Sunday, March 21, 2004
Continental Express flight 2032
Depart Columbus, OH (CMH) Gate A5A
Arrive Newark, NJ (EWR) Gate C86
Departure time (actual): 11:35AM (11:34AM)
Arrival time (actual): 1:09PM (12:50PM)
ERJ-145, Seat 11C
My family all began our spring break trip to Naples, Florida on Sunday morning. This was my first time on Continental and to one of the New York airports so I was pretty excited and looking forward to this trip for a long time. Our route is taking us from CMH to EWR to TPA and then we are driving from TPA to Naples. We left for Port Columbus at about 9:20AM. We arrived at the airport at about 9:45AM. We went to the Continental ticket counter and, as pretty much normal procedure now, used the e-service check-in kiosk to get our boarding passes. After getting our boarding passes and tagging bags, we went over to put them through the checked bags scanner. After that was done my sister, brother, and dad all went to the gate while I headed up to the top level of the parking garage to do some spotting. Not very much going on at CMH on Sunday morning. But myself, being a rookie spotter was happy to see anything to shoot. Anyway, I got a few pics of an US Airways Express ERJ (N850MJ) and some American Eagle, Northwest DC-9, and Northwest Airlink ARJ (N505XJ). I went back down to the security check point at about 10:45AM to head to the gate. I cleared security uneventfully and then walked down to 1 of 2 Continental gates at CMH. There was a US Airways 737 (N522AU) parked at gate A3 bound for PHL at 11:37. There was also another Continental Express ERJ-XR parked at gate A6, bound for IAH. I found my dad and he had some great news.. the flight was oversold! They were offering to put us on the 1:55PM flight to CLE then fly first class CLE-TPA plus a $300 coupon. We signed up but the call never came and we began to board COEX 2032 to EWR. Apparently, not as many people checked in as they were anticipating so they didn't need any volunteers.. too bad. But now we are on our way to EWR on a full ERJ! We boarded down some stairs at gate A5A, then walked across the tarmac and up some stairs into the ERJ. I found my seat, 11C and it wasn't long until the door was closed and we were taxiing out to runway 28L at CMH. The captain came on and anticipated a bumpy takeoff out of CMH and a bumpy arrival into EWR. We taxied to the east, with the US Airways 737 following us. The flight tookoff from 28L, departing to the west over downtown Columbus. The wheels pulled up at 11:38. We were quickly up in the clouds and making a turn back to the east towards EWR. About 20 mins. into the flight the captain came on again and said it would still be bumpy into EWR (turbulence was very light out of CMH, as he noted). He also said cruising altitude would be 29,000 ft. The lone flight attendant came through, asking for drink orders. I had a cranberry juice. She gave out a snack as well, consisting of about 8 mini pretzels. We continued cruising for about 30 mins. then he powered down the engines and we began descent. The ERJ shook a little coming out of the clouds, but nothing too bad. Descent into EWR consisted of many sharp banks, including the finale to line up with runway 22L for landing at Newark. It was neat to look to the left and see Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty. We touched down at EWR at 12:50PM then taxied to gate C86. We then deplaned onto the tarmac and then up stairs to the jetway. I snapped a picture of an El Al 747 and a CO 737-800 before being yelled at by a Continental personnel. We got out into the terminal which didn't have much going on. Our aircraft we took from CMH was heading to Washington Dulles. We checked out the flight monitors inside EWR and our connecting flight was ontime out of gate C112. I spent some time looking at the variety in concourse C! Yeah Right! Then we headed over to Miami Subs for lunch.
Continental Airlines flight 1618
Depart Newark, NJ (EWR) Gate C112
Arrive Tampa, FL (TPA) Gate A5
Departure time (actual): 2:45PM (2:43PM)
Arrival time (actual): 5:35PM (5:24PM)
757-200, Seat 19B
I was excited again to see a 757-200 at gate C112. I did know prior to getting to the gate that was the aircraft, but we were lucky not to get one of the many 737-300/500. Anyway, I went over to find an outlet to charge the batteries for my digital camera. I found one pretty close and took a seat by it. I waited for an announcement about needing volunteers again but not this time to my surprise. I thought a weekend flight to Florida during prime spring break time would surely be oversold but that was not the case. So it was a pretty much uneventful wait for boarding of CO 1618. I stared out the window in the terminal toward the NYC skyline and watched as time after time, arriving flight would make the big right turn onto 22L. I took a few pictures of some more Continentals (757, 737, and ERJs). There was an ERJ next to us at gate C111 bound for Tulsa. Boarding came and was mostly uneventful again. There was a bit of backup in the jetway and on the plane as people were slow to sit down and get the aisle seat they wanted. I found my seat, 19B, and put my laptop and camera underneath my seat. The plane pushed back soon after and the safety video played. The Star Alliance 767 taxied by the other side of the plane and another CO 757 made its way into gate C108. We made a quick taxi out to 22R. There was no wait except for an US Airways 737 that was taking off. The engines roared and we took off from 22R just before 3PM. We climbed to a cruising altitude of 39,000. The flight attendants came through with a small bag of peanuts as I pulled out my laptop and listened to some music. A few minutes later, the flight attendants came through with drinks. I had an orange juice this time. Shortly after the drinks came around we encountered some light turbulence, the captain turned on the fasten seat belt sign. That only lasted about 5 minutes though and then we were back to smooth cruising as we headed south. Descent into Tampa came quickly and it didn't take long until final approach to TPA. We headed over the Tampa Bay and came down on runway. A Jet Blue A320 was waiting to takeoff as well as a pair of American S80's. Touchdown was a bit shaky but nothing bad. We had a long taxi around the United/Delta airsides as well as the Air Tran airside. There was a Delta Song 757 departing which I snapped a photo of. There was also a United TED A320 parked at the gate with the new color scheme. It was partially obstructed and I could only see the reddish-orangeish United logo on the tail with the white fuselage. Anyway, we then headed by the Southwest airside and finally, after paralleling a newly painted NWA DC-9 on the taxiway, pulled into gate A5 (the same gate number in which we left earlier today from CMH). Next to us, at A6, was another CO 757 getting ready to depart for Newark. Our aircraft was headed onto Houston. We walked past the Northwest and Southwest gates- there was a Northwest airbus boarding for MSP and a Southwest flight boarding for Nashville- and onto the tram to take us to baggage claim. We took the 30 second tram ride over to the main terminal and baggage claim. I was able to get a picture of a Southwest 737 (N433WN) on the tram. We claimed all 4 of our bags at claim #18 and were off for a 2 hour drive to Naples.
The return trip will come next week!
[Edited 2004-03-23 17:12:24]