Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year Trip 2007/2008 :Seattle-Tacoma International, WA (SEA) to Anchorage International, Anchorage, AK (ANC)

CO667 31DEC07 Seattle-Tacoma International, WA (SEA) to Anchorage International, Anchorage, AK (ANC) 9:17p 11:54p 753 N??858

The boarding process was smooth; as I boarded I noticed someone sitting in 8C and 8A was empty. The flight attendant reminded him that he has to store his bag above his head and he acknowledged. One of the reasons I hate sitting in that row unless I absolutely have to do so.

I made my way back to my seat without any issues. The back of the plane is sparse, but still not totally empty.

The captain came on the PA and said temp is -6C, O.K. that is cold! To minimize the amount of stuff I am carrying, I carried only a light sweat shirt since I did not plan on going outside tonight. Flying time is 2:51 he continued.

Two guys had switched to another seat and then the folks for that seat showed up so they had to move over to their old seats. If you are going to move, don’t do it until the door is closed or you’ve asked a flight attendant. I did notice a guy eyeing the two empty seats next to me, I think he is deterred now :-).

The take off was smooth at 9:36p into the dark night. It was a beautiful sight to see all the lights below. We headed north following I-5 as we did so. Once could see downtown Seattle, the football stadium with the majority of the lights turned off and also the Space Needle before turning left and out across the Puget Sound.

The movie today is “Hairspray;” headsets were offered at a price of $1. I had seen parts of “Hairspray” already and don’t really like it so I won’t be watching it tonight although I do like musicals. After the headsets were handed out, the movie started.

At 34,000’ the first office came on and gave her welcome aboard. 11:25p is the expected arrival time she said and the wind is at 6 miles/ 21F is the temp. We will be updated with an arrival time when we are closer to Anchorage. I always wonder about the reason for giving the wind direction and speed? Does it really matter to the passengers on board? Just a random though; if you know leave a comment please.

One of the flight attendants handed out two packets of peanuts each; I guess no sandwich on this late night fight. Beverages followed soon after as the movie played on the overhead screen. Luckily, I have some cheese and crackers from the airport Lounge to tide me over.

Round about now, 12:21a in Houston, my low battery light came on; I had 22 minutes left, strange as a few minutes ago, it said 1:11 :-(.

About 10 minutes from the end of the movies, the flight attendant made an announcement asking for a Doctor in the house as someone had fallen ill; a call button rang so there was one. Just a few rows from me another person took ill as I hear them scream. Someone else rushed to their aid and one of the flight attendant produced what I think was a defibrillator.

Wow, now two persons are sick. There was quite a commotion in the walkway as all this continued. Luckily everyone was fine. As we landed, it was a beautiful view of the city of Anchorage. The city just sat at the end of the mountain chain in all its lights. You could see fireworks going off all over the city in little spurts. I could also make out the runway.

We had a smooth but loud landing as we slowed down on the runway. There was snow everywhere and it just looked cold as it 21F as the First Officer had said.

The flight attendant welcomed us and advised that we should remain seated and allow the sick passengers to be taken off by the paramedics. I looked out the window and there were two paramedic trucks and a fire truck. Not sure why we needed the fire truck, but oh well.

As soon as that was all done, we deplaned about 11:30p after arriving way early at 11:15p.

New Year Trip 2007/2008 : Ted Stevens Anchorage International, Anchorage, AK (ANC)

I just arrived in Anchorage and I'm going to find the Alaska Boardroom which is in the other terminal. There is free public WiFi here.

New Year Trip 2007/2008 : Houston-Intercontinental, Houston TX (IAH) to Seattle-Tacoma International, Seattle WA (SEA)

CO667 31DEC07 Houston-Intercontinental, Houston TX (IAH) to Seattle-Tacoma International, WA (SEA) 5:20p 8:20p 753 N??858

When we got to the first open seat, it was also a middle seat as apparently the person in the middle had moved over to the aisle. She moved out of the way and allowed the guy to sit in the middle without saying a word. I then continued on to my middle seat between an elderly lady and a younger lady who was knitting.

I got settled in and it was soon time for push back, two minutes early, I think. Oh, this aircraft has a 3-3 configuration in Economy class with a total of 192 seats as well as 24 First class seats in a 2-2 configuration. The entertainment system uses overhead monitors.

I was really tired, so I kept dozing off and really had no idea when were airborne. I awoke and saw “Stardust” playing on the screen; I had already seen it, so it was O.K.; it is a good movie by the way. The crew then came around with today’s meal service.

After the meal, I fell asleep again although I tried to do some writing. Next thing I knew, we were descending into Seattle and “Frasier” was on the overhead monitors. I had slept the majority of the 4:17 flight. I pulled my seat forward and put the computer and newspapers away and went back to sleep. I was actually parched so I drank the rest of the water that sat on my table.

We landed pretty hard, but very quiet and taxied up to the gate. As the flight was pretty full, I just sat there for a while until it was almost my turn to get off. It was odd as when I was in Asia, the people would not allow me to get off when it is my turn; basically if you are already in the aisle they won’t let you get out of your row, one has to be a little aggressive; not so tonight as we got off without any issues. The passengers going to Anchorage were told that they could either stay on board or place “Occupied” signs (the back of the barf bags) on their seats and deplane with their carry-ons. I had to get off as I did not know what was my seat assignment for the next leg of the journey.

New Year Trip 2007/2008: In Seattle, WA (SEA)

Seattle, WA (SEA)

Spoke to the agent to get a boarding pass for the rest of the trip since I was just told to take an empty seat.

I got the standby boarding pass now for the Seattle to Anchorage segment. I then entered the Presidents Club and made my self comfortable. I had a lot to do in less than an hour.

I heard my name being paged and went to collect my boarding pass. The agent had given me 8A which is the Exit row by the door, but I hate that seat as people tend to congregate there a bit and also there is no place to store your bag. She offered 11A and finally 38D which had the row empty; sweet!

I returned to teh Club as the boarding process continued. First the Elite members, persons needing assistance. Then the transit passengers from Houston.

I'll board soon...See you in Anchorage, AK.

Happy New Year to you all!

New Year Trip 2007/2008: Houston-Intercontinental, TX (IAH) to Seattle-Tacoma, WA (SEA)

CO667 5:20p 8:00p Houston-Intercontinental, TX (IAH) to Seattle-Tacoma, WA (SEA) 753 N??858

On the flight, they had a beef pizza, a Twix, carrots and sauce. I ate only a small piece of the pizza as it was too cheesy and had some pieces of carrots as well.

I ate the carrots carefully, but heartily.

The movie was Stardust and then some TV shorts; I then fell asleep despite trying to work.

We had a hard but quiet landing and taxied up to the gate.

New Year Trip 2007/2008: Houston-Intercontinental, Hosuton TX (IAH)

Houston-Intercontinental, Houston, TX (IAH)

I arrived at the airport at 4:29p, cleared security and then looked for my gate. The first two screens with the “As” were blank so as I had received my TripAlert and it said gate 43, I went in that direction. I found another set of Flight Information Displays at the crossroads and looked for “Anchorage.” I only saw the non-stop flight that was leaving at 5:25p from gate E8. I wondered where was flight 667? Then I thought, “I bet it is under ‘Seattle?’” Sure enough it was as the flight made a stop in Seattle, WA on its way to Anchorage, AK. But what about those passengers were going to Anchorage? I think they may be a bit confused.

I headed for the Presidents Club, showed my documents and entered. The two ladies at the desk, greeted me with a Happy New Year, to which I responded in the same fashion. I needed to make a quick lavatory stop so I did. Next, I went to the bar and had a complimentary glass of white wine after I had picked up some cheese and crackers. They also had some fruits (apples and bananas) and some corn chips.

I logged on and did an online order that had to be done before midnight and also read some work and personal e-mails. I was checking flight and it did not look very good for getting a seat as it was checked in full.

I went over to the gate as the agents made a final boarding call message for the flight. As I was heading out, I grabbed a banana and took it with me.

At the gate, there were a few people waiting around, but the majority had boarded. The red coated agent gave two boarding passes to this one girl and then he was called away to another gate. The agent made two final boarding calls before returning two tickets to a couple who had apparently volunteered to be on a later flight. I assume they were only going to Seattle as there were no more flights to Anchorage for the day.

Then she called one passenger’s name and told three others that only one seat is left. They said they would just wait for their originally scheduled flight then since they don’t want to split up. So my name was called and the other guy and I were told to follow the agent down.

At the airplane, we waited a bit; the guy was asking me what I did and if Seattle was home for me. I answered him that I was a travel writer and that I lived n Houston. He said, kind of interesting huh, since I may not get on the flight, I chuckled. The agent then came back and said to take the only two open seats on the plane; one aisle for the other guy and the middle for me.