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Testing out the newly-opened Paine Field Airport

Paine Field, Everett. (Stephanie Klein, MyNorthwest)

I wanted to give Paine Field a shot, partially because I didn’t want to drive from my house in Snohomish County on a Friday afternoon to Sea-Tac. That wastes a whole 90 minutes to get to the airport, when getting to Paine took me about nine minutes.

Once there, I was through security in about two minutes and having a beer right after that.

It’s obviously small with only two gates, but it’s really nice. You walk in and there are self-service kiosks. Then you walk through security, which is right there and only a few-minutes wait.

One thing I did notice is that the TSA folks are a lot more strict because they have less passengers to deal with than they do at Sea-Tac. This is the first time in a long time that they thoroughly checked my toiletries, and remarked that I had a little liquid left in my water bottle, which is all great.

RELATED: 15K people flying from Paine Field each week

After security, there’s a big lounge with a bar and you can just hang out, not at all like your typical airport.

What I really enjoyed about it — on that day we were taking off to the north. You take off right over Mukilteo; over the water you see you see Whidbey Island all the way out the left side of the plane, and then they banked over Everett and you’re flying over the top of Everett. It was beautiful.

Paine Field

We were going to Vegas, and because of the Sea-Tac traffic pattern, we had to go a little further east. I could have dropped a water balloon and hit the top of Rainier when we went over it. It was like, “Whoa, it’s really just right there.”

RELATED: United Airlines begins service out of Paine Field

I loved everything about Paine Field and can’t wait to do it again. More restaurants are going to open in about a month so you’ll have a few more options. Parking is obviously expensive, but they don’t have a lot of it there.

Still, it’s a great option for North-enders who don’t want to have to drive all the way to Sea-Tac. Now I’m not advocating that we turn Paine Field into a full Sea-Tac, because the folks up there don’t need full airplanes flying over — they’ll be flying over my house.

I’m not advocating for that, but a few more planes and a few more destinations wouldn’t be bad. It was a wonderful experience.

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