Seattle - Fairbanks AK / F, B737-900ER: Take me to the cold!
Fairbanks - Seattle AK / F, B737-700
Seattle - Paris CDG DL / J, B767-300ER
Paris CDG - Basle AF / Y, ATR72
Sorry for that bit of delay in translating the report in English, I've been quite busy those last days.
For the last parts of my trip, let me take you to Alaska, with my flight from Seattle to Fairbanks. As a bonus, at the end of this report, you'll have a charter flight from FAI to Coldfoot, around 60 miles north of the Arctic Circle.
Seattle is, at least for me, as been built according to a strange master plan ;)
Should you transfer there, if you have bad luck, you may need to take up to three automatic trains to reach your terminal. If you have a short connection, it could be a pain. But today, it's gonna be all right ;)
I take a break to spot this beautiful 738:
Then this DH8-400 that will remind me my SEA-YVR-PDX from last November, but no, thanks for today!
Then a 737-700 :
There are automatic check in kiosks, and I take the opportunity to reprint my BP to AS colors. Geek, or not ;)
I don't really know if I have access to the AS lounge but will try my luck at the AS Board Room. I got a ticket in First class, but no international flight today. DL rules are pretty clear, even with a F ticket and if you do not travel international, unless you have a Sky Club Pass, you can't access. Let's see what AS as on stock for me.
A very nice lady welcomes me at the desk, checks the BP, wishes me a pleasant stay at the lounge and finishes by adding that an excellent home made chili will be served for diner at around 6pm. That's a very good start!!
Some shoots of the different buffets:
I'm sorry but the pictures don't give justice to the offerings. The lounge is spread over two floors and there are two differents buffets, unfortunately with people around, that explains the low quality of the pics.
Free booze, but not premiums. There is a salad bar, a junk food station (biscoffs, pretzels, peanuts, dips), and soups. At 6' the chili is served. Sorry no pictures, too much people around, and I forgot to capture my plate!!
The lounge isn't blind, and there is a pretty nice view over the tarmac and the runways:
737-400 Alaska :
Free of charge WIFI with a very good and stable connection.
A not so nice picture of my plane (the second one arriving at the gate), it's a 737-900ER, as scheduled. A new plane for my log book!
Shortly before boarding, I go to my gate and see that there are Superbowl decorations.
My plane again:
Boarding will be launched on time, with a full flight in First but only a quarter full in Coach. Lots of room to spead out for them. That's my first time aboard a Sky Interior plane, and, combined with the black leather seats, this gives me a big WAOW effect. To my opinion, it looks sober and nice!
That's the F seat, very nice and comfy. I was quite surprised to see that AS does not provide pillows and blankets directly at the seat, you need to ask for. Usually, all US airlines put them on the seat as from boarding on.
We then take off a few minutes early. Once airborne, a Digiplayer is handed over, free of charge in First, again a fee in coach.
My only concern here are the earphones. Cheap and crap. I had mine, thanks lord!
Vodka Cranberry for aperitive with my favorite snack mix:
On some reports here, I read that people do not like that mix. I could kill for them, specially the corns inside. Love them to die for ;)
Then the purser comes and asks people if they like to dine, and sets up the table with a linen. There is no choice of dishes, chicken for everyone, but she will ask what kind of side each guest would like to have. A very nice touch. Then she will prepare everything in the galley and come back with the plates:
It was divine, the polenta was to die for, the cabage top, the chicken cooked to perfection and the gravy very good. I'll ask for seconds, and the purser was delighted to see that I enjoyed the catering.
What I found, however, strange, is that AS does not offer breads nor salad to come with the meal.
A chocolate comes with the coffee:
We will land 20 minutes early, the bags will be delivered 10 minutes after our block. I'll call the hotel that will tell me to take any taxi and they will pay for it. Impressed!!
I head outside, and I am greeted with a -40F temperature that freezes me instantly. The time to catch the taxi, I was almost deep frozen ^^
I got two bonus from my Alaskan Trip, in order not to burden you with too many pictures, here the first part, I'll show you the other part in my return FR.
I booked a day to the Arctic Circle in order to say 'I did it' and to see the pipeline that crosses Alaska from North to Sought. The best to do this within one day and without too much hassle, is to take a plane up to Coldfoot and then make the road back to Fairbanks by coach (or the other way round, by coach up to Coldfoot and plane back to FAI). This takes around 14H00 door to door. There is as well a cheaper option, coach up and down (but goes only to the Arctic Circle), this takes around 22H00. Not for me.
I took the flight + coach tour, for USD 240.-, which was a good deal for me. The flight takes around 01H20, the return to Fairbanks takes the rest of the time, almost 11H00 for a 250 miles trip, including four stops on the way. On the coach, there are hot drinks and sweets as long as stock lasts, for free.
That's the tour company and the road:
The map, I marked Coldfoot with an arrow:
Ours, a Piper Navajo :
Take off from the runway solely used by charters and small planes at FAI:
Time for refuelling, I think:
Dalton Highway and the pipeline:
That's the Coldfoot airfield. Open to everyone, there is no staffed control tower. Each pilot has to announce himself via radio, if there is someone else planning to take off or to land, they have to respond. They will auto-control themselves. Simple, efficient!
Some views of our plane:
Alaska Airlines Board Room
Seattle - SEA
Fairbanks - FAI
A very nice flight with AS, and a wonderful sightseeing day in Alaska. Loved everymoment of it! Stay tuned for the next part and thanks for reading!
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