Sunday, 2 September 2012

Trip Report Part 2 - BWI-BOS-ALB-OGS on AirTran and Cape Air

Well, the Blue Jays game was a dud. It was encouraging to see Jose Bautista and Brandon Morrow back in the line-up, and an unexpected treat to see Colby Rasmus with cornrows, but Morrow got no help, Bautista's wrist flared up again, and the Jays were the author of their own misfortune. At least Camden Yards is a great place to see a game, and O's fans are very friendly people. I enjoyed chatting with the dude next to me, and another guy let me use his phone to call my hotel so I could get picked up by the shuttle. I stayed at the Red Roof Inn BWI. The guy I was talking to at the game said that it is a hotspot for hookers, but I did not run into any prostitutes whatsoever. My room was clean, the bed was comfortable, the shower was nice and the wake-up call was on time (aka, early...). I stayed there before, and I will stay there again.

Flight FL181 BWI-BOS
Plane - Boeing 717 N980AT
Seat 28A (window)
369 Miles

I felt guilty. I was talking to my shuttle driver to BWI, and he said such nice things about Canada. He wanted to move there. He liked that there were good race relations there. He had the driver job for RRI as a second job. He has a double major (business and computer science) and works for the State of Maryland. That job alone is not enough to pay the bills. He seems to be more qualified for my job, and here I am enjoying the very expensive aviation hobby...

I checked in at a kiosk, and made my way though the uncrowded TSA line. At this point the ocean had tipped over and the rain was torrential. There was thunder and lightning, but the lightning was not near the airport. I paced around, but it was early in the day, and there was not much to see. I took a seat near my gate. I found it odd that there were several young guys in suits at the airport on Sunday morning - must be religious, I thought. The voices behind me had nothing good to say about President Obama - odd conversation for the airport, but the election is coming. After another guy in a suit showed up with a young guy wearing a t-shirt promoting his re-election campaign for 2014 did it hit me. I was at the gate for the flight to Tampa Bay, and all these people were going to the Republican convention. At this point I got the hell out of there. I didn't really want to be seen with them...

Boarding for my flight to Boston was called, and the 717 was loaded in an orderly fashion. I sat next to engine, and braced myself for the noise I remember from when I flew a DC9 in April. The 717 is whisper quiet! The cabin was about 85% full - don't know about biz class... We had a nice rolling take-off and thrusted into the sky like no ones business! Service consisted of a couple of biscoff cookies and a cup of coffee. I enjoyed reading the 'Go!' magazine. It had stopped raining when we left, and other than a couple of bounces as we broke through the clouds, the flight was smooth. We overflew Philly, and had a nice view of PHL, and I think we overflew Providence RI as well. We touched down in Boston a few minutes early.

Flight 9K1815 BOS-ALB-OGS
Plane Cessna 402C N678JG
Seat 2A (to ALB) 2 B (to OGS)
145 miles BOS-ALB, 157 miles ALB-OGS

As beautiful as the city of Boston is, Logan Airport isn't the most thrilling place. I had about 4 hours there, and was hoping that in lieu of a true observation deck, that there would at least be a good place with ramp views. There was not in Terminal C... My FL flight arrived at Terminal E, and there was not much happening there (I saw a Porter Q400 - I find it weird seeing PD at airports other than YTZ, YOW, YUL or YHZ). I checked for Ogdensburg, and cleared security. There was an ok place to spot in the JetBlue gates, but it was awfully busy, so I went to the other wing and watched some activity from the United gates. It was quiet, but you could see less. It was time for a bite, and as I was eating my club sandwich, I saw a wonderful sight. I hadn't thought of when Japan Airlines arrived, so it was a real treat to see their 787 land and taxi. What a beautiful airplane. With United receiving theirs soon, I think I will try to catch one of the domestic flight on it. I got a kick of guess who was going where at the Cape Air gate. Augusta had a decent load, Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard had good loads as well. Not many for Saranac Lake. Albany was called, and there were 7 of us for the flight. Unfortunately, no one got the co-pilot seat as a Cape Air pilot was non-revving to Albany.

We had to hold short on the taxiway for a few minutes. The pilot was upset that we had to wait for a heavy (because it would take forever), and was more upset when a PenAir S340 was allowed to takeoff before us. However, we then saw what heavy was approaching. You could first see the 4 engines, and then you could tell from the sillouhette that it was a 747. The 9K guy in the F/O seat got his camera out - and a big, beautiful British Airways 747-400 touched down a couple of metres in front of use. We heard the roaring engines, inhaled the smoke from the tires. It was amazing - one of the best experiences I have ever had in aviation.

We took to the sky, and had some nice views of the city. I spotted Fenway Park. The flight to Albany was on the bouncy side, and the cabin was pretty warm. Everyone was pretty cool about the turbulence - I guess experienced Cape Air fliers! We touche down in ALB a minute or two late, and every got off for refuelling. It was a chance for me to hit the restroom and fill up my water bottle, as we were only on the ground for a few minutes. Everyone except the non-rev guy were continuing to OGS - no one staying or going to Massena. We also added an older lady, so we had 8 for OGS. It was bouncy again, but not nearly as much. It is really neat to be able to lean over and see the instruments and out of the windshield. It was hazy, so the views below were not that great. We touched down in Ogdensburg more or less on time. We had to wait a few minutes for all the bags, but it wasn't so bad. I am pretty sure the dude in front of me was meeting his new born child for the first time. It was pretty heart warming. I got back in my car, which was parked for free, stopped at the grocery store for my favourite American crackers (I love my Cheez-Its!!!), cleared the border, and had a 4.5 hour drive back home.

All in all it was a great weekend. I met a lot of nice people, enjoyed some Cape Air 402C action, treated myself to some 1st Class, saw a 787 and had front row seats for a 747 landing. All I would have changed was the score in the baseball game!

I have some fun flying this week, including my first Inaugural flight - Spirit from BWI to DFW. Stay tuned!!!

N980AT pic - Jim Donten on
N678JG pic -
Map -