Browsing Tag: Alaska Airlines

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Two brand-new 737-900ERs were completely open for tours, including the cockpits. The jet in the foreground was two weeks old and still had that wonderful new-airplane smell.

“It’s all about the kids.”

Alaska Airlines pilot Allen Cassino’s succinct summation explains the singular focus displayed by the dozens of Alaska Air and aviation industry volunteers concerning showing 1,000 eager students the myriad career opportunities available in the aviation industry at Alaska Airlines’ eighth annual Aviation Day.

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Raisbeck Aviation High School student Rachel Phuon takes excellent aim with a balsa-wood airplane.

The May 21 event at Alaska’s Sea-Tac Airport maintenance hangar was extraordinarily well run, and everyone I met — really, I mean everyone — seemed to be genuinely enjoying themselves, whether they were sharing information or soaking it up.

The event was co-sponsored by the Boeing Company, the Port of Seattle, the Chief Seattle Council of the Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts of Western Washington. Roughly 400 Boy Scouts earned their aviation and engineering merit badges during the event.

An American Boeing 787-8 (N812AN) at LAX.

An American Boeing 787-8 (N812AN) at LAX. Southwest does not have any 787s.

A few weeks ago, my esteemed colleague JL Johnson penned a piece extolling the virtues of his favorite carrier, Southwest Airlines. He laid out nine reasons why Southwest was tops in his mind, and quite honestly I didn’t disagree with any of the facts he laid out on why the airline is so immensely popular with so many people.

However, with all the positives Southwest has under its belt, I personally can’t remember the last time I stepped foot on a Southwest 737… at least seven-to-eight years, I think. So if Southwest isn’t so bad, and I think it’s a perfectly fine airline, why have I clocked about 800,000 miles without a single Southwest flight?

First, let’s get one thing clear: This piece isn’t meant to be a hostile response to JL or his story, or even as a “Southwest is bad” take-down rant. Like I said, he has valid points, and Southwest is a fine airline, one that I even recommend others to fly. The goal of this piece is to give those who are wondering some insight into why someone might choose not to fly Southwest.

My Alaska 737-400 Combi in Juneau, AK

My Alaska 737-400 Combi in Juneau, AK

For the past six years, I have gotten up early and headed down to Alaska Cargo, at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, to welcome the first Copper River Salmon of the season. It has always been one of my favorite yearly events, but I was hoping to do something different this year.

When I was invited to fly up to Cordova, Alaska to catch a ride with the first Copper River fish of the season, I said “yes!” When I was asked if I wanted to fly a “milk-run” to Cordova on the unique Boeing 737-400 Combi, I said “hell yes!” I had never flown on a Combi before and I wanted to get onboard before they retire from Alaska’s fleet.

My adventure would take me from Seattle (SEA) to Juneau (JNU) to Yakutat (YAK) and finally to Cordova (CDV). Bring it!

T4-TBIT connector at LAX: Walkway overlooking the ramp between TBIT and T4 at LAX.

T4-TBIT connector at LAX: Walkway overlooking the ramp between TBIT and T4 at LAX.

Updated 2/26 to fix Youtube video link.

On Thursday, the project at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to build a post-security connector (pdf) between the renovated Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) and Terminal 4 (T4) had a “soft opening” that vastly improves the airport experience for a significant number of passengers.

The $115 million project, which was originally set to open in early December 2015, is slated to include an outdoor patio, retail and food outlets, and a streamlined baggage transfer experience for those arriving on international flights and connecting onward. A small section for passengers walking to the customs and immigration was previously opened a couple of weeks ago.

With this opening, Terminals 4, 5, 6, and 7, as well as TBIT, are all connected behind security, meaning that passengers already in this area can walk to any of these terminals without the need to exit and reclear security. AirlineReporter has the first photos of the newly opened passageway…