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Old 04-24-2002, 06:28 PM   #1
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Continental: April 19-21 (AUS-IAH-ATL-IAH-AUS)

Continental: April 19-21 (AUS-IAH-ATL-IAH-AUS)

April 19, 2002 AUS-IAH (Continental 1440, 2B, 737-300, Beverage)

We pushed back on time while much of the front cabin sipped bloody marys and confirmed that it was Friday. It was a beautiful and quick flight to Houston with an early arrival, as is expected.

At the end of the flight, the flight attendant came through the first class cabin and thanked passengers for traveling with Continental today and that she sincerely appreciated our business.

I walked the long journey from C-34 to the Presidents Club across from D-8 (near D-6, where my connecting flight was departing). I grabbed some P-Club pictures and made a few phone calls during my layover.

April 19, 2002 IAH-ATL (Continental 0829, 2E, 737-800, No food!)

The flight began with an equipment change. We were originally booked on a 737-500 and ultimately boarded a 737-800. We were about to push-back on time when the captain announced that we were too heavy and that the ground crew would be defueling the aircraft momentarily.

Nobody seemed to mind. Everyone just kicked back, had a drink, relaxed and waited happily while the Continental ground crew ensured that our aircraft was safely prepared to service our flight to Atlanta. After all, it was Friday afternoon and it’s not like we wanted to pull an Aaliyah anyway.

Every fifteen minutes or so, the captain would apologize profusely to the passengers and asked for our patience, “if we had any left at all.” He seemed far more bothered by the situation than the passengers.

They continued to play the boarding music throughout the delay and I don’t think that the lead FA knew that we were all watching her when she sung and danced to Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” in the galley.

We waited and waited and waited. 90 minutes after the scheduled departure time, we pushed back from the gate.

After take-off, virtually everyone asked the flight attendant at least once or twice (it became a joke) if there was anything to eat on this flight. It seemed that everyone was starving and lunch would be appropriate for this 1pm (now 2:30pm) flight.

I read Jack: Straight from the Gut and ate many packages of nuts in lieu of “real” food.

About 3/4ths of the way through the flight, I put on my Bose Noise-Cancelling Headphones and watched an episode of Spin City on the Continental entertainment system. The magazine promised us Brady Bunch, too, but I guess the flight was too short.

A few minutes before we began our descent, I got up to head to the aft lavatory. As I got up, 1B got up, too, and beat me in there. While the FA was doing her rounds, I stood in the galley and stretched. She came in there and booted me out because, “new regulations don’t allow you to stand so close to the cockpit.” I told her that I was just stretching and waiting for the lav. She responded by saying that I should wait in the aisle.

We touched down without incident in Atlanta just 45 minutes late at D6, the same gate that we had departed from.

Holiday Inn (Athens, GA)
I stay at this hotel frequently during my visits to Athens. There’s a very limited selections of hotels in Athens and you’re actually lucky if you can even confirm a room at the Holiday Inn due to such limited availability.

At check-in, I was told that they attempted to upgrade me, but were unable to due to lack of availability since I just booked a couple days in advance. The clerk put breakfast on the house for the remainder of the stay, though. I took advantage of this on Saturday morning, but slept through it on Sunday.

My one complaint is the same one that I have every time that I stay at this hotel. I request a late (2pm) check-out and am always granted the request. I put the do-not-disturb sign on the door. However, without fail, at about 10am, the maid starts banging on the door and the front desk starts calling. In this case, a front desk clerk came to the door. It’s so ridiculous.

I usually do the express check-out, so I never have a chance to complain to hotel management about their late check out procedure. However, this time, I went to the front desk to check out. I explained the problem in detail and how there seems to be a procedural failing in their system of managing late check-outs. The front desk clerk verified that I had a 2pm check-out (It was 1:50pm when I was checking out) and just offered to compensate me for the inconvenience.

I explained that rather than monetary compensation, I would prefer that they she relay the problem to management so that I won’t be inconvenienced again. I asked that she do that in lieu of compensation. She responded, “Okay, so, do you want me to credit you for part of your stay?” I declined.

April 21, 2002 ATL-IAH (Continental 0221, 3B, MD80, Cold Dinner)

This experience was the definition of a perfect, uneventful flight. The flight boarded on time. I wasn’t selected for security screening. We pushed back on time and glided right into the air.

Shortly after take-off, I was served an excellent salmon and chicken cold plate with the usual hot roll and chocolate desert. As usual, it was a little small, but it was perfect for a 5pm flight and was consistent with Continental’s excellent in-flight dining service.

I was reading 8 Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter throughout the pleasant flight and was interrupted at one point by the flight attendant who asked to see my book. She flipped through it and was thought that it looked interesting. She asked if I had a teenage daughter. I responded that I did not have any children.

We had a smooth descent and touched down at IAH a few minutes early. It was a perfect, relaxing, and uneventful experience.

April 21, 2002 IAH-AUS (Continental 1807, 3E, 757-200, Beverage)

Before boarding, I heard the gate agents discussing a supposedly-new policy that you can standby for a flight within Texas without bag-matching. The GAs had previously been enjoying rejecting people who asked to standby for the AUS flight, but were confirmed on a later one with their checked luggage. The Gas agreed that they weren’t sure about the policy and would let a red coat do it.

There was very little exciting to report from this leg. I took some pictures for the ITYT gallery of IAH before boarding.

I had a pre-departure drink and was then asked for what I’d like once we took off. Everyone else in the cabin, but me, was served a drink after take off. I probably didn’t need more caffeine, so it didn’t matter much, but it was still weird.

All in all, it was a very good trip. The occasional snag or annoyance is to be expected, but Continental’s excellent service overall more than compensates for it.
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Old 04-24-2002, 08:07 PM   #2
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Nice report!

It's nice to see that some people still appreciate the CO in-flight experience.
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Old 04-25-2002, 03:19 AM   #3
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Oops, I just now submitted the pictures to the gallery that I linked to above. For those of you that looked and didn't see anything new, check again!

Sorry for the confusion.
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