Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Episode 5

Well, last night was awesome as usual. We were treated to two back to back episodes!

We pick up with our teams at the pit stop in Buenos Aires, Argentina. So the teams left in the order they arrived the previous night. They had to go from Buenos Aires, Argentina (EZE) to Johannesburg, South Africa (JNB). It was 3 a.m. when the first team left the pit stop. Having done the South America to JNB trip myself just last November (2004), I knew that they had to get to São Paolo, Brazil (GRU) and then take South African Airways (SA) evening flight arriving early the next morning. This was a part of my round the world trip in the Southern Hemisphere, but that is another story :-).

I immediately, loaded up my downloadable schedule (eSkyGuide) and verified the flight times:

From: Buenos Aires-Pistarini BA AR (EZE)
To: Johannesburg ZA (JNB)
Date: 29 November 2005 [I used this date as I think it was this time of the year last year when they traveled]

Flight From Depart To Arrive Via
SA7851*/SA206 EZE 10:55am JNB 6:55am +1 GRU
RG8617/RG2328/RG7390~ EZE 12:00N JNB 6:55am +1 POA-GRU

So they had to make that 10:55 a.m. flight to São Paolo. Which they all did with ease and now were all together. As Jay said in a comment to Episode 4; it is just sad when they let everyone catch up. Also, why would they let them leave at 3:55 a.m. to catch a flight that they knew did not leave until 10:55 a.m.? I guess we will never know.

I did check the EZE to GRU flights and they could still catch three other flights just in case they had been late for some reason:

LH503 EZE 11:30am GRU 3:00pm
AR1242 EZE 11:40am GRU 2:27pm
BA246 EZE 1:25pm GRU 4:55pm

While Lufthansa (LH) is daily, British Airways (BA) and Aerolineas Argentinas (AR) are not. But they had options at least.

SA7851 is actually operated by Varig (RG) as RG8649 an MD-11. The producers showed an aircraft at the gate in EZE, but it was just the nose and I did not see it long enough to determine if it was a MD-11 or not. It was a wide body Varig aircraft though. It could have been a Boeing 767-300 as Varig uses that equipment on that route as well. So I give them the benefit of the doubt that it was a MD-11.

The next aviation thing they showed was one of the couples sitting in South African Airways' Business Class cabin. This was not explained at all; I thought they always flew Economy...

The next shot showed a South African Airways Boeing 747-200 landing in Johannesburg, South Africa (JNB). The GRU to JNB route is flown using an Airbus A340-300 aircraft! How difficult would it have been to get an aircraft that was in the current fleet, geez...

So they all arrived in South Africa safely and while some of the team members were able to take their bags on board, others were not so they had to wait to get the bags. Once that was done they were off for the next mission.

This involved going to different parts of South Africa including Soweto. Here are some pictures from my trip there last year.

Once the mission was over, they had to leave Johannesburg and head for Gaborone, Botswana. Once at the airport, the first team headed to South African Airways (SA)
to check the departure times. The agent told them that Air Botswana (BP) had a noon flight. At that point I was figuring that not all the players would make this noon flight.

I checked my timetable and verified the SA times, but did not see the Air Botswana schedule as that airline's schedule is not in the eSkyGuide schedule (not all airlines provide their schedule). So I went over to Air Botswana's Web site and verified the flight times.

Johannesburg to Gaborone
Flight No M T W T F S S Depart Arrive
BP210 X X X X X 0730 0830
BP220 X 0830 0930
BP208 X X X X X 1040 1140
BP204 X X X X X X X 1200 1300
BP206 X X X X X X X 1515 1615
BP202 X X X X X X X 1845 1945
BP218 X X X 2030 2130


Here is the schedule for South African from eSkyGuide

From: Johannesburg ZA (JNB)
To: Gaborone BW (GBE)

Flight From Depart To Arrive Via
SA1761~ JNB 5:55am GBE 7:00am
SA1781~ JNB 7:55am GBE 9:00am
SA1771~ JNB 8:15am GBE 9:20am
SA1787~ JNB 9:00am GBE 10:05am
SA1763~ JNB 9:25am GBE 10:30am
SA1793~ JNB 9:30am GBE 10:35am
SA1785~ JNB 11:00am GBE 12:05pm
SA1777~ JNB 11:15am GBE 12:20pm
SA1775~ JNB 11:35am GBE 12:40pm
SA1765~ JNB 1:45pm GBE 2:50pm
SA1773~ JNB 3:00pm GBE 4:05pm
SA1767~ JNB 4:45pm GBE 5:50pm
SA1791~ JNB 5:10pm GBE 6:15pm
SA1769~ JNB 7:20pm GBE 8:05pm

It was neat to see the departure hall of JNB as I'd been there a few times and even picked up timetables from that very Air Botswana counter.

I think three teams made the Air Botswana (BP) flight; an ATR-42-500 and yes they showed the correct aircraft type. This would have been very difficult to mess up as according to Air Botswana's site, that is the only aircraft type they operate.

The other teams made the SA1765 which at that time of the year was departing at 1:35p.m. Again, they did get the aircraft correct as this flight is operated by South African Airlink (YB) using a Dash 8 and that is what they showed them getting on and off. Redemption!

There were no other aviation reference for the rest of the show.

And quite the show it was too. We saw Ray and Deana eliminated, as they should be; they treated Meredith and Gretchen really badly in a previous episode and did the same in this one by not giving them any money when they were stripped of all their cash when they arrived in Soweto last.

Not to be outdone, the famed Rob and Amber, who were recognized almost everywhere they went, did not stop when the brothers Greg and Brian had an accident. The others at least slowed down and asked if all was well. If that kind of behavior is what it takes to win a million dollars, then I don't want to win at all.

Gretchen was injured in the caves, but was such a trooper and insisted to stay in the race and told her husband Meredith to continue searching for the clue, which he did.

Lynn and Alex somehow ended up in a bad part of town; it looked a bit like downtown Johannesburg. Not sure how that occurred, but eventually, they made it to the airport.

Next week promises to be good!

By the way: If the show is taped, why is the CBS Web site not updated immediately after the show? Or is that too much to ask?

3 comments:

AeroWesty said...

Ray explained that he "worked it" during the flight for him and Deana to get off first, and there's a quick shot of one of the crew shaking his hand saying "I can get you off first" right before they're shown in the sleeper seats.

photoJaye said...

Cruisin,

They dont update the site so it does not ruin it for those on the west cost they dont see the show until midnight on the east cost. They do this for all the "unscripted drama" shows.

Cruisinaltitude said...

PhotoJaye,

That makes a lot of sense as last night when I went to check it was after midnight local time in Houston and the site was already updated.