Saturday, June 21, 2008

Trip Report - Horizon Air Redding-Portland

I realize this is not the most popular route...but my Mom lives -near- Redding, so I often have to fly Seattle-PDX-Redding to see her. The Redding Airport is one of those old tiny California Airports built in the 1940's. It once had 727 United Jet service that went RDD-SMF-SFO, but those are long gone.

Now the airport has a couple Horizon flights and 5 or 6 Skywest flights. All props -- no RJs or Jets.

The airport staff is extremely friendly, including the TSA staff. The Ticket Counter folks are the same ones loading the airplane or working the gate "door" (no jetways here).

My flight started off well, QX was running a bit behind...but nothing more than a coupe minutes. Once we got on-board things went down hill.

The flight crew powered up the props once, then again, then again -- something was not right. Soon the Captain came on the PA to announce "we are getting a warning light and we need Maintenace to come out and check it".



The passengers let out a collective "oh no" for a couple reasons:

- The only mechanic at the airport is probably NOT a QX employee, and its not like there are spare parts located at the Redding Airport
- This is the ONLY flight to Portland for the day -- and it was full
- The current temperature in Redding was climbing to the upper 90s, so the aircraft was going to get "warm" fast.
- Half of the plane was full of continuing passengers from Eureka/Arcata (ACV), so they couldnt exactly go home and come back the next day

The Horizon Agent/Ramper/Station Manager came on the plane to say that they wanted us to stay on-board (GOOD MOVE as it would mean more delays and calling the TSA folks back to the airport), and they will rebook us on later flights out of PDX since it would probably be at least an hour delay.

After an hour, the local mechanic reset some switches (no parts required) and we were off.

The flight to Portland is a nice one as you pass Mount Shasta (below), Crater Lake and other landmarks on the way to PDX.


Not a bad flight, but Horizon seems to be "cutting back" this year on some of the real differences that had made the airline standout from Skywest. Gone are the morning papers, free Starbucks coffee at the gate and the free snacks seem small and very cheap compared to ones in the past.

At least they still offer free Northwest Wine and Beer on board!

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