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Old 05-11-2002, 09:25 PM   #1
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Continental: May 11 (AUS-IAH-CHS-IAH-AUS)

Continental: May 11 (AUS-IAH-CHS-IAH-AUS)

May 11, 2002 AUS-IAH (Continental 744, 3A, 737-300, Beverage)

I arrived at AUS and noticed three Continental aircraft, which is something that I had never seen before at this aircraft. Gates 16, 18, and 22 were occupied.

I walked into the terminal and was overwhelmed with the number of people at the Continental ticket counter. I had never seen it this busy before, which was very surprising for a Saturday morning. A FC/Elite agent motioned for me to come over as he completed a customer, but a woman from the main line ran in front of me. He looked over at me to see if I would object; I just rolled my eyes and let it slide. I waited for several minutes and watched the agents involuntary reroute handfuls of passengers onto AA.

During check-in, I was curious about the aircraft at 22, so I asked if there was a delay or some major problem that led to the additional aircraft and all the invol reroutes. Response, “We have three gates.” Okay, got it.

I walked up to the Presidents Club and was surprised to have to wait in line behind five or six people for entrance. Just as I walked towards the main bar area, the P-Club attendant announced that the delayed flight to Houston (a 9am flight, it was almost 11) was departing. Practically 95% of the people in the club picked up and walked out, so I had the place to myself for breakfast before my flight.

I walked down to the plane about 20 minutes before the scheduled push-back and was one of the last people on the aircraft. I was looking forward to an early push-back until I overheard a man arguing that about someone in his seat and how he had, “confirmed this seat 5 hours ago when I checked in!” It turns out that he had checked in for an 8am flight and somehow wasted 5 hours in the airport before boarding this one, where his seat was taken. He argued for a while and was ultimately asked to leave the aircraft by a gate agent. We had to wait for a while for the GA to determine where his bags were before we pushed back, five minutes late. Sigh.

Smooth take-off and much of the front cabin sipped bloody marys during the bumpy flight to Houston. A lot of turbulence on the way down and we ultimately arrived at the gate about 10 minutes early.

I walked from C to the TerminalLink between C and B. A quick monorail ride and I walked to the Terminal B Presidents Club. As I approached the club, I held the door for an elderly woman, but she asked me if this was the entrance to the monorail. I explained that this was an airport lounge and I asked if she was going to Terminal C. She said that she was and that she had been around the terminal seven or eight times and unable to find the monorail. She indicated that she only had 20 minutes to get to her flight. I told her that it was downstairs and to the right, but that didn’t seem to help. We walked out and I showed her the signs to Terminal C, but was not confident that she understood which way she was supposed to go after going downstairs. I asked if I should walk her to the TerminalLink, but she refused. I asked her what flight number she was on and offered to contact Continental and have them send someone to escort her to her flight and try to hold the aircraft door for a moment longer. She said that there was not time for that and she proceeded down the stairs by herself. It’s a several minute walk (with an escalator ride) to the TerminaLink and then several minutes and another escalator ride before you’re even in Terminal C. I felt pretty bad since I was completely sure that she would misconnect; my only hope was that she had 20 minutes until the “boarding time” on her boarding pass, which is usually 35-45minutes before the scheduled departure time.

My family that lives in IAH was meeting me for my connecting flight. I entered the p-club and let the reps know that I would be expecting three family members as guests.

May 11, 2002 IAH-CHS (Continental 3xxx, 5A, ERJ135 – in style)
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