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Monroe,Louisiana - Pisa,Tuscany (Via Houston, Newark & Rome)

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  • Monroe,Louisiana - Pisa,Tuscany (Via Houston, Newark & Rome)

    Ok, the annual family trip, this year we are going to visit family in Tuscany,Italy.
    I am apparently the last to arrive, everyone is arriving on Saturday 19th, and my sis is arriving from JFK on Sunday, im arriving on Monday, After leaving on Sunday, if you get me.

    Airline : Continental Express (Operated by Express Jet)
    Route : Monroe Airport to Houston
    Scheduled Departure : 06:50 (07:00 actual)
    Scheduled Arrival : 07:50 (08:15 actual)
    Aircraft : Embraer ERJ-145XR (N17146)
    Class : Coach
    Seat : 15A

    I woke up at 04:00, had a shower, had a little breakfast. The taxi came at 04:30, and it took around 45 minutes to get to Monroe.
    Check-in "area" if you could call it that was pretty empty, and i checked in as soon as i got there.
    The Check-in attendant told me that the flight was empty (Louisiana isnt popular ), and i could choose if i wanted to be sat alone, by a window or aisle. I got seat 15A, and he told me it is Alone, Window and Aisle all together.
    After going through "security", if you could call it that
    The plane was at the gate when i got there, and me and i counted 6 other people boarded the plane.
    Greeted on board by a friendly Flight attendant, who directed all 7 of us to our seats.
    Take-off was pretty soon after pushback, the flight attendant barely finishing the safety demo before powering down the runway.
    After take-off we immediately hit some thick cloud, then after some scattered clouds we levelled out.
    The Beverage service came, and i got a coke, Then came Cookies or Nuts.
    I got Nuts.
    The XM radio in the armrest was quite boring.
    I decided to catch some zZzZz for a little while
    We started descent about 25 minutes before landing, the trash service coming around twice, before the crew being told to take their seats for landing.
    Approach was quite turbulent,Touchdown was hard, Bouncing twice before touching down fully.
    We taxied for about 15 minutes before coming to a remote stand, no jetbridge
    I headed towards my connection, and i had quite a while left.
    Overall Express Jet 9/10, nothing to complain about.

    Airline : Continental Airlines
    Route : Houston to Newark
    Scheduled Departure : 10:50 (11:20 actual)
    Scheduled Arrival : 15:25 (16:00 actual)
    Aircraft : Boeing 767-200 (N76156)
    Class : Coach
    Seat : 34A

    Well, When i saw this beauty parked up at the gate, i thought i was on the wrong flight, but no, It said CO 40 - Newark above it.
    Boarding commenced at 10:25, Half an hour before scheduled departure !
    I took to my seat, i realised every seat had a PTV.
    We pushed back bang on time, the crew doing safety demo manually
    A queue for traffic at the runway slightly delayed us.
    We finally took off after another Continental plane.
    Take-off was powerful, very powerful , we rocketed up towards the clouds, we didnt even turn untill we were above the clouds, we made a long left turn, then a short right turn.
    Beverage service came almost immediately, starting at the rear of the aircraft , which was good as i was one of the first served, i got a coke again.
    Shortly after came the Snack service which consisted of a Chocolate Muffin or Pretzels, somebody has a nut allergy onboard so nothing with nuts was aloud on board, and no nuts were served.
    PTV's were not switched on for this flight , but the armrest audio was on, even though it was crap.
    I got talking to the family who were seated,next to me, all along row row 34.
    They were connecting onto a flight to Madrid with Continental, and from Madrid they were flying into Innsbruck with Spanair (Charter) where they were to go skiing.
    Passed time by talking to the crew, other passengers and sleeping.
    The flight was quite boring for the remainder of time, with nothing to do.
    We started descent about 40 minutes prior to landing.
    We descended into the clouds, and stayed in the clouds, for about 15 minutes, meanwhile making a long, long right turn.
    When we levelled out we continued descending, untill i could see the ground.
    About 10 seconds from touchdown we made a very sharp, short left turn, levelling out just as rough as we started the turn.
    As soon as we had levelled out of the turn we touched down VERY hard onto the runway.
    It was quite funny, and at the same time not funny, to see the guy in 33B smack his head on the seat in front. As Soon as we turned off of the runway, flight attendant were up and running around all through the cabin, obviously it has happened alot through the cabin, people getting injured on landing.
    Just as we were about to turn onto the stand in Newark, we were welcomed into Newark.
    Disembarking was slow, Paramedics at the bottom of the stairs, but in the end they were no longer needed.
    Overall, 8/10 for Continental, they had PTV's, but decided to bore us instead.

    Headed to my Second connection ......

    Airline : Alitalia
    Route : Newark to Rome Fiumicino
    Scheduled Departure : 17:45 (18:35 actual)
    Scheduled Arrival : 07:45 +1 (08:05 actual)
    Aircraft : Airbus A330 (EI-CFR)
    Class : Economy
    Seat : 30F

    Arrived at the gate, and there was no plane, gate staff said it just arrived and is taxiing now, should be about 5 minutes.
    About 45 minutes later, the plane pulled up, but, we boarded straight away, did it arrive empty?, did it empty its passengers somewhere else?
    Anyway the very shiny plane, in Brand new Alitalia colours looked quite nice.
    Greeted by an crew who could barely speak english, and if they did speak english, i couldent understand them (sorry thats pretty arrogant), at least they made an effort.
    Got to my seat, my french seat mate was on his way to London, i asked him why he was on Alitalia via Rome, and he told me that it was cheapest.
    No PTV's , but the overhead TV's were switched on, and after 15 minutes of adverts the safety demo started.
    We taxiied to the runway very late, and took off even later.
    Immediately after take-off straight into cloud.
    Meal service came around about 25 minutes into the flight, the usual transatlantic option, Fish or Beef Lasagne.
    I got the Lasagne, which was Very very good .
    Flight Attendants very efficient, clearing away the trays as soon as possible.
    I have read many reports of Alitalia EWR-FCO, and 99% have been negative, trust me, i completely disagree.
    Even though there were no PTV's, the Overhead screens, playing Mall Cop in Spanish, Italian and English (Different channels on the armrest Audio, 4 for spanish, 5 for english, and 6 for english), also on Channels 1,2,3 there were English R&B, Hip-Hop, on channel 2 Some Opera, Classical stuff, and 3 was this Italian kids thing.
    Im not sure about 7,8,9, i think 7,8,9 were the same as 1,2,3.
    When it got dark, the flight attendants came around, and told all passengers to shut window shutters, and reading lights and overhead tv's were switched off, the only lights that were aloud on were the Mood Lighting above the Overhead compartments.
    I got some very good sleep, even though the seats were packed in like sardines, i had plenty of room to get some good shut eye, Blankets and pillows were handed out.
    I awoke, and lots of people were eating their breakfast, i pressed my crew call button, and they came along with Breakfast for me, and told me that it was more important to sleep so i can beat jetlag.
    Breakfast consisted of an Omlette, 2 Sausages, Potato Wedges, and an Oatmeal pot with Orange or Pineapple juice.
    The crew came around with trash, then another Drink service, before collecting the last rubbish in prep for landing.
    We started descent about 45 minutes prior to landing.
    Touchdown was hard, and we taxiied for about 5 minutes before finding a gate.
    Disembarkation was swift, and i said by to the crew and headed to my third and last connection....

    Overall Alitalia 9.5/10 ....excellent, but no PTV's

    Airline : Alitalia (Operated by Alitalia Express)
    Route : Rome Fiumicino to Pisa
    Scheduled Departure : 09:40 (09:40 actual)
    Scheduled Arrival : 10:40 (10:50 actual)

    Aircraft : Embraer 170 (EI-DFL)
    Class : Economy
    Seat : 7A

    Got taken by bus to the plane, the plane was full by the looks of it.
    Boarding was swift and as soon as the last passenger boarded, the door shut.
    Safety demo was done manually by the crew.
    We pushed back and took off dead on time.
    Usual AZ snack service, Sweet (Lemon Biscotti) or Salty (Some sort of salty breadstick), i chose sweet, which went down well with the fresh coffee.
    Crew constantly making sure passengers ok.
    Trash service was annoyingly frequent, I guess due to the short turn around time in PSA.
    Beautiful views of Elba as we started our descent.
    Started descent about 20 mins prior to landing and touchdown gently.
    Parked on a remote stand, in between an Easy Jet A319 and an Air Dolomiti (Lufthansa) ATR-42

    Overall AZ Express, 9.5/10 .....nothing to complain about.

    Im returning on the 27th, havent booked yet, will book soon.

    Thaanks for reading, hope you enjoyed

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