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When CO Was CO - DUB-EWR-PIT Rtn. In Y (2009)  
User currently offlineMichaelEI From Ireland, joined Jan 2011, 145 posts, RR: 0
Posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 11100 times:

When CO was CO (DUB-EWR-PIT rtn. In Y)

Introduction

This is another TR from another school trip. Well, we only went on two overseas ones during my time here – to Gambia, and to America. This is the TR for the latter. See, in my school we're very sports orientated – Rugby, Soccer, Tennis, Cricket, Chess, and so on. We, however, also have a concert band. That is, big brass band style. Trumpets, Tuba, Clarinets, Saxes (incl. Me!). The school band goes on a trip abroad every 5 or so years. Usually to America, but have been to Holland and Finland before. So, when I joined, we were promised a trip during the 6 years we give to the band. The news finally came in September 2008, when our teacher told us we'd be going to America next Autumn, over the mid-term. Halloween like. All we knew was that we were going to New York City for part of it. The next 13 months were to be full of fund raising – bag packing, concerts, etc.. Nearer the date, our itinerary became clearer.

• 23 Oct. 09' – Fly to Newark, then to Pittsburgh, attend a football game between the local teams, one of which would be the high school we partner with (more on that in a sec).
• In the 3 days we'd spend in Youngstown, OH, we'd visit Niagra Falls, Pittsburgh, and a local mall. We'd also play a full concert in the local high school too.
• Then, we'd fly to Newark once again, and get a 4 hour bus tour of NYC. During the 4 days we'd be there, we'd take in Ellis Island, NBC Studios, travel to York, PA to see the Harley Davidson Factory, and the Amish Community. During the evenings we'd see a Broadway show – Billy Elliot, dine in Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., a local Little Italy Restaurant, the Hard Rock Cafe, and another restaurant near 5th that I can't remember.

Now, Youngstown, OH, might seem a bit obscure for an Irish secondary school trip. It's not really. See, I go to a Catholic school, and our demonination has a school there, and we've visited them before in the 1990s. We'd be staying with host families, to keep costs down like. We'd be staying in a Mariott Hotel, behind the PANYNY Bus Terminal, a block from Times Square. Once the details were all finalised, we packed our suitcases and our instruments and were on our way.

The flights were as follows:

Oct. 23 2009 – CO 23 – 752 – DUB-EWR
Oct. 23 2009 – CO 3236 – DH4 – EWR-PIT
Oct. 27 2009 – CO 3230 – DH4 – PIT-EWR
Oct. 31 2009 – CO 126 – 752 – EWR-DUB

* * * *


Flight 1 of 4 – Continental Airlines – CO 23 – DUB-EWR – October 23rd 2009

Airline: Continental Airlines
Flight: CO 23
Aircraft: Boeing 757-200
Registration: N17133
Statistics: 3rd flight on this type, 1st on this aircraft
Cabin Class: Economy - Y
Seat: 20F (Window – about ½ way down the Y cabin)
Departs (Schd/Act): 9:00am / 9:00am
Arrives (Schd/Act): 11:30am / 11:10am
Flying time (Announced/Act): 7 hours 5 minutes / 7 hours 10 mins

We were orignally supposed to be on a much later flight (CO 127), leaving at 11:30am. This was grand because we had to be at the school at 7:30am, normal time. However, about 2 weeks before the trip CO decided to cut back their EWR-DUB schedule from 14x to 10x a week. So all 50 odd of us were rebooked on CO23, meaning we had to be at the school at 5am...We got there no bother, packing into a coach and we set off, reaching DUB around half 5. We headed straight to Area 13 and the queue was huge. None the less we joined and we checked in about 6am or so. I asked for window seats and the Servisair agent did what he could and got me them – 20F and 4D (for the flights to EWR and PIT respectively). Once all of us were checked in, we had a look at everyone's passes. We were all scattered around the plane. There were some in row 10, then a block of two rows of us at 18 and 19, I was the only one in row 20. Then a huge gap then more people around 30 and 35. A group of 13-18 year olds weren't too bothered where they sat, and we were no exception (except me...). We got through security without a hitch and immediately got breakfast. We weren't allowed to have a wander around, so I have no pictures until I'm on the plane. Once breakfast was done with, it was straight through CBP. Now, this was my second time through pre-clerance in DUB. The first time didn't go exactly smoothly....:

CBP: “Where are you travelling today Sir?”
Me: “Atlanta, then on to Myrtle Beach, SC
CBP: “Why?”
Me: “I'm staying with friends over there for 3 weeks”
CBP: “And where do you live here?”
Me: “About 3 miles away, a place ca....”
CBP: “WHERE do you live?!?”
Me: “[insert town name]”
CBP: “Right...*shaking head*. Go.”

To my dismay, I was called to the exact same officer's booth this time. He wouldn't remember me, why would he? I went up and he looked at me blankly, I said the usual pleasantries, and he asked if I was part of the school group. I said I was and his blank face turned into a huge excited smile and told me he was in band back in the day, and wished us all the best. That over, the time for boarding was almost near, and we gathered around the gate area. Sure enough, at 8:20am, we were called for boarding. One Pass members first, then BusinessFirst, then us. I asked the agent if it was a busy flight today and she just remarked “Oh God you have no idea!”. I climbed the stairs and was the first of our group to board.

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By michaelei at 2011-04-16

I was greeted by two male flight attendants; one was our purser – Andy. I was directed down the aisle to row 20 where I took my seat. The seats were fabric, with a checked pattern on them. The legroom was quite good too. The flight was fully booked, and unfortunately my seatmates weren’t from my school group but strangers. We all settled in, and I was asked by our conductor if this plane would make it over the Atlantic:

Him: “Michael, when we went last time the plane was much larger, with seats in the middle too”
Me: “Was it Aer Lingus?”
Him: “No, Delta”
Me: “Ah. Why, do you think this won’t make it over?”
Him: “Well, it’s the same size as the Ryanair planes”
Me: “Well, true, but it’s got more fuel tanks and plus this route is nothing to this plane. It can easily do Stuttgart to New York, and beyond!”
Him: “Ah…”

Boarding was just about finished and I got some pictures of the plane, and the PTV.

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By michaelei at 2011-04-16
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By michaelei at 2011-04-16
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By michaelei at 2011-04-16
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By MichaelEI at 2011-04-16
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By michaelei at 2011-04-16

I got a short video of the captain's welcome onboard.[/url]

An Aer Lingus A321 pulled in beside us, and not long after we pushed back and the safety video was played. It was possibly the longest push back I’ve ever had. Over 6 minutes long!!

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By michaelei at 2011-04-16

Both Rolls-Royce RB211 engines were started up, and the flaps were extended. We made our way to runway 28, a very short taxi. We landed behind a Delta 767-400 from ATL. We lined up and without delay we rocketed down 28, rotating at about taxiway E6.

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By MichaelEI at 2011-04-16
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By michaelei at 2011-04-16
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By michaelei at 2011-04-16
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By michaelei at 2011-04-16

Take-off Video
Post-takeoff announcement

Soon enough, we were through all the clouds, and heading towards Galway and out over the Atlantic Ocean. The AVOD was activated after we got to 10,000ft. The pursar, Andy welcomed us onboard over the PA, and explained the service to us. There’d be a drinks service, then lunch, then another drink service, duty free, and finally a light snack and drinks before landing in Newark. The AVOD was quite good I thought, but was harder to navigate and use than Delta’s “Delta On Demand” system in my opinion. I settled in and turned on an episode of CSI: NY and the drinks service began. All non-alcoholic drinks were free, and alcoholic drinks were $5, or can be purchased using Continental Coupons (like Monopoly money that can only be used on CO). I got a can of Coke and I asked for a glass of orange juice to take my medicine with (I had a bad stomach bug at the time). The FA was happy to give me a glass of it. About 1 ½ hours after takeoff, we were offered lunch. There was a choice of a chicken or pasta. I took the chicken option, and it came with asparagus and tomato sauce. It was okay, bland really. Also, there was two rolls, butter, a salad, and water.

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By michaelei at 2011-04-16

After that, I settled down, and watched some more TV on the AVOD, and checking out the wing and the clouds.

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By michaelei at 2011-04-16
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By MichaelEI at 2011-04-16

I slept for a while, and when I woke up there was about 2 ½ hours left. The pursar Andy came on the PA once again, and announced a competition. He said that whoever can guess who much fuel the plane would use on the entire flight today, in Gallons, would win a prize from the captain. Now, here’s where my airplane geekyness came into play. The night before, my grandfather and I were talking about planes, and I made the comparison between the Airbus A321 and the Boeing 757 came up. I remember seeing that the A321’s fuel capacity is approximately 7,500 gallons. So here were my calculations:

A321 fuel capacity = 7,500 gallons

Add about 4,000 gallons for the TATL ops etc.

So we have 11,500 gallons. I figured about 70% would be needed,
So:

11,500 gallons x 70% = 8,050 gallons.

I added then about 500 gallons for reserve. That brought me to 8,550 gallons. I rounded it down to 8,500 gallons, and wrote all my calculations on a sheet of paper, and handed it all to Andy when they came around with the drinks. I took some photos of the scenery outside, which was now Canada. (Which I seem to have omitted from my upload. Nevermind) I watched some of the Simpsons, and then just left the airshow on for the duration of the flight. The duty-free service began, and I bought a pack of Toblerones for $7. Andy was curious about my calculations, asking how I worked it out, and I told him about my aspirations to be a pilot in the future, and he was impressed. He told me good luck in the competition, and I watched him take my sheet, along with a few others up front, through the first class cabin, and handed them to one of the flight crew. I was really anxious to see how close I came!! About 90 minutes left in the flight, Andy came over the PA once again, and said that the Captain has found the winner of the competition. He started by saying that the “most interesting entry was an anonymous passenger saying that it was using Sunflower Oil!”. This got a chuckle out of the passengers, and then he said that the second place went to an 8 year-old girl in row 36, who guessed 9,000 gallons. He then said that the winner was “16, he’s in row 20, and is going to be a pilot – Michael ********!”. Everyone, all 50 of them, from my school group were looking back at me!! Andy walked down to me and shook my hand, and said to drop up to the front galley to get my prize! I went up about ten minutes later, and got another box of Toblerones and me and Andy had a drink and chatted about flying, and he wished me well! I sat down, because they were going to be beginning the snack service, and it was a nice toasted cheese roll. It was nicer than the lunch. We soon began our descent over Connecticut. I looked down and the hills were just covered in cloud, and red trees. It was amazing!!

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By michaelei at 2011-04-16
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By MichaelEI at 2011-04-16
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By michaelei at 2011-04-16
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By michaelei at 2011-04-16
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By michaelei at 2011-04-16
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By michaelei at 2011-04-16

The spoilers were used numerous times during the descent, and we made a series of left turns through thick cloud layers.

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By michaelei at 2011-04-16
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By michaelei at 2011-04-16

Soon, the flaps began to be extended. We turned a few more times, all left.

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By michaelei at 2011-04-16
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By michaelei at 2011-04-16
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By MichaelEI at 2011-04-16

Once we broke through the clouds for the last time and the ground was all industrialised. We turned left two last times, and the gear banged down. Final settings of flaps were selected and we could see New York City in the distance. It was a magnificent sight! Apologies for the turning of the camera in the landing video, but it was the only way to get NYC’s skyline in the shot. We touched down on runway 4R at 11:10am, we were very slow landing, and no reverse thrust was used at all!

Landing video

We began our taxi to the C-Concourse.

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By MichaelEI at 2011-04-16

We used one engine for most of the taxi to the gate. We arrived on stand beside a 737-900 and we got our things, and made for 2L. Andy was there saying goodbye to everyone, and when I went by he called me over and shook my hand and told me not to give up on my flying dreams! I walked off the plane with a smile on my face and headed to get my bags.

Goodbye N17133
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By michaelei at 2011-04-16

It was a bit tough, with a saxophone case, a wheelie bag, and a suitcase. I got a trolley and headed through customs, and put my bags back on the conveyor belt. We headed through security and ended up back in the C-Concourse, hanging around waiting for our next flight.

To be continued!

10 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineMichaelEI From Ireland, joined Jan 2011, 145 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 11015 times:

(Just realized from looking at the last photo there that the stand number is appropriate :P)

- - -

Flight 2 of 4 – Continental Connection – CO 3236 – EWR-PIT – October 23rd 2009

Airline: Continental Connection op. by Colgan Air
Flight: CO 3236
Aircraft: Bombardier Dash 8-Q400
Registration: N203WQ
Statistics: 1st flight on this type, 1st on this aircraft
Cabin Class: Economy - Y
Seat: 4D (Window)
Departs (Schd/Act): 3:45pm / 5:00pm
Arrives (Schd/Act): 5:15pm / 6:10pm
Flying time (Announced/Act): 1 hours 15 minutes / 1 hours 10 mins

After passing through security again, we gathered and were all given $10 each to get lunch. I immediately ran to get some Mountain Dew (32oz lasted about 1 ½ hours – 3$!). I had that, and a Toblerone and started spotting. I checked the FIDS. Our flight was delayed by over an hour! I asked at our original gate and they said due to weather, the plane was stuck in RDU. I thought this was grand, and set about clinging to the window overlooking the runways.

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By michaelei at 2011-04-16
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By michaelei at 2011-04-16
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By MichaelEI at 2011-04-16
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By MichaelEI at 2011-04-16
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By MichaelEI at 2011-04-16
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By MichaelEI at 2011-04-16
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By MichaelEI at 2011-04-16
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By michaelei at 2011-04-16
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By michaelei at 2011-04-16
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By MichaelEI at 2011-04-16
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By MichaelEI at 2011-04-16
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By MichaelEI at 2011-04-16


Time, LITERALLY flew by and soon our plane was pulling into the gate.

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By MichaelEI at 2011-04-16
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By MichaelEI at 2011-04-16
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By MichaelEI at 2011-04-16
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By michaelei at 2011-04-16

Our plane for tonight was N203WQ, my first Dash 8, and my first propeller flight!! It pulled up, and disembarkation was speedy, and within 30 minutes we were told to prepare for boarding. Usual boarding routine took place, and then we were called soon enough. I scanned my boarding card, and walked down the jetway. I was greeted by a nice woman, whose name escapes me. Mary I think. I sat down into a nice, grey leather seat. The plane had a very modern feel inside. I was right beside the propeller blades too.

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By michaelei at 2011-04-16
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By michaelei at 2011-04-16

We were boarded really quickly, and then the safety demo was performed, and we were readied for takeoff. Now, people from my school (who made up over 70% of the plane!!) were kinda jittery having never been on this type before. Their smallest plane would be the 737-800 that FR has! My smallest at the time was a CR2. We were all tired and exhausted and just wanted to get going. The engines came to life, and we set off towards 4L, passing some nice traffic on the way.

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By michaelei at 2011-04-16
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By michaelei at 2011-04-16
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By michaelei at 2011-04-16
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By MichaelEI at 2011-04-16
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By michaelei at 2011-04-16
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By michaelei at 2011-04-16

We were behind two CO 772s and by God, the roar in the plane when they went by was amazing. The plane shook! Soon, it was our turn, and because we were behind a (very) heavy 777 we had to wait for about a minute because of the wake the 777 would produce. Soon, the engines were heard to rev up a bit, we were going. Now, I’ve never been in a propeller plane before, ever. I’ve only ever seen RE and BE ATRs and DH4s casually stroll down DUB’s runway, looking feeble compared to an ERJ even! But this takeoff surpassed every jet I’ve ever been on, even a 777! It was unreal how powerful it felt. After about a 15 second roll we set off into the New Jersey sky.

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By michaelei at 2011-04-16

We only saw land for about 20 seconds, when we broke into the clouds. We stayed there for the entire flight. However, the clouds were nice to look at. We got to FL200 and levelled off, for the 1 hour flight. It was incredibly bumpy, the plane could be felt to drop on a few occasions. The seatbelt sign never went off. There would be a single drinks service, same as earlier – non-alcoholic drinks were free, others were $5. I settled in and started reading my Airliners World magazine for the flight, except to make a trip up to the (rather small) toilet. Mary said that we can use it but only one person waiting in the galley at a time. The turbulence was really bad, so no one was waiting in the galley – people only went to the toilet and sat down, then the next person went etc.. I, however, decided to get up and wait in the galley while someone was using the toilet. Mary was in the galley, putting things away, and noticed me standing there contently, and she said that I must want to be a pilot because she saw my magazine and noticed how little the turbulence bothered me! I sat back down and took a few pictures of outside.

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By michaelei at 2011-04-16

We soon began our descent, and Mary went on the PA and said to our school group that out of all the school groups she’s encountered onboard, we were by far the best behaved. We got a cheer in and then she said that our First Officer is Irish! He told her to say that we should all be wearing Munster jerseys! We all laughed and Mary looked on confused.

(Note – Dublin is in the province of Leinster, where we are from. Our Leinster rugby team are rivals with another province’s rugby team – Munster).

We headed over the red trees and towards Pittsburgh.

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By MichaelEI at 2011-04-16

We touched down on an unknown runway, and slowed down really quickly and noticed it was LASHING rain. We pulled onto the apron and then stopped. The captain came over the PA and said that because we were so late, another plane had our gate. He said he thought it’s the CVG flight, and that it’d be going in a moment or so. Five minutes later, the plane, a Dash 8-200 pushed back and we strode into the gate. We disembarked and were greeted with a practically deserted concourse. It was a breeze to get through security, and once our bags were collected we met our coach and began the hour-long bus journey to Youngstown, Ohio – where we’d be staying. We got some food along the way, and everyone was exhausted. We were to attend an American-football game featuring our partner school, and another rival school. I don’t know who won, really, because I was sick, and exhausted too. We met our host families later on, around 11pm. My one [family] were practically the poster family for the Democratic Party. They had Obama posters around the house. I later discovered that they will not travel to, or through the state of Texas because of their hatred of both George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush! They were a great, friendly, wholesome family with two children, 2 and 7 respectively.

I settled in for the night in the guest bedroom, and we were due to get to the high-school at 9am the next morning…..

The rest of the TR should be finished tomorrow, hopefully. Just a small issue with my timetable and uploading photos. Hopefully it’ll be done then, but if not no later than Thursday.

Thanks for reading thus far,
MichaelEI


User currently offlineMichaelEI From Ireland, joined Jan 2011, 145 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 8610 times:

After a decent 6 or 7 hours’ sleep, we made it to the high school, and boarded our coach. The agenda for today was to visit Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, get a tour of Pittsburgh by students of Duquesne, and then go to Kennywood Amusement Park, after dinner near a local outlet mall. Here are some of the photos from the tours of the college and the city of Pittsburgh.

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By MichaelEI at 2011-04-16
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By MichaelEI at 2011-04-16
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By michaelei at 2011-04-16
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By michaelei at 2011-04-16
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By michaelei at 2011-04-16
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By michaelei at 2011-04-16
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By michaelei at 2011-04-16
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By michaelei at 2011-04-16
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By michaelei at 2011-04-16
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By michaelei at 2011-04-16
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By michaelei at 2011-04-16
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By michaelei at 2011-04-16
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By michaelei at 2011-04-16
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By michaelei at 2011-04-16


Had to get a shot of the traffic heading to PIT – a WN 737 and a UA/Mesa CRJ-200

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By michaelei at 2011-04-16


With the touring done for the day, it was fast approaching 5pm, and we set out for dinner. We were going to stop along the way to Kennywood. I started to feel ill once again, and I ended up not eating dinner. We got to Kennywood around 7pm, and we were given 3 hours to roam free. I was still feeling ill, so I ended up sleeping along the back row of the bus for the 3 hours (Oddly enough, it was quite comfortable). With that over, it was back to Ohio for the night sleep. We had to be up at 6am the next morning, as we had to leave early – we were driving up to Niagra Falls the next morning!

The drive up to Niagra was absolutely painful, to say the least. I felt like I was on FR for 5 hours!!! Got one or two pics along the way.

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By MichaelEI at 2011-04-16
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By michaelei at 2011-04-16

Crossing the border into Canada was intimidating, to say the least. We pulled over at the bridge into Canada, and were ordered to form a line in a little, silver room where we were processed by harsh, stern Canadian border officials. Once that ordeal was over with, it was into Canada for us. We turned off the highway, and took a side road. We passed by a farm, which had either a Supermarine Spitfire or a Hurricane on it. I didn’t get to take a picture, sadly! Once at Niagra, we were allowed to roam around as it’d be a while until our boat tour on the maid of the mist. I wandered up the main street, and had a look in some shops, at all the tourist stuff. We then went to the IMAX theatre to watch a short, 30 minute film on the waterfalls. After that, we had lunch and walked to the pier. We received our transparent blue ponchos and boarded the boat (I ran upstairs immediately) for the 20 minute (I think…) voyage to the falls. My camera battery was running low, so I had to be conservative with the photos. That being said, I got some decent photos of the falls themselves.

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By michaelei at 2011-04-16
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By MichaelEI at 2011-04-16
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By michaelei at 2011-04-16
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By michaelei at 2011-04-16

Following that, I went up a ferris wheel for another, different view of the falls.

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By michaelei at 2011-04-16

That done, we had dinner at a local restaurant and then boarded the coach for the 4 hour 40 minute trek back to Ohio. We arrived in Ohio between 12am and 1am that night. We literally went straight to our beds and rested for our last full day in Ohio the next day.

The plan for the next day was to go to the local high school for the morning (Go to classes, etc.) and then have a rehersal for our band’s performance that night. Then we’d go to the local mall for shopping, go back to our houses where we’d have a few hours off for dinner and packing and whatnot. Then, that night, we’d have our performance – the entire premise of the trip.

We were split into twos, and given a “buddy” from the school. We were to go to class with them for an hour or two. Ours’ was a girl called Brandy, I think, and I had to go to US History class. I am not a fan of history, I adore the sciences and especially maths. But sure, it’d be an experience either way. We went in, did the whole “OMG You’re Irish” routine, and settled in for the 90 minutes – 85 of which were spent watching Road to Perdition. Then, we had our rehersal which was carefully observed by the school’s music teacher and band conductor. Two hours of practise over, we went to the mall where I easily spent over $200 on clothes (I don’t buy clothes in Ireland, so I get as much as I can in America). We retired back to the houses, and we spent the late afternoon playing with the two children in the garden, discussing politics, and having a lovely dinner. We then got dressed up in our band suits and headed for the school. We were given the music classroom for the evening, to store our instruments and so on. We were all really nervous. None the less, we got on stage and performed really well, we were asked to keep playing even though we’d exhausted our entire repertoire. We were all really giddy and we didn’t have much time to celebrate as we had to be in bed early, for a 4am start the next morning. We got back to the house, and were treated with homemade cookies and ice cream! We sat down and watched the basketball match. The family’s grandfather and I were talking about the airport in Youngstown – Warren airport. He told me of a time when airlines like Piedmont, Allegheny, Delta, Northwest and so on all served their local time. He said it was a while ago though. Only Allegiant serves the airport now, with flights to places like Punto Gorda, Myrtle Beach, and other places.

After a good sleep that night (well, 4 ½ hours) we were awoken at 4am, by the entire family!! We had breakfast and then loaded our cases into the car and set out for the school. There was a deer amongst all the foliage on the road, but it scarpered once it heard the car’s engine. We drove through the night and arrived at the high school around 4:45am. We had to drive to Pittsburgh Airport for 6am, so we needed to leave at 5am. We boarded the bus in the dark, and set off at 5am, bang on time. We all were half asleep the entire journey, and when we arrived at PIT we fell off the bus. I thanked the driver for staying with me that night I was sick, and she wished me well. I collected my bag first and walked into the empty terminal building.


User currently offlineMichaelEI From Ireland, joined Jan 2011, 145 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 8606 times:

Flight 3 of 4 – Continental Connection – CO 3230 – PIT-EWR – October 27th 2009

Airline: Continental Connection op. by Colgan Air
Flight: CO 3230
Aircraft: Bombardier Dash 8-Q400
Registration: N213WQ
Statistics: 2nd flight on this type, 1st on this aircraft
Cabin Class: Economy - Y
Seat: 4D (Window)
Departs (Schd/Act): 8:00am / 8:10am
Arrives (Schd/Act): 9:30am / 9:15am
Flying time (Announced/Act): 1 hours 15 minutes / 1 hours 5 mins

So, in the terminal building it was quite evident that PIT is too big for its traffic. I did a little reading before and read about the US Air argument in 2003, and found it hard to see this place as a US hub. It was really, really, really quiet. I checked in and got the exact same seat as last time – 4D. Everyone in our group was given the same seat as the flight to PIT. I was happy with this as I got my window seat. We went through security and onto the train to the gate area. Once we reached the gate area, there was less than an hour to departure (well, 40+ people to be checked in so it does take a while) and we immediately found our gate – 73 if I’m not mistaken. We were parked by a CO 735 (I think…) which was sitting cold for a later departure to IAH.

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By michaelei at 2011-04-16
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By michaelei at 2011-04-16

At 7:20am boarding was called for all OnePass members, or people needing special assistance. After about 30 seconds, when the gate agents realised that we took up over ¾ of the plane, she called general boarding, and we were first in line. I scanned my boarding pass and walked down the jetway. The jetway was inclined downwards, to accommodate the small Dash 8.

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By michaelei at 2011-04-16

I was greeted at the door by a rather stern looking American woman, who nodded as we passed her by. I looked in the cockpit whilst at a bottleneck in the galley, and she just moved in front of the door without saying anything. There was a young, Hispanic F/A standing in the aisle smiling, and helping everyone with their bags. She seemed nice in comparison to our lead F/A. We all took our seats and strapped in for the flight to EWR.
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By michaelei at 2011-04-16

There was about 4 CO F/As deadheading on this flight, going to work probably. We heard the pre-recorded safety demo, and pushed back for the taxi out to the active runway.

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By michaelei at 2011-04-16

It seemed like we were the only plane alive at PIT – still wonder what it’d be like if US was still big there. We strolled out to the active runway and then we did a nice, dull, weak rolling takeoff.

[url= http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29oxJBkAP_A] Take off Video[/url]

We glided into the morning sky of Pittsburgh, and then passed the city, with a nice overview of the scenery – the orange and brown foliage synonymous with this area of America in the Autumn.

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By michaelei at 2011-04-16
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By michaelei at 2011-04-16
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We then drifted through the cloud and were levelled off at FL150. It got more and more overcast the closer we got to NYC. The rather rude F/A began the drink service, not smiling, just rushing through and sighing impatiently when someone have a moment of indecision. I thought this was rather poor form of her. Then, when she finished the service in her half of the cabin, she walked down to the rear galley. I got a few cabin shots too of this cosy Dash 8.

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By michaelei at 2011-04-16
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I needed a glass of water to take my medicine with, so I walked down to the rear galley, and both F/As were busy filing things away. I said “Excuse me?” and the lead F/A just looked at the other F/A and motioned her head towards me. The lead F/A turned back to the alley and the friendly, young woman shook her head at me and motioned her head at her superior, unbeknownst to anyone but us two. I asked if I could get a small glass of water to take tablets with, she smiled and poured it out for me, gave me some napkins and a packet of pretzels, “to help the medicine go down”. I thanked her and walked back to my seat. The flight in general was very uneventful. The next 40 minutes or so passed without incident and then we slowly descended towards EWR.

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By michaelei at 2011-04-16
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By michaelei at 2011-04-16

The captain told us we shouldn’t be delayed into EWR but the rain there was pretty bad. He wasn’t kidding. I’d say we emerged from the clouds around 500 feet up. It was really heavy rain. Despite this, we drifted onto 4R once more, and slowed down to pull off the runway about half way down.

[url= http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70La4zAI_oU&feature=related]Landing Video[/url]
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By michaelei at 2011-04-16
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By michaelei at 2011-04-16

We began a slow, dull taxi into the C-Concourse and parked next to another Colgan Air Dash 8. We got off, collected our bags and waited for our coach to NYC.


User currently offlineMichaelEI From Ireland, joined Jan 2011, 145 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 8597 times:

New York was all I imagined, and then some. I’ve always wanted to go there, and it was simply fantastic. Because we took in so much, I’ll do a quick review of our hotel, and then summarize our itinerary briefly.

We stayed in the Marriott Marquis near Times Square. To be specific, behind the PANYNJ Bus Terminal (the huge one, you know what I’m talking about), on 44th and 6th. It was nestled between a Best Western and an adult shop (If I remember correctly), much to the amusement of the younger members of our cohort. I was in a twin room on the 6th floor. Upon walking in, the mood and atmosphere in the hotel was really tranquil. Its colouring was very red I thought, and was very well laid out. It lacked in natural light, I thought, but then again it’s New York City. When you walk in, there’s a small bar and computer area on the left (both free for guests), a cloak room on the right, with reception beside that. A small seating area was in the centre, with 3 lifts behind. There was a dining area behind that, with free breakfast for all guests. There was a large selection of breakfast food, and I thought it was more than adequate. In the basement there was a gym, and vending machines. Being a group of 45 teenagers, we practically lived here. My room was nice, complete with two queen size beds, a large plasma screen TV with HBO, and coffee making facilities. The bathroom was large and very fancy, with marble like features. It was lovely, and how our school got it for the price we did is a mystery! The teacher who organised the trip told me when we were on the plane that she’s stayed there a few times before, and that it was a rather large group rate. It was centrally located, around the corner from Times Square, and was very quiet despite its location. The staff were all American, and on Halloween (the day we left) they were all in costume!

On the first day we did a rather long and interesting tour of Manhattan. We did it on the coach, and took in Chinatown, Little Italy, The Financial District and Ground Zero, Pier 59, 5th Avenue, Broadway, Times Square, Central Park and Strawberry Fields and more I can’t recall off the top of my head. We dined that night in the Hard Rock Café. In the door there was a set of The Beatles suits, complete with matching bags – with the TWA logo on it! I got a picture, of course.

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By michaelei at 2011-04-19
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I love William Shatner, I am a huge Boston Legal fan.

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By michaelei at 2011-04-19

The next day we went to Grand Central Station, had lunch there and were taken to the UN building, where we got a guided tour.

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By michaelei at 2011-04-19

Our guide was from Romania, and was very informative. That took us up to dinner time, where we dined at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., which was a delight as all the staff were really energetic, and charismatic. There’s an interesting feature at every table: there’s two licence plates. One with the famous “Run Forrest, Run!” on it, and then upon turning it over, it displays “Stop Forrest, Stop!”. If you have the former on display, the waiting staff bombard you with drinks, etc and if you have the latter displayed, you get some peace. We were warned by one of our teachers not to abuse it for sport! :P (A group of 50 teenagers, so you can see where she’s coming from!). After dinner, we headed to Broadway, where we saw Billy Elliot, which was absolutely magnificent!! I ended up buying the soundtrack once back in Ireland!

The next day it was another long bus journey. We were to trek down to York, Pennsylvania and the Amish Community near there too, while stopping at the Harley Davidson Factory in PA. On leaving Manhattan we crossed the river near the point where US 1549 “splashed down”, which I was in awe at! We also passed EWR, where I had to get some photos of the traffic!

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By MichaelEI at 2011-04-19
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By michaelei at 2011-04-19

After about 3 hours on the coach, we arrived at the Harley Davidson Factory, and got the complete tour which I loved! I’ve had the pleasure of riding on my dad’s friends’ Harley twice, when I was in South Carolina. Absolutely amazing experience!!!

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By michaelei at 2011-04-19

When that was over, we headed to the Amish Community, where we had lunch at a farmers’ market. The mad thing I thought was at the little stall where we all got burgers and chips (fries, since I’m talking about America!), the workers were all Amish. I found out later that members of the Amish community are allowed use modern technology as much as they want, so long as it’s owned by someone else. I thought that interesting. We saw a farm-land, and were informed about the area by our guide, a professor and a former member of the community himself supposedly.

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By michaelei at 2011-04-19
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When that was over, we drove the long, long, long drive back into NYC. We ate at a local restaurant that was particularly cheap, as the quality of the food showed. The name escapes me at the moment. That night was to be special, though. We were to go atop the Empire State Building – something that I’d been excited about, more so than anything else. When we got to the building, it was around 11:20pm! We got the lift all the way up, and when we got to the 80-something-th floo+r, it was near 11:35pm. We spent over half an hour there, and I got some amazing photos of the night-time New York City Scene. The way the sky lights up with all the lights is just amazing. I fell in love with New York at that moment. I even got a chance to stick my head through the fence, and peered straight down at the 80-odd floor drop below!


By MichaelEI at 2011-04-19
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By michaelei at 2011-04-19

We got back to the hotel just before 1am, and fell asleep, awaiting what was to be our last full day in America, October 30th.

The next day we were due to do a full guided tour of NBC Studios, which was good.

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By michaelei at 2011-04-19
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I bought the Friends “Central Perk” large mug for $14, I’m in love with it! I was so tempted to buy the Obama, Biden, McCain and Palin action figure set but decided against it. We were supposed to get a tour of Madison Square Gardens, but that was cancelled as there was some rock concert on. We got a refund each, and while we waited outside for the bus, I had a look around and there were Delta signs EVERWHERE! I got photos of their ads, advertising their partnership with MSG, and their [very] large posters on the walls of MSG, advertising Tokyo and Shanghai. There were pamphlets advertising their partnership with a local ice hockey team. I took two and one is now pinned to my bedroom wall beside my light switch!

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By michaelei at 2011-04-19

When we finished that, we headed to the pier, where we got a ferry to Ellis Island. We weren’t to stop at Liberty Island, but Ellis Island was quite nice. I had little interest in the history aspect of it, and spent most of the time enjoying the spectacular views over the Hudson towards Manhattan, and the traffic heading towards LGA. I think those planes had a slightly better view of NYC!

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By MichaelEI at 2011-04-19
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By michaelei at 2011-04-19

When we headed back we were to go shopping at the Apple Store, and Hanley’s Toy Store. That was great. The dinner that night was arranged at a restaurant called Puglia’s in Little Italy. The food (being honest) was not good. I ordered the Lasagne, which was like water. I didn’t eat it and instead snacked on biscuits for the night.¬ We had to pack and weigh our bags. The next morning we spent all morning and afternoon at Woodbury Commons Outlet Mall outside New York City. It was quiet, and in the heart of all the brown foliage, which was particularly beautiful. We had to be at Newark’s Concourse C at 5pm for check-in, and we arrived there at around 4pm, and were the only people around as it seemed.


User currently offlineMichaelEI From Ireland, joined Jan 2011, 145 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 8573 times:

Flight 4 of 4 – Continental Airlines – CO 122 – EWR-DUB – October 31st 2009

Airline: Continental Airlines
Flight: CO 122
Aircraft: Boeing 757-200
Registration: N17133
Statistics: 4th flight on this type, 2nd on this aircraft
Cabin Class: Economy - Y
Seat: 26A (Window)
Departs (Schd/Act): 7:00pm / 7:30pm
Arrives (Schd/Act): 6:30am / 5:50am
Flying time (Announced/Act): 5 hours 30 minutes / 5 hours 20 mins

Once we checked in, I got a window seat – 26A – and both my bags were under the 23kg weight limit, so I was happy with that. We proceeded through security and were through in no time at all. We were all given $10 each to get dinner in the concourse, but I ended up glued to the window.

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I looked outside at the 757 parked at our gate and looked at the nose-wheel door, which said “133 ETOPS” which meant we were on N17133 again, which was a bit disappointing since I wanted a new reg. plane! The SkyTeam sticker beside the boarding door was replaced by a Star Alliance one too, given they’d moved alliances while I was in America. Boarding was announced for BusinessFirst Passengers at around 6:20pm, and general boarding at 6:30pm.

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By michaelei at 2011-04-19

I was the first person down the jetway, and upon reaching the door there were no crew to be seen. The curtain to the galley opposite was pulled, but I could see one crew member reading a magazine behind it. He noticed me and then just blandly walked out, not saying hello or anything. The crew today consisted of 2 women and 4 men as before. One woman was middle-aged, and spent most of the flight in the rear galley sleeping. The other woman seemed nice and pleasant but she was in BusinessFirst. The men consisted of our purser Roberto, two older men and one Hispanic male. Everyone except for the woman up in BF was grumpy, uninterested and moody for the entire flight. We strapped in and were told we’d be delayed due to a minor technical problem.

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By michaelei at 2011-04-19
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By michaelei at 2011-04-19

This was due to a broken door in the forward galley. That took about 45 minutes to resolve and we pushed back around 8pm. I noticed that they were playing Christmas music while we waited. I wondered if they were trying to p**s us off…

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By michaelei at 2011-04-19

The safety video was played, and headed for runway 22R. We lined up after a fellow CO 767 and blasted off into the night sky. The takeoff was extremely powerful. We did a steep turn over the IKEA store and were immediately engulfed in thick cloud, where we’d stay for the next 6 hours. The lights in the cabin were re-illuminated and the AVOD was turned on. I immediately dove into the system, and watched ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’ and an episode of CSI:NY. The service began immediately, and all the crew just wanted to get it done and over with, no smiling, just ploughing through the drinks service. I got a can of coke, and some pretzels. Once that was done, the dinner service began. It was the exact same as the meals over, and was mediocre this time. The crew effectively vanished, and I saw one of them sleeping in the galley when I got up to use the bathroom. I managed to get a [slightly blurred] cabin shot too.

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By michaelei at 2011-04-19

One thing about this flight – turbulence. It was unreal. Nonstop, since we got off the ground until we landed in DUB, it was constant heavy turbulence. No information from the cockpit either. The flight went by slowly – the lights were left on until an hour and a half before arrival. The were off for 30 minutes total. Nice one for a red-eye flight, eh?

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Landing cards were distributed and a small breakfast was distributed – a small sandwich. Wasn’t the nicest. We started our descent into DUB in the small hours of the morning, and just descended constantly, without turning, until we were lined up for Runway 10 at DUB. We flew through the darkness and plonked onto the Runway firmly. We got the usual “Welcome to Dublin” speech and that was that. We got onto stand beside EI-ORD who had just arrived herself from somewhere. Once leaving the plane we were given emotionless blank looks from the crew who were more interested in each other than us. Nice. We got through immigration without a hitch, and collected our bags. We had a bus pre-arranged to bring us back to the school, where our parents would be waiting. While waiting we were passed by a US crew, who looked really friendly and jolly. If only we went through PHL on the way back…


So that was that, a great set of flights over, and pretty dismal ones back. I expected more from CO, and now, a year and a half on, I hope that the service is more consistent considering the merger with UA. They operate 14x a week out of DUB now, and are very popular indeed, maybe I was just unlucky.

It’ll be a while until my next TR unfortunately; I have no flights booked at the moment. I am possibly going to LCA this summer, or I might go back and do another DUB-LHR spotting trip after my exams. Who knows?

Thanks for reading,
Comments and Questions welcome,

MichaelEI

Previous TRs:

My First ANet TR - To MCO On The Pink 764

My 18th Birthday On EI (w/many Pics, Videos Later)

To Gambia On Strategic (DUB-LGW-BJL Rtn W/EI & ZB)


User currently offlineeicvd From Ireland, joined Mar 2008, 2149 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (3 years 3 months 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 8344 times:

Hi Michael
Great report, loved reading every minute of it & nice photo's too   Shame you got the same plane on the DUB-EWR & return flights & that the crew on the flight home were not the best. Playing the xmas music at the end of October sure would have been a way to p*** me off anyway. Looking forward to reading your future reports, DUB-LCA-DUB would be an interesting read.
Thanks for posting.


User currently offlineMichaelEI From Ireland, joined Jan 2011, 145 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (3 years 3 months 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 8326 times:

Quoting eicvd (Reply 6):
Great report, loved reading every minute of it & nice photo's too

Thanks  
Quoting eicvd (Reply 6):
Shame you got the same plane on the DUB-EWR & return flights & that the crew on the flight home were not the best. Playing the xmas music at the end of October sure would have been a way to p*** me off anyway.

I know, that happened to me twice that year, both 752s too, but then again the first one was on a charter, and it was based in DUB like (the TOM 752 - C-GTBB like). And yes, on Halloween night too! I remember people giving out about it :/.
It was rather annoying to say the least!

Quoting eicvd (Reply 6):
Looking forward to reading your future reports, DUB-LCA-DUB would be an interesting read.

Thanks, I'm due to return September 11th, so it might be a while before that TR will be written. I have an old TR of the last LCA trip I did, in 2009 on TOM so I might fish that one out! I'll have my laptop with me anyway (College Registrations :P) so I'll write as I fly  

Thanks again,
Michael  


User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26853 posts, RR: 58
Reply 8, posted (3 years 3 months 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 7786 times:

Hi Michael nice report and pics thanks for sharing.

OA260  


User currently offlinesw733 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6303 posts, RR: 9
Reply 9, posted (3 years 3 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 7663 times:

Quoting MichaelEI (Thread starter):
It was okay, bland really

Wow, that must be the most boring, bland piece of chicken I have ever seen in my entire life.


User currently offlineBHD From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2005, 281 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 6426 times:

Great report - thanks for sharing  

Woody


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