United’s Paine Field Flights Launch March 31, 2019

Last May plans were announced for Paine Field-Snohomish County Airport to open a passenger terminal.

Rendering of new Paine Field Terminal

Paine Field is home to Boeing’s Everett Factory, and up until now hasn’t been used for commercial flights. However, airlines started to see the potential for the airport, given how many residents there are North of Seattle (more than a million people live in the North Sound). Offering service out of this airport could save many people over an hour on their airport commute. Furthermore, SeaTac Airport is nearing capacity.

In order to minimize the environmental impact on the community, the airport is limiting itself to 24 daily arrivals and departures. Much to the airport’s surprise, this capacity was reached in no time, as Alaska, Southwest, and United, all announced plans to fly to Paine Field.

While flights were supposed to begin this fall, unfortunately the launch got pushed back, as the FAA required a new environmental impact assessment for the airport. It was expected that the airport would open in early 2019.

A couple of weeks ago Alaska Airlines began selling tickets for flights out of Paine Field, for travel as of February 11, 2019. The airline will operate flights to the following destinations:

  • Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Orange County, California
  • Phoenix, Arizona
  • Portland, Oregon
  • San Diego, California
  • San Francisco, California
  • San Jose, California

At the same time we found out that Southwest Airlines changed their mind, and will no longer be flying to Paine Field, so all their slots were handed over to Alaska Airlines.

Now United Airlines has begun selling tickets from Paine Field. United will commence service to Paine Field as of March 31, 2019. The airline intends to operate two daily flights to Denver, and four daily flights to San Francisco.

Here’s the schedule for the new service:

Flight #

Depart

Time

Arrive

Time

Aircraft

5460

Denver

9:25 a.m.

Paine Field

11:30 a.m.

E175

5528

Denver

7:15 p.m.

Paine Field

9:22 p.m.

E175

5871

San Francisco

11:00 a.m.

Paine Field

1:24 p.m.

E175

5880

San Francisco

12:45 p.m.

Paine Field

2:07 p.m.

E175

5898

San Francisco

4:15 p.m.

Paine Field

6:39 p.m.

E175

5883

San Francisco

9:30 p.m.

Paine Field

11:54 p.m.

E175

As you can see, the airline will exclusively use Embraer 175 aircraft for these routes, which is the same as what Alaska Airlines is doing. It’s a bit ironic that no Boeing aircraft will actually fly to Boeing’s home airport.

This adds some great flexibility. I do wish that Southwest followed through on their plans to fly to Paine Field, since two airlines isn’t all that much competition, and for the most part Alaska Airlines has these routes to themselves. Then again, I guess if fares get too high, there’s always SeaTac.

Does anyone plan on booking a flight out of Paine Field?

Comments

  1. Anyone know if you can walk from the terminal to the Hilton Garden Inn hotel right by where the Boeing tour starts?

  2. “It would be even more ironic if Delta flew there with the A220/C Series.”

    That would be flat-out hilarious.

  3. @Dwondermeant: PAE is probably ten miles further away from downtown than SEA is. The advantage of flying into PAE is if you are trying to go north of Seattle – there really isn’t a benefit of flying into PAE if your goal is to go downtown.

  4. No, you cannot walk there. The Hilton is on the northwest side of the field and the terminal is on the east side. The Boeing facility is on the north side of the field.

  5. Either I am reading this schedule wrong or they have only posted the schedule for service TO PAE, and we are still waiting for the schedule FROM PAE? Google flights wasn’t showing anything on United.

  6. I looked at the AS and UA schedule. In the evening, there will be a shortage of gates UNLESS all the flights operate like clockwork. One flight will have to off load and be towed out of the gate in 15 minutes or it will conflict with the next flight. There’s a second instance of this happening.

    In the morning, United will use both gates for 6 am departures but Alaska/Horizon will use one of those gates for a 6:30 am departure.

    In the middle of the day, there is some breathing space but not hours of inactivity. Probably the two gates can’t handle more than 2 more flights then though the cap of 24 has been reached.

    I enjoy Lucky’s PAE articles even though it’s very Air Belgium-like. Most of the country won’t be flying to PAE but it’s still very interesting and worth a few more articles.

  7. 2 posts up

    Google flights wasn’t showing anything on United.

    I looked up United’s website and plugged in a random April date. There are 4 SFO and 2 DEN and the reverse of those 6 flights.

    I do plan to fly into PAE as a passenger just for the fun of it the next time I need to travel to the Seattle area.

  8. “…so all their slots were handed over to Alaska Airlines.”

    This is a shame, a duopoly isn’t exactly ideal, even for a smaller airport. Giving Boeing’s position as the largest employer in the area, would like to see someone fly Paine-Chicago (WN would have a great choice into MDW.)

    I’d love to visit the Boeing plant, so UA offering a connection at DEN works fine for me, so I’m going to try to use this soon.

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