playing hardball.  A couple of days later, news broke that Delta pulled the plug on providing ground services at some Alaska remote stations.   Things haven’t gotten much better in the meantime.

This past week, Delta announced a further expansion in Seattle, launching flights to Vancouver (5x daily) and seasonal service to Fairbanks, Alaska (you can guess who also flies there).  Delta and Alaska are now competing on ten routes out of Seattle.

The Spirit of Seattle seen from the air. Image: Bernie Leighton

The Spirit of Seattle seen from the air – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter.com

Last week, Delta unveiled their newest special aircraft, a Boeing 737-900ER named the Spirit of Seattle.  This is a big deal, because it is rare for Delta to do any sort of special livery. But it seems that Seattle is special enough.

“For 80 years, our customers, employees and partners in Seattle have embraced Delta, and our growth here would not be possible without them,” said Mike Medeiros, Delta’s vice president – Seattle. “The Spirit of Seattle aircraft will proudly bear its name as it travels around the country as a representation of Delta’s history in Seattle and a sign of our thanks and commitment to our future here.”  Delta also points out that they’ve spent $14 million enhancing their passenger facilities in Seattle.

Would Alaska respond? Oh yes…

Continue reading Delta Unveils a Special “Spirit of Seattle” Livery – Alaska Responds