Friday, January 7, 2011

Lucky Day for Flight Planning @ FL400

Today was a quite a lucky aircraft day!!! ... For my first flight of the year, I was flying commercial from Tampa to Vail on Continental.  As I was waiting for that first flight  from TPA to IAH, I was wondering what type of aircraft we would get. 

Just then, a brand new 737-800 (or maybe 900... hard for me to tell the difference) pulled up to the jetway. After boarding, I realized it even seemed to have that "new plane smell".   The interior was configured with individual seat videos and even had DirecTV!  This made the first leg of the journey literally "fly by"... Then after getting to Houston, I was wondering if my luck would hold ...

Not only did my luck hold up, it got even better! 

The aircraft for my flight from IAH to EGE was a 757, which was also quite new and configured for long haul flights.  After boarding, I was trying to decide what to watch on the tiny coach screen, when I heard my name announced.  I thought "Uh Oh! this can't be good!"  I wearily walked up to the front with my carry on bags (fearing the worst).  But then I got upgraded!  Since this was a long haul plane, the business/first cabin has full flat beds configured into little pods.  These are coolest seats Continental has ever had!  They have 17" wide screens, power, USB, and best of all you can even connect your iphone to the screen!  See for yourself in this demo link:

From FL400, the view over the Rockies was breathtaking:
From that vantage point, I thought it was the perfect time/place to do some flight planning for a trip I plan to make in the Cirrus later this summer. 
As you may know, the Cirrus Migration this year will be held in Colorado Springs in August.  That seems like the perfect excuse for a nice long X-country with some detours on the way to hit a few more states.  Here is what I came up with:

This route lets me hit a couple of highlights, including Yellowstone in WY, Salt Lake City in UT, and of course Leadville, CO (the highest airport in the US).  But I would welcome any suggestions for interesting stops in Nebraska... (So far I can't think of any)

Happy New Year!
== T.J.==

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