And so it begins: Aviation Geek Fest 2013. There were 420 tickets sold, 206 different people are expected to attend, 30 folks were left on the wait list (sorry) and the farthest someone flew for #AGF13 is 4500 miles.
Today, we are going to be meeting at the Museum of Flight and checking out the Boeing 737 factory in Renton. SEE THE FULL AFG13 SCHEDULE.
If you were not able to make it this year, no worries — you can follow along via Twitter and Facebook. Also, check out the live feed below:
Want to join in for Aviation Geek Fest 2014? Make sure you are on the e-mail list(I know the page says AGF13, but it will become the AGF14 list). Until then — CHEERS!
This was originally posted on Jan 31st and updated and re-posted on Feb 13th…
NOTE: When you print your tickets, it incorrectly states where to meet on Saturday. We are to meet at the Museum of Flight by Noon to take the 737 factory tour.
This is shaping up to be one EPIC event and I am so happy that so many of you will be able to join in. All 420 tickets sold out over the weekend and there were over 35 people on the wait list.
If you are still looking for a place to stay the Hilton Garden Inn at Paine Field is still offering a special #AGF13 discount.
Be Social Media Ready to share this adventure. Follow #AGF13 on Twitter and be sure to follow/mention/like the following companies/organizations who are making #AGF13 possible:
Here is the schedule (as of now):
SATURDAY FEBRUARY 16th: Renton and South Day
- 9:00am to 5:00pm: Open access to tour theÂ Museum of Flight and the Space Shuttle trainer (minus the crew compartment). Also be sure to check out the 2013 Northwest Scale Modelers Show going on in the main gallery from 10:00am to 5:00pm. [Ticket Required: Boeing 737 Tour Ticket. Age Restriction: None. Cameras: Allowed]
- 9:00am to 3:00pm: #AGF13 HQ will be located in the Skyline Room at the Museum of Flight with coffee. [Ticket Required: Boeing 737 Tour Ticket. Age Restriction: None. Cameras: Allowed.]
- 12:00pm: Meet in the Museum of Flight’s lobby where we will board buses and given a Boeing 737 Factory balcony tour in Renton, WA.Â [Ticket Required: Boeing 737 Tour Ticket. Age Restriction: 12yrs and older. Clothing: no high heels, no open toes. Cameras: Not allowed.]
- 5:00pm to 6:30pm: Receive a VIP after hours tour of Personal Courage Wing at theÂ Museum of Flight.Â [Ticket Required: Boeing 737 Tour Ticket. Age Restriction: None. Cameras: Allowed]
SATURDAY AGF13 TICKETS ALSO GET YOU ACCESS TO [A ticket or badge for AGF13 is required, cameras are allowed and no age restrictions for all]:
SUNDAY FEBRUARY 17th: Paine Field Day
- 10:00am, 11:30am and 1:00pm: There will be multiple tours leaving the Future of Fight (meet in the main lobby) to tour the Boeing Dreamliner Gallery. [Ticket Required: Dreamliner Gallery Group Ticket With Appropriate Time. Age Restriction: None. Cameras: Allowed]
- 3:00pm: VIP Boeing Factory Floor Tour. Meet at the Forward Cabin conference room (follow the signs) at the Future of Fight and we will be bussed to the factory. [Ticket Required: Boeing Factory Tour Ticket. Age Restriction: 12yrs and older. Cameras: not allowed. Clothing: no high heels, no open toes.]
- 5:00pm to Later: #AvGeek shin-dig at theÂ Future of Fight with pizza, beer and airline/aviation related prizes and lots of nerdy aviation talk. [Ticket Required: Any AGF13 ticket. Age Restriction: None. Cameras: Allowed.]
SUNDAY AGF13 TICKETS ALSO GET YOU ACCESS TO [A ticket or badge for AGF13 is required, cameras are allowed and no age restrictions for all]:
OTHER THINGS TO CHECK OUT WHILE IN TOWN [not officially part of #AGF13]:
If you have questions, please leave them in the comments. Thanks! See you this weekend and prepare to HAVE FUN!
Yes, blue skies can exist in the Seattle area in January (this is Friday, most other photos are taken on Saturday with rain). This photos of the Hilton Garden Inn was taken from the entrance of the Future of Flight.
Not all hotels are created equally. Many compete with a long list of amenities to help entice travelers to stay in one of their rooms. Coffee makers, robes, Wi-Fi, breakfast are just some of the common weapons used to gain your business. But for AvGeeks there is something else that can trump all others: spotting airliners from your room.
There Â are the rain and clouds I have grown to love. A Qatar Airways Boeing 777-300ER about to land at Paine Field – taken from my hotel room. When it is sunny, there are plenty of wonderful mountains in the background.
There are hotels around the world where you can watch airplanes come and go, but there is only one hotel that is located right at the edge of Paine Field, where Boeing builds their 767, 777, 747-8 and 787 aircraft and that is the Hilton Garden Inn Seattle North/Everett.
Just off the lobby is a bar (no draft, but they have bottled beer and hard alcohol) and restaurant.
Since I live about 15 minutes away from the Hilton Garden Inn, I have never needed to use it. However, talking to other AvGeeks who have stayed there, I heard positive things and wanted to see how good the aviation spotting would be from the hotel. When given the opportunity to stay at the hotel on a Friday night, I figured why not (they provided me the room for free for the review)?
It was mighty cold outside, but warm inside my room when I took this photo of Paine Field.
The hotel is situated in the northwest corner of Paine Field, right next door to the Future of Flight. I visit Future of Flight quite often, so I was no stranger to the area. I was given the keys to the most premium room at the hotel: The Presidential Suite. Normally when a room has such an impressive name, I end up having pretty high expectations. And those expectations were more than met.
Yea. This is living. Nice big tub overlooking Paine Field.
I have been very fortunate to see some pretty impressive hotels around the world. Not to say that Everett/Mukilteo/North Seattle are bad places (I mean, that is the area that I call home), but I wasn’t expecting to find such a nice room. I think when I first walked in I said something like “Holy cow, I wasn’t expecting this.” Maybe I said something a bit more adult than “holy cow,” but you get the idea.
This is the view after walking into the Presidential Suite. Kitchen to the left, dining and living room straight ahead and bedroom to the left.
The Presidential Suite is the size of three standard rooms and has an almost full kitchen, a living room, full dining room, two fire places (not real fire, but whatever), and two bathrooms. I was hoping that there might be a jetted tub in the room and was excited when I found there were two: a smaller one in the bathroom off the bedroom and a quite large one overlooking Paine Field in the bedroom next to the king sized bed.
This Lufthansa Boeing 747-8I delivery flight was a few hours late, but still able to enjoy it taking off.
Sure, all these amenities are fabulous, but I wasn’t there for the trinkets, I was there to check out the view. Unlike other rooms that only have window views to Paine Field, this suite had three sliding glass doors that look out to PAE, making it perfect for spotting (which Malcolm Muir spotted me spotting from my room). Yea, I felt that this room was built for me and I was pretty certain I never wanted to leave.
There is a fire place (fake, but still gives the ambiance) in the living room and bedroom. This is looking into one of the two double doors going into the bedroom. Also notice the aviation themed-art.
To make sure that I wasn’t only looking out the window the whole time, I brought my girlfriend Shannon with me to handle reviewing the Â decor inside the room.
“When I first walked into the room, my first thought was that it was beautiful in every detail,” Shannon explained to me. “Then as I discovered the view directly overlooking Paine Field, the giant whirlpool tub that was positioned toward that amazing view, the incredibly spacious bathrooms (there were two in the Presidential Suite), and the firmness-adjustable king-size bed, I was awed by the luxury.Â The full fridge, stove range, dishwasher, counter space and full silverware and glassware sets, as well as a wood dining table, all added to the exquisiteness of the room by offering functional amenities that are hard to find away from home.”
There is much more than just cereal and toast at this breakfast.
There is also the option for breakfast the next morning. I wasn’t really in the mood to get out of the nice warm bed, but luckily Shannon was willing to head down and check things out. “When I walked down to the lobby for breakfast, I wasn’t sure what to expect,” Shannon recounted to me. “Many hotels boast their breakfasts, but often disappoint.Â However, when I was greeted by a smiling young woman who showed me the options for self-serve (including fresh juices, muffins and pastries, a variety of cereals, a self-serve waffle maker, bagels, and plenty of fruit), my doubts were quickly abated.Â I selected the gourmet breakfast, an omelet with your choice of fillings and a selection of cheese, with sausage, bacon and hash-browns on the side.Â Definitely a great way to start the day.” Don’t worry, she also brought me up coffee, juice and a waffle with strawberries to enjoy. The breakfast is not part of the room and costs $10.95 and is served from 6am to 10am (11am on Sat and Sun).
An Emirates Boeing 777-300ER prepares to take off a Paine Field. Taken from the room. That is the Future of Flight on the right.
The hotel opened at Paine Field on October 5th 2005 and offers 102 rooms and 13 suites. They estimate that about 90% of guests are connected to Boeing or one of their subcontractors somehow. This means that their busiest times are weekdays, which normally leaves plenty of rooms open on weekends for you AvGeeks to visit Seattle.
For guests, there is a free shuttle that will take you up to five miles of the hotel (you can walk to the Future of Flight, but this would be handy to check out the Flying Heritage Collection and Historic Flight Foundation) and they will also take you to the Alderwood Mall and Everett train station (which are outside the 5 miles).
The hotel has a small pool and hot tub. Also a Â well-appointedÂ gym.
Shannon and I argued over what our room must cost. We were both way off (we guessed much higher). Get this: a night in the Presidential Suite ranges from only $159-$250 per night depending on the date. Now, I am definitely not a person of means, but that is totally affordable, even for a staycation. Heck. I am at Paine Field all the time, but was quite giddy with staying at the hotel and watching airplanes take off and land from my room (and a bubble bath).
This is a great hotel for a non AvGeek, but a must-see if you are coming into Seattle to check out some of our great offerings or even a local looking for some AvGeek excitement.
Maybe you have already stayed? I also know Aviation Geek Fest 2013 is coming up soon and the hotel is still offering a special #AGF13 rate. So, if you have stayed or will stay, drop a line or two in the comments to share your thoughts — the hotel will be listening.
Â ALL 38 PHOTOS FROM MY HOTEL STAY
||This story written by…David Parker Brown, Editor & Founder.
David started AirlineReporter.com in the summer of 2008, but has had a passion for aviation since he was a kid. Born and raised in the Seattle area (where he is currently based) has surely had an influence and he couldn’t imagine living anywhere else in the world.
@AirlineReporter | Flickr | YouTube
Boeing, the Future of Flight and AirlineReporter.com are proud to share details on Aviation Geek Fest 2013 (#AGF13). Here is the current schedule (which is up for change due to unforeseen circumstances). I will be updating this page as new things are added to the schedule. Check the change-log on the bottom to see what has changed:
SCHEDULE HAS BEEN MOVED TO A NEW PAGE
QUESTIONS (from comments or email – will be updated):
- Where should I stay? Saturday will occur down in the Renton, WA area, where Sunday will happen up at Paine Field in Everett, WA. The Hilton Garden Inn (which is RIGHT on Paine Field) is offering a special #AGF13 discount.
- Should I get a rental car? Seattle is not best known for their public transportation and getting up to Paine Field could be tricky.
- What if I am not able to get tickets at 11am on Saturday, can you hold some? Unfortunately we cannot. This would be a good time to call in those favors from family and friends and ask them to get tickets for you — just remember to pay them back.
- Can I take photos? Cameras will not be allowed on the Boeing factory tours, but there will be someone that will take group photos that you can use. Cameras ARE allowed on the Dreamliner Gallery tour.
- Are there age restrictions? Yes, you must be 12 or older to go on the Boeing factory tours. There are no age restrictions for the Dreamliner Gallery.
- What do I wear? It is Seattle in February, so bet on chilly, gray and rainy. For the Boeing tours, you cannot wear open toed shoes, backless shoes (like clogs) or high heels.
- What if I have special needs? Please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) ASAP so we can prepare for your needs.
1/26 11:20AM: After a little panic at 11:02am, where it looked like every ticket was sold, we realize that was a mistake and more tickets are available. In the first 15min, the page received about 1500 views. At this point, almost 60% of all the tickets are sold.
1/26 4:45PM: About 80% of the tickets are gone. Figuring most should be gone by the end of the weekend. Thanks for so many people being interested. Will update when sold out.
Noon 1/27: Over 90% of the tickets are sold. Two of the Dreamliner Gallery time slots are sold out (the 10am still has a few tickets). The events page has seen over 2300 views in the 25hrs it has been live. Very awesome. Imagine all the tickets will sell out by early next week at the latest.
8:15am 1/28: Only a few tickets left. 737 Tour: 7, Everett Factory Tour: 2, Dreamliner Gallery Tour: 1.
10:25am 1/28: There are only three Boeing 737 tour tickets and everything else has sold out.
11:00am 1/28: All the tickets have sold out. Add yourself to our waiting list to be get tickets if people cancel.
1:00pm 1/28: Flying Heritage Collection will allow free admission to anyone with a #AGF13 ticket on either Sat or Sun. Updated the above schedule.
9:00am 1/29: Historic Flight Foundation, at Paine Field, will offer free admission Saturday and Sunday between 10am-5pm with badges/tickets.
1:00pm 1/29: Museum of Flight Restoration Center – free admission Saturday between 9am – 4pm.
1:00pm 1/30: Updated to a new page with all the update information and this page will no longer be updated.
Boeing, the Future of Flight and AirlineReporter.com are proud to share details on Aviation Geek Fest 2013 (#AGF13)…
TICKETS GO ON SALE ON SAT, JAN 26th AT 11AM PST
All tickets will be first come, first serve. There are 150 tickets (for each of the main events) up for grabs, so quite a few folks will be able to enjoy the #AGF13 experience. Yes, if you click on the links right now, it will show invalid, but the links will work when the tickets go on sale.
The event will run a bit differently this year.Â One person can do everything and you do not have to pick and choose.
Please check out this page for all the Aviation Geek Fest updatesÂ (I don’t want to have to update multiple pages).