Today's flight is from home base in Seattle to visit family in the Tampa area for New Year's. We are taking Alaska Airlines on their day flight direct to TPA, with a scheduled departure of 8:25 in the morning. We checked in around 6:45am, which given the busy holiday season during SEA's biggest departure bank, was a bad idea. Security alone took over 50 minutes, at checkpoint 5 (which always seems to take forever). Departure today was out of a hardstand bus-boarding gate. SEA has implemented quite a few bus gates due to the construction/renovation of the second half of the North Satellite, so the airport is short a few gates.
Entry into the departure lounge for the upper-D gates, where we would be departing, was surprisingly nice for a facility that should be considered temporary.
Boarding the bus at 8:08. At this point, there is no way we'll be departing on-time. These gates are slow.
Meeting the aircraft, along with a significant line on the boarding ramp. Our ride today is N549AS, a 2005-built Boeing 737-800.
Boarded at 8:35, in seat 19F.
Photos from the pushback.
Departure off of runway 16C at 9:03am.
Photos from climb and cruise. I brought my own food for this flight as usual, so no food review today. I got myself some cran-apple juice, and settled down for the 4 hour 57 minute flight over some stunning scenery on the way to Tampa.
Descent and sunset over the western coast of Florida.
We landed on TPA's runway 19L at 5:00pm, 12 minutes behind schedule. We left for the rental car facility and drove south towards our destination.
(It's not taking my cropped screenshots, so if you want to see the full above photos, open them in a new tab)
This was a great flight with my favorite airline. TPA is a really fantastic airport, but unfortunately SEA did not hit the mark this time.