Continental Airlines Flight CO 71
Scheduled Departure: 2:25pm
Actual Departure: 2:35pm - Gate G05
Scheduled Arrival: 4:00pm
Actual Arrival: 3:37pm - Gate C138
Aircraft: Boeing 767-400 - #57
After a long weekend in Amsterdam and a brief day trip to Cologne, it was time to head home. This was the weekend where Europe moved to Daylight Savings Time a week ahead of the US, so we were 7 hours ahead and the normal flight departure of 1:25pm was actually a 2:25pm given the time difference.
Check in at an uncrowded Terminal G was easy. Six desks were open. One for Elite Access and one for Business First, the others were for economy and were handling both the EWR and IAH departures, which are 10 mins apart, with EWR departing first. Some people were pulled off the line for additional screening.
I was given my boarding pass and my friends and I headed to do some last minute duty free shopping before heading to the gate. As we walked to G05, we noticed our scheduled 2:25pm departure would be delayed by 10 minutes. The aircraft, Ship #57, arrived late from Houston, as CO 46. Meanwhile, the EWR aircraft that arrived much earlier was being prepared for departure to Houston at G03. The UA 777 to IAD had just pulled away, as had the two Delta aircraft, the US Airways 762 to Philly, leaving us with just an Avro from Swiss.
At the next pier, we could see one KLM A330-200, a KLM 777 going to JFK, and a pair of KLM 747-400's.
Boarding began at 2:10pm, and despite another very full flight, the main cabin door closed at 2:30 and five minutes later, we pushed back. We were again seated in the forward economy section. The plane was again spotless and free of scratches, peeling panels, and other signs of wear and tear. The cabin crew on this flight were efficient, but pretty chilly. No smiles, other than one cute male flight attendant.
Push back was followed by start up of both engines, we taxied for about 15 minutes past all the major piers and were # 2 behind a VLM turboprop for departure. Take off was powerful, fast, and smooth into the gray skies. The flight time would be 7 hours 12 minutes. The rest of the flight was pretty uneventful. Lunch was served 45 minutes after take off and again was quite edible and decently presented. Duty free followed, and then it was four hours of very smooth flying.
About 90 minutes prior to landing, we were served a snack of a warm sandwich, and a nice box of cookies, carrotts, and some chips. The crew prepared the cabin for arrival and we descended into a gorgeous, sunny, early spring day. We landed on the runway parallel to the NJ Turnpike and taxied to C138, the closest gate to the INS facility in C3. Other flights arriving at the same time were the second LGW flight, a flight from CDG, and a flight from San Jose, Costa Rica.
Overall, another very competent flight, nice service, nothing spectacular, but comforting in its efficiency and smooth delivery.