I caught a 3:40 pm flight on Friday to Houston.
The party was already underway when I arrived at the Marriott ballroom. Swanky Flyertalkers were mingling while others raided the buffet table and the CEO of Continental signed posters. Xyzzy and his wife were there, along with the “infamous” Speedyturtle (who’s not at all as evil as some might argue).
Saturday morning began with the tours, one to the flight simulators, one to the CO HQ and Ops Center, and the third to the maintenance hangar, catering floor, and the baggage handling system. Due to a mix-up, my hour and a half wait for a bus that was never going to arrive resulted in my attending the ops center. This provided a fascinating look at just how the difficult decisions are made around flight cancellations and delays (btw, thanks, guys, for the delay going home Sunday). Catering and the executive offices rounded out the tour.
The evening was filled with a Q&A session with the CEO and his management team, then a BBQ dinner, all taking place inside the maintenance hangar. By far the most exciting aspect was the 757 that everyone had access to, from the cockpit to the engines to the cargo section.
Saturday rounded out with some poker for charity, before everyone began the trek home Sunday. Until next year!