Before catching my flight to Singapore last week, I had several hours to pass at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH). I had done some due diligence ahead of the trip (thanks to my friends on Twitter!) and came to realize that the airport is a planespotter “friendly” place. I had also visited to get advice and details and the information on the site is invaluable. In addtion to planespotting from the airport, there are some great vantage points just outside the airport that allow for great views of takeoffs and landings.

In fact it is so friendly that you are actually allowed to take pictures from the parking garages that over look the tarmac and runways. All that you need to do is to report yourself to the Airport Security office by calling 281-230-1300. They’ll ask for your name and license plate of your car (if applicable) and you’ll be set.

Rooftop of Terminal D/E Parking Building:

Plenty of room and friendly security makes this a favorite spot for planespotters.

A Great Front Row!

The airport is a major United Airlines hub so the majority of the traffic will be your basic 737s, 757s and regional aircraft. However, during a small window during the mid-afternoon hours a handful of international flights arrive which really makes things interesting between 1:30p and 3:00p.

During my planespotting, I spent some time on the roof top of the Terminal D/E parking building (until a Thunderstorm forced me inside), the 3rd floor of the United Club in Terminal E (perhaps the best United Club in the WORLD!) and airside in terminal D. Terminal D handles the International Air traffic making it the most interesting place to planespot. A nice feature about terminal D is that the glass does not have a noticeable tint to it, so your pictures come out well. I think my best shots came from my time in Terminal D.


The United Star Alliance livery makes a rare appearance at IAH (bound for Tokyo)

Notice the crisp reflection on the wing

American Airlines arrival

No doubt about who the dominant airline is at IAH!

PHOTOS FROM THE ROOFTOP (Not many due to T-Storm!):


A beauty arrives from Frankfurt….

Taxiing to gate

First time that I’ve seen a 747-400 Combi in person!

Push back from gate

Taxi to runway

If you would like to see my other “Planespotting” Posts, please use these links:

Planespotting from Singapore’s Changi Airport

Los Angeles Plane Spotting Part I

Los Angeles Plane Spotting Part II

Los Angeles Plane Spotting Part III

Lufthansa’s 747-8I Inaugural Flight

Lufthansa Aircraft Pictorial