My mother visited her sister who lives in Everett, WA. Instead of flying into SEATAC she tried out Seattle’s second airport north of Seattle in Everett, WA (Paine Field). She loved it as does nearly everyone.
When My Mother Notices an Airport, It’s Special
My mother is an infrequent flyer, at least in the sense of most of our readership. She clocks a few roundtrips every year between the midwest and southwest Florida but that’s about it. When she starts taking photos of airports, it must be something really special, and Paine Field in Everett is just that.
“When you first come in, they had a greeter that came TO YOU… no waiting to be helped. The food [from an in-airport restaurant] was amazing. There were couches and chairs and fireplaces… it was very, very nice.”
She described the lack of a jetbridge for her flight that instead used outdoor stairs but noted they were covered in the event of rain. I also asked her how full the flights were.
“The flight was 2/3rds full [on departure] because not enough [people are] aware of the airport.”
She chose to take a connection in San Francisco on the outbound, Denver on the return over a direct flight to avoid the traffic and hassle of Seattle.
“It could be two hours [from SEATAC to the north of the city.]”
That’s particularly interesting to me because her connection added the same if not more time when flying through San Francisco on the ground, via the indirect routing and adding a landing, take off and taxi that she could avoid with a direct flight.
Traffic Is Building
Most importantly is not whether people like the woodwork and fireplace but rather whether they will prefer to fly to Everett’s Paine Field. In fact, it’s whether they choose to fly to Everett even when SEATAC is cheaper or more convenient that secondary airports like Everett make their mark.
Flights are operated by Alaska Airlines to seven individual west coast destinations direct adding Denver and San Francisco operated by United (Mesa). The benefit of the airport is not through connecting traffic, it’s for “locals” as my mother described. She adeptly observed that O&D markets will be strongest to and from Everett. I asked her specifically if she would pay more to fly to Paine Field in the future:
“Absolutely. The Uber was less than $20.”
The airport is the quintessential picture of the Pacific Northwest. Rich wood interiors, fireplaces, and a blend of technology make the airport a design marvel. The character and soul of Paine Field extend back before the airport was built (it opened in March) to the storied aviation history. Large viewing windows make for an indoor/outdoor feel, the airport resides on one of Boeing’s factory fields.
My mother loved the “concierge” that expedited the checkin process and felt as though they were there to help her, a contrast for how she has felt at other airports.
Any airport that inspires my mother to take photos is sure to delight frequent and infrequent passengers alike. It looks truly beautiful and I hope that Alaska and United continue to grow their presence at Paine Field.
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