Dear all, this is my first FR in English. I do not plan to translate it in French but if there is a demand, I might reconsider. I might consider switching back to French if you find my English is too bad…
Here I am with those FR on DL for a trip to the US. For those who know me, you might be surprised by starting a trip with a SEA-PDX. Indeed. A misfortune happened; I lost my phone with the pictures of my previous FR in the Seattle Link coming back from San Francisco. The good side is I am only 4 FR behind schedule instead of 11… Here is the initial trip with the first five flights missing: DL618 NRT-PDX, Y+, B763 AS2154 PDX-SEA, Y, DHC4 operated by Horizon Air AS312 SEA-SFO, Y, B738 DL1160 OAK-SLC, Y, A320 AS727 SLC-SEA, Y, B738 AS2039 SEA-PDX, Y, DHC8 (here we are) DL617 PDX-NRT, Y, B763 (???????????)
Before starting, I will detail 2-3 things about the missing flights. NRT-PDX aka “Sorry sweetie” At NRT, for check-in, there was no agent at the beginning of the line checking the validity of the ESTA. I remembered this control at CDG but the procedure might have change since my last flight to the US. Check-in, security and passport were as smooth as usual, 15 min without priority lane for the latter two. The nick name is coming from an experience on board. I was waiting for the middle restrooms in the aisle and I did not see a FA arriving with a trolley. When I was blocking here, she said very politely “sorry sweetie”. Some of you may be shocked while other would not have noticed but I have been living in Japan for 9 months now and some informal language was refreshing. It is changing from ????? (sumimasen) repeated as much as possible. The flight was eventless with the crossing of the International Date Line. Arrived in PDX on time, went through immigration and rechecked my luggage after customs.
PDX-SEA aka “Sorry sir” Arrived in PDX I wanted to fulfill my adult addiction. PDX is a completely smoke-free airport. Hence I went landside, exited the building and headed towards one of the two smoking areas. PDX might be an international airport, it is a mid-size airport. Then, I walked through the terminal landside and I was taking pictures in order to prepare a FR. A TSA agent saw me and asked me questions about the purpose of all those photos. She was polite but very strict. I then left for security. I arrived at the line which was huge. As a Silver Skymiles member, per DL rules, I am not entitled to the full Skypriority and priority at security is missing. Then I looked at the sign for the priority lane and saw “All flights to Seattle”! Hurrah! The TSA agent looked at and drew signs on my BP and I proceeded to the check. There was an issue with my torch lighter. It is not allowed in the cabin, even empty… Aie aie aie, it is a very nice one I really do not want to discard. I could post it to any continental US address for 27USD. I know this kind of lighter is suspicious. But from Japan, it is allowed in the cabin and forbidden in checked luggage. Once, at KIX, I have put it in my luggage and it was waiting for me in the jet brigde as the found the suspicious item. But, here, they told me I could see with the airline if they can retrieve my check luggage to put it inside. So it is allowed to put it in the hold! I went to AS and as I am entitled to 2 bags, my backpack ended up in the hold with my lighter while I kept valuables with me. Here is a perfect example of the need of unified air travel regulations. The flight was smooth. 45 min block time so very short time up in the air. Full service and free local wine and beer onboard! Wahou! I was surprised with all the FR I read about US-domestic flight and the lack of service on very short flights. AS has a 20 min policy for luggage delivery. If your luggage is not on the belt after 20 min (I confess I do not know when the 20 min start: door time or arrival at the belt), you can either claim a 20$ voucher or 2000 AS miles. That’s a nice policy but I do not see it enforced by AF at CDG^^
SEA-SFO: “Arf” Nothing to really write about. SEA is AS land. I took an F seat and nice views of the shore all along. The service started very late and they finished it while the captain asked the crew to prepare the cabin for landing. Arf because the day of that flight was also the B789 maiden flight. If I had known it, I would have chosen different dates to go down to SF.
OAK-SLC-SEA: Nothing to write neither. OAK is a small airport. The bus transfer from the BART station is not that inconvenient. A railway is being built. OAK is a nice small airport: quick security. I could not catch an upgrade on the first flight. More than 20 people on the upgrade list. I arrived at the peak hours of SLC and the terminal was really crowded. Connections are easy. And when I arrived in SEA, I lost my iPhone…
Here does not start the FR but the touristic bonus about Seattle. And to start with, some pictures of the well known skyline and the Space Needle.
As I said earlier, I missed the B789 maiden flight from Everett. Few days later, I went to the Boeing tour. Unfortunately, no pictures. The building is impressive with construction lines for the 747-8, 777 and 787. For the 787, it is more an assembly lines as they receive a couple of preformed blocks to put together. After the tour, there is a small museum with a GE engine.
And as a FRist, I have some Pavlovian reflex when I see an IFE.
And of course, it is not possible to go to Everett without plane pictures. Here, all in green, is an ElAl 739. The winglets were painted^^ And a lot of B787 with more diversity than at HND.
And some 748.
Time to start the FR now. There is a light train connecting the city center to the airport. I do not remember the price but it was pretty cheap, one of the cheapest airport transportation I experienced. This time, I have been dropped off at the airport. Here some pictures landside.
Time for check-in. I am on a DL ticket but as the first flight is an AS flight, they operate the check-in and the luggage. As a Medallion member, I am entitled to an extra piece, 2 bags of 23 kg. That is useful as my small backpack that was empty on the outbound is now full of omiyage. But AS system do not recognize my extra-allowance. I did not want to pay to claim the money afterwards, so I took my bag with me for the first leg. My 2 BP were issued but surprisingly, no document check for this inbound flight to Japan. For all my other international flights finishing in Japan, I had a deep document check of visa and resident card. Right after, direction TSA security check. As in Portland there was a fast lane for the Seattle shuttle, there is a fast lane for the Portland shuttle at Seattle. I went through security within 5 minutes! To join the terminal, there is a short light train linking the main building to two of the four satellites. Here some pictures of the C satellite.
And of the traffic. At SEA, AS is the master.
I guess this one is flying back home!
Now, it is time to board.
From the rear door as the ramp is installed at the front door.
As an AS pilot was seating next to me and it was before the electronic devices policies loosen up a bit, no picture while taxiing or taking off.
We are now up in the air.
Now, back to the basics with the safety card.
And the menu. As you can see in the “Have a drink on us” section, wines and beer are served free of charge on those flights. A huge difference compared to the other American carriers.
On the verso side, 2/3 of the page are taken by an advertisement for the corporate credit card. With 25.000 bonus miles, I’ll probably go up in the air and maybe SCUBA dive at destination^^
The magazine that has a certain amount of flying hours with soccer on the cover. Am I really on a US carrier?
The pitch, far from being royal but it is a very short trip.
And the seat, a bit aged.
The very small and intimate cabin.
With such a short flight, the cruise altitude is very low: 17.000 ft for a ceiling at 25.000 ft. Hence, we flew just above the clouds. As the cockpit crew expected turbulences, FA were not released and no service has been offered. Despite the turbulences were not strong, both cockpit and cabin crew apologized for the service cancellation.
Then, the rapid descent started to arrive under the clouds in Portland, OR.
With small plane, the disembarking is pretty fast, in the turboprop farm.
Now, it is time to go landside and get some “fresh” air. I keep the story of the transit for the next FR. A small reminder as teaser, I have a bag I would be happy to check-in…
Seattle - SEA
Portland - PDX
To give a proper conclusion, I have to sum up the two flights on Horizon as the service was missing on this flight.
Flights were on time with lovely crews. The fast lanes at PDX and SEA for SEA and PDX are really convenient, allowing to go through TSA within 5 min if you do not carry a restricted item though.
The offered service is nice with free local alcohol (only the SEA-PDX-SEA shuttle). As I am used to JP domestic standards, that is a change! Hence the high mark for the service that is not so different from European non-low-cost carriers
All in all, a pretty good experience on US domestic flights. I hope you like this report. Anyway, feel free to write a comment below. I cannot promise any due date for my next FR but I’ll do my best as there are lots on hold and lots coming next months!
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