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Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2005 3:17 pm

1st Post, 1st Trip Report: OAK-SAT-ATL-OAK On CO

Mon Oct 31, 2005 5:25 pm

First off, glad to be a part of these forums. Some very cool trip reports and so I figured I'd contribute my share, as I will be flying a lot over the next while.

This report is short on pictures, but I hope it's entertaining nonetheless. Go easy on me, please, I'm a newb  Smile

A couple of weeks ago I took 6 flights in 3 weeks, all on Continental, all B737s. Here's how it went

#1: OAK-IAH, CO758, a 738. I had booked this as part of a vacation/biz trip and then bought my gf a ticket separately, but the Continental folks were able to sit us in our own row on her request - unbeknownst to me! I groused at first, but I'm glad we were able to, it made the flight that much easier. Pushback from Gate 3 at 0622, rotation at 0629, we climbed out over San Francisco and made a sweeping turn to the south and east. By the time the sun was up, we had reached Ontario and the PIC said we'd be flying a southerly route into Houston. Flight was extremely smooth and uneventful until we got just north of IAH, there was a big line of storms marching to the northeast just west of the airport. Turbulence wasn't too bad, though. I believe we touched on Rwy 26L about 1150 (-9, which was great because we only had about an hour of layover time and anybody who's been through IAH knows you need all the time you can get.)

#2: IAH to SAT, CO379, a 735. Again, we got a full row to ourselves (18D-F), despite the plane being rather full. I remember looking at local radar and seeing this line of storms marching toward the northeast, right between San Antonio and Houston. We would get to experience the storm first hand. Despite that, we pushed back right on time, rotated off of Rwy 15R shortly after, and turned west. We climbed up to FL240 and then the turbulence started. The pilot decided to forego the beverage service, and I could understand why. At first it wasn't so bad but then we hit some pockets where the plane would rise sharply, then drop, then rise again. After about 20 minutes of this, we came out under the anvil of the storm. Still TONS of downdraft, but the pilot amazingly kept it together. I was white-knuckling, the chick was grinning, reading a book. I was a little grumpy. Once we got past the storm, we made a sweep to the southeast and touched down on time. The runways were still wet with standing water, but the sun was shining.

We visited my family for a few days, and then it was time to go.

#3: SAT-IAH, CO 278, a 739. We were able to get seats together (albeit right in front of the exit row) on what would be our last flight together - I would continue east to Atlanta, and she would be flying back to OAK. Boarding was swift despite the flight being full, we got to our seats in 14D-F and buckled in. Pushback was right on time at 0559 on my watch, we were rotating 5 minutes later in the darkness. Climbout was to the east, right over the town where we visited my fam, and we got up to FL320 fairly quickly. As soon as we did, we started our descent and glided in for a smooth landing, touching on Rwy 26R before the long taxi to our gate, C41.

We didn't have much time to say goodbye as my flight to ATL was boarding in a few minutes. She had a bit of a layover, not leaving IAH until 9. We went to my gate and they were already preboarding, so we said our goodbyes and shortly afterward, I got on my plane.

#4: IAH-ATL, CO520, a 733. Taxi and take off were smooth, as was climbout, I believe we used 15R. Flight was incredibly smooth, we glided into ATL's Hartsfield Jackson a little early, touching on Rwy 27L at 1035. We held short for a few takeoffs on 27R and then taxied for a while to the D concourse for basically an on-time arrival (1043).

(apologies for the poor pic quality, this was my cellphone)

Had a grueling week setting up a data center, and after that and checking out some fo the ATL sights, it was time to come home...via Houston. Oh, if you get the chance, and are a carnivore, go to Fogo de Chao. Excellent Brasilian steakhouse.

#5: ATL-IAH, CO1621, a 735. Got up at zero-dark-thirty to get to the airport for my 0700 flight. For whatever reason, I didn't get the seats I had asked for and I had to make changes while at the check-in kiosk. They had me in an aisle for this flight and a middle seat for the flight to Oakland! What was worse, I was in the middle of changing it, and snagged the only remaining window seat, when my kiosk crashed! Took me a few minutes to get the attention of a CSR, who put me on another machine, but thankfully my window seat request went through. Got that, and an aisle that had a middle seat next to it empty for the second leg. Anyway - boarding was fast - we were all on the plane within about 25 minutes. We pushed back on time, and after what seemed like an interminably long taxi to Rwy 26L, we were wheels up. I remember a number of things - ATL's runways have a dip in them in the center, and our rotation and climb was fairly slow - it was almost as if we were flying level on climbout. The flight was really smooth, service was okay (had a couple glasses of Minute Maid OJ) and before you knew it, the PIC was saying "Rise and shine! We're about 70 miles from the runway (in this case, Rwy 26R.) I saw another Continental 757 touch on 26L as we were on short final. Moments after that we were on the ground - I remember the crew spooling up the engines prior to landing - I noticed we had come in slow. Also, when we cleared the runway, the pilot had to gun the engines a bit to get clear of another CO 73 that was taxiing on a parallel taxiway.

(again, apologize for the poor pic quality)

#6: IAH-OAK, CO673, a 733 (was supposed to be a 73G)

After deplaning and walking the requisite mile to get to my connection (the same one my gf took the week before), I sat and waited for our flight to board. Saw one of the new(er?) 753s on a CO flight to LAS...packed. Ours was pretty full, too - in fact, I don't believe there were any empty seats save for the one next to me.

Pushback was on time, and after a long taxi to Rwy 33L, we were on our way. I remember the captain doing a slight bank shortly after we rotated; a few seconds after that, the plane dipped to the left a bit and that drew a few gasps (me included). But we straightened out fine and climbout was smooth, as was the flight - until we got over the Grand Canyon. Bumps weren't too bad, though. We got a wonderful view of Mono Lake and Lee Vining before finally beginning our descent into OAK through the typical Bay Area fog. A few minutes later, we pulled up to Gate 3, I went and got my bags, met my girl at our favorite breakfast place, and then promptly went home and slept 18 hours.

Anyway, hope I didn't do too badly with my first trip report. NEXT WEEK: SFO-LHR on a UA 77, baby. Can't wait !!
You goin'? We fly you dere! You been? We done already flew up in dere!
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RE: 1st Post, 1st Trip Report: OAK-SAT-ATL-OAK On CO

Mon Oct 31, 2005 6:50 pm

Thanks for the report!

Welcome to A-Net!!!  thumbsup 
Posts: 2875
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 1999 5:47 am

RE: 1st Post, 1st Trip Report: OAK-SAT-ATL-OAK On CO

Thu Nov 03, 2005 1:26 pm

interesting report - and i've been to the fogo de chao in chicago. really amazing. i recommend it as well.

life wasn't worth the balance, or the crumpled paper it was written on

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