Browsing Tag: DEN

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).

South Terminal Construction at Denver International Airport - Photo: Blaine Nickeson |

South Terminal construction at Denver International Airport – Photo: Blaine Nickeson |

Recently, I had the opportunity to meet with staff at “my” airport, Denver International Airport (known amongst flyers as DEN, but locally as “DIA”).  DIA is the 5th-busiest airport in the US, and 13th-busiest in the world.  During the few hours I spent with them, I got an up close and personal view of the massive expansion project in progress; the largest construction project at the airport since DIA was originally built 20+ years ago.

David Achilles, who is an award winning director and editor (not to mention an avgeek) completed a very impressive time lapse video of his recent flight from Denver (DEN) to Burbank (BUR) and back while on Southwest Airlines. Before you get angry at David for having an electronic equipment on during take off and landing — have no worries, he received permission from the Southwest flight crew.

Update: I ran a follow up story on how it is okay to use electronic devices below 10,000 feet with the approval of the airline. 

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Is the Denver International Airport (DEN) a part of some huge conspiracy or are they there just to let planes land or take off? Are there lots of hidden phallic symbols purposefully placed around the airport to make people feel safe and secure? This is a great humorous video from Stephen Colbert that looks to see if Denver’s airport has some secret (and crazy) things going down.

So what do the folks at Denver Airport think about this? I had to ask.

“Yes, we did know it was the Colbert Report we were taping with and we knew loosely what the subject matter was going to be,”Jenny Schiavone, DEN spokesperson, explained to “We didn’t see the actual clip until it ran publicly.”

And really that works best for the video. Jeff Green, head of PR and marketing for DEN, reacts perfectly to the very odd questions.

“We’re not sure which is more thrilling: being featured on the Colbert Report, or playing such a prominent role in some of the world’s most compelling conspiracy theories,”  Schiavone explained. “While we were grateful for the opportunity to set the record straight on William Tapley’s fascinating thoughts about our airport, we regret that DIA has become the source of another rift between Stephen Colbert and Anderson Cooper.”

That’s right. It seems that Anderson Cooper got a little upset that this was “old news” that Colbert was covering.

“We hate to see the nation’s most beloved newsmen feuding openly,” Schiavone  stated via email. “In an effort to make up for the strain that we’ve caused, we’d like to invite Colbert and Cooper to Denver to settle their squabble in an epic battle of DIA conspiracy theory wits.”

I only think that William “Third Eagle of the Apocalypse” should be invited as well. Now, that would make an interesting discussion.