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  • IAH-ORD-SPI-ORD-IAH (Feb. 4-5)

    This was the first flight Iíve taken since August of 2000 when I also flew from IAH to ORD. Mostly I just havenít had the time to take any trips but this was for a once and a life time event so I made the time.

    Sunday, Feb. 4th.

    I had driven down to Houston the afternoon before and stayed at the airport hotel since the flight was leaving so early. So by 4:30 that morning I at the United ticket counter.

    From IAH to ORD I was on United Express (Skywest) flight 5835, a Bombardier CRJ-700. My seat number was 14D and it was a full flight. Thankfully we departed on time so seeing Houston when it was still dark was very nice. I took a few pictures out the window as the sun started to come up but like an idiot, I didnít take very many because all I had was a Canon Powershot I borrowed for the trip. I knew my DSLR wouldnít work well indoors (wrong type of lens) and I wanted to take pictures at the event.

    Obviously they didnít feed us on the flight so it was limited to snacks and drinks. Most everyone was either asleep or reading which is what I did. I took a book along for one of my classes, The Harp and the Eagle. The flight was smooth and when not reading the best part was looking out the window. Seeing a bunch of frozen lakes and rivers are something, being from Texas, I hadnít seen before. The flight was scheduled to be 90 minutes but we landed at ORD a few minutes early. It had been around 50 degrees that morning in Houston and it was -9 degrees in Chicago.

    Now came the fun part. The flight from Springfield was supposed to depart at 10:40 but Skywest cancelled the first flight so I changed my ticket to the next one which was supposed to be around 12:30 p.m. Well, letís just say after delay after delay I was getting annoyed as I had to be in Springfield by 5:30 so I could have time to get to my hotel and get ready for the event.

    When we started to board around 1:15 they actually took us off the plane due to an issue with the flaps. (I never did found out what the problem was.) Finally by 2:30 they allowed us to board again and we took off just after 3:30. The flight was almost empty, maybe a dozen people on the CRJ-200 so we sat wherever we wanted. It was supposed to be an hour to Springfield but it took far less.

    Well, Springfield is a nice town, I wouldnít mind going back to see the Lincoln museum and tomb along with other historical sites but I didnít have time and it was too freaking cold to be outside for a long period of time. Anyway, I made it to the event, had the time of my life, and wouldnít trade it for the world.

    Monday, Feb. 5th.

    It was around -15 degrees that morning but I got to SPI around 8:00 for my flight back to ORD (Flight 6915). Thankfully this CRJ-200 was on time and we made it to Chicago by 10:20. The flight was full and I spent most of the time talking to the lady sitting next to me. She was returning home after visiting her new granddaughter. My seat on this one was 4D.

    Back to ORD meant it was time for more delays. Apparently the extreme cold meant staying outside for long periods of time was impossible so it took longer to fuel the aircraft. The ERJ-170 (Shuttle America) (Flight 7649) for my flight back to IAH wasnít able to pull into the gate until 12:15 p.m., almost an hour later than it should have. So, this meant we were going to have a delay getting to Houston.

    After we boarded, (my seat this time was 12F) it still took another hour for them to finally get the ERJ-170 refueled and the luggage loaded. We finally got out of Chicago 2 hours late. It was another full flight and the guy next to me took a nap so I ended up reading the entire time which was fine as I needed to finish the book. This time the flight was not nearly as smooth as we ran into some serious turbulence around the Missouri-Arkansas border. Other than that, the ERJ-170 was a very nice aircraft. Not nearly as cramped as that CRJ-700 was on the flight to ORD. We arrived at IAH around 4:15 p.m.


    Since this is the first time I had flown since 2000 it was the first trip I had on the CRJ-200/700 and the ERJ-170.