Date: January 15, 2003
Origin Airport: EWR
Destination Airport: MCO
Flight Number: 192
Aircraft Type: 757-200
Seat Assignment: 18E
Scheduled ETD: 12:50 PM
Actual TD: Pushback: 12:52 PM
Scheduled ETA: 3:30 PM
Actual TA: Touchdown 3:12 PM, Gate Arrival: 3:14
Check-in/Security: Checkin was nice and easy at EWR after being dropped off by the limo (Lincoln town car) service, the skycap checked us in and took our bags. Security had multiple lines moving and walked through quickly. However, after taking everything (necklace, watch, wallet, coins, etc.) I still set the metal detector off and was wanded over. However, after being wanded over, it was found to be the metal snaps on my sneakers that set it off. No boarding security check... did they remove that? I didn't notice it anywhere.
Airport Observations: While taxing for takeoff, saw an AA 757 and an El Al 747-4. The usual Continental Express ERJ's were always present.
Seat Comfort: Was adequate. My family was spread throughout the plane, my mother in row 10, my brother and father in row 9 but opposite middle seats and I in row 18. Sat next to an nice old lady and a younger teenager who was flying alone and had his head in the airsick bag from pushback to shutdown.
We were boarded and the door was announced closed at 12:45... good start, I thought. Screens came down as we pushed back and the safety announcement began. Good, again, I thought. Next thing I know I catch a glimpse of the holdshort lines for runway 22R as the safety demo is wrapping up. AMAZING! I thought. We taxied to "position and hold" on 22R, waiting for the AA 757 that departed ahead of us to leave sufficient room and the Rolls Royce's spool up and rocket us towards sunny (yet freezing) Florida.
In-Flight Meal Service: After crossing 10,000 feet, the flight attendants were allowed to begin service and passed out a a small tray with a turkey sandwich, carrots, and a caramel snack. All were tasty, yet small. Only a glass of soda or other drinks. No refills were offered.
In-flight Entertainment: The screens came down and Continental Visions was on. I refuse to pay 5 bucks for a headset so I just watched. America's Funniest Home Video's starring Bob Saggat was on, so listening wasn't really required. Then CNN, CNN Espanol, and as we began to descend Just Shoot Me started. The guy in the row ahead of me who ordered 6 bottles of Kahlua was also entertainment.
Capacity: 100% full.
Started our decent into MCO, passing it to land to the North. Watched the USAir 737 ahead of us land before we turned final. Smooth touchdown and medium braking down the runway past the ATA 737-8? with winglets. Nice lookin plane there. Quick taxi and parked next to the Continental connection B1900D and a Continental 737. Driving out of the airport I saw a Virgin Atlantic 747 on approach.
Date: January 20, 2003
Origin Airport: MCO
Destination Airport: EWR
Flight Number: 193
Aircraft Type: 737-500
Seat Assignment: 17E
Scheduled ETD: 7:30 AM
Actual TD: Pushback: 7:46 AM
Scheduled ETA: 9:59 AM
Actual TA: Touchdown 10:07 AM, Gate Arrival: 10:12
Check-in/Security: After dropping off the rental car at the excellent system National/Alamo has at MCO, walked a long walk in search of the Continental check in desk. Finally found the e-ticket check in and dropped our luggage off at the security screeners. Check-in was easy and security was quick, having 6 lines moving. Didn't set the buzzer off this time, though. No random search this time.
Airport Observations: While waiting for departure, saw the ATA 25th Celebration 757-200, an AA 757 pushback and takeoff, a United 757 taxi past, and a few COA 737's and a pair of Continental Connection B1900D's. Also, during taxi.. I saw the American Airlines RetroJet 757 parked at the gates. I saw the JetsGo MD8X sitting on the ramp at EWR upon arrival.
Seat Comfort: Was minimal. Seats were worn and seat back pockets were torn. The cushions of the seats have run thin on this trusty old bird.
We were boarded and the door was closed at 7:25... good start again, I thought. Wrong! At 7:35 the Captain announced a passenger had demanded to make sure his bags were on board the plane so we waited while the luggage was searched until they found the passengers bags. We pushed back and headed for the runway. Extremely slow taxi. Short wait at 18L while a Northwest A319 landed. Turn and go. Gear was up and we entered the beautiful clear morning sky of Orlando. No screens were available during this flight as it was a nice flight just to relax and to look out the window. Who needs a PTV anyway?
Cruise was at 29,000 feet, until the seat belt sign came off and no sooner did we hit a patch of rough air and the engines roared back to life and we began another short climb.
In-Flight Meal Service: After crossing 10,000 feet, the flight attendants were allowed to begin service and passed out a honey bun and drinks. Honey bun was tastey but ice cold. I'm not much of a coffee drinker, so I had a ginger ale.
In-flight Entertainment: Like I mentioned before, the inflight entertainment of choice was the window or a good book.
Capacity: I'd say it was 95% full with only a few empty seats.
Started our decent into EWR with a slightly bumpy ride through almost overcast skies. Landing was made to the south and a soft touchdown on 22L, but the pilots must have wanted to make it off a certain taxi way as they applied full breaks and reverse. Fast taxi to the gate. Baggage claim was quicker then I have ever remembered at Newark (Liberty...Hah!).
Still love the classic 737's better than any plane out there!
Hope you enjoyed.. comments welcome.