After a very nice weekend in Seattle it was time for my return trip back east on Continental into Newark. I had my friend drop me off aroun 1:30 for my 3:30 flight. Of course I wanted extra time to wander around the airport and take picture. Check in was done on a kiosk and went smoothly until the end when I realized that I would have to pay 15 dollars to check in my bag. I knew that Continental was charging for check luggage but I thought that if your ticket was purchased before the rule went into effect that you wouldnt have to pay. Oh well I swiped my credit card and paid the money. No biggie. Security was quick and I entered into the central terminal where Alaska Airlines has a huge base. I have never seen so many Alaskan planes in one place.
I grabbed some shots and then set off on an ambitious schedule to see every concourse in every terminal in one hour. Thanks to a very efficient underground train system I was able to accomplish this. I boarded the train and went concourse to concourse.
After finishing spotting and exploring in the main terminal I went underground and took the train to the 2 satelitte terminals. These terminals stand alone on the tarmac and offer alot of good photo oportunities of both the runways and the main terminal building with all of its concourses. It was the middle of the day so traffic was a little slow but Northwest had quite a few planes going to Asia, Hawaii and Europe. Also there was a very delayed Lufthansa flight heading to Frankfurt which I was able to catch. Other than that it was a nice mix of domestic traffic from Southwest, Alaska , United, UsAirways, Virgin America, JetBlue, Continental and the rest of the usual suspects.
I lost track of time while in the North satellite terminal and realized that I had to be at my gate soon as it was already ten to three. I scrambled back onto the train and after a lengthy ride back around the loop I arrived back to gate B11 in the main terminal. My plane had come in from Newark and arrived a bit early so everything was ready to go ahead of schedule. This was good because the gate agent, an older man, was moving at a snail’s pace. Everytime he scanned a boarding pass he would fuss with the scanner as if it were broken. Also he called boarding for first class about 6 times. And then waited about 10 minutes to start boarding economy. This was annoying but the flight wasnt full so we all got on quickly.
Our 737-800 was clean and looked fairly new. No PTV’s on these birds just yet but there are TV’s that drop down from overhead. I had my DVD player so I did not care one bit. The first officer who was a female said something quickly and that was the last we heard from the flight deck until an hour out from Newark. I think its very unprofessional and rude when the flightdeck doesnt welcome you onboard and provide at least minimal information on your flight. Oh well Im not here to complain. We pushed back alongside another CO 738 heading for IAH. Our taxi was short and I saw a ton of departing traffic as we taxied alongside the active runway. During the safety video i looked out the window just in time to see the LH A-330 departing for Frnakfurt. It was so loud and so close to our plane that everything on board shook for 10 seconds.
We followed a couple of Alaska planes and then it was our turn to go. Take off was powerful and long. We climbed straight out into the clouds and mist, true Seattle weather. We didnt really do any turning after take-off. Just kind of flew straight for a while until we reached our cruising altitude. The weather cleared pretty quickly and we were up in blue skies for a while. Flight was relatively smooth. There were a few patches of rough air along the way but nothing worth remembering.
About 30 minutes into the flight drinks were served followed by “dinner” which was more of a snack but it was free so whatever. It was a mini pizza, a salad, carrot sticks and cookies. After dinner they did another round of drinks. The flight attendents came through the aisle with water and juice a few times during the flight and did another full drink service before landing. Very nice service.
They showed a movie but I dont remember which one. I watched the movie 21 on my dvd player and slept the rest of the flight.
We started our decsent into Newark and we came up from the south and landed on runway 4R. Landing was smooth. After a quick taxi to terminal C we pulled into gate 110 about 30 minutes early. Awesome! I made it down to the baggage game to see the Giants game end with a disgraceful loss to the Browns but thats another story. I got my bag after about 15 minutes and my friend was waiting for me outside. I was back in Brooklyn by 12:30am. Not too bad considering past experiences.
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