Sunday, February 17, 2008

Bristol, England: Arriving in Newark,NJ (EWR)

17FEB08 Newark-Liberty International, Newark NJ (EWR)

The aircraft taxied across the active parallel runway. I could see a few FedEx planes as well as an American Airlines (AA) Boeing 757-200 with winglets at the hard stand. As the taxi to Terminal B continued, I realized that there were several other carriers who had already arrived before us from across the Atlantic. There were two Continental jets, Northwest’s Airbus A330 9not sure where that one came from), El Al’s (LY) Boeing 777-200ER, which was the same one I took a few weeks back. Jet Airway’s (9W) Boeing 777-300ER, hopefully I can get on that one to Brussels tomorrow), Air Jamaica’s (JM) A320, two Privatair jets; a Boeing 737-700 and an Airbus A319 being operated for Lufthansa, and a British Airways (BA) Boeing 777 (G-VIIS).

I gathered my stuff and deplaned quickening my steps as I did so. As I walked to the Immigration area, Silverjet’s Boeing 767-300 pulled up and was waiting to be towed into its gate. Apparently, they had moved the visitors over to the U.S. Citizens line so now I was standing behind customers who had really long transactions. I think the airport agent who was supposed to direct traffic was chatting with a colleague and did not pay attention. I searched for the line that had the least people with immigration forms that indicated they would take a long time. By 1:08p, it was my turn after an 8 minute wait; I cleared with no issues and made my way downstairs for customs.

I showed my form and had no issues. As I cleared Customs at 1:13p, I made my way to the right and walked the short distance to Terminal C. This was so much quicker than taking the AirTrain.

I made it through security rather quickly and made the long trek down to gate 137. I made it to the gate at 1:20p, which was good I thought having gone through so many hoops. I checked with the agent at the counter and she advised that she had not yet cleared the list. At 1:35p, everyone had boarded and I was not one of them; the next flight CO711 was at gate 93 at 2:25p. At 1:45p, I headed that way as it was on the other side of the terminal.

I waited around with everyone else thinking I won’t make it as it is a 737-300 so there are only 124 seats. The good thing was that the next flight is a Boeing 767-200 which has a lot more seats at 174. I heard my name called and I got a window seat; how about that I thought. I boarded immediately as it was about 2:15p now.

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