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Horizon Air will begin flying Q400 on Pendleton to Seattle route
Starting Oct. 28, Horizon Air will begin flying direct flights from Pendleton to Seattle with 76-seat Q400s, upgrading from the 37-seat Q200s it previously flew to Portland. Horizon's service goes away after Dec. 1, the result of a decision by the Pendleton city council and airport manager to instead endorse a bid for nine-seat, single-engine aircraft flights to Portland.
But, for about five weeks, Pendleton air travelers will experience a major improvement to their air service, providing a taste of what they might have enjoyed locally for at least the next two years if one of Horizon's three proposed bids had been selected. After Dec. 1, however, these improvements will be available only to those who take a short drive to catch the airline's Seattle-bound Q400 flights from nearby airports at Walla Walla or Pasco, Wash.
The Q400 is a high-speed, twin-engine turboprop that's considered state of the art in its class. Among the Q400's advanced avionics is a navigational feature that allows Horizon's highly experienced pilots to land the Q400 in some of the foggiest conditions found in the Northwest. The Q400 is also among the most environmentally friendly aircraft today, burning 30 percent less fuel and producing 30 percent lower emissions than comparable jets.
Inside, the Q400 is as quiet and comfortable as a jet. It features generously sized overhead storage bins, unobstructed under-seat space, ample headroom (6 feet, 5 inches), and a lavatory. And it's large enough to accommodate special needs customers, such as those in wheelchairs. On Horizon's flights, two flight attendants serve complimentary Starbucks coffee and Northwest wines and microbrews.
For connecting Pendleton passengers, there will be even more conveniences lost after Dec. 1.
SeaPort Airlines' single-engine aircraft flights to Portland will arrive at a general aviation facility away from the airport's main terminal. Customers making flight connections will need to buy separate tickets. Towing their own baggage, they'll need to walk or wait for a shuttle bus to get to the main terminal. There, they'll have to check themselves and their baggage in again and then clear security and find their connecting flight.
In contrast, Horizon customers making connections to other flights in Seattle check in only once and have their baggage automatically transferred for them to their final destination. Instead of having to buy two separate tickets -- one for their flight from Pendleton and another for their connecting flight -- passengers on Horizon purchase one ticket for their entire trip, making the cost for that connecting flight from Pendleton as low as $70 each way. On Horizon, travelers also have the peace of mind of knowing all fellow passengers and their luggage are screened by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
Horizon's fleet serves 47 cities throughout Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Baja California Sur (Mexico), and British Columbia and Alberta (Canada). Together, Horizon Air and Alaska Airlines serve 90 cities and are subsidiaries of Alaska Air Group, Inc. (NYSE:ALK).
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