We arrived at the CO ticket counter at 2:00, and waited in the first class line. They only had 1 agent, and it appeared there was a problem with the passengers she was helping, thus the line was backed up. We waited a good 10-15 minutes before being helped. Once the agent pulled up our record, she was unable to issue our BP's. We had purchased a codeshare, and the agent said that the system between NW and CO was down that day. She had to make a few phone calls and completely re-issue our ticket. It was 15 minutes before she had our BP's issued the whole way through.
I asked about the upgrade, and she said she would place us both on the stand-by. After receiving our BP's we whisked through security and arrived at gate C-1. It was only 2:30, and we both hadn't eaten yet. We stopped off at Chili's and got 2 bowls of chili (coincidence?). After finishing our meal, I asked the gate agent how it looked for the upgrade. "As of right now, it's available, but were still waiting on some passengers." I returned to my seat, and we waiting till the boarding announcement was made at 3:15 pm. Still no call about the upgrade. Once more I went up to the podium, and saw the agent giving a F class BP to another passenger. "Is he the only upgrade?", I asked. "Yes, he's it." Is it just me, or do other people get the feeling that these gate agents aren't clearing upgrades properly? So I guess it's another coach flight for me this year. Damn those DL refugee's . We got on board with elite members and stowed our bags in the overhead bin. The MD80 is configured in coach with a 2x3, luckily we were on the 2 side. After settling in, a crying child and her mother came aboard. Yes, they sat right behind us.
First no upgrade, were running late, and now this. Could this flight get any worse? We pushed back at a little after 3:45. Take off was about 4. Once we got in the air, the FA's offered drinks and pretzels. This flight was too late to qualify for the turkey sandwiches. RATS!!
FA's did a pretty good job keeping an eye on the passengers. They even did 2 drink rounds, but didn't offer the whole can.
No IFE on the MD80's, but at least we don't have to listen to Gordo shoot his mouth off about how great CO is, since they offer meals at meal times, and things that make customer satisfaction rank so high at continental. (By the way, I can recite that whole message by heart, sad huh?)
I read the paper that we had brought on board for most of the flight, and played a little tetris on my gameboy.
At 4:40 we began our descent, and the captain said we would touch down in 30 minutes. Our connection was leaving at 5:26, which means if we wanted to make it, we were going to have to run, FAST. Oh well, no time to stop at Smoothie King, or get a cinnamon sugar pretzel.
We touched down at 5:02, and taxied to the gate. As soon as we pulled in, I jumped out of my seat ahead of everyone else and got to the overheads so we could get our bags out. They opened the door, and we rushed out, along with all the other passengers making tight connections.
Thankfully, our connecting gate wasn't too far, so we made it there within 5 minutes at 5:15. Sweating like pigs from running, we showed the agent our BP's and boarded. We got the upgrade on this flight in advance, so we had a nice seat to collapse into. We found 1E, and 1F and settled in. Pre-take off drinks were offered, and I chose a coke. If there's one thing that I like about Continental its that they serve coke instead of Pepsi like NW, I hate Pepsi.
At 5:35 we still had not pushed back. While waiting, the FA came around to take dinner orders. Tonight they had a chicken sandwich with a cup of soup. Would we like to eat? Yes we would, with a coke please. The captain then came on, "Uh folks, they've closed down Chicago/O'hare, so ATC wont let us taxi or take-off. I'll have an update in just a few minutes to let you know when we'll be outta here. By the way, weather in ORD is clear, so were not sure why the airport has been closed."
The last few times my dad has traveled he's had delays. This was the second time in a row (not counting the way back) that he had a delay, I think he's bad luck. Another update: "Folks, we've been delayed till 6:30, so were just going to be sitting here for awhile. The gate agents are going to allow you to get off if you'd like, and we'll be re-boarding at about 6:05."
My dad didn't wont to get off, but I wanted a cinnamon sugar pretzel, I love the ones in IAH. So I de-planed and got my pretzel and returned to the gate a few minutes later. They weren't letting passengers back on till 6:05, it was now 5:45, so I sat around in the gate area. At 6:05 I reboarded, and sat down once more. At 6:32 they closed the door. Oh wait, some passengers were irresponsible, and didn't come back when they were suppose to. The FA had to re open the door to let these late comers on. Of course everyone on board gave them a cold stare.
Finally we were going, or so I thought. We pushed back, and the captain informed us, "Uh folks, they've delayed us now another hour till 7:30. But they need this gate, so were going to wait on the taxiway." The aircraft got so hot onboard, everyone was sweating, and it was so boring. What seemed like forever, 7:30 finally rolled around, and we were going....for real this time. We taxied out and took-off.
Dinner was started shortly after, and the sandwich was presented on 1 tray with Italian wedding soup, and a ghiradelli mint chocolate. CO really seems to like the Italian wedding soup. The sandwich wasn't too bad, it was the usual, on a sourdough hoagie with a carrot, and zucchini. The only complaint was that a tomato sauce was put on the sandwich, which sort of ruined it. The Italian wedding soup was good, and the chocolate was a nice finish with my usual cup of tea. I'm really starting to like these ghiradelli chocolates that have replaced the pecan delights. The meal was generous, considering the length of the flight.
The FA running F/class did a good job checking and re-checking passengers needs.
If you ever get on the 733, pick seats 1A,B,E, or F. These seats are the best for two reasons. 1. You get your first choice of meals. 2. There is extra legroom because of the wall cut for your feet, or for stowing bags. The seat also had a headrest, and a newly replaced tray table.
No IFE on this 733 flight either. I believe only 10 planes of CO's 733 fleet has screens, so no Gordo message on this flight either. More reading, and gameboy. I'm thinking of picking up, "From Worst to First" By Gordon Bethune. Has anyone read it? Is it a good book?
We began our descent, and went right through downtown Chicago. We got a great view of the sears tower. We touched down very late, due to the delay, and taxied. It was 10:00, and we were exhausted. Our problems were only beginning. Enterprise, who we were renting from, closes at 10:00. Has anyone ever heard of a rental agency closing that early, on Friday night?? Anyways, we wound up renting from budget, and they didn't screw us to badly either.
Overall a good flight with CO. By the way, if anyone has any idea as to why ORD was shut down that night, let me know. I asked my aunt, and she said that the weather was fine, so I'm really stumped as to why we were delayed.
Here are my rating overall:
IFE: 0 (since theres none)
Meal: 2 (gotta give them something for the pretzels)
SR 103 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1744 posts, RR: 37
Reply 2, posted (12 years 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 2250 times:
Great report as usual. I see your starting with the whole COdeshare partner thing as well.
(By the way, I can recite that whole message by heart, sad huh?)
LOL. Don't forget I'm here! You know I can do the same. I got 4 more flights next month and I know that I will have to hear Gordo's message again on each flight.
I always prefer the bulkhead rows on my narrow bodied aircraft. I have spent countless hours in bulkhead seats on a COdeshare partner flying across the US.
The sandwich wasn't too bad, it was the usual, on a sourdough hoagie with a carrot, and zucchini. The only complaint was that a tomato sauce was put on the sandwich, which sort of ruined it.
I can't believe you actually like that stuff. I started opting for the salad when there is a choice, in my opinion it has proved to be a good decision. I always find the sandwiches dry and hard. The soups are normally good though, I have to credit CO for that. I see no more Pecan Delight! YES!!! I hope this is permanent thing.
. I'm thinking of picking up, "From Worst to First" By Gordon Bethune. Has anyone read it? Is it a good book?
Yes I have read it. Nice book, entertaining and definitely a good read for an aviation enthusiast. Though I do not have much to compare it with as I have not had a chance to read "NUTS!" or "Losing My Virginity" yet.
Jeffrey1970 From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 1351 posts, RR: 11
Reply 4, posted (12 years 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 2212 times:
Did the baby behind you cry much during the flight? I have never understood why people hate flying with children. I have been flying for over 30 years, and I can't really remember having an aweful flight with a child. Now I have been on many flights where adults acted terrible.
God bless everyone through Jesus Christ with lots of love,
NWAgoldelite From United States of America, joined Dec 2002, 123 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (12 years 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 2179 times:
SR 103- I also like the bulkhead, no one to recline into you. I've heard bad things about the salad from my dad, and besides, I'm a kid, salad just doesn't sound right. Sometimes the sandwiches are hard, and occasionally soggy, but it's not a restaurant. I really haven't come to expect much from CO catering on certain routes.
"Hello I'm Gordon Bethune, Continental's chairman and chief executive officer, welcome on board. Today your on a (shrug) modern jet airplane, one of the newest of hundreds of airplanes that make up the most (shrug, does he have teretes?) modern fleet in America. It features such things as this video, games, telephones. We also supply such things as magazines, meals at meal times, and things that make customer satisfaction rank so high at Continental. But most importantly, your flying with the most professional men and women anywhere in the world. Were committed as we have been for the last eight years to providing you, clean safe and reliable transportation every time you fly. So once again, on behalf of all of us Continental, thanks for choosing us and have a good flight."
I can do the safety video also, but I think I'll spare you.
Tbear815 From United States of America, joined Jun 2003, 704 posts, RR: 4
Reply 8, posted (12 years 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 2138 times:
I had my first CO flight last November - FLL/IAH/SFO. IAH/SFO was probably the worst flight I've ever been on in 45 years and 2M+ miles. Really pathetic. I mentioned something to a CO Sr.VP and he was going to do something - never heard back. CO had a great rep in the days of Bob Six, but I guess your friend "Gordo" is of the idea that people just fill seats - maybe CO's service levels are considered good, but if that's the case, next time I go to NYC or WAS, I'll go west via HKG or NRT from SFO. Or then again, I could go UA through LHR and rack up some more miles!! CO will never see my happy face again...
(BTW - the CO flights were on full fare First class tickets. Ever been told you have a choice between a Chicken Caesar or Reuben sandwich and gotten a B-B-Q beef? And I've never seen a film started before the take-off roll. Go figure!)
Phatfarmlines From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1407 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (12 years 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 2103 times:
>No IFE on the MD80's, but at least we don't have to listen to Gordo shoot his mouth off about how great CO is, since they offer meals at meal times, and things that make customer satisfaction rank so high at continental.<
I believe his welcome message on widebody aircraft is slightly modified in order to add "personal television behind every seat".
>My dad didn't wont to get off, but I wanted a cinnamon sugar pretzel, I love the ones in IAH.<
Who can forget the fumes of cinnamon in the C Concourse.........
I'm glad you enjoyed your flight, but I'm a little confused, it seems as though there has been a level of inconsistency with CO's service as of late, judging from some other comments.
JBLUA320 From United States of America, joined May 2002, 3182 posts, RR: 18
Reply 12, posted (12 years 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 2076 times:
Nice trip report.... sorry you couldnt get the upgrade on the MD80- in my experiences, Continental's MD80s are the worst type in their fleet... Glad to see that someone had a positive experience with Continental, as mine certainly wasnt!
ScottysAir From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (12 years 2 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 2017 times:
It was okay on these trip report and you did very nice trip to ORD and I went to ORD from last month of July 24. We were just flew on Delta for us and mostly other than 3 airlines is always full to ORD is AA, NK, and UA, too. I didn't not like much flying on UA either for us and I got still alot of those skymiles and everything went well. Well, talk ya later!