Saturday, 17 August 2013

Holiday to La Belle France! [Part 2]

Toulouse-Blagnac (TLS/LFBO)  to Birmingham (BHX/EGBB) BM1422

bmi regional Embraer 145 G-RJXD

After 2 weeks in France it was time to head back to Toulouse. The 10:20 scheduled departure meant we had to get up at 05:15, and arriving at the airport 2 hours before departure, first impressions were not great. The roads around the airport are confusing to say the least, and once inside departures the signage isn't great. It took us a while to realise departures was upstairs (probably obvious in hindsight) and then, the check in desks were all generic and did not have airline logos on them - you had to check a seperate board which told you which number desk to go to. 

Anyway, check in was fast as was security, and we spent an hour or so in the departure lounge watching the movements on the airfield- this time, including the A350 protoype F-WXWB! In one part of the departure lounge, there were only 2 adverts, some for Rolls-Royce and their Trent XWB engine for the A350, and some for Pratt & Whitney and their GTF engine (powering the Airbus A320neo amongst others). There was even part of a shop dedicated to airbus souvenirs! Some pics:

2 Belugas departed while we were there

Well before departure we were told to go to gate 55, which happened to be one of the most northernly gates in the terminal, yet once the bus arrived, it took us to the same remote stand we had used 2 weeks earlier, which is south of the terminal building?! C'est la vie. Pics from the bus:

G-RJXD was the waiting machine, the same aircraft that brought us to France! Take off was delayed due to the late delivery of the load sheet to the pilots by about 30 minutes. Eventually though, the engines were started, and chocks away! We sat in row 10, the seats infront of where we sat outbound. Legrooms was less but still 31". After a long taxi, take off was on 14L (open now, following works):

A right hand 180 degree turn after departure gave stunning views of both the city of Toulouse and Blagnac airport:

Looking down on a Volotea 717 taking off
A350 F-WXWB and an A380, along with various factory-fresh A330's on the left
Skies were overcast for the entirety of the flight back. We were offered the choice of free snacks this time, rather than just being given them (sensible I suppose). Despite the 30 minute late take off, landing was only 15 minutes later than scheduled. The approach was a straight in ILS to rwy33 - with some great views through the cloud:
Leamington (Warwick was on the left)
Kenilworth Castle
 And the landing:

So that concludes another 2 flights, 56 and 57 in my log! I may just have a new favourite airline, too. bmi regional are definitely recommended - although it seems  you have to book well in advance for cheap fares.

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