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Hello Seattle! via Spirit [ORD-SEA]

Hello Seattle! via Spirit [ORD-SEA]

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Old Apr 27, 18, 10:27 am
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: ORD, MDW
Programs: Hyatt Gold Passport
Posts: 22
Hello Seattle! via Spirit [ORD-SEA]

Background:
This is my first trip report and I am so excited to write it. I have lurked around flyertalk and a.net for a few years now and always wanted to write a trip report. I have read many trip reports and it always feels like I am jumping in someone else trip and it is a nice mind vacation.

The one missing link that has always prevented me from traveling alone was the inability to check into a hotel, but now since I am 18 that is no longer the case. Most hotels require you to be 21 to check into in the United States, but a significant amount of hotels allow people 18 or older to check in. On Monday, April 16th I was browsing Google Flights like I typically do during my free period in school, looking for a cheap weekend ticket somewhere. I didn't think my parents would let me go, but dreaming is always fun. I always leave the destination empty and look at the map. I saw some pretty good deals then, New York City round trip for about $100 on Spirit, Houston round trip for $109 on United and Los Angeles round trip for about $200. I kept these possibilities in my head as I went from class to class later in the day. On Monday afternoon after I got back from school I opened up my computer again too see the prices shoot up. I don't remember all the new prices but I do remember that Houston round trip went up to over $1000. I thought I wasn't going to be going anywhere, because Houston was my first choice at the time and it became unaffordable. The criteria for the trip were, good flight prices, good hotel price, and a good public transit system. Without a car I would be solely reliant on public transit. Los Angeles would not work because I wouldn't be able to get around without a car. On Tuesday morning, as I am waiting outside my first class of the day I open up Google Flights on my phone, looking around some more. I then found my match! I found a round trip ticket to Seattle from Chicago O'Hare for only $174 only three days in advance. I look at the carrier, and it's Spirit. Not my first choice, but as I have never flown them before I was excited to try them. I hoped the rest of the of the day the price would not go up. As soon as I got home I told my dad about it, he said we will talk about it when he was done working for the day. I did not have high expectations, because I have pondered doing something similar to this before, but I thought it was worth a try. I get all the information about the flight and tell it to my dad.

ORD(Chicago O'Hare International Airport) ✈ SEA(Seattle–Tacoma International Airport)
Airline: Spirit Airlines
Flight Number: NK 441
Date: Friday, April 20th 2018.
Departure: 8:25 PM (CDT)
Arrival: 10:43 PM (PDT)

SEA(Seattle–Tacoma International Airport) ✈ ORD(Chicago O'Hare International Airport)
Airline: Spirit Airlines
Flight Number: NK 442
Date: Sunday, April 22th 2018.
Departure: 11:47 PM (PDT)
Arrival: 5:50 AM(CDT) (+1)

My dad said he did not have a problem with it and to talk to my mom. My mom was in another state at the time so I called her and to my surprise she said it was okay as well. My next task was to find a hotel.

I needed to find a hotel that would allow someone 18 years old to check in. I wanted something by the airport, and I did not want to spend too much money. I needed to find a hotel that had a shuttle from the airport so I did not have to pay to get there. I also needed free breakfast and free wifi and the ability to easily get to downtown Seattle via public transit. After some searching I found the what I was looking for.

Hotel Name: Holiday Inn Express & Suites Seattle-Sea-Tac Airport
Address: 19621 International Blvd, SeaTac, WA 98188
Room Type: 2 Queen Beds Nonsmoking
Daily Rate: $85.50
Total Taxes: $25.20
Total Price: $196.20

After I found everything I punched my credit card in and booked my flight and hotel. I was so excited. Now that I had everything I needed to find what to do. I decided to make a spreadsheet of all my plans and that is how I organized my itenary.

Here is the link to my itinerary on Google Sheets. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...it?usp=sharing.

The next day, Thursday, after school I packed my single allowed bag, a maximum of 18" x 14" x 8".

Spirit Airlines only allows a bag that fits under your seat in the fare. Their pricing model is to unbundle everything you would typically get from a traditional airline like United or American. If you want to learn more about this, check out the Spirit 101 part of their website at spirit.com/Spirit101 When I say nothing is free on Spirit besides the flight itself I mean it. If you want a bag to go in the overhead bin that is an extra charge. That worked out great for me because on the last day, Sunday, after I checked out of the hotel I had to carry all my stuff with me. If I had a suitcase it would not work. Spirit will charge you various amounts of money depending on when you decide to pay for your extra bag.



I like how Spirit calls their seating “cozy” more on that later.

Friday 4/20:
Friday I did not go to school because it was 4/20 and it was ditch day. I decided to sleep in till about 1 pm. I watched some stuff on my computer until it was time to go. It was at this time that I learned that Avicii died. So I downloaded a bunch of his music onto my phone on Spotify so I could listen to it on the plane since there is no WiFi. They do have a crossword on the bottom of your boarding pass if you choose to print it out though.



Since my flight left at 8:25 PM my dad decided that we should drive to the airport at 4:45 PM. Once on the highway my dad asked me to double check that I had my drivers licence in my pocket, and sure enough I did NOT. So we went back to the house to grab it. I thought it was on my desk. And sure enough it was NOT. I start freaking out and take the cushions out of the couch because that was where I booked my flight and maybe it fell out of my wallet there. Nope. I never end up finding it at home so I grabbed my passport, since that works.

Once on the highway for the second time my dad and I almost immediately run into bumper to bumper traffic. After what seemed like 10 hours, but was actually about 45 minutes we get to O’Hare Terminal 3, where Spirit flies out of.



I get in line for security and it was the fastest TSA line I was ever in. After no more than 5 minutes I was out of security.



I didn’t have much to do since it was like 6 PM so I decided to walk around the airport and look out the windows.

I saw multiple 787's at ORD. I think they are becoming a 787 base as the 767's are being retired.


OneWorld livery.


Business as usual at ORD, lot's of RJ's and 737's.


Three largest carriers at ORD all in one picture.


I know most of you probably think the Spirit livery is ugly, I kind of like it. It fits their brand very well.


I will see a lot more of you at SEA!


Finnair.


I saw letters being unloaded off a plane. I knew that commercial airlines transported mail, but I didn’t know that they transported letters. I will have to research this more because it is of interest to me.



I then got hungry and got some McDonald’s, but their cup sizes are a joke. Their medium is the size of a regular large, plus the items are more expensive.


On my way back to the gate from McDonalds I see someone getting arrested.


I make my way back to the gate, L3 to sit down and wait. There is a Virgin America plane at the gate leaving and I see someone climb out of the cockpit it was kind of weird.



At 7:25 the plane rolls into the gate. As soon as everybody gets off the plane we start to board it. I don’t think they have much time to clean it.



When I get on the plane I see for my first time how crappy the seats truly are. Or how Spirit likes to call them “Extra Cozy”. I had the window seat. Once everybody boarded everyone on the plane all realized how many empty seats there were. I tried changing into one of the empty seats but they said we had to change seats after take off and I had to stay where I was due to balance. Ok, whatever. We push out of the gate 10 minutes early and begin to go to the runway. Twenty minutes of taxing to the runway later, we take off to Seattle! Once we take off I change my seats so I could have more room.

This is where I was sitting. And I show where I moved to.


After struggling to find a comfy way to sleep. I found a somewhat comfortable way to sleep. I used the aisle seat armrest to hold up my bag which I used as a pillow. I then put my feet up on the side of the airplane. I know it’s rude to put your feet on furniture or to touch the walls with your feet. But is it rude to do it on an airplane?



Three hours and 15 minutes later the captain says something and I can’t make it out what he said. So I ask the flight attendant walking by what he said, thinking that it might be that we will be landing soon. The flight attendant says, word for word, “if you have to pee go now”. So I take that queue and use the bathroom. When I get back to my seat I put my bag back under my seat and look out the window because I can start to see the Pacific Northwest. Now this is the time where you plug in your headphones and listen to some Owl City. The name of this post came from the song Hello Seattle.
!



Once we land in the airport I go on Facebook live. I decided to convert the Facebook live video to jpg photos by frame so I can take out some photos and put them here. I forgot to save the photos locally so sorry for the pixelated photos.



As we taxi into the airport I see a lot of Alaska Airlines planes. I have never seen so many in my life. Turns out Seattle is the main hub for Alaska. I have never tried them, I would like to compare it with American Airlines. Their product seems almost identical. Does anyone have any direct comparisons?





If you notice on your right you will see a terminal building under construction. That is my first glimpse of construction in Seattle. There is a lot of construction going on in Seattle with it’s tunnel construction. Which is kind of like a mini Big Dig project. The Big Dig was a project in Boston that took an interstate that was routed using a big bridge over the city and put it under the city using a tunnel among many other side projects. Also many skyscrapers are going up, Amazon is a big contributor to this.



We finally pull into our gate. Spirit uses gates with the other “random” airlines. Like Virgin America, Frontier, and Jetblue. There was a Virgin America plane using the gate at O’Hare that this flight left out of too. I wonder how that will work with Virgin America and Alaska merging.




Below is my drowsy face after some crappy sleep on a four hour flight. I did have one rudish flight attendant her name was Sam. Funny enough she was on my returning flight too. She was just kind of snappy that’s all.



Here’s me on the livestream bragging on how I lost my drivers licence and how I had to use my passport. There's more to that story later.



I am pretty close to the front of the plane so it doesn’t take long for me to get off. Also with so few carry on bags unboarding doesn’t take long. Off the plane and onto the jet bridge. I was impressed, on time departure from Chicago and early arrival into Seattle Spirit! So far 1/1 in my book!



Here is the FlightAware data.



Into the airport proper. Interestingly enough this is the same gate I boarded NK442, my returning flight from. The route for the airplane is LGA-FLL-CUN-DFW-ORD-SEA-ORD. Meaning the airplane that flies the route from Chicago to Seattle is scheduled to go from New York to Ft Lauderdale to Cancun to Dallas to Chicago to Seattle back to Chicago all in one day. So when I departed Seattle two days later the plane was flying the same flight right before it.



Here’s people waiting to fly to Chicago! That will be me in two days.



There’s the gate. D6. Actually that was the gate in front of our gate.



To my right is a Chill’s. I think every airport has that. There also is a Seattle’s Best Coffee too. My first indication that I am in Seattle. Did you know that Seattle’s Best Coffee is owned by Starbucks, it’s just maintained as a separate inferior brand. The inferior brand is for Spirit passangers. The Starbucks is in the concourse with the Alaska Airlines. Now I still got to get my ORCA card and my hotel shuttle bus.



I stop to ask someone and he points me in the right direction. (I think…)



I start to go in the right direction (I think). This turned into a long walk.



I followed the signs like the guy said.


I meet this guy at the map who turns out to be very helpful in finding my way around the airport. I ask him if he knows the airport and he says, “I know, but I forget”.


We get confused because on the map it lists two different trains.


I decided that I will just follow him because he seems to know what he was doing. He tells me that he used to study in Seattle, but he works in Chicago. Turns out he was on the same flight as me.


We get to the train. And I almost board it, but then I realize it was that it wasn’t the right way to get to the city train. I then realize you have to follow the people getting off the train.


I go up this escalator which ultimately takes me to where the baggage claim is.


As you see I had to walk all the way around the concourse and find the small exit. Not very intuitive. Then I had to go up the escalator.


Then I have to walk out the terminal through a skybridge through the parking garage over another bridge that finally takes me to the light rail station so I can get an ORCA card.


This is where my adventure with this guy ends. Kinda sad, he was really nice. I wish I got his name. Now to go over the first bridge which takes you above where some of the transportation picks you up.




Once I get out of the bridge I am in the parking garage.



I did see a nice car in the parking garage.



Going into the second bridge.


I see this golf cart that says free shuttle to the link light rails station. I see a guy and ask if that was his truck. He said yes, turns out he was driving the garbage collection truck not the shuttle one. Guess that means I have to walk



Then I have to go through this quarter mile bridge to the rail station.



Over another bridge… I feel like this is Dora.


Finally at the train station.



As you see right now I am on the other side of where ground transportation from the airport is. I think this airport consciously tried to make sure pedestrian traffic is kept far away from road traffic.




I finally get to the machine to purchase an ORCA card.


Initially I was having trouble using the machine. But I figured it out. Some guy walking by comes up to me and says “The machine is stupid” lol.


I finally got the card.


Now to begin the quarter mile walk back to the parking garage so I can catch the shuttle to the hotel.


At least the inside of the bridge was pretty. I like the color scheme.




As you see I was above where I needed to be.


They do have a nice waiting area that probably does a nice job shielding you from rain when it happens. I wish they had a waiting area this nice at Chicago.


They did have some nice motorcycles in the parking garage.



I get off the elevator one level below for the hotel shuttle.


Next I have to get downstairs to the third level of the parking garage to find either Island 1 or 3 to pick up my hotel shuttle.


Sorry I don’t have any more pictures for Friday, I just went picked up my shuttle and went to the hotel. The shuttle driver was nice and the lady at the front desk for the Holiday Inn was nice too. I hope to get the next parts up as soon as possible. Follow along!


Here is one teaser though!


Follow along. Questions and comments highly appreciated.
yonikasz is offline  
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Old Apr 27, 18, 3:48 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Arlington, VA USA
Posts: 121
This is great stuff and reminds me of the first non-parent trip I took at 18 some 51 years ago. Your spreadsheet is amazing.

For two years after I got my driver's license in 1964, I slept with it under my pillow at night and kept checking my rear pocket during the day to make sure it was still there. Ditto for my passport when I got it in 1970.

I look forward to the rest of the report and to many more from you.
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Old Apr 29, 18, 4:03 am
  #3  
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Germany
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Not only that I never flow with Spirit in my life, I didn´t even hear about it. Had to laugh about the Luxury Leather
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Old Apr 29, 18, 1:44 pm
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: SEA
Programs: Skymiles Plat/1MM, United Prem, Marriott Silver, HH Gold
Posts: 310
Nice job on the TR and hope you enjoy your visit out here. Had to smile at the “wandering around SeaTac” comments - I take for granted how to get around.
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Old Apr 30, 18, 10:56 am
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Chicago, but my mind is on vacation in SE Asia.
Programs: Price wins over loyalty.
Posts: 621
Really enjoyed something refreshing on here.

Shame you didn't ramp board at ORD!
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Old Apr 30, 18, 3:10 pm
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Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: SNA/LAX, PHL
Programs: AA Gold, AS MVP, WN A-List, Hilton Gold, Hyatt Exp, Hertz PC
Posts: 449
Many members here already had ExPlat by the time they turned 18. I'm no where near them but flew enough to hold status with two separate airlines.

Good job and keep flying kiddo
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Old Apr 30, 18, 3:18 pm
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Indianapolis, IN USA
Posts: 1,974
Nice to see a trip report re: Spirit Airlines - it is a rare sight on FT.
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Old Apr 30, 18, 3:29 pm
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Let me check my Logbook
Programs: Southwest Rapid Rewards; AAdvantage; Alaska Mileage Plan; Wyndham Rewards; Choice Hotels
Posts: 1,660
Welcome to FT...

...and thanks for the Trip Report. Looking forward to seeing the rest.
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Old May 1, 18, 3:10 am
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: YUL
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Posts: 5,411
As someone who joined FT at 13, it’s always good to see fellow young people who love flying! Great TR.
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Old May 1, 18, 11:31 am
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Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 164
I like these kinds of trip reports. This is how I travel. So many of the trip reports here are about first class LAX-HKG flights or something similar, and chilling in the first class lounges between flights.

While I enjoy reading those too, they are not something to which I can relate. Spirit Airlines? Yeah that's my language! I'm the kind of guy that bops around SEA (South East Asia, not Seattle!) on AirAsia, paying $3 for my rice dinner and soda.

My first solo trip was when I was 20 years old. You have me beat by a couple years. I had flown several times before that, with my first flight when I was 15. Since that time, I have been on well over 300 commercial flights. I have loved every minute of every flight!
enviroian and BThumme like this.

Last edited by g289t; May 1, 18 at 11:39 am
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Old May 2, 18, 10:09 pm
  #11  
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Part 2!! Boeing Tour!!

I can't figure out how to edit the spots I reserved so I will just post part 2 here.

Hello! And welcome to part two of this t̶h̶r̶e̶e̶ five part series. If you like airplanes you will enjoy this part of the trip so let’s get into it!

My day starts at o dark 30, I mean at about 5:15 in the morning. You know that feeling when you wake up and you realize your not at home, but your on vacation. I had that feeling. It’s great! I wake up, change my clothes, get my stuff in order. I made sure I had my tickets to the Boeing Factory, and Google Map print outs for the trip to there because it was a pain to get there on public transit.

At about 5:25 after I brush my teeth and grab all my stuff, I go downstairs for breakfast.

The vanity served its purpose.

Right outside my room was construction. I think that is how I got such a cheap rate on my room relative to the other hotels. The construction did not make any noise. At least none at night. So it was fine.


I took a walk to the elevator. The halls were fine. Not dirty, nothing special.

As you see I was on the top floor. I was on floor 5. I forget my room number. The room did not have any views.

The elevator was fine. Again, not dirty, but nothing fancy or special.

This is the part that got me confused. What’s the difference between L and M?

Well I got off on “M” and turns out that was “Mezanee” because it was like this little floor in between the ground floor and floor 2. So I had to walk down two small flights of stairs to breakfast. Again no big deal.

The eating area was quite nice. The furniture was very comfortable. Not too cold either. That is something I see often in hotels.

I walked into the breakfast area and immediately noticed there were newspapers. I grabbed one. Too bad it wasn’t the Wall Street Journal though.

I went to the pancake machine. This is a staple at Holiday Inn’s alright. And it sucks. Okay. Why can’t they be like every other hotel and have waffle irons? I like to put a crap ton of syrup on and the pancakes get too mushy. The waffles can absorb all that liquid.

They had some toppings. I would prefer if they were in their own bottles instead of using the little packages. Guess I have to go the Embassy Suites for that.

Speaking of hotels I looked up the difference between Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express. Holiday Inn is a “full service” hotel while a Holiday Inn Express is a “limited service” hotel. I don’t know how much service you are getting at a Holiday Inn anyways, but my guess that is they would have restaurants. I actually do not like this and would rather have a breakfast area, no matter how poor it is because if there's a restaurant in the hotel their typically isn't’ free breakfast. Two exceptions to this are Hyatt Place, they have Starbucks including the food you can buy during the day and a bar at night. But they also have free breakfast. The Starbucks coffee is not free during the morning. They serve Seattle’s Best Coffee for free in the morning. Also Embassy Suites has a great free breakfast and a restaurant sometimes multiple. The Embassy Suites I was in had an omelet station with an actual guy making omelets for you the way you ask. When I go to International Hotel Group’s (IHG), the company who owns the Holiday Inn brand among many others, website it says two different things for Holiday Inn (HI) and Holiday Inn Express (HIX). For HI it says “Joy of travel for all” and for HIX it says “Simple, smart travel”. I think that is how they differentiate their brands. If anyone has any more information I would be interested to know. I think the most important thing is the age of the building. That information you would be able to know from calling the hotel.

The presentation was nothing special. It was on paper plates.

Here is a picture of the pancake machine in action.

They also have a toaster for assorted breads like bagels. The bagels were very small. Included were toppings too. Again, packaged.


They had milk but no chocolate milk. The only place I saw chocolate milk at a hotel was at a Clarion Inn & Suites. Has anyone seen chocolate milk anywhere else?


They also had some cereal. They didn’t have the sugary cereal I like so I didn’t eat any.

Before I ate breakfast I grabbed a bunch of muffins for later. I used the fridge in the hotel room which kept them from becoming stale. I was then able to have a nice midnight snack/poor man’s dinner when I got back to the hotel room that night.

After I got back from my room putting everything the muffins in the fridge I went back down and ate my breakfast. The breakfast was okay. I didn’t like the pancakes much, but they were alright. Funny enough as I sat down I felt something poking me in my pocket. So I go in my pocket and guess what I find? I find my driver’s licence that I was freaking out about the day before. I get my directions in order and leave for the Boeing Factory. To get there would take two buses and a train.

For the whole map of the journey the link is here:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1rfG...ew?usp=sharing

For reference here is my hotel from the Angel Lake Link Station. Circled in blue is my hotel and circled in red is the light rail station. The train station and hotel are oddly close to a federal prison circled in black.

The station itself is very new, it opened in September of 2016. The station is elevated so there are escalators and an elevator to take you up to the top. The payment system is interesting. There are no turnstiles. You just tap your card and it is on the honor system. They do say there is fare enforcement officers on the trains that have a magnetic reader to see if your card was actually tapped by the machine, but I never saw any.

The station also has a park and ride. The garage has some interesting architecture around it.

I actually got on an earlier train than necessary, but it was fine. The train itself is pretty nice too, with the whole system being new.

My journey on the line is to the Chinatown/International Station. Highlighted in yellow is my beginning starting and my terminous.



Once on the train I did see some cool views. The Pacific Northwest is really beautiful. I love the trees.




The line itself has some pretty art in the industrial district.









I finally get into the Chinatown/International Station. I saw a bunch off advertisements for flights to Korea and China there. There was some nice visual art inside of the station.




Once I walk up those stairs this is where I am. Circled in blue is where the station is, and in black is where the bus stop is. It’s just around the corner.



If you notice the Target truck is half size because a full size trailer can not fit in the loading dock. I went to that Target on the second day. Nice view of Safeco Field too. On the tour I heard the the naming rights are up for renewal and that Safeco is not renewing it.






I also saw these bikes.



Finally my bus was came!



The busses themself for those who care are Alexander Dennis Enviro500’s. They are fairly new as well, just like the light rail. There has been recently a series of three ballot measures proposing the expansion of the Seattle public transit system. The first measure was in 1995, the second in 2007, and the most recent in 2016. For more information: Sound Transit 3 and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_Transit_3.

My route was the 512. The route starts from 4th and Jackson and goes to Everett station. I was only going to the Lynnwood Transit center where I would connect to another bus. That part worried me because the connection time was really tight.



If you want more information on the route click here.

https://www.communitytransit.org/doc...2.pdf?sfvrsn=2

I know this link will die eventually, but I think that by that time the schedule will probably be changed.

The bus that I had to connect to left at 7:44. If I did not make that bus it would mess up my Boeing Tour that I already pre paid for. They are really strict about getting there ahead of time.

The stops 4th & Jackson and 4th & Pike are regular street side bus stops. After that we got on the freeway and they use a version of bus rapid transit (BRT) for special stations that people can board onto the bus directly on the highway.

The NE 45th Freeway Station is directly off the highway exit. The bus gets right off into its own lane that has traffic signal priority and then gets right onto the highway. I was worried when the bus got off the highway that it would take a long time with traffic. It only took a minute.




But more interesting that that was the NE 145th Freeway Station. This station is right off the highway, but the difference here is that the bus takes its own ramp to its own lane where there is a bus stop. Then the bus gets right back on the highway.



At this time the bus started to run late, even with the BRT. I am starting to get worried with my connection.

The Mountlake Terrace Transit Center is even cooler. There is basically a bus station in the middle of the highway.



This bridge connects the bus station to a pedestrian entrance. There is also another side of the highway on the other side of this bus station.



For more information https://www.theurbanist.org/2016/11/...nk-light-rail/

By this time I started getting worried. There was no way the bus was getting there on time.

Finally we pull into the Lynwood Transit center at 7:44 the same time the bus I was supposed to connect to leaves. Since I am on the second floor of the bus as the bus was pulling in I walk down the stairs and go to wait by the door. The bus driver tells me not to do that and that I am not allowed to move while the bus is moving. I feel like yelling at him and say “Well don’t be late than”. But I held it in and just said sorry. Once the bus stops I bolt towards the bus I am connecting to and I see him start to pull away. I yell really loudly and tell him to stop. Luckly… he stops and let’s me on. Phewwww. My heart skipped a few beats there.

This bus was not a double decker just a regular bus. It took me to where I had to go to the Boeing Factory. The bus route is route 113 this was the route I also took on the way back.

Route 113 https://www.communitytransit.org/bus...ules/route/113

Here is a map. I got on the bus at point 5 by the transit center and I got off near Paine Field.


My plan for the way back was since the Boeing tour ended at 1030 and this bus came at 10:46 was to dart out of the tour as soon as it was over to take an Uber from the Boeing factory to the bus and meet the bus. Or have the car follow the bus until it stopped. I ended up not doing this and just waiting another hour for the next bus.

The bus trip to the Boeing Factory did not take too long, and it started to run early because many of the stops did not have anyone at them. I got off at Hwy 525 & 84th St SW.

This was my walk.



Basically where I got off was a very suburban area. I had to walk up this very steep hill.







The Future of Flight sign.


While the Boeing factory is in Everett, WA The Future of Flight tour actually starts in Mukilteo, WA. You then take a bus from there to the Boeing Factory. A matter of feet. But then you are in Everett.

It’s kind of hard to make out, but in the background you can see the Dreamlifter. The dreamlifter is a specially modified 747 used to ship parts for the 787.



You can see the planes in the background.





The museum is on the right.





As you see I got there a few minutes before the doors opened. I was there for the first tour at 9AM.



Because the doors were not open I decided to get a better look of the planes.





If I recall those are some 747-800’s back there on the top left.



On the right were a bunch of 787’s. On the tour when we drove by there the guide said right here is $7,000,000,000 worth of product. Yes $7 billion.



In production that day I saw a 767 Freighter for FedEx, a 747-8 for UPS, another 767 ariel refueling tanker for the US Air Navy or Air Force I forget, a 787 for British Airways, another 787 for El Al, and two others I forgot. The 747s and the 767’s are not on a production line as much as the 787s are. The 787’s are done on lean production and they get the main subsections there and join them. This plant was just for the widebodies, 747, 767, 777, and 787. The narrow bodies are made elsewhere. I couldn’t see who’s 777 was in production because it was on the other side.

Unfortunately I could not bring any cameras they were extremely, extremely strict on this. When you buy the ticket they tell you, when you walk in they tell you, when you line up to go see the movie they tell you, when you get to the front of the line at the movie to scan your ticket they tell you, after the intro starts and before the 1st of two movies they tell you, between the first and second movie they tell you, after the second movie they tell you. Before you board the bus they tell you. This time it’s a final warning with an armed guard saying that if you have your phone give it to me now or else if seen on the tour it will be confiscated and taken for evidence in an investigation. And one more time on the bus they tell you just for extra measure.

All these pictures were taken behind the fence with my Samsung Galaxy S8+. Actually it’s frames from a Facebook live video. Unfortunately these are all the photos I got. I wish I had a camera with better zoom. Not only do I not own one, but even if I had one I don’t know if I would have enough space in my single personal item allowed on my Spirit Airlines flight.





This over here is the largest building in the world by volume.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_Everett_Factory



The door finally opens and since I had already purchased my ticket online I run in to use the restrooms because I have been holding it in since I got there. The restrooms were very clean. Also inside is a museum of sorts, I didn’t look at much there and a gift shop. They had some replica glass and model planes. They also had some hats and shirts, and a Boeing High-Viz winter coat for $99. And then regular gift shop crap like slinkies and bouncy balls.





On the tour they took us on a bus to the 747/767 factory first. There are these really long tunnels that you take and then you take an elevator up to a tour balcony. You go up there and there are some signs of stuff and then you see below the 747 and 767. The 747 I saw was for UPS. After that we got back on the bus and went to the 787 production facility. That was different because that was on an assembly line unlike the rest of the planes. After that we got back on the bus and went back to the tour center. The tour was really fun but I wish I could see more. I understand the security restrictions though. The tour guides name was Peter. He was very very enthusiastic about his job. He was actually a former high school teacher so that was cool coming from a high school kid. On the way back we saw where they test the GE 90 engines for the 777. That is by the highway. They have this special ring shaped thing that dissipates the air into the atmosphere, if the engine was blown at the highway at full thrust it would blow cars off the highway. At the very end of the bus ride Peter said next time you book a flight ask your travel agent what type of plane you will be flying and say “If it’s not Boeing, I’m not going” Well first of all Peter, who uses travel agents anymore. Also I flew on an Airbus A321 to get here. If I were to fly Boeing on Alaska, Delta, American, or United I would pay a lot more. Damn though I got my options. I could have picked from five different airlines to get here. If I were willing to go to Midway I could have flown Southwest too. Man I really do have my options on this route! Six different airlines!

Once back at the Future of Flight center I left and was hungry and did not want to pay for food at the cafeteria. So I went to the adjacent Hilton Garden Inn and had a second breakfast.



The hotel itself was nice. I like the added touch to the waffle machine where the Waffle had the Hilton Garden Inn logo inside of it. Basically I guess they had the waffle template custom made so the center had their logo inside of it.






Okay so it looks like this is gonna have to end it for part two. I know I said it was going to be in three parts put it looks like it will be at least five maybe even six. That might be a good or bad thing depending on what you like. Thanks for following along with me on my adventures! Part three was my favorite part of the trip so stay tuned for some bicycle action!!

Here's a teaser!



Comments are highly appreciated! I loved the comment from the who travels around Asia!

Originally Posted by g289t View Post
I like these kinds of trip reports. This is how I travel. So many of the trip reports here are about first class LAX-HKG flights or something similar, and chilling in the first class lounges between flights.

While I enjoy reading those too, they are not something to which I can relate. Spirit Airlines? Yeah that's my language! I'm the kind of guy that bops around SEA (South East Asia, not Seattle!) on AirAsia, paying $3 for my rice dinner and soda.

My first solo trip was when I was 20 years old. You have me beat by a couple years. I had flown several times before that, with my first flight when I was 15. Since that time, I have been on well over 300 commercial flights. I have loved every minute of every flight!
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Old May 3, 18, 1:04 pm
  #12  
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: ORD, MDW
Programs: Hyatt Gold Passport
Posts: 22
Thank you!

Originally Posted by Glensea View Post
This is great stuff and reminds me of the first non-parent trip I took at 18 some 51 years ago. Your spreadsheet is amazing.

For two years after I got my driver's license in 1964, I slept with it under my pillow at night and kept checking my rear pocket during the day to make sure it was still there. Ditto for my passport when I got it in 1970.

I look forward to the rest of the report and to many more from you.
Thanks for reading. Damn, I didn't expect my elders to be reading this. Thanks for following along! I actually got my drivers licences at 17 not 16 which is the youngest I could get it. I booked the hotel room 7 months after I turned 18.

Originally Posted by offerendum View Post
Not only that I never flow with Spirit in my life, I didn´t even hear about it. Had to laugh about the Luxury Leather
Yah, they are brutally honest about their fare structure though. I can't blame them.

Originally Posted by lb8001 View Post
Nice job on the TR and hope you enjoy your visit out here. Had to smile at the “wandering around SeaTac” comments - I take for granted how to get around.

Does everybody have a hard time navigating SeaTac? I thought that was just me.

Originally Posted by thetravelingRedhead View Post
Really enjoyed something refreshing on here.

Shame you didn't ramp board at ORD!
I was hoping I would. Maybe because it was an A321?

Originally Posted by jacobguo View Post
Many members here already had ExPlat by the time they turned 18. I'm no where near them but flew enough to hold status with two separate airlines.

Good job and keep flying kiddo
Can't get enough of flying. I hope to travel more with Spirit and cheap fares. I am going to KCI in July via ATL on Atlanta. Look forward to a TR on that.

Originally Posted by bowdenj View Post
Nice to see a trip report re: Spirit Airlines - it is a rare sight on FT.
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I don't have status/money to fly business or first. I want to show how I do it.

Originally Posted by Loose Cannon View Post
...and thanks for the Trip Report. Looking forward to seeing the rest.
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Not a problem! This is the most rewarding part of writing them. Seeing people's responses.

Originally Posted by dinoscool3 View Post
As someone who joined FT at 13, it’s always good to see fellow young people who love flying! Great TR.

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Will do! Thanks!

Originally Posted by g289t View Post
I like these kinds of trip reports. This is how I travel. So many of the trip reports here are about first class LAX-HKG flights or something similar, and chilling in the first class lounges between flights.

While I enjoy reading those too, they are not something to which I can relate. Spirit Airlines? Yeah that's my language! I'm the kind of guy that bops around SEA (South East Asia, not Seattle!) on AirAsia, paying $3 for my rice dinner and soda.

My first solo trip was when I was 20 years old. You have me beat by a couple years. I had flown several times before that, with my first flight when I was 15. Since that time, I have been on well over 300 commercial flights. I have loved every minute of every flight!
​​​​​​​
I love this reply! I agree 100%. My solo flight was probably 15 but not a solo trip. People met me on both ends. Spirit is different, no IFE so it's just you and the sky.


Thank you everybody for the replies. If you want to see anything in particular let me know!!
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Old May 4, 18, 7:58 am
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Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 164
Originally Posted by yonikasz View Post
My solo flight was probably 15 but not a solo trip. People met me on both ends. Spirit is different, no IFE so it's just you and the sky.
My children have been flying as UMs for a long time, because their grandparents live in another state. My oldest son is now 14, and he can't wait until he's 15 so he can fly alone. He said that the first time he does it, I'm to drop him off at the curb and say "See ya!"
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