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Topic: Last Flight To Flores (to Guatemala With CO) 28pix
Username: OB1783P
Posted 2006-12-07 02:04:23 and read 6109 times.

Earlier in the fall, I decided to visit the Northern part of Guatemala (El Peten). I saw that Continental offered a nonstop flight from IAH to Flores (FRS) and back, every Saturday. By the time I was ready to reserve, the flight had almost doubled in price, so I fiddled with Continental.com and bought the ticket for the original price, but coming back from GUA.

Later, in travel forums, I discovered that my flight to Flores, on November 25, was the last scheduled Continental flight to Flores. Who knows what would have happened if I had reserved earlier, returning from Flores on December 2?

LAST FLIGHT TO FLORES

Too excited to sleep at all, I left home at 2:00 a.m. I parked at the long term parking at BWI, and I was one of few waiting for the Continental windows to open at 4:30. Security, at that time, was a breeze.

CO527 Nov. 25 06 BWI-IAH
Gate D14 Seat 19C
1,235 miles
B737-800 N14230
100% full
Scheduled 6:00 - 8:30
Actual 6:10 - 8:10


Nothing special there. Many Latinos on the quiet flight, due to numerous connections in IAH. Nice, smiling cabin crew. One lavatory inoperative. Movie "Little Man" on drop screens, but few takers for headphones. There was a shallow but low cloud ceiling, which we entered, and then poof, landed a few seconds later.







In Houston, I enjoyed the train to terminal C, but the terminal itself was disappointing, doubly so when I found out my flight was delayed, due to fog (at both ends). I expected to get a glimpse Air China and PIA, but I saw only one non-CO tail, a NW A320.

CO2198 Nov. 25 06 IAH-FRS
Gate C62 Seat 1A
966 miles
ERJ145XR N23139
45% full
Scheduled 9:40 - 12:50
Actual 11:25 - 2:15


The young pilots looked fresh out of high school, and the cheerful F/A was a bit confused (kept saying Flores - Guadalajara instead of Flores - Guatemala). The flight was very cold for a while. For most of the time, we hugged the Gulf Coast. When we got closer to FRS, I was thrilled to see jungle landscape. For me, there is nothing quite like the sight of what appears to be a broccoli forest: the promise of a great time.










No, no, it's not the same picture. It's the same breakfast on a different flight!









I also adore jungle airports: no walkways, no glass in the windows, huge weapons in the hand of juvenile gendarmes, a feeling of impending thrill and general mildew.







Now, since I have you here, a few photos from my trip:









I loved everything about Guatemala except driving through Guatemala City (no beltway, unfortunately). I spent my last night in the touristy volcano town of Antigua. I hired a shuttle to the airport for $10, which I ended up riding alone, through the most depressing cityscape: an endless boulevard of broken dreams.

CO459 Dec. 02 06 GUA-IAH
Gate A Seat 17D
1,103 miles
B737-800 N33284
100% full
Scheduled 1:30 - 4:29
Actual 1:37 - 4:10


The GUA terminal is drafty, ratty, and undergoing renovations. Long wait at the Continental window, possibly due to a lot of extra luggage. The purported $30 tax is included in the ticket, but you need to pay a 20 Quetzales security fee ($3). Security is similar to here. The line was short (it's a small airport, actually). There were fighter jets practicing hi-speed touch and go, making the building rattle. Not much spotting: just a couple of DC-3s in the distance. Lining up for take off, the pilot did a little swerve to gain extra few feet, and he revved up the engines with the brakes on. We took off like a rocket.







The 100% male F/A team didn't crack a smile, but they did the job very well. No movie: episodes of The King of Queens with no sound. What the @#*&?







Immigration at IAH is the smoothest I have ever experienced in a large airport, in a bright and welcoming terminal. Shame on ORD and IAD by comparison. Terminal E was a joy to wait a couple of hours in. I bumped into a couple with whom I had climbed the volcano the day before (you need to keep walking or your soles melt). I witnessed a golden Texas sunset, and watched a lot of CO jets take off and land.

CO526 Dec. 02 06 IAH-BWI
Gate E8 Seat 15C
1,235 miles
B737-800 N??? never had a clear view of the tail
60% full
Scheduled 6:59 - 10:58
Actual 6:59 - 10:30






Cheerful waiting with the Riverdale Baptist Basketball Team. I already felt so far from Guatemala. Since the plane was unevenly seated, I moved to seats 11D-E-F, and slept through "Talladega Nights." Back to deserted and chilly Baltimore. Who said the best part of a journey is to come home? Not I!

CONCLUSION: It's the first time I go on a big trip with a small plane. I had a wonderful time in Guatemala. Aviation-wise, it was not that much of an adventure, but Continental gets the job done. Latin flights are always very quiet, with well-behaved travelers. I have no definite plans of where to go next year, but if CO starts EWR-PVG, I will certainly be tempted.

[Edited 2006-12-07 02:13:08]

Topic: RE: Last Flight To Flores (to Guatemala With CO) 28pix
Username: SW733
Posted 2006-12-07 02:36:32 and read 6062 times.

Interesting report, I enjoyed the pics

Quoting OB1783P (Thread starter):
The 100% male F/A team didn't crack a smile, but they did the job very well. No movie: episodes of The King of Queens with no sound. What the @#*&?


Could be worse, I once had an NW flight MDW-MSP which had Daffy Duck with no sound on  Wink

Topic: RE: Last Flight To Flores (to Guatemala With CO) 28pix
Username: 767747
Posted 2006-12-07 05:12:28 and read 5921 times.

Very nice report and pictures!!!

767747

Topic: RE: Last Flight To Flores (to Guatemala With CO) 28pix
Username: ZRHnerd
Posted 2006-12-07 11:31:33 and read 5775 times.

Nice and rare report, great pics.

Topic: RE: Last Flight To Flores (to Guatemala With CO) 28pix
Username: Semsem
Posted 2006-12-07 19:39:39 and read 5525 times.

Did you go to Tikal?

Topic: RE: Last Flight To Flores (to Guatemala With CO) 28pix
Username: Aussiestu
Posted 2006-12-07 21:51:25 and read 5422 times.

Nice trip report and photos. US airlines just have the worst presented catering. All plastic and disposable. They truelly could do so much better, the fares are not that cheap!

Topic: RE: Last Flight To Flores (to Guatemala With CO) 28pix
Username: KL808
Posted 2006-12-07 22:04:09 and read 5413 times.

Great report.

I was in FRS last May, flew in on Maya Air from BZE. Got to sit up front and view the landing.

Did you have fun in FRS? Did you get to go to Tikal?

Drew

Topic: RE: Last Flight To Flores (to Guatemala With CO) 28pix
Username: AA737-823
Posted 2006-12-08 00:08:37 and read 5337 times.

Isn't IAH great? I love terminal E especially, and now that C has been redone, it's much nicer than it was.

I recently turned down the opportunity to go on a trip to GUA in favor of going home for Christmas. I know it was the right decision, but...... maybe some other time!

And hey, that's some of the best looking coach food I've seen in a while... keep in mind, oh ye from other countries, that Continental is the only one that still serves it for free.
AND gives you a pillow and blanket without asking for cash.

Oh, what kind of sandwich is that? The one from GUA to IAH? Looks interesting....

Topic: RE: Last Flight To Flores (to Guatemala With CO) 28pix
Username: OB1783P
Posted 2006-12-08 01:33:48 and read 5278 times.

Of course I went to Tikal:



The sandwich on the third flight was spicy fried chicken with a slice of roasted red pepper.

Thank you everyone for your interest. Isn't it great how, nowadays, we can bore THOUSANDS of people with our vacation pictures instead of just a few family members?

[Edited 2006-12-08 01:39:33]

Topic: RE: Last Flight To Flores (to Guatemala With CO) 28pix
Username: NateDAL
Posted 2006-12-08 05:20:56 and read 5184 times.

Quoting OB1783P (Reply 8):

The sandwich on the third flight was spicy fried chicken with a slice of roasted red pepper.

That sandwitch actually looks pretty good.

It is a shame that IAH-FRS didn't work out. Maybe they will try it again. More than once a weeks might help so that people don't have to stay a week if they fly back from FRS...

Topic: RE: Last Flight To Flores (to Guatemala With CO) 28pix
Username: NateDAL
Posted 2006-12-08 05:23:53 and read 5184 times.

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 7):
AND gives you a pillow and blanket without asking for cash.

What airlines ask you to pay extra for pillows? I've never heard of that. Besides WN and CO, who actually has pillows & blankets on domestic US flights?

Topic: RE: Last Flight To Flores (to Guatemala With CO) 28pix
Username: Semsem
Posted 2006-12-08 19:08:14 and read 5042 times.

The pictures are not at all boring. Very interesting. Is Tikal really worth it? Thanks.

Topic: RE: Last Flight To Flores (to Guatemala With CO) 28pix
Username: Corsair1107
Posted 2006-12-08 19:54:51 and read 5017 times.

That bus looks badass. Nice report. At least you got fed in Y.

Topic: RE: Last Flight To Flores (to Guatemala With CO) 28pix
Username: Carmenlu15
Posted 2006-12-10 00:13:59 and read 4792 times.

Great trip report, I love those pics! Good to see you enjoyed your stay here  Smile

Quoting OB1783P (Thread starter):
the cheerful F/A was a bit confused (kept saying Flores - Guadalajara instead of Flores - Guatemala)

Good grief...  banghead 

Quoting OB1783P (Thread starter):

I loved everything about Guatemala except driving through Guatemala City

Don't worry, that's something we don't like either. Big grin

Quoting Semsem (Reply 11):
Is Tikal really worth it?

Definitely! A couple pictures to get you enticed...

Topic: RE: Last Flight To Flores (to Guatemala With CO) 28pix
Username: Semsem
Posted 2006-12-10 03:14:59 and read 4754 times.

Thanks. Interesting that it is in the middle of nowhere.

Topic: RE: Last Flight To Flores (to Guatemala With CO) 28pix
Username: Halcyon
Posted 2006-12-10 12:34:52 and read 4666 times.

It is very nice to be able to share these stories with thousands rather than just the (with me at least) often less than enthused family.

I'd also like to thank you for your nextjourney.org reports, especially the one on Peru. I loved the parts about having rocks thrown at the change, and the "Iron House" was quite amusing to me. What a strange place to try to start and even stranger fad.

I hope you have fun on your next trip and continue to keep us updated.

Lucas

Topic: RE: Last Flight To Flores (to Guatemala With CO) 28pix
Username: Ajd1992
Posted 2006-12-10 12:56:51 and read 4657 times.

Quoting OB1783P (Thread starter):
an endless boulevard of broken dreams.

Green day fan?  Wink Great report.

Topic: RE: Last Flight To Flores (to Guatemala With CO) 28pix
Username: BA319-131
Posted 2006-12-31 19:59:16 and read 4279 times.

Nice report & photo's, many thanks, not a usual destination.

Quoting Aussiestu (Reply 5):
US airlines just have the worst presented catering

- Yep, totally right  Smile

Quoting OB1783P (Reply 8):
The sandwich on the third flight was spicy fried chicken with a slice of roasted red pepper

- I wondered what it was, never come across this on a flight yet.

Rgds

Mark

Topic: RE: Last Flight To Flores (to Guatemala With CO) 28pix
Username: LY777
Posted 2006-12-31 21:12:37 and read 4260 times.

The ERJ 145 is so narrow!!!
I will never be able to fly on such a plane!!!

Topic: RE: Last Flight To Flores (to Guatemala With CO) 28pix
Username: OB1783P
Posted 2007-01-01 19:38:31 and read 4111 times.

Quoting LY777 (Reply 18):
The ERJ 145 is so narrow!!!
I will never be able to fly on such a plane!!!

Even on the side with only one seat?
I didn't feel squeezed at all. Granted, I am not tall.


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