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Topic: Going Home, The Star Alliance Way!
Username: MSS658
Posted 2012-03-21 04:32:40 and read 13395 times.

Going home, the Star Alliance way !


http://pic100.picturetrail.com/VOL1168/13216160/24024973/401004616.jpg






Past reports in this trip report series:
1. Au-revoir Continental! (by MSS658 Dec 5 2011 in Trip Reports)
2. Losing My Southwest Virginity! (by MSS658 Dec 18 2011 in Trip Reports)
3. A Trip On A Classic Silverjet And Some Trains! (by MSS658 Jan 4 2012 in Trip Reports)
4. Chasing The Storm On US Airways! (by MSS658 Jan 24 2012 in Trip Reports)
5. Jetting The Blue Way To New York! (by MSS658 Feb 4 2012 in Trip Reports)


Background:
May 2011, bad need to get plans and bookings started for the upcoming summer season. As it is not the most well kept secret to most of you anymore. Continental has been and still will be my favourite airline for many reasons. As the merger with United is already in progress, and rumours where going around that Continental’s Newark-Brussels flight would be going over to United metal. This summer would be one of the last chances to fly Continental, so I started looking to all kind of fares and combinations. After a while I found myself booked on Continental’s daily direct flight from Brussels to Newark and connecting trough to Greenville/Spartanburg International Airport. The aircraft combination would be a Boeing 777-200 for the long sector and the Embrear 145 from Expressjet on the short haul service to Greenville (See Part I)

After the long haul sector was booked it was time to look at some domestic sectors! Southwest airlines, a famous US-low cost carrier started flying into my regional airport of Greenville/Spartanburg international airport in March 2011 with quite a bit of advertising in the area. This is quite good news for the area since Greenville/Spartanburg is one of the most expensive airports in the US resulting in people rather driving +2hours to Atlanta or Charlotte. Well, since we are here. Time to book, I booked a flight from Greenville/Spartanburg to Fort Lauderdale stopping in Orlando Muncipal International Airport on their 737-700’s. (See Part II)

Still having about 10 days extra until my next flight it was time to make a small sidetrip. Looking into options some interesting choices popped out. Originally I wanted to catch a Star alliance comination with US Airways and Continental Airlines from West Palm Beach to Dallas FW via Charlotte, Philadelphia, Newark and Houston adding me 2 767-200’s on both routes. However, pricing changed and I had to look for something. Then I found something to Las Vegas on US Airways and Virgin America consisting a flight on the Boeing 757-300. I almost settled in for that one. However, after a lot of attempts to convince me by Planehunter, airbuseric (Eric), Flieger67 (Markus) and others.. They finally convinced me to try another combo consisting 2 767-200’s. The first flight would be with American airlines from Miami to New York JFK. I was not excited at all about this leg as I would not get any miles and I flew with them back in 2008 from New York JFK to Miami on the A300 leaving me rather mixed impressions.. Oh well, they deserved a second chance and try to clear my toughts. At least the flight would be operated by a 767-200. I would travel on to Philadelphia by train. (see Part III)

Since my next segment started in Fort Lauderdale, I needed to get to South Florida. Off course I could fly Southwest airlines down to Southern Florida. But logged them just a week prior did not made it to inviting take them again (however, I still think they are a great airline). Another option was flying US Airways directly to South Florida on a Airbus A319 or Boeing 737-400, still quite boring. However, US Airways operates a few flights between it’s hubs in Charlotte and Philadelphia with it’s Boeing 767-200 aircraft. Since the 767’s other mission is long haul, I opted to book the 767 flight to Charlotte connecting on to the Boeing 737-400 down to West Palm Beach. (see Part IV)

Back to the original Itinerary. Some way I needed to get back home, off course the most logic way was just booking a return from South Florida to Brussels on Continental via Newark and I would have done it most probably. But hey, I’m an A.netter right who loves to find all kinds of crazy combinations that outsiders would call you crazy. Right? Soon my attention fell on an pretty popular and loved American carrier named on jetBlue. One of the two only airlines actually making profit (the other one is Southwest) and usually gives out perfect and flawless service based on many other opinions and trip reports that I’ve read. Even my recent Southwest crew was bragging about jetBlue. However, I had the chance to fly jetBlue back in 2008 from Charlotte to New York JFK and must say I only had a pretty average flight that did not impress me that much, especially one male flight attendant who would make his appearance in the media when deploying the emergency slide while taxing to the gate in New York JFK. To be honest, even on my flight 2 years prior did not give any sign that he was actually loving his job at all…
As we all know that this act was very exceptional and there had been some changes over the years (New York’s JFK Terminal 5 p.ex) and to form a real opinion about an airline you have to fly them at least twice. So, In the hope to have better words for them (or a similar opinion as others). A flight from Fort Lauderdale to New York JFK was booked. I opted for JFK to experience the most-advertised terminal in the world I supposes. The aircraft was scheduled to be on a standard A320 flight! (See Part V)

After 2,5 weeks of flying it was time to head back home! As the most logical way was booking Continental’s direct service from Newark to Brussels. However after a bit of searching I found a similar priced flight trough Frankfurt. First of all it was leaving a bit later than CO60 to Brussels, as an addition the Frankfurt to Brussels flight would be operated on a Boeing 737-500 series aircraft. My flight to Frankfurt would be operated by a Boeing 777-200 series aircraft, this would be my last flight operated by Continental Airlines.

Pre-departure:
This report will start at the spot where I finished my last trip report, In New York JFK’s terminal 5 after a not-so impressive flight from Fort Lauderdale with jetBlue Airways. After the baggage fiasco in New York JFK I was finally able to reserve the 14.00 shuttle to Newark. An hour late but still giving me about 4 hours time in Newark before my flight would leave to Frankfurt, so no big deal I tought! A few minutes past 14.00 the shuttle arrived to pick me up, It seemed like I was the first stop as we stopped in terminal 7,8 and 1. After hitting the road we suddenly turned back towards the airport to pick up some Continental Airlines pilots who came in on Delta and where heading to work in Newark. On our way a typical NY Cabb



A pic of our bus for the next hour or so…



Finally at 14.40 our bus settled of in the direction of Newark, the ride was scheduled to be about an hour to Newark, but soon traffic started to get bad. Giving us about an hour extra drive. Here is some of the construction site



Weather was not improving as well, actually a huge thunderstorm was passing trough! Really disrupting Newark’s operation a bit further down the road. Thankfully my plane was already in Newark since 12.00 as it arrived from Brussels as Continental flight 61, the same as my outbound flight. N77006 would be scheduled for me tonight



The remainder of the journey I started a conversation with the pilots in the back, had a nice conversation and learned quite a bit of what was going on in the merger. Pilots where going to London Heathrow, Glasgow, Paris CDG and Omaha. The latter pilot’s flight got cancelled because we where still in traffic at his STD. Finally at about 16.40 our bus arrived at Newark’s terminal C. I’m glad that I was not flying to Brussels directly as Continental 60 already departs at 18.15, giving me only an hour and a half before the flight (and I still have not eaten lunch yet). Continental 50 to Frankfurt leaves at 19.30, so a bit under 3 hours to go for me.

Leaving Newark Liberty International Airport
First stop for me was the departure board, quite a bit cancelled and delayed flights at this time. Thankfully, as expected no delay yet for Continental 50 to Frankfurt. Soon It was up to the check-in line, check-in was done at the kiosk. For my flight towards Frankfurt I was assigned seat 44A, not being so far away anymore from departure the load looked rather light. So a quick change to seat 25A in order to capture a free 3-seater it was! Not offering the best views, but since it was mostly overnight it would be nice. For Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt to Brussels seat 11F was to be selected, no option to change over here. Next stop was the rather busy security counter and not so much room to manoeuvre in. However it is still larger than the A and B terminals, I still found it to be cramped! By 17.10 I was fully ready to explore the terminal! Traffic was very diverse here in Newark’s terminal C. Here is an overview with the Newark-city skyline in the background!



However, no more Continental titles to be seen no more…



My departure gate would be C108 in the C2 terminal today, the departure hall was small but not cramped.



When approaching the gate area I noticed a Boeing 777 just being pushed back. This 777 would make a short hop to Houston, IAH as CO1047. Soon another 777 came in it’s place, when observing the registration I noticed a different registration than forseen. N57016 came at stand 108. I noticed quite a lot of people and crew already waiting. Soon Everything became clear. Another flight prior to mine was supposed to leave from this gate, and a plane that was going to an airport I would be landing a few minutes later. You guessed it, this plane would leave as Continental airlines flight 60 to Brussels at 18.15. After that I checked the FIDS another time. So far, so good still for me..



Among all the Continental traffic there was one odd bird in here parked at gate 102. Here you can find N649UA, a United Airlines Boeing 767-300 in old colors being prepared for UA 978 to Zurich at 18.35. A few months later the lonesome United 767 would be accompanied by a company 777 on the Newark-Brussels flight



By now it was 17.25, as my last decent meal was at 6.00 I was starting to get hungry. I opted for fast food.. McDonald's for my last proper meal in the US



After eating it was back up to some spotting. Not far from the Great food court in the C1 terminal I could spot a Continental Boeing 767-200. If prices would not have been that high, I could have got a ride on this one to Houston as well! Here is N76156 ready to go as CO 44 to Milan MXP



A quick peek over at terminal B I could find N177DN starting her trip to Amsterdam as DL 56. Another ‘exotic’ carrier was a British Airways Boeing 777-200 registred G-ZZZC, bound for London-Heathrow. On this picture you could see 9V-SDD, a Singapore Airlines A340-500 resting after her 19 hour journey from Singapore as SQ 21. In the background you can see an SAS A330 being prepared for it’s flight to Copenhagen as SK910.



Back to Continentalland in terminal C. Here where Continental Airlines flights leaving and arriving to destinations nearby such as Albany, NY or a bit further away as Hong Kong. Most of the longhauls where going to Europe, like this one over here. N68061, a Boeing 767-400 which will be bound for Paris CDG in just a little while



Or it’s bigger brother going to Tel Aviv as Continental Airlines flight 90.



Soon another check to the FIDS showed me not so good news… Seems like we already had a 50 minutes delay.



I was wondering why that was, the aircraft had landed and the weather cleared up… hmm… Soon it became relavent, Our gate was still being occupied by the earlier flight to Brussels. The plane was already past it’s scheduled departure time and cargo was still being loaded



Next door N78011 had docked in, bound for London Heathrow as Continental flight 28!



At 18.46 The Brussels-bound flight finally pushed back, soon it held halt for another Boeing 777-200 coming. It looked like it was going to come in to my gate, soon I held my breath when I noticed that It was the Star Alliance logojet registered N78017. The same plane that took me from Brussels to Newark a few weeks prior as seen here
Au-revoir Continental! (by MSS658 Dec 5 2011 in Trip Reports)
Soon a breath of relief followed as the plane turned towards me (and away from the gate). Her next mission would be a bit further away from Frankfurt. She would go to Delhi as flight CO 82



Doesn’t that engine look big??



A quick close up



And here is N57016 starting her journey towards Brussels, wonder who would be there first?



By now it was past 19.00 and started heading to my gate, when I arrived about 20 minutes later the assigned aircraft, N77006 had already been towed in and preparations are being made.



The sun started setting as my last Continental Airlines flight was about to begin



Soon I could spot the crew, most members looked to be in their 40s. The Inflight service manager looked familiar to me but I could not place him. Soon I could spot his name and immediately recognized him on a trip back from Newark to Brussels in 2009. The Gate agents where the same people that handled the earlier Brussels and Houston flight. They where quite overworked since they where explaining to a passenger that the plane still had to be towed in from the B-concourse. Another fact that I noticed was that there where no announcements concerning our delay. While the plane was already in position and being prepared, while checking my passport I asked if the 3-seater is still free. I got a quick answer that the aisle seat had been occupied. The disruptions earlier in Newark caused a lot of passengers to miss their connections to Brussels, Munich, Geneva, Berlin, … and where filling up the empty seats of our flight to Frankfurt. The last minute changes where also visible when noticing the Inflight service manager going multiple times back and forward between the gate and the aircraft!

At 19.50 Boarding began, first using the Public address system. Then just yelling the seatrows out, not very professional If you ask me. It seemed like everybody was seated in the rear cabin as it took quite a while for my seat to be called. Soon I was allowed to pass trough the jetway

20.15 in Newark, 2.15 in Frankfurt I was onboard my last Continental flight. N77006 would be the jet named after one of it’s previous CEO’s Robert F. Six.

Continental Airlines flight CO 0050 From Newark to Frankfurt am Main
Monday, 15 August 2011
Brussels (BRU/EBBR) – Newark (EWR/KEWR)
Continental Airlines 50 (United Airlines 1094, Lufthansa 7602, Air Canada 2538)
Boeing 777-224ER N77006 ‘Robert F. Six’ Economy Class 25A
Built and delivered to Continental Airlines on 8 December, 1998
19.30-20.49 (Gate C108; wheels up on runway 4L at 21.15)
09.25-09:46 (Stand A94; wheels down on runway 7C at 09.46)
Announced flying time: 6hrs22mns
Cruising Altitude: FL 370,390
Load factor: 75% in Y
Routing: NEWARK 8Merit-Hartford-Allex-Gander-N49W50-N50W40-N51W030-N51W20-DINIM-UL607-SPI-U5180-P8SOV-TI80-FRANKFURT
http://pic100.picturetrail.com/VOL1168/13216160/24024973/401281629.jpg

Personal statistics
150th registered flight.
13th flight in 2011
11th flight on Continental Airlines
15th flight on the B777 series aircraft
13th flight on the Boeing 777-200
1st flight on N77006

Recommended song for this long haul flight: Bruno Mars - Grenade

Once onboard I was greeted by a flight attendant in her 40’s. When asking how I was doing I could not resist to tell how I’m glad that I’m flying Continental Airlines again. When entering the Economy class cabin I noticed that my luck of having a 3-seater for my own had vanished as a man in his early 30s was installing himself in the aisle seat. He and his family (seated in the middle section) where flying to Geneva but had missed their flight, resulting them being placed on Continental 50. In the meanwhile the Inflight service manager was making an announcement that we would be even more delayed due to waiting some connecting passengers. I guess that’s what you get if you are the last flight to a Star Alliance hub!
In the meanwhile the 777 to London Heathrow already had left and a 757 took it’s stand to another European position, this plane is bound for Paris CDG as Continental Airlines flight 54



Seems like a very short flight tonight…



I noticed the newer boarding music played again, I actually did prefer the older one. This newer classical tone sounds just so creepy In my opinion. Soon the captain came on announcing our departure in 10 minutes and all passengers who should need to use the restroom should do it as we where expecting a bumpy ride. Our captain himself was an CO-veteran in his 70s. Finally at 20.50, more than an hour after our scheduled departure time we where ready to go. In the meanwhile, it had already became dark.



First the safety video started
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uE7MhHBtVvw
Soon we started our taxi out to runway 4L. If we where on time, this would result in a wonderful sunset departure… However, having an arrival time a bit later is not that bad either as I do not like those 7.00 arrivals in Europe. Flight time announced was 6hrs22mins giving us a nearly on-time arrival. Behind us in the queue was the Star Alliance logojet ‘N78017’ bound for Delhi, quite nice to see the aircraft that took me over from Europe behind us.
At 21.15 the mighty 777 lifted up
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-uEorxvHa_0

Soon followed by our typical in flight announcements…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3T2_QUJQr8w

During the announcement we where informed another time that we had to remain seated in the first few hours off the flight due to predicted turbulence. There where apologies as well in case the meal service had to be interrupted mid-service. For the next 45 minutes there where just some occasional small bumps, nothing big at all. Soon the meal service started, choice consisted of chicken or beef with rice. I opted for the latter and did not complain of my choice. I was satisfied by the portion since it was already 22.00 and had eaten only 6 hours prior.



Our crew was not as customer-oriented like my flight from Brussels to Newark, but sill nice and friendly. Certainly at a level which I’m not complaining at. 22:30 in Newark, 4:30 in Frankfurt the meals where cleared and I was ready to make an attempt to sleep. A great attempt to open the amenity kit I got on Continental 61, but first a cabin picture of the forward cabin



Fastforward a few hours… 1:15 in Newark and 7:15 in Frankfurt, I’m awoken by quite a bump and the seatbelt sign pinging on. This would be the first bump I would feel in the flight, so it went pretty smooth after all . A quick peek out of the window indicated the first glare of daylight? As on the flight to Newark, no water runs where given as well. Not a big deal., just remarkable



No nightflight report without the darkened cabin (with PTV’s on) shot



As we approached daylight, the seatbelt sign pinged off



And soon I was up to stretch my legs and implement the usual gift trick, after the usual thank you and some talk I went back to my seat as breakfast was about to begin. Soon the Flight attendant came to my seat and gave me a nice gift. I don’t know if this was from the Flight attendant itself or from the Businessfirst menu.



By now the cabin lights where turned on as the Breakfast service was about to commence



Nearing the Irish coast
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xD8f2cR-Jg4


8.00 in Frankfurt, 2.00 in Newark Breakfast is served. Continental’s Breakfast consists of a fresh croissant and some fruit. Nice and fresh.



Nearing the end of my summer trip, after 2,5 weeks of fun in the US



By now it was already daytime outside.



I went back to the galley to make my final stretch and talked a bit more with the crew. When I returned to my seat we where over the Belgian/German border and our decent into the Frankfurt area had begun.



Soon we could see the Reihn valley.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Co0VyLU9fEA


Flaps are being deployed



9.38 in Frankfurt, 3.38 in Newark… Robert F. Six touched down on European soil, a familiar place for most of us. Frankfurt’s runway 7C.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ue0ZtP-mybY
A short taxi would lead us to stand A94, a bit near the new terminal which Is under construction. A94 is an apron postion as well, so it will be deboarding by bus today. At 9.41 the plane shut down it’s engines ending my last Continental flight, an airline that will deeply be missed. Before deplaning I was allowed to make one of these.



Or a close up…



We parked next to a plane with a similar livery. However this plane is United’s N774UA which arrived earlier from Washington IAD as UA 916. Quite strange, 2 equally alike liveries and still two separate carriers at the moment this flight was taken. Back to the Continental plane, at this time multiple busses where waiting already for our flight. Once onboard I could quickly snap some pictures. Here is the mighty fuselage



The gear of a 777 looks impressive as well



The most impressive element is the huge GE engine who made this transatlantic hop possible.



Shortly we where on our way to Terminal 1, clearly which airline is the Boss here in Frankfurt

Transfering in Frankfurt Am Main
First of all I quickly checked the departure board, my flight was still to be on time!



Our gate was not yet assigned. Thankfully there was an agent serving Continental passengers that where connecting. I soon learned that my flight would be leaving from gate A28 this morning. Next was up to the immigration booth where I quickly could show my passport. The well signed airport in Frankfurt led me direct to the B-concourse security booth which was already quite crowded. By 10.30 I was trough and could make my way towards my gate. Hmmm… gate is A28 and I’m in the B-concourse. Means like we will be going trough here today



At the end we could do some spotting, I like how the gates are designed here in Frankfurt. However, sometimes a bit difficult to take pics. Like D-AIGX (Lufthansa A340-300) over here



A quick peek to N642UA (United Boeing 767-300) being prepared as UA 953 to Washington 380Dulles.



Jup, this is stand A18



In the distant a familiar site, Robert F. Six being prepared for it’s departure back home to Newark as CO51.



Next on the spotting tour is the Shengen side of the concourse. Here you can find Lufthansa in all shapes and sizes. The first one, registred D-ABIE would be my plane to Brussels this morning.



I quickly found a nice site to make some pictures. A lot of planes where arriving, like this A330 registered D-AIKN



Or leaving, here you can see Delta’s 15 to Atlanta operated by a Boeing 767-400, today N834MH.



N359AA (American Boeing 767-300) is heading back to the states as well!



And ofcourse.. No Frankfurt report without this one. Let me present you, D-AIMD!!!



This one is a tribute to the airliners.net meet in Frankfurt a month prior. It was great meeting and getting to know the faces behind your daily mail of trip reports! No trip report from me because I took the train to this meeting.
Back to August 16th now, In the meanwhile it is past 11.00 already and I’m at the gate



I quickly asked the sole gate agent if the 3-seater where I’m seated in is free. She replies negative. When I asked I could be reseated she advised me that this is the exit row! So I decided to stay in 11F.
At 11:20 the Boarding began, I soon used the automatic boarding gates which went very smooth. Soon I was onboard:

Lufthansa German Airlines flight 1010 from Frankfurt Am Main to Brussels
Tuesday 29 July, 2011
Frankfurt (FRA/EDDF)-Brussels (BRU/EBBR)
Lufthansa German Air Lines 1010 (Codeshare: US Airways 5700, United Airlines 9225, Brussels Airlines 7018, Air Canada 9190)
Boeing 737-530, D-ABIE ‘Hildesheim’ Economy Class 11F
Built and delivered to Lufthansa on 20 december, 1990
11.45-11.42 (Gate A28; wheels up on runway 7R at 12.04)
12.40-12.45 (Gate A54; wheels down on runway 25L at 12:39)
Announced flying time: 35mins
Cruising Altitude: FL 290
Load factor: 70% in Y
Routing: Frankfurt-Brussels

Personal statistics
151th registered flight.
14th flight in 2011
5th flight on Lufthansa
16th flight on the Boeing 737
12th flight on the classic series
2nd flight on the Boeing 737-500 series
1st flight on D-ABIE.

The first stop before finding my seat is in the galley to give the traditional routine gift. After receiving a great thank you I found the way to my seat just at the wing.



A peek trough the window indicated me that N77006, the plane that flew me in from Newark is back on it’s way home again as Continental 51



Soon my 2 seatmates found got seated. The middle seat was occupied by a younger lady while an middle aged man took the aisle seat. Since row 10 was empty somebody had to be reseated. Immediately the younger lady opted to reseat herself. Soon the door was closed, the manual safety demonstration was started and we pushed back just a little bit before schedule this morning back to Brussels. Taxi was quite long while passing Lufthansa in all shapes and sizes.



Soon at 12.02 Hildesheim spooled her engines up and my last flight this summer has commenced.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8MFcFb94n4
Soon we where back over the Reihn river valley.



Followed by a sharp right turn




Being up for about 24hrs already I soon dozed off again, when I woke up we where already 15 minutes later. The service had started, for me just an orange juice and a chocolate bar. Sufficient for a short hop like this one
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxl2nbM4tNo


A quick cabin pic of this old bird. It’s my first flight with the NEK seating with Lufthansa. The seats where ok but a bit hard.



Our trash was being collected while our decent into Brussels had started. Somewhere over Cologne.



Soon me made it over Belgium and the flaps where deployed.





At 12.39, a short 30 minutes after leaving Frankfurt we arrived back on Belgian soil on Brussels 25L
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NTLgfQW2mU

Is it Belgium?



Yes, we are clearly back in Belgium. Thomas cook and SN everywhere



At 12.45 we came to a halt at gate A54, besides a company 319 registred D-ALIE pushing back to Frankfurt or Munich.



While disembarking a quick shot of the NEK seating of Lufthansa’s Boeing 737.



A quick legroom shot, not complaining at all as you can imagine. After a trip like this a nice exit row was the only thing I needed!



And of course… a front desk visit included here as well


Arrival in Brussels airport
At 12.55 I was off board D-ABIE and in the A-concourse in Brussels. A quick picture of our classic now being prepared to go back to Frankfurt in an hour



Soon I started my long walk towards baggage claim, on the way I could find a Jetairfly 767 at a shengen gate, not a normal place for it to be



Soon after a long hike I arrived at the baggage claim. When I arrived I still had to wait for my bag, even after 25minutes since our arrival. Only in Brussels this can happen



Finally at 13.20 My bag arrived and was able to exit the terminal, soon I went down to the new station of the airport



At 13:52 I took the train to my hometown arriving at about 15:30 at home



I arrived at 16:00 at home, 24 hours after lifting off on my jetBlue flight to New York or 27 hours after leaving Palm Beach Gardens.

As a bonus I will show you the old Continental amenity kit.



Overall verdict:

As I said in my first part of this trip report I always found Continental above US standards, this flight is no exception. Good crew, good catering and comfortable seating. This was my last Continental flight and it will be an airline that will be missed in the American landscape. The only thing that I really hope is that a lot of items service-wise will be brought over to the new United. The handling in Newark was poor. I don’t blame the weather at all. But why shout out loud instead of just making an P/A announcement, or at least the correct information would have been nice.

Lufthansa preformed quite well on this sector, as I was expecting. After a long trip the exit row was just the perfect end.

higlights in the series
- Flying Continental Airlines long haul
- Southwest Airlines, very impressed by the service on that short Orlando-Ft Lauderdale flight.
- The crew of American Airlines 1510, how they really changed my vision about the airline
- Flying the Boeing 767-200 of US Airways and American Airlines

downside in the series
- jetBlue Airways: despite the various opinions about this airline I still find it to be an overrated carrier, while it is defiantly not more enjoyable than the legacies.

Overall remarks:

Continental Airlines 0050 from Newark to Frankfurt am Main : (Total score = 73%)

Departure: 60% (No Information given, unless asked)
Aircraft cleanliness : 80% (Roomy and clean impression)
Seat Comfort: 70% (decent legroom, standard pillow and blanket, wide and soft, IFE box does not form a disturbance)
Crew: 70% (Friendly, nice and welcoming. Not the extra touch like the outbound crew but still good)
IFE: 70% (plenty of offers, choice is average)
Catering: 80% (Good quality and quantity wise! Breakfast was good as well)
Arrival: 70% (The usual FRA maze but still clear)


Lufthansa German Air Lines 1010 from Frankfurt Am Main to Brussels : (Total score = 77%)

Departure: 80% (Nice and large waiting areas!)
Aircraft cleanliness : 80% (Nice despite it’s age)
Seat Comfort: 90% (exit row, but hard seating)
Crew: 70% (friendly and efficient)
Catering: 70% (sufficient for the length of the flight)
Arrival: 70% (wait for luggage was a bit long)

As a bonus I would like to give a list of regs I spotted in Newark, Frankfurt Am Main and Brussels

Newark:
9V-SDD
N57016
N76156
N78011
N68061
G-ZZZC
N33292
N68066
N66057
N69620
N77006
N78017
N36280
N24702

Frankfurt :
N77006
D-AIQA
D-AIBC
D-ABVR
N642UA
D-AIGX
D-ABVH
D-AIKN
N834MH
D-AIMD
D-AIGD
N355AA
N774UA
D-AIBB
D-AIQE
D-AISR
D-AILU
D-AIGG
D-AIRM
D-ABIE
D-AIGA
D-AIKB
D-ABTH
D-AIFD
D-AECD
D-AECF
D-AIHI
D-ABUB

Brussels:
D-ABIE
OO-DJT
OO-VEP
D-AILE
OO-TCN


Total facts in this trip report
2 New registrations (N77006 and D-ABIE)

Facts in the trip report series:
1 New Airline (Southwest Airlines)
1 New airport (Orlando MCO)
1 New type (B737-700)
9 New registrations (N78017, N11181, N424WN, N336AA, N246AY, N460UW, N503JB, N77006 and D-ABIE)


Thanks for reading and viewing this trip report, I hope you enjoyed reading it. As usual, comments and feedback are always welcome

Stay tuned for my next trip report:
US Airways A332’s. A step forward in the fleet??


Past trip reports:
Jetting The Blue Way To New York! (by MSS658 Feb 4 2012 in Trip Reports)
Chasing The Storm On US Airways! (by MSS658 Jan 24 2012 in Trip Reports)
A Trip On A Classic Silverjet And Some Trains! (by MSS658 Jan 4 2012 in Trip Reports)
Losing My Southwest Virginity! (by MSS658 Dec 18 2011 in Trip Reports)
Au-revoir Continental! (by MSS658 Dec 5 2011 in Trip Reports)
SATA, The Azores And The A310 Part II (by MSS658 Nov 13 2011 in Trip Reports)
SATA, The Azores And The A310! Part I (by MSS658 Oct 16 2011 in Trip Reports)
Sun, Snow, Rain And ... Lufthansa! (by MSS658 Sep 4 2011 in Trip Reports)
Propping Around The Upstate! (by MSS658 Aug 7 2011 in Trip Reports)
US Airways And Irregular Operations! (by MSS658 Jul 17 2011 in Trip Reports)
Lufthansa, There Is No Better Way To Fly! (by MSS658 Jul 5 2011 in Trip Reports)
A Short Hop On A Big Bird! (by MSS658 Feb 27 2011 in Trip Reports)
A West Side Flight On The East Side! (by MSS658 Jan 9 2011 in Trip Reports)
Wifi And Condensation On US Airways! (by MSS658 Dec 10 2010 in Trip Reports)
Air Canada, North America's Hidden Jewel? (by MSS658 Nov 6 2010 in Trip Reports)
A Ride With A Rare Blue Bird! (by MSS658 Oct 31 2010 in Trip Reports)
US Airways A333's.Are They Really That Bad? Part 2 (by MSS658 Oct 23 2010 in Trip Reports)
US Airways A330-300's. Are They Really That Bad? (by MSS658 Oct 16 2010 in Trip Reports)

Topic: RE: Going Home, The Star Alliance Way!
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2012-03-21 05:23:47 and read 13262 times.

Hi Marc,

good to see a new report from you. It seems you enjoyed your last CO flight.

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
On this picture you could see 9V-SDD, a Singapore Airlines A340-500
Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
company 319 registred D-ALIE

Slight correction: 9V-SGD and D-AILE.

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
Soon the meal service started, choice consisted of chicken or beef with rice. I opted for the latter and did not complain of my choice.

That doesn't look tasty at all - and I can only wonder about these oversized salad bowls. They should serve larger main course portions instead. The lack of decent meal service is one reason why I currently have no desire to fly on American carriers.

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
Soon the Flight attendant came to my seat and gave me a nice gift.

What's that - pieces of cake?


PH

Topic: RE: Going Home, The Star Alliance Way!
Username: OA260
Posted 2012-03-21 06:00:47 and read 13152 times.

Hey Marc ,
Another nice report from you as always  
Very nice of UA and LH to grant you access to flight deck to take pics. Really nice gesture. The gift back from the FA looks nice. Was is cheesecake or lemon cake maybe ?

Y food looks ok but not big portions. Lucky you had something to eat before the flight. Always a good idea.

Thanks for the nice read.

regards

Philip  

Topic: RE: Going Home, The Star Alliance Way!
Username: MSS658
Posted 2012-03-21 06:42:11 and read 13057 times.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
Hi Marc,

good to see a new report from you. It seems you enjoyed your last CO flight.

HI PH
Thanks for commenting, glad you liked it as much as I enjoyed my last CO flight.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
Slight correction: 9V-SGD and D-AILE.

Thanks!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
That doesn't look tasty at all - and I can only wonder about these oversized salad bowls. They should serve larger main course portions instead. The lack of decent meal service is one reason why I currently have no desire to fly on American carriers.

Taste was actually not that bad! The salad came over from the PMUA side. Quantity IMO is still suficcient compared to my US trip that will make an appearence to A.net in the next weeks! However, still does not compare to the better quality/quantity of the Euro/Gulf carriers.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
What's that - pieces of cake?

I believe cheesecake.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 2):
Hey Marc ,
Another nice report from you as always

Hi Philip, thanks!

Quoting OA260 (Reply 2):
Very nice of UA and LH to grant you access to flight deck to take pics. Really nice gesture.

Haha, always worth asking  
Quoting OA260 (Reply 2):
Was is cheesecake or lemon cake maybe

cheesecake

Quoting OA260 (Reply 2):
Y food looks ok but not big portions

Pretty standard for a North American carrier nowadays  


Greetings
Marc

Topic: RE: Going Home, The Star Alliance Way!
Username: OA260
Posted 2012-03-21 06:44:46 and read 13047 times.

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 3):
cheesecake

Cool cant go wrong with Cheesecake expecially New York style   Im still burning it off from my last cruise lol..  

Topic: RE: Going Home, The Star Alliance Way!
Username: airbuseric
Posted 2012-03-21 08:11:36 and read 12840 times.

Hi, Marc!

Good to see your latest installment on CO going back home. Impressive to see the loads of CO planes before departure, and so good you remember all flightnumbers and destinations of each one haha.
I must admit, CO's product sure looks good; nice meal for this carrier, and also the PTV's look quite big.
And coming home with sunshine... always a good thing!

Eric

Topic: RE: Going Home, The Star Alliance Way!
Username: sultanils
Posted 2012-03-21 08:13:58 and read 12835 times.

Hi MSS658-man  

Good to see another TATL report from you. Apparently you are clearing your backlog since these flights date from Aug last year? From what I saw on the pics, those meals are reet-petite. Good thing you ate that Mc Dee’s beforehand.
And LH seem to be holding on to their 735 fleet as for now, because their cabins are also refitted with the ultrathin seats. And your gift trick did pay off as well again: 2 cockpit visits, not bad my friend!

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
The latter pilot’s flight got cancelled because we where still in traffic at his STD.

Strange. They didn’t call for another pilot then. This has serious consequences for the pax involved, no?

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
McDonald's for my last proper meal in the US

That’s not a proper meal, that’s a really bad meal 

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
a Singapore Airlines A340-500 resting after her 19 hour journey from Singapore as SQ 21

As far as I love to fly, 19hrs nonstop is way too much to spend on a plane.

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
And soon I was up to stretch my legs and implement the usual gift trick

Haha - your trademark  

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
Breakfast is served. Continental’s Breakfast consists of a fresh croissant and some fruit. Nice and fresh.

That’s quite disappointing. Did you ask for another croissant or such?

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
when I woke up we where already 15 minutes later.

Funny how you write this: it seems like an eternity although it is just a mere 15 mins.

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
besides a company 319 registred D-ALIE pushing back to Frankfurt or Munich.

Pushing all the way to FRA or MUC   

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
on the way I could find a Jetairfly 767 at a shengen gate

Sometimes their 767’s are used for the ALC and AGP routes.

Sultanils

Topic: RE: Going Home, The Star Alliance Way!
Username: LH4116
Posted 2012-03-21 08:23:09 and read 12811 times.

Hoi Marc, nice report!

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
this would be my last flight operated by Continental Airlines.

Such a shame to see them go. They were one of the better US carriers it seems.

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
After hitting the road we suddenly turned back towards the airport to pick up some Continental Airlines pilots who came in on Delta and where heading to work in Newark. On our way a typical NY Cabb

Interesting that the CO pilots flew Delta, is this common practice on airlines to have the employees fly on competitor flights? Nice at least that you managed to get a chat with them.

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
However, no more Continental titles to be seen no more…

I really dislike this livery! They should've just changed to the "normal" UA livery instead.

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
In the background you can see an SAS A330 being prepared for it’s flight to Copenhagen as SK910.

So nice to see a SAS aircraft at an overseas destination. Their long haul network is really abysmal.

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
Doesn’t that engine look big??

Looks quite big, but not near as massive as the -115B  
Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
A quick close up

Now the T7 is really a beast! Although I think the nose of the A330/340 looks sexier.

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
Then just yelling the seatrows out, not very professional If you ask me.

That's unprofessional indeed. Did they make any priority call for Biz and *G?

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
Flight time announced was 6hrs22mins giving us a nearly on-time arrival.

That's a short flight indeed, had no idea transatlantic hops could be so short. Suppose it could be called a medium haul flight rather than a long haul  
Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
s on the flight to Newark, no water runs where given as well. Not a big deal., just remarkable

I think that's quite poor since hydration is very important on longer flights, to help ease the jetlag. Any self service bar in the galley for the passengers?

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
I don’t know if this was from the Flight attendant itself or from the Businessfirst menu.

A nice touch indeed, must probably be the dessert from Biz. They could however have brought it in on a proper plate also, but still it's the gesture that counts  
Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
8.00 in Frankfurt, 2.00 in Newark Breakfast is served. Continental’s Breakfast consists of a fresh croissant and some fruit. Nice and fresh.

Looks quite generous for a 6hr flight! And in comparison to US, that's very very generous  
Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
At 13:52 I took the train to my hometown arriving at about 15:30 at home

Station looks rather familiar! 

"Wheels Up!"
//Jonas

Topic: RE: Going Home, The Star Alliance Way!
Username: LH4532
Posted 2012-03-21 11:10:17 and read 12549 times.

Good evening Marc ,

Good to see the last part of this TR series online . I enjoyed reading it very much . I still remember that you told me that you would be at FRA on July 29th . Keep up the good work .


Daniel ( LH4532 )

Topic: RE: Going Home, The Star Alliance Way!
Username: MSS658
Posted 2012-03-21 12:00:15 and read 12442 times.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 5):
Hi, Marc!

Good to see your latest installment on CO going back home. Impressive to see the loads of CO planes before departure, and so good you remember all flightnumbers and destinations of each one haha.
I must admit, CO's product sure looks good; nice meal for this carrier, and also the PTV's look quite big.
And coming home with sunshine... always a good thing!

Eric

Hi Eric
Thanks for replying, glad you liked it. Yea CO has quite an operation in Newark, looks like each hub city however
I have some websites that help me a bit to retrieve this infomation
CO is still one of the better ones out there. Let's just hope that the new UA doesn't take it all away!

Quoting sultanils (Reply 6):
Hi MSS658-man

Good to see another TATL report from you. Apparently you are clearing your backlog since these flights date from Aug last year? From what I saw on the pics, those meals are reet-petite. Good thing you ate that Mc Dee’s beforehand.
And LH seem to be holding on to their 735 fleet as for now, because their cabins are also refitted with the ultrathin seats. And your gift trick did pay off as well again: 2 cockpit visits, not bad my friend!

Hi Nils
Thanks I'm glad you enjoyed it, yea I'm still having a huge backlog. Still 6 to write at this point.
McDee was still for my lunch. the meal portion was quite standard for a North American carrier. Getting a classic and a cockpit visit was indeed a nice treat!

Quoting sultanils (Reply 6):
Strange. They didn’t call for another pilot then. This has serious consequences for the pax involved, no?

Yup, and after Omaha this captain still had to go to Houston and Dallas as well

Quoting sultanils (Reply 6):
That’s not a proper meal, that’s a really bad meal

No visit to the US without McDO  
Quoting sultanils (Reply 6):
As far as I love to fly, 19hrs nonstop is way too much to spend on a plane.

being in an all J-class config I would still think twice  
Quoting sultanils (Reply 6):
Haha - your trademark

 
Quoting sultanils (Reply 6):
Funny how you write this: it seems like an eternity although it is just a mere 15 mins.

40% of a 35min flight  
Quoting sultanils (Reply 6):
Sometimes their 767’s are used for the ALC and AGP routes.

Good to know

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 7):
Hoi Marc, nice report!

Hej Jonas, thanks!

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 7):
They were one of the better US carriers it seems.

Correct

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 7):
Interesting that the CO pilots flew Delta, is this common practice on airlines to have the employees fly on competitor flights?

If there are no seats on their own flights the pilots still need to get to EWR right.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 7):
really dislike this livery! They should've just changed to the "normal" UA livery instead.

It depens from aircraft type to A/C type

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 7):
Now the T7 is really a beast!


My opinion as well!

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 7):
Did they make any priority call for Biz and *G?

Probaly the only real annoucement that was to be made that night!

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 7):
That's a short flight indeed, had no idea transatlantic hops could be so short

did BOS-CDG in 5hrs45mins back in 2010

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 7):
Any self service bar in the galley for the passengers?

Thankfully there was.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 7):
but still it's the gesture that counts

Correct

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 7):
And in comparison to US, that's very very generous

Haha, great point. I'm glad your evening at my house learned you something!

Quoting LH4532 (Reply 8):
Good evening Marc ,

Good to see the last part of this TR series online . I enjoyed reading it very much . I still remember that you told me that you would be at FRA on July 29th . Keep up the good work .


Daniel ( LH4532 )

HI Daniel, glad you liked it. I will certainly do my best.
Haah, you have a great memory. But are you sure it was july 29th. I was in South Carolina on that day  Wink

Greetings
Marc

[Edited 2012-03-21 12:05:33]

Topic: RE: Going Home, The Star Alliance Way!
Username: lychemsa
Posted 2012-03-21 12:20:30 and read 12380 times.

The reason I don't fly CO to Europe anymore is that their meals are a "disaster." Also excess baggage fees now with UA are a ripp off. No fixed $60 fee like BA / AA. They charged me $140 with no explanation.

Topic: RE: Going Home, The Star Alliance Way!
Username: Knightsofmalta
Posted 2012-03-21 12:40:41 and read 12326 times.

Hi Marc

Thanks for the interesting report. Continental look rather nice actually. And congrats on deplaning via stairs, I envy you for that! It's always cool to be able to use the stairs, particularly so if it's from a wide-body. That engine looks positively enormous. I've only ever had such luck once in Frankfurt when boarding an Air Namibia B. 747-400.

Thanks for posting. Looking forward to your next trip!

Cheers,
William

Topic: RE: Going Home, The Star Alliance Way!
Username: MSS658
Posted 2012-03-21 14:06:38 and read 12189 times.

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 10):
The reason I don't fly CO to Europe anymore is that their meals are a "disaster." Also excess baggage fees now with UA are a ripp off. No fixed $60 fee like BA / AA. They charged me $140 with no explanation.

Hi lychesma, you think CO is a disaster. You really need to try out US one day....

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 11):
And congrats on deplaning via stairs, I envy you for that! It's always cool to be able to use the stairs, particularly so if it's from a wide-body.

Hi Knightsofmalta

Thanks, seeing a 777 from the ground is indeed quite special  


Greetings
Marc

Topic: RE: Going Home, The Star Alliance Way!
Username: SloAir
Posted 2012-03-21 14:43:50 and read 12078 times.

Hi Marc,

great report, I enjoyed it a lot. Nice videos also. I will miss Continental as well, but the new UA livery will still remind us about this nice airline.

Keep the reports coming,

Blaž

Topic: RE: Going Home, The Star Alliance Way!
Username: MSS658
Posted 2012-03-22 01:11:06 and read 11438 times.

Quoting SloAir (Reply 13):
Hi Marc,

great report, I enjoyed it a lot. Nice videos also. I will miss Continental as well, but the new UA livery will still remind us about this nice airline.

Keep the reports coming,

Blaž

Hi Blaz

Thanks for commenting Glad you liked it. Hopefully a lot of the CO-company culture will be remained.

Greetings
Marc

Topic: RE: Going Home, The Star Alliance Way!
Username: volvair
Posted 2012-03-22 01:54:50 and read 11383 times.

Hi Marc,

great and very enjoyable report! Nice to see you enjoyed your last Continental flight. Their 772s are indeed nice to fly on. Comfortable seats, great PTV. Crews were also very nice on the fights I had with them and it seems you had the same experience. Let's hope they keep it up in the new United.

Good to hear everything went (more or less) smooth in NYC despite your luggage hassels and weather.

Looking forward to your US report.

Topic: RE: Going Home, The Star Alliance Way!
Username: stratosphere
Posted 2012-03-22 02:14:10 and read 11348 times.

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
Our captain himself was an CO-veteran in his 70s.

Veteran in his 70's?.....Little old isn't it considering mandatory retirement is 65.

Topic: RE: Going Home, The Star Alliance Way!
Username: gabrielchew
Posted 2012-03-22 02:54:13 and read 11279 times.

Nice report Marc - service on Continted looks pretty good - shame about your delay out of Newark though.

Topic: RE: Going Home, The Star Alliance Way!
Username: MSS658
Posted 2012-03-22 05:38:23 and read 11080 times.

Quoting volvair (Reply 15):
Hi Marc,

Hi volvair

Quoting volvair (Reply 15):
great and very enjoyable report! Nice to see you enjoyed your last Continental flight. Their 772s are indeed nice to fly on. Comfortable seats, great PTV. Crews were also very nice on the fights I had with them and it seems you had the same experience.

Thanks, glad you liked it. Interesting that we have the same opinion. seems like CO is doing something good!

Quoting volvair (Reply 15):
et's hope they keep it up in the new United.

I can only agree

Quoting volvair (Reply 15):
Looking forward to your US report.

stay tuned!

Quoting stratosphere (Reply 16):
Veteran in his 70's?.....Little old isn't it considering mandatory retirement is 65.

Hi stratosphere, age was deplicted by view. Don't know the exact age!

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 17):
Nice report Marc - service on Continted looks pretty good - shame about your delay out of Newark though.

Hi Gabriel
Thanks, glad you liked it. CO is indeed a bit better. Thankfully we arrived in FRA on time  


Greetings
Marc

Topic: RE: Going Home, The Star Alliance Way!
Username: win1290
Posted 2012-03-22 13:16:37 and read 10720 times.

Hi Marc,

Thanks for the very nice trip report, enjoyed reading it. I have never travelled with a US-based airline before. From your pictures, the cabin looks nice and good IFE too. Very cool that you got to see the flight deck on both flights!

Thanks for sharing, and looking forward to your next one.

Win

Topic: RE: Going Home, The Star Alliance Way!
Username: MSS658
Posted 2012-03-23 00:43:01 and read 10426 times.

Quoting win1290 (Reply 19):
Hi Marc,

Thanks for the very nice trip report, enjoyed reading it. I have never travelled with a US-based airline before. From your pictures, the cabin looks nice and good IFE too. Very cool that you got to see the flight deck on both flights!

Thanks for sharing, and looking forward to your next one.

Win

Hi Win

Thanks for replying, glad you liked it. US-based airlines are usually ok, they will get you there with a meal and a drink but not to many whistles and bells. CO has always seem to give the extra to make it a great ride!

Greetings
Marc

Topic: RE: Going Home, The Star Alliance Way!
Username: JL418
Posted 2012-03-23 12:18:28 and read 10127 times.

Hello Marc!

thanks for posting, it's been an interesting read!

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
After hitting the road we suddenly turned back towards the airport to pick up some Continental Airlines pilots who came in on Delta and where heading to work in Newark

How come? Was it a scheduled stop or did the driver spot the pilots?

Quote:
Here is an overview with the Newark-city skyline in the background!

That's an impressive view, if only you had one of those DSLR with enormous lenses...

Quote:
On this picture you could see9V-SDD, a Singapore Airlines A340-500 resting after her 19 hour journey from Singapore as SQ 21.

Is that the Business class only flight everyone keeps dreaming about? If so it'd be cool to board it once...

Quote:
Another fact that I noticed was that there where no announcements concerning our delay.
Quote:
As on the flight to Newark, no water runs where given as well. Not a big deal., just remarkable

And that's continental, the US airline which - allegedly - has the best customer care of them all! Still a long way to go, unfortunately.

Thanks again and hope to read from you again soon!

Fabrizio

Topic: RE: Going Home, The Star Alliance Way!
Username: FLIEGER67
Posted 2012-03-23 14:55:33 and read 10041 times.

Hi, Marc,

interesting to follow you´re return from the States. Well done.
That´s indeed a shame to miss CO.
Good to see you´re FRA connection working well.

Looking for the next story from you´re hand.

Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)

Topic: RE: Going Home, The Star Alliance Way!
Username: MSS658
Posted 2012-03-24 03:41:03 and read 9737 times.

Quoting JL418 (Reply 21):
Hello Marc!

thanks for posting, it's been an interesting read!

Hi Fabrizo,
Thanks  
Quoting JL418 (Reply 21):
How come? Was it a scheduled stop or did the driver spot the pilots?

A phone call was made shortly after our departure!

Quoting JL418 (Reply 21):
That's an impressive view, if only you had one of those DSLR with enormous lenses...

Thanks  . Just travelling in US Airports with those lenses make me uncomfortable!

Quoting JL418 (Reply 21):
Is that the Business class only flight everyone keeps dreaming about? If so it'd be cool to board it once...

Jup

Quoting JL418 (Reply 21):
And that's continental, the US airline which - allegedly - has the best customer care of them all! Still a long way to go, unfortunately.

Yeah, service in EWR was a could have been better. I don't know how they handeled the earlier BRU and IAH flights on the other side

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 22):
Hi, Marc,

interesting to follow you´re return from the States. Well done.
That´s indeed a shame to miss CO.
Good to see you´re FRA connection working well.

Looking for the next story from you´re hand.

Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)

Hi Markus

Thanks for you're reply.
Yea, CO leaving is indeed an end of a great era.


Greetings
Marc

Topic: RE: Going Home, The Star Alliance Way!
Username: signol
Posted 2012-03-24 13:48:15 and read 9354 times.

Hi Marc,

nice conclusion to your latest American series. Your last flight on CO seems to have been quite alright, though as mentioned the food portions look a little small. I wouldn't call McDo a "proper meal" though  

Thanks for the report!

signol

Topic: RE: Going Home, The Star Alliance Way!
Username: abrelosojos
Posted 2012-03-24 13:52:01 and read 9356 times.

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
I opted for fast food.. McDonald's for my last proper meal in the US

= Haha. Since when is McD a "proper meal"   ...

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
At 19.50 Boarding began, first using the Public address system. Then just yelling the seatrows out, not very professional If you ask me. It seemed like everybody was seated in the rear cabin as it took quite a while for my seat to be called. Soon I was allowed to pass trough the jetway

= Aah ... the mess of EWR!

Thanks a lot for sharing the final installment. I thoroughly enjoyed the same, and was surprised by the CO meal service.

Saludos,
A.

Topic: RE: Going Home, The Star Alliance Way!
Username: The777Man
Posted 2012-03-25 02:38:44 and read 9189 times.

Hi Marc !

Thanks for a great report with great pictures !

It's a mess a lot of the time at EWR due to only two parallel runways so good that your flight wasn't too much delayed. CO (UA now) has a very big operation at EWR and they keep adding international fligths; IST starts in July this year.

Flights look okay but I have to say the meal looks a bit on the small side; I had a larger meal about a week ago NRT-LAX and it was very good. It seems the merger has improved the meal quality on the UA side.

This was your last CO flight but I can assure you that almost everything at the new UA is from CO.   The only left of UA is the name and the music (Rhapsody In Blue). That was the boarding music that was playing and I love it. Makes me feel at home.

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
One of the two only airlines actually making profit (the other one is Southwest)

Actually both UA and DL made profits of about 800 million plus each last year, way bigger than WN or B6. Not even sure if B6 made a full year profit last year.

Looking forward to your next report!

The777Man

Topic: RE: Going Home, The Star Alliance Way!
Username: FlyingFinn76
Posted 2012-03-26 10:07:21 and read 8868 times.

Hi Marc,

Good to read your concluding report of this summer US series. Glad that you managed one last flight on Continental - it certainly is sad to see them being absorbed into the United brand. Despite the delay your flight looked okay and any flight on a triple seven should be fun anyway.

I was booked to fly a CO-coded flight YYZ-EWR in June (but operated of course by Colgan Air dba. Continental Express) but recently that flight number changed to an UA one thanks to the retirement of the CO code. So sad.

Topic: RE: Going Home, The Star Alliance Way!
Username: adamspotter
Posted 2012-03-26 10:49:34 and read 8811 times.

Hi Marc,
Nice to see your last part of this series online. Nice report!

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
I quickly found a nice site to make some pictures.

I was actually at the exact same place a couple of weeks ago. Perfect for spotting indeed!

cheers,
adamspotter // Brendan

Topic: RE: Going Home, The Star Alliance Way!
Username: MSS658
Posted 2012-03-28 07:59:54 and read 8472 times.

Quoting signol (Reply 24):
Hi Marc,

nice conclusion to your latest American series. Your last flight on CO seems to have been quite alright, though as mentioned the food portions look a little small.

Hi Signol

Thanks for replying, must say CO is still higher in standards than any US carrier IMO. Food portions are standard for a US carrier

Quoting signol (Reply 24):
I wouldn't call McDo a "proper meal" though
Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 25):
= Haha. Since when is McD a "proper meal" ...

Since you havent' eaten anything in 12 hours

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 25):

= Aah ... the mess of EWR!

Thanks a lot for sharing the final installment. I thoroughly enjoyed the same, and was surprised by the CO meal service.

Saludos,
A.

Hi Alex,
Thanks for replying, nice to hear you liked it. I've never been let down on all my CO-travels. even in irregular opps.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 26):
Hi Marc !

Thanks for a great report with great pictures !

Hi Lars, thanks!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 26):
It's a mess a lot of the time at EWR due to only two parallel runways so good that your flight wasn't too much delayed. CO (UA now) has a very big operation at EWR and they keep adding international fligths; IST starts in July this year

Always impressed by those megahubs in the US (EWR,ATL,IAH,PHL,JFK, DTW, ORD,...)

Quoting The777Man (Reply 26):
Flights look okay but I have to say the meal looks a bit on the small side; I had a larger meal about a week ago NRT-LAX and it was very good. It seems the merger has improved the meal quality on the UA side.

maybe to do with the longer duration of the NRT-LAX leg. I always have the impression that the service quality on transpac is higher then TATL

Quoting The777Man (Reply 26):
This was your last CO flight but I can assure you that almost everything at the new UA is from CO. The only left of UA is the name and the music (Rhapsody In Blue). That was the boarding music that was playing and I love it. Makes me feel at home.

Good to know alot of the CO product is being brought over  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 27):
Hi Marc,

Good to read your concluding report of this summer US series. Glad that you managed one last flight on Continental - it certainly is sad to see them being absorbed into the United brand. Despite the delay your flight looked okay and any flight on a triple seven should be fun anyway.

Hi Petteri,
Thanks for commenting, glad you liked it. Yea, always bad to see good airlines go. Thankfully I was able to enjoy my last flight with them

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 27):
I was booked to fly a CO-coded flight YYZ-EWR in June (but operated of course by Colgan Air dba. Continental Express) but recently that flight number changed to an UA one thanks to the retirement of the CO code. So sad.

yea, I assume the flight number stayed the same! Still surprised that you got the CO flight instead of the Porter one from YTZ to EWR. I assume that has to do with the ticket combo from BRU right?

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 28):
Hi Marc,
Nice to see your last part of this series online. Nice report!


Hi Brendan
Thanks


Quoting adamspotter (Reply 28):
I was actually at the exact same place a couple of weeks ago. Perfect for spotting indeed!

 


Greetings
Marc

Topic: RE: Going Home, The Star Alliance Way!
Username: The777Man
Posted 2012-03-28 11:38:43 and read 8374 times.

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 29):
maybe to do with the longer duration of the NRT-LAX leg. I always have the impression that the service quality on transpac is higher then TATL

Yes, possibly. The TransPacific flights are usually a lot longer than NYC-Europe flights as well. Keep in mind the distance LAX-LHR is almost exactly the same as LAX-NRT, just a difference of 5 miles with LAX-LHR being longer.

The777Man

Topic: RE: Going Home, The Star Alliance Way!
Username: EL-AL
Posted 2012-03-28 19:14:54 and read 8256 times.

Hey MS,

Still, it looks like UA/CO offer the best transatlantic US airline YCL service. EWR is also way better then JFK in my opinion.

May I ask how much is the JFK-EWR bus ride?

Thank you for shearing,

Jonathan

Topic: RE: Going Home, The Star Alliance Way!
Username: deltamartin
Posted 2012-03-29 12:05:06 and read 8074 times.

Hi Marc!

Nice report!
CO seemed to take good care of you, too bad I didn't really get the chance to try them before they were merged.
My understanding with CO is that, as you said, they are above the normal US standards. So just like you I hope that the new United will keep the good aspects of the two airlines.

Martin

Topic: RE: Going Home, The Star Alliance Way!
Username: MSS658
Posted 2012-04-03 14:19:46 and read 7530 times.

Quoting EL-AL (Reply 31):
Hey MS,

Still, it looks like UA/CO offer the best transatlantic US airline YCL service. EWR is also way better then JFK in my opinion.

Hi Jonathan
Thanks for replying, glad you liked it. UA/CO offers a good product indeed. For the NYC Airport, it depens on which terminal you are flying out

Quoting EL-AL (Reply 31):
May I ask how much is the JFK-EWR bus ride?

27 USD If my memory serves me correct

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 32):
Hi Marc!

Nice report!
CO seemed to take good care of you, too bad I didn't really get the chance to try them before they were merged.
My understanding with CO is that, as you said, they are above the normal US standards. So just like you I hope that the new United will keep the good aspects of the two airlines.

Martin

Hi Martin

Thanks for replying, glad you liked ti. Indeed I could not complain about CO, above US standards. Lets hope alot of the CO product stays in the new UA

Greetings
Marc

Topic: RE: Going Home, The Star Alliance Way!
Username: akhmad
Posted 2012-04-05 11:31:42 and read 7255 times.

Hoi Marc,

Fitting finale. Though it’s about your summer holiday, it is still fresh. Very nice!

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
Recommended song for this long haul flight: Bruno Mars - Grenade

I love this song!   


Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
I don’t know if this was from the Flight attendant itself or from the Businessfirst menu

In any case, a very nice gesture of the flight attendant.

Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
Nearing the end of my summer trip, after 2,5 weeks of fun in the US

Time flies when you’re having fun.   


Quoting MSS658 (Thread starter):
Yes, we are clearly back in Belgium. Thomas cook and SN everywhere

Especially the ‘K3’ logo one.


Thanks for sharing.

Groeten,
Suryo

Topic: RE: Going Home, The Star Alliance Way!
Username: MSS658
Posted 2012-04-15 08:48:18 and read 6703 times.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 34):
Hoi Marc,

Fitting finale. Though it’s about your summer holiday, it is still fresh. Very nice!

Hi Suryo,
Thanks for replying. Glad you liked it

Quoting akhmad (Reply 34):
I love this song!

So do I

Quoting akhmad (Reply 34):
In any case, a very nice gesture of the flight attendant.

Can only agree.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 34):
Time flies when you’re having fun.

Fact  
Quoting akhmad (Reply 34):
Especially the ‘K3’ logo one.

Only in Belgium  

Greetings
Marc


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