Trip Report Introduction: A Skiing Adventure Far Out West

December 20, 2017

Hello Everyone!


First of all, I would like to start by apologizing for the lack of posts in the last several days. It was exam week at my school, and I've been overwhelmed by tons of exams, projects, and papers. Thankfully, winter break is just around the corner, and I look forward to updating this website more often during that timeframe. 


For the first week of winter break, I'll be going to Salt Lake City, Utah, on a long-awaited skiing trip with my family and friends from around the neighborhood. We'll be visiting many of the famous but not-too-crowded resorts there, namely Alta, Snowbird and Snowbasin. All of these are located within an hour from Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC), so it shouldn't be too much of a hassle to get there once we arrive. 


My mom booked the flights through a travel agent, and we were able to get super cheap tickets on nonstop United flights out of Newark, a New York City area airport that is unfortunately quite far from where I live, compared to LaGuardia and JFK. However, the ticket price essentially allowed us to put these inconveniences aside. Our round trip tickets cost just under $300 each, and were booked into a deeply discounted K fare, which is the lowest fare type available on United. Of course, these tickets are terrible for mileage accrual purposes, but because we would be leaving on Christmas Eve and arriving back in Newark on New Years' Eve, this opportunity was hard to pass up. In fact, most of my friends, who will also be traveling on these flights, booked tickets for around $1,000 roundtrip, and somebody even paid $1,600 per person for flexible B-class fares because his family booked fairly late. 

Anyways, we'll be flying on Boeing 737NGs, United's domestic workhorses, on these flights. Normally, this route is operated by A320s (with a terribly uncompetitive economy class product), but often switches to 737s for the busy holiday season. On the outbound flight, we would be flying in a fairly standard Boeing 737-800 (likely ex-Continental), which features DirecTV programming for a free. On the inbound flight, we would be traveling on a Boeing 737-900ER, the longest Boeing 737NG version available (the ex-Continental aircraft feature DirecTV, while the others feature free streaming to personal devices). At roughly 4.5 hours each direction, these will be some of my longest 737 flights, and certainly some of the longest in United's route network as well. Here's the plan:


12/24/2017 UA602 (Boeing 737-800/WL, 5 hr 52 min block time, 1968 miles/3167 km) 08:20 EST to 12:12 MST

12/31/2017 UA2391 (Boeing 737-900ER/WL, 4 hr 13 min block time, 1968 miles/3167 km) 13:15 MST to 19:28 EST


I'll be publishing reviews of the ski resorts mentioned above as well. Even though I've been skiing since age 5 and can tackle virtually any type of terrain effortlessly, this will be my first time heading out west. On the East Coast, the snow is full of moisture, which means that the snow tends to freeze into slippery ice quite easily, making it very hard to ski on. Furthermore, East Coast resorts are typically very crowded. I've read that due to the Great Salt Lake, the snow in the areas surrounding Salt Lake City is very dry and fluffy, making it some of the most comfortable powder to ski on. Furthermore, Alta, Snowbird, and Snowbasin are some of the lesser-known resorts out there; therefore, they aren't nearly as crowded as other nearby resorts, such as Park City. 


I'm really excited to travel to Salt Lake City, and I hope to update you with all the details soon. If you would like live updates of my travels, please consider following the social media outlets below: (Yes, I know that I haven't posted much, but I'll get these accounts up and running very, very soon!)

Instagram: FlightLevel_360

Twitter: FlightLevel_360

Facebook: FlightLevelThreeSixZero

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About Me

Hi! My name is Brian, and I am an avid traveller, aviation enthusiast, and airline reviewer based in New York City. 

Flight Level 360 is dedicated to all who are interested in the exotic world of aviation. Here, I publish articles mostly about news regarding airlines and the frequent-flyer world, as well as reports of trips I've undertaken previously.

To learn more about me, click on the link below.

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