Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Episodes 11/12 - The Final Episodes

When we last saw our contestants they were in London, England. The show opened up with them getting instructions for their next leg of the journey and sure enough I was right, they were heading to Jamaica. Sadly, they showed a NW Boeing 747 landing in KIN when Phil was talking about the next clue. This was the same shot they used in earlier episodes. They did show an Air Jamaica Airbus A340 flying though (a little redemption).

The first team, Rob and Amber picked up there clue and left at 2:47 a.m. and headed for London-Heathrow International (LHR), destination, Kingston, Jamaica (KIN). Of course, leaving at this time everyone will catch up with them. Seems kind of pointless sometimes to win a leg, but oftentimes there are rewards.

I had been thinking about this since last week. How would they get to Kingston? Naturally, I check my eSkyGuide timetable and they had a few choices, British Airways (BA) from London-Gatwick (LGW) or Air Jamaica from Heathrow nonstop or American Airlines connecting via Miami, Florida (MIA). Actually they had many connecting opportunities if they wanted to use multiple carriers. But I think Air Jamaica were the sponsors of this particular round as they showed the Air Jamaica A340 flying when they mentioned that the teams had to fly to Jamaica. I can't quite remember if the instructions said to fly from London to Kingston or from London-Heathrow to Kingston.

The BA flight is seasonal and does not operate at the time of year I think this was filmed.

Well, they got to Heathrow and of course at that time of the morning there are no flights to Jamaica. The only flight apparently was JM2 at 12:40 p.m. This flight actually goes to Montego Bay, Jamaica (MBJ) and then continues on to Kingston, arriving at 7:15 p.m. I am assuming that this was filmed in November last year; not sure. Otherwise, the flight times are slightly different.

They arrived in Kingston at night and headed for the beach where they had to do their next task a limbo. This determined what time the next morning they would have to leave.

It was quite an adventure ad Rob and Amber got pulled over by the Police and Uchena and Joyce who had the lead had a flat tire and ended up losing the lead.

We actually got to see a lot more of the airport in Montego Bay, Jamaica (MBJ) as Uchena and Joyce was the last to finish at the last pit stop and were stripped of all their belongings. So they had to go to the airport at about 2:45 a.m in the morning after begging a local guy a drive. at the airport, they asked customers who were at the airport way too early for money. they were unsuccessful at first, but eventually as the morning wore on they got luckier and amassed some money.

Once the teams completed the day's task which was to collect 50 onions and take them to a Jerk Pork stall and cut them into small pieces, it was time to fly to San Juan, Puerto (SJU) from Montego Bay (MBJ). The producers then showed an American Airlines Boeing 757 taking off and landing in what I guess was Montego Bay and San Juan.

Now, here is where the show took a great leap. There is no jet service between Montego Bay and San Juan, Puerto Rico. To do this, you must first go to Miami, Florida (MIA) and then take another plane to San Juan, Puerto Rico. So this is what all three teams had to do.

Rob and Amber were the first at the airport as Air Jamaica JM23 was leaving for Miami. They tried to buy tickets and the agent told them that due to security reasons they could not get on the flight. at 9:15 a.m. They were furious and if looks could kill... Of course the Air Jamaica employees, kept their steadfast look and said No.

So he ran over to the American Counter and got a ticket on the AA858, the 9:54 a.m. flight to Miami. AA858 is usually the first flight out, at about 8:01 a.m., but they were in luck as the agent said it was delayed and was leaving at 9:54 a.m. Otherwise they would have had to wait for the next flight and Ron and Kelly would have caught up with them.

Of course they showed an Airbus taking off from MBJ (wrong) and a Boeing 757 landing in SJU. Geez...

For the second flight with Ron and Kelly, took AA1152 and then connected to AA1299. They showed a Boeing 757 taking off for second flight and a Boeing 757 landing in SJU, which is totally plausible so they did good there.

Finally, Uchena and Joyce took the 4:58 p.m. AA flight. They got lucky as this was the last flight that would properly connect to SJU. The producers showed a 757 taking off and another landing in SJU. OK there.

In true Amazing Race style, they all met up in San Juan, actually Aguadilla so they could jump off a bridge. After that, they were to board a plane to MIA.

At the airport, Rob got there first and was able to get on the earlier flight after buying a ticket for the 11:15 a.m. and then standing by for the 10:00 a.m. He and Amber got on and they closed the door on the Airbus A300, pulled the gate and then Uchena and Joyce asked if they could get on and the Captain said Yes. Go figure...

They then showed an American Airlines Boeing 757 taking off and landing in Miami, sigh...

Once Ron and Kelly showed up, they got on the Boeing 737-800, which they showed, but end up showing a Boeing 757-200 landing in Miami.

That was the last aviation event of the show as the three teams tried to get to Benet House in Fort Lauderdale for the finale.

Congrats to Uchena and Joyce for outwitting Rob and Amber to win the $1M! Bad on CBS for having really bad continuity throughout the show and having viewers having to try and figure out the aviation aspects of the show. I think that a better job of that could be done.

Looking forward to the next one.

Episode 10

This week, the teams had to make their way from Istanbul, Turkey (IST) to London, England (LHR/LGW). They all arrived at about midnight and found out that the next flight was the 8:30 a.m. nonstop flight on Turkish Airlines (TK) which departed the next day arriving at 10:30 a.m.

Well, Rob was not satisfied based on his previous performance when his actions caused Uchena, Joyce, Meredith and Gretchen to catch an earlier flight, so he found an airport employee's Internet access and discovered that Lufthansa (LH) had a flight at 5:50 a.m. that connected in Frankfurt (FRA) arriving at 9:00 a.m. The only problem was that the connecting flight was full. Ron and Kelly also took this flight and followed Rob and Amber. Rob and Kelly got lucky as since they arrived last, they were stricken of all their stuff and had to beg money to get a cab to the train station for their mission.

In the meantime, the others took the TK Airbus A310 nonstop flight. The eSkyGuide timetable showed that there was also an Aeroflot (SU) flight over Moscow (SVO) that would have arrived at 9:30 a.m. A visa would have been required for Moscow, so I don't know if they had one.

I could not find the Turkish Airlines flight on my eSkyGuide, but I did find the Lufthansa flights. I went to to check and it was there of course.

The continuity problems continued when they showed a Turkish Airlines (TK) Boeing 737 landing at the airport in what should be London-Heathrow (LHR). Not correct at all.

They also end up showing a Boeing 737 taking off when Rob, Kelly, Amber and Ron departed instead of the Airbus A321 and then a LH Boeing 737 landing in FRA; sigh...

They then showed a LH A340 landing in Heathrow, which does not occur; it should have been a Airbus A300-600R.

Ron uttered a comment when he arrived in London that of course not too cool "thank God we are in a country where people actually speak English." says the POW. What is that supposed to mean?

When the others arrived, they showed a TK Boeing 737-800 landing in LHR when the flights is actually on an A310. This was the last of the aviation events in this episode.

At the end of this episode, Gretchen and Meredith were eliminated. Great competitors, despite Gretchen's constant whining.

Episode 9

Teams now had to fly to Istanbul, Turkey (IST) from Jaipur, India (JAI). Naturally, I grabbed my eSkyGuide timetable once more. It did not have schedules for the JAI to DEL portion, so I checked Indian Airlines' site and found a schedule. The producers chose to show an MD-80 and a Boeing 747 flying, when they talked about the journey.

Rob had an off the cuff comment at one point: I'm so over India," now what is that supposed to mean? Well, I'm so over these contestant and their crappy comments. One should be thankful.

Basically, their routing had to be Jaipur to Delhi to Istanbul. They all arrived in Delhi the same time. It looked like they took Indian Airlines (IC The showed an Airbus A320 taking off which is possible as they have A320s and Boeing 737 flying the route. Now really bad, they showed a Northwest Boeing 747 landing in Delhi!

In Delhi, it was kind of a rush to find the best way to get to Istanbul. Rob and Amber went to buy their tickets on the nonstop Turkish Airlines (TK) flight. Gretchen was walking by Rob and he joked that if they had booked on the earlier flight? Well, Gretchen told Uchena and he started calling around. And of course, there was a flight that went via Dubai, United Arab Emirates (DXB) to Istanbul. It would arrive at 6:30 a.m. 1h 15 minutes before the nonstop flight. Only drawback, is that they would have to leave at 8 p.m. This is a race afterall.

So Rob, Ron, Kelly and Amber left on the 4:00 a.m. TK1071 nonstop flight that arrived at 8:45 a.m. They were actually surprised not to see the others on the flight and spent a few hours wondering where they were until they found out from one of the boat drivers in Istanbul that the others had already passed by.

They end up showing a Boeing 767 taking off and also showed a Asiana Boeing 747 flying as well as an Austrian Airlines MD-80 landing in Istanbul, all incorrect and had nothing to do with the aircraft type or airlines they were flying.

There was no mention of the airlines being flown on the DEL-DXB-IST routing, which would have been Gulf Air (GF) based on the departure times; 8 p.m. this flight actually connected through Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (AUH) to get to Dubai. Dubai to Istanbul was perhaps on Turkish Airlines A310-300 TK1165.

I hate it when I have to guess the routings. Why can't they just tell us?

That was it for aviation items for this episode.

Updates Coming

Sorry for the lag in updates. They are forthcoming... Tune in later tonight for the commentary on the last three episodes.