Topic Author
Posts: 145
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2001 4:34 am


Fri Feb 25, 2005 9:38 am

Good afternoon! I decided it was time for me to take my first mileage run, so a few weeks ago I did some searching and found this particular flight. Roundtrip from MCI-LAX with stops in EWR and IAH both ways. Good mileage, good price, good planes, so I decided to go for it! All times listed will be local time. I hope you all enjoy this trip report.

February 22, 2005
Type: ERJ-145XR
Reg: N11121
Seat: SA)">8C
Dep Gate: C68
Arr Gate: 113B
Sked Out: 1055
Actual Out: 1100
Wheels Up: 1109
Wheels Down: 1412
Actual In: 1416
Sked In: 1433

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Photo © Daniel Wojdylo

I arrived at MCI at around 9:15am and parked in the new economy lot. They split the lot into three sections, one for each terminal, so you get on the bus and go straight to your terminal. I had already printed my first 3 boarding passes via online check-in, so I was ready to go. First, I grabbed a bite to eat at a bagel place in the terminal, it was pricey but quite good. Decided to head through security around 10:05 with no line, but I was pulled aside for some additional screening. The staff was very efficient and polite, as the man who did my screening described everything he was doing before he did it. It was just the usual wanding and pat down.

Boarding started at 10:45, a mere 10 minutes before departure, but the doors closed on time. This ERJ was about 90% full, but the seat next to me was empty. Pushed back at 1100, and taxied via D and F over to 1R for an immediate departure. Takeoff was at 1109, fairly quick and powerful even with the nearly full load and fuel tanks loaded heavy for the long flight. We climbed on up to our cruising altitude of 35,000ft. Soon after departure we were served a snack which consisted of a choice of cheese and crackers, trail mix, or M&Ms. Given that I'm on a strict dairy-free diet, I went for the M&Ms before realizing it was milk chocolate and couldn't eat that either. Should've snagged the trail mix, oh well! Drink service came after that, and I got a Coke, and was not given the full can, just a cup with a good deal of ice. Fortunately, the flight was long enough where a second drink service kept me hydrated.

This was my first time on an ERJ, and as expected it was fairly cramped and the seats weren't very comfortable, but what more can be expected from an RJ? There is also no IFE (in-flight entertainment) on this aircraft, not that I expected there to be. My IFE consisted of listening to music and looking out the window at endless clouds. Things got interesting when we started approaching Newark, however, as I realized that one of the passengers had passed out. The flight attendant ran to alert the flight crew, and then brought an O2 tank back to the guy, who soon awoke. I assume we got priority clearance into EWR, because we flew a straight-in approach on runway 11. I also think we might have been using a LAHSO (land and hold short) clearance because the 4's were in use, and our pilot used very stiff braking and got the plane off the runway in a hurry. Landed at 1412, and taxied via Q, W, U, and A to gate 113B at 1416. A couple of paramedics came on board, but the passenger was able to deplane under his own power. I eventually got off the plane using the jetway and made my way into the terminal.

February 22, 2005
Type: 777-224ER
Reg: N37018
Seat: 35A
Dep Gate: 73
Arr Gate: E18
Sked Out: 1635
Actual Out: 1635
Wheels Up: 1700
Wheels Down: 1909
Actual In: 1926
Sked In: 1933

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Photo © TFSPhoto

I spent a little while romping around EWR, which included finding a McDonalds and grabbing a bite to eat. I was very impressed with the C Terminal there. It looked very modern, was clean, and the staff seemed friendly enough. I thought about going outside security so I could get some fresh air, but took one look at the lines coming back in and said forget it! So I wandered on over to gate 73 where my 777 would be departing soon. I was hoping to see the Peter Max livery sitting there, but alas, it was not to be. Still, it was to be my first flight ever on a wide-body, so the size of the thing was something to behold. Boarding started at about 1545, 50 minutes before departure. I was one of the first to board after first class and elites, since I was sitting close to the back of the aircraft.

As soon as I got to my seat, I began playing with the IFE in front of me. A LCD screen on the seatback, and a control in the arm of the seat. Granted, the only thing I used the IFE for was to have Airshow up the whole time, since I had my own CD player to listen to. We pushed back on time at 4:35pm. Our taxi took us via A, RF, B, D, and PD to 4L. There was a bit of a line waiting for takeoff, we were #5 when we got there. In front of us were 3 SA)">CO ERJs, and to my amazement, a Privatair A319LR. Behind us, there was another SA)">CO ERJ, a Tango A320, an American Eagle ERJ, and SA)">UA 737. Takeoff occured at 17:00 and was incredibly powerful. Somewhat long takeoff roll too, as our plane was about 75% full. I spotted an Air India 747 on the north end of EWR after we lifted off.

Drink service started shortly after takeoff, although with such a large aircraft, it took them a while to get back to my row. I got another Coke, and once again was not served the full can. A snack was also served, which included a "Stromboli" which was an Italian stuffed sandwich with spinach and four cheeses. It sure looked good, but with my dairy-free diet, I was forced to decline. Also included were some potato chips, an apple, and more M&Ms. I was at least able to eat the chips and apple. While the flight attendants were efficient, they were not very friendly at all. No smiles or anything. Ah well. We cruised at only 30,000ft, and I'm not sure why. My guess was that there was rough air at the higher altitudes, as weight should not be a concern on a short flight like this, unless we were tankering fuel for some reason.

Our flight path took us just north of Philadelphia, Baltimore, and DC, over Roanoke, VA, north of Atlanta, south of Birmingham, then over Jackson and straight into Houston. Saw some lightning off to the south while over MS and LA, and also encountered some light to moderate turbulence around the same area, and it kept it up all the way into Houston. Flew a simple approach for the runway 27 approach, and landed at 19:09. We were early, and another aircraft was still using our gate, so we had to sit on the pad at the intersection of SC and SB to wait. Finally we taxied via SC to our gate, and pulled into E18 at 19:26.

February 22, 2005
Type: 767-424ER
Reg: Unknown
Seat: 38L
Dep Gate: E4
Arr Gate: 62
Sked Out: 2110
Actual Out: 2112
Wheels Up: 2126
Wheels Down: 2233
Actual In: 2245
Sked In: 2246

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Photo © Dan Rabolt

The temperature was around 70F in Houston, so I decided to go outside to security to get some fresh air. It felt really nice outside, but alas, I had to go back through security to get back inside. No lines at this time of day, and it was very quick. No additional screening this time. I browsed around the terminal for bit, and also found it very nice and modern. Finally made my way to gate E4 where my 767-400 was waiting for me. Boarding started around 8:10pm, a full hour before departure, though not surprising since this was a full flight. Boarding went off without a hitch, and the doors closed on time. Push back occured at 9:12, and we taxied to 15R via SD, NR, SA)">NA, and WC. Not much traffic this time of night, so there was no wait, and we took off at 9:26.

We climbed to our cruising altitude of 32,000ft. Went through some clouds and near storms around Austin, where it got rather bumpy. They decided to hold off on drink service until after the turbulence subsided. I could see the wings flexing quite a bit in the turbulence, that was pretty crazy to watch. Drink service finally started, and got to my row by around 10:30. This time I was served the full can of Coke, along with a bag of "mini pretzels". Both the bag and the actual pretzels were most definitely "mini".

Our flight path took us over Austin, El Paso, and Phoenix. We also climbed up to 34,000ft around 10:45. A second drink service was done, when I got a glass of apple juice, with one ice cube in it. The weather in Los Angeles was a bit on the crazy side, with all that rain. The winds were also out of whack, as LAX was using east ops instead of the usual west ops. We circled out over the ocean and landed on 7R at 12:33. After a quick taxi via G and B we were towed into gate 62, and docked at 12:45. We had to be towed in because of the very tight quarters in that area.

February 23, 2005
Type: 757-224
Reg: N13138
Seat: 27A
Dep Gate: 60
Arr Gate: E20
Sked Out: 110
Actual Out: 111
Wheels Up: 118
Wheels Down: 602
Actual In: 609
Sked In: 610

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Photo © Steve Dreier

This was the first time I had ever flown into LAX, and it was very surreal. I've always imagined LAX to be all hustle and bustle, with planes all over the place, and crowds bigger than my mind could imagine. However, due to the time that I was there, LAX was a virtual ghosttown. No planes taxiing around, very few people except around my gate. I went outside for a little bit to catch some fresh air and enjoy the ocean air. Came back in through security, and much like Houston, there were no lines and no additional screening. Very quick and smooth. The staff at LAX was also quite friendly. I wanted to find a gift for my girlfriend at the airport, but nothing was open at all. No surprise there.

I moseyed on over to gate 60. Boarding started at around 12:45am, and since I was towards the back of the plane, I was again one of the first on. After being spoiled by the 777 and 767, the 757 was a bit cramped, and I missed the visual IFE. Ah well. Doors closed on time, and we pushed back at 1:11. We taxied via B to 7L and made a rolling takeoff. Never once stopped once we started taxiing. How often does that happen at LAX?  Smile Takeoff occured at 1:18, took a slight turn to the left towards Houston, and climbed on up to 35,000ft. At this point I was getting quite sleepy, so I actually slept through the drink and snack service, but from what I can tell, it was identical to the previous flight, "mini" pretzels could be seen among other passengers.

Flight attendant was quite friendly on this segment, and came around with some water as soon as I woke up. I took a cup, but was horrified to find that the water was perhaps the worst water I've ever had. I'm not sure how the ball was dropped on a simple glass of water, but it really had a funky taste to it. Ah well, at least it somewhat quenched my thirst. Upon descent into Houston, lots of lightning was visible to the north, quite a nice display I must say. Oh, and the in-flight movie was Raising Helen on the overhead screens. Finally landed in Houston after circling around in the clouds to line up with runway 27. Landed at 6:02, and taxied to gate E20 via SG, SA and SF, and pulled in at 6:09.

February 23, 2005
Type: 737-924
Reg: Unknown
Seat: 25F
Dep Gate: E15
Arr Gate: C88
Sked Out: 750
Actual Out: 751
Wheels Up: 827
Wheels Down: 1210
Actual In: 1218
Sked In: 1212

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Photo © Nathan Zalcman

I didn't have a whole lot of time to spare, so I decided to stay inside security this time. Besides, I had already felt the moist Houston air once in the last 24 hours. I went over to Wendy's to grab some breakfast, and then went to a gift shop to buy a couple touristy things for my sweetie. I decided it was time to head over gate E15, and found the pretty new 737-900 sitting there. The problem was, it was so foggy outside that I couldn't make out the reg number. Ah well. Boarding started around 7:20, and was quick and efficient. The interior of the 739 was very nice, it was obvious that the plane was very new.

Doors closed on time and we pushed at 7:51. Things were getting rather busy at Houston, and by our pilot's estimate, there were about 12 planes ahead of us for departure. We made our way to 15L via SD, WB, and WW. Many SA)">CO ERJs and 737s abound. Takeoff occured at 8:27 from 15L, and we turned left to head up towards EWR and climbed up to 35,000ft. It was rather turbulent so they held off the drink and breakfast service for a while until things calmed out. I finally ended up with some apple juice. Breakfast consisted of cereal, milk, and a banana. Which for me meant dry cereal and a banana on the side. Yumm. Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow was the movie of choice for today.

Our flight path took us north of Richmond, south of DC and Baltimore, and then right over Philadelphia. This flight was about 85% full, so not too bad. A second drink service came around before we started our approach into Newark. We basically flew a straight-in approach to runway 4R, and landed at 12:10. Taxied to gate via L, Y and U, and pulled into gate C88 at 12:16.

February 23, 2005
Type: ERJ-145XR
Reg: Unknown
Seat: 10A
Dep Gate: 107B
Arr Gate: C67
Sked Out: 1520
Actual Out: 1532
Wheels Up: 1604
Wheels Down: 1821
Actual In: 1825
Sked In: 1736

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Photo © Daniel Wojdylo

I had a lot of time to kill at EWR, so I decided to cruise on outside security to have a look around outside. I found a nice little smoking area that doubled as a sort of observation area, so I sat and watched planes for a while. I finally went back inside and back through security, where there was very little wait, and getting through was painless. I went and found a gift shop and bought another gift for my honey. I still had some time to spare, but my feet were killing me, so I decided to head on over to the gate. There was an ERJ sitting there, but it wasn't mine.

My plane finally showed up around 2:50, and boarding started shortly after everybody had deplaned from the previous flight. The load was pretty heavy on the ERJ, only a couple of seats were open. As a matter of fact, they had to move one passenger from the front to the back for weight and balance purposes. Door closed on time, however we didn't move. It turns out we were waiting for another passenger, so the door opened again, and on came our new passenger. We finally pushed back at 3:32, and made our way towards 4L via RJ, B, D and PD. There was a good deal of traffic leaving EWR, so we had several aircraft in front of us. I noted 3 SA)">CO ERJs, SA)">CO 737, SA)">CO 757-300, a FedEx A300, another SA)">CO ERJ, and an AE ERJ. We finally lifted off at 4:04.

The flight attendant on this flight was particularly friendly, and very efficient. I wish they had more attendants like her, as most of the others I encountered on this trip were indifferent, if not unfriendly. Drink and snack service started shortly after departure. The snack was a little sandwich with ham and lettuce, with no cheese, yay! Also had some potato chips with it as well. The rest of the flight was uneventful, as I slept for a majority of it. It seems the headwinds were stronger than anticipated as our flight time was longer than anticipated. We finally circled around and landed on 1R at 6:21, and taxied to gate C67 via E5, F, and D. Pulled into the gate at 6:25pm.

Home sweet home! That my was my first ever mileage run, and I must say I really enjoyed it. My overall impression of Continental is that they are very efficient at what they do. All of the ground staff was very friendly, but the flight attendants had some room for improvement in that department. I hope you've all enjoyed my trip report!
Posts: 1647
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2004 6:05 am


Fri Feb 25, 2005 12:03 pm

How much did your trip cost?
"If the facts do not conform to the theory, they will have to be disposed of"
Topic Author
Posts: 145
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2001 4:34 am


Fri Feb 25, 2005 12:08 pm

The whole flight cost $200 all in. For 8000 miles, not too bad at all.
Posts: 104
Joined: Sun Feb 29, 2004 8:30 am


Fri Feb 25, 2005 12:42 pm

Nice, report Michael ... I took a similar trip February 4-6, 2005, except my route was MSP-EWR-IAH-LAX-IAH-EWR-MSP for $234... I did stay a day to take in Imperial Hill and the spot by INN and Out Burger. Hopefully CO has more deals like that.  Big thumbs up I applied the miles to my NWA account.  Acting devilish You didn't even have to spring for a hotel room for your mileage run. Nicely done.

Posts: 6913
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 4:47 am


Fri Feb 25, 2005 1:48 pm

That's the beauty of LAX (and west coast) mileage out early in the morning, return on the red-eye at night. I did a GSO-DFW-LAX-ATL-GSO back in me about 6000 miles for $200, which was more than acceptable, since airfares out of GSO aren't always the cheapest.

Posts: 641
Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2004 6:27 am


Fri Feb 25, 2005 1:48 pm

Only $200!!!! That's amazing for all the miles. I can't even fly pdx-sea for $ does that work??? Perhaps I will save some money and try to take one of those mileage trips for some flying fun. I hope you enjoyed your first widebody flights!
Posts: 43
Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2004 6:44 am


Sat Feb 26, 2005 4:27 am

Nice report; a good sampling of CO aircraft, too.

I have a question about mileage runs... do you just have to keep hitting the flight search engines until you find one? or do you use some other means?

I'd like to do something similar to this trip, but with UA to IAD then west coast and back, but all the itineraries go thru DEN or ORD.
Topic Author
Posts: 145
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2001 4:34 am


Sat Feb 26, 2005 5:52 am

I actually use several different methods to locate itineraries of this sort. The best method I have found is using a search engine by ITA. You can get there by going to The engine is very flexible and has many different search criteria. If you want to try this, I highly recommend looking through the help pages before using it, so you can maximize your search results.


[Edited to fix the link.]

[Edited 2005-02-25 22:23:03]
Posts: 116
Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2000 4:12 pm


Sun Feb 27, 2005 4:07 am

Great TR !!

Reminds me of a MR back in Aug. 2002 on DL...BWI-CVG-RDU-ATL-SLC-LAX-DFW-RDU-ATL-BWI. arrived in LAX @ 5pm, rented a car, attended a Dodgers-Braves game and was back in BWI at 5PM the next day. The whole thing me $350 including the game/car.
Posts: 251
Joined: Sun Jul 30, 2000 11:58 am


Sun Feb 27, 2005 12:09 pm

Funny thing is coincidently I watched your plane pushback next to the BA772 while waiting for CO17.

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