Continental Airlines 1400 FLL-EWR
Sch. Departure: 11:35 am
Act. Departure: 11:30 am
Sch. Arrival: 2:33 pm
Act. Arrival: 2:51 pm
Seats: 1A, 9D
Photo © William Jenkins
This was my return and I would be going back to SEA with my sister. My dad dropped us off outside at the curb at about 9:40. We wanted to get there within the two-hour window so we could put my sister on the waitlist for F/C as my gold companion. We approached the deserted check-in area, and I saw the rude NW agent Jon. (For those of you who have been reading my past trip reports, you know my encounters with him) we were helped without a wait, and the agent was very friendly. She made conversation, and we discussed the big snowstorm in Denver. She was not able to confirm my sister for the upgrade on either flight, but placed her on the stand-by. She printed out our boarding passes, and checked our luggage all the way to SEA.
We approached the security line to find it fairly crowded. We proceeded to the express security line, where I flashed my gold card, and bypassed the line. I love that express line. Security was very easy, without any problems. We decided we would head over to the Presidents Club.
My sister had been holding a cheesecake that we intended to bring back to SEA for my mother. When we entered the club the agent gave us a dirty look and said, “no outside food is allowed in here.”
“Well were not going to eat it, can we put it in our bags?”
What a rude lady. I’m guessing she disregarded us, judging from our young ages. We walked out of the club. By this time is was only 10:00 am, so we had quite awhile before boarding. I wish the C concourse were bigger at FLL. It doesn’t seem like there is enough shops or restaurants. At 10:40, we approached the podium to ask about my sister’s upgrade. “She’s not going to get it, you can go ahead and board.” My sister gave a sad sigh. I decided I would let my sister sit in first class on the FLL-EWR leg, and I would get it (if she didn’t get the upgrade) from EWR-SEA. I guess it would be another flight in coach this year for me.
Boarding began and we got in line with the elite boarding. She headed over to 1A, as I headed to 9D. Stowed my luggage in the overhead bin, and sat down. As we taxied out, it seemed like we were going in circles. The captain came on, only to inform us that ATC had switched departing runways and that we had to go around the airport to get to the new runway. We finally got there, only to have to wait in line. Finally our turn. We lifted off and began our turn to EWR. During our climb, an elderly woman made her way to the front to use the restroom. The F/A’s were seated in there jump seats and advised the woman to return to her seat. She refused, and said that she had to use the bathroom. While she was inside, another elderly man (lots of old folks on Florida-New York flights) thought he would wait for the bathroom. This got the F/A very mad. She told him that he would have to return to his seat. Of course he argued back and insisted it was unfair that the lady had gotten to use the restroom. After a few minutes of bickering, he returned to his seat.
The in-flight service started shortly after, which was a turkey sandwich in coach. The sandwich was presented in a little basket, along with carrots, mayonnaise, and an almond delight. I ordered a coke, and was happy to see that I was served the WHOLE can. I was also served a napkin with it. They showed Continental visions, but I had seen it on previous march flights, so I didn’t watch it. I wish Continental would show different ones on different flights. I could practically recite the whole thing by heart.
Staff was outstanding. This must have been my first flight where all the staff members were courteous, and friendly. They were very attentive, and joked with fellow passengers.
The coach seat on this Continental flight, while skinny, wasn’t all that bad. I’m about 5”9, and the seats were pretty comfortable. The adjustable headrest worked very well. Usually (specifically the 737’s) I’m not comfortable in coach, so maybe it had something to do with it being a new 757-300?
The captain came on the P.A. informing all of us that we were over Baltimore right now. He said that ATC had started to slow traffic in the NY area so we would be delayed. Fine with me, I had a two and a half hour layover. Shortly after, our descent was announced. At this time the F/A brought a family of 4 to the front of coach, seating them in empty seats near the exit door. They apparently had a tight connection and needed to get to there gate ASAP.
We landed and taxied into gate C75, where the family zoomed off the plane and apologized to the surrounding passengers for inconveniencing them. I met my sister and we walked up the freezing jet way into the terminal.
This time we would put the cheesecake in her backpack and walk into the club. What food? We entered the club right across from gate 75 and walked up the stairs. We approached the agents and I asked about my sister’s upgrade. He typed something in the computer and said that it was still too early to tell, and to ask at the gate. We relaxed in the comfy chairs and got some drinks. The lounge was nice, but I think I like the one in the 100 gates better. We left the club, and it was now 3:45 pm. our departure was at 4:50. We were scheduled to go out of gate C-103, so I wanted to get a good head start from the 70 gates.
We approached gate 103 where, again, we asked about my sister’s upgrade. The agent had her new boarding pass already printed 5F, and stuck it in her ticket jacket.
Continental Airlines 1881 EWR-SEA
Sch. Departure: 4:50 pm
Act. Departure: 4:47 pm
Sch. Arrival: 7:50 pm
Act. Arrival: 7:33 pm
Aircraft: 737-800 (Version B)
Seats: 2A, 5F
Photo © Tobias Rose
We were hoping we could switch with someone on board to get seats next to each other. As we boarded the plane we saw that no one was in 5E or 2B. Coats were hung, and pre-departure drinks were offered. As we were waiting for someone to show up in either seat, a man boarded the plane rather late. He looked back at coach and at the last minute, looked at 5E, and sat down. I had asked the F/A if anyone was sitting in 2B. He checked with the gate agent and said that 2B was not occupied. She came up to 2B and sat down next to me. She said to me, “what could stop someone from sneaking into first class?” I explained to her that the crew has a list of who is sitting where and how many etc… Just then the F/A said, were suppose to have 16 and we have 17 what are your names. We told him our names as he went around to each row. He then got to the man in 5E. “What is your name sir?”
“Your not on the list, where is your boarding pass?”
He had a little trouble locating that. “It’s right here.”
“That’s 16F sir, that’s back there.”
He took awhile before moving and went as slow as he possibly could. He got pretty far; they even served him a pre-departure drink, and offered to take his coat. My sister had suspected that he snuck in, because of his facial expression and how late he boarded. After, menus were handed out.
Warm roasted nuts served with your preferred cocktail or beverage.
Smoked, peppered Atlantic salmon accompanied by salmon roulade with cream cheese and creamed horseradish
Fresh mesclun greens and frisee with buffalo mozzarella cheese, red tomato slices, chopped chives, and a Kalamata olive
Offered with your choice of buttermilk ranch dressing or balsamic vinaigrette
Freshly baked sourdough bread and assorted rolls with butter will be offered
Rack of Lamb
Baby rack of lamb complemented by a demi-glace, presented on a bed of herbed couscous. Sautéed zucchini, squash, eggplant, and red and green bell peppers. Fine green beans.
Herbed Breast of Chicken
Enhanced by a morel mushroom sauce, served over Italian couscous. Medley of grilled artichoke hearts, oven roasted red tomatoes, chanterelle mushrooms and pearl onions. Fresh Asparagus spears
Seared halibut with toasted fennel and herbs accented by a lemon herb sauce, offered with saffron risotto. Sautéed shiitake mushrooms, cherry tomato and salsify. Fresh asparagus spears.
Pasta shells filled with sun-dried tomatoes and goat cheese complemented by spicy eggplant arrabbiata sauce, topped with sautéed baby spinach.
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese will be offered with your pasta.
Vanilla Ice cream sundae offered with your choice of toppings.
The menu looked very appetizing. When orders were taken I chose the rack of lamb, while my sister had a little trouble. She asked if she should get the pasta or chicken. I told her to get the chicken. She asked the flight attendant who suggested the pasta bowl. We figured out why later. Hot towels were handed out, followed by linens. A small cup of warm cashews was served with our drinks, which was coke. The appetizer was then served. It was nothing special, but the salmon roulade was something very unique. It was a peice of salmon with cream cheese swirled in the middle. Something I had never seen before. The salad was next, which was not very good. The dressing wasn’t very tasty, and there were hardly any tomatoes. A basket containing fresh bread was brought around, and I chose a sourdough slice. The rack of lamb then followed. DELICIOUS! This was by far one of the best meals I have ever had. I have been very pleased with the food selection in first class on the EWR-SEA-EWR route. The lamb tasted great, along with the couscous. I loved the squash and the green beans. The meal was definitely a 10! My sister, on the other hand, was a little disappointed with her choice, but I had told her not to get it. Sundae toppings were, chocolate fudge, caramel, walnuts, whip cream, and a cherry. I chose chocolate fudge with walnuts and whip cream. I was happy to see that this ice cream was thawed out. I wonder if they have been getting complaints about that.
The movie was Sky Kids 2, followed by the Truth About Charlie. I like the fact that they now show 2 movies (usually) on this route. I was not, however, interested in either. The staff did a good a great job on this flight. Didn’t even need to ask for re-fills. Seems like friendly staff on CO is something of the norm.
When I had finished the meal we were over Minneapolis, MN, three hours to go. I had just been on a plane about 30 hours before, so I was exhausted. I reclined my seat and fell asleep in no time. Descent was announced, as we went through the clouds. It was raining outside, and I had a great view of Lake Washington. We landed and taxied into S-10. I still don’t understand why Continental doesn’t park the EWR flight into the B terminal. (B terminal is Continental’s regular gates).
A good flight, and I was especially pleased with my sister’s upgrade. I had imagined that companion upgrades were almost impossible to snag. This has given me more hope.