Monday, March 10, 2008

Space Shuttle Endeavour: Arriving in Orlando, FL (MCO)

We disembarked and headed for the shuttle to the main terminal. Orlando has these pods at each corner at the airport where you board your flight.

They have free WiFi throughout the airport, but it really only worked when you were in the pod. Once in the main terminal, it died.

We then went to get our car rental for the journey to Cape Canaveral. We figured, we would go by Titusville, FL as it was the closest we could get without getting on the Cape Canaveral property.

This is the area we were headed

Space Shuttle Endeavour: Houston Intercontinental, Houston TX (IAH) to Orlando International, Orlando, FL (MCO)

CO1586 10MAR08 Houston Intercontinental, Houston TX (IAH) to Orlando International, Orlando FL (MCO) 7:20p 10:36p 753 N??855

Flight Time: 1:41
Seat Map

There were no greeters on the plane and no lines in the jetway nor the aisle of the plane. We were boarding just behind the 2-2 configured leather 24 leather seats in First class. On the right, is the Economy class cabin in its 3-3- configuration of cloth seats separated by a single aisle. The Economy class section is so long that it has two cabins separated by the lavatories. There are no lavatories at the rear of the aircraft.

I found my window seat and eased in after stowing my jacket in the overhead bin. Unfortunately, after I had settled I needed to use the lavatory, so I had to have the two passengers next to me let me out.

At 7:03p while I was visiting the lav, the pilot came on the PA and announced that our flying time was 1:41 and that the flight attendants should remain seated for a while after takeoff until we clear the weather around the airport. Great, that means buckle up everyone, this will be a bumpy takeoff.

At 7:18p, the doors closed and the lead attendant made an announcement to prepared the doors and prepare for the all call. The doors were open again at 7:21p and one passenger stepped onboard. Four minutes later it was closed again behind the gate agent and two minutes, later, we pushed back. As we did, the overhead monitors dropped down and the safety video started playing.

As we continued our pushback, the left engine started. Once we were under our own power, we headed for runway 15L.

We took to the runway at 7:43p, but sat there until 7:49p; the Captain came on and said that we were waiting for traffic to clear, within a minute after that announcement, we made it down the runway and was airborne in no time.

As we tookoff, there was no bump at all as was expected which was a good thing. The flight attendant made an announcement welcoming us onboard and advising that we will get valuable OnePass frequent flyer miles for the flight and that beer, wine and margarita was 5 USD and headsets were 1 USD or we can use our own to watch the Continental Vision entertainment.

At 8:08p, a flight attendant came around with headsets for a 1 USD. This was for watching the overhead monitors that would show TV shorts.

Two packs of peanuts were handed out to each passenger at 8:11p. The flight attendant kept saying “peanuts’ with an emphasis on the “s” at the end throughout the cabin. Good thing I had some crackers and cheese in the Presidents Club as this is a no meal flight. She actually ran out as she got to me and went to get some more.

The overhead monitors came down and there was a comedy/sitcom being rewound. The programs started shortly after with ‘The Drew Carey Show” first.

It was 8:30p when the drink cart came. I was having a headache and asked for an aspirin or some kind of pain killer. The flight attendant said that he did not have anything with him, but would check the packet in the forward galley. He also checked with the other agent who was serving. She had none either. He also said I should remind him later to check as he would forget.

The headache still continued and I fell asleep eventually. I never got the pain killer. Luckily by the time the flight landed it was gone. Usually, I had Advil with me, but looks like I left it either in my jacket pocket or at home.

The pilot did come on at 8:29p when were were 500 miles out at 35,000' and said that visibility was 10 miles and it was partly cloudy and he would turn the seatbelt signs off.

I awoke just before we touched down. It was awesome to see the night outside as one could see very far in the distance. We touched down with ease and taxied over to the gate.

Space Shuttle Endeavour: Leaving Houston Intercontinental, Houston TX (IAH)

10MAR08 Houston Intercontinental, Houston TX (IAH)

As planned at 6:50p, we departed or sanctity of comfy seats, complimentary drinks and wireless access in the Presidents for the hustle and bustle of the concourse. We were headed for gate 44, which was not too far away.

On arriving at the gate, I noticed that the ever long Boeing 757-300 was positioned at the gate. This aircraft is the only derivative of the Boeing 757 line. It looks the same, but is much, much longer.

I approached the counter and asked if we had been given seats as yet and the agent said yes and gave me our boarding cards. She did check if we could get seats together, but alas that was not the case. No worries at all, happy to have a seat, we are…

I walked away so I could see the registration number on the plane and the said “We’re boarding!” I said, I know, I’ll be right there as I continued to walk forward so I could see the registration number which I did see as “855” on the cover for the nose wheel well. It was 6:59p at the time.

I then walked back and presented my boarding card to her and so did my colleague.

Space Shuttle Endeavour: At Houston Intercontinental, Houston TX (IAH)

10MAR08 Houston Intercontinental, Houston TX (IAH)

The drive in was fine, no hassles, except that we took the HOV lane and the Easttex Exit does not really give you a proper entrance onto the service road for Highway 59.

Got to the parking facility without issues and is now in the Presidents Club awaiting the 7:20p flight to Orlando, FL (MCO).

The plan is to drive to somewhere between Titusville, FL and Cocoa Beach, FL and watch the launch at 2:18a ET.

More later.

Space Shuttle Endeavour

Off to see Endeavour.