Howdy all! Last month, I took the trek out to Denver International Airport, not just to spot, but to fly as well. You’ve probably seen my two flight reports from this segment (Southwest and Frontier) but I have yet to post the spotting pictures, until now! Enjoy the photos from new locations for me!
Please contact me prior to usage of ANY of my photos in any way, shape or form. Thank you in advance!
Starting this session off is a visit to the brand new Concourse B West open-air deck, opened recently with the new 6-gate extension. When I last flew thru DEN (and overall) this section was under construction, and I spent some time here until the runways changed. I know DEN will also be including a similar deck on the end of the C East extension, due to open soon as well. Unfortunately, the air quality was quite poor this day (in both Denver and Fresno) so I could not really see any of the mountains.
Photo One: One of the first planes I saw at the B West deck was just another generic United A319, quite common here as Denver is an ever-growing hub for United. This one, registered as N830UA, just over 21 years old, and was taxiing in from the short hop from Colorado Springs as “United 1900”
Photo Two: Denver Air Connection is becoming a larger airline at Denver, with them now operating flights to 5 destinations across South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado, and New Mexico. This Dornier 328JET is quite rare around the world, but this one is probably the most unique one across DAC’s fleet. N677DC has flown as N354SK for Midwest Connect (Skyway Airlines) and was going to fly for Caspiy over in Kazakhstan, until it went defunct. It still wears Caspiy’s livery, and the 22 year-old frame was operating “Key Lime 5408” from Clovis, New Mexico.
Photo Three: Frontier’s A321s are a common sight at DEN, with them being operated on mostly high-demand routes, such as places like Phoenix, Orlando, Detroit, Minneapolis, and more. This A321, named “Ferndale the Pygmy Owl”, a 5 year-old A321, was operating one of Frontier’s most popular routes this day, as “Frontier Flight 770” from Las Vegas (at the time McCarran Int’l Airport)
Photo Four: Of course, every spotting topic of mine requires a Canyon Blue livery, of any kind. Today’s first example is just another -700 with split scimitars. N254WN, a nearly 15 year-old 737-700, was headed down south to Albuquerque as “Southwest 1877”
Photo Five: The next plane after N254WN that I saw, and the last one I saw from the B West open-air deck was another Canyon Blue 737-700 with split scimitars, but it was operating under a different registration. N7742B, or formerly N316AT with AirTran, is 14 years old and was operating “Southwest 3482” to Portland, Oregon on a slight delay.
Photo Six: After leaving Concourse B, I went back to Concourse A (where my day started) to catch a couple more Frontier flights before headed over to Concourse C to catch my flight. I like to consider Concourse A as “Denver’s second zoo” because of Frontier’s hub operation. Five years ago, this hub would have been bigger and better, but Frontier in those five years have shifted towards airports like Las Vegas, Orlando, Miami, and Philadelphia. Still, the Denver hub and headquarters remain, and the pedestrian bridge connecting Concourse A and the Jeppesen Terminal still remains a great spot to view the wildlife dotting the tails of the Frontier Airlines fleet. Today’s shot features “Wilbur the White Tail Deer” (front, N301FR) “Seymour the Walrus” (middle, N716FR), “Montana the Elk” (back, N213FR), and a generic Delta 737-800 (N397DA). “Wilbur”, is Frontier’s first of many A320 NEO’s, with it being shy of 5 years old, and operated “Frontier Flight 474” over to Jacksonville this day. “Seymour” is another of Frontier’s fleet of A321s, and is four and a half years old, and operated “Frontier Flight 571” over the rockies to Salt Lake City. Finally, “Montana”, is one of Frontier’s last A320’s in the old livery, with only a handful of them left. “Montana” is 10 years old, and was involved in a runway overrun in early June, 2021, when it skid off the runway while landing at DCA. It flew down south to San Antonio this day, operating as “Frontier Flight 386”. I’ve flown on “Montana”, but when it was on an A318.
Photo Seven: After hopping on the train from Concourse A to Concourse C, I went to my gate (C42) for preparation of my flight’s inbound arrival. My plane for my flight over to Fresno was N7740A, a 14 year-old 737-700, with it also being an ex-AirTran aircraft outfitted with split scimitars, with it being formerly registered as N313AT. N7740A arrived from San Diego as “Southwest 1999”, and just sat near the gate for nearly 20 minutes after arrival, causing the flight to become delayed from on time or early. I still do not know why the jetbridge was not pulled up, but it caused a chain of delays that would plague N7740A for the rest of the day of her busy flight schedule, including my flight.
I was able to take pictures during my layover in Fresno, so it was nice to see some aircraft movements. Unfortunately, most of my photos were ruined by heat haze, such as spotting an Erickson MD-87 fighting fires, as well as seeing N7740A depart back to Denver. Luckily, I did have a couple of pictures that were not ruined, so it was nice to at least have a decent (but not great) spotting session.
Photo Eight: I was eating yogurt pretzels near an area with no passengers facing the ramp, so I was able to spot some movements before wandering over to the Hudson News to buy some more snacks. Here’s one of those movements. Denver, despite being a large hub for United, has many CRJs, but I lacked a decent shot of a -200 in the new livery. I was able to get one here of this one, a 20 year-old one registered as N889AS. N889AS has spent time with Atlantic Southeast Airlines operating for Delta Connection, as well as Skywest (it’s current owner) with U.S. Airways Express, Delta Connection (again) and United Express. It was operating “Skywest 5619” from one of the big and famous California cities, Los Angeles.
After buying some more snacks in Fresno, a friendly Southwest gate agent noticed me with my camera and pointed me to a better location for spotting aircraft movements, with me getting better photos.
Photo Nine: United seems to have a decent operation in Fresno, with flights from Denver, LAX, and SFO cycling through often. This E175, registered as N140SY with Skywest, being six years old, and operating “Skywest 5537” from the other big and famous California city, San Francisco.
Photo Ten: I knew I would have to get home somehow, so I decided to take a gamble with Frontier. Luckily, I was able to find a flight on their only remaining A319, which was the main reason I wanted to fly on this trip. It’ll be sad when they go, but at least I’ll have all the fun memories I’ve had over the past decade flying on this aircraft type. “Erma” is just shy of 15 years old, and flew in from Denver as “Frontier Flight 495”. Unlike my Southwest flight, “Erma” arrived nearly 15 minutes early, and got me to Denver around 10 minutes early.
And that’s all from me on this adventure! I do have enough photos for a part two from Denver but not from Fresno, so I may just post Denver pictures but I may not. It was awesome to fly again, try out new locations at my home airport, and to spot at an airport outside of Colorado! Catch y’all in the next topic.