On a yearly vacation, I normally go there with AA from JFK.
But this time I flew CO from EWR, here's my experience.
It was wednesday morning.
I got to the airport, vertified my passport at check in for online boarding pass printout for international flights so this is a one time only.
Had breakfast at the Garden State Diner in the airport, then I get to the gate, I can spot the CO Peter Max 777, apparently it looked like it was in for maintenance
Just a few min. before the boarding call, I watched a BA 777 pushback and taxi out, followed by a Virgin Atlantic A340-500. The weather was grey and drizzling outside.
Boarding flight was supposed to depart at 8:55 AM, Flight # is CO1638, it's an 737-800 with winglets, it's at the #81 jetway.
While boarding, the PA came on and said someone in the back spilled an drink and to be careful. I get to my seat in Row 23 with my gf in 23A, and I'm in 23B.
After a while, pushback began but it only pushed back 10 ft and stopped!
I could feel the APU turning on and the lights flickered which they may have been switching from ground power to APU power.
There's another 737-800 behind off to the left wing of the 737-800 I'm in with it's engines idling, It came in 10 mins ago.
The PA comes on and the captain said "There's an 90 min ground delay, we don't know why and they didn't tell us why" and it repeats in spanish.
While I'm at it, I took a pic of the winglet from the opposite side of my seat side.
30 mins later the 737-800 off the left wing behind the 737-800 I'm in, shuts it's enignes off and I can see the APU exhaust coming out of it still.
92 mins later the 737-800 behind us was towed out of the way.
95 mins later the captain comes on the PA and says "When everyone is seated and seatbelts on, we will be ready to go"
Pushback begain and turned to the left. Taxied to the runway, about a 5 min taxi with only 2 aircrafts in front. Flaps looks like about 10 degrees out.
Lined up on the runway, there was another 737-800 being towed on the taxiway of the left of the a/c, it got further than us. But when the engines spooled up and the rumble comes, we flew by the 737-800 being towed.
Apparently he's not towing it fast enough to get it airborne
Now airborne and crusing:
4 hours into the flight, about 75-100 miles from AUA, the spoilers opens up about 1/8 to 1/4 of it's total range and the engines are not at idle, the 737-800 was descending in a level flight mode.
About 2,500 ft over AUA, the 737-800 makes a overfly, then turns left, then another left and now the flaps are coming out. The landing gear drops and about 30* flaps seen.
On final, you can see the clear blue ocean waters on the beach, then the sand and the yellow markings on the beginning of the runway. At this point the engines are put into idle mode and you can't hear it from inside, just went quiet for a full 2 seconds. Then it touched down smoothly and moderate braking was used plus moderate reverse thrust, took the first taxiway off to the left. This was the shortest landing I ever experienced in AUA. I'm used to 767 and 757's landing there.
At the end of the day, I enjoy a drink and the sunset
10 days later, I was headed back on CO 737-800 but it didn't have winglets and it was 20 min late.
It was supposed to depart at 2:45pm.
Back to EWR, the landing wasn't great. It came like this, first left, then right, then left and another left then a right and now to base. Then first sign of flaps coming out was aprox a mile out, then landed a bit hard, then all of a sudden moderate reverse thrust was used and the braking to near taxispeed, you can feel the a/c like it was about to lock up it's brakes, brake pads and burning rubber smell filled the cabin, no smoke in cabin.
After the 737-800 exited the runway, It took the last taxiway before the end of the runway where there are red and yellow stripes at!
Then the captain came on the PA and said "we're 2 mins early, sorry about the brake pads smell, we had to expediate the landing since traffic was behind us, if we didn't we wouldn't be able to get on the ground for a while due to traffic"
The plane taxied, then it stopped and said we're going to be here for 10 mins since another 737 needed to pushback. I looked around and there was MAJOR ground traffic with planes waiting for takeoff.
15 mins later another PA comes on and said the towbar didn't work and they went out to get another one. 23 mins later I see the 737 being pushback and after that was done, it was out of the way and taxi continued.
I needed to go to the bathroom since the descent.
After that, another 10 min wait because there was another 737 at the gate the plane I'm on needed to use. One man in the seat front to the right of me got up and opened the overhead, the PA came on and said "Please be seated and remain in your seats until the aircraft is at the gate, if you do not cooperate, you are interfering with the flight crew and will be met by authroities at the gate, remain seated"
They pushbacked and my plane went in, then another PA comes on and said "We're at the gate, but there's no jetway driver there, please wait"
5 mins later the jetway was connected and the deboarding started, picked up my luggage and left.
This was my first experience with CO, doesn't look like it was great after all then I excepted. Other than using EWR, I noticed it's a lil easier getting there than to JFK due to traffic.
[Edited 2005-08-07 21:53:52]