I arrived at Newark by car at around 1PM. There weren't much parking spaces available, and I had to drive to the top level of the parking garage. I then walked across a ramp which entered Terminal C. I then went up 2 flights of stairs, down 3, and up 1 more (or at least it felt like that) to find CO International Check-In. I had already checked in online, so I went to the bag-drop lane which surprisingly had almost no line at all compared to the regular area. At EWR, everything is self-service and done without talking to an agent although they stand behind the counter and tag and take your bags. After checking in, I was told that I would need to re-print my boarding pass because the gate changed from C85 to C96. So I did that. I got through security in about 10 minutes, not too bad. C96 is all the way at the end of the concourse, but they have a people-mover thing that helps a lot. The concourse is lined with shops and food-stalls. I did some shopping, and bought a $5 smoothie which wasn't even that good. A 757 was still at the gate, I watched it push back to Los Angeles...
The Peter Max 777 was at the next gate down going to Tel Aviv, although I didn't get a chance to get a picture. As soon as the 757 pulled away, our much smaller 738 came in from Seattle.
Our pilot doing a walk-around
Boarding was done by row, I was in 14 so wasn't the first to board - but being an SWA frequent flyer used to standing in line for hours to fight for a good seat, I found it rather relaxing.
Unlike SWA, however, there was no friendly pilot/flight attendent gretting you at the door. So I walked back and took my seat. There were 4 flight attendents, 2 female and 2 male. They all looked Latin-American (and spoke Spanish) except the one lady who had blonde hair and a New York accent. None were overly-friendly (unlike SWA), but weren't mean or un-pleasant either. Just boring (again compared to SWA).
We pushed back on time, and were informed by the captain that ATC had issued a 'very-minor' 10-minute ground delay. So we sat on the tarmac and watched the most annoying safety-video I have ever seen in my life, first in English, then again in Spanish. We then pulled into line, after about 3 regional jets and were soon underway.
Flight was un-eventful. Dinner was served immediately after take-off - turkey or beef sandwiches, and fruit. Something I found very weird was that they give you metallic silverware - including knives.
They showed 2 movies, Aquamarine and the Pink Panther. A flight attendent came around selling ear-phones for $5 - I opted just to read.
The captain, who sounded like an idiot, came on "Ladies and gentlemen, we are beginning our descent into the uh... the uh... the Costa Rica airport..."
I don't think he even knew where we were going.
After beginning descent, 3 of the flight attendents just disappeared except one that came up and down the aisle with cups of water for some reason. After the captain asked for the flight attendents to be seated, the one lady started to come through with a trash bag. She got through about 3 seats when the landing gear came down, and she went running into the back. We were probably about 1000 feet off the ground when they retracted the TV screens and turned off the lights, 10 seconds later we touched down - a very smooth landing.
After walking down a jetway that felt like it was made out of bamboo-wood, we entered an old terminal building. After reclaiming you bags, they re-screen them... then you stand in line to have you passport stamped.
Overall, not a bad flight... but nothing special.
The terminal building looked very nice, all-glass with some kind of tropical tree lining the outside. The check-in area for all carriers was packed. CO had 4 lines, 2 for EWR, and 2 for IAH. It took about 20 minutes to get to the front. There were no self-service computers, a human checked you in. He was nice enough and said "good morning", read to me the boarding time, and pointed the direction to security.
The security lines were divided into 2, one for "Adults 18+" and one for "Minors under 18 & their accompanying adult". I found this a little weird, being 16, I went to the "Under 18" line and luckily they let me past even though I was alone.
There was no line, and for the firs time ever I set-off the metal detector. The screener, told me to empty my pockets and leave the stuff on a little table next to the detector. I then went through no problem, and picked up my wallet on the table expecting for her to have to check it or something, but she just waved me through - a little scary. None of the security people spoke any English, so I'm glad I speak Spanish (although it was interesting to see them handle all the American tourists).
I proceeded to gate 5, bought some breakfast, and waited. The IAH flight in a 757 was pushing back. I noticed my 738 was a few gates down. They pushed it back, and towed it over to gate 5. Boarding started about 10 minutes after that. Our Captain was standing by the door with a cup of coffee wishing everyone a good morning. When I got to my seat, I asked the person in A if he would rather have an aisle seat. He told me bluntly no, that he needed the window to sleep on. So I was stuck in the aisle seat. There were 4 flight attendents, 3 male, 1 female. Unlike the previous flight, they all looked American. One spoke fluent Spanish though.
One of the flight attendents told a kid across the aisle that he wished he had one of those "comfy seats". The seats in-fact were extremely uncomfortable fabric. The one female flight attendent was older and had blonde hair tied up in a bun with small spectacle glasses. I found her rather entertaining because everytime she would walk up and down the aisle she always find some bag that wasn't pushed enough under the seat, or a seat that was reclined. We pushed back on-time and taxied to the runway. Again, even after the captain told the F/As to be seated this one was still patrolling. He told the window-guy next to me to bring his seat up which evidently wasn't locking in place. So as we turned onto the runway, I have this flight attendent leaning over me trying to lock some guys seat in place. He finally got it as the engines were spooling up, muttered "oh crap" and dashed down the aisle to his seat.
We were soon in the air, they showed 3 movies, "She's the Man", "Ice Age 2", and a part of "Take the Lead". Breakfast was an egg and ham sandwich, yogurt, and fruit. When the guy next to me (apparently a vegitarian) asked what was in the sandwich, she snapped back "I don't know, look for youself". They came around a second time with drinks, I got a Ginger Ale and they gave the full can. They continued to come around every few minutes with cups of juice and water, and later water and soda which was good.
And before we knew it, the captain came on and announced the weather and that there was a lot of wind in the Newark area and that F/As should secure the cabin early. So they did, and for a good reason. The last 20 minutes were very bumpy, one time we dropped so much a few people let out small screams. We flew low over the turnpike and came in really high over runway 4L. The left wheel touched down, then bounced, and then the whole plane slammed down again and full thrust-reverse was applied immediately.
We taxiied to the gate, and were told that since we were early it was being occupied and it would be about 10 minutes. 10 minutes later, we pulled in. We were then told we couldn't leave because they were having problems with the moving jetway and had to call maintenence. About 20 minutes later, we finally got off and made our way through immigration which was a lot easier then in Costa Rica. I reclaimed my bags, and my vacation was over.
Overall, a great trip - and CO was OK. I like B6 and WN better, but for a major they weren't too bad.