Topic Author
Posts: 120
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2002 8:57 am

Going Through Newark On Day Of Blackout With CO!

Mon Aug 18, 2003 2:02 pm

Aug 14th

Continental Airlines 1400 Ft. LauderdaLe-nEWaRk
Depart: 11:45 am (on-time)
Arrive: 2:43 pm (on-time)
Aircraft: 757-200
Meal: Lunch
Seat: 1E

After spending the summer with my dad in Florida, it was time to go back to Seattle.

Waking up at 9:30 wasn't a problem, thanks to my alarm clock. I had packed the night before, so there wasn't that much to do. I got dressed, and checked the flight status. At 10:20 we got in the car, and drove to FLL. We parked in the Hibiscus garage, and entered into Terminal 1.

As soon as we walked in we noticed a huge line for security. For those of you who are familiar with FLL, the line stretched to the walkways that lead to the parking garage. Thankfully, the first-class/elite security line was up and running.

We took the escalators up to the check-in area, and the wait for first-class was minimal. We were waived over and she pulled up my reservation. She printed out the boarding cards, checked my bags to Seattle, and offered to give my dad a gate pass. We took the escalators back down to the security check point, and entered into the express line. Security was a little dis-organized because of all the passengers. They made everyone take off there shoes. Both of us made it through the metal detector without any hassles. When we arrived at the gate, the agent was already pre-boarding wheelchair passengers.

I didn't hear an announcement, but a few business like passengers started boarding, so I figured I must have missed something. I said good-bye, and walked down to the jet way. Boarding was done through the middle door, and I prefer this way. It's much easier for the FA's to serve drinks, and take coats. I usually select seat 1A or 1B because they have cut-outs. But they were not available so I had selected 1E. The bulkheads are my favorite, even if there isn't a cutout. Firstclass on this 757 was configured with 6 rows in a 2x2. Firstclass checked in full. The FA's took coats, and offered a pre departure beverage and I chose a coke. She then came around and asked what we would like today. The choices were a crab cake sandwich, or salad with chicken. I chose the sandwich, and my seatmate chose the salad.

After everyone was in there seats, the video monitors were brought down and Gordon gave his speech, followed by the safety video. We taxied out for departure and lined up for take-off. When it was our turn, we lifted off into the sunny south Florida sky, and began a north turn towards Newark.

After take-off we were given warm towels, which I'm happy to still see on domestic flights. I began a conversation with my seatmate, who told me he was platinum and that he was on a mileage run. We started talking about the food, entertainment, and planes on CO, it was interesting.

45 Minutes after we had taken off, the meal tray was presented to me with my drink. I was surprised to see the smokehouse almonds on the tray. Usually they do a drink with almond course first, and then bring the meal. But this time, everything was presented at once, kind of like Northwest. The tray had a bowl of beef stew, a little cup of potato salad, a bag of smokehouse almonds, a wheat roll, the crab cake sandwich, a pickle, some creamy mustard, and a small MILK (not the usual mint) Ghirardelli chocolate square. I was really impressed with the size of the meal for this flight. Since I hadn't eaten all morning I was starving. My seatmate’s salad was brought out, and it looked really delicious. It was some type of Greek salad (I love Greek salad) with chicken, and I was sorry I hadn't ordered that. The FA really didn't do a good job giving meal descriptions. She didn't even tell us about the soup.

I started with the soup which was warm, and tasty. The potato salad was really mayonaisey, the way I like it and it was good. The roll, which I'm not use to seeing on this route, was also good. The sandwich was ok, but was alot better when it was dipped in that creamy mustard. I just love that CO creamy mustard. I was so full after that, I didn't bother to eat the almonds or pickle. My tray was cleared away, and I asked for a cup of tea.

My tea was brought right away, and I drank that with my chocolate square. The meal was really good; CO has really been doing a good job on catering IMHO. After the meal was finished, I watched continental visions. This months was a little boring for my taste, so I played my game boy. The seat was the new one with black leather, and the adjustable headrests.

We began our descent at 2:15, (the outage hasn't happened yet) and landed on runway 4L on time. I noticed that as soon as we pulled off the runway and began our taxi to the gate, the FA made an announcement that cell phones could be used now. We arrived at gate C92, and I deplaned. My connection wasn't till 4:45, so I had 2 hrs to kill. I went over to McDonalds and got a milkshake. I called my mom on the payphone, and then walked over to gate C124 where my flight was departing from.

I really never noticed all the great places to eat in the C120-C130 terminal, since I usually depart from the C70-99 terminal. When I arrived at C124, it was still too early, so the gate was being used for a COexpress flight to Manchester that was departing at 3:30. At 4:00, my 737-800 pulled up to the gate, and all the passengers deplaned.

At 4:05 it happened. All of the sudden everything went off for about a 2 seconds, then it all turned back on again. Then the fire alarm started going off. It was this loud screeching noise, EEEERRRR.....EEEERRRRR. Everyone was covering there ears. I don't know why it went off, but it seemed like they couldn't get it off. At this point, I'm still oblivious to the fact that there is a blackout in the whole Eastern seaboard. I just think that theres something wrong here at the EWR airport. The agent picked up the PA and announced pre boarding, but you could barely hear him over the loud fire alarm.

I gave him my ticket, and I rushed down the jet way, to get out of the terminal from the loud alarm.

Continental Airlines 1881 nEWaRk-SEAttle
Depart: 4:45 (yes, on-time)
Arrive: 7:52 pm (early by 20 minutes)
Aircraft: 737-800
Meal: Dinner
Seat: 1E

I was so happy to finally get out of the terminal from that alarm. Towards the end of boarding, the FA offered a beverage, but took drink orders from back to front. I was hoping she wouldn't do this for the meal, because then I wouldn’t get my first choice of meal.

After everyone was in there seats, the captain came on and announced that the problems in the terminal were not going to delay us. First class was configured with 5 rows in a 2x2, and it was full. The boarding door was closed, and we taxied out for departure. There was no wait, and we lifted off. The captain came on and informed everyone that apparently, a blackout had affected the whole eastern seaboard, and that we were one of the last planes to make it out. We still didn’t really know what he was talking about. The FA's came around with the menus. Unfortunately, it was the same one as my June flight from SEA-EWR.

The Menu:
Warm roasted nuts served with your preferred cocktail or beverage

Smoked salmon with cream cheese and caviar accompanied by creamed horseradish

Mesclun salad mix tossed with red onion rings, English cucumbers, Roma tomatoes and a Kalamata olive

Offered with your choice of champagne vinaigrette or blue cheese dressing

Ciabatta bread, multi-grain and pretzel breadsticks and assorted rolls with butter

Grilled Steak
Grilled Sterling Silver tenderloin steak accented by red wine sauce and maitre d'hotel butter Mashed potatoes with cheddar cheese and broccoli Butter asparagus Grilled red bell peppers

Surf and Turf
Grilled, marinated shrimp and Sterling Silver tenderloin of beef complemented by Cajun hollandaise sauce Baby spinach sauteed with garlic, onion and salsify Oven roasted carrots, jicama and turnips

Breast of Chicken
Enhanced by Curry sauce, presented with apricot basmati rice Peach and pepper chutney Sautéed Swiss chard

Pasta Bowl
Vegetable lasagna with goat cheese complemented by creamy marinara sauce and artichoke hearts

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese will be offered with your pasta

Vanilla Ice cream offered with choice of toppings

I was disappointed that they hadn't changed the menu by now. Since I got the curry chicken last time, which wasn't good, I decided I'd go for the surf and turf.

CRASH!! All of the passengers seated in the aisles looked up towards the first class galley. The FA had accidentally knocked over the cart, and water was leaking. The water started to come through the bulkhead wall, and the carpet was soaking. My seat mate informed the FA, who brought us a blanket to put down.

Our dinner orders were taken from front to back. I got surf and turf with the champagne vinaigrette. The movie What a Girl Wants started. I was bored, so I decided to watch it. It was ok, but it seems that all those teenager girl movies are the same. They go out of the country, meet a boy, and somehow find themselves. This one was no different…..

Hot towels were brought around, followed by table linens. A cup of a cold snack mix, containing spicy pretzels, sesame sticks, and peanuts was served with our drinks. I don’t understand why the menu says “warm roasted nuts” if there not nuts, or roasted. The appetizer plate followed, which wasn’t too bad. Although I don’t really like caviar, it’s just too fishy. The salad was ok; I just wish they would change it already. That has been the salad for the past 6 months. The bread basket was brought around, and I chose a pretzel stick. I love those pretzel sticks, this is a very good addition to the bread basket Gordon.

The surf and turf was placed on my tray table. It didn’t look too appetizing. It contained a little sliver of steak, 4 plump shrimp, horrendous smelling spinach, and what seemed to be dried carrots, jicama (whatever that is), and turnips. I finished the steak quickly, since it was so small, but the hollandaise sauce was good on top of it. The shrimp was also pretty good. The only complaint was the spinach and dried veggies. Unfortunately, those were the only side dishes, so between the shrimp and small steak, it wasn’t much to eat. It seemed like most passengers ordered the grilled steak, and it looked good. If you ever get these choices, go with the steak. My plate was cleared away, and I asked for my cup of tea. My tea was brought, and then she asked what toppings I wanted on my sundae. I asked for chocolate sauce, whip cream, and nuts. Shortly after, the sundae was brought, but literally impossible to eat, unless the ice cream was not thawed. It was you wanted to chisel at it with your spoon, which is what I resorted to. They really should be required to thaw it out, for safety. I almost broke my glass, and my dad has done it before.

After that challenging sundae was cleared, I reclined the seat and played a little game boy. The staff did a good job, but they could have been a little more attentive. After the movie was finished, Continental Visions was shown again. It was the same one as the last flight, but I was so bored I forced myself to watch it. I noticed that towards the end of the programming, an advertisement for some real-estate company came on. It’s really not right that CO makes passengers sit through advertising.

We began our descent into Seattle very early, and touched down at 7:10. We taxied to gate B-14, and I was inside by 7:25. When I exited the terminal, I met my sister, who told me about the blackout, and how it had affected the whole north eastern USA, and that my grandma, who lives in NY, was in the dark.
Good flight with CO, but how about a change in the menu please? Oh yeah, and a ceasar salad wouldn’t be that bad either.

Questions, comments??
Posts: 684
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2003 3:18 pm

RE: Going Through Newark On Day Of Blackout With CO!

Mon Aug 18, 2003 2:42 pm

Sounds like a nice flight. You flew on 2 wonderful planes. I happened to fly on a 757-200 and a 737-800 these were AA planes. However, I did not fly first class. I am glad to hear about continental.
"Keep Climbing"
Posts: 3201
Joined: Sun May 13, 2001 4:35 pm

RE: Going Through Newark On Day Of Blackout With CO!

Mon Aug 18, 2003 5:22 pm

That "CRASH!" phrase both threw me off and scared me for a second. Wasn't anticipating that one!

Anyway, sounded like a nice flight. How aware were you of the magnitude of the blackout while up in the air?
Its better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than be in the air wishing you were on the ground. Fly safe!
Posts: 117
Joined: Mon Oct 09, 2000 12:10 pm

RE: Going Through Newark On Day Of Blackout With CO!

Mon Aug 18, 2003 7:30 pm

great trip report buddy!
SR 103
Posts: 1618
Joined: Sun Oct 01, 2000 6:19 am

RE: Going Through Newark On Day Of Blackout With CO!

Mon Aug 18, 2003 8:27 pm

Great trip report as usual. I had those crab cakes out of Orlando back in May; I hope it won't be the same thing on my flights next week. I have always had the same problem with the ice cream sundae. The bulkhead is always great for these long flights. I did EWR-SEA-EWR earlier this year in 1F. It really is a great seat on the 738.
"I really never noticed all the great places to eat in the C120-C130 terminal."
If I ever have time to spare, I always head on out there. Besides the great places to eat, this area is usually not as crowded as the other two piers. Plus it provides excellent views out onto the ramp.

SR 103
Topic Author
Posts: 120
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2002 8:57 am

RE: Going Through Newark On Day Of Blackout With CO!

Tue Aug 19, 2003 2:26 am

Trickijedi- I really wasn't aware at all of the blackout while in the air.
Posts: 3001
Joined: Mon May 27, 2002 8:51 am

RE: Going Through Newark On Day Of Blackout With CO!

Tue Aug 19, 2003 4:33 am

Good report!

My flight to Austin (1847, it arrives from Manchester, NH) in June left from C123- and the C120s are a world apart from the C70-C90s... the terminal is much nicer, newer, more modern and efficient!

Glad to see you had a nice flight with Continental

Posts: 3863
Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2000 10:46 am

RE: Going Through Newark On Day Of Blackout With CO!

Tue Aug 19, 2003 8:32 am

With reguards to the blackout:

my grandparents live in Queens and were in the dark for virtually the entire blackout. I was scared for their lives because they don't get out that much and are very "eldery". I know its a generic term. I was really happy that they were ok.

My cousin was in your situation, a quick flicker but not more.

With reguards to the trip report and the blackout:
I'm suprised that the pilot didn't get continous updates. I'm sure EWR-SEA is not a large O&D route, but i think it is very important to keep people posted since the blackout occured in the area of the departure city. A fire alarm is not that bad to deal with... at least there was power!
Posts: 3001
Joined: Mon May 27, 2002 8:51 am

RE: Going Through Newark On Day Of Blackout With CO!

Tue Aug 19, 2003 12:41 pm

Flairport- my grandparents live in Queens as well (91st St by Northern Blvd) and had no power for 26 hours.. thankfully, they have very caring neighbors who checked up on them every hour...

It was quite a disaster....
Posts: 6442
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2000 4:07 pm

RE: Going Through Newark On Day Of Blackout With CO!

Wed Aug 20, 2003 4:54 am

Good trip report, NWAgoldelite and how is things was doing on these flight? I had great trip to ATL flight and got alot of those skymiles already. I flew on the same plane as from last Friday from FLL-ATL on ship #129 (N129DL) and come back home yesterday. I will writing it down on the trip report later. Thanks!  Smile This is third time was flew on the same planes of this year.
Posts: 803
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2002 6:07 am

RE: Going Through Newark On Day Of Blackout With CO!

Wed Aug 20, 2003 8:22 am

You were VERY lucky you left when you did due to the power outage. It was a mess in the tri-state area Thursday Night and over the weekend.

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