Finally made it to the hotel at about 7pm my time. And even my suitcase made it!
The Newcastle-London flight was fine. No turbulence, just a few little bumps when we were going through the clouds. Terminal 5 was enormous though, the staff kept saying the transfer desk for the other terminals was “just” around the corner. Fifteen minutes later I finally reached the desk.
The Continental plane was already there when I reached the gate, which was nice (it’s always good to know that the plane exists). Boarding started quite early, about an hour before departure. It was a really busy flight – I didn’t see any empty seats when I wandered around. I was a bit worried when everyone was getting on as all the seats around me seemed to occupied by a lot of kids. But in fact they were pretty good, although it did get a bit surreal as we came into Newark. The landing was accompanied by one kid singing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, which was then followed by another kid singing “Bridge over troubled water”.
This flight had quite a bit of turbulence, but nothing major. The plane looked like it had been recently refurbished. Each seat had it’s own on-demand tv screen which offered a choice of 150-200 movies and 100+ tv shows. I got to see Clash of the Titans and Alice in Wonderland (John – We’re buying both on DVD). I tried watching some of the tv shows but every episode of CSI, CSI New York, CSI Miami, Family Guy and NCIS were all ones which on TV recently. Typical!
Got through immigration okay, and got to baggage reclaim for about 2.30pm. By the time I’d cleared immigration my flight had been taken off the list of carousels and I wondering where to go when my bag passed in front of me. It was a bit like one of the classic movie scene where the character is distracted by something, only for it to happen directly in front of them. I got the bag checked back in, and headed for the train to take me to my next terminal. This train (which said it was going to that terminal, it even announced it on the train) drove straight through Terminal A rather than stop at it. So I had to switch trains and go back. So by the time I’d cleared immigration, customs, baggage pick-up and drop-off, random trains, security checks at Terminal A and the loo (I was bursting!) it was 3pm which was when my flight to Cincinnati should have been boarding. It was quite tight. Then I found out that it was delayed by 12 minutes, then it was delayed by 20 minutes and then by more. Then it changed gates, so had to get a bus to take me to the right bit of the terminal. Then it was delayed some more. Then we boarded and sat at the gate. Then we moved and sat on the runway before finally taking off somewhere between 4.30-5pm ish.
The Cincinnati flight was a ridiculously tiny plane! My rucksack didn’t fit in the overhead bin so I had to put it under the seat in front of me. So I spent that flight without any leg room. I’ll have to plan things carefully on the way back if the plane is like that. Weirdly the AC also kept dropping little pieces of ice.
On the plus side this flight gave great views of Manhattan as we left Newark. I saw the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and some of the bridges. I also had a great view of the Ohio River and Cincinnati itself, plus I saw the University (and my apartment complex!).
I didn’t think this was a particularly popular route, but there was definitely one other passenger who did the same three flight combo that I did.