(I am writing the bulk of this report at gate 93 at EWR.)
CO 1573 PVD 1:25p-2:30p EWR 735 N14662 seats 21A/B
Check in 2 hours ahead of time, way early. no lines. generally friendly agent. After printing the boarding passes, she realizes my Mom and I are not seated together and makes the necessary changes. Small things mean a lot nowadays. Security agents nice for once. smiling and helpful in directing us. we let someone know their friendliness is appreciated. hopefully that will motivate them.
CO 1400 EWR 3:50p-6:48p FLL 753 N57852 seats 35E/F!
Man the 753 is long! Nonetheless, the flight was pretty good. I was not expecting the small meal service (sandwich, carrots, trail mix) and 2 beverage services. To top it all off, they showed the movie “Shallow Hal”, quite possibly the stupidest movie ever, but I was impressed they showed anything at all. A smooth flight with a gorgeous approach to FLL with a dynamic sunset among white puffy clouds.
One little anecdote about this flight: I had gotten up to take some shots of the cabin of this long plane soon after the flight attendants went to the front of the cabin to start the lunch service. As I was waiting for the right moment, one lady kept turning around to watch me. I sensed that she was apprehensive at what I was doing and tried my best to convince her that taking pictures of planes/insides of planes was purely personal…I even pointed out that I was traveling with my Mom. She probably thought I was a little more than a freak, lol.
CO 1500 FLL 1:05p-4:05p EWR 752 N57111 seats 17E/F
Smooth check in. Our agent was also attentive and noticed my Mom and I weren’t seated together and made the necessary changes. In addition, my Mom’s bag was 5 pounds overweight. He was extremely nice in diddly-daddling around for a few moments while so the agent next to him got occupied with someone else and ultimately let the bag go through w/o us having to pay. Again, little actions such as this one mean a lot!
Too bad seat 17 is right over the wing otherwise I would have had some nice overview shots of the FLL terminals, haha. The boarding process for this flight was unbelievably smooth. Normally, these S.Florida flights to the North are jam packed with rowdy passengers but this time, the agents were more than classy and the passengers were well behaved, haha (I am watching an ATA 738 land on 22L as I write this). The flight attendants on this flight were comical, which made for a comfortable/relaxed yet still formal service. The purser’s tone and word choices were well chosen. (I don’t know if many people actually do this, but I am one to pay close attention to the way in which announcements are made, whether they’re well articulated, whether the tone is right etc.) Inspite of the heavy winds around EWR, a fast flight got us in 15 minutes earlier than scheduled.
CO 567 EWR 7:40p-8:45p PVD N—655 seats 11C/15F
It’s interesting how the schedules get modified all the time, usually with more time. It does not take 1 hour 5 mins to get from EWR-PVD in a 735, lol. Makes those “early” arrivals seem very “early”. Cheaters. Hehe.
The boarding process started off a little shady when the intercom wasn’t working at our gate, go figure, PVD gets the crappy gate. Haha. Then, after a few passengers get on board, they decide they have to stop the boarding process to wait for security agents because there were none there! After a gate coordinator showed up and tried his best to get some agents but to no avail, he decided to go ahead and continue the process. Nice. (It was indeed strange that there were no security agents there.) Once on board, there was an unnecessary seat confusion as three punks (literally) decided they’d sit wherever they wanted. They didn’t understand that on a full flight, it’s best to sit where you’re assigned. The delayed boarding process and confusion of seat assignments created a 25 minute delay, no push until 8:05p. A short ½ hour no-service flight up to PVD got us in only 10 minutes after the scheduled time. See how that 1 hour 5 mins comes in handy!?
A little spotting report from MIA/FLL:
Good parts and bad parts about MIA. Good part: Met up with the people known as “The MIA boyz”, always nice to meet up with them. I was also fortunate to meet another “legitimate” (as he called himself) photographer. Suffice it to say he’s one of few who can shoot ramp in the mid-East. For a 21-year old who doesn’t get ramp where he goes, it’s fun to meet nice reputable guys. The one bad part: Unfortunately, I was able to get to MIA only once. (Darn it, a BA 777 with the “Whale Rider” tail just landed 22R L). There, during the 5:30pm AA push, some clouds decided they’d cover up the sun for us spotters. How rude. Didn’t even get too many AA 727 shots, but hey, what can one do? It’s funny though because the rest of the time I was down there, I was on Miami Beach and I would see everything taking off…seeing the BA 744s in the Delft-Blue Daybreak and Waves tails from the beach hurt a little bit, lol. But hey, I was with friends who probably wouldn’t want to join me for an afternoon at the airport.
As for FLL, I went there a total of 4 mornings to play “catch up” on things I haven’t been able to shoot since being back from a year in France. Fortunately, I was staying with my Uncle who had a 6-ft. ladder, so that helped, enormously. There were spotters of all kinds, not a lot, but I certainly wasn’t alone. It’s nice when people introduce themselves and people aren’t so “hush hush” or exclusive when spotting. It makes the “sport” of spotting much more enjoyable.
Subjects to note: Laker 727 silver tail ex-AA, ex-TWA 757s (no hybrids L), Frontier 733s, all white Express.nets, a Patriot 732, CO 753s…and just a lot of catching up on things like DL 764s, Spirit MD-80s with the flags/web titles, SWA 73s in o/c (come to think, I never saw one in the new colors, nor the 10th anniversary Spirit maddog), US 321s, etc. (And to top off the subjects taking off here at EWR, an SAS A340.)
Thanks a lot for reading! Only 27 rolls worth of slides to come…Happy spotting,