Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Salt Lake City Apr.: Houston Intercontinental, Houston TX (IAH) to Salt Lake City International, Salt Lake City UT (SLC)

CO2071 22APR08 Houston Intercontinental, Houston TX (IAH) to Salt Lake City International, Salt Lake City UT (SLC) 11:50a 2:09p XRJ N??102

Flight Time: 3:00
Seat Map

I greeted the flight attendant as I boarded and she said hello back. I made my way down the narrow aisle of this 1-2 configured leather seat airplane which is just about 6’ 2” in height. At 6’ 1” I had to actually lower my head as I walk through.

I found my seat and settled in as the boarding process continued. I was taking some notes and folded down my chair table to do so. Noticing it was messy, I went to the lav to find a napkin to clean it. As I did so, the Captain came on the PA, welcomed us onboard and said that our time from takeoff to touchdown today would be 3:00. That is a long time to be in an ExpressJet I thought.

Once back at my seat having completed my cleaning job, I noticed a lady and her two children getting settled. The lone flight attendant came over and said that they would have to move to row 7 as the row they were in did not have an extra oxygen mask. They complied and she helped them to do so.

A few minutes later another family of three entered the plane and sat in that open row. Here we go again, I thought. Well, not quite as the parent moved to a seat further back. Another family of three boarded; wow, lots of kids on this flight today.

My phone rang with the identity of an unknown number from the New York area. It was a friend of mine whom I had not heard from in ages. It was great to catch up with him in that short space of time.

It was way past our 11:50a departure time now and a few passengers boarded. Apparently they had been booked on the later flight and had stood by for this one and made it. One of them sat next to me at the aisle seat.

The flight attendant made an announcement to fasten seat belts and prepare for departure. She then came through and checked seat belts, then closing the door at 12:02p. She then played the safety demo instructions over the PA and did the demonstration as instructed by the female voice.

We pushed back at 12:05 and started our taxi at 12:08p with only one engine running. The other one started as the taxi continued. As we went past Terminal A, only an American Airlines (AA) MD-80 and a United Express CRJ-700 were at the gates.

As we inched nearer to runways 33R and L, I saw a Northwest CRJ-900 land and heading to the other side of Terminal A. Almost at that moment, the Captain told the flight attendant to take her seat for departure; she was already sitting.

Using runway 33R-15L, we took to the skies at 12:14p.

It was a hazy morning as we gained altitude and made a wide right turn and headed out. We had a little rough ride as we cleared the thick clouds over the airport and surrounding area.

I heard the 10,000’ ding and then the flight attendant gave her welcome aboard speech, advising about SkyMall, electronic equipment, joining the frequent flyer program. She also said that beer, wine or mixed drinks were 5.00 USD. There is no entertainment in this aircraft, so no mention was made of that.

Shortly after, a choice of a turkey or a ham sandwich was offered. They both came with a bag of potato chips mayo and a Milky Way bar. I chose the turkey sandwich which came with lettuce. I waited to eat my meal until the beverages followed a few minutes later.

It was 12:44p when the Captain announced that we were at our cruising altitude of 36,000’ with 2:30 minutes to go. He said the ride was smooth so he turned off the seat belt signs.

Offers for drinks came at 12:45p; I opted for Ginger Ale and water.

Thrash collection came at around 1:07p. I was quite tired so I went to sleep.

I awoke as we were descending into the Slat Lake City area. It was a beautiful day and it was great to see the mountains.

The Captain came on and said that the descent was going to be a little rough. It was not too bad though. We landed without issues and taxied in.

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