Flying to Seattle next month and have a random question: which side of the plane affords the best views on approach/departure? I guess it all depends how cloudy it is and if it's raining.
I 'get' your random questions! A lot depends on your approach and where you're coming from. If you're coming from the south/east you'll want the left side, you might get to see Mt. St. Helen's, Mt. Rainier, Puget Sound and the Olympic Pennisula. But sometimes the planes will circle over the Sound and land from the north end. Everything worth seeing will be west. Most flights leave heading north, then circle, depending on where you're headed, from my experience. Hope you have a great flight.
Actually, I think both sides have spectacular scenery. If Mt Rainier is on one side, the North Cascades, Glacier Peak, and Mt. Baker will be on the other. If Puget Sound and the Olympics are on one side, the North Cascades will be on the other. Enjoy the views, and enjoy your trip to the Pacific Northwest.
Coming from the South (say SAN, LAX or SFO), the right side is the best. Great views of the cascade peaks all the way from nor. cal, through OR into SEA. On a clear day you'll be treated to spectacular views of Mt. Adams, Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Ranier as you approach SEA.
Coming from the east, it's really a crapshoot and depends on which way you get vectored. I would genreally say the left side is best (views of Mt. Ranier), but both are good.
Coming from Asia, I would say the right side. Nice views of the Olympics, Puget Sound and downtown Seattle. But again, it depends on how you are vectored.
The most consistently good views, based on my hundreds of flights into SEA over the last 20 years, would be on the right side when you are coming up from the South.
As other posters have said, no matter which side you sit on, the views are spectacular. It's why we put up with the grey days eight months out of the year.
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Originally Posted by CherylD
Hi, is left side still preferable when flying in from the east? I will be either flying from MCI(connecting) or ORD(fingers crossed).
Coming in from ORD you'll almost certainly be on an arrival from the north end, so it depends on what you prefer to see. Downtown, Puget Sound, and the north Cascades will be visible out the right side (weather permitting, of course!) while Mt Rainier and the south Cascades will be visible out the left. Boeing Field could be visible out either side, depending on whether you're landing toward the south (left side) or the north (right side as you're vectored down the Kent Valley for the turn back to the airport).
Coming in from DEN or SLC (likely connection points) you could come in from the north but are much more likely to have an approach from the southeast. If landing to the north it's a crapshoot which side of the plane Mt Rainier will be on; if landing to the south it'll probably be on the left. If landing to the north you won't see much of anything else except my house and the south end of Puget Sound, while heading north to make the turn to final let's you see everything from the left.
For others who might be wondering, flights from the south tend to have a straight-in approach if landing to the north, with the same limited views just mentioned (but you get to see a bit more of the south Sound, and possibly Tacoma and Joint Base Lewis-McChord). If landing to the south you'll most likely fly north up the sound and make right-hand turn to base and final. Some flights will still go up the east side, especially those from points more to the east such as RNO, LAS, and PHX.