flyingdoctorwu
Posts: 271
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2004 9:42 am

DEN-IAH- First Time On CO

Tue Mar 09, 2004 8:18 am

My first trip report.. not too exciting but my first trip on CO also. This is really just a trial run before my JFK-TPE-HKG return trip on CI in business class in April. Constructive criticism is welcome, as I’m looking to make the CI trip reports (and future ones) as entertaining and informative as possible.

Monday 08 Mar 2004
CO 223
DEN-IAH
876 Miles
737-900
Seat 15A
Depart: 8:55 AM
Arrive 12:17 PM
Flight Time 1 hr 52 min
Snack

I was looking forward to my return trip on CO from Denver- it marked my first trip on Continental and I had only known of their service via their reputation. I have been impressed with their remarkable turnaround under Gordon Bethune’s leadership and know of their industry leading service. I remember hearing stories (rumors?) that the pilots were ordered to taxi using only one engine to conserve fuel. Upon checking in and placing my name on the FC upgrade list (courtesy of their cross marketing with NW and being a Worldperks elite member) I was told that the FC cabin was pretty full and there were 6 elite members ahead of me. No worries as I was already booked in an exit row but it would have been nice to sample their premium cabin service. Baggage check-in took a little time as there were only two agents working the counter, but shortly enough they were able to tag my bags and I proceeded to gate A45- my first trip out of DEN’s A concourse as NW operates out of the C concourse. It was nice not having to take the train, and I strolled over the connecting airbridge (and snapped a couple of pictures of the TED planes) and cleared security quickly. At the A concourse they have one queue for passengers and one for employees- upon arriving at the front of the line I noticed that they did have a separate area for premium and elite passengers. After purchasing my McPaper (aka USA Today) I proceeded to my gate where the 737-900 was waiting. I checked in with the podium and was informed that FC had checked in full, and thus resigned myself to Y class. No worries and boarding commenced promptly at 8:20 Am and I boarded with the other elite members. My first trip on a 737-900, and my first trip on a 737 in a long time as NW operates mostly Airbus equipment. The cabin looked new- clean and smartly attired. I had heard that CO had outfitted their domestic Y cabin with seats featuring winged headrests and they were on this flight- a nice touch I might add. Overhead bin space looked adequate on this mostly full flight- I know that CO in the past has touted their overhead bins as being one of the largest in the industry. The LCD monitors were displaying various CO propaganda. After an on-time pushback, Gordon Bethune’s welcome message was displayed and then the safety video ,which I might say was quite comprehensive including discussion of life jackets and rafts on this non-overwater flight. We taxied by a United Express RJ in the new livery (which I tried to take a picture of, although unsuccessfully) and then take-off was quick and smooth and arriving at a cruising altitude of 37,000 ft within 20 mins. It was nice having the flight tracker available to watch while waiting to be able to use my personal electronics. A flight attendant made an announcement stating that IFE was being offered at no cost for those with their own headphones, or headphones were available to buy (and keep) for $5. My rowmate opted to buy these headphones, which looked quite nice (ear clip on) for $5. Interestingly enough, I did not see him use them at all during the flight. The y proceeded wit hthe beverage and snack service (diet coke, full can and a carrot ginger muffin). The muffin was palatable- not the best I’ve ever had but definitely better than nothing at all. The in flight video started, Continental Visions I think it was called. They were showing an episode of Good Morning Miami (a horrendous show) so I proceeded to settle in and watch last week’s episodes of Scrubs (best show on TV) on my iBook. After finishing with that episode, I noticed that hey were showing some CNN clips so I watched one on Bluetooth (one of my favorite emerging technologies). During this, the FA’s returned through the cabin with a second beverage service (which I opted for a glass of water). Quickly enough the almost 2 hour flight time passed, and we landed rather firmly at IAH. Having never been to IAH before I was eagerly looking out the window while we taxied, seeing multiple of CO jets- 737’s mostly, some MD-80’s, a couple of 757’s and a 767. Our gate was E-20, but there was quite a wait due to some congestion in the gate area, which provided further discomfort due to my needing to go to the bathroom- one of the perils of providing beverage service twice in flight. Disembarking was quick once we were parked, and the cabin crew gave a friendly goodbye. I, however, had to hoof it to the B concourse for my flight to CHS, which I discovered was not a pleasant thing at IAH.

Highlights: IFE, winged headrests, snack, beverage service x2
Misses: Full FC cabin, slow baggage check-in service, long taxi time (with full bladder)

I was pleasantly pleased by my trip on CO. While other airlines are cutting out elements of service, Continental provided drink service twice on a short flight and also a snack (albeit a muffin). It is unfortunate that I view this as going out of the way and providing extra service when but not too long ago in the distant past this was an industry norm. Now with more and more of the legacy carriers providing service along similar lines of the LCC, it is refreshing to see a company that bucks that trend and is willing to set a higher level of service. I think that the accolades that have been accorded to Continental are duly just given my experience with their inflight product today. Given their extensive codeshare agreement with Northwest, I can foresee myself traveling more on the CO network in the future (at least domestically)

Chris

[Edited 2004-03-09 00:39:17]
 
HOMER71
Posts: 2124
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2001 10:56 pm

RE: CO DEN-IAH

Tue Mar 09, 2004 8:38 am

seeing multiple of CO jets- 727’s mostly, some MD-80’s, a couple of 757’s and a 767

I think you meant 737s, not 727s  Smile

How do you like Terminal E? I think it's almost night/day compared with the dreary C.

Nice report, take care...

"On spaceship earth there are no passengers...only crew."
 
flyingdoctorwu
Posts: 271
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2004 9:42 am

RE: DEN-IAH- First Time On CO

Tue Mar 09, 2004 8:41 am

Oops mental fart there... though I did see some DHL 727's...

Chris
 
flyingdoctorwu
Posts: 271
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2004 9:42 am

RE: DEN-IAH- First Time On CO

Tue Mar 09, 2004 8:57 am

IAH seemed very busy- lots of construction going on. Terminal E definitely seemed a lot newer... C was quite old school, as was B... I did enjoy the lunch I grabbed at Le Petit Bistro- "Bistro" chicken (aka bourbon chicken, aka chicken terriyaki), rice, and a ceasar salad- always a nice lunch

chris
 
Cory6188
Posts: 2612
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2004 12:29 am

RE: DEN-IAH- First Time On CO

Wed Mar 10, 2004 5:52 am

How were the F/A's? Were they friendly, grouchy, etc.? I know that some people may not consider that very important, but I believe that the attitudes of the F/A's is a direct representation of the employee morale at the airline.
 
COAB767
Posts: 1313
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2003 6:32 pm

RE: DEN-IAH- First Time On CO

Wed Mar 10, 2004 8:38 pm

Nice report. I'm glad you chose to fly CO for this trip. I hope you will choose to fly CO in the near future. Hopeflullys the F/A's were nice and polite to you.

Take Care!!!!!!!!!
Continental Micronesia: "Fly With The Warmth Of Paradise"
 
flyingdoctorwu
Posts: 271
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2004 9:42 am

RE: DEN-IAH- First Time On CO

Thu Mar 11, 2004 4:05 am

The FA's were great- very friendly and polite- saying that they were sorry when interrupting my Scrubs watching to offer me a second drink... CO was quite nice- I hope that next time I fly them I get upgraded to first....

Chris
 
COAB767
Posts: 1313
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2003 6:32 pm

RE: DEN-IAH- First Time On CO

Thu Mar 11, 2004 10:22 am

It would be good for you to get upgraded to first class.
Continental Micronesia: "Fly With The Warmth Of Paradise"
 
catholic2006
Posts: 346
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2003 11:33 am

RE: DEN-IAH- First Time On CO

Fri Mar 12, 2004 12:08 pm

That was a great trip report. Denver International Airport is awesome, it's sooo pretty. But BIG! lol
I really wanna fly Continental. That is the next airline I'm going to try to fly. I love the paint scheme of the planes, and people have been saying really great things about it. And one of my on-line friends is a flight attendant for Continental. Well, that was great. Write more.

-Chris
Ne vous inquietez pas. Je ne vous hais pas . . . . encore, mais faites attention !
 
flyingdoctorwu
Posts: 271
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2004 9:42 am

RE: DEN-IAH- First Time On CO

Fri Mar 12, 2004 8:16 pm

Catholic2006- yes DEN is a great airport- I love the approach road- the airport just rises out of the plains... I also like checking out the old airport site on the drive on I-70- great to see the old pyramid airport and the control tower from the road. i really enjoyed their service and will hopefully be able to enjoy my WorldPerks Elite priveleges next flight. Still their Y class service was a very nice product with good touchs- FA's were wonderful, IFE hell they had IFE on a 2 hr flight... my next flight is on another NW partner, DL (though not as tight a partner as KLM/CO- no reciprocal Elite benefits) and I haven't flown them since probably 1996 or so- we'll see how that goes. It's too bad CO doesn't fly to TPE- I mean they do but not convenientl (I think my routing would have to be something like CHS-IAH-HNL-GUM-TPE- not really a direct route...)

Chris
 
Cory6188
Posts: 2612
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2004 12:29 am

RE: DEN-IAH- First Time On CO

Sat Mar 13, 2004 5:45 am

I feel so bad that they had to stop your show to offer you a second drink.  Big grin
 
Continental
Posts: 5222
Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2000 3:46 am

RE: DEN-IAH- First Time On CO

Sat Mar 13, 2004 10:20 am

Great report!

Does anyone know if just the new generations have the winged headrests? Back in 2001 I flew Continental MSP-EWR and it had winged headrests, but I'm not sure if it was a NG.

co
 
COAB767
Posts: 1313
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2003 6:32 pm

RE: DEN-IAH- First Time On CO

Sat Mar 13, 2004 11:08 pm

Yes all CO fleet have the winged headrests
Continental Micronesia: "Fly With The Warmth Of Paradise"
 
flyingdoctorwu
Posts: 271
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2004 9:42 am

RE: DEN-IAH- First Time On CO

Sun Mar 14, 2004 2:20 am

My first trip with CO was quite nice- they really kind of provided the little things that make flying more enjoyable... sure anyone can get me from point A to point B but CO also did that with the winged headrests, second bev service and a muffin, all on a flight that lasts under 2 hours... I am sure that I will trying to route through IAH more often going west.

Christopher Wu

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