Jason Seiple
Topic Author
Posts: 686
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2000 7:42 am

OMA-IAH-EWR-SNN On Continental

Mon Nov 06, 2000 12:50 pm

18 July 2000
CO 1821
N17614 B737-500
Seat 10F

I arrived at the North Terminal at 5:15am to check in for the 6:25am flight. Check-in was with America West, who had one agent working the CO flight and four working the 6:00am AWA to PHX check-in. I was number five in line, but didn't make it up to the counter until 5:45am due to three people in front of me purchasing tickets and an AWA agent in training working the CO check-in. As I was one of the first to check-in, my preferred seat was given to me: 10F - window behind the exit row with no seat directly in front of me. I noticed as I entered the terminal that morning that the equipment had been changed from the scheduled to B737-300 to a B737-500. I made my way upstairs at 6:00am just as boarding was beginning. Half of the passengers had yet to be checked in. The AWA flight left 5 minutes late, opening all positions for CO check-in. The flight was about 2/3 full. I had nobody sitting next to me. Aircraft pushed on time and taxied out behind Midwest Express DC-9-10 and United B757 for a take-off on runway 14R. The F/A's performed a drink service followed by a breakfast consisting of a bowl of Total cereal and a banana. The flight was uneventful and landed eight minutes early at 8:36am on IAH runway 27, but held near Terminal C for just over fifteen minutes for a gate to free up. The hold position afforded a great view of parking Antonov Design Bureau AN-124 UR-82029.

18 July 2000
N14662 B737-500
Seat 6A

I proceeded immediately to my connecting gate, jotting down about fifteen registration numbers as I walked. Boarding began at 9:00am for the full 9:28am departure to Newark. I was in a less than desirable seat: 6A, second row of coach and the seat next to the air conditioning duct, meaning no windows for that row. The female passenger 6B had trouble keeping all of her body in her own seat. She did sleep most of the flight, but did drool which made for interesting inflight entertainment. The gate agent was strict about boarding by row numbers, so I was one of the last to board. At that point, the overheads were full so my bag had to go under the seat in front of me. This along with my neighbour taking up more than her alotted space left me unable to move for 3+ hours. The aircraft did depart on schedule and we had a long taxi to runway 14L, with wheels up at 9:45am. A drink service was provided followed by another breakfast - Honey Nut Cheerios cereal and a box of raisins. A second drink service followed. Thirty minutes prior to landing, water was offered. The Flight Service Coordinator provided me with two B737-500 safety cards as well as a copy of the exit row supplement for souvenirs. The flight arrived at Newark Terminal C five minutes late at 2:10pm after landing on 22R.
18/19 July 2000
N17133 B757-200
Seat 8C

Following four hours of spotting from all three terminals at EWR and the connecting monorails, I arrived at gate 112 to watch my B757-200 arrive, completing the first leg of CO24 (SFO-EWR-SNN). I had my documents checked at the podium and got in some more spotting, with a nice view of the Continental Express ramp nearby. The flight was overbooked by approximately twenty seats. The voluntary bumping reward was a $300 travel voucher and a reroute through Paris, to arrive in Shannon 10 hours later than CO24 would arrive. They received about five volunteers and ended up bumping many passengers with e-tickets who didn't have seat assignments before getting to the departure gate. Boarding began at 6:15pm. I was in the seat I had requested at OMA - 8C - the first aisle seat in coach. Each seat had pillow/blanket/headphones awaiting passengers. As the aircraft (N17133) was configured for international operations, a larger galley and audio/video equipment was installed fore and aft of 2L/2R doors. My seat was consequently a bulkhead row, where on CO's domestic B757's, row 8 faces the open lobby area by 2L, with no bulkhead in front of it. Even with the bulkhead, legroom was still ample. After the safety video, and a twenty minute taxi and hold, CO24 departed runway 22L behind a CO Express ATR-42. Engine noise and rattling in the forward cabin was very loud. After climbout, the video presentation began with episodes of "Third Rock From the Sun" and "The Brady Bunch" along with news clips. The F/A's in Coach (which included the Flight Service Coordinator and three others) provided hot towels and amentiy kits (earplugs and eyeshades) followed by the first beverage service. Dinner was served with a choice between beef and chicken. My beef dinner consisted of beef chunks on noodles and corn, a roll, cheese/crackers, a salad, and cake. A second drink serivce followed along with the start of the movie "Here on Earth" on drop down overhead monitors. After trays were collected and a twenty minute break, duty free service began. The movie ended by the time the duty free ended and was replaced with a moving map display. The pilot announced we would arrive about 35 minutes early due to good tailwinds, making total flight time only around five hours. A drink service began, followed by a breakfast of warm croissant and cold fruit cocktail. The Flight Service Coordinator gave me a safety card and two extra coach "amenity kits." Breakfast was hurried and headsets were collected with the trays. The F/A's barely had time to secure the galleys and change from their loafers back into uniform heels before the gear came down and the aircraft flew along the top of heavy fog laying in valleys framed by bright green hills. The aircraft made a sudden final approach from the west, with the flight attendants rushing to their seats a half minute from touchdown. The pilot used heavy braking to use a closer turn-off. After a short taxi, we arrived at the terminal, deserted except for our B757 and a Virgin Express B737-400. Bags arrived the same time we did to customs. Immigration was very quick with almost no lines. No customs officers were present as I walked through the green line and into Ireland.

Overall I was very pleased with Continental, and my trip with them left me with a great impression. I'll definately use them again. I have no complaints, and found service to be better on the domestic legs than most others I have experienced (except for Midwest Express who can't be rivalled).

Respectfully submitted,
Jason Seiple

RE: OMA-IAH-EWR-SNN On Continental

Mon Nov 06, 2000 6:00 pm

Great to hear you had a good experience
on CO. I can speak for many of my
fellow-employees when I say that your
imput is important and vital to our
operation. You should contact CO's
customer care department and let them
know about your experiences. It's
the only way we can gauge how we
are doing, AND the things we need
to do better. The 757's have been
the subject of much bashing on the
general aviation forum, how did you
think the aircraft performed on the
trans-atlantic flight? Hope you have
a good flight back to OMA, and be sure
to do a report for us!

Jason Seiple
Topic Author
Posts: 686
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2000 7:42 am

RE: OMA-IAH-EWR-SNN On Continental

Mon Nov 06, 2000 9:46 pm

I thought the B757 was fine for the transatlantic flight. Before I went on the trip, I thought it would be awful on a narrowbody across the ocean, but it not nearly as bad as I had expected.

My return was on American.... and that was awful! I was scheduled to do LHR-ORD on B777 and then ORD-OMA on ERJ with AA Eagle. However, I didn't end up doing that easy routing. The flight to ORD was great, but at ORD it turned bad. At the AA Eagle gate, the agents said the flight would be 20 minutes late, and the aircraft was just taking off from Grand Rapids en route to O'Hare. The new departure time came and went. Fifteen minutes after the delayed departure time passed, I went to the podium to be told that the flight had been cancelled almost 45 minutes ago. Funny, as the monitor at the gate and the monitors in the terminal all said the flight was still on, with the 20-minute delayed departure time. The agents neglected to announce the cancellation, and word travelled fast as passengers told passengers about the cancellation and people started shouting at the agents, who were very rude. I was told I had to be rerouted ORD-DFW-OMA, as the two later AA Eagle flights were overbooked, and the agent laughed when I requested to be put on United (who had three flights to OMA later in the day). "American doesn't put passengers on the competition" I was told. Upon asking for the reason behind the cancellation, I was told "It isn't any of your concern." After taking down the names of all of the agents, I ran through ORD to the next gate to get on the MD-80 to DFW. There, the agent told me I hadn't been given a valid seat assignment by the AA Eagle agent, so I had to have my boarding passes changed, and was told for the OMA leg the people in Dallas would have to deal with finding me a seat. I boarded the airplane and was assigned a middle seat about three rows from the back. We pushed back, and after a long taxi, the airplane stopped and the pilot shut down one of the engines. Then the seatbelt sign came off. The pilot announced that weather was closing in on Chicago and we had an indefinite delay. I didn't really want to hear that, as I had a 35 minute connection in DFW as it was. At least there was a reason behind this delay, so I accepted it. Even if the Eagle cancellation was due to weather, the passengers still should have been told about it. Passengers began eating their bistro bag dinners and flight attendants served some drink orders from trays. We sat there for about 1 hour 45 minutes before lining up to take-off, waiting a further 20 minutes. The flight to DFW lasted ten minutes less than scheduled, but even then my connection time had long long gone. When we pulled into the gate, an agent came on and got on the airplane's PA saying that the Omaha people were okay, as our plane had arrived delayed 45 minutes ago, and they were holding it for the 50 of us coming off of the flight from ORD. We all ran across the terminal to get on board the airplane, another MD-80. Finally, I was enroute to Omaha. I arrived just after midnight, 7 hours later than scheduled.
My bags were supposedly coming on the next AA Eagle flight (or so the idiot at ORD told me), but that wasn't the case. Nor did they come on the flight after that. They were both overbooked and full, so they had room for one or two bags from our flight on each (they are ERJ's). I was told I would have to wait until there was room on an Eagle flight from ORD for my suitcases. That would be 36 hours later than my arrival, when my bags were delivered to my home.

I'd say that Continental definately gave me a better impression than American did, especially American Eagle.

Jason Seiple
Posts: 643
Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2000 8:31 am

RE: OMA-IAH-EWR-SNN On Continental

Wed Nov 08, 2000 6:35 pm

I've flown on Continental several times this year, and I've nothing but good things to say about them. Their service isn't too bad, the attendants seemed to know what they were doing, and the flights that I have been on always arrived and departed on time. To be honest, that's all that I care about, especially if I've got a connecting flight. Because I'm sorta limited to the airlines that I fly on at this time (due to my NW World Perks Mileage plan), I've been flying NW, KLM, and CO exclusively these days.

Also, just wanted to say that you've got a great trip report there. I love all the details.

Save the whales...for dinner!!!
Posts: 2126
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 1:28 am

RE: OMA-IAH-EWR-SNN On Continental

Wed Nov 08, 2000 9:45 pm

Did u used to be ContinentalEWR?

Posts: 3619
Joined: Wed May 24, 2000 2:50 am

RE: OMA-IAH-EWR-SNN On Continental

Tue Nov 14, 2000 10:52 pm


Nope. He isn't me. But that was a great trip report.


RE: OMA-IAH-EWR-SNN On Continental

Wed Nov 15, 2000 10:31 am

I flew on CO earlier this year (I believe I threw up a trip report about it), and I still contend that they are currently the best of the U.S. majors. I would fly on them again without thinking about it- though- if I thought, I'd probably go NW, since I just *love* those DC-9s!
Posts: 6672
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2003 10:19 am

RE: OMA-IAH-EWR-SNN On Continental

Sun Aug 29, 2004 11:12 am

Jason and others who have been on U.S.-Europe flights on board both narrow- and widebodies:

I am very interested in knowing if all the bashing of 757's for trans-Atlantic routes is based on actual discomfort or if it is just a myth. I was reading in the civil aviation forum that there are rumors that CO will start EWR-HAM using 752's and, if they become true, I hope I can try this service. My opinion after reading your trip report Jason is that the type of aircraft was a non-issue, save perhaps for what you describe as an especially noisy cabin (am I right?).

Look forward to your answers. Thanks. Oh, and great trip report Jason... I liked it.
Upcoming AM MEX-LAX 73H, VA LAX-MEL 77W.

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