Evaluate: Silver Airways ATR42-600 Turboprop

To kick off our journeys to Turks & Caicos, I first needed to get from Tampa to Fort Lauderdale. I used to be form of enthusiastic about this, as it will permit me to lastly fly Silver Airways, a US airline I hadn’t flown earlier than.

What’s Silver Airways?

Silver Airways is a regional airline primarily based in Florida, with hubs in Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, and Tampa. The airline operates a fleet of roughly 21 turboprops, with seven extra planes on order.

Silver Airways has been flying for round a decade. In contrast to another regional airways in america, Silver Airways operates flights independently, although the airline does have codeshare agreements with American, JetBlue, and United.

I discover Silver Airways’ route community to be fascinating. For instance, from Fort Lauderdale the airline flies in every single place from Charleston, to Governor’s Harbour, to Key West, to Pensacola, to South Bimini. The airline has primarily managed to carve out some area of interest routes that largely aren’t operated by different airways.

Silver Airways routes

Prior to now Silver Airways was additionally closely targeted on Important Air Service (EAS) routes, whereby airways get authorities subsidies for flying in underserved markets. Nonetheless, I don’t assume Silver Airways has lots of these anymore.

How I booked my Silver Airways flights

I solely booked my flight a few days earlier than departure, and my one-way Silver Airways ticket from Tampa to Fort Lauderdale price $119. Silver Airways has three fare varieties — Escape, Freedom, and Refundable — and I booked the Freedom fare. That included seat assignments prematurely, however wasn’t refundable.

Silver Airways fare varieties

Silver Airways check-in & boarding

My flight from Tampa to Fort Lauderdale was scheduled to depart at 9:55AM, so I received to the airport at round 8:30AM. At first I struggled to search out the Silver Airways check-in desk, however that’s simply because the airline makes use of a single small counter, and it may be straightforward to overlook.

Silver Airways check-in counter Tampa Airport (TPA)

The particular person checking me in was pleasant, and inside a few minutes I had a boarding cross to Fort Lauderdale (for what it’s price, I had checked in on-line the day earlier than, however hadn’t printed a boarding cross).

Silver Airways boarding cross

Whereas I don’t dwell in Tampa full time anymore, Tampa Worldwide Airport was my dwelling airport for a few years, and it truly is such a simple to make use of airport, and the renovations through the years have been effectively executed as effectively. The airport has one central terminal, after which a number of separate concourses to unfold out passengers, which makes the expertise a bit extra nice.

Tampa Airport (TPA) terminal

Silver Airways departs from Airside A, which can be the place JetBlue, Spirit, and United depart from. There are gates the place you scan your boarding cross, and then you definately get on a fast prepare journey to the airside.

Tampa Airport (TPA) Concourse A

Whereas the common safety line was most likely the longest I’ve seen on the airport in fairly some time, there was no wait at TSA Pre-Verify. Sadly there’s no Precedence Move lounge in Airside A, although I rapidly found that Silver Airways’ gate is nearly like a lounge.

Tampa Airport (TPA) Concourse A

All Silver Airways flights depart from gate A1, which is down a degree from the primary concourse (since Silver Airways doesn’t use jet bridges).

Tampa Airport (TPA) Concourse A

Down at A1 was an enormous gate space that even had some desks, and maybe most fun of all, what is perhaps the bottom visitors toilet in the whole terminal.

Silver Airways departure gate Tampa Airport (TPA)
A pleasant toilet at Tampa Airport (TPA)

Anyway, the Silver Airways workers on the airport had been pleasant. At 9:25AM, half-hour earlier than departure, boarding started for our flight to Fort Lauderdale. The boarding course of was refreshingly easy — everybody was invited to board without delay.

Silver Airways departure gate Tampa Airport (TPA)

As soon as my boarding cross was scanned I walked throughout the apron to the second ATR42-600 that was parked there. What a deal with — the 2 ATR42-600s parked there have been Silver Airways’ latest planes. The primary airplane joined Silver’s fleet on January 27, 2022 (simply over every week earlier than my flight), whereas the airplane I used to be on joined Silver’s fleet on December 2, 2021.

Silver Airways planes Tampa Airport (TPA)

As is commonplace for ATR turboprops, boarding befell by way of the rear.

Silver Airways airplane Tampa Airport (TPA)
Silver Airways airplane Tampa Airport (TPA)
Silver Airways airplane Tampa Airport (TPA)

Silver Airways ATR42-600 cabin & seating

On the rear door I used to be greeted by the flight attendant, and turned left into the cabin. Silver Airways’ ATR42-600s function 46 seats, unfold throughout 12 rows in a 2-2 configuration. The plane nonetheless had the brand new airplane odor, and this was the “freshest” wanting turboprop cabin I’ve ever stepped foot in.

Silver Airways ATR42-600 cabin

I assigned myself a seat proper behind the wing. Legroom was greater than ample.

Silver Airways ATR42-600 seat
Silver Airways ATR42-600 seats

There was a literature pocket on the prime of the seatback, after which there was a small tray desk that folded out beneath that.

Silver Airways ATR42-600 seatback
Silver Airways ATR42-600 tray desk

There have been overhead consoles with particular person studying lights and air nozzles.

Silver Airways ATR42-600 overhead console

One factor that impresses me about ATR turboprops is how large the overhead bins are. I had no points becoming my full measurement carry-on into the overhead.

Silver Airways ATR42-600 large overhead bins

There was one bathroom on the very again of the cabin, which was on the small facet however in any other case clear.

Silver Airways ATR42-600 bathroom

Silver Airways flight & inflight service

Boarding was environment friendly, as there have been solely round 20 individuals on the airplane, so everybody had an empty seat subsequent to them (in the event that they wished it). Boarding completed by 9:40AM, and by 9:45AM the door closed, 10 minutes forward of schedule.

View from my seat on Silver Airways

The flight attendant onboard, Dana, knowledgeable us that our flight time was 64 minutes, and that we’d cruise at 15,000 ft. She was an incredible vibe — she began her announcement by addressing everybody cheerfully with “good morning my lovely individuals, welcome board our flight to Fort Lauderdale.”

She then rapidly carried out the protection demonstration, which used a pre-recorded audio monitor. On the finish she needed to remind individuals to take away their face masks within the occasion oxygen was wanted (because it’s not a part of the usual recording). She even injected a few of her humor and constructive spirit into that — “within the occasion of an emergency… however we don’t have emergencies on my airplane… please take away your face overlaying earlier than placing on the oxygen masks.”

By 9:50AM we had been taxiing, and by 9:55AM we had been cleared for takeoff on runway 1L. Hello, Grand Hyatt Tampa (the constructing beneath, on the left)!

Taking off from Tampa

Whereas I at all times gaze out the window when flying, there’s one thing extra enjoyable about searching the window on a turboprop. The views on departure had been nice, however when you go inland there’s not all that a lot to see, apart from swampland.

View after takeoff from Tampa
View after takeoff from Tampa
View after takeoff from Tampa

About 10 minutes after takeoff the seatbelt signal was turned off, and the inflight service began. This merely consisted of every passenger getting a bottle of water. There was no snack, beverage choice, or something on the market.

Silver Airways inflight service
Silver Airways cabin enroute to Fort Lauderdale

For the reason that views had been restricted above the clouds, I pulled out my iPad and determined to get caught up on the most recent 90 Day Fiancé.

View enroute to Fort Lauderdale

Does this man actually assume that his Peruvian “girlfriend” exists? I imply, c’mon. I no less than appreciated that he sprung for the Spirit Airways Large Entrance Seat on his flight to Lima.

Silver Airways BYO seatback leisure

About half-hour after takeoff we started our descent.

View approaching Fort Lauderdale

Whereas I’ve pushed throughout the state extra typically than I can rely, it actually provides you perspective to see how briskly you go from the Everglades to developed communities.

View approaching Fort Lauderdale
View approaching Fort Lauderdale
View approaching Fort Lauderdale

We touched down in Fort Lauderdale at 10:45AM, simply 50 minutes after departure (14 minutes beneath the scheduled flight time).

View touchdown in Fort Lauderdale

At this level we had been there effectively forward of our scheduled arrival time, however go determine our gate wasn’t prepared. So we spent 25 minutes sitting on a taxiway ready for that gate to open up. We ended up arriving at our gate at 11:10AM, precisely at our scheduled arrival time.

Once more we deplaned by way of the rear.

Silver Airways airplane Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL)

Whereas strolling to the terminal I received to cross considered one of Silver Airways’ plane within the authentic livery, which may be very pink. I’m curious, do y’all choose the brand new or previous livery?

Silver Airways airplane Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL)
Silver Airways airplane Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL)

As soon as within the terminal I headed over to Terminal 3, for my JetBlue flight to Turks & Caicos.

Backside line

Having lived in Florida for therefore lengthy, I’m comfortable I lastly had the prospect to attempt Silver Airways, which provides an in depth route community to, from, and throughout the state. My Silver Airways expertise was nice general — the flight was on-time, the airplane was model new and had good interiors, and the flight attendant was pleasant. Simply don’t count on something past a bottle of water, which is honest sufficient for such a brief flight.

When you’ve flown Silver Airways, what was your expertise like?

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