Monday, February 04, 2008

London Feb. 1: CO5 04FEB08 London to Houston

CO5 04FEB08 London-Gatwick, London England (LGW) to Houston-Intercontinental, Houston TX (IAH) 12:00 4:35p 777 N78005

Flying Time: 10:11

I boarded the aircraft after what seemed like forever after leaving the desk. I think gate 47 is the last gate on the planet…

As I was walking down, I did notice that it was aircraft “005,” which means no Audio/Video on Demand.

I got settled in and was offered an arrival drink as well as given an amenity kit and a menu shortly after. Newspapers were also offered and I chose the Wall Street Journal Europe and the Daily Mirror; I need to be balanced J. The same flight attendant also came back and took my jacket.

At 11:39a, the Captain welcomed us on board and said that he expected to leave early today as everyone was onboard and all the cargo doors are shut; this was good news. At 11:42a, the main cabin door was closed. Our departure time came and went and we were still at the gate.

At 12:02p, the Captain came on the PA and apologized saying that the London Operations were talking with the Houston Operations and we will leave soon. He did not sound too pleased. At 12:07p, we pushed back and the safety demo started in English soon after.

We taxied out and join our position on the tarmac for departure. We passed an XL Airways Boeing 737-800 with winglets plus a Nationwide Boeing 767-300 parked nxt to it. There was also a an easyJet A319 landing.

There was an easyJet Airbus A319 and a British Airways Boeing 777-200 ahead of us as well as a flybe. Embraer ERJ-190. Behind us was another British Airways Boeing 777-200 and a Delta Air Lines Boeing 767-300 which was actually at the gate next to us in the terminal.

It was our time soon and we took to the clear and sunny morning skies.

I had a fantastic view of the airport below as we made a hard right hand turn after takeoff. You could see the airport in all its glory below us.

The lead flight attendant gave us a welcome message and said that the movies would start in a bit. There was also a video on how to use the system playing as well.

At 1:50p the First Officer came on and welcomed us on board; we were at 32,000’ our intermittent cruising altitude. He reiterated 10:11 flying time and that the winds were 7-10 miles per and 72F; when we arrive the temp would be 78F and the winds at 15-20 mph when we arrive there may be light rain showers when we arrive we should touch down at 4:35p if all goes well.

I wanted to watch “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead” and noticed that “Dan in Real Life” was playing on that channel instead. I asked the flight attendant about it when she came by offering beverage and nuts (cashews). She came back and showed me the busted tape. Apparently, the player was not working properly and subsequently it had eaten the tape which she showed me. I was already watching “Bone Dry” in the mean time.

The entertainment choices for the day were:

  1. Dan in Real Life/The Office
  2. Before the Devil Knows You're Dead/Cash Cab
  3. Bone Dry/NASCAR Angels
  4. The Drama Channel
  5. Continental Presents HBO: Big Love, Da Ali G Show, Deadwood
  6. Scenes in the Park
  7. Love in the Afternoon/Premier Destinations
  8. Continental Presents Independent Films: Paradise, Texas
  9. Continental Presents House
  10. Elizabeth: The Golden Age/Tales from the Palaces
  11. Continental Family Channel 2: Secondhand Lions/The Jetsons, Foghorn Leghorn's Fractured Funnies
  12. Martian Child/Global Trends
  13. Sydney White/The Simpsons
  14. Continental Presents CSI
  15. Comedy Programming: The New Adventures of Old Christine, Malcolm in th Middle, Everybody Hates Chris, Everybody loves Raymond, Th King of Queens, Shaun the Sheep
  16. Th Entertainment Channel
  17. Airshow

Plus ten games (chess, poker, solitaire, invasion, elephant memory, bzzz, blackjack, cave crunch, caveman and hang man) fifteen music channels.

At 2:14a, the lead flight attendant came on and said that they were having trouble with the tape and "Dan in Real Life" will b on channel 2 and the original Channel 2 movie will not be shown.

Next were three appetizers; a demitasse of potato and truffle soup accompanied by a savory
vegetable and mushroom filled pastry and peanut marinated chicken breast skewer with coriander sauce. This was very tasty!

The vegetable salad with vinaigrette dressing followed and then the main course of halibut and shrimp over rice and spinach. It was not as good as I expected and I am guessing that the reason for this may be that there was just too much butter in the sauce and there was just too much sauce as well. This is a rarity as this meal choice is usually quite good.

After that was cleared away, I had crackers and cheddar plus some fruits (pineapple, cantaloupe and grapes) with choices of after dinner drinks which I declined.

It was now time for dessert, so I had vanilla ice cream with thinly sliced nuts, strawberry and two cherries. I was so full, so it was time to get to sleep, although I was falling asleep during the service anyways. A bottled of water was placed in my seat and it was now time to lower the shades and recline the seat (it reclines to 170 degrees).

I awoke when we were passing across the southern tip of Greenland; it was a really beautiful day so you could see the terrain. There were lots of mountains, but all covered with snow. One could also see a few glaciers, plus a few lakes. I even saw a runway with a little settlement next to it. It was a quiet and peaceful sight.

I fell asleep and awoke when we were just crossing into the U.S. over Cleveland, OH. I really needed to use the lavatory at this point. I then came back and did some work on the computer and some reading as well. I did not feel like looking at any more entertainment options. I saw a passenger watching a movie on what looked like a Zune I think.

With 1:29 to go, we were served an arrival snack of a fruit plate, a chocolate, smoked salmon and a sandwich pate and a glass of water. It was all very good and really hit the spot after this long flight.

With twenty five minutes to touchdown, the Captain came on the A and said our descent would be bumpy and we could expect touchdown at 4:35p; temperature is 74F, winds are at 25miles from south and we were 175 miles from the field. I got the computers powered down and prepared for landing. One of the flight attendants also brought back my jacket.

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