Have you ever looked out the window and wondered "what's that?" There are some helpful apps to inform you.
Have you ever been flying and looked out the window and wonder where the heck you are and what is that object? You might just ask your seat neighbor, but I think half the time they are just making up the answer.
Mark Vanhoenacker, on a NYTimes Travel Blog, has some ideas on how to make your flight more educational.
Vanhoenacker looks at two apps that can help you ID those mountain peaks or bodies of water you aren’t sure about. First there is WindowSeat, that does not require an internet connection and it does not even use GPS. You tell the app where and when you take off and it makes a good guess on your location and flight plan. If it guesses wrong, you can adjust its location, so it might take a little finessing.
If you are on a flight with internet access, Vanhoenacker suggests looking at MondoWindow which gives you an interactive map of your flight, providing live information. I haven’t tried either of these yet, but I am excited to see how they work. Of course, they become less useful when you are flying above clouds.
Are there other apps that help you figure where you are at? Or do any of you carry an old fashion paper map?
These tips will help you find the best seat on a Southwest flight – Photo: Southwest Airlines
Love it or hate it, Southwest Airlines has a unique seating process. Where most airlines will assign you an exact seat, Southwest gives you a boarding number and you can choose any open seat on the plane. Some enjoy choosing who they sit next to, but others don’t like the added anxiety of not knowing where you will sit until you are on the plane. I wanted to run down some ideas on how to get the best seat possible on a Southwest Airlines flight. They have seemed to work out pretty darn well for me over the years.
If you haven’t flown Southwest before, it can be a little confusing. When you check in, you will get a boarding letter – A, B or C – and a number – 1-60. A1 is the best and C23 (on a 737-700) / C55 (on a 737-800) is the worst. No matter what number you have, there are ways to improve where you sit — unless you are last to board.
Can you see Mount Adams, Mount Rainier and Mount St Helens in this photo taken from an Alaska Airlines flight? Photo by Rita Harvey.
Rita, a friend of mine, recently flew from Seattle to Chicago on Alaska Airlines. Every time one of my friends fly I tell them to get pictures of the flight (I don’t care about the destination). Most roll their eyes and say, “sure David,” and get me nothing (I’m talking to you Colton — who just came back from Hawaii).
One of the first photos she sent was an amazing photo of Mount Rainier from the plane. I thought it was great, but there was no plane. A true aviation nerd photo will have a plane part in it. Oh, she delivered.
I have spoken with a few different people,including my mother, to determine what mountains we are looking at and I am pretty sure it is Mount Adams, Mount Rainier and Mount Saint Helens (arrows showing where the mountains are). After talking to a few people and looking at maps, I am 98.5% sure those are the right mountains. If they aren’t let me know, but does it matter? It is amazing.
The the other great photos Rita took (be sure to look at the one with the moon)
View from Delta Air Lines flight into Seattle I took last year. That is Bellevue, WA in the distance.
A lot of people wish we could go back to a time where flying was magical again. I tell those people it still is! It is cheaper and more people fly more often, so it might not seem as special.
Passengers complain about the lack of food and service, but that has little to with the fact you are flying at 30,000 feet in a cylinder, almost at the speed of sound, across the world in a matter of hours. That magic (ok, ok yea there is a lot of science behind it) has never gone away.
Whenever I have the choice, I always pick the window. Why? Because the window is still where you can see the magic of every flight happen.
Airline pilot, freelance writer and Airline Reporter reader, Mark Vanhoenacker recently wrote a wonderful piece for the New York Times about the beauty of the window seat, make sure to check it out!
If you have your own window seat photos, you can share them via the New York Times.
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