Updated on April 27, 2022
Flight Log of Southwest Airlines Flight 1668 from Baltimore to Salt Lake City
I made a trip to the State of Utah in early June, 2020, exploring three of its “Mighty Five” National Parks. This is the outbound flight to Salt Lake City, not a lot of events, full except for middle seats, and some scenery along the way.
There was a not-to-short story about how this trip to Utah took place.
I had been searching for places to explore, and Arches and Canyonlands National Park with their beautiful desert landscape and unique sandstone arches came up on my radar. It happened that American Airlines was aggressively running web special award tickets, that if booked well in advance, cost 5K miles per one-way for most flights within lower 48. (AA did a systemwide change to this in mid-March, 2020, probably to conserve cash, that minimum for one-way award flights in United States had been raised 10K miles, before dropping down to 6K later in the year.) So I booked a mid-May roundtrip flight to Grand Junction, CO, adding Colorado National Monument to Moab area national parks, making this a perfect week-long trip.
And with COVID rolling in, the Moab area national parks were closed until the end of May. Somehow, my back-and-forth with some unprofessional American Airlines phone agents resulted in me canceling that Grand Junction ticket. That’s when Southwest came into play by aggressively bringing back capacity and running any-domestic-route-for-99-dollar campaign. (I ran a few searches for flights in lower-48, and all nonstop flights turned out to be 99 dollars.) Not wanting to forego my researched trip ideas, I booked another set of flights for early June, and decided to scout of three of Utah’s Mighty Five: Arches, Canyonlands and Capitol Reef. Things again looked perfect for a week-long trip.
Washington DC area’s public transport was still largely in a state of oblivion early June, but I found hotel parking with shuttle through SpotHero that cost less than 5 dollars per day, so I gladly took advantage of this deal, and arrived at the airport two hours before my flight.
Fallout of COVID was ubiquitous in the airport building. Half the dinning stores were closed, the benches in waiting areas were very available. But probably because this was Southwest’s terminal, which was boldly running promotions to bring passengers back, it certainly didn’t feel like a ghost building.
And since my parking with SpotHero/hotel went smoothly, I had some time plane-spotting before my flight.
Another sign of recovering traffic numbers, it’s a 143-seat plane but when I checked in exactly 24 hours ago (maybe a few seconds late), I only got B16 boarding position.
It turned out that Southwest was limiting seats sold on flights, so that middle seats could be kept open. But apart from that, the flight was FULL. It seemed that low fares were very enticing to people.
Southwest Airlines 1668
Baltimore, MD (BWI) – Salt Lake City, UT (SLC)
Boeing B737-700 (N7717D)
Scheduled Departure – 12:35pm
Actual Departure – 12:42pm
Scheduled Arrival – 3:15pm
Actual Arrival – 3:04pm
4 hour and 22 minutes
Here’s GPS tracking:
And with COVID, the entire onboard service was reduced to a box of snacks and a bottle of water, which wasn’t too different from pre-COVID with canned drinks instead of water bottles.
It was undercast most of the way to Salt Lake City, especially in Eastern US, so I slept most of the way.
Sceneries started to emerge out of the windows once we passed Denver into mountainous areas. Unfortunately, it was still mostly cloudy.
To avoid the mountain ranges East of Salt Lake City, the approach route into its airport passed between Provo and Spanish Fork. After that, I was treated with sights of many magnificent mountains.
- Cascade Mountain and Provo Peak
- Cascade Mountain and Y Mountain
- Mount Timpanogos
It turned out that I would have one day in my trip hiking near Salt Lake City. I was very tempted to summit Mount Timpanogos. Unfortunately by some trip reports, climbing Timpanogos this early in the season would require special snow gear. What a pity.
- Lone Peak Wilderness
- Lone Peaks and Twin Peaks Wilderness beyond City of Sandy
- Downtown Salt Lake City
- Antelope Island in Great Salt Lake
- Swamps North of Salt Lake City AirportI didn’t know whether this should be the color of the great salt lake. Looked rather like eutrophication to me.
Click here to display photos of the slideshow
Not too much event for the landing (except that it was some turbulent air above Salt Lake City), as I arrived at an even emptier Salt Lake City Airport. Only 30 minutes after the plane pulled up at the gate, I was on the downtown-bound tram to retrieve a rental car.