My Airport History: Seattle/Tacoma (SEA)


SeaTac holds the distinction for me of being the only airport involved in every Northwest Airlines and Alaska Airlines flight I’ve flown, though it’s not terribly surprising given Alaska’s hub and Northwest’s former presence.

SeaTac is also one of the airports I’ve been to that’s only been used for personal trips (to date) – I’ve never had a work trip through the airport. Beyond the trip described in last week’s post, my remaining four trips were to attend PAX Prime – one time on the way back from a Hawaiian vacation.

My Airport History: Indianapolis (IND)

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At two hours’ drive away from me, IND is an infrequent but feasible alternate airport for me. Generally, I’ll only bother to go that far if I can get a particularly good or cheap flight, or if I’m already planning to be in the area.

My first trip through Indianapolis was a visit to Seattle with some Columbus friends; IND had a direct flight to SEA on Northwest at the time. My friends got a ride out to Dayton to meet me and we all drove together to Indianapolis. The plan for the return trip was to land at IND at about 7:30 PM, drive my friends from Indy to Columbus (about a 3 hour drive east on I-70) and then double back to return to the Dayton area (an hour and 15 minutes west). In retrospect, a direct flight probably wasn’t worth that drive…

…especially when the flight is six hours late. We didn’t land until 1:30 AM, and hadn’t had dinner yet. A hotel wasn’t an option, according to one of the friends, as he had to be at work the next day, so we stopped at a Steak-n-Shake for a 2:00 AM dinner, and (with several gas station coffee breaks along the way) proceeded to drive to Columbus. The sun was rising by the time I dropped them off, and I turned around, getting back home just before 8.

Or 7:58, to be precise.
Or 7:58, to be precise.

By the time I had my next couple trips through the airport, IND had opened its new midfield terminal. Both of these trips were for work, where I was planning to be in Indianapolis the weekend before or after anyway; even with the extra mileage, flying out of IND was in each case far cheaper than flying out of DAY.

Indianapolis was one of the first airports which conducted TSA PreCheck interviews, and thus was where I conducted my interview.

My Airport History: San Francisco (SFO)

Back in high school, I’d flown out on my uncle’s frequent flier miles to visit Stanford (before ultimately deciding to stay in the Midwest and attend Rose-Hulman instead). This trip was intended to be DAYCVG–SFO–CVG–DAY, invoking the nearly unnecessary Comair-operated DAY–CVG segment (at 64 miles apart, it’s faster to just drive to CVG than take the layover). However, while I was out in the Bay Area, Comair pilots went on strike, and my returning CVG–DAY segment was cancelled. My rescheduled return flight ended up being SJC–ATL–DAY instead (so I only got one visit to SFO on that trip), but Delta bumped me up to first class for the trouble.

That wasn’t the only trip where I arrived in and departed from different Bay Area airports; my 2009 San José and Dallas trip had me flying into SJC and out of SFO.

My Airport History: Cincinnati (CVG)

I live in Beavercreek, Ohio – a suburb of Dayton. So while my logical airport is Dayton, I can get to Cincinnati or Columbus’s airports in a bit over 75 minutes each (or even Indianapolis in two hours), and it’s often worth doing so for a better price or better flight.

For whatever reason, Cincinnati does seem to be the airport that I take the majority of my trips to the Bay Area from, and my first two recorded trips were to visit Stanford when I was looking at colleges in high school, and to visit family on the winter break of my freshman year of college.

It took almost seven years before I flew through CVG again, this time for a wedding in Georgia. CVG has been a hub for Delta in the past, and they’re still the largest presence there; at the time of my Georgia trip, then, they operated out of Terminal 3, while every other airline operated out of the crowded, old, and generally unpleasant Terminal 2. That terminal became my experience with CVG for a while, as I rarely fly Delta.

With Delta’s shrinking operations at CVG, all airlines are now operated out of the much nicer (and more recently updated) Terminal 3; while I haven’t had a flight there since 2012, I’m now looking forward to flying out of there again on any airline.