tok7474
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Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2010 9:34 pm

IAH - SFO - IAH: Continental 757-300 In Y

Wed Jun 23, 2010 8:18 am

BACKGROUND:
After reading countless trip reports I felt I had to contribute to this great forum by posting one of my own. I was long overdue for a vacation so I decided to head out to northern California for some rest and relaxation. Being a loyal Continental Airlines customer for over 16 years I felt I must fly them one last time before their merger. As I don't fly very often (once, maybe twice a year) this would probably be my last flight on CO, a very sad day to see the airline I grew up with in Houston die off forever.

OUTBOUND:
After some searching on CO's website I found they had numerous daily flights(eight or nine) to and from SFO, and beginning in June they had a once daily service to and from SFO on a 757-300. Since I normally don't fly the stretch very often I immediately sprung for it over the normal 738, or 739. My itinerary was:

IAH - SFO[ June 15th, 6:10pm.] -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Boeing 757-300 Aircraft# N57868: This 753 was originally delivered to ATA August of 2002, CO took ownership from ATA sometime after their bankruptcy. Interestingly this 753 is equipped with the Rolls Royce RB211-535E4-C a slightly more powerful deviant of the RB211-535E4B which CO has on their original 753's. ATA was the only Airline to order their 757-300's with the RB211-535E4-C as they needed the extra takeoff performance for their operations out of their former Hub in Chicago - Midway (I believe it was Midway, correct me if I'm wrong here). Anyways, a very rare engine variant on the 753.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
INBOUND:

SFO - IAH[ June 20th, 12:15am.] ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Boeing 757-300 Aircraft# N75861: This 753 was built in 2001 and delivered to ATA in August of 2001. As with all their 753's acquired from ATA this one had the RR RB211-535E4-C as well.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I left my house around 2:45pm for my 6:10pm flight as my drive to the George Bush Intercontinental takes approximately 1hr.



Stormy skies as I approached IAH.

As I was heading towards the passenger drop off at terminal C I saw an SQ 777-300ER parked at the gate at terminal D, unfortunately I wasn't able to get a picture of this bird before her flight to Moscow, and then on to Singapore.



The International welcome monument seen as you approach IAH(George Bush Intercontinental Airport)




The check in counters at terminal C are dominated by CO, passenger traffic was relatively light when I arrived at 3:50pm

As I only had my carry on and no bags to check, I opted to use one of the many available self-service check in kiosks. Check in at the kiosk was very easy, simply look up your reservation by confirmation number and print your boarding passes. The whole process took less than 2 minutes


Self -Check in kiosk at terminal C



Boarding passes from the self service kiosk.

The line at security was non existent and I cleared through in under 3min. As always, TSA at IAH were very professional and helped usher the whole process along quickly.
Once airside I headed down to gate C41, located at the southern end of the C concourse.




Views from the skybridge on the way down to the C gates.

I snapped some pictures of various aircraft in and around terminal C.


a Co 777 at terminal E, most likely preparing for an International departure.



a CO 739.

After some spotting I was hungry and decided to try Bayou City Grill restaurant in terminal C, I had a chicken Creole sandwich, the food was decent, nothing extraordinary, but made for a good snack.



Inside view of the restaurant.


View from the restaurant window overlooking terminals C and E. After 2 hours of spotting I can see why some a.netters refer to Bush as Continental Land. During my entire time there I saw only Continental planes and a few general aviation aircraft.

After I ate I headed back to my gate, C-41 just in time to see my aircraft pulling in.



View of the aircraft 20 min. prior to boarding. If you look closely (just behind the right main gear) you can see the captain doing his preflight walk around.

Boarding commenced sometime later, first with First Class, then Continental's One pass elite members, and the general boarding starting from the rear of the aircraft and working forwards.




Heading down the jet bridge towards door 2L

Upon entering the aircraft First class passengers turn left, and economy class passengers, such as my self, turn right to start the long walk towards the back of the plane.

Load Factor on this flight was 100% in both classes, as a result boarding took longer than predicted. Due to the 757-300 being such a long aircraft with only one isle boarding often becomes congested as people become stuck waiting for others to place their baggage in the overhead bins.


Legroom shot; being 6ft. 1" I found the legroom very decent for a US domestic carrier. The seats were equipped with height adjustable, winged head rests, unfortunately Continental hadn't gotten around to equipping any of their 753's with DIRECTV before my flight.


Boarding shot, from my seat 30F.



CO ground staff refueling the aircraft for our 4hr 10min. flight to SFO.


A company 737-800 equipped with DIRECTV, pulling in beside us at gate C-40.


This 757-300 was recently fitted with blended winglets, winglets are becoming common on most of CO's current 737, and 757 fleet.



A company 737-900er ETOPS.

We taxied out to 15R for departure, however both 15L and 15R were in use for departure. Unfortunately I had already put my camera away by this point as I saw a BA747 come in on final and execute a very smooth landing on 26L as we taxied out to 15R for a late afternoon departure. Albeit the stretched 757 takeoff didn't disappoint we did a full stop on 15R and the captain held it on the brakes for several seconds before releasing and spooling up to full T/O power. Our takeoff roll was very powerful and the subsequent climb-out and sharp right hand turn were very steep.

Pictures from our climb out.


Passing by several strong thunderheads on our initial climb-out.


Despite having my iPod touch, I'm a sucker for CO's Jazz station.

After leveling out at 35,000ft. the meal service began. I love how CO still serves complimentary meals on its domestic flights.



The free meal consisted of: A cheeseburger, Fritos, baby carrots, Hersheys chocolate bar, and a soft drink.




About 2hrs into the flight we hit a bank of heavy cloud at 35,000ft.



The wing in cruise.



CO's lavatory's were in good shape, clean.


Picture of cabin during cruise, A movie was shown, and after it, programs from the DIY channel were shown, such as House Huunters.


There were three beverage services on the flight, one with the meal, one after and an ice water run just prior to landing. I felt that three beverage services was very sufficient on a 4hr flight. The flight attendants were very professional, not particularly warm or welcoming like I always look for, but courteous and professional nonetheless.


passing over some mountains at the top of decent.


The pilot deployed the speed brakes multiple times during decent. Every time I've flown on a Continental 757, be it a 752 or 753 the pilot has always used the speed brakes to aid in decent. Is this normal practice for the 757, or just for CO's pilots.



Extending flaps on decent over the bay. I have more pictures of the decent however I have run out of space as A.net limits it's premium members to a measly 2mb.


Our approach was over the bay, however I'm unfamiliar with SFO and I'm unsure which runway we landed on. It was the right one of one of the parallels. the landing was moderately hard and I did feel the pilot use quite a bit of rudder correction to keep us on the center line. During taxi to terminal 1 I saw a UA747 in old livery and numerous UA narrow bodies. I was planning on showing the return trip however as I previously mentioned I ran out of space. If any one can advise me on how to post more efficiently on this forum any help would be greatly appreciated, this is my first TR.

CONCLUSION: I enjoyed CO's domestic service. I have no major complaints other than the 20min. it took to deboard from the back of the 753, however this should be expected of such a long narrow body. To me CO's free meal service is a plus, it's decent quality airline food, and better than having to buy on board. The cabin staff were very professional and attentive to customer needs. In our modern world of rising fuel concerns and fear of pollution I fear jets like the powerful 757 are a dying breed. To me the 757 is truly a beautiful plane, graceful, sleek, powerful. I'm curious of their fate in the new CO / UA merger, After nearly two decades of loyalty to Continental Airlines, I hope their merge with United doesn't destroy the airline I grew up with. To me, Continental has always been very professional in their business, After the death of NWA, It's a shame to see another legacy carrier lose it's name, I just hope the new Continental can maintain the quality of excellence I fell in love with.
 
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CARST
Posts: 853
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2006 11:00 pm

RE: IAH - SFO - IAH: Continental 757-300 In Y

Wed Jun 23, 2010 1:53 pm

A very good first TR, thx for posting tok7474 !

Quoting tok7474 (Thread starter):
Extending flaps on decent over the bay. I have more pictures of the decent however I have run out of space as A.net limits it's premium members to a measly 2mb.

You could use another pic-host. Upload your pictures at picasa-online or some other place where they don't get removed after some time. A.net allows you to directly link to these places...
 
Victr
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Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2008 10:37 pm

RE: IAH - SFO - IAH: Continental 757-300 In Y

Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:07 pm

Great Job On Your First Posting i will always love the CO Name and United Can Never take the sprirt of the Co Name great Job
GO United Air Lines GO Newark Liberty Intl Airport
 
EL-AL
Posts: 1414
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2001 8:29 am

RE: IAH - SFO - IAH: Continental 757-300 In Y

Thu Jun 24, 2010 1:47 am

Hey tok7474,

Thx for very good report. CO is my favorite american airline also.

The B753 is becoming popular here, 3 TRs in the last month, glad I've had something to do with it to.  

Thx again,

LY
every day is a good day to fly
 
jayeshrulz
Posts: 349
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RE: IAH - SFO - IAH: Continental 757-300 In Y

Fri Jun 25, 2010 10:18 am

Hey Nice TR man!
Liked reading it  
Quoting tok7474 (Thread starter):
The pilot deployed the speed brakes multiple times during decent. Every time I've flown on a Continental 757, be it a 752 or 753 the pilot has always used the speed brakes to aid in decent. Is this normal practice for the 757, or just for CO's pilots.

Well the thing is,the pilots are instructed to start descent a bit late,so that while descending, the throttle is at idle, and this practice saves fuel.So to reduce speed, the speedbrakes are deployed.  

Cheers!
Keep flying, because the sky is no limit!
 
modesto2
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Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2000 3:44 am

RE: IAH - SFO - IAH: Continental 757-300 In Y

Sun Jun 27, 2010 9:23 pm

If you landed on the "right" runways, then it was 28R.

Often times, NorCal Approach instructs arriving aircraft to slow for sequencing. Those instructions often require the pilots to use the speed brakes. Additionally, aircraft arriving from the south on the Big Sur Arrival cross MENLO intersection at 5000 or 6000 (can't remember right now) and then descend to the runway. This is a difficult restriction because any aircraft is almost guaranteed to be high at this point. If speed is at the pilot's discretion, the first thing I learned when flying this approach is to slow at least to 210 knots at MENLO. Often times, NorCal will already have instructed arrivals over MENLO to slow (thus requiring speed brakes).
 
B7474
Posts: 257
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2001 5:03 am

RE: IAH - SFO - IAH: Continental 757-300 In Y

Mon Jun 28, 2010 3:00 pm

Nice trip report man, nice to see Continental still offering free meals. After my last plane trips with PTVs in Y it seems hard to get on a plane without them though haha.
 
tok7474
Topic Author
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2010 9:34 pm

RE: IAH - SFO - IAH: Continental 757-300 In Y

Fri Jul 16, 2010 10:52 pm

I had a choice to fly a 738, or 739 with PTV's, however since I rarely have the opportunity to fly the 757, especially the stretch I thought the sacrifice was well worth it. Long Live 757!

Tok7474
 
as739x
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RE: IAH - SFO - IAH: Continental 757-300 In Y

Sun Jul 18, 2010 2:46 pm

It appears to be 28R that you arrived on, since next to you was a taxiway which would have been charlie. It also appears be the Modesto Three Arrival as you were arriving over the Sierra Nevada Mountains. This is a very common arrival for inbound IAH flight (I commuted on these flights for 6 months).

Thanks for the trip report Tok
"Some pilots avoid storm cells and some play connect the dots!"
 
einsteinboricua
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Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 4:11 pm

RE: IAH - SFO - IAH: Continental 757-300 In Y

Sun Jul 18, 2010 10:41 pm

Quoting tok7474 (Thread starter):
I love how CO still serves complimentary meals on its domestic flights.

Too bad they won't be complimentary anymore. When I traveled with CO, I had the cheeseburger too. Unfortunately, I don't like cheese and since they didn't have anything else, I only ate the none-cheesy parts.

Great report by the way.
"You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow from the sky."

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