We spent the night in Raleigh at a Holiday Inn Express near the airport. The room was less expensive than the cost of parking the car at the airport, and since we had a 7:30 flight, I wanted to be at the airport by 5:30 this was a very good choice. They hadn’t started serving breakfast yet, but we were able to a ride to the airport, and we cleared TSA quickly, and then we grabbed some airport food to hold us till we got on the plane. Since this was a non-stop flight, Delta served breakfast for all the passengers.
The flight was almost 6 hours long, but with free movies to watch and food to eat, it went very quickly. I had booked this flight in Economy Comfort, and that worked well for my wife, who has mobility challenges and is not very flexible. She had plenty of room for her legs to reasonably straight. I wound up in the middle seat, which is my least favorite, but I let my granddaughter sit by the window.
Click any image to see Gallery
When we got to Seattle, we were changing airlines. I had used points to get seats on Delta, and a combination of a free companion fare, and points plus one regular ticket for the flight to Anchorage. This meant that I had to exit the secure area and go to baggage claim, pick up our bags and then on to Alaska Airlines to check them again for the SEA to ANC leg. My granddaughter went with me to help with moving the bags. Checking them in was not an issue, but we were traveling on the Friday of Memorial Day Weekend.
It took us over 90 minutes to get back through the TSA line and into the terminal. The line was probably over a half a mile of walking back and forth in an unending maze. It reminded me of a Disney property where you get through one section of the line only to find that you are in another section, which led to another section. We did not have this issue when we flew out of SEA on our way back after the cruise.
We had time for a nice lunch in the terminal before it was time to board our flight. After eating, we went to the gate and arrived there with 15 minutes or so before we were supposed to board. We waited for about 30 minutes, and then we heard an announcement that there was a mechanical issue and there was going to be a gate change.
We went to the new gate and waited for another 30 minutes or so and then on to the plane and north to Alaska. (sorry I couldn’t resist). We arrived in Anchorage about 5:00 PM local time. The hotel was supposed to provide a shuttle, but theirs was out of service, so the paid for the taxi fare from the airport to the hotel.
We stayed at the Staybridge Suites in Anchorage, and it was a brand new hotel and very nice. We were too tired to go out for dinner and so we ordered Thai food in. The food was great and after dinner, I made a quick trip to Walmart, which was across from the hotel for a couple of necessary items.
By this time we had been up about 19 or 20 hours and we were ready for the bed. We had to get up early so that we could catch a train the next morning from Anchorage to Seward.