When you get a VIP invite to spend an afternoon spotting airplanes from the taxiways at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), you do not say “no”. You say something along the lines of “HECK YES!”
AirlineReporter Director of Photographry Francis Zera and I prepped our gear (and plenty of sunblock) and went with a group of around 15 other AvGeeks to enjoy this special time. After getting our neon PPE, badges, and a security rundown, we were escorted to a few vans waiting for us on the tarmac (I think the words “herding cats” was mentioned a few times).
It is one thing to smell jet fuel (which we did), but we also enjoyed the smell of burning rubber after each aircraft touched down. Most times I will use my longer lens when spotting at airports, but we were so close that I often had to swap out for my shorter one… and that is not a bad thing. I am by no means a professional photographer (I use auto mode, like a noob), but Francis is. So, here are some amazing photos, most taken by Francis, that we took during our little adventure…
I recently had the opportunity to welcome some VIP fish from Alaska to the lower 48. Did I enjoy the experience because of the Copper River salmon? Yes, it was quite entertaining seeing all the people wanting to kiss a 34 pounder at 8am in the morning (I typically don’t kiss fish before noon). For me it was more about having an excuse to get back on the tarmac at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) and hang out with Alaska Cargo up close and personal.
To everyone who gave up hope for New York’s airports, I can see why you did. For way too long, JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark were congested outdated disasters. But at long last the powers-that-be are investing in massive renovations. We wrote about JFK’s New Terminal One project, which broke ground a few months ago. But without a doubt, LaGuardia is the airport that is furthest along in its makeover. And the results so far look amazing.
What surprised me most is how great the new Terminal B is for planespotting. Thanks to its design as an unusually vertical airport, including skybridges over busy taxiways, the views are excellent.
Read on for a photo and video walkthrough around the gorgeous Terminal B, with plenty of amazing views of the ramp and runways.
Living in the greater Seattle area has its advantages. Being able to go pretty much any time and drive around Paine Field Airport (KPAE) is for sure one of them. Plus, if you book yourself a night at the Hilton Garden Inn, you are very likely to get a room that looks over the airport. Heck, you can even spot from your room and/or car and have yourself a bit of an AvGeek hootenanny. I recently did just that and my pal Jeremy joined me. Although this story might mostly be photos, I am likely to add a snarky comment here or there.
I decided to do a little blast from the past and use my “real” DSLR camera instead of my iPhone. It is amazing for the close-ups, but I think I might need a refresher course. Jeremy ended up taking a few of the photos, but I was too lazy to label them properly. Just assume if one looks like someone with talent took the picture, it was him. Here we go…
Sometimes it’s hard to beat a classic. Japan Airlines’ 777-300ERs are the heavy lifter of their long-haul fleet. And although the current premium cabins have been flying for around ten years, they’re still a fan favorite.
I had my first chance to fly JAL’s Sky Suite business class on a flagship route from New York JFK to Tokyo Haneda – now I completely understand why it’s so popular. As an added bonus the window seat views were pretty amazing, since it was nothing but daylight for the full 15 hours from boarding to deplaning.
Read on for more photos, videos, and highlights from this classic long-haul route.