Friday, February 29, 2008

Sydney, Australia: Arriving in Sydney International, Sydney Australia (SYD)

29FEB08 Sydney International Airport Sydney, Australia (SYD)

We touched down with a double bounce as promised at 9:35a. It was a nice taxi to the gate and it was good to see other airplanes all over the place. It is the home of Qantas so of course there were plenty of red and white with the kangaroo on the tail to go around.

The flight said that we were heading to Terminal 3 and also gave connecting information for the International terminal at Terminal 1 and other connecting flights at Terminal 2.

We got up to the gate and I deplaned without incident. I found an area to sit and got a faint free WiFi connection and a plug for the computers. I was able to get some work done as well as continued my search for the Indian consulate information. It was my intention to see if I can get an Indian visa while I am here. I already have one, but it is in my old expired passport; I was trying to see if I can get it transferred to my existing one.

I also watched a few planes depart.

Once I was done, I exited the concourse, and headed for the Airport Link into the city center.

Sydney, Australia: Cairns (CNS) to Sydney (SYD)

QF921 29FEB08 Cairns International Cairns Australia (CNS) to Sydney International, Sydney Australia (SYD) 5:45a 9:45a 734 VH-TFJ

Flying Time: 2:20

I gave the agent my boarding pass and she slid it through the gate reader with a good day and a smile. She returned it to me and I continued, passing a bin with headsets so I picked one up. I continued walking down a long angled jetway to the waiting Boeing 737-400 airplane; been a while since I flew one of these.

As I boarded, I noticed that the Captain is a female. As I entered the plane, I was greeted by the flight attendant who inspected my boarding card and advised me that my seat was on the left. I made my way down this single aisle airplane with its five rows of Business Class cloth seats (the first three with a 2-2 config. and the other two at 3-3, but the middle seats' handled folds in) and then Economy class in a 3-3 configuration. There was no divider between the cabins.

There were two monitors on the walls before each side of the cabin as well as overhead.

The boarding process continued for this nearly full flight. Just before the doors closed, I was able to switch to the aisle across from me as there was no one else boarding. The lady who was there had moved to the window seat.

We pushed back at 5:48a and headed for the runway as the safety demo was done manually. Takeoff was swift at 5:51a as there was no one else using the runway at that time; two flights to Brisbane had just left.
It incredible that as soon as we broke the cloud, it was light out as the sun had already risen quite a bit; odd...

"The Invasion" with Nicole Kiddman started on the overhead. The flight attendant came through with headsets, just in case people did not pick them up on the way in.

I had to do a bathroom break and while there, the female captain came on the PA and welcomed u on board and said that we were at our cruising altitude of 32,000’. She introduced her first officer and advised that he was flying us to Sydney today. She also added that we should arrive about 10 minutes early and that the local temp will get to a high of 19/20C and there are rain showers in the area. She also advised that Sydney was an hour later and it was now 7:13a there and gave our flying time of 2:20 today.

Back at my seat, the flight attendants then passed through the cabin with breakfast on their way towards the front of the plane; the movie played on.

At 6:23a, breakfast arrived at my row; I moved my computer away to make room for it and the flight attendant said, “I see you made room for some brekkie” in a lovely Australian accent, yes, I added smiling. It was a bottle of fruit frusion (pineapple, orange and mango juice) with a bag of sliced green apples, a tub of Special K cereal, 100% pure full cream milk and a tea cup a little thing of milk in it and finally a warm raisin roll. There was also a packet with plastic utensils plus a stirrer and a packet of sugar.

Coffee and tea followed, then once they were cleaning up, they offered a bottle of water and more coffee and tea also followed.

I fell asleep after the movie finished and when I awoke, we were served water and Apricot and pecan muesli biscuit at at about 8:54a.

At 8:57a, the First Officer came on the PA and announced that we would start our descent in a bit and that we would be in a holding pattern before still landing ten minutes after schedule. The descent started right after he finished.

We touched down with a double bounce at 9:25a as promised.

Sydney, Australia: A rat in the terminal at Cairns (CNS)

As I was blogging, I saw a rat ran under my chair and across the floor! Others saw it as well, good grief!

An agent saw it and screamed, it was interesting to see her reaction and that of the others around...

Sydney, Australia: The domestic terminal in Cairns, Australia (CNS)

29FEB08 Domestic Terminal, Cairns Australia (CNS)

I got listed and made it over to the domestic terminal and decided to take the 5:45a, after all it gets me in earlier.

There is a sign that says "covered walkway" so I followed it, but there is one point where the walkway is just not covered :-).

Once at the Domestic Terminal, I checked in, got a seat and made my way to the security check-in area. This terminal has a lot of places for people to sleep, but the cloth seats are a bit dodgy though. I did see one guy spread a sheet which is quite funny to see.

I easily cleared security and noticed that bottled water is allowed on domestic flights...Once behind security, I found a WiFi signal and waited for my flight as I blog.

Sydney, Australia: In Cairns

29FEB 08 Cairns International, Cairns Australia (CNS)

I arrived and pulled up to the gate at which point I got my crap together and was about to disembark, when we all had to sit back down as we were not at the gate properly. After a few minutes, we got that sorted out and deplaned.

I cleared Immigration and Customs without incident and then made my way to the arrivals area. I needed to get another tickets so I made my way to the ticket counter, but they were closing so I was out of luck.

I then found Internet access and a plug behind the coke machine and started working and blogging.

I have a few updates to do and will soon; later today. There is a 5:45a (734) and a 6:45a (763). Torn, as I want to be in the International terminal which is where the 6:45a arrives, but would love to get there earlier, but the 5:45a arrives in the domestic terminal :-(...

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Sydney, Australia: Agana International Airport, Agana Guam (GUM)

28FEB08 Agana International Airport, Agana Guam (GUM)

My colleagues dropped me off and departed for dinner. I approached the counter and tried to check-in, but it failed.

An agent assisted me eventually printing a boarding pass. On checking on my Australian visa, he had a problem which eventually led to them having to call the Australian government assistance center in Australia.

After what seemed like eternity, it was all cleared up and it was time to go. Apparently, an error was made when the initial check was made and that error was stored to the profile so that caused the issue.

I went upstairs and cleared security and then made my way to the Presidents Club. It was a little chaotic as I entered as there were about four people around the desk. Through all that the agent asked me for my credentials. I showed her and entered.

I had a snack and then checked e-mail before leaving.

At the gate, it was time to board so I did.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Guam: Tokyo-Narita to Agana, Guam (GUM)

CO7 27FEB08 Tokyo-Narita International, Tokyo, Japan (NRT) to Guam (GUM) 5:15p 9:50p 738 with winglets N??232 operated by Continental Micronesia

Flying Time: 3:07

I boarded the aircraft and took my seat in the 2-2 leather seats First Class cabin. I found a place for my bag and settled in. The drop down screens was playing a video of an island and it sights, I am assuming that it is Guam.

An offer of orange juice, water or Champagne was offered before the doors were closed; I opted for some water.

I heard them say they were waiting for one more passengers who arrived documents in hand and winded at 5:02p.

Continental Micronesia Resort Shuttle welcome aboard said the lead attendant after closing the main cabin door. It was then repeated in Japanese. It was 5:04p as our pushback commenced.

It was a slow taxi out, but it was good to see a lot of wide body airplanes everywhere. Lots of ANA Boeing 777s, United Airlines Boeing 777, a Korean Airlines Boeing 777 and Boeing 747-400s as well as Northwest Airlines Airbus A330 and one Boeing 747-400, plus a Northwest Cargo Boeing 747 as well as air Hongkong’s A300-600 which is operating for DHL. There was also an ANA Boeing 777 in Star Alliance colors taking off.

We taxied out to the runway and took off without waiting. It was nice to see the airport below and also the other runway on the other side of the airport.

An ANA airplane had just landed on it and was taxiing to the terminal.
It was also interesting to see all the golf courses in the area, very similar to the ones on arrival. Most of them were mostly brown though as it is wintertime.

After takeoff, the lead flight attendant came on the PA and introduced himself as well as his other three crew members including one Japanese speaker. He continued saying that there will be dinner today and a movie entitled “Nanny Diaries.” Feel free to use your own headsets, but if you do not have one, then a complimentary one will be given to you. There is a 5 USD or 600 YEN charge in Economy for alcohol. Duty free will be available throughout the flight as well. In addition, all customers must clear immigration formalities in Guam regardless of citizenship and must fill out a Customs and/or immigration forms. He then repeated the flight time of 3:07. Settle back in your seat, relax and enjoy the flight he concluded. This greeting was then done by the lone Japanese speaking flight attendant.

After the announcements, we were given complimentary headsets as well as Customs and Immigration forms as appropriate. Hot towels followed and after cleaning up, table cloths were laid.

At 37,000’ at 5:47p the Captain came on the PA adding his welcome. He noted that we had a completely full plane tonight, so if the passengers could allow the flight attendants to give their excellent Continental Micronesia service. We will arrive 10 minutes early he said at 10:35p. There are scattered clouds with a temperature of 27C good visibility; relax enjoy the excellent service, good evening and welcome aboard; this was then translated into Japanese.

Some mixed nuts arrived as well as a drink choice. I opted for some white wine. I was given a glass of water and an empty wine glass; I had a choice of chardonnay or sauvignon blanc (Vente vineyards 2004 chardonnay) and I opted for the chardonnay which was poured on the next trip pass. The screens came down and the movie started in a bit once the duty free ads were complete.

Chicken picatta with rice, white fish with rice or pasta were the meal choices for tonight and creamy yogurt or plum vinaigrette were the dressings; I opted for the white fish with rice.

The salad arrived with a napkin and utensils which included a pair of chopsticks, plus butter pepper and salt, then warm bread (white, walnut, sesame seeds).
The main course arrived next; it is white fish, with vegetables, tiny shrimp, white rice, with a sauce and a half of lemon in a strainer type bag. It looked really good as you can see below.

More bread came and I tried the Sesame seed this time around. We had a little turbulence so the seatbelt signs came on.

I took some time to look at the Customs form. It is quite involved and different from the normal U.S. customs form. When I flew from Australia to Guam, I did get the normal blue U.S. customs form. This form also has a voluntary survey on the back.

Dessert of pecan pie followed with some tea with lemon.

At 6:23p (4:23a) in Houston, the lights were turned off in the cabin as the movie played on… I fell asleep and awoke later to the sound of getting ready for landing comments.

We landed safely and taxied up to the gate.

Guam: Arriving in Guam

27FEB08 Guam International, Guam (GUM)

We pulled up to the gate and deplaned; the airport was pretty quiet as it was quite late.

We cleared Immigration and Customs and headed outside. There were a few meeters and greeters as we headed out.

We grabbed a cab and headed out. We got stopped as the cab driver was speeding sadly and then we got off for some reason...

Guam: Tokyo-Narita International, Tokyo Japan (NRT)

27FEB 08 Tokyo-Narita International, Tokyo Japan (NRT)

We touched down with ease and made our way to the gate. There were lots of planes on the ground from Japan Airlines, ANA, Northwest Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Continental and Korean Airlines to name the big ones.

We taxied up to the gate and had to wait for a Northwest Airbus A330 to get pushed back and on its way.

As I deplaned, I got a good shot of our plane at the gate as it was being prepared for its flight to Newark I think; what a workhorse...

I had to stop just outside the plane door to get a new boarding pass for my next flight. It was a little chaotic as they were stopping passengers as they got off the plane, but the transfer exit was right there so I guess they don't want to lose anyone.

I cleared security and lost my bottle and a half of water; well at least they are consistent, but the drive to figure out what to do about this constant waste keeps me going to find a solution.

After security, I headed for the Northwest World Club which is upstairs close to gates 12-16. I was familiar as I’d been here around Christmastime. I was also looking for a smoking area for my colleague. I asked in the Club and the agent said there was one close to the coffee shop next to gate 11. I went down there to see if he had already found and he had. I told him where I was and left.

Back at the Club, I showed my Presidents Club card and was granted access as my boarding pass was not sufficient since I was told I needed an invitation as well. I told them that my guest would arrive later and she took his name.

I settled in and commenced to update this blog as well as check e-mail from work, etc. Not too many e-mails, but some of them needed to be looked after so I did.

Before I knew it, I heard a boarding announcement for the flight, so I got my stuff together and went downstairs to the gate.

As I left, I took a banana on my way out. I took the short walk to gate 12 and boarded. I got stopped or a random security check and the lady went through my bag. She thanked me for my cooperation when she was done and sent me on my way down the jetway.

Guam: Houston, Tx (IAH) to Tokyo-Narita, Japan (NRT)

CO7 26FEB08 Houston Intercontinental, Houston TX (IAH) to Tokyo-Narita, Tokyo Japan (NRT) 10:45a 3:45p +1 Day 777 N69020

Flying Time: 13:11

I boarded through the second door of the airplane and was greeted by a flight attendant who pointed me to my window seat. This airplane has fifty seats in BusinessFirst and two hundred thirty five in Economy class. It is the newest Boeing 777 that Continental has. It comes complete with Audio/Video on Demand and in-seat power in every seat.

I got settled into my seat and was asked what pre-departure drink I’d like; I opted for water. Next I was given a menu and an amenity kit. There was already a pair of blue slippers in the back of the seat in front of me.

I had a choice of steak, chicken, tilapia and lobster or a Japanese meal today. I opted for the tilapia and lobster with thousand islands dressing on my salad.

I noticed that the overhead monitors were not working in our zone so I could not see the Airshow; bummer. We pushed back at 11:38p and headed for the runway while the crew played the safety demo first in English and then in Japanese; the monitors did work for the demo though. Today the wind shifted which is quite rare and we were using runway 33R and 33L. As we taxied down, I saw a Continental Boeing 737-300 taking off. The line for runway 33L was quite long with 10 aircraft waiting. On the runway was a US Airways CRJ700.

In front of us was a United Express ERJ-175 just behind a Northwest Airlink ERJ-175 which was already on runway 33R. It took off and it appeared to be our turn, but thee UA Express ERJ-175 was in our way. It eventually moved and then we took the runway; I guess there were delays into Chicago today. We straightened up for runway 33R and in a few minutes were airborne. It was interesting to see that there were not many tire marks on this runway as it is hardly used for landings. I also noticed a Continental Boeing 767-200 waiting to take off. I think that is CO40 to Newark and then Rome.

We had a sweet takeoff as I could see the airport in all its glory below; especially the Colgan Air operations below. There were also a few airplanes below in various stages of operations.

We continued our climb and the lead flight attendant came on the PA and welcomed us onboard and told us about the service today. It was also done in Japanese immediately after.

We had a hot towel service followed by the laying of table cloths. We were then served our drinks of choice as well as a small bowl of cashew nuts and some Japanese snacks which had peanuts among other things that I could not immediately recognize. There was a choice of California or French white and I tried the California which was not too bad.

At 11:58a crossing into the state of Oklahoma, the Captain came on the PA and apologized for not chatting earlier, but he was busy trying to get out ontime. He said that we were at 32,000’ and will be staying at this altitude for 3-4 hours before we start climbing; we had to burn off some fuel; for a 13:11 flying time flight, we need quite a bit I guess J . The seat belts sign will last for a bit longer and about three hours from landing he is expecting some turbulence, so we should expect the seat belt sign to be on. He continued, there is a stationary front at the field that is producing rain at the moment and the temperature is 13C/55F. The rain should stop by the time we arrive, but then we will have wind gusts of up to 20 mph. The flight attendant’s primary responsibility is for our safety, so allow them to serve you; if there is anything we can do for you, please do not hesitate to ask. At the moment, we will touch down about 30 minutes early at 3:15p, but this may change, he concluded.

Next our place settings arrived. I decided to try the 2005 chardonnay La Fournet from France, but I do prefer the California. Warm bread followed.

Chilled lobster half accompanied by Du Barry sauce with an assortment of sushi with wasabi and soy sauce followed and later some more wine.

For the first time during the flight, the seat belt sign came off at 12:27p.

The mesclun salad mix and romaine lettuce with roasted yellow tomato, cherry tomato, red onion and fresh mozzarella cheese with creamy Thousand Island dressing followed at 12:28p. My other dressing type was herb vinaigrette.

With 355 movies, 179 short programs, 243 music choices and 26 games I did not know what to watch L. I tried looking at the trailer for “Dragon Squad,” but not sure it helped as the soundtrack was in a Chinese language and Cantonese L. I chose Cantonese and realized it had English subtitles. O.K. Pet Peeve: I hate movies with subtitles as I have to pay attention 100% of the time L. I have to watch it, listen to it and read it, aargh… when the English actors spoke it was in English and with Chinese and English subtitles.

At 12’:41p the seat belt signs came on as we had a little buffeting going on.

The main course of tilapia and lobster with shellfish sauce, presented over steamed jasmine rice, with grilled cherry tomato and green asparagus spears followed at 12:57p. Other choices were a grilled Sterling Silver tenderloin steak with chimichurri sauce, grilled carrots, mushrooms, red bell pepper, broccoli florets and spicy rice with corn, jalapeno peppers, sour cream and cheese; herbed breast of chicken with creamy mushroom sauce, grilled yellow squash, zucchini, red bell pepper and sweet plantains or a Japanese choice of grilled lobster with egg yolk vinegar, skewered minced chicken, smoked salmon rolled in cucumber, braised burdock with sake wine and soy sauce and okra with soybean puree plus clear soup, crab meat and cucumber salad with vinegar dressing, simmered taro potato with shrimp sauce, beef sukiyaki featuring beef, Chinese cabbage, onion, shiitake mushrooms, scallions, konnyaku noodles and sauce with steamed rice and Japanese pickles.

Cheese, crackers, fruits (cantaloupe, grapes, strawberry, pineapple) and after dinner drinks came at 1:14p as I continued to watch “Dragon Squad.”

Seat belt sign came off at 1:22p

Ice cream, cobbler and after dinner drinks came later, but I deferred until later as I was just too full; hey, I have 10:53 to go.

A bottle of water came later after the tray table was cleared.

At 1:58p, a female captain was seen in the galley; funny how I never heard her on the PA. What I’ve found out is that whenever I’ve been on a flight and there is a female Captain, she never or rarely speaks; I wonder why?

I fell asleep without finishing the movie, shortly after this and was awoken with 7:53 to go (about 4:29p) and table cloth laid; we were just below Alaska, just below Juneau. It was strawberry cheesecake, tea sandwiches (turkey, cheese and ham) fruits (cantaloupe, grapes, strawberry, pineapple) and a rice ball.

There were in-flight snacks of cookies, potato chips and chocolate and additional bottles of water. Of course you could have additional drinks whenever necessary.

After this snack, I finally visited the lav. On my return, I started blogging some more as well as listen to the book “4 Hour Work Week” by Tim Ferriss. My goal is to finish this book by the end of the trip.

This flight crosses the International Date Line and we accomplished that with 3:54 to go. It was 8:20p on Tuesday, February 26, 2008 back in Houston, TX and 11:20a on Wednesday, February 27, 2008 in Tokyo, Japan. We had just skipped a day, only seconds ago, it was yesterday; tomorrow became today almost immediately.

With a little under three hours to go, it felt like we flew through something; not sure what it was, it woke me up though. The seatbelt signs then came on and I went back to sleep. We were on the lower part of our arch just south of the Russian coast just south east of the Sea of Okhotsk.

About ten minutes later, we had some more turbulence and the airplane felt like it was handling funny. The engine sounds remained constant though. The flight attendant came on the PA and said that the Captain has asked the flight attendants to take their seats and that the passengers should ensure their seat belts are fastened securely. It always amazes me how vigorously air turbulence can shake an airplane. I think this was the turbulence the Captain talked about expecting after we took off.

It is always fun to look at the maps and see that part of the world is daylight and the rest is in sunlight.

I then started to watch “The Usual Suspects.“

With 1:52 to go at 10:29p local, we were given orange juice or your favorite breakfast drink, then hot towels and then our table cloths were laid. It was time for breakfast. It was 1:29p in Tokyo. I had apple juice. I was a little confused why it was breakfast since it was not morning in either place.

A tray with chocolate truffles, butter, salt and pepper, a napkin packaged with utensils and a plate of fruits (cantaloupe, orange, pineapple, grapefruit and grapes) arrived next.

An offer of coffee or tea came next with strawberry preserves and an offer of croissant, a cinnamon roll or bread.

On came the seat belt signs again and a bit of turbulence.

Then I had a choice of cereal and banana or eggs scrambled with herbs with potato gratin, grilled smoked pork loin, turkey sausage patty and sautéed button mushrooms or a Japanese meal of spinach with shitake mushrooms and fried beancurd, simmered Japanese daikon radish with soybean sauce, grilled red snapper with simmered beans, omelette with Chinese chives and tomato and Japanese pimento tempura plus Japanese pickles, miso soup and steamed rice. A chocolate was included with either meal. I had the scrambled eggs with herbs.

After breakfast was cleared, landing documents were distributed to those who were not in transit. An automated announcement was made in Japanese; I think it was about documentation, then the same announcement was made in English by a flight attendant. We had just about an hour to go now.

Hot towels followed to complete the service.

We started our descent at 11:52p Houston time which is about 27 minutes to go. With 19 minutes to go at 12:05p, we were in final preparation for landing. The flight attendant came by to check seats belts as we were going to hit a little turbulence.

We landed without any turbulence or incedent at 3:35p local time.

Guam: Leaving Houston, TX (IAH)

26FEB08 Houston Intercontinental, Houston TX (IAH)

It was time to get to gate E7, so we did. I made a few calls as I made my way there. Once there, It was easy boarding through the Elite Access/BusinessFirst line.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Guam: In Houston Intercontinental, Houston TX (IAH)

26FEB08 Houston Intercontinental, Houston, TX (IAH)

Off to Guam via Tokyo, Japan (NRT). Hanging out at the airport waiting for the flight in the Presidents Club. Here is a picture of my plane.

The TSA lady was quite funny, telling me that they cannot use the puffer machine as they need to be certified and not enough of them are; weird.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Waco, TX: Arriving in Houston Intercontinental, TX (IAH)

23FEB08 Houston Intercontinental, Houston TX (IAH)
We touched down at 1:31p and taxied to the gate. On our way there, I saw Delta Connection Bombardier CR9 taxiing out.

At the gate, I deplaned and boarded the waiting bus. The driver first gave information as to the stops. First Terminal A (which is where we were), then Terminal B and finally Terminal C/D/E. It was funny as we drove like two step for the Terminal A stop at gate A2. One passenger deplaned.

I got off at Terminal B, the next stop. Upstairs, I looked at the Flight Information Display as I was thinking of going to Texarkana, TX (TXK). The flight was at 5:40p though. I looked at the board and thought of visiting another city, but none seemed interesting enough and would have a flight back today.

I headed up to the Presidents Club, showed my credentials and settled in. I looked up the flights and realized that the TXK flight returns in the morning. Same thing for Del Rio, TX (DRT). I just decided to get the blog updated and do some work. Here is a cute picture of a Continental Boeing 757-200 and a Boeing 737-800 taxiing by in tandem.

The next trip for me will be to Guam (GUM) and Sydney, Australia (SYD) next week. Not sure of the routings just yet.

Waco, TX: Waco Regional Airport, Waco, TX (ACT) to Houston Intercontinental, Houston TX (IAH)

CO9554 23FEB08 Waco Regional Airport, Waco, TX (ACT) to Houston Intercontinental, Houston TX (IAH) 1:00p 2:00p SF3 N352CJ operated by Colgan Air as Continental Connection

Flight Time: 0:46

As I boarded, I said hello to the flight attendant; she smiled and said that she thought that I was kidding when I said I'd be right back. I made my way back to the last row although I was in row 7, the Exit row.

That back row has four seats while the other 11 rows is in a 1-2 configuration with a lavatory at the right front of the airplane.

At 12:44p, the Captain came on the PA and gave his welcome. He says the current temperature is 58F in Houston with light variable winds and clear skies. It is a good day to fly he concluded.

In the meantime, the flight attendant had closed the door and now started her welcome aboard and did her safety demo in English. We pulled forward at 12:48p and headed for runway 19. As we were the only traffic, we were airborne in no time. It was really beautiful outside.

The ding came at 1:02p and two minutes later the Captain came on the PA and said we were at 9,000' and that is our cruising altitude. The beverage service had started and this time, I was served a pack of pretzel and one of peanuts; I topped it off with a ginger ale. I asked the flight attendant if she had hot drinks and she said yes. I also asked about alcoholic beverages. She said that none was loaded in Houston, which is the reason why she did not make any announcement about there being a charge for it.

At 1:19p, the Captain came on the PA and said that we were starting our descent and that the temperature in Houston was now 62F, the winds were 6mph and visibility is 10 miles. The flight attendant then prepared the cabin for landing.

Waco, TX: Arriving in Waco Regional Airport, Waco, TX (ACT)

23FEB08 Waco Regional Airport, Waco, TX (ACT)

We landed and taxied up to the main terminal. This small terminal has two gates and no jetway facilities. There is also some construction going on at the front airside of the airport.

As we pulled up, I could see a Trans States Airlines Embraer ERJ-145 at the other hard stand. The aircraft was in United colors except for the tail, so I am not sure what is happening there. Do you? Especially since it is only American Eagle and Continental Connection that serves the airport.

We all deplaned and headed for the terminal, walking around the fenced area. I told the flight attendant that I'd be right back, but I don't think she heard me or figured out what I was saying.

As soon as I got into the terminal, the agent was announcing that it is the final security call and the security area will be closed. So I had no chance to look around or go outside :-(.

I put my stuff on the security tables and cleared security again. I barely had time to see the Continental Connection and American Eagle desks.

Boarding started at 12:31p, man they want to leave early, I guess if all the passengers are ready to go, then sure. All seven of us showed our boarding passes and walked outside to the waiting airplane.

I was the last to board again.

Waco, TX: Houston, TX (IAH) to Waco, TX (ACT)

CO9502 23FEB08 Houston Intercontinental, Houston TX (IAH) to Waco Regional Airport, Waco, TX (ACT) 11:45a 12:45p SF3 N352CJ operated by Colgan Air as Continental Connection

Flying Time: 0:52

As I boarded, I was greeted by the flight attendant. She was just wrapping up her announcement. She told me to sit anywhere in the back although I had row 4. It was a light load (10) and I assumed that it was due to the weight restrictions of this 1-2 leather seat configured Saab 340. It even have overhead bins.

I made my way to the back and a minute later, the door was closed at 11:34a and the flight attendant gave her manual safety demo in English. At 11:39a, we pulled forward and headed for runway 33R/15L. At 11:42a, we were airborne.

I love being smaller planes as you get such views of the earth below; take a look at what I mean:

It took forever for the 10,000’ ding which came at 11:53a. By this time, the flight attendant was serving drinks and peanuts. I asked for apple juice and got the whole can. The lady across from me one row up was having some carrots, crackers and cheese, I assume from the airport Lounge. I checked and I did have some crackers as well since the peanuts were too hard to eat.

After serving everyone, the flight attendant advised that it was O.K. to use your electronic devices and gave the welcome on board saying her name and advising that if there is anything she can do to help, not to hesitate to ask.

We have 0:37 minutes to go says the Captain at 11:57a advising us to sit back, relax and enjoy the flight.

At 12:31p our descent into the Waco area started about 40 miles out from the field. The Captain said it was 58F down there and a little windy. He said we may have bumps on landing and will be landing in about 14 minutes and saying thanks and advising the flight attendant to prepare for arrival.

The flight attendant then advised that she would come clean up stuff; you can use your cell phones once we land and we should put away our electronic stuff.

As we approached the field, you could see it in the hazy distance as well as other structures.

At 12:23p, we touched down. It was a beautiful sight to see on landing on this clear day which was perfect for flying.