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Old 03-01-2003, 09:22 PM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Seattle,WA (SEA) Terminal S, and CO B gates.
Posts: 238
SEA-IAH-FLL all on CO

Continental 1077 SEA-IAH
Sch. Departure: 8:45 am
Act. Departure: 8:41 am
Sch. Arrival: 2:55 pm
Act. Arrival: 2:50 pm
Seat: 1E, 1F (firstclass)
Meal: Breakfast
Gate: B11
Aircraft: 757-200 (international configuration)

I awoke at 5:45 am for my flight, and took a shower. I was planning we would leave the house by 6:30, as I wanted to allow extra time at the President's club with my one time pass that cost me $20. After my shower, I packed a few last minute items and woke my sister and mother. We left the house at 6:37. The car ride to SEA was uneventful, as we drove on I-5 south.

My mom parked at the curbside and said good-bye to me and my sister. I wanted to try to use the e-service center because I had never used these before since I always go unaccompanied minor. When we walked inside the line for the kiosk's was massive. So, we decided to use the curbside. I couldn't even remember the last time I had used the curbside to check-in as I usually go for the firstclass line. He entered our names into the computer and printed out my boarding pass. He explained-for some reason which he did not know-that he couldn't check my sister in and we had to go inside for her.(Possibly because she purchased a codeshare?) So we went to the firstclass line, where the wait was about 5 minutes or so. The agent who checked her in did a very speedy job. I had never seen an agent work so fast. It must have taken under a minute. After check-in we took off for the security check point for the B concourse.

I guess today was a big travel day for some, as the line for security was also very long. We looked for an express line, but that line didn't look much better. We waited for about 15 minutes before we reached the front. My sister went through first, BEEP!. "Female assist!" I of course went through without any problems. As my sister was getting wanded down, I collect our luggage. Her shoes turned out to be the problem. After that little delay, it was finally off to the Presidents club. The moment I had been waiting for.

The club is located right next to gate B-9. We approached the door and I pulled on the knob. It appeared to be locked. I tried again to no success. I finally realized that we had to push a bell to enter. I thought that was a little strange. I handed the agent our pass as I waited to see if it was fake. "Enjoy your stay." PHEW! We stowed our bags in the luggage room and stormed the breakfast buffet. An assortment of bagels, and muffins were avaliable, as well as O.J., coffee, and tea. My sister grabbed a cup of coffee and a muffin as I toasted a bagel and helped myself to a glass of O.J. I took my bagel and cream cheese and O.J. to a near by table with my sister. As I opened my cream cheese container, for some reason it was already opened with a weird looking brown spot on the top of it. I threw it away and grabbed another one. The bagel was good, and the club was a nice and quiet place to relax. My sister said her muffin was very good. The club was decorated very nicely and they had model airplanes in the bar area. I was happy to see a DC-10 and 747-200 in CO colors.

I read the paper and finished up. My sister was nagging me to leave because she thought it was boring. I guess she just doesn't understand how us frequent flyers enjoy these little things. We left at 7:58 and boarding was suppose to begin at 8:00 am. Boarding did not begin till about 8:05 due to the overbooking of the flight. They asked for volunteers to take a later flight at 11:15 and a $300 voucher, but we declined because firstclass was not avaliable. Boarding began and they called firstclass. We boarded and I was happy to see the sleeper seats configured on this plane. SCORE! We stowed our bags in the overhead bin and took our seats. We were offered a pre-departure drink and I chose a water.

We pushed back at 8:12 for departure behind a Continental 737-800 for EWR. It was our turn and we taxied onto the runway. The engines powerd up and suddenly stopped. We then turn off the runway. I wondered what was going on. Then we turned around and headed towards the runway again and pulled off to the side. The captain came on and informed us that the computer had accidently dumped the flight plan and he had to re-enter it. "A minor glitch," as he described it. We taxied onto the runway once more and this time we powered up and took off. Take-off was smooth as we climbed and began our turn to the southeast for Houston.

The crew came around and made an announcement that the movies on the PTV's would be starting. We had a selection of a sitcom station, 5 movies, and a map locator of where the plane was. The movies were, Analyze this2, and some movie with nicolas cage, and 3 other ones I don't remember. The sitcom's were Sex in the City, and Soprano's.

We leveled off at 37,000 feet and an old male flight attendant came around to take the meal orders. It was either an omlette or cereal. (the typical choices) We both chose the omlettte with cranberry juice. As we watched our movies, hot towels were distributed, but no linens. I guess the linens were a cost cutting measure. After the towels were collected, the fruit plate was given to us. It consisted of a strawberry, 3 melon slices, 4 cantalope slices, 2 slices of orange, and a half a slice of grapefruit. The fruit was pretty basic and was a good start. The bread basket was of course brought around with the cinnamon rolls or biscuits. I had my usual cinnamon roll and it was delicious. My sister had a biscuit and she loved it. I love watching people who don't fly firstclass often experience the things that we tend to take for granted.

That plate was collected and soon after the omlette's were brought out. I noticed that they were not filled with cheese, as they usually are. The portions also seemed a lot smaller than usual. I guess they really are cutting back to save money. The omlette plate contained(besides the omlette), 2 bacon strips, 1 sausage, and a few Jo Jo's . The bread basket was brought around once more, but we both declined.

The food was not as good as my last flight on Jan 15th with CO. I would rate the catering 7 out of 10. After the meal, I watched Analyze This2, and some Sopranos. The crew was pretty average and wasn't very up beat. I was surprised because they were an international crew and I thought they were especially trained for BusinessFirst passengers. I would rate the staff an 7 out of 10 as well.

The seat, of course, played an important role in this flight. The seat goes back to an almost flat angle with 55" legroom, more than enough. The lumbar also helps. I had a bad back that week for some reason and when I first sat down in the seat my back started to hurt, but when I pushed the legrest up, my back started to feel much better. This made me very happy. I was extremely pleased with the seat. The BusinessFirst seat is superb and I highly recommend it. I got some shut-eye and awoke at the cookie service. The cookies were chocolate macadamian. They were good, and I was offered seconds.

I watched on the map as we made our descent into Houston. We arrived ahead of schedule, very typical for Continental. We taxied to gate C-14 (or around there) and headed off for our connecting gate, C-37. One thing I hate about IAH is that it's too big, and all the corridors look the same. We arrived at C-37 and sat down to wait for boarding.

CO1730 IAH-FLL
Sch. Departure: 4:05 pm
Act. Departure: 4:00 pm
Sch. Arrival: 7:26 pm
Act. Arrival: 7:04 pm
Seat: 2E, 2F
Gate: C-37
Meal: Dinner
Aircraft: 737-800

An announcement was made that the flight was boarding, but when passengers got up to go down to the jetway, the agent corrected himself to say that he had made a mistake and boarding would begin in a few moments. The real boarding began and we boarded and found our seats 2E and 2F. We were welcomed aboard. We were not offered a drink right away, and when we were the flight attendant took awhile to get it because of passengers boarding and blocking the aisle. I chose a coke.

Pushback was normal and we took off. After take-off, the "dinner" choice was a turkey and swiss sandwich with an italian wedding soup. No choices? hmmmm...........I guess another cost cutting measure. We accepted, and chose cokes to accompany the meal. Hot towles were handed out, and our drinks were served quickly with a packet of almonds, flavored with smokehouse. They were very good, but a bit to salty for my taste. It took a very long time for them to finally serve meals. I think this flight was a bit under staffed because only 1 female flight attendant was running the firstclass and preparing the meals. I felt bad for her. It must have been 45 minutes before meals were served. Although it took awhile, I was not disappointed. Again, no linens. Continental must be following NW on this. The meal was served on one tray with the soup, sandwich, and a pecan delight. I started with the soup which was superb. It had tiny meatballs, with little pieces of pasta with chicken soup broth. I wonder if they actually have someone rolling those meatballs that small. I then started with the sandwich, and used some mustard on it. The sandwich was small, but was very good. Of course I finished it off with the pecan delight. This food was a little bit better and I would give it an 8 out of 10.

The crew cleared the tray away and offered more drinks. They were friendlier than the last crew and I thought they did a much better job. I rank this crew an 9 out of 10.

Since we had heavy tail winds, by the time I was done with the meal, we were about a half hour from landing. In this short time, I played gameboy. Before I knew it, we touched down in Ft. Lauderdale very early and taxied to gate C7.

In general I favor CO over NW, but I think CO is starting to follow NW in cost cutting. I'll have to fly the SEA-EWR route and see if they have cut menu's in first, like most airline are doing on domestic routes to cut costs. I'm not sure that CO is that much better than NW anymore. I would rate this flight a 7 out of 10. Continental delivers a good product, but I think NW's staff outranks CO's which might make NW a tad better. I understand that the airlines must cut back because of money troubles, i'm not complaining just comparing.
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Old 03-02-2003, 11:40 AM   #2
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Location: IAH/HOU
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Good trip report. Glad to hear that you enjoyed the PC.

As far as cost cutting in meals, I noticed significant reductions in the meal service between Houston and Florida on afternoon/evening flights. The dinner service was reduced from a multi-course meal with entree selections to a single course that is the same as lunch with no selections.

I know the turkey one that you're talking about exactly and it's not too great, but consider yourself lucky that you didn't get the dreaded "beef brisket" that I'm served about 80% of the time between IAH and JAX/TPA/MIA.

The changes to meal service were around July of last year. I was flying between AUS and JAX weekly and the delicious salad/entree/dessert combo turned into "beef brisket" one Friday evening.
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Old 03-02-2003, 03:45 PM   #3
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Can't say that I've gotten a beef brisket choice. I remember the days of pasta or steak and cheesecake for dessert on IAH-FLL route. I guess times change.

The sandwich, even though it was small, was pretty tasty. The only complaint was that the soup was a little salty.
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Old 03-02-2003, 10:05 PM   #4
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Oh you First Classers are such whiners. I fly HP and I am greatful when I get the first class "Gold Mix" of dried fruit and nuts instead of just peanuts in my bag. And the drink is usually a very small bottle of water.

On the other hand, when I fly left-seat, I get (free!) cookies from the FBO (Mercury) and whatever the pax brings
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Old 03-02-2003, 11:44 PM   #5
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Seattle,WA (SEA) Terminal S, and CO B gates.
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What routes do you fly with HP? I'm curious about the service and meals on HP because i'm thinking of switching to flightfund. Any information would help.
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Old 03-03-2003, 12:28 AM   #6
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SBA-PHX on CRJ2. As I said, it's either Peanuts or Gold Mix (nuts and dried fruit) and a small bottle of water (its only a 1.25 hour flight). I'm not sure that they serve anything more on their longer flights, though.
Tried to fly PHX-FLL once, but the flight out of SBA was delayed 3 hours (broken de-ice equipment in the left engine), so I missed the connection and ended up on CO 737's to IAH and then MIA.
In my opinion HP is not worth it if you can fly on a good airline, but they're the only one with direct service, and being on a jet is nice.
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