Maybe they wen't the most exciting flights, but still, I made some notes of my experience. I bought my ticket via Travelocity about 3 weeks before for $301 r/t. Chose CO due to fair price, non-stop flights, good flight times (not too early or too late or red-eye return), get FF points with CO.
EWR-SEA Sunday, Aug. 29, 2004
CO Flt. # 2181 - 757-200 RR engines (of course!) Reg #: N17139 - Seat 26C
Scheduled Departure: 1:40 pm (1340) EDT/Actual: 1:45 (1345) EDT; at Newark, NJ departure: 89F; Pilot is Capt. Montgomery. This a/c would continue to Anchorage, AK. Total flight time: 5h, 45m
Before boarding, note some worn paint on nose area, especially below co-pilot's window. Very clean inside, but a few trim/interior panel joint strips missing. Had aisle seat, another pax at window, no one in middle seat. About 60% full. Some families, no babies. Slight delay due to cargo glitch, but no wait to and to takeoff. Fast, short and smooth takeoff. Flight had some turbulence, but not much. All f/a's women. Lunch about 1 hour into flight, was premade, packaged and warmed breaded and seasoned chicken breast sandwich on chewy roll, Cape Cod reduced fat potato chips, Macaroni salad and Peppridge Farm cookies. Sandwich was acceptable, but not a true 'meal' as used to get on a transcon flight. Got plenty of Diet Sprite.
Service good. Most of time shades were down, due to entertainment programs, including 'Family Vacation' (with Cedric the Entertainer). Had headphones with me and saw movie (so-so) and listened to some of my CD had with me. Flight took a path over Buffalo, southern Ontario, Thunder Bay, southern/border areas of Canadian provinces Sack., Man., Alb., then into WA. Best part of trip was in final to SEA. Noted full views of Mt. Adams and Mt. Rainier in their snow topped glory. Then got good view of Seattle, suburbs, wasn't on correct side to see Boeing/King County Airport. Landing easy and on time at 4:25 PDT. Very little wait for luggage. But a bit of a lug to Alamo rent a car, up to crossover to parking garage area, then down to rental car level. Lot of construction at airport. CO uses gates near those for WN and HP, so get to see some other airlines.
Later that day went by the Museum of Fight, noting the new WWI/II wing and Concord and other a/c outside across the road and Mt. Rainier in full glory in distance. Stayed in and went by the Everett plant of Boeing. Spent next morning and got lucky waiting for 9:00 tour. Excellent experience, saw several stages of 747 assembly line, unbelievably huge building as well as final delivery area across road in tour, where about 8-9 aircraft including a JAL 747 Cargo, 777-200 for Vietnam Airways, a 777-300ER for Air France, and several other 777's 1-2 767's. Very glad got the chance to visit. Rest of day in Seattle including Pioneer Sq. Waterfront areas, aquarium, up the Space Needle and a 1hr harbor cruise. Stayed near SeaTac airport that night, saw many flights taking off from airport as very close to end of runway area. 2nd full day spent about 4 hours at Museum of Flight, including going through the new WWI/II wing (FANTASTIC!), and able to walk through the Concord they have, as well as 1st 707 Air Force 1 (not use to transport JFK's body from Dallas to Washington after his assination, but was used by VP Johnson on way down that day) Parked nearby is the 1st 747, 1st 737 (ex-NASA), an early AA operated 727-100 (in badly fading livery). Are setting up new control facility for access to this area of the museum, is on part of Boeing property. Got plenty of views of Boeing/King Co. Field. Noted a number of 737's in final delivery stages (that done at this field/airport), including for Ryanair, Southwest, Korean Air, and saw a Korean Air one take off. Also noted at airport, in drive around a DC-3 in old UA livery, a DC-8 in new, bright yellow/red DHL livery. Rest of trip included using rent a car with visits to: Olympia National Park (poor weather), coast of WA and part of OR, including seeing 4-40 Ft plus Gray whales just off shore! Continued to Crater Lake N.P, on a day they use to take the postcard pictures; later to Portland, Columbia River historical section (US-30) to Hood River, Or, part way around Mt. Hood (weather still excellent), to Mt. St. Helen's National Volcano Monument (site of 1980 volcano) and Mt. Rainier N.P., back to Seattle for a look downtown and to top of Bank of America Building for excellent views.
Return trip - SEA-EWR - Friday, September 10, 2004
CO Flight # 1680 - 737-800 - Reg. # 33262 (no winglets)
Scheduled departure: 3:40 pm (1540) PDT/Actual about 5:15 pm (1715) PDT. Scheduled arrival: 11:40 pm (2340) EDT; Seat 26D; Temp: low 70's, overcast. True flight time 5 hrs, on a/c about 6 hr. 30 min.
This was a little different. At same gate area used for inbound flight. Got chance to see an ATA L-1011 depart (military charter), A NW 747-200 depart, and a number of Alaska/Horizon a/c in and out, WN flights' in and out, noted a EVA Air 747-400 Mixed a/c at gate at next section of terminal. Schedule initially delayed to 4:40 pm, then started loading at 3:30! Away from gate at about 3:45, but then put on hold and shut down engines at Cargo area. Delay due to runway construction at EWR in late evening/overnight hours when we arrive. During delay, got some Three Stooges shorts, could move around. Was only about 50% or less full. A few kids, but no crying babies. Had whole row to self! Later moved to window after initial climb stages.
Some turbulence on flight, more than on flight to SEA. Coach had 2 male f/a's (1st 1 female f/a). Got to talk to both f/a's for a while, including talking about his going to New Zealand, told him of my experiences in 1994 trip. The other, got into talking about future plans of CO as to new routes (discussed earlier week of 9/12 on this site), his hate of Airbus, Jet Blue and love of CO, future flight plans. Food service about 50 minutes into flight, got full cans of soda during all of flight. Dinner like flight to Seattle, a turkey pastrami sandwich (so-so - not like good NYC deli product) with same chips, potato-egg salad, cookies. I had some fish in Seattle about noon so not too hungry.
Got 2 movies: Harry Potter-prisoner of Azkazaban and Shreck 2. Both so-so, Shreck 2 not as good as first but still funny and lots of inside jokes and references to popular culture.
Didn't get to see much out windows due to movies. Our route more southern than outbound flight. Did get to see (as later found out after pilot turned on the tracking screen about 45 minutes from landing in EWR) Detroit area, over Erie, PA, central PA, just north of Allentown, into central NJ, hard loop to approach from South into EWR. When system on, crusing altitude about 38,500, and speed of .78 Mach. Flight very smooth for a smaller a/c. Actual landing about 1:10 am/0110 EDT, so not too late at all. Slight delay at gate due to delays for airbridge. Mail and our baggage almost all out before we pax got off. Gate at far part of arm C, so long walk (as working on moving sidewalks as so late at night). As walked up to luggage carasole, timing just right as my bag approached!. Off to pickup car from long term parking.
I haven't taken CO in 3 years (Aug. 2001, 2 weeks before 9/11 - EWR-BOS-EWR and 4 years before that EWR-CDG-EWR (on DC-10's both ways). CO does a good job. No frills, but always very clean interiors, good service, on time were possible. No wonder CO gets good reviews and kudos from people here. It certainty added to the enjoyment of my trip.