After winding my way fairly slowly from the downtown core out into the suburbs north of the city to the airport it was a stark contrast to living back west. The area was just flat, way flat. I would of loved to of gotten a chance to go out running in warmer weather here as I am sure I could get some decent times on the flat ground. I stopped to fill the car and in the process while doing so I tried ever so hard not to fall over and kill myself in the gas station car park as it was covered in ice and snow. Add on some gasoline and you have a lovely slushy mixture of slipperiness. I was going to miss this city, it wasn't at all as bleak or as desolate as I expected. The people were great and the city itself was a unique twist of old and new. I had to come back.
I dropped the car off at the rental lot, waving bye bye to another awesome 300C experience. I was going to miss being National Executive, I was considering buying the membership for $50, as it did feel worth it. Right after dropping off the car and making my way back inside into the warmth, the shuttle was boarding full of people so I had barely stopped for a few moments before I was on my way again. Back to the terminal and starting to begin my journey home. Kansas City airport is made up of 3 horseshoe shaped terminals and I was heading to a terminal that was shared with Delta, Alaska & Southwest. Stupidly I got off at the wrong end and had to walk the entire horse shoe, all the way to the other end where Alaska was right next to Delta. I was on the hunt for a good place to leave behind an AirlineReporter sticker so had a few spaces in mind.
I checked in pretty quickly and was handed a boarding pass and pointed towards security. While the terminals were fairly small it meant that once you clear security there really isn't that much at all. I had not even thought about the half bottle of water I had in my bag when I got into the security line... rookie mistake! It took a good 10 minutes to get through the security check point. Not that there was many people ahead of me (about 5) but that they just took forever! Why is it when I am in the midwest I get stuck at security. But then I got myself stuck because I forgot to empty my water bottle. Even bigger rookie mistake!
So I took my walk of shame after the security agent (not the TSA) brought my water bottle back to me empty, although he pointed me towards where I could fill it up (funnily enough right where he just emptied it). I went towards the gate and then a very familiar accent started making annoucements to gate check bags free of charge. Figuring that I could now offload some stuff for free and dodge a bag fee, well... who was I to say no to that! So I gate checked my bag and turns out the Delta agent working the Alaska gate was actually an Aussie from Brisbane (well the Gold Coast really). Totally wierd to run into a fellow Aussie in the middle of no where almost. Both of us a LOOOONG way from home. I settled in with a gate checked bag tag while I moved some stuff around to make sure that I had a light backpack for the flight. I even managed to stash a AR Sticker somewhere in the terminal while I was waiting for my flight.
Alaska Airlines - AS759
Kansas City International to Seattle Tacoma
Boeing 737-800 (N558AS)
Economy Class - Seat 29F
Boarding: 1605 (Gate 59)
Push Back: 1646
Take off Roll: 1710 (Runway 19L)
Top of Descent: 1813
Touch Down: 1836 (Runway 16L)
Shut Down: 1844 (Gate N3)
Boarding was called and it took a while to get through all the different elites that Alaska allows. It seems that by the time they got to my group it was like the entire plane was trying to get on first before me. Ah well didn't matter I wasn't needing overhead bin space, though I wondered as I dropped my bag at the door, with the other gate check bags, if I would ever see it again. As I walked onboard I finally paid attention to the tail and noticed the Flower Lei on the tail which denotes a 737-800 with Etops. Something Alaska did to really promote their hawaii flights. The day before it had been a 900 today an 800. I am totally confused here. As I walked up to my seat, the crew member there looked familiar. It was the same one that worked yesterday, so I said to her "hello again" to which she half recognised me and said "quick trip?". It certainly was! Had a quick chat about the aircraft and the swap and them doing back to back different aircraft different days.
I settled into my seat conducting the usual things, not that many photos as it was pretty crappy looking outside. Then it happened. My seat mate showed up... and she was old, and looked not at all there. That was confirmed moments later when she sat down and started rocking back and forth.... continuously... something that would continue for the entire flight. We were warned by the captain about wanting to get out of there quickly as we had to de ice and that would eat up time obviously. So Alaska doesn't seem to paid their flight schedule they just make everyone board way early.
We deiced and headed for the runway. Waving bye bye to Kansas City as we climbed out through the clouds and the crap below into the sky. I settled in as best I could next to the crazy lady. Thank god for noise cancelling headphones as not only was there crazy lady next to me, but two screaming babies in the rows behind me. I didn't hear a thing though. Ahhh bliss. I declined the snacks on offer instead thinking I will just have a few sodas and relax before getting back and scurrying home. Sadly the crew just ignored me for the drink runs and every time I tried to ask they just kept on walking past me. This happened for every single service during the flight. Why I wasn't offered I have no idea but the crazy lady next to me seemed to be having a hell of a time constantly fidgeting and moving about and several times elbowing me in the ribs.
The one thing that brought a smile to my face was that while she kept fidgeting, the lady next to me kicked her travelling companions beer all over them. I smiled while she went into an overdrive of craziness. I just sat back watched Top Gear and laughed silently and sneakily. It was probably bad of me to be like that but hey, if your going to be an ass on a flight, it is going to come back to you eventually.
We started descent somewhere over lights and I had no idea where we were or what was going on because it was just so dark out. Eventually I think we head north over elliot bay and then right turned right over downtown and onto approach to SeaTac. We landed comfortably and easily and started taxiing to the gate, right back to N3 where it all started the day before. While I sat at the back waiting for the plane to empty out, I was catching up on life via the internet and texting away. By the time I made it off the plane it was a solid 12 minutes after we had pulled up. If this time kept eating up and I beat my bag to the baggage area I could pretty much recoup most of the costs of my flights thanks to baggage delay points... come on delays!
I made it off the train and rocked up at baggage claim with my bag circling the far side to which I just ran around and grabbed it. Damn it! Pretty soon I was heading over to the shuttles and it was already ahead of me just leaving the 1st pick up point. I sprinted after it running the entire length of the pick up points to finally get onboard... I had made it all the way to the shuttle point without getting to cold and I was soon in the warmth of my truck, driving home!