Saturday, September 27, 2014

My Shortest Commercial Flight Ever: LKE - KEH on Kenmore Air

What if I told you that I could fly on a commercial route for less than the price of  cab? As it turns out, such a route does exist and it is a surprising amount of fun thanks to being operated by Seattle's seaplane airline, Kenmore Air.

The route itself is a little known leg in the Kenmore Air route map. It is a nine mile, as the plane flies, jump from Lake Union in Seattle to Kenmore Air's main base in Kenmore. It is the shortest commercial flight I have ever been on or may ever be on. 

The price if you were to take a traditional cab*? About $70, plus tip.

The price to fly? $40, total. 

The flights themselves are short, lasting about 15 minutes in each direction. You do get a little more time in the air and see more if you book the scenic tour for $100 a person, but a round trip from Lake Union to Kenmore can be a cheaper and just as interesting alternative (All of the photos in this post were taken from the flight I was on). 

Booking this little round trip does, however, require a little work. It is not a "normal" route that pops up on the website, but it can be booked online via their booking system. The link to connect directly to the booking system is here. The ticket and route is legit, as my photos here prove. 

One work of caution is that while you can do a tight turn around like we did where you depart, arrive, and immediately turn around to fly back, there is a risk that your flight will be delayed going up. That almost happened to us, so it is probably advisable to to leave time in between the flights. It depends on how much you want to live on the edge. If you do leave time, you have the option of walking over to the 192 Brewing Company Tap room for a beer or two. There is not a lot to do in Kenmore, so don't plan an entire day there!

 If you are snapping pictures like mad, the left side flying up and the right side flying down will probably give you your best shots, including something like this perfect shot of the Space Needle. The final approach is usually from the north, so the plans come in and bank left, given a view of he city. Enjoy!

*Even a flat rate taxi is $31 for the trip. Uber estimates that it would be between $23-31 for a one way trip, but you could make it less using their first ride up to $30 free deal.

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