Well, I had a feeling that I was going to have an interesting day flying.
After my alarm clock chose not to wake me up, I scurried out of the house as fast as I could in order to make it to MSY before my 1003am Continental flight to Houston departed. Luckily, I made it. And more good news...not only was this flight full, but my connecting MD-80 to SFO was "wide open", as quoted by the agent. I was thankful to hear this. I was also somewhat excited, as the 1003am flight was scheduled to be a Boeing 757-300, an aircraft type that has eluded me thus far. I took my seat at gate B10 and waited for the agent to clear the standby list. Sure enough, I heard my name. And to my delight, it was seat 5A. The aircraft was at the gate when I got there, and unfortunately, it was not a 753, just a regular 757-200. I was told they did an a/c swap in IAH that morning. Oh well, I was sort of upset, but I knew that I'd get on a 753 sooner or later. I took my seat....First class quickly filled to capacity, all 24 seats taken. MSY-IAH always packs in the F-class. Coach seemed to be about 3/4 full. I had an OJ, and then before I knew it, we thundered down MSY's runway 28 bound for Texas' largest city. The flight was uneventful and very relaxing. 45 minutes in the air. The 757 handled wonderfully through some rough air on approach into Houston. And then...touchdown.
I got my bag and walked swiftly to the gate for the 1155am SFO nonstop, eager to return to San Fran again. Once I got to the gate, I took a look at the priority list...and what I saw wasn't good. I was number 15 on the list...and the plane only had 6 seats left on it. Not good. Oh well, looks like another long day in IAH. After that flight left (with my checked bag on it), I was told to proceed to the customer service desk, where they would place me on the list for the next flight. That flight, a 235pm 737-800 departure, was oversold. And so was the next one. And the next one. My only chance of getting to SFO was to wait for the 835pm flight, and still, no guarantees for that one. Well, seeing that I HAD to get to SFO that day, I made a drastic decision....I was going to go back to MSY and fly out on our 545pm flight to MCI connecting to SFO. IAH baggage service sent a message to SFO letting them know that I would be in late that evening to get my bag. The agent was very helpful and even went so far as to book me on the 120pm IAH-MSY nonstop.
I proceeded to the ticket counter where the agent went ahead and gave me a boarding pass, seat 40A. Equipment: 757-300! Yes! I was ecstatic! I rushed to gate 43 and took my seat on the behemoth. Talk about an impressive plane. I loved every minute of the 43 minute hop back to NOLA. The load was good, 20 in first and 161 in coach. The aircraft lifted off and touched down with its nose basically straight....just a couple of feet off the ground, not very noticeable. Since this bird is so long, they are obviously worried about tail strikes. The flight was a good one, we landed right on time, and parked at gate B12.
At 545pm, I boarded a Vanguard 737-200 for MCI. The load was heavy...112 out of 120...thankfully I got the last aisle seat. The duration of the flight was 1h and 40m. Overall, the flight was quite turbulent, thanks to inclement weather all around. I had a Diet Sprite and read some of "Frankenstein". We touched down in MCI on time at 735pm.
Most of Vanguard's late night bank of flights were running late thanks to weather and ATC delays over the system. My SFO flight was scheduled for a 935pm departure, but we didn't push back until 1045pm. Even so, the captain made up a lot of time en route. We touched down at midnight, only 25 minutes late. En route, I enjoyed the SkyBox Business Class. They served a roast beef wrap with grapes and a rice krispie treat, and I downed a couple of Coors Lights. It was a pleasant 3 hour and 15 minute flight on an ex-AA MD-81.
Upon my arrival at SFO, I headed directly for the CO baggage service office. To my delight, the office was open. I was going to get my bag and call the hotel shuttle so I could get some sleep. After all, I had to wake up at 430am, just 4 hours from that time. Unfortunately, they said they didn't have my bag. Not what I wanted to hear. Eventually, they found it....they thought they sent it BACK to MSY, but they had it in some room in the back. Thank god. I hit the bed with a vengeance that night to say the least.
My return trip was undertook by me today....on the wings of a CO 739 and 753. I will write about it in the near future.
Have a great day.....
Steve in NO