A JetSuiteX ERJ135 getting a water cannon salute at Boeing Field – Mount Rainier provided a dramatic backdrop
Simple, fast, efficient, comfortable, and reasonably-priced air travel. What’s not to like?
JetSuiteX kicked off scheduled service between Seattle and Oakland, Calif., on July 1, with three flights per day between the two cities.
This means that the metro Seattle area now has three airports offering scheduled passenger service: Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA); Paine Field (PAE) in Everett; and Boeing Field (officially King County International Airport, BFI).
The airline euphemistically referred to the route as the “nerd bird” in a press release, no doubt calling out their hoped-for clientele: business travelers between the two tech hubs.
No fuss here – you just walk out of the terminal building and onto your plane (for the curious, that’s a GOL B-737 MAX 8 on a test flight in the background)
We’ll soon have a separate story offering background on the airline and more on their plans for routes, so I’m going to focus primarily on the flying experience here. And what an experience it was.
Arguably, one of the best parts of flying with JetSuiteX isn’t the flight itself so much as the removal of pre- and post-flight hassles. Lines? Not really. There are only a maximum of 30 people on your flight, and you’re either flying out of a relatively quiet secondary airport or an executive-style FBO (fixed base operator) at a major airport.
Air Force One arriving at King County International Airport on October 9, 2015 -Photo: Francis Zera | Airline Reporter
There are few aircraft as readily identifiable as the 747-200B/VC-25 known as Air Force One (even though there are actually two of them; more on that in a bit). The aircraft is designed to ferry the President of the United States, other elected and government officials, VIPs, and the White House press corps, anywhere in the world and in high style.
Any U.S. Air Force aircraft in which the president is flying carries the call sign Air Force One. But it’s the two VC-25s that are the flagship aircraft most of the world will immediately recognize as being the primary mode of transport for the current US president.
President Obama arriving in Seattle via Air Force One – Photo: Francis Zera | Airline Reporter
Suffice it to say that, wherever Air Force One shows up, interest (and security) are high. For the recent Seattle visit, on October 9th, local AvGeek interest was strong, and at least one of the sanctioned airport viewing areas was kept open for public viewing.
Speaking of security, there are two identical VC-25s, one with tail number 28000 and the other 29000. Whenever the president is traveling on one of them, the other is usually stationed somewhere in the region nearby as a backup. There are duplicate sets of presidential motorcade vehicles as well.
Below is a series of images from the president’s recent three-hour fundraising visit to Seattle.
Boeing Field in 2005
King County International Airport, or Boeing Field (BFI) as it is commonly known, is the largest business and general aviation airport in the Seattle area. If you are flying your Gulfstream or Challenger in to Seattle, this is the place you are likely going to be landing.
The line up of brand new Boeing 737s at BFI – Photo: Bernie Leighton
There are a few scheduled services in and out of this airport, which include Kenmore Air Express and cargo flights with UPS & DHL (FedEx is based at SeaTac). The major traffic at this airport comes from general aviation, business jets via the Fixed Base Operators (FBOs), and Boeing test flights.
Because of this diversity, BFI is a great place to go aircraft spotting.