Around the World

Miles flown for stories
2014: 258,704
2013: 330,818

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Historic: Concorde Makes Special Visit to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

A British Airways Concord visits SEA - Image: Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

A British Airways Concorde visits SEA – Photo: Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

Today, Concorde is no stranger to the Seattle area — there is a British Airways Concorde sitting just south of Seattle at the Museum of Fight. But back in 1984, a Concorde had not yet visited Seattle. That all changed near the end of the year.

According to HistoryLink.org, on November 15, 1984, Concorde made its first trip to Seattle and it was for a special event.

It landed at Boeing Field (BFI) first to prepare for a special fundraising flight for the Museum of Flight. The plane arrived with a load of recently bottled Beaujolais nouveau wine and Seattle restaurant owner Mick McHugh along with a few guests.  The wine was specially brought to Seattle as quickly as possible to be enjoyed, and what better way than via a Concorde?!

Continue reading Historic: Concorde Makes Special Visit to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

Is Delta Angering Passengers in Seattle Over Bag Tags?

The tags found on bags coming into Seattle on Delta flights

The tags found on bags coming into Seattle on Delta flights

Over the last few days I have heard some rumblings about luggage tags that have been showing up on luggage of passengers who have flown on Delta Air Lines (DL) to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA). They will be waiting for their bags at baggage claim, and when they show up, find a Delta / American Express advertising tag on them.

Some frequent fliers, on sites like Flyertalk.com, have not been so happy about the tags. Others on sites like HackMyTrip.com, title their story Delta Pisses Off Seattle Customers. The complaint was their bags were already taking long enough, why does Delta need to delay them more by putting unwanted advertising on them?

My first thought, honestly, was to be a bit annoyed as well. That would anger me if I had to wait longer for my bag just to find ads on them. I decided to give Delta a call and find out some more information on these tags and what the purpose was (I figured surely it wasn’t to anger passengers).

Continue reading Is Delta Angering Passengers in Seattle Over Bag Tags?

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

Photo Tour of the Boeing 737 Renton Factory

Out side the Boeing 737 Factory in Renton, WA.

Outside the Boeing 737 factory in Renton, WA. The air frames of the 737 arrive via train. Photo: David Parker Brown

This summer I was excited to take a tour of Boeing’s 737 factory, located in Renton, Washington, with my colleague Chris Sloan over at Airchive.com. Over the past few months we have shared some pretty amazing stories and now I want to give you a photo tour of the facility and walk you through our adventure.

One of my favorite aspects of the facility is the parking lot – yes, that is right. Well, not the lot itself, but the fact that the Boeing 737 actually starts at Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita, KS and the fuselage is transported by train to Renton.

If you like planes and trains (which I do), nothing beats catching a glimpse of one of the 737 fuselages riding on a train to the Renton 737 factory before it is dropped off in the parking lot [this photos shows a bit better how close the plane is to cars].

My latest trip into the factory was my third visit, but the first where I was allowed to bring a camera. Unlike Paine Field, which offers public tours, the 737 factory is closed to the public. For last year’s Aviation Geek Fest, we were very lucky to bring our entire group through the factory – something that will not soon be forgotten.

Continue reading Photo Tour of the Boeing 737 Renton Factory

Our $.02 on Delta’s Expansion at Alaska’s Home Base

Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-700 at SeaTac Airport - Photo: Don Wilson | Port of Seattle

Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-700 at SeaTac Airport – Photo: Don Wilson | Port of Seattle

So, everybody and their brother has been writing about the recent announcement from Delta Air Lines that they’re further expanding their domestic flight schedule out of Seattle (SEA).  There have been stories from mainstream media, miles/points bloggers, and (of course) industry watchers such as ourselves.  Yet, we wanted to talk amongst ourselves and digest the information before weighing in.

Why is this a story?  It’s because Alaska Airlines (AS), which is based out of Seattle, is supposed to be a partner airline with Delta.  All three of the recently announced Delta routes are in direct competition with Alaska; actually 8 of Delta’s 13 domestic routes out of Seattle compete with Alaska.

As a guy who grew up in Washington State, and went to college at the University of Washington, I hold a special place in my heart for Alaska.  An all-Boeing 737 operator, they have a loyal following in the Northwest.  I just flew Alaska to and from Denver, and enjoyed their solid customer service, low-priced First Class upgrades, and great ground experience out of Seattle.  (Although, as seems to be common from Denver, I got stuck on the Disneyland plane – am I the only one freaked out by flying on this bird?!).

Continue reading Our $.02 on Delta’s Expansion at Alaska’s Home Base