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Feb '24 Southwest Flight Photo Trip Report high above CA's Pineapple Express (ONT-PHX)

Aviator C

Hello Community Southwest:




SoCalFlyer97 took a roundtrip flight high above the humble remains of the first of two atmospheric river systems that passed through California. This was a day trip from Ontario to the Valley of the Sun, purchased during last September's WOW50 sale. Spoiler alert: The return flight home was perhaps the most beautiful flight I have taken aboard the LUV airline.



I begin this report with everybody's all time favorite part of travel: Airport Parking.


Whenever I complete day trips with same-day return and fly out of ONT, I'm able to park directly at the airport as their rates for the first 24 hours are not outrageously expensive: $18.00/24 hours for the Economy Lot with a short walk or ride on the shuttle. Even better is pre-paying through ONT's website during a sale and saving 10%. After parking, it was a short 3 minute walk from the car to the terminal.



Travel trip: If you're parking a car at ONT and need to access either of the two Economy Lots, enter ONT via the Rental Car Return entrance for direct access.



No major Pineapple Express storm delays or cancellations at ONT at the Southwest terminal. Let's see if the news media reports this.



ONT appears to boast that they have one of the fastest TSA lines in the nation...



...and they were right for today.



Let's give them the Green Smile!



This A-Lister doesn't need a private lounge... He's got this entire quiet concourse all to himself.



Outbound Flight:
Plane: 737-700
93% Full, On Time
Preboards: 9



Passing by L65 Perris Airport. The Pineapple Express is right beside us.


I thought I heard this PA announcement across the way: On behalf of the crew of the Pineapple Express, welcome to the Salton Sea! This is the Termination of this atmospheric river. Doublecheck those raindrops; once the water leaves the expressway, they will not be allowed back onboard.


Speaking of Rivers, crossing the Colorado stream into AZ, just south of Blythe CA, home to acres of farmland in the middle of the desert.



PHX arrival...Keep those seatbelts fastened until we arrive at the gate, come to a complete stop, and wait for the seatbelt light to turn off. Oh, and use caution when opening those overhead bins as items placed there do tend to shift during flight.



The trio of SW 737-MAX8's await: N8712L, N8782Q, N8831L



SoCalFlyer97 from the deck of the SKY Train: Enjoy your complimentary 5 minute 'flight' to the Valley Metro Station. If there's anything we can do to make your experience more enjoyable just let the airport know.


Took care of some business and checked out downtown Phoenix for a few hours:






Time to head back...



Who needs a gym membership when you've got miles of moving walkways?


No waiting at this TSA Checkpoint and it links to the Southwest gates. Let's use it!



Return Flight:
Plane: 737-700, N447WN
91% Full, On Time
Preboards: 1


This return trip was one of the most beautiful flights I've ever been on. Enjoy the views as the sun makes its setting:


Passing over the San Gorgonio Pass with Mount San Jacinto in the back


Over Banning CA with the Hemet Valley and Diamond Valley Lake in the deep background


The Badlands hills don't look bad at all. Passing over State Highway 79 with Moreno Valley and Lake Perris in the background.


Now this is flying "First Class" on Southwest!








What a finale! 


I have two more SW trips scheduled in February coming up including my upcoming stay at Vegas's "haunted" hotel. Preview here:

Prior Trip Reports:


Safe Travels



Re: Feb '24 Southwest Flight Photo Trip Report high above CA's Pineapple Express (ONT-PHX)

Aviator A

Thanks for sharing! Great tip for ONT as well although if I’m there I probably will be in a rental car.

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.

Re: Feb '24 Southwest Flight Photo Trip Report high above CA's Pineapple Express (ONT-PHX)

Aviator A

Thanks for sharing socalflyer. I agree the sunset pics were exceptional.