Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Tampa Day Trip: Arriving in Tampa/St. Petersburg, FL (TPA)

09APR08 Tampa/St. Petersburg, FL (TPA)

On the taxi into the gate, we passed three American Airlines (AA) MD-80s that were grounded for maintenance checks.

We pulled into the gate then I deplaned. I took my computer out as I know this airport has Wifi and voila it worked. Usually, I have trouble getting this to do so. I checked some e-mail and then departed with my colleague in tow on our mission for the day.

Tampa Day Trip: Houston Intercontinental Houston, TX (IAH) to Tampa/St. Petersburg, FL (TPA)

CO706 09APR08 Houston Intercontinental Houston, TX (IAH) to Tampa/St. Petersburg, Tampa FL (TPA) 7:30a 10:44a 733 N??346

Flying Time: 1 :45
Seat Map

As I boarded, I asked the flight attendant to ensure that there were two seats and there were, one at the Exit row window and the other at a forward window. I chose the forward window and my colleague too the Exit row. The flight attendant was suggesting that I take that seat, but I said the one I had was fine.

The aircraft has 12 leather seats in First class and 112 cloth seats in Economy class in a single aisle configuration.

I asked the folks at the middle and the aisle to allow me in and they did. I heard the door close and we started pushback at 7:30a sharp. At that time, the manual safety demo commenced, ending three minutes later just as the pushback was completed.

We then started our taxi out once the right engine was started. There was a Boeing 757-200 with winglets being towed out as well as a wingleted 737 from Continental getting ready to leave as well.

We passed Terminal A, I saw a United Airlines (UA) Boeing 757-200 (752) which is unusual for Houston Intercontinental. I wonder why it was there. There was also what looked like a Bombardier CRJ-700 at the gate next to, also in United colors. Aha, I think it is due to the American Airlines (AA) cancellations.

I saw an ABX Air Boeing 767-200F taxiing out to the runway. This was the first time I've seen that aircraft/airline in Houston. They are a cargo outfit based in Wilmington, Ohio.

At 7:43a, we took off on runway 33 in the bright morning. After takeoff, the lead flight attendant welcomed us on board and told us about the service today; a snack will be served.

Breakfast arrived at 8:05a, it was preceded by an announcement to watch your elbows in the aisle. It was a banana nut muffin with beverage of choice.
Alcoholic beverages if you so desired were 5 USD or you may us an inflight coupon.

The captain came on the PA once we leveled off at 35,000’ at 8:06a. He said we show an ontime arrival, the temperature was in the mid 70s, winds were from the east with scattered clouds above. Just sit back, relax and enjoy the flight and welcome aboard.

I was really tired so I fell asleep. I missed the nice view of circling the Tampa Bay area, but was able to see the St. Pete airport off in the distance. We touched down at 10:25a with ease and taxied to the gate.

Tampa Day Trip: Leaving Houston, TX

09APR08 Houston Intercontinental, Houston TX (IAH)

As I already had my boarding pass, I cleared security with ease and headed for the Presidents Club. There, I had breakfast of a banana, tea and a bagel with light cream cheese. I also took the opportunity to check e-mails and other things. I also had to call my mom to finish a transaction so I did.

At 7:00a, I departed and headed for the gate. I saw my other colleagues waiting and wondered why. The flight was overbooked so we had to wait. At 7:25a, only two of us made it, so we boarded.

Tampa Day Trip: Houston, TX

Houston, TX

I have to do a day trip to Tampa, FL today flying into the Tampa/St. Petersburg International airport (TPA). This is one of two airports serving the Tampa Bay area. The other is St. Petersburg (PIE). I’m not sure that any scheduled service airlines serve this airport anymore. I know that at one time ATA Airlines (TZ) had served it.

This is a day trip that takes quite a bit out of me when I do it every now and then. I was up and atom at 4:29a, about 30 minutes later than planned. I had only gone to bed at 1:30a and I think I did not fall asleep until about 2:00a.

I got ready as the shuttle bus (Super Shuttle) would arrive at 5:00a sharp. They wanted to show at 4:40a, but I deferred to 5:00a. They had warned me that since I had chosen this time, they would not be responsible if I missed my flight. I did not even know they had a guarantee in place.

The driver asked me for directions to his next pickup which he said they had also scheduled for 5:00a; actually they had scheduled three trips that were not next to each other for the same time. Luckily when he picked up the other two they seemed O.K. He then picked up one more passenger and we were on the highway at 5:21a.

The lone lady indicated that she was going to Terminal B, I told the driver that in 9 minutes, I’d let him know which terminal was mine as I’d get my TripAlert then. Sure enough, it came at 5:30a and the Terminal was C. I did not bother to say anything figuring that he would go to C anyways.

It was 5:47a when we pulled off U.S. 59 for the airport and 5:54a when I pulled into Terminal C. I paid the driver the 25 USD plus a tip and exited the van.