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CO BF EWR-LAX/SFO-EWR Feb 2005  
User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1884 posts, RR: 9
Posted (9 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 5206 times:

Hi all,

Well I just flew a RT between Newark and West Coast on Continental! I decided to write a report because I wanted to praise Continental for maintaining a really high standard on its premium cabin on its transcontinental flights. I think Continental is definitely the best out there regarding to its BF service and even surpasses UA p.s. in some extents especially on in-flight catering. Of course, UA p.s. stand out because of its seats, but Continental’s food has consistently improved. There are cutbacks but minor… and the new premier bags on the way to SFO are nice additions. This report will hopefully remain basic… Here it goes…

February 13, 2005
CO 65 EWR-SFO Lv1530 Arr1830 Boeing 767-200ER N76156
I used the kiosk to check in and as usual, the BF cabin is completely full. I proceeded to the elite access line, which had no wait and I headed to the president club near my gate 135. The lounge is pretty nice with some kinds of snacks and the free wireless access is appreciated. Our flights were pretty full this afternoon, and boarding began at 2:45pm. As usual, F/As welcomed us aboard and then proceeded to hang on the coats. Pre-takeoff beverage was offered, as followed by headsets and menus. The F/As on these flights are pretty friendly especially this male F/A. He came by with beverage refills at least every forty-five minutes – not overly intrusive but maintained some presence. Door closed on time and pushed back seven minutes and following a fellow CO’s Boeing 757 N33103 to R/W4L. We took off at 3:57pm.

Flying time was five hours and twenty-nine minutes, and the flight plan took us to an initial attitude of 34,000feet towards Allentown, PA, Youngstown, Akron, South of Toledo, Ft Wayne, South Bend, Gary, Davenport, Des Moines, Omaha, and Lincoln, before climbing to 40,000feet. Then we continued onto Denver, Aspen, South of Grand Junction, Las Vegas, Hoover Dam, and the usual Ontario approach onto R/W25L.

The service began right after the seat belt sign was off. I don’t know if I will say that it is a rush service, but the first part of service seems a bit pushy – beverage and nuts, and then immediately, the appetizer and salad trays come out. There is no beverage refills like typically on AA or UA, and the F/A did not even bother to pick up the nuts separately. Well appetizer and salad are served together now, and the nuts are all cashews now. Just minor cutbacks, but I guess it is possibly due to reduction of staff on board. Here is the menu:

(EWR-LAX/OAK/PDX/SAN/SEA/SFO/SJC/SNA 514OW 203C002-2 2/05)
To Begin
Warm roasted nuts served with your preferred cocktail or beverage

Appetizer
Chilled lobster half accompanied by Du Barry sauce
Du barry is like a thousand Island dressing. The lobster is nice as usual but many people decline it. I don’t realize that so many people are allergic to shellfish or do not like lobster.

Salad
Red oakleaf and romaine lettuce with fresh asparagus, Roma tomato, Kalamata olives and feta cheese
Offered with your choice of La Flora Italian herb vinaigrette or creamy Thousand Island dressing
Very hearty salad and fresh too… no thousand Island but a peppercorn ranch is offered

Ciabatta bread, multi-grain and pretzel breadsticks and assorted rolls with butter
Sourdough bread loaves are also offered

Main Courses
Veal Chop
Pan-seared veal chop with an herb rub, enhanced by a roasted mushroom and shallot ragoût with pearl onions
Sautéed spinach with navy beans and Ratatouille
I had the veal chop, which was delicious. It was tender and the meat just tasted great. I gave a full credit to Continental.

Herbed Breast of Chicken
Presented on a bed of herbed couscous, accented by red wine sauce
Baby peas with chanterelle mushrooms and salsify & Buttered baby carrots

Grilled Shrimp
Grilled, marinated shrimp enhanced by shellfish sauce, accompanied by a grilled artichoke base filled with creamed spinach, Tomato and basil relish, and fiesta rice

Pasta Bowl
Cannelloni pasta filled with ricotta cheese and wild mushrooms, topped with Saluté sauce and oven-roasted yellow tomatoes
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese will be offered with your pasta

Dessert
Vanilla ice cream offered with your choice of toppings
No caramel is offered on this leg.

Freshly brewed Timothy's Custom Roasted Milano Blend Gourmet Coffee
Timothy's Verona Blend Decaffeinated Coffee
Tea with your choice of milk or lemon

I really like the BF experience across the continent. The PTV offered a full range of program. As usual, I watched comedies, and read for the rest of the flight. F/As were pretty attentive. Descent began at 5:58pm PST, and we landed on R/W25L at 6:26pm.

February 14, 2005
CO 349 SFO-EWR Lv1315 Arr2130 Boeing 737-800 with winglet N36280
After a short hop to SFO, it was time to head back to the rainy apple. President Club had free wireless at SFO, and the only bad thing was the solicitation table across from the lounge. It was annoying.

Boarding began on 12:46pm at gate 34, and the flight was pretty full in both F and Y. I got my beloved seat at 2A and the legroom was great. Boarding was completed at 1:06pm and we pushed back a minute later. I noted the CX 744 B-HUA arriving from HK early as well. We headed towards R/W1R. SFO was pretty quiet at this time, and our a/c waited at the runway for our rotate time. The pilot kept up updated, and at 1:22pm, the engines roared and we lifted off from a rainy day at the Bay area. Flying time was four hours and forty-three minutes, with a cruising attitude of 37,000feet. Sky map was available but was showed shortly after takeoff, between movie and Continental Vision, and that’s it.

Service was okay on this flight – one F/A was a bit cold, but the other one was warm, but both were just great F/As – serving beverage and maintaining a high level of service. Coats were hung upon boarding and full beverage was offered as well. Anyway, once again, cashews were served with our first beverage, and then the appetizer tray came. Here is the full menu transcript:

(LAX/PDX/SAN/SEA/SFO/SJC/SNA-EWR 514OW 203C007-4)
To Begin
Warm roasted nuts served with your preferred cocktail or beverage

Appetizer
Smoked Salmon with cream cheese and caviar accompanied by creamed horseradish
Of course I preferred the lobster half, but smoked salmon was okay with caviar was really more like a garnish.

Salad
Mesclun salad mix tossed with red onion rings, English cucumbers, Roma tomatoes, and a Kalamata olive
Offered with your choice of Champagne vinaigrette or blue cheese dressing
Very hearty salad and fresh again… I had the vinaigrette now.

Multi-grain and pretzel breadsticks and assorted rolls with butter
Sourdough bread loaves and French rolls are also offered

Main Courses
Grilled Steak
Grilled Sterling Silver tenderloin steak accented by red wine sauce and maitre d’hotel butter
Mashed potatoes with cheddar cheese and broccoli, buttered asparagus, and grilled red bell pepper

Surf and Turf
Grilled, marinated shrimp and Sterling Silver tenderloin of beef complemented by Cajun Hollandaise sauce
Baby Spinach sautéed with garlic, onion, and salsify, oven-roasted carrots, and Oven-roasted carrots, jicama and turnips
I had the surf and turf – delicious – four grilled shrimps with a tenderloin steak – great – sauce was a bit heavy, but still good. I highly recommend it.

Breast of Chicken
Enhanced by curry sauce, presented with apricot basmati rice
Peach and pepper chutney, and sautéed Swiss chard

Pasta Bowl
Pasta shells filled with sun-dried tomatoes and goat cheese, complemented by spicy eggplant arrabbiatta sauce, tossed with sautéed baby spinach
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese will be offered with your pasta

Dessert
Vanilla ice cream offered with your choice of toppings
Caramel is offered again.

Freshly brewed Timothy's Custom Roasted Milano Blend Gourmet Coffee
Timothy's Verona Blend Decaffeinated Coffee
Tea with your choice of milk or lemon

For entertainment, movie, “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrows” was first shown, and then Continental Vision is shown with episode of Friends and short subjects. Water was offered in mid-flight, and followed by two beverage runs. Descent began at 5:27pm/8:27pmEST, and there was some moderate turbulence on the way down due to some rain and stormy activities. We landed on R/W22L at 9:05pmEST, and I passed by a SQ’s A340-500, MH’s Boeing 777-200, BA’s Boeing 777-200, LOT’s Boeing 767, and SAS’s Airbus A330-300. Unfortunately, I could not get any registration number due to the heavy rain. Despite an earlier arrival, we had to wait for a gate. We parked at 9:19pm at gate 139.

Well, it is a good set of flight, and Continental still tops the service rank. Meals are good, and almost forget, the new premier bags were offered on flights outbound from Newark. My bag consists of a hydration mist spray, a sample of male cologne, lip palm, a paper novel, and a box of Ghiradelli’s caramel chocolate squares.

Pictures won’t be available a while, but I will post them on line once available.

Carfield  Smile-

12 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineSR 103 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1739 posts, RR: 39
Reply 1, posted (9 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 5066 times:

Carfield, great report as usual.

I just completed a LAX-EWR-MCO run last month (trip report comming this weekend) and the first leg was in coach. Unfortunately my report shall not be as pleasant as yours.

In the past I have been used to great service from CO and have had some wonderful flights up front from coast to coast. Flying in the back was a completely different story. I have come to the conclusion that CO is an excellent airline to fly with up front. In the back, they are no better or worse than anyone else.

I recently switched my Frequent Flyer Program accounts around and as of this month am no longer eligible for upgrades on CO. Unless CO is the cheapest option, I am no longer going choose to fly them as the product in the back leaves a lot to be desires, especially on coast to coast flights.

Looking forward to the pictures.

SR 103


User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1884 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (9 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 4699 times:

I totally agree with you. Yes, CO Y still gives you free food, despite only hot sandwiches even on transcon. However, those tiny seats and the inability for elites to prebook emergency exit or bulkhead rows really annoy me. Knowing how the ugrade system operates with CO, I know I have better chances with AA or UA. (Well AA still lets me reserving exit rows, and UA as well). Therefore I am forced to leave CO Onepass.

Nevertheless, up front, CO offers a very good and consistent product. Food is way better than AA or UA... If you get the 762s between LAX and EWR, it will be even better.

Thanks for the kind comments!

Carfield


User currently offlineSCPremier From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 67 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (9 years 5 months 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 4564 times:

Very good report i enjoyed reading.

User currently offlineJmy007 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 598 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (9 years 5 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 4236 times:

Great report,

But just a question, is this the normal flight path to SFO?
"February 13, 2005
CO 65 EWR-SFO Lv1530 Arr1830 Boeing 767-200ER N76156"
"we continued onto Denver, Aspen, South of Grand Junction, Las Vegas, Hoover Dam, and the usual Ontario approach onto R/W25L."

Just checking!  Smile

[Edited 2005-02-17 20:40:12]


Cookies are the Gateway pastry. They lead to Éclairs and Bear Claws.
User currently offlineCory6188 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2686 posts, RR: 6
Reply 5, posted (9 years 5 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 4196 times:

Quoting Carfield (reply 2):
the inability for elites to prebook emergency exit


Actually, in all fairness to CO, they do allow their platinum elite members to select the exit rows online when making a reservation. However, this has only been added within the past year or so.


User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1884 posts, RR: 9
Reply 6, posted (9 years 5 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 4153 times:

Sorry it is EWR-LAX...

About the exit rows, it is good new for me... I did not attempt to reserve exit rows for a while. Too bad, I am done with CO... but thanks for the update!

Carfield


User currently offlineCmk10 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 513 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (9 years 5 months 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 4097 times:

Good report as always. What airline did you use on the hop up to SFO?


"Traveling light is the only way to fly" - Eric Clapton
User currently offlineANNOYEDFA From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 451 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (9 years 5 months 1 week 6 hours ago) and read 4067 times:

I don't mean to be bias since I am in the CO family but every airline now has the standard about of leg room in coach except for UAL with coach plus. We serve meals both hot and cold and show movies on just about all flights... What other airline does all that?

UAL has center monitors and buy on board.
AA MRTC is gone, no meals and usually no tv's.
NWA...MMM Nothing at all. You get a seat
US is close to UAL.
DL movies no meals.

Who is left to choose a LCC that gives you a seat and if a tv, no miles nothing. I'm confused?!?!?!?



"TWA... One Mission, Yours."
User currently offlineANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (9 years 5 months 1 week 5 hours ago) and read 4052 times:

Quoting ANNOYEDFA (reply 8):
We serve meals both hot and cold and show movies on just about all flights... What other airline does all that?

UAL has center monitors and buy on board.
AA MRTC is gone, no meals and usually no tv's.
NWA...MMM Nothing at all. You get a seat
US is close to UAL.
DL movies no meals.


Exactly, that's why CO is my airline of choice.

Great report nonetheless . . . I have experienced COs transcons, and occasionally you get lucky and there is an International 757 sitting at the gate in LAX . . .

Can't beat COs F or BF service. Not on trans-cons.


User currently offlineLACA773 From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 4002 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (9 years 5 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 3912 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Carfield: Thanks so much for another great trip report. I always look forward and enjoy them. Who will you be flying on now on transcons? UA? I still remember the great report you wrote about the new "ps" service.

ANNOYEDFA: UA still serves meals on their transcons. You were correct with the rest. I apreciate that you still offer meal service on your flights-more than words can express. Will they ever offer more than the hot sandwich in Y?? I guess we should be lucky for that, at least I am.


User currently offlineANNOYEDFA From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 451 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (9 years 5 months 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 3807 times:

It depends on what new products the companies offer. The hot sandwhiches always come with desert, salad or fruit. On the short flights it's either a snack package or cold ham or turkey sandwhich. It usually comes with chips, fruit, choclate, and some new product a company gives use for free. Tehy are quite nice and filling.


"TWA... One Mission, Yours."
User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1884 posts, RR: 9
Reply 12, posted (9 years 4 months 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 3642 times:

Link to pictures...

http://www.ofoto.com/ShareLandingSig...Photos.jsp%3FshowSlide%3Dtrue&Ux=1


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