Houston, TX 02 Oct. 2009. I’m off to Orlando, FL (MCO) today. The traffic was not bad heading from downtown Houston, TX as we headed to the airport.
I got a ride from a colleague who is heading to Seattle, WA (SEA). Once at the airport, I made it through security (seemed like forever). They did not even have the bins available. It was really annoying to watch one of the TSA agents gab with his colleague while we waited for the bins.
Once that was over, I headed to the Presidents Club that is close to my gate. While I waited, I booked my hotel for the night in Orlando, FL. I was happy, but surprised at how reasonable the hotels were. I guess it must be the off season. After some wine complemented with some cheese and crackers, it was time to head to the gate.
There, I got my window seat on this Boeing 757-300. When it was time to board this full flight, I did. Soon, everyone was onboard and it was time to go. I did think that the Lead Flight Attendant looked familiar, but thought nothing of it.
The door closed at 7:00p and we pushed back at 7:06p as the emergency demo played on the overhead monitors. The Lead Flight Attendant did add that all window shades should be open; fantastic I thought, never heard that before on a Continental flight.
We headed out to runway 33R-15L and took to the dusk skies at 7:06p. Soon after takeoff, we were served pretzels and drinks the flight is not a mealtime flight as defined by Continental.
On the overhead screens “30 Rock,” “Everybody Hates Chris,” “Samantha Who” and “Parks and Recreation” were shown. Headsets were 1 USD, alcoholic drinks are 5 USD and you can pay with cash or credit/debit cards.
Flying time was short at 1:46 as the co-pilot said we had a 100mph tailwind. We soon started our descent into the Orlando area. It was really nice to see the towns below; lights everywhere.
It was 10:02p when we touched and 10:10p when we made it to the gate. The flight attendant ended his speech with “All Rise” and it was then that I realized that he was the same one I had on my Houston to Austin flight last weekend.
I deplaned and headed for the trains which showed up right away and whizzed me to the airport center. I then walked down to the hotel shuttle stop, called the hotel and waited. The signs in Orlando are horrible, so it took me a while to find the stop. Only doing so after calling the hotel and they told me where to stand. Come on Orlando!
As I walked around, I did see the following buses that serve the airport: 11, 41, 42 and 111. They go to various areas around the airport including the Florida Mall which is nearby. I thought it was interesting that they were running so late at night.
Soon, my shuttle bus showed up and I headed for the airport having a great conversation with the driver who is originally from Venezuela, lived in Miami, FL for a bit and wants to be a pilot.
Checking in was smooth after which I went to the nearby TGI Friday’s for dinner. Not such a good experience as the bartender did not ask me to join some Club of theirs and by the writing on my receipt I was due an appetizer up to 8.00 USD.
What are your plans for the weekend?