Hi! I'm new to the form, but have been reading it for years, so I know the drill. My first post, my first trip report, so feedback is appreciated...
Depart: HPN 0935AM as CO8760
Equipment: Dash 8-200 N365PH
Arrive: CLE 1135AM
I must start by saying I'm a huge fan of Continental, and I can't see why anyone else would fly them. That being said, if the trip report seems dry, it's because it's business as usual at Continental. The flight went flawlessly, with a few bumps en route and the crew was very friendly and polite. And, +/-80% load, and after about a fifteen minute ground delay, we still arrived about 10mins early. Funny because the lady in front of me was bitchin about how were sitting on the ground; I pointed to my watch and told her we were scheduled to land a half hour from now, to no avail...can't win 'em all.
After arriving in CLE, myself and my mother spent a few hours in the Presidents Club which, I must say, is truly an excellent product that CO offers. They had a bar with, as they say, light snacks (help yourself), I enjoyed a Coke and some coffee, WiFi, good selection of periodicals, daily papers, a mini-auditourium like area for watching television, many personal cubical-like areas with telephones, ext. And, on top of all that, I managed to ask one of the women working there if she would be so kind as to escort me to the company store so as I can acquire a shirt. After a few phone calls, she said she'd be glad to, so off we went down into the bowls of the airport to...The Continental Employee Store (I felt so privileged). She said that we didn't have too much time, so I got a nice button-down polo with the CO insignia for $20. Made my day because about 5 people asked me if I worked for CO, so I told them "Ya, but they gave me the day off..." And, I managed to get a free fleece blanket for signing up for a CO credit card...not a bad deal.
Depart: CLE 1525PM as CO 5591
Equipment: CRJ N657BR
Again, flight went flawless, crew very polite, ext. Just kinda strange being on a CO CRJ, something about it...
Depart: ATL 0955AM as CO 5834
Equipment: ERJ145 N277SK
Perfect. We left the gate on time, took us about 20 mins until takeoff, but with all that DL traffic, what's one to do? The FA must have been having one of those days, or one too many flights because she had the routine DOWN to a t, and wasn't hesitant to take a seat in one of the empty seats in the back to read a book for most of the flight after doing the drink service.
Depart: CLE as CO8761
Equipment: Dash 8-200 N363PH
This was the flight that I'll remember the most because I talked to a pilot in the airport who was in his 20's for about an hour about airline consolidation, being a pilot, ext. and I had explained to him how, ultimately, I'd like to work in a management position at CO, and he told me it'll probably be called United by then, which I responded by saying that wouldn't be in CO's best interest and that it probably wouldn't happen, which we all learned when CO said they wouldn't be merging, but, I mean come on, who knows. Aside from the point, he said that he'd flown that aircraft that morning to I can't remember. As I come to find out, him, another Dash 8 pilot and a FA were non-rev on the flight, which I thought was pretty cool. We get on the aircraft and there's TWO FA's, one training, one teaching, or I think he was following up on training or something. I could tell he was new though after the announcements, ext. so I told him he was doing a good job and to keep it up, which, that and the shirt I got, got me a free bag of pretzels (Ye-Hah!). I also questioned him as to why a two hour flight needed a relief crew plus some, jokingly, and the 5 CO employees burst out in laughter. With about a 70% load factor, the flight did seem like a Commute (as flown by Commutair) because practically everyone on the flight was having a conversation with someone like two rows back giving the impression that many of the people on the plane knew each other, which made for a pleasant environment. And, the Dash8's are quieter than I thought...
I'm going to leave a follow-up question:
The two times I was at CLE, I checked the Arrival/Departure board to see how many flights were delayed those days. I noticed a total of, like, 8 flights the two days that were late. Now I must say, with the display showing at least a hundred flights, it did in fact seem like business-as-usual for CO. My question is this: If (and this is a big if) IF CO were to decide to merge with, let's say United for sake of convenience, do you think their product would remain strong? Could CO still "Fly Right" with about double the weight/size/complexity?