Huge move: United returns to Paine Field in north Seattle

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North Seattleites rejoice! United will begin service to Paine Field, located in Mukilteo, Washington, in the fall of 2018 with six daily flights to Denver and San Francisco hubs. Though the official news release didn’t contain detailed flight information, this is definitely great news for several reasons.

From the news release:

“Bringing new service to Paine Field offers customers more ways to conveniently connect to the country’s largest business and leisure destinations,” said Dave Hilfman, United’s senior vice president of Worldwide Sales. “We know our customers value time and convenience when traveling, and North Seattle and Northwest Washington area travelers will now have easy access to our hubs in Denver and San Francisco and to opportunities to connect to business centers around the world with just one stop.”

“We look forward to welcoming United Airlines to Snohomish County and Paine Field Airport,” said Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers. “We are excited by the opportunities that daily connections to United’s hubs with international service will bring to our community.”

“United and Paine will give Northwest Washington travelers much needed options,” said Brett Smith, CEO of Propeller Airports.  “Offering service at Paine Field continues United’s decades-long economic partnership with Snohomish County, deepening their commitment to creating jobs locally and generating revenue for our communities.”


Avoid Seattle/Bellevue traffic

I lived in Seattle from 2008 to 2011, ultimately surrendering to the overcast blues and moving to Southern California. I really loved Seattle and the door is certainly open for a return. But in recent family visits to Seattle there’s been a major increase in traffic. Seattle’s neighbor Bellevue has become another ‘big city’ just within a half hour from downtown. This has been largely a result of booming technology business, in particular Microsoft. Furthermore, Seattle/Tacoma International airport is located in SeaTac, some 30-40 minutes south of Seattle. As you can imagine, for those whose destination is north of Seattle, having to drive through the Seattle/Bellevue traffic is certainly a hassle. Not quite like driving to L.A. but it’s become quite significant in recent years. With the new service to Payne Field, this is now avoidable with United.


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United remains a player in the Northwest

No other major passenger carrier flies to Payne Field or north Seattle for that matter, giving United a unique offer proposition, while Delta and Alaska battle it out at Seattle/Tacoma International. Companies headquartered in the area like Boeing, Microsoft, Amazon, Tableau and Starbucks will certainly benefit from the added flexibility that these new flights will provide.


An #AVGeek’s Paradise

Paine Field is home to the Boeing Everett Factory, the world’s largest building by volume, and the primary assembly location for Boeing’s wide-body 747, 767, 777 and some 787 aircraft. In other words, if you like big planes, you will like flying in and out of Paine Field. Also, the Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour resides in Paine Field, so yet another aspect of this airport for aviation enthusiasts to enjoy. Until you get there you can enjoy a live webcam of the runway.


Additional significance for me personally

In 2008, while at a friend’s house I saw for the very first time who just a year later would become my beautiful wife. We didn’t talk that night at all, but we’ve certainly talked a lot since then. To Irina, I’m so happy I was in Mukilteo that evening, and hopefully you are too. 🙂

In conclusion, I’m excited to see United finding different ways to compete, especially against arch-rivals like Delta, in its newest hub in Seattle. Hopefully within the next 6 months I’ll put some photos up in the blog of my first visit to Paine Field as a passenger.


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