I made my reservations on the new Continental.com, really easy stuff. The only drawback was that since I live closer to DFW than DAL, I wanted to fly out of DFW and still connect in IAH. The problem was that the computer was only listing the non-stop flights to EWR and not allowing me to access DFW-IAH-EWR connections. The trip cost $271.50...not bad, add in $20.00 for a paper ticket. I resigned myself to driving to DAL just so I could have the connection (better equip out of IAH, more FF miles).
Frequent Flyer Program: A+
I earned 6,011 (!) miles for all the flights. I earned the base miles, 2,000 miles for using the new Continental site, and the rest I earned for purchasing it with my Chase/Continental Airlines Credit Card.
Fri 11 Oct 02
Continental Express Flight 3733
DAL-IAH (Dallas Love Field-Houston Intercontinental)
Scheduled Dep. and Arr. Time: 4:35PM-5:38PM
Actual Dep. and Arr. Time: 4:36PM-5:40PM
Flight Time: 1hr 4mins
Reason for Delay: Gate wasnt ready at IAH
At Love Field they screen your baggage before you check in. This causes a long line and really long waits, I waited about 20 minutes before being screened then going on to check my bag. All of the flights were full that afternoon (filled with business travelers), and so I asked if I could volunteer to leave out of DFW for some compensation. They said they would give me $100 gift certificate. They were full in First Class on the non-stops to EWR, so I decided it was just a waste of time for only $100. The gate agent was a trainee, I felt bad when I asked to get exit row window seats, and she had no idea what she was doing. She was friendly though, and she definitely got points for that! Boarding was prompt.
Gate Area/DAL Airport:
The CO gates at Love only have a small cafe and newsstand, not too amusing. The gate areas are just the right size for regional jet operations, and it doesnt get too crowded.
Seats and Interior:
Same as all the other CO Express ERJs I have been on in past experiences. Blue and grey leather seats. I love the 1-2 configuration, and would take an ERJ over a CRJ anyday of the week. Not too much legroom, but comfortable none-the-less (I am 5'10 170 lbs.) as I didnt get an exit row seat for this flight.
Whatever drink you want, as usual. Served with peanuts...no choice there. You used to be able to get those grahamcracker-esque cookies. I miss them very much!
Its not like I was expecting any IFE. The Continental magazine though is the best among US airlines, and always has good articles. I love reading about Bethune and Continental, and this issue was pretty entertaining. At least for the hour flight to Houston. I actually saw my street (or I should say my parent's street) on take-off from DAL
I really have only had a couple good, noteworthy experiences with regional cabin crew. This one was fairly mundane. Not too friendly, and wasnt really looking too pleased. Although she did provide good service. I did meet a really friendly mainline F/A in the terminal at DAL, she was heading to CDG, and we talked about the 777 and Paris.
Continental Flight 310
IAH-EWR (Houston Intercontinental-Newark Intl)
Scheduled Dep. and Arr. Time: 7:05PM-11:37PM
Actual Dep. and Arr. Time: 9:12PM-1:33AM
Flight Time: 3hrs 21mins
Reason for Delay: Weather at EWR
Equip: 757-300 (first flight aboard a 753)
Seat: 32A (Exit Row)
CO has some great people at IAH. Every time I fly there, they are some of the most helpful staff in the world. The gate agents kept us updated about the status of our flight about every 20 minutes, and never seemed annoyed at the passengers. They were happy to assist me when I enquired whether or not I had the door exit (which I did), and didnt give me "the youre bothering me with this? look".
Gate Area/IAH Airport:
The gate area was alright. Clean, it didnt have too many great views of the tarmac. As for IAH, I'm glad that it is finally getting a facelift, its about time. I went to the Cajun/Buffalo cafe, while delayed and had some cold buffalo shrimp...not too good.
Seats and Interior:
This was basically a brand new aircraft (I didnt take down any reg. numbers), and it was really clean, and had the "new plane" smell. The door exit row, was awesome, I had the entire row to myself (the flight was only about 30% filled). The seats were comfortable, and the adjustable headrests are always nice. The legroom was great since I was in a door exit row. I had the LCD screen right in front of me. Best seat on the plane (well, in coach at least)!
It is welcome that CO serves hot sandwiches on flights and not the cold, compressed pieces of meat on soggy bread. It may not be Midwest Express but its still good for a U.S. major. We had a hot (and it was) breaded chicken sandwich, a bag of Lays chips with 3 chips inside, and an apple. The sandwich was tasty and the apple was fresh.
We had the AirShow for the first 30 minutes of the flight before the movie came on, "Like Mike". Anyone who appreciates anything involving Lil' Bow Wow ought to be shot. What an awful movie. But, it was cloudy down below, and I couldnt fall asleep...so I watched...in horror!
They served dinner and then post-meal drinks, then disappeared. I never saw them for the rest of the flight until they were conducting pre-arrival items. By the way, did you know that you could unlock a lav from from the outside? Cool stuff! They were nice though.
A C might be a bit harsh, considering we were landing fairly late, but it took an hour for my bags to finally show up (I was getting worried). By the time, I finally left EWR to go to Manhattan it was 2:30AM.
My time in New York: The Islanders lost to the Caps (2-1) damnit! But, NYC is my favorite city in the world, and even being there for 2 days is enjoyable.
Sun 13 Oct 02
Continental Flight 511
EWR-IAH (Newark Intl-Houston Intercontinental)
Scheduled Dep and Arr Time: 4:55PM-7:40PM
Actual Dep and Arr Time: 4:54PM-7:50PM
Flight time: 3hrs 56mins
I didnt even have to stand on line to check in. A ticket agent was availible, and I was able to walk right up...not bad. When I enquired about the availibility of an exit row seat, she said, "You have a window, all we have is middle seats". Little did I (and probably she) know... By the time, I got to the gate, boarding had already begun and so I just got on line.
Gate Area/EWR Airport:
What a vast improvement from the last time I was in the CO Terminal at EWR 4 or 5 years ago. Good signage, nice shops, nice-looking restraunts. Sadly, the gate areas havent improved much though and are still dark and dreary! Although I did get a nice peek at the huge engines (GE90s?)!
Seats and Interior:
Awful...21L is supposedly a window, of course there is no window at row 21! To make matters worse, there are no personal A/C units on CO 777s, I was wearing an oxford shirt and jeans and by the time we arrived at IAH, my back was soaked, and my shirt looked terribly wrinkled. The cabin was fairly warm. The seats had 31" pitch, but the PTV computer box below the seat take up about half of the room, and so there is very little leg room. For some reason, the seats had an odd contour to them and they had terrible lumbar support, so my lower back was killing me. I can excuse the PTV "box" but having no personal A/C units is a joke. It got hot in a hurry.
Like I said, I love the hot sandwiches. I didnt enjoy the Meatloaf sandwich though as much as the Chicken sandwich. The apple was fresh though. Good stuff.
The PTV was pretty good, they had some good movies on. I totally forget which one I watched, but it was very good (I forgot the name...go figure). The only thing that bothered me was the contrast/brightness, it seemed like you could never get the proper brightness on it.
They were actually pretty rude and terse. Perhaps, because the flight was completely sold-out? They asked me, "You wanna drink with that"...Definitely not good quality by Continental standards.
Continental Express Flight 3736
IAH-DAL (Houston Intercontinental-Dallas Love Field)
Scheduled Dep and Arr Time: 8:30PM-9:35PM
Actual Dep and Arr Time: 9:17PM-10:04PM
Reason for delay: Equip change
Flight Time: 57mins
The gate agent, gladly gave me the bulkhead seat on this flight back to Dallas. Boarding was really quick.
Gate Area/IAH Airport:
The CO Express gate areas arent very nice, they were actually pretty dirty at the end of the day. The concourse at Continental Express is nice and new though.
Seat 1A is by far the best seat in the ERJ. Tons of legroom (more than the window exit rows). Same seat patterns as in previous ERJs. As a note, we changed equipment, because the autopilot was malfunctioning. From my seat I could hear "Bitching Betty" (the autopilot voice, as it is commonly referred to as) whining..."Terrain...Terrain...whoop...whoop.", it would only stop when the maitenance guys would pull the fuse. The pilots announced that we would change equipment, they actually said, "We are going to be changing planes on to the newest ERJ in our fleet from the oldest". I thought that was pretty cool.
Same as the outbound flight from DAL. Whatever drink you preffered, and peanuts.
Reading the same articles get old after a while. I resorted to kicking back with my Maxim and relaxing.
Really friendly and nice, came through the cabin 3 times asking whether we wanted anything else. Stopped and talked with various passengers.
I dont know how it can take so long (30 mins) to get bags off a ERJ-145 and throw them on the belt, but CO at DAL has it down to perfection!
OVERALL GRADE: B
Nice job again by Continental. Although the 777 leaves very much to be desired.
Sllevin From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 3376 posts, RR: 6
Reply 2, posted (11 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 2405 times:
Very interesting; my only question though, was that when you were first at DAL, you said you wouldn't take the $100 and fly from DFW because first class was full -- but I didn't see that you got upgraded on either of your mainline legs. Bad luck...or....enquiring flyers want to know
Jcs17 From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 8065 posts, RR: 41
Reply 3, posted (11 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 2389 times:
How do CO domestic flights compare with the international ones?
CO's service on international flights is supposedly very good and is comparable to that of international carriers. I have yet to fly CO on any trans-oceanic segment though. Although, I would be very cautious when comes to booking on a CO 777, well, at least booking a seat in row 21
Very interesting; my only question though, was that when you were first at DAL, you said you wouldn't take the $100 and fly from DFW because first class was full -- but I didn't see that you got upgraded on either of your mainline legs.
Heres the explination: I'm not a an elite member with Continental, I only flew 15 segments with them last year, and 12 so far this year. I didnt want to blow any miles for upgrades either. But usually, when you volunteer your seat, and they take you off of your ticketed flight...they will usually put you up in first class for the segments to your destination. Unfortunetly First Class was full for the flights from DFW-EWR (as you can assume, the flight from DFW-EWR was probably packed with businesspeople and elite members with upgrades already done). $100 was a fairly paltry sum for compensation, considering that my returning flight was into DAL and my car would be parked at DFW (Cab fare would be around $30), and that I would have to battle rush-hour traffic to get out to DFW. Considering, earlier this year, UA gave me a $25 gift certificate just for volunteering (they ended up not needing volunteers) my seat on a ORD-DFW segment. $100 just didnt seem like enough compensation for the inconvienience...had it been more than $150, I probably would have done it, as it would have taken care of half the fare of a r/t to NYC or LA.
Cmk10 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 513 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (11 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 2310 times:
Rather nice report! I don't belive the AA 777s had the a/c units either but I dont remember the PTV box being a problem. I assume the apple was red as they always seem to be on airplanes.
"Traveling light is the only way to fly" - Eric Clapton
Salvation From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 176 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (11 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 2292 times:
CO's 767-400's (never been on the 200 model yet) don't have personal a/c vents either...I have to agree with you that it can be VERY miserable at times. I've been blessed to fly BusinessFirst all the time, and that particular cabin can get really uncomfortable at times...so much so to the point where I've had to walk to the main cabin of the 764 and find SOME place to cool down. I don't know if the F/A's can control the temperature from cabin to cabin, but this is definately something CO MUST look into. Other then that though, I LOVE flying CO and it's my preferred Airline when I travel both internationally and domestically.
Artsyman From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 4745 posts, RR: 36
Reply 6, posted (11 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 2254 times:
Yes the crew can control the cabin temp on the 764 or 777 etc, but I agree it is often too hot or too cold for my liking. One thing to remember is that the person that is setting the temperature has been walking up and down serving people, lifting luggage into bins, pushing bar carts etc and maybe to them, the cabin feels too hot, so they cool it down, while you have been sitting in your seating consuming bloody mary's and watching tv.
I am not aware of any of the US carriers that have the air vents on the 777 or 764.
FrequentFlyKid From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 1206 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (11 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 2238 times:
Artsyman, I just flew on a DL 767-400 (MCO-ATL) on Monday and I can assure you there were A/C vents on that aircraft. Also, if my memory serves me, UA 777's have A/C vents. I flew on two of those birds (ORD-LAX/LAX-ORD) back in 2001.
AA737-823 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 5619 posts, RR: 11
Reply 10, posted (11 years 4 months 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 2200 times:
Hmmm.... I know that most operators of the 767s and 777 don't have personal vents. American doesn't, Conti doesn't... actually, I assumed that NOBODY had them on widebodies... but apparently some do. It must be some sort of option.
But, my point was to say that AA does NOT have vents on the 763 or 777.
Jcs17 From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 8065 posts, RR: 41
Reply 11, posted (11 years 4 months 1 week 19 hours ago) and read 2181 times:
I really wonder how much extra those personal vents cost...an extra $70-100k perhaps? That would be my educated guess, but I am suprised that airlines dont order that as an option...thats definitely a comfort factor on a flight...whether or not you walk off the flight sweating. I am considering writing a letter to CO customer service about it...it really doesnt bother me that they dont have personal units, but the fact that they kept the cabin temp at around 76-80F the entire flight is pretty bad and uncomfortable. I guess thats what happens when you allow the women (flight attendants) to have control over the climate control . I am suprised that they even allow the F/As to keep it that warm in the cabin... when I worked in a restraunt as a host and we were having difficulty determining whether to turn the thermostat up or down, you should always err on the side of coolness. Most people have jackets and sweaters if they are cold, but no one can take their shirt off on the plane.