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EWR-FLL (Continental)|FLL-EWR (song)|Pictures!!!

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  • EWR-FLL (Continental)|FLL-EWR (song)|Pictures!!!

    A Pictoral Trip Report: Continental/Song EWR-FLL-EWR

    This trip report will be discussing my two latest flights, which are the following:

    7/31 EWR-FLL Continental 1801
    7/5 FLL-EWR song* 2508

    July 31, 2003
    Continental Airlines 1801
    Newark – Ft. Lauderdale
    Depart: 9:25a (9:34)
    Arrive: 12:25p (12:25)
    Take off: 10:01a
    Flight Time: 2h 17m
    N17105/ Aircraft year: 1994
    Seat 34A

    The day started out like any other. I woke up at the butt-crack of dawn, rolled out of bed (theoretically, fell out of bed... as it is a loft bed) and proceeded to say “Damn! That hurt! Ill never do that again!”. Of course, we all know what THAT means... I proceeded to get my luggage downstairs for the flight to Ft. Lauderdale, and for once, I had a really good feeling about flying Continental. Dont get me wrong- I had nothing against Continental before this flight, but I had never felt... excited.... to fly them. Perhaps its because every friggin plane I see when I go spotting is a Continental aircraft...
    Regardless, my mom and I arrived at Terminal C, Door 4 at 7:45am and said goodbye to my dad and sister and then we met up with some friends and proceeded to check in. We decided to go inside, and joined the queue. Shortly thereafter, we were directed to Paper Ticket check in, even though we had E-Tickets. There was no line there and we immediately went to go check in. We greeted the man who greeted us back with a cold hard stare, not even moving his head up from his computer, just his eyes.
    “Going to.”
    “Ft. Lauderdale.”
    “Put your bags over there”

    The friendliness of the EWR agents never ceases to amaze me..... Anyway, we passed thru the quick security line and proceeded to gate C75 where ship 105 sat – and for a second, I thought I was looking at an Air France aircraft. The spaces in between the aluminum sheets and paint were discolored in a brown/grey dirt and the entire plane had a strange shade of beige over it, not the typical Continental white. Great- a filthy exterior. That left me curious about the interior, and as I realized that this was Ship 105, I half expected to board the aircraft to find the old style seats.
    Boarding commenced after an announcement that this flight would be a beverage service only, no meals. We boarded first, being in the last row of the aircraft, and walked down the jetway to the aircraft. First thing I noticed before I stepped on the aircraft- the old seats. The first thing I noticed when I stepped ON the aircraft- the plane smelled like a cross between human waste and cigarettes. Being built in 1994, this aircraft was never allowed to have cigarettes on board, which made me curious as to the stench. I was also a little concerned becuase our row was right infront of the rear lavs. The stench became unbearable. The cabin was stifling hot and the only lights on were the ceiling lights. The flight crew of 4 stood 2 at the front, and 2 in back. The 2 in back were very friendly and were talking to us about the 757 and how the scenario we were currently facing was very unusual for Continental. She also mentioned about how she didnt feel like it was right that the aircraft smelled like cigarettes, and said that once the air was turned on, it would go away in about 30 minutes. Up front, one flight attendant was slouched in the doorway reading a magazine, blocking half of the entrance way, while the other flight attendant, the only male FA on board, was standing in the galley preparing the coffee.
    Boarding door was closed and the flight attendant who was reading the magazine came to the rear of the plane and opened the overhead to activate the safety video. Meanwhile, another tape, of some movie, fell onto the passenger in row 33C which left a bruise on her head. The flight attendant held out her hand to the passenger, waiting for the video and once it was returned, she tossed it into the bin, closed it, and walked away, without acknowledging the passengers potential injury. The F/A in the rear noticed this and immediately came to 33C where she was very apologetic and offered ice or medical assistance if need be. The woman, thankfully, had no injuries except for a little bump.
    We pushed back and taxied to runway 4L where we were number 9 for take off. As we were waiting, an awful vibration constantly shook the rear of the aircraft and it became very annoying- I just wanted to be airborne. Finally, we lined up and started our roll immediately, and after an 18 second roll, our completely full 757 lifted off and began its climb to 35, 000 feet. Since take off was to the north, we made a complete U-Turn and passed the airport heading south, with the airport to our east. The climb was smooth all the way up and the seatbelt sign was turned off once at cruise. The in flight service started with 2 crew members up at the front of the coach cabin with a drink service, with another crew member distributing single bags of pretzels. The drink cart took about 20 minutes to reach our row, in which we had all already eaten our pretzels. Once the cart reached our row, we were treated to 3/4s cup of a drink- how exciting!! The cart then had to be immediately returned as we hit moderate turbulence and the captain turned on the fasten seatbelt sign. With one exception, this was to remain the case for the remainder of the flight.
    After 1 hour and 50 minutes, we started our decent into Ft. Lauderdale and shortly thereafter passed over the intercoastal, where Ft. Lauderdale was visible to the south of the aircraft (left wing). After a steady decent, we found our way into a cloud layer, shortly after turning around and setting course for RWY 9L. We entered a thick grey smog thingy which we would stay in for the rest of the flight, with lightening strikes surrounding the aircraft. Quite a show! We came in low over US1 and then smacked the runway with our right gear, followed by our left gear- but the nose of the aircraft stayed suspended for quite some time, even through the activation of the TRs and spoilers. Finally, all sets were on the ground, and we taxied to Gate C2 and deplaned next to “The Name is Blue- jetBlue”. Oh the pain! Oh the misery!
    Again, the flight attendant stood at the door reading her magazine, and as we claimed our bags, our entire family vowed to never fly Continental again unless we had to.

    August 5, 2003
    song* 2508 (operated by Delta Air Lines)
    Ft. Lauderdale - Newark
    Depart: 3:50p (0:00)
    Arrive: 6:50p (0:00)
    Take off: 0:00
    Flight Time: 0:00
    N_ _ _ _ _/ Aircraft year: _ _ _ _
    Seat 4A

    We arrived Ft. Lauderdale’s terminal 2 at an atrociously early 12:15pm for our 3:50 filght. We had no plans for the day, so it was either sit in the condo or sit in the airport, and seeing as how I had to spend the last 6 days shopping around in malls with 3 girls, my feelings were considered and we went to the airport. We checked in with a friendly curbside agent named Whitehead and then proceeded with our boarding passes to the security line, which took us 5 minutes to clear. Security was normal for FLL, nothing special, no special procedures. We called my dad and sister back home to see how the weather was, and we found out that the weather was horrific, one of the worst storms they had ever seen. We began to think, great! Its going to be a bumpy flight!
    The load for this flight was supposed to be about 90 passengers, so I was looking forward to 3 leather seats all to myself. Finally, 1:35 rolled around to which the friendly song agent went to an old woman in a wheelchair with her husband and asked them if they were booked on the song flight to Newark, to which they replied yes. She then said that the flight was cancelled due to weather... and that turned LOTS of heads in the terminal area. Then, over the loudspeaker, she announced the cancellation, and mentioned that of 90-ish passengers, only 24 had checked in, and that the 3 song “talent” at the counter would handle us all one at a time. We finally got up front and was offered the LGA flight, in its second day of Operations, which Im sure would have been an empty flight, the JFK flight, or an EWR flight the next day. Seeing as how the LGA and JFK flights were both already extensively delayed, and that we had a condo to spend the night in, we chose to take the earlier Newark flight on Wednesday August 6. Most people went with this option.
    We picked up our bags at the wide-slide and returned to get a new rental car and then went out for dinner at the Cheesecake Factory, among severe thunderstorms in the Aventura area.

    August 6, 2003
    song* 2588 (operated by Delta Air Lines)
    Ft. Lauderdale- Newark
    Depart: 10:50a (10:51)
    Arrive: 1:49p (1:24)
    Take off: 10:56a
    Flight Time: 2h 18m
    N6710E/ Aircraft year: 2000
    Seat 24ABC

    We arrived the next day among sunny blue skies at FLL and checked in again- boy, this sounded familiar! We proceeded to security, where this time, we did not make it thru so quickly. It took as about 40 minutes to clear, due to a new security threat, everybody’s everything of everything was being checked thoroughly by the TSA... Dont ya love it when terrorists screw with us! Although, I have to say, it was a comfort to wait in line for so long, it made me feel safer, and Im sure others felt the same way.
    Once we did clear security, we made our way to Gate D1, where our song talents were just about to board the aircraft, 1 hour prior to departure. The aircraft sitting at the gate was N6710E and it was gleaming in the Florida sunshine. There were several song menus at the podium, and the agent explained them to us and invited us to have a look, although menus could be found in every seat once aboard. Before we knew it, one of the song talent came out of the aircraft and came on the PA. “Hi folks! My name is Sally and I am one of your song talent for today..” she went on to explain song procedures and how the flight and boarding would work. Boarding was done by Zones, and we were in Zone 3. The load for this flight was supposed to be between 80 and 85 passengers,she announced, which meant 3 seats for me!
    We boarded and was greeted by Susan (I think that was her name.. I couldnt quite remember hers) where they looked at our boarding passes and directed us how far back to go, with a cheerful Welcome Aboard! Once we reached our row, we were greeted by Trinity, who cheerfully took all of our bags and stowed them for us, and then came around with a blanket for each of us if we wanted one. Boarding continued and I started to fiddle around with my digital camera, and before I knew it, Trinity came back and offered to take a picture of all of us together- that was real nice of her!!
    Eventually, the boarding door was closed and passengers were invited to move about the cabin as we wished to become more comfortable. I had 24 ABC to myself. Safety demo was done in a manner in which it could be easily understood, and it was personable. What surprised me the most was that 3 of the 4 flight crew members, or “talent” were 50+, not something I immediately connected song with.
    We took off on Runway 9L and made a quick correctional turn right over the intercoastal and then about 2 minutes later made the standard left-hand turn to head north up the coast where we would greet land over Delaware and fly up thru NJ into Newark. However, as the turn got to the point where we should have leveled out, I noticed that we were still banking hard to the left. Finally, once we were parallel to the airport, we leveled out, and then made a turn right about 10 minutes later, indicating that our route today would be inland, most likely to avoid the storms that still were lingering (and still are) along the coast. Our route would be up thru central Florida, thru Georgia and the Carolina’s and eventually up into Pennsylvania, where we would turn east to make the EWR approach.
    Service commenced with Diane and Trinity handing out the menus personally to every passenger, and then some of the menu highlights were discussed with us by Sally. We always knew who was talking because, before any announcement, they would say “Hi again, this is Susan” or “Folks, this is Sally again”. The crew was walking and talking with smiles the entire time, and never congregated in the galley to have a chat, in fact, at many times, they could be seen having great conversations filled with laughter with other passengers. The meal cart came around with the beverage cart, and I ordered a Coke, no ice. song did not give me the whole can, however, their cups are 10oz cups, so you get most of the can anyway, and I like this idea better, as its less to fiddle around with on the tray table. Once the meal cart reached me, I ordered the California Veggie Soft Taco, which was served with Salsa and Grapes. This meal set me back $7, however, it was a very reasonable price for airline food when you consider that 1) its Buy-On-Board and 2) song only uses organic ingrediants.
    The meal cart only came around twice, but passengers were invited to visit the rear galley if they wanted to make a purchase. The woman infront of me ordered the Mango Tango smoothie, which looked like a Fresh Samantha would, but she told me that it was very delicious.
    The flight crew came around with the cart once more, and then passed thru the ailses with magazines and blankets. The service was efficient and overly friendly, which made the flight experience a joy!
    Before we knew it, we were flying over the Nations capital and decent was commenced from 41,000 feet down into EWR. We touched down on RWY 22L exactly 25 minutes ahead of schedule which made the entire plane clap! The landing was smooth and TR’s were not used, as we made a relatively low approach. What made it cooler is that we flew over my high school! I had always seen planes flying over, but never saw it myself from the air, but finally, I had the chance, as our school can be easily identified by the big R on the football field, R for Randolph.
    The song talent said their goodbyes and we exitied into Terminal B where our bags were quickly delivered and we were on our way home.
    Continental disappointed me more than I ever thought they would. I had always known Continental to be professional, not great, but professional and this flight was none of that. The careless flight attendant reading magazines and not attending to passenger injuries that she created was an awful thing to witness, and the fact that the aircraft smelled of cigarettes and waste was another huge drawback. There were the white Duty-Free magazines in the seat backs which signaled that this plane could potentially be flying international flights, and if I had to spend 6 hours on that plane, I would have shot myself.
    song on the otherhand was a pleasant surprise. The airline is really very classy, and the small personal touches really made the airline fun to fly, and the flight was a flight to remember. By small touches, I mean individual distribution of the menus and even just always smiling and willing to have a conversation; a smile goes a long way. song will have my business on many more occasions to come, and I cannot wait to experience the warmth of their service again.

    Flight Points:
    Continental 1801
    Ground crew 2/10
    Timeliness 9/10
    Flight Crew 3/10aved by the one great flight attendant)
    On Board Service 2/10
    Cabin comfort 3/10
    Overall 19/50 38%/F

    song* 2588
    Ground crew 9/10
    Timeliness 10/10
    Flight Crew 10/10
    On Board Service 10/10
    Cabin comfort 9/10
    Overall 48/50 96%/A

    Thanks for reading!
    Now here are the pictures!! (Sorry if they are a bit big )

    Thanks for reading!
    Ben Kaufman

  • #2
    Very nice.

    I'll have to give Song a try when they start service to IAD.


    • #3
      Great report and great photos!

      My Photos On


      • #4

        Gr8 report!

        There seems to be a problem with people in the Northeast. It seems that, from what I've read and heard from freinds and family and from trip reports, every other person is cold and hateful and always pissed off.

        Correct me if I'm wrong, but that's the impression I'm getting.

        Happy flying!


        • #5

          Thats a loooooong ass report!