Tuesday, December 26th, 2006
Continental Express Flight 3123
From: Charlotte, NC
) at 7:50 AM
To: Houston Intercontinental, TX
) 9:45 AM
ERJ-144 – N15973
My family and I arrived at the airport about 6:40 AM
and went up to the Continental check in counter in the terminal. There was only a couple of people in front of us and check in was fairly quickly. Since I made the reservation with my credit card I used my card to access our reservation. I checked in my mom, my sister, and I for our flight to Houston. A nice customer service agent, Julie, took our bags and put the tags on it for the flight.
We proceeded to the security check in point that is located between Concourse A and the Atrium between Concourse B and C. The line was fairly long and I’d say it took us about 10-15 minutes to get through security. I did notice in front of me two male pilots and a female flight attendant, all of whom I could tell worked for Continental. I was behind one of the pilots, whom I may add was a very hot guy, and after going through the checkpoint I asked him if he was flying to Houston or Newark. He replied to me enthusiastically, “Houston!” Before I could say I was flying to Houston as well my Mom and sister called me for something and I had to go help them. Turns out they just needed someone to watch their bags while they put their shoes back on. Once we were through security we went to Starbucks and got some coffee and just browsed around the bookstore. My mom and sister left before I did and as I was walking down the hall to Concourse A my sister called me asking if I had her ticket. I looked in my bag and said no I didn’t so I went back to the bookstore and sure enough I saw a Continental ticket jacket with my sisters boarding pass lying on the floor…she’s lucky nobody grabbed it.
I then headed back to concourse A and met up with my Mom and my sister and told my sister that I would hold on to her boarding pass. She rolled her eyes at me and said “fine.” I could already tell traveling with these two was going to be a bit of a challenge…LOL. I wandered around Concourse A and did some spotting…..I saw several US Airways aircraft of course. Shortly after our aircraft was pulled to the gate and the crew boarded a customer service agent announced we were ready to begin boarding. First up was Continental One Pass Elite members, senior citizens, and families traveling with small children. We didn’t fit any of those categories so we waited until they called our row. We boarded the aircraft and was greeted by our flight attendant. I took my seat in 10 A and my Mom in 10 B, and sister in 10C. We waited for the flight to board and when we were ready for pushback our flight attendant came on and welcomed us aboard for our flight to Houston. We taxied to runway 18R and began our takeoff roll lifting up into the skies of North Carolina. We made a turn to the west and I thought maybe we would be able to see our neighborhood in Gastonia but we went through some clouds. From here on I began my favorite game when I fly…..try to figure out where we are. About 15 minutes after takeoff I looked down and determined we were following I-85 and that we were flying over Greenville/Spartanburg……flights from Charlotte to Houston usually follow I-85 to I-10. So I began looking out for Atlanta but the clouds started covering the area and pretty soon there was nothing but white clouds and open blue sky to be seen. At this time our flight attendant came through and served us a banana nut muffin, which was alright….not the best but not the worst. Later she came through with the beverage service and I had an orange juice. After our light breakfast I tried to get some sleep which I ended up getting about 30 minutes of before being awaken by a bump….nothing serious, just your normal bump in the flight I guess. I noticed my Mom and sister were awake to. I asked them if I had been snoring, which they replied yes but later said they were just joking. I decided to pull my window shade up and to my surprise I saw a huge body of water which I immediately knew was the Gulf of Mexico. I looked down and saw a fairly big airport…..at first I thought this was New Orleans Intl but later came to realize it was probably Biloxi’s airport because about 10-15 minutes later we were flying over New Orleans…I was able to recognize the Superdome and the downtown area! From here on out we continued to follow the Gulf Coast and just east of Galveston we began our descent into Houston. I tell you everyone it was such a gorgeous and clear day by the time we got here that you could see for miles and miles. It didn’t take long before I saw Galveston and recognized the entrance to the Houston Ship Channel. We made a right turn and I could see the entire Houston area and could see downtown. We continued our descent staying on the outskirts of eastern Houston and then lining up for landing Runway 27. We touched down smoothly and began our taxi to Terminal B. We taxied past Terminal E and Terminal C aka Continental Country. We pulled up to gate 66 and exited the aircraft and headed to pick up our bags. I knew I was back in Houston when I saw a Shipley Donuts! From here we got our bags and headed to the rental car facility, which I may add is awesome!
Shortly after takeoff from CLT
Shortly after takeoff from CLT
Gulf Coast near New Orleans
Galveston and Houston area as we begin our descent into IAH
Houston on approach into IAH
Continental 767 taxiing at IAH
Saturday, December 30, 2006
Continental Express flight 2049
From: Houston Intercontinental, TX
) at 6:35 PM
(left about 30 minutes late)
To: Charlotte, NC
) at 9:53 PM
We got on I-45 about 4:30 and encountered traffic…..on a Saturday! Oh well, this is Houston after all. My Mom started freaking out but soon the traffic let up and we arrived at IAH
around 5:15. As we approached IAH
I looked up and saw a British Airways 777 departing. We dropped off our car at the rental car complex, took the bus to Terminal B and proceeded up the stairs to the check in counter. I noticed a few things…..first off, for being such a large tenant of Concourse B Continental Express sure has a small ticket counter space. Second, the whole check in online thing and then drop off your bags confuses the heck out of those that are not frequent flyers. I must have heard 10 people question what line they were supposed to be in. My Mom even wondered if we were in the right line and I assured her we were where we needed to be. We finally got up to the E-Ticket machine and I proceeded to check us in for the flight back home. Once we had our boarding passes and had our bags checked in we proceeded through security. They pulled my Mom aside and asked to look through her bag and pulled out a water bottle. They were pretty stern when they told her she couldn’t take it with her. My Mom looked at me and said she had forgotten that she had it. We did some souvenir shopping and I got some Shipley Donuts to take with me back to North Carolina. I proceeded to gate 84B where I learned later we had to take a bus to take to the plane. I got on the bus and called my Mom and sister to let them know. Well, it turns out that my sister had gone back to the food court to get some McDonalds and when my Mom heard we had to take a bus to the plane she started freaking out. To make this trip report shorter my Mom finally found my sister and they ran to gate 84 with a few minutes to spare before our bus left to take us to our ERJ-145. We departed along with a bus to the right of us that was taking passengers to another ERJ for a flight to Richmond, VA. We followed the other bus around the tarmac full of ERJs before we finally pulled up to ours. We left the bus and boarded the plane to be greeted by a friendly flight attendant whom I believe her name was Olga or Helga. Anyway, I took my seat in 14A, my Mom in 14B and sister in 14C. I noticed the exit row was empty except for this one guy sitting there and when the flight attendant went through taking a head count he asked if he could sit there even though he was assigned to another row. She said the flight was 100% full so he would not be able to sit there. The pilot came on a little later and explained we were waiting for 17 people who were either moving through the airport or were delayed on other connecting flights. We waited about 5 more minutes when all of the sudden I heard the door closed and saw the stairs being pulled back. I saw the flight attendant go up to the guy who wanted to sit in the exit row and say “You can sit in the exit row, we are no longer waiting for the other passengers.” Uh oh” I thought……..some 17 people are going to be pretty angry with Continental this evening. Then again, with their great customer service I’m sure they would get those passengers to Charlotte some how. Our flight attendant came on and welcomed us to our flight to Charlotte. I could instantly tell by her accent that she was from Eastern Europe. Another passenger asked her where she was from, she laughed and said that we all had two hours to figure it out. My sister said she couldn’t understand her, which I’ll admit she was a little hard to understand but by the end of the flight I understand her just fine. As we began our speedy taxi she instructed everyone to turn off electronic devices, including cell phones. Apparently some idiots on the plane thought they were exempt because she came on a second time, being a little more stern, explaining that it was not Continental Express policy but United States FAA regulations to turn off all electronic devices, and that means cell phones. She then said we would not be leaving Houston until all electronic devices were turned off. I think she handled that situation very well. We continued taxing to Runway 15L where we met up with a Continental 737 who went in front of us and began its takeoff roll. There were no aircraft landing so we pulled into position. After about a minute or two we began our takeoff roll and soon lifted into the Texas night sky. My sister had a stunning view of Houston all lit up. We made a turn towards the end and soon the lights of Houston were gone. We were only about 15-20 minutes into the flight when we hit some bad turbulence. This little girl seated in 15B started laughing like she was on a roller coaster…….true, you did get some butterflies in your stomach though I could tell my Mom didn’t enjoy it too much. Soon we made a turn south and then a turn east. I looked down and could only see clouds but no lights underneath. Our flight attendant came through with beverages and I decided I’d be bad and get a margarita. I payed my $5.00 and enjoyed my margarita along with some water and a pretty good ham sandwich with some ruffles potato chips. We continued along our route and I really had no idea where we were though I enjoyed looking out the window into the stars and admiring the winglet of our ERJ-145XR. I read through the Continental magazine and chatted a little bit with my Mom. I looked out the window and suddenly saw the clouds starting to clear and lights…..only I realized that there were lights running along a line and next to it was pitch black. I asked my sister what was on her side of the plane and she said nothing, it was pitch black. I put 2 and 2 together to realize we were flying over the ocean and that what I was seeing was coast line, I looked out my sisters side of the plane and could see lights in the far distance. At first I thought maybe it was Savannah but figured out that what I was seeing was Charelston and on my sisters side was Myrtle Beach. My guess is that we were flying just north of the Gulf Coastline when we hit turbulence and for a smoother ride we followed the coastline to the south and crossed over Florida and flew along the coast and entered the mainland again between Charelston and Myrtle Beach. It was still cloudy but I could make out lights and I saw a bundle of lights inland and figured it was Columbia, SC
. This is where we began our descent into Charlotte. We went through some clouds as our flight attendant came in to collect our trash and got the cabin ready for landing. Soon we broke through the clouds as we were making a left turn over Lake Norman and lined up for landing on Runway 184. We continued down towards CLT
and soon I heard the landing gears deployed as the Charlotte skyline came into view. We landed smoothly on 18R and taxied to our arrival gate in Concourse A. Our flight attendant welcomed us to Charlotte and on behalf of her Newark based flight crew thanked us for choosing Continental Express. As we exited the aircraft I asked her where she was from and she said “Where do you think?” I said “Russia”, she said “Nope, Polland.” My family and I went down to baggage claim and retrieved our bags and went home!
Once again I really enjoyed my flights on Continental Express! They were very professional, the planes were nice, and I had a great time flying with them. I did want to say that I really admired our flight attendant on the flight from Houston to Charlotte because she was very nice, courteous, and funny yet she was stern when she needed to be. I also enjoyed these flights on Continental Express that I decided to enroll in the One Pass program! LOL….I guess you can say I’m a CO
Thanks for reading everyone…….comments and questions are welcome!