About a month ago I took a spin over to Houston to use up an old Continental pass I had lying around. I was originally going to use it to fly back to MSY from DEN this past May, since I was in DEN for around 3 weeks, but it never got to me in time. So, on one of my day's off, I figured what the hell. As it turned out, my friend Jeremy was in Houston at the time, and he had to drive back to New Orleans on the day I was flying out. So, with a little planning, we decided to drive back together. It makes the 4.5 hour drive a little less monotonous.
After about a 15-minute drive from my house, I arrived to the employee parking lot E at MSY at 8:15am. Just about three minutes later, I boarded one of the shuttle buses and arrived at the Delta/Continental terminal about five minutes later. The newly-renovated West lobby is very, very nice....bright, open, spacious. The lobby itself houses a few ticket counters, a full-service restaurant, and two gift stores. They had a decent crowd at the JetBlue counter (around 30 people or so), a huge line at the Delta counter (probably near 100), and a mid-sized crowd at Continental/America West, say around 40 people. I checked in at the counter, since I was using a paper ticket, and proceeded to go to gate D3.
Continental FLight 422
Departed New Orleans: 10:00am
Arrived Houston/IAH: 10:52am
Most of the seats were taken at gate D3, so I sat down at D5 for awhile. I spotted a Delta 757-200, 767-300, and a CRJ of some sort (ASA I think) across the hall. Boarding started at about 9:25am. First class section quickly filled up. I took my seat and prepared for another classic 757 flight. Push back was right on time at 10:00am. Aircraft arrived at threshold of runway 28 at 10:05am. We were number three in line for takeoff behind 2 Southwest 737's. Once we got to the #1 position, we had to wait for a Northwest DC9-30 and a US Airways 737-400 to land. Finally, we were off. And off with a vengeance. After using only around 4000ft. on asphalt, we were skyborn in 757 style. Rocketing over the vast swampland just West of the airport, we hit some light turbulence climbing through the low cloud layer. Our route of flight took us just South of Lafayette and Lake Charles, pretty much hugging the Gulf of Mexico coastline until we reached the Texas border. En route, all 147 coach passengers got a full beverage service. OJ for me, as usual. The IFE programming was running but I was glued to the window, as I usually am on most flights. Total flight time from takeoff to touchdown was slightly over 50 minutes. Not sure which runway we touched down on at IAH, but it was a nice smooth landing, somewhat surprising for a 757. This aircraft would continue onto Anchorage...and yeah, I spotted about 20 or so through passengers as I was deplaning.
Overall, a great flight. Continental really never dissapoints me, even on short flights such as this. Extremely attentive flight crew and spotless, comfortable aircraft.
Overall grade: 10/10 for everything
Steve in New Orleans