Party in the Front: CO1894 IAH-RTB

My flight out of Houston was delayed several hours by a fog so dense it made the morning drive look like the funk from a Stephen King movie. By the time we boarded, I already knew I would miss the last ferry over to Utila, my island destination near the Honduran coast. I would be stranded, alone on Roatan island for the night. The thing is, I didn't mind. There was something magical happening on the plane. I can't speak for the rest of the passengers, but our three tiny first class rows must have been dosed with joy juice. Maybe it was a side effect of the creepy fog, or perhaps it's because we were all heading to a place that looked like this:

Either way, the good vibes were contagious. Smiles abound, passengers helped each other stow bags and the morning's conversation encompassed the entire cabin. It was one of those rare flights that felt more like a private party among friends. I ordered my usual inflight beverage, a Bloody Mary, prompting my seat-mate (water) to call out "You know what, I'll have one of those too."

Let the salt juice flow!

The flight only got better when meal service began. Lunch consisted of a cilantro chicken wrap, peppery corn chowder, fruit salad and a chocolate brownie. 


Continental Airlines passengers take note: the chicken wrap is the single best thing I've ever eaten on an airplane. I know cilantro is one of those herbs that people either love (me! me!) or hate, and this burrito-style wrap is chock full of it, along with tender chicken, melted cheese, rice and plenty of spice. The airline even gets extra foodie points for the accompanying packet of chipotle pepper sauce. Crazy good! I can see myself stocking the freezer with dozens of these babies. I know that scoring the same tasty meal on a future flight is like winning the tray table lottery, but I'll keep my fingers crossed.

The great vibes (possibly fueled by the great meal) continued as we touched down. Even though I was technically stranded, I suddenly had a group of new best friends offering their assistance. My seat-mate? She runs one of the best bars on the island. Pax 2E was also stranded without a ferry, so we decided to stick together. It turns out 2F runs a high-end hotel on the island; he helped us locate lodging for the night. 

So that's how I found myself "marooned" at a beach-side bar, staring down the setting sun with a cold beer in hand. Sometimes we need to take the small inconveniences (like flight delays) in stride and accept life's detours. Sometimes the destination isn't as important as the flightpath. So, enjoy the awesome chicken wrap. Enjoy the Bloody Mary. Enjoy the whole damn ride.


Laura_mh March 31, 2011 at 12:55 pm

Went to Utila last summer to dive....stayed at Deep Blue. Where are you staying? The diving there is excellent.

I did not take the ferry and I'm surprised you did not fly to UII from RTB. Unless it's changed, there's no commercial ferry service from Roatan to Utila, just a private catamaran (Captain Vern) to make the crossing. How did you end up getting to the island?

Hope you enjoy your time on Utila, it's a great place and I would definitely go back again!

Hi Laura,

There were no direct flights, so I opted for the two ferries (Roatan-La Ceiba-Utila) as they took less total travel time than the flights and departed at 6AM. Captain Vern was on vacation, but we grabbed his catamaran for a fun ride home through that gorgeous blue water. In Utila we stayed at Mango Inn, and on Roatan at the Posada Arco Iris. What a fantastic vacation/dive destination. Also, I can't get enough of the Don Julio hot sauce! That (and the chicken wrap) is enough motivation for me to book another trip.

Laura_mh March 31, 2011 at 02:13 pm

I meant to comment on the chicken wrap earlier.

That was the planned lunch in Bus/F for us on the IAH-RTB route as well. The FAs raved about it, apparently it's a real hit (and your post confirms another satistifed customer)! Then came the sad news....there was paperwork error, apparently chicken wraps didn't get loaded and we got the cold plate instead :(

Mike March 31, 2011 at 02:20 pm

Wait, wait...wait. What is that in the phantom soup bowl that is supposed to be empty? Is that...soup?


Notice the absence of (United) crackers on the tray. Apparently in Continental's universe of inflight dining, crackers=no soup. No crackers=soup. So I would call this scenario a "case of the phantom crackers."

That wrap/burrito looks simply amazing. I want one now.

Kevin March 31, 2011 at 06:12 pm

I could not care less about the burrito. The destination is what impresses me! I have never heard of Roatan before. I did a little searching on Tripadvisor, and now i've added it to my list of places to go check out! If you have time, please post some pictures!

Kevin March 31, 2011 at 06:21 pm

On another note... what is the schedule of that flight? I just tried to price a thurs-mon weekend in December... SFO-RTB r/t, and I didn't get any results on Kayak.

Currently, CO1894 runs daily from IAH at 10:20AM arriving at 12:04PM. If there's no fog. There is an additional flight on Saturdays (CO1892 departing 1:05PM arriving 2:44PM)

I just did a quick search and I believe (since winter travel season is over) all weekday flights to RTB will cease beginning Monday, April 4th, leaving only the two Saturday flights and one flight on Sundays.

Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong!

Kevin March 31, 2011 at 07:03 pm

Where are you staying down there?