Saturday, January 12, 2008

Ponce, PR (PSE): Newark-Liberty, Newark NJ (EWR)

I'm about to board the flight; so next report from Ponce if there is Internet access there.

Burlington, VT: In Newark-Liberty, Newark NJ (EWR) again

I arrived in Newark about an hour or so ago and trying to make plans for the future legs of this trip. I am now in the Presidents Club putting the blog entry together for the previous leg and just relaxing and awaiting the flight to Ponce, PR (PSE) tonight. It is a long wait...

Burlington, VT: CO2332 Burlington to Newark

CO2332 12JAN08 Burlington International, Burlington VT (BTV) to Newark-Liberty International, Newark NJ (EWR) ERJ N13929 2:30p 3:59p

Flying Time: 0:52

We departed the gate while the safety demonstrated was being done. As we taxied out, I could see the 2:40p jetBlue Airbus A320 (Out of Blue) departure to JFK at gate 15. There was also a US Airways Express Dash 8 next to it as well, N330EN.

We headed for runway 15-33 when I heard the engines shut down; not a good sign at all. The Captain came on the PA and said that Air Traffic Control had issued a wheels up time of 2:56p which was twenty minutes away from now. He said that we could not power up any devices as we are on an active taxiway. So we all just had to sit and do nothing for twenty minutes; I chose to dose for a bit. Actually, I did not choose, it just happened.

At 2:48 the left engine started then at 2:51 the right one did, we headed for the runway and wa airborne in about four minutes.

Once airborne, the flight attendant gave her address about OnePas, SkyMall and the service today, which is that we would be served peanuts and beverages of choice. She then came through and served us all.

We started our descent at 3:23p; the Captain came on and said his weather report: 12,000’ clouds 10 miles visibility, temp is 48F and that we will be landing on runway 4R, arriving at gate 103A and that we will arrive on the ground in 20 minutes; after he said that we went through a very short chop then it was fine; clear air turbulence is really something else!

We landed without any further incident after making a few turns due to Newark traffic. Once on the ground, our gate was changed to 107A, so that is where we headed.

Burlington, VT: Burlington International, Burlington VT (BTV)

Burlington International, Burlington VT (BTV)

I did find WiFi that was compliments of the airport. You just have to give them an e-mail address and agree to their terms. You are initially taken to this page that ask you to click and get signed in. That page shows you the current departures and you can also check for the arrivals. Plus the weather forecast. Once you are signed in, you are taken to the airport's home page at It would appear though that some of their information requires updates as they don't have the correct Saturday schedules for select airline.

I decided to go outside security and have a look around. I stopped by the counter and got checked in and asked about the loads. All seemed well and it seems that I did not have to get bailed out by Delta’s 3:55p flight to New York-JFK on the Bombardier CRJ. Not a bad option, except then I’d have to make my way over to Newark which although it would kill time, it would cost me to do so, but not too much, about $23 I think.

I walked around outside a bit more inhaling the 42F air (although it felt colder). I kept thinking of that guy on the ramp that was wearing short sleeves, I guess when you are accustomed to 25F as a high in Jan. with 8F as a low, 42F is balmy! I then went back inside and joined the security line. It took forever to clear security, one would think that you were in a major airport.

Once through, I ran a few paces to the gate where they had just paged me. I got my boarding pass for a window/aisle seat and boarded. There were actually people still in the jetway and some boarded behind me so it was not too bad. It was about 2:15p by now.

By the way, does anyone know why the code is BTV? I assume another city is BVT or BUR (Burbank, CA).

Burlington, VT: In Vermont

Well, I arrived without incident; awaiting a seat now. It is quite cold here, but the weather is good says the agents.

Now I have two more U.S. states to conquer. Flight departs at 2:30p so see you in Newark.

Burlington, VT: C02302 Burlington, VT (BTV) to Newark-Liberty, Newark NJ (EWR)

CO2302 Newark-Liberty International, Newark NJ (EWR) to Burlington, VT (BTV) N13929 ERJ 12:45p 1:19p operated by ExpressJet, Inc. dba Continental Express

It was touch and go to get a seat and at the last minute, I did. There was a family of four who for some reason or another missed the 8a flight. They were elated when the agent told them they would get on.

The agent then told myself and another guy to take any remaining open seat. I walked past the seat 1A as there was no place to put my bag as there is no seat in front of that one. As it turns out, 12A, the Exit row aisle/window was open, so I settled in.

Soon after the door closed and it was time to go. The flight attendant did the demo on this 1-2 leather seat configured 50-seater airplane. As she finished up, we pushed back about three minutes late.

It was a short enough taxi to the runway and by 1:01p, we were airborne above the New York skies. It was a beautiful day so you could see pretty far away. The bridges of New York were pretty prominent as well as the fields, plus what I think is White Plains (HPN) airport.

The flight attendant came on and announced that there would be a diminished service on this short flight. She would pass with select beverages; she passed with coke and water. I had some water.

Our descent started at 1:27p into the Burlington area. We landed and taxied to the gate.

Burlington, VT: In Newark-Liberty, Newark NJ (EWR)

Hanging out in the Presidents Club waiting for my flight now. I'll head over to the gate in a bit.

Just had some crackers and cheese.

Burlington, VT: C052 Houston-Intercontinental, Houston TX (IAH) to Newark-Liberty, Newark NJ (EWR)

CO52 12JAN08 Houston-Intercontinental, Houston TX (IAH) to Newark-Liberty, Newark NJ (EWR) 777 N??003 8:00a 12:12p

As I walked down the jetway an agent was telling us to hurry up and get on board; this was actually the same agent who boarded my flight to Mexico City last year; I remember him as he was quite meticulous about his duties.

At the door, I was greeted by the flight attendant who told me which way to go to get to my seat. I crossed through the galley as instructed and made my way through the BusinessFirst 2-2-2 configured cabin to the first Economy cabin in its 3-3-3 configuration.

I dumped my jacket in the overhead bin and asked the guy to let me into my window seat which he did happily.

I said hello and asked the usual is this your first flight of the day question as this flight actually originated with this aircraft in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He said yes and that he originated here in Houston and was heading back to school after a three week break. He attends college in New England studying engineering, so we chatted about that for a bit. He is actually from a family of engineers and was more than happy to continue the tradition his grandfather started.

We pushed back ontime and headed for runway 15L while the safety video played in English; there was no traffic so we had smooth sailing and was airborne in no time. The two GE90s on this airplane are fantastic when they spool up for takeoff. It is always awesome to take off in a Boeing 777 or watch it take off.

About 25 minutes into the flight, a female voice came on the PA and said “from the cockpit,” and gave us our welcome onboard as well as updated weather for Newark as well as saying that our arrival time should be about 11:45a, this is good as it gives me time in the airport lounge when I get there.

I’ve always noticed that whenever there is a female in the cockpit and she comes on the PA, she usually does not give her title, but finds some other way to indicate that she is in the cockpit. Have you noticed that when you fly? The guy next to me did not even realize that we had a female pilot until I pointed it out, he was like “so we have a female driving?” and I said “Yes we do.” I’m always excited when I have a female in the cockpit.

The movies on tap today were:

  1. Continental Presents House
  2. The game Plan
  3. Continental Family Channel 1:Secondhand Lions/The Jetsons, Foghorn Leghorn’s Fractured Funnies
  4. Balls of Fury/Still Landing
  5. Rush Hour 3/Behind he Scenes
  6. Continental Persents CSI
  7. Comedy Programming: The Class, The King of Queens, Everybody Hates Chris, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Simpsons, The New Adventures of Old Christine
  8. The Entertainment Channel
  9. Airshow

Headset was offered for 1.00 USD and then the movies were started. Although I did not put a headset in, I tuned to Channel 1 that was playing an episode of “House.” I have to be very selective of what I watch since I fly so often. I usually see most of my movies onboard an airplane.

Breakfast showed up at 8:42a and it consisted of Honey Nut Chex cereal, with a banana and 4oz of reduced fat milk (I was looking forward to a muffin or something, but oh well). There was a slip of paper promoting SkyMall products and advising you to ask your flight attendant for a special order form or go to You could also get your beverage of choice. I had some apple juice and a cup of hot water with which to drink my packet of Peppermint tea that I had brought with me.

As I had not had a chance to have breakfast this morning, I ate heartily, but slowly as I was having teeth pains due to an Orthodontist visit yesterday. Despite that I was still able to finish the breakfast.

At about 9:10a, a flight attendant came back and took the trash away. It is amazing how much trash is generated from an airplane flight.

I fell asleep for about an hour I guess and was awaken by the smooth descent in the Newark just when we were above Trenton, NJ. We touched down at about 11:42a and was at the gate at 11:45a.

Burlington, VT: In Houston-Intercontinental, Houston TX (IAH)

Houston-Intercontinental, Houston TX (IAH)

I arrived at the airport at 7:40a, eleven minutes behind schedule. The bus drops you at Terminal C and I had to make my way to gate E4, so this was a runner. I quickly made my way to the entrance to Terminal E via the upper walkways, cleared the empty security area and ran as fast as my legs could bear me to the gate. Once there, there were a few people who did not make it o the flight to LaGuardia trying to get a set on this flight. My boarding pass was waiting for me and as luck would have it, I got a seat in the area that has in-seat power using an adapter (rows 17-23).

Burlington, VT: The decision

Late last night, well very early this morning, I devised an itinerary:

· CO52 12JAN08 Houston-Intercontinental, Houston TX (IAH) to Newark-Liberty, Newark NJ (EWR) 777 8:00a 12:12p

· CO2503 12JAN08 Newark-Liberty, Newark NJ (EWR) to Burlington, VT (BTV) ERJ 12:45p 1:49p

· CO2332 12JAN08 Burlington, VT (BTV) to Newark-Liberty, Newark NJ (EWR) 777 2:30p 3:59p

· CO336 12JAN08 Newark-Liberty, Newark NJ (EWR) to Ponce, PR (PSE) 738 11:55p 4:45a

· CO337 13JAN08 Ponce, PR (PSE) to Newark-Liberty, Newark NJ (EWR) 777 6:00a 9:10a

· CO303 13JAN08 Newark-Liberty, Newark, NJ (EWR) to Houston-Intercontinental, Houston TX (IAH) 733 10:25a 1:20p

I still needed to find a trip from Newark to a new airport that would get me back by 11p on Saturday night so I can make the Ponce flight. I’m still working on that. Why Burlington? I’ve never been to the state of Vermont is why. I also looked at Albany and Buffalo, NY, but as it is a Saturday, the schedule is quite limited. Other options are to Nantucket and Hyannis via Boston, but by the time I return, there are no late departures back to the NY area; again Saturday schedules. The search continues…

I awoke at 5:00a and headed for the shower as well as finishing up some last minute stuff. At 5:53a, I was out the door catching the delayed 6:02a bus which arrived downtown at 6:21a, one minute late. My target was to catch the 6:39a bus to the airport. It showed at 6:40a and should arrive at the airport at 7:29a, just in time for the 8:00a departure. I hope the airport is not crowded. The good thing is that I am already checked in, so no worries there.

Trip ideas update

Looks like the possible trips will be a trip to Vermont, to log that state if the flights work out. Otherwise and perhaps in addition, Nantucket and Hyannis off the coast of Boston. Then heading down to Ponce and back home. Fights are tricky, so I'll have to have a few backup ideas.

See you in a few hours when I wake up to get going.