Friday, February 08, 2008

Montego Bay, Jamaica: Houston Intercontinental (IAH) to Los Angeles, CA (LAX)

CO295 08FEB08 Houston-Intercontinental, Houston, TX (IAH) to Los Angeles, CA (LAX) 6:05p 7:57p 73E N??414

Flight Time: 3:08

As I passed through the doorway, I was looking for any indication of the date of manufacture, but all I saw was a serial number as well as a “Boeing 737-924ER” on a plate at the top of the door well. I greeted the flight attendant in the galley who said hello back.

I turned right and walked through the 2-2 configured First Class leather seat clad cabin of twenty seats and then continued on to the main cabin with its 153 3-3 configured cloth seats. There is also a lavatory behind row 5 in the Economy Cabin. I thought the interior would smell new, but it did not, it certainly looked new though.

All the overheads were now full as I was the third of the last seven passengers to board the plane. I had to back up a few times and once passed a roller board bag to the gate agent as passengers tried to find a place for their bags. Three bags had to be checked. As I only had a back, I was able to store it at my feet; thanks Heavens.

Finally I was able to make my way to the back of the plane and take my middle seat. As I settled in, I realized that this seat was a bit comfy; a little like that of the Boeing 757-300 that Continental also flies. Like those, these also have those cute little wings to stop your head from flopping in the aisle or on the passenger next to you; pity passengers don’t use these more often.

I looked around and noticed that there was no squares in the overheads where video screens would be and there were no headset holes nor controls in the armrest. This tells me that entertainment system is not yet installed. I did reach down and feel the electric plugs to the left and right of my seat. I had also noticed them in First class between each seat, one for each seat. I’ll have to check if these were turned on. I am thinking no, since the entertainment system is not on and the controls are usually built into that system. I’ll check later when I have more time I thought.

The doors were closed at 6:07p and an announcement was made to turn off the electronic devices. Since the entertainment system is not installed as yet, the five flight attendants had to give the safety demo manually. This was done as we were pushing back from the gate at 6:10p.

I fell asleep as we taxied out and awoke at 6:33p when we commenced our takeoff roll on runway 15L.

After takeoff, the flight attendant said that there would be a light dinner for the flight; no mention was made about the entertainment system or lack there of.

At 6:50p, the Captain came on the PA and said we were cruising at 32,000’ and that we should touch down at 7:43p and get to the gate shortly after. He also added that the winds were from the West at 10mph under partly cloudy skies and the temperature was 62F.

The flight attendants were busy in the galley getting our meal ready and I saw them go by with a stack of what looks like a burger of some kind. I wonder if it is beef or chicken?

Cheeseburgers arrived at 7:32p accompanied with a salad and Peppercorn dressing and a Milky Way bar. Drinks came shortly after as we were rocking in turbulence. Of course being in the back of the plane I felt the effect even more. The meal was actually quite good and I ate it all, but ½ of the chocolate bar as it was a bit melted. The guy on my right offered me his burger, but I declined as one was already more than I should eat.

The crew came back and cleared all the thrash at about 8:05p. At about the same time, the Captain came on the PA and announced that were flying over El Paso, TX and Juarez, Mexico. It was a crystal clear night and you had an excellent view of the city and its lights below. Myself and the passenger next to me at the window was just saying that we think it was El Paso on our left. Thanks to the pilot for confirming that. He said we had about 1:45 to go. Our flight continued in silence.

Oh, I did try the power outlet and they are indeed not turned on; bummer, the pains of flying a totally new plane.

I fell asleep for a short time and then i heard the Captain say that we were 200 miles out and we will start our descent shortly, so if you have to go now is the time. We then started our descent shortly and landed very smoothly.

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