This would be my first trip report here, so comments are welcome. I apologize before hand for not having pictures, I only realized after I was on my way to the airport that I didn’t have my camera.
Some background first. I changed jobs recently, with which I lost all my vacation time from my previous job. Fortunately, my boss is chill enough to let me keep two trips I had planned out before. One was a trip to Seattle for a weekend. I was supposed to go to Florida last October to visit a friend, but Hurricane Wilma came along and that was the end of that. Continental was gracious enough to let me have a 250 dollar credit for one year. I had planned a trip in January of 06, but I had gotten very ill, and once again had to postpone the trip. In June, my friend moved to Seattle; I had never been, I think the West coast us groovy, and with the credit, my ticket came out to only 220 dollars. Not too shabby I feel.
September 22nd, 2006; CO # 1581 (737-800) EWR-SEA, departing at 9:30 AM(actual departure at 9:35 AM) arriving at 12:39 PM(arrived at the gate at 12:10 AM)
I took the New Jersey Transit train to the Newark Airport train station, then took the Air Train to Terminal C. Using the train to get to EWR is very convenient. At first, I wasn’t too sure how popular it would be, since the station is kind of far from the terminals. It turns out it is very easy. A fair amount of trains stop there, and the monorail runs pretty frequently. And since I had checked in online the day before at work, I went right to the security line. The checkpoint wasn’t too crowded, but we all know what fun it is going through it. And here is my little editorial of the report: I still don’t see why we have to take our shoes off. I’ve flown through other countries post 9/11 and I’ve never had to. I don’t think it does anything to enhance security. But this is only my opinion. I don’t make the rules, I just follow them. And since they ask me to take my shoes off, I don’t really have a choice.
By the time security was said and done, it was 8:40 AM; the flight was scheduled to start boarding at 8:45 AM. Of course, first class and One Pass Elite get to go on first, and I was neither, and had seat 9F so I wasn’t going to be called to board for a while. So I got some coffee, and chilled out by my departure gate, 84.
When I finally got on board, the flight was full; luckily, I had room for my carry on bag in the overhead bin. The captain greeted the passengers saying we would be running a few minutes behind schedule as there was a delay with loading the luggage Push back started at 9:35 AM, at which point we taxied to the runway. I have no idea how the runway configuration works at EWR, I just know we took off into the south, so I’m guessing 22L? Someone correct me if I’m wrong.
Soon after take off, the captain came on and said the flight would take us over a weather system that would more than likely create turbulence during the flight and advised the seat belt sign would probably be on for most of the flight. About a half and hour into the flight, the FA’s started the breakfast meal service. I had flown CO in April to SFO, and had the same breakfast service. The SFO flight had a small meal, of an egg and cheese biscuit, with a muffin and yogurt. This meal was similar, except it was a “pocket” instead of a biscuit. While not the most appetizing breakfast I’ve consumed in my lifetime, it was still nice to know I could eat something without having to pay for it on board. The FA’s came around at least once an hour with the drink cart, which was great I felt. I get dehydrated on planes easily and they were very generous with beverages. The FA’s were very nice and professional.
The inbound flight was uneventful for the most part. We did have some turbulence like the captain said, so the passengers were mostly confined to their seats. One of my friends from school has to travel a lot for his job and he loaned me some CO headsets, so I passed the time away watching X-Men III. After that was done, I listened to the I-pod, and dozed on and off.
The arrival into SEA gave me some gorgeous views of Washington State. I had never been to the West Coast and was thrilled it wouldn’t be raining while I was there. I have no idea was runway we landed on, but we had to cross the other runway, then taxi back to the terminal. One thing I found new(well, maybe not so new, since I don’t fly too often), was that as soon as the plane landed, the pursuer came on the intercom and said we could now use cell phones. I had thought you had to wait till the plane got to the gate and the doors opened to use cellular phones. And as soon as this announcement came, everyone started dialing whomever he or she had to call. I choose to wait; I had gotten in early anyway, so I was still in no rush.
Once I got in the terminal, I phoned my friend, who was on her way to pick me up. She hadn’t realized my flight would be arriving so early, so I took a leisurely walk through the terminal. It was very nice, with the salmon etched into the floor and over all had a very nice feel to it. Nicer than EWR at least I feel.
Seattle was a great town to visit. Great food, nice people, and very clean. We went bar hopping in Freemont, went to the Ocktoberfest, walked around the University of Washington, which is where I had wanted to do my undergrad, and went to the U Village shops. Overall it was a beautiful city and I would easily go out there again, except this time spend more time there, and maybe go to some vineyards or maybe Vancouver.
Return flight: CO #1680 (737-800) departing SEA at 11:10 AM (on time), arriving EWR at 7:18 PM (Arrived at the gate at 7:10 PM).
Once again, printed my boarding pass the night before, which was good, since I was out bar hopping till about 3 AM. Yikes! Luckily, I was up on time, showered, woke my friend up, and drove out to the airport to drop my hung over self off. On the drive, we passed BFI, which was cool for me, since I got to see brand new Boeing planes on the tarmac, including the new 747 freighter.
I got to SEA around 10:20, and finally paid attention to the layout of the terminal. It was a very nice one I felt with the large departure area over looking the runways with a central area for shops and restaurants. Boarding didn’t start until 10:30. This time I played it close by stopping to have breakfast. I might have screwed myself but I was at the gate in plenty of time for the last boarding call. This time again, the flight was full. But the departure was on time, and we pulled away from the gate at exactly 11:10. After a short taxi to the runway, we took off; I’m not sure in which direction. But, what I do know is that right after take off, I had some stunning views of BFI. I had forgotten they had a Concorde there until we flew over it. About 2 minutes after take off, we took a turn east, which gave me a view of the airport off in the distance and Mount Rainer. Truly an awesome sight to see this high up in an airplane.
Same as always, about a half hour into the flight, the FA’s came around with the meal service. This time they were serving, what they claim, was a Philly cheese steak; I doubt this claim though, since it more appeared to be an oval shaped hamburger with cheese. It may have been good, but about half of the bottom bun was burnt. And about half way through, I decided that maybe I shouldn’t punish my stomach too much. The rest of the meal was fine though, which was chips and a Brussels cookie. Drinks were plentiful and I ended up dozing off a bit. I didn’t watch the movie, which was Mission Impossible III, since my headphone jack choose not to work at seat 10 F.
I woke up with about an hour left of the flight, so I started with the I-pod again. After a half and hour, around 6:30 PM Eastern Time, the captain announced our approach into EWR. At this point, one of the passengers stood up and announced he had a connecting flight that was leaving 10 minutes after our flight arrived, and he “had to be the first one off the plane.” I’m never in a rush, but I’m sure there were some people in first class who might have disagreed with him. Anyway, an FA came and spoke to him and I guess whatever issue he had was resolved.
The flight approached EWR from the north, which much I was able to make out from the direction of the sun. The captain announced the decent at 6:30 PM and we touched down at 7:05 PM. The descent seemed kind of long but we ended up on the ground in one piece which is all that matters in the end. The CO terminal was busy with evening domestic and international departures, and we had to wait a few minutes for out gate to be ready for us. We arrived at gate 70, at which point I left the terminal, meet my car service person at baggage claim, and went home. All in all, a nice weekend trip for an OK price.
Once again, this is my first trip report, and I know some details are lacking, like registration, gate information, etc. Comments are welcome, and I will use them in future reports. My next trip will again be on Continental, this time internationally to AMS, then KLM to DEL and back. Hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed experiencing it.