Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Classic Flight to move from Coventry?

The Classic Aircraft trust have announced plans to move some of their aircraft to a new museum at Newquay Airport, Cornwall. Over 30 planes will be moved including the Gloster Meteor, Nimrod, Vampire, Venom and Pembroke.

This sounds worryingly like the majority of Classic Flights Coventry fleet... pleasure flights in the rapide etc are likely to continue, however it would leave the DC6 diner somewhat 'isolated' and it would be a real shame if they move considering Air Atlantique's and Classic Flight's long history at Coventry Airport.

BBC article here:

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

BHX-MPL-BHX trip report [Part 2]

Montpellier-Méditerranée (MPL/LFMT)  to Birmingham (BHX/EGBB)  FR2812
Ryanair Boeing 737-800 EI-DPZ

 So the time came to come home and we'd be flying on EI-DPZ. Interestingly this aircraft also wears "comunitat valenciana" titles.

Montpellier airport landside is light and airy, and there were 2 bag drops open for just our flight so we were straight upstairs to departures. I was quite surprised after passing through security how small the departure lounge is. Montpellier handles the 10th most passengers in France - the UK equivalent is Liverpool and that is larger in terms of the size of the departure lounge, the shops/facilities available, and the number of flights.

While waiting a military KC-135 stratotanker was doing circuits! Not what I expected to see. PZ arrived but but the airport staff had already got us all lined up in the 'priority' and 'other Q'. They proceeded to herd us all out into a seemingly un-air conditioned corridor before the aircraft had even reached the stand. Why? So we could board quicker. We had to stand in what was effectively a greenhouse for 15 minutes in 30+ temperatures when we could have stayed in the air conditioned part of the terminal! Not impressed.
Anyway once onboard we were out of the heat and much happier! The captain announced a flight time of 1 hour 50 minutes and a cruising level of FL360. After a short delay we taxied all the way down to RWY 31R for take off:
Again, a smooth flight and we made up some time too. The descent took us to the west of London and you can just about see 'the Eastenders view" through the cloud in the bottom right of this picture:
After HON it was vectors downwind for the ILS RWY15. The cloud base was around 2000ft and we emerged on final above Birmingham. The actual touchdown was so hard I bashed the off button on the camera and stopped filming! 
And that pretty much concludes this trip report, my 43rd flight and 14th on the 738. I suppose if you want punctuality, Ryanair are a good choice, and if you're hiring a car they do some good combined flight/car deals. Overall "Europes favourite airline" as they now call themselves were pretty good and if the price is right, yes, I'd continue to fly with them! 

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

BHX-MPL-BHX trip report [Part 1]


Our holiday this year was as ever to the south of France but this time we'd be taking a new route...

Birmingham (BHX/EGBB) to Montpellier-Méditerranée (MPL/LFMT) FR2811
Ryanair Boeing 737-800 EI-DPK

A major reason for choosing Ryanair this time was the deal on car rental (with Hertz). The flight wasn't the cheapest out there but the combined flight/car rental cost was. 

 Birminghams 'terminal 2' was heaving when we arrived (about 12:30pm), with only 1 Ryanair bag drop desk for all ryanair flights (compared to 2 in Montpellier for just one flight). Apart from the queues the bag drop system works quite well. I did notice that our hand luggage wasn't checked at all - nothing more than a glance and so no way of knowing if they were overweight. It seems very trusting of Ryanair/the airport to assume passengers will always comply with the rules!

Through security, generally a quick process now the 2 terminals have merged, and out into departures. But the layout forces passengers into the shopping area in terminal 1, and then you have to walk all the way back along the 'mellenium link' to terminal 2. OK for us but some elderly pax were not happy at all! Our aircraft, EI-DPK (which wears Comunitat Valeciana titles) arrived from Malta and we were boarded on time for an on time departure.
The obligatory legroom shot :)
The weather was showery with light northwesterly winds so 33 was in use, and after a short taxi from gate 1 to E1 we were on our way on the COWLY3D!

The flight itself was calm, however Ryanair make up for that, with the cabin crew trying to sell the pax all manner of things from no-smoke cigarettes to scratch cards... aswell as the usual drinks/snacks etc. I wonder how many people actually buy these things? Some pics from the cruise:
Landing at Montpellier was on RWY 13L, so a straight in approach. FR2811 arrived 5 minutes early so we were treated to the "another on time arrival" fanfare... no need to boast, Ryanair.
The first part of this trip report might have sounded quite negative but to be honest Ryanair are good enough for flights of this length. They're cheap (although not always the cheapest!) and very punctual.

So that was my 42nd flight and 13th on the Boeing 737-800. Next up is part 2, FR2812!