Browsing Tag: Alaska Airlines

The Aviation Geekfest happened at the Future of Flight

The Aviation Geekfest happened at the Future of Flight. Photo by Airline Reporter

The Aviation GeekFest was amazing yesterday. I got there a little early to enjoy what the Future of Flight has to offer. I was treated to seeing a Boeing 737 doing touch and go’s (can you guess what airline will be getting this aircraft?) from the Strato Deck.

It was nice meeting all the other aviation geeks. It is always great to be around other aviation-minded people and talk in length about the airline business.

After grouping up we were able to get a special VIP tour of the Boeing Factory up in Everett. It was hard because we weren’t allowed to bring in cameras or phones on the tour. Most of us are technology geeks and I wanted to pull out my iPhone about two dozen times to take pictures and Twitter, but I wasn’t able to. Harriet Baskas, who was also on the tour and aviation pro, was lucky enough to smuggle out a drawn picture of the Boeing 787 ZA001. After seeing her nice picture I was happy that Boeing was also kind enough to take pictures of our group during the tour  (which I included on my Flickr).

The money shot! Our bus got with-in a few feet of the ZA001 Boeing 787 on the flight line. Its strobes were flashing and one engine spinning.

The money shot! Our bus got with-in a few feet of the ZA001 Boeing 787 on the flight line. Its strobes were flashing and one engine spinning. Photo by Boeing

Probably the best part of the tour was being able to drive out on the flight line. Normally the tour doesn’t do this, but we were all about 50 feet away from Boeing 787 ZA001. It had its strobes on and one engine spinning. Pretty much aviation geek heaven. I think most people had goose bumps being so close and I REALLY wanted to have my camera right then. The Boeing 787 just looks amazing that close in person and I can’t wait to see it take flight.

We then went into the Boeing facility where we could see the Boeing 777, 747-8, and 787 being built. It just amazed me how Boeing makes it look so simple to build some of the most complex machines in the world. Seeing all the parts and how complex the process is, it is incredible how these machines are able to fly for 20-40 years with almost no issues. Tour guide Mike (also a Airline Reporter reader, HI MIKE!) did an AMAZING job with his tour and left no question unanswered (except “hey, when is the 787’s first flight?” — although it was hinted it might be December 15th now).

It was great looking out and seeing the new Boeing 747-8 being built.

It was great looking out and seeing the new Boeing 747-8 being built. Photo by Boeing

Then it was back to the Future of Flight for some awesome pizza from Garlic Jim’s and beer compliments of Horizon Air. Although I didn’t win any of the raffle prizes (two VIP tickets to the 787 first flight, $250 Alaska Airlines gift certificates, an amazing looking model by Custom Models, and more) I was totally ok with that since it was a great event.

They hope to do it again in the future, so be sure to keep out a keen eye for invites (add everyone listed in the previous paragraph and me to your Twitter account to hear about the next event). A special thank you to everyone who made the event possible and I can’t wait until the next one!

MORE MEDIA:
* Photos from the event
* Twitters of the event (#agf)
* Video shot of Future of Flight by @chasegallagher

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Aviation Geekfest, this Sunday!

Aviation Geekfest, this Sunday!

update: EVENT IS FULL!

For those of you lucky readers who live in the Seattle area, you are invited to an aviation geek’s dream evening. This Sunday (December 6th), the Future of Flight, Alaska Airlines, Horizon Airlines, and Custom Models are hosting an Aviation Geekfest. The event will occur at the Future of Flight (directions) from 3pm to 6pm. The fest includes:

* VIP tour of the Boeing 787 line
* Access to the Future of Flight
* Free pizza and beer (and soda)
* Meet the Tweeters behind Alaska Airlines, Horizon Airlines and Future of Flight.
* Meet me, Founder of AirlineReporter.com [I’ll even let you take free pictures with me :)]
* Meet special guests
* Ability to win some freaking awesome prizes (yea I mean AWESOME – don’t believe me? You could win tickets to the Future of Flight Foundation’s VIP party to view the first flight of the 787 – yea told you AWESOME)

Tickets are limited to the first 48 people that register, which you can do starting at NOON TODAY (PST). Hurry because once the tickets are gone, they are gone! Hope to see you there, and if I don’t, you can read about it here!

Update @ 12:04pm –
Wow, in less than a minute all the tickets were accounted for. That is awesome! Follow me on Twitter and watch out for a blog post to cover the event!

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Apolo Ohno getting off the plane with his face on the side.

Apolo Ohno getting off the plane with his face on the side.

The Winter Olympics in Vancouver, B.C. are right around the corner. Alaska Airlines (based in Seattle, WA) is celebrating the Olympics with a special themed Boeing 737-800 displaying a picture of Apolo Ohno on the side. Ohno is one of the most decorated speed skaters in history and also a winner on “Dancing with The Stars.” Ohno is a Seattle native and a local celebrity.

Brad Tilden, Alaska’s president, stated, “The ‘Follow Apolo’ jet will fly across our route system to build excitement for this great American athlete.” 

When seeing the plane for the first time, Ohno said, “It’s an honor to be featured alongside Alaska’s trademark Eskimo and have the support of my hometown airline for the most important race of my life.” It has to be odd to see a bigger-than-life photo of you on the side of a plane. There is also a website where fans can follow Ohno’s quest to be the most decorated Winter Olympics athlete in history. 

This aircraft adds to Alaska/Horizon’s great collection of themed liveries.  Check out more photos of the event.

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Flying with the

This Boeing 737-800 had the Hawaiian Lai on the tail, which didn't make too much sense flying to Alaska

My mother recently flew from Seattle, WA to Alaska and was excited to write about her travels, knowing her son runs an airline blog. I normally run a series “1st Person Perspective” where I will talk about my travels, but this will be the first “2nd Person Perspective.” My mother is a wonderful woman, who hates the travel process. We both thought it would be interesting to get the perspective of someone who hates the travel process, but loves to go new places. This is her story….

Even though I am an experienced, but reluctant traveler, I am not that knowledgeable about airlines. So this article is a simple personal account of my trip to Alaska and back.

It all began on August 23, my sister and I headed to SeaTac Airport which serves the Greater Seattle area and Puget Sound.

The new check-in system that Alaska Air has might look confusing and something out of the future, but it is efficient.

The new check-in system that Alaska Air has might look confusing and something out of the future, but it is efficient.

I have flown out of this airport many times, and since Alaska Airlines is headquartered there, they take up a large portion of the concourses.

Check in was very efficient. Lots of kiosks to get boarding passes and at least ten counters open to check and weigh baggage. The counters surround a central conveyor belt that seemed like a great idea to me.

After going through an uneventful security check we headed to our gate to board Flight 836 to Anchorage. It turned out our gate was in the North Satellite, which meant we had to take the underground train to get there. It took a bit longer, but we had given ourselves plenty of time.

While we were waiting to board, the woman at the counter announced that they were taking upgrades to First Class for $100; at first we were hesitant, but then decided we’d do it. It was a 3 1/2 hour flight and we were on vacation!

In First Class you see real food, that is actually good.

In First Class you see real food, that is actually good.

We were very excited, but trying not to show it, hoping the other first class passengers would think we belonged (who knows how many of them were using bonus miles or upgrades themselves).

I have flown first class before and it reminds me how coach used to be in the “olden” days: larger leather seats and more legroom, attentive flight attendants, and real food on real china. We felt very privileged and a little decadent, especially when ordering a bloody Mary at 8:00 am and no little bottle! A real mixed drink! Plus you get to deplane early in First Class.

The flight left on time and our Boeing 737-800 cruised northward at 38,000 feet. We had a female pilot-or co-pilot-whoever sits on the right. We were offered a free DVD player and an exceptional breakfast (asparagus quiche, fresh fruit, and sausage).

It is Alaska's (the state, not the airline) 50th year of being a state.

It is Alaska's (the state, not the airline) 50th year of being a state.

Out the window, I could see Vancouver Island and the Canadian Rockies before it clouded over.

The flight time zoomed by and after a smooth landing, we were in Anchorage. The airport is very modern and filled with stuffed wildlife in glass cases. It is named after former Senator Ted Stevens who has since been indicted for corruption. But that’s a different blog story…

We only had to wait for our bags for about a minute-Alaska Airlines has a new policy that if you have to wait more than 25 minutes, they give you $25 dollars toward your next flight.

Fast forward through the wonders of Alaska….

On the return flight from Anchorage to Seattle, my sister and I decided to “slum” it and go coach. I did notice that Alaska attendants now call it the” main” cabin. We had aisle seats across from each other and no one was in either middle seat, so we were fairly comfortable in the narrower seats that were also leather.  No fancy meal, but we could have purchased an Asian Chicken Wrap or Anytime Chicken Basket for $6. There were complimentary drinks including generic cola and a bag of “Gourmet” Party Mix. Not exactly as luxurious as our flight out, but the plane did get us there with a smooth ride and almost on time. We again landed at the North Satellite concourse, so our luggage actually beat us to the claim area.

Overall, both flights were  uneventful-a definite plus for me.

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