Topic Author
Posts: 1826
Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2004 10:56 am

CO SJC - IAH For Leadership Conference

Wed Jul 31, 2002 11:21 am

This Trip report is being posted on the behalf of a great man named Josh A. Cohn who couldnt get a free membership here. Also any anything he writes does not reflect my belifhs.

I am not a regular Continental flier; however, I have flown them for 5 legs
already this year. I espeically enjoyed their new 767-400s. But this trip report
doens't have any of those...

Thursday Jul 25
CO 582
Boeing 737-300
8:45am Departure 2:55pm arrival
Seat: 24D (yes that is row 24 out of 25)

I got to SJC about 6:30 for my flight to the Best Buddies leadership conference
at the University of Houston. Continental only has 4 daily departures from SJC
(3 to IAH, 1 to EWR) so the ticket counter line was short. My wait was expeditedeven more when they let me use of the two fairly new e-ticket machines. I wanted to get out of row 24 & sit closer to the other people traveling with me to the conference (all of which were scattered around the plane), but only a middleseat in the high teens was available. I decided to keep my aisle seat.
Continental uses gate C-7, and they run into a slight problem in the mornings. 3 of their 4 flights leave between 6:30am and 8:45am. The small waiting area in temrinal C was filled with people all morning. We boarded around 8:10 via
stairs. The 737-300 was one of CO's older plane in that there were no audio or
video onboard the 3 hour 33 minute flight. The plane was basically full, except
for the occasional middle seat. We left SJC ontime and a breakfast consisting of Cheerios and an apple (airline food that the airlines can't mess with). The
flight was uneventful, but about halfway through, I decided to get out of the
back of the plane and talk to some people sitting about 1/3 of the way up. Part of the reason for me getting up was that a small child behind me yelled fire each time she saw a cloud.
I had a wonderful conversation about Texas and Best Buddies for about an hour, and by that time the seat belt sign was illuminated
for approach. The approach to IAH is always a turbulent one because of the
weather. We landed on-time and taxied to C-48. There is a lot of construction on that side of the airport, so C-47 & 48 share a extra long jetway. We had to wait about 10 minutes for the CO staff to make sure the jetway was sterile and that the other plane had unloaded.

The Best Buddies conference at the University of Houston was attended by almost 700 high school and college students from around the country. Best Buddies is a non-profit organzation founded by Anthony Kennedy Shriver (brother of Maria Shirver, nephew of JFK) in the late 1980s. The mission of Best Buddies is "to enhance the lives of people with intellectual disabilities though one-to-one friendships and integrated employment". The conference is put on each year in a different location to train chapter presidents how to manage their indivuidual
clubs. It was a blast even though the dorms smelled like something died in them, and we had very little sleep. If you would like to learn more about the
different branches of Best Buddies, you can visit their website at

Sunday Jul 28
CO 1689
Boeing 737-300
5:40pm Departure 7:28pm arrival
Seat: 25F (yes that is the last seat in the last row)

Our bus from the University of Houston got us to the airport at 3:15. Because i
wasn't checking any bags & my driver's license has a barcode on it, I used the
e-ticket check in once again. CO told me when i called that they were only
giving seat at the airport, but when I got to the machine, it said i had 25F.
This time when i went to change seats, nothing was available. I traveled with
some of the other conference participants to gate C-15. It was too early to try to change my seat, but while I was sitting in the concourse, a kid rapper named Lil Romeo (i believe) came thorugh the terminal with his bodyguards. In additon to that, I witnessed the ceremonial fire truck water cannon salute to a pilot who was retiring. We gave him a round of applause as he said goodbye to his 737 parked next to mine at gate C-16. Waiting in line to change my seat was a waste of time becuase the flight was very overbooked. This was the first overbookedflight i have been on since 9/11 and this was also my 20th flight leg since then. They were only offering $300 when it came time to board. I got to the fornt of the line, when a family of 4 ran past me into the jetway. The gate agent stopped them & asked me if she could just let them go in front of me. I said fine, not knowing that they couldn't find their ID's or boarding passes. The story gets better. Finally it was my turn to board. The lady ripped my boarding pass and wished me a pleasant flight. However, as soon as I stepped onto the jetway, the security guard stopped and asked to search my stuff. I was so annoyed because if I had not let the confused family go ahead of me, I would not have been stopped (the security guard was searching another person at the time). The guy found nothing and after a somewhat pleasant conversation about the cowboy outfit in my bag (used for the dance party at the conference), I was free to board. I found the one overhead bin space that was left (I didn't care since I was in the LAST ROW). This 737-300 had audio and a movie presentaton, The Time Machine. My audio portion could only be heard in the left ear, unless I was looking out the win dow, then I could hear a little in the right ear. We pulled back right on time and was #1 for takeoff. The seatbelt sign was illuminated for the entire flight becuase of an incoming storm. The clouds would not leave us unitl we passed over Palm Springs and some of the plane graveyards.
Dinner finally came to me, through the all male fight crew, about one hour 15
minuted into the flight. It was a "charbroiled hamburger" but I just ate the
baby carrots, dessert chocolate caramel, and some Ritz-Bits sandwhiches which I brought. We made great time to SJC, 3 hours 25 minutes, and managed to land 10 minutes early. We pulled up to gate C-7, and since I was in the back (no stairs to the back this time), I made it my business to be the last one off  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
"Traveling light is the only way to fly" - Eric Clapton
Posts: 1280
Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2001 12:06 pm

RE: CO SJC - IAH For Leadership Conference

Thu Aug 08, 2002 10:26 am

I'm assuming that the SJC Terminal C setup is similar to that of LGB, with a common hold room area. Can your friend or anyone else explain how CO manages the tight operations in the morning? (I'm assuming that the planes are hardstand somewhere remote and is towed to C-7 prior to boarding)

I've always wondered how the ground staff @ IAH handles the super-jetway's nice how they do it.
Topic Author
Posts: 1826
Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2004 10:56 am

RE: CO SJC - IAH For Leadership Conference

Fri Aug 09, 2002 9:16 am

This is straight from the word of god, errrrrr Josh
SJC terminal C is built like any major airport with all the gates beihind
secuirty on a concourse and with a waiting area for each gate. The waiting areas
are small however. I'm not sure how this compares to LGB, becuase I have not
been there yet.
CO has a difficult job in the morning at SJC. Their 2nd flight in from IAH parks
at C-7 for the night & becomes the 1st flight (6:30) out of SJC. The EWR flight
arrives at an Alaska Air gate (C-14) and stays their until after the firs IAH
flight departs. Then it is towed to C-7. The last IAH flight in at night also
parks at an Alaska Air Gate (C-16 i believe). It gets towed to C-7 for its
flight to Houston after the EWR flight leaves at about 7:30am.
I hope that all made sense. It seems weird that CO uses gates on the opposite
side of the terminal to house their other planes, but I guess that's what SJC
made them do.
"Traveling light is the only way to fly" - Eric Clapton

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