Sunday, May 11, 2008

Montego Bay May 2008: Arriving in Killeen, TX (GRK) from Houston, TX (IAH)

11MAY08 Killeen Ft. Hood Regional, Killeen Texas (GRK)

My guess was that the pilots wanted to take the first turn off, hence the massive braking when we landed. It did not seem that we made it at all as we made the right turn and taxied back to the terminal.

Once at the gate, I deplaned, made a quick restroom stop, then darted for the Enterprise car rental counter. Within 15 minutes or so, I was behind the wheel heading into town. It was funny as the gu gave me a map, I looked at it and then asked for a more detailed one, he laughed at me and said I was looking it...

Montego Bay May 2008: Houston Intercontinental, Houston TX (IAH) to Killeen Ft. Hood Regional, Killeen Texas (GRK)

CO2530 11MAY08 Houston Intercontinental, Houston TX (IAH) to Killeen Ft. Hood Regional, Killeen Texas (GRK) 7:45p 842p ERJ-135 N??5?? operated by ExpressJet Airlines, Inc. dba Continental Express

Flying Time: 0:37
Seat Map

Boarding was expeditious on this 37-seater 1-2 single aisled leather seat Embraer regional jet. There was someone sitting in my seat and after some jockeying, we were all settled in. the pilot came on the PA and announced that the flying time was 0:37 and that our cruisin’ altitude was 14,000’ for the trip. He said there may be a few bumps so he may keep the seatbelt signs on all the time. The local temperature was 73F with clear skies and the conditions was the same as here.

The doors closed at 7:52p and push back and the manual flight attendant safety demo started at 7:54p. With one engine started, we headed out towards runway 33R-15L, this meant that we had to taxi almost the full length of the runway and then turn around.

I could see a line of 10 airplanes waiting to take off on runway 15L. at 8:03, the Captain said we were number two for departure behind a Continental Boeing 737-300. At 8:04p, we took to runway 33R and took off before those 10 waiting airplanes on 15L.

As we went down the runway, the lavatory door opened and the guy sitting next just in front of it, tried to close it, but to no avail.

After takeoff, the flight attendant made a welcome on board announcement and advised not to use any forbidden electronic devices. She also talked about joining the OnePass program. She also made an announcement that there will have a limited beverage service and water will be offered, but if anyone has specific requests and time permits she will try to take care of it.

The water service started at 8:12p and shortly after that she came through and collected what little trash remained from the service. She returned to her seat or the rest of the quite short flight. I fell asleep for a bit too.

Our bumpy descent started at 8:28p. We touched down with vengeance at about 8:50 and then taxied up to the gate.

Montego Bay May 2008: Arriving in Houston, TX (IAH) from Montego Bay, Jamaica (MBJ)

11MAY08 Houston Intercontinental, Houston TX (IAH)

We touched down at 4:34p and taxied for Terminal E. Once there, we all deplaned and headed for the Immigration area. On our way there, we had our forms and passports checked by Immigration Officials, then sent on our way.

It was not an issue for two of us to clear Immigration, but the third person in our party had to go through secondary screening. About twenty minutes later, he was cleared and off we went. He mentioned it was quite full; standing room only and it would have been an hour long wait had they not just taken care of the simple cases.

He was going home, while the other guy was heading to Atlanta, GA (ATL) and I to Killeen, TX (GRK) to see mom and my sister. We said our goodbyes and then the two of us headed for the security area upstairs.

Once clear of the security area, we headed for the Presidents Club in Terminal E. I had some eats and took some pictures as well.

Continental's Boeing 737-700 is at the gate.

After a short visit, it was time to make our way to our respective gates. I was B69, my friend was C39.

I arrived at the gate for my flight to Killeen at 7:20p. I noticed that there was no aircraft at the gate and we were not showing a delayed departure time. There was also no gate agent in sight. I went back and checked the Flight Information Display and still no posted delay. I then looked around and saw the agent at the gate. I asked about standbys and he produced a waiting boarding pass.

It was 7:28p, when he announced that the inbound aircraft was on the ground and headed for the gate. Once here, it will take a few minutes to have the passengers deplane, clean the aircraft and then have everyone board. The aircraft showed up at 7:30p.

People started to get antsy at about 7:38p, so at 7:41p, the agent gave an announcement that boarding will start soon so please remain comfortably seated. I looked at the departure time and it got updated to 8:00p.

Courtesy boarding stared at 7:43p.

Montego Bay May 2008: Leaving Montego Bay, Jamaica (MBJ) for Houston, TX (IAH)

12MAY08 Montego Bay Jamaica

We departed the hotel at 11:30a, fifteen minutes behind schedule. We had wanted to go see the gold courses on the hill, but decided against that as we really did not have time.

We stopped and put gas in the car to the tune of JMD 1,375. The lady was telling us that this was her first day on the job and she had not eaten all morning, so we gave her some extra dollars.
We then headed for the airport stopping at the Domestic Terminal before returning the car; this time without incident...

We had a few Jamaica patties, then went and checked in paying our 42 USD departure tax before getting some local far at the Island Grill.

We then headed for the security area where a lady was arguing with the agents as she had two bottles of Jamaican red rum (150% proof) and she had to throw them away as she could not bring them through security. One of my friend tried to take sides with her and I advised him against it.

We all cleared Immigration without problems and then headed for the security areas. I went through without beeping, but I was still wanded by a female officer. As a matter of fact, all the workers were female.

We then went shopping for some alcohol. I had to remind one of my friends about the amount of alcohol that you can bring into the country. You can familiarize yourself with information here.

You can find a PDF doocument as well with the information.

We collected our boarding passes at the gate just before departure and then it was soon time to board so we did.