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LGW > IAH Continental Business First

Sun May 18, 2003 4:45 am

I Love it when a plan comes together

We’ll this morning I had to get up at 4.30am, as I was getting a ride to the airport with my friend Anthony who works as a concierge for Continental. We met a few years back when he was working in Houston training the Houstonian concierge program, and seeing as he was working today, I thought I would get a ride up to LGW with him. My flight wasn’t until 9.40am, but as I have a Presidents club card, I thought a few..(gulp) bloody mary’s would occupy my time for me. As with the last few weeks, virtually all Continental flights from IAH to LGW and back again have been totally oversold, so when I left the comfort of Anthony’s floor at 4.30am, I didn’t actually know if I would get on the flight at all.

When I left the house, the flight was booked to 44 / 247 with actual capacity being 44 / 235, and after checking the EWR flights and CLE flights, I realized that all of the North America bound flights were totally oversold.

I arrived at LGW at 5.20am, and as Anthony was working, I went and faffed around in the airport, when to the internet café and logged on to extranet to list and re-check the loads, and then re-check the loads..and then just re-check them again for good measure…. 44/247 firmly implanted in my brain.

Check-in opens, I pay my departure tax, check in standby and then head to the Presidents club to start my usual assault on the Bloody mary supplies. For those of you who haven’t read my reviews before, I don’t actually have a drinking problem, I just like to drink on flying days.

I sat on airliners chat, and watched planes takes off and land while awaiting my fate on the standby list. Everything was taking off and departing on 8A and I managed to watch a few Delta flights land (777 and 767), a Virgin 747, a Continental 777 (ship 10) my aircraft, and also the 757 from Cleveland. There were also numerous departing Charters (Air 2000, Excel etc) a few Easyjet and plenty of BA 737-400’s and A319’s etc. I must confess that a few bloody mary’s may have been consumed in the Presidents club.
I headed up to the gate, and to be honest, as I non rev around 80 hours per month, I recently have been getting pretty used to getting BusinessFirst, but this morning had already changed the mindset into just being happy to get a seat home, but even at 9.15am, things still looked pretty shaky at best.

After sitting at the gate for about 10 min, the agent started calling names and as mine was 2nd on the list….I looked down at the boarding pass, and while delighted to be getting on at all, I was extra delighted to see that I got 8A (which as many of you may know, and many of you may not care in the slightest) is my favourite seat along with 8L.

I immediately boarded the plane, and made my way to my seat. I had the customary pre- departure Bloody mary, said Hi to a few of the crew that I knew, and made myself comfortable for departure….

Flight attendants… please be seated for departure

Continental Flight 35
London Gatwick – Houston Intercontinental
Scheduled Departure: 9.40am
Actual Departure: Bloody Mary please….
Scheduled flight time 9 hours 10 min

As mentioned earlier, we departed from 8A, it was quite a wet morning but traffic seemed unaffected, we trundled down the wee runway thing 20 knots….40 knots… 80 knots…. V1… positive rate of climb…Captains control…and so we were off.

(Yes, bloody marys kicking in now….)

My pre-meal bloody Mary duly arrived and was consumed in the same fashion as the previous 3. We had the appetizers, salads, a few more bloody marys, a main course (I had the Shrimp and rice which was great) and a few more Bloody marys.

At this point we are 6.25 hours from landing, and at Flt 33,000 and about 30 min from overflying Greenland, and a further Bloody mary has just arrived (funny how they keep arriving, I wish it was this effortless at home) . I have my ipod blaring in my ears, laptop on my lap, bloody mary at my side…. Nice businessfirst seat, life doesn’t get much better than this.

Signing off for now, Bloody Mary count stands at 7.

The next 4 hours or so were occupied by sleep….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Woke up with around 2 hours to go, didn’t have any more bloody marys, but did have some sandwiches and socialized a little. The last hour or so was pretty choppy, so I stayed in my seat and just read, sorry for the tail off of enthusiasm, but I am at home now and just want to get it done

We arrived early at 1.10am on 27

And now I am at home….


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Joined: Fri Jul 02, 1999 9:46 am

RE: LGW > IAH Continental Business First

Sun May 18, 2003 5:10 pm

Hey, awesome Non-rev trip report!

I work for Continental too and I know what you mean about the flights being oversold to Europe. I have family over there and I take the flights to LGW all the time, mainly out of CLE or EWR. Took the IAH-LGW last time. I haven't been able to get over there in the past month due to the flights all being about 50 people oversold! But they do have a high no-show factor. The schedule will be picking back up on the 22nd of June I believe. I am sending my parents over there for a week on a vacation pass the end of June so they can enjoy BusinessFirst and im taking my younger brother over there in mid-July and going to take 2 weeks off work. I'm just hoping that the flight loads aren't that bad though this summer, but i'm a risk taker and i'd go either way.

I hope they aren't planning on taking away the CLE-LGW, i love going over in the 757!

Good luck on future non-rev trips!

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Joined: Wed Dec 01, 1999 3:29 pm

RE: LGW > IAH Continental Business First

Tue May 20, 2003 3:46 am

Good trip report. Is CO still only operating 1 daily IAH-LGW flight or have they added the second daily flight?
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Tue May 20, 2003 4:17 am

Jeremy -
Fantastic trip report. Love to read non-rev you an insight into a whole other world.....did CO for the first time 2 weeks ago and was totally blown away with the whole operation at EWR and on board the 764. 764 was a great aircraft and the 2-1-2 BusinessFirst cabin looked fantastic!!! I'm very jealous of the non-revers out there!!



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RE: LGW > IAH Continental Business First

Tue May 20, 2003 6:00 am

Triley, it is still 1 X daily, but will be returning to 2 x daily late this month

Ps, Sean, glad you loved the trip
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RE: LGW > IAH Continental Business First

Wed May 21, 2003 10:21 pm

So when is CO going to add fully reclining sleeper seats to their aircraft like BA?
Seems pretty low rent to have strictly 'reclining' seats.

Just giving you sh*t.
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RE: LGW > IAH Continental Business First

Thu May 29, 2003 4:50 pm

Nice report, jeremy. I'm reading nonrev reports more now as I might become an airline employee in the next few days or so. You pretty much have to take whatever seat they give you, right? that kinda sucks....I love window seats!

Bruce Leibowitz - Jackson, MS (KJAN) - Canon 50D/100-400L IS lens
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RE: LGW > IAH Continental Business First

Thu May 29, 2003 6:08 pm

You pretty much have to take whatever seat they give you, right? that kinda sucks....I love window seats!

We'll that all depends, if there is only one seat left, you will take what they give you, but as you get more familar, people remember what you like. For example when I fly from IAH > LGW > IAH, the gate agents will give me 8A or 5a or 8L or 5L 99.9% of the time. When I look through the mountain of boarding passes, it is frightening how many of them are these seats. I mentioned it once that I like them, and virtually every time since, those are the ones I get...

Bruce, who may you be working with ? let me know

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