FlyBe | E195/Q400 | SOU-EDI-MAN-SOU

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And a slightly clearer view:

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Maps generated by theGreat Circle Mapper -copyright © Karl L. Swartz.

Videos related to this report
Southampton – Edinburgh: http://youtu.be/IkWbsg7pF1g
Edinburgh – Manchester: http://youtu.be/3TeOcJwEeHc
Manchester – Southampton: http://youtu.be/eLxOSy5E_xM

Ever had one of those moments in life where you feel like maybe you shouldn’t have bothered? This was one of them!

As I was looking for a trip in August, I figured I might as well head up to Scotland as no doubt the weather would be better then than at any other time of the year. I was also getting a little bored of flying out of LHR, so looked at other airports in the area. My original plan was to fly out of Birmingham, but having covered that on my trip back from Copenhagen, I decided on Southampton instead. This would mean flying with Flybe. I had experience of them on my trip to Glasgow last year and although not majorly disappointed with them, I cant say they impressed me hugely either – mainly due to the fact they weren’t all that low cost and the seat selection system wasn’t that great either. However, one-way tickets to Edinburgh were nice and cheap – just £24.99. For that price, I could book the flight and a seat for a very reasonable price.

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And finally the seat booking:

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Pretty pricey for £7.50, but when the whole ticket cost less than £25, I couldn’t really complain.

Next up was to book a return from Edinburgh. I didn’t really fancy spending any Avios, but the airline everybody loves to hate, Virgin Atlantic have flights from EDI and I have a stash of their miles in my account – therefore creating a cheap weekend away.

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They had quite a few reward flights available:

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Just as I was about to hit the book button, it occurred to me that I had selected the 24th August (the day I arrived in EDI) rather than the 25th – oops. I selected the correct date, only to find the only reward seats available were first thing in the morning.

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Not really seeing the point in flying into somewhere one evening, only to fly out first thing the following morning I looked at buying a ticket. VS were pretty expensive so I got on the phone to Flybe to see if I could either cancel the ticket I had just booked or add a return portion on. The guy on the end of the phone added a return flight, via Manchester for just a little bit over £58.

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Once I had finally sorted my flights, it was time to look for a hotel. I’d completely overlooked the fact that it was the Edinburgh festival, so therefore most hotels were sold out and the few that were available were massively overpriced – the Travelodge wanted £180 just for the one night! After a bit of searching, I was able to find a box room in a Hilton for £150. Still the most expensive hotel room I had booked, and by the looks of it the smallest but it would have to do. So things weren’t going all that smoothly so far.

A few days before departure, I received the following email from Flybe:

Dear Mr White,
I can see that you recently altered a booking with us now returning Edinburgh-Manchester-Southampton 25th August. I am emailing to advise that the agent you dealt with unfortunately gave you incorrect information as we are unable to make a one way ticket into a return ticket. Once a ticket has been confirmed as a one way, it cannot be later changed into a return, you would just need to book the return separately online. The fee the agent quoted of £58.88 will not be debited.
I apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.
Kind Regards,
Flybe Customer Contact Centre

Well that’s a bit of a poor show – pretty much admitting it was their fault, yet still not honoring the booking. Also the fact it was sent without any subject meant it could have been easily lost in my junk folder and I wouldn’t be any the wiser until I came to check in for my return.

Upon returning from work, I got straight on the phone to them and the guy on the other end could see the email and admitted it was rather odd. After being put on hold, he returned and said that as they accepted the booking they would have to honor it – too right you do! I know it was my mistake initially, but if you accept a booking then you should honor it. Also the fact that in the email, they admitted it was one of their staff that gave me incorrect information I figured they didn’t really have a leg to stand on.

The following day, I was issued with yet another E-Ticket and was finally set to go.

Due to not departing until 16:50, it was pretty much a normal Saturday morning for me. A lie in, followed by listening to a few CD’s (yes, they do still exist). After watching an interesting qualifying session for the Belgian Grand Prix left me running a bit behind schedule, it was a brisk walk to the station. I arrived perfectly on time to catch the train to Basingstoke. But I’m heading to Southampton? Yes, but as PalmJet says, where’s the fun in taking the direct route?

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Upon arrival at Basingstoke, there was about a ten second wait for my train. Perfect timing again.

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This train was ex Virgin stock. It wasn’t particularly comfortable – I wouldn’t want to go long distance on one of these that’s for sure!

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Enough with the trains now though. I arrived at Southampton airport at around 15:15.

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I made my way across the road to the terminal and over to one of the self serve check in machines.

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As far as I was aware, I hadn’t checked in due to the fact that BE just allocate you a random seat without any option to change it. However the machines thought I had. Two out of three flights were window seats, however tomorrow’s EDI-MAN sector threw up seat 5B – no good!

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I made my way over to Flybe customer services to rectify the problem. This was granted with an ‘of course sir’ and I was given 5A instead.

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I noticed there was a vending machine selling priority security, lounge access and other priority bits – I didn’t indulge though.

After this, I made my way back outside to the car park, to see what was going on. Not a huge amount, and I’d read online that people tend to get moved on from this spot, so I didn’t hang around.

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Once back indoors, I made my way through a pretty quiet security.

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The main hold up being an older couple who either hadn’t flown at all or at least in a good few years as they just couldn’t seem to get the procedure right! Once I had been processed, it was through the obligatory duty free shop and out into the basic departure lounge.

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Not many flights from here.

I headed over to WHSmiths to buy some water, before taking refuge in an area half way up the stairs – where it was much quieter than down below.

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After a while, a couple of flights departed so it got a lot quieter downstairs. I made my way down to see what was going on outside.

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During this time I tracked my incoming aircraft – G-FBEJ, a new reg for the log, delivered new to Flybe in March 2008 and in service with them ever since. I continued to wait and watch the goings on.

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Around twenty minutes later, my aircraft arrived and pulled on to stand. The furthest one from where I was stood. But still only around a thirty second walk away!

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Boarding commenced at 16:40, and as I passed the computer screen I noticed there were 85 passengers on board. I boarded via the rear stairs.

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(Almost) Under the wing.

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BE 769
SOU-EDI
24th August 2013
Embraer E195 / G-FBEJ
Seat: 26A / Economy
Scheduled: 16:50 / 18:20
Off Stand: 16:56
On Stand: 18:02

Once on board I seemed to think the legroom was a little tighter on my flights last year?

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The captain announced a flying time of an hour, and that we were just waiting for the aircraft next to us to push back, and then we would be on our way. Following this came the safety briefing, which the crew demonstrated to a pre recorded announcement. I ended up with an entire row to myself. Once we had pushed back, it was a pretty quick taxi over to the active. We made a right turn, taxied to the end of the runway and spun around to face the right direction again. The engines spooled up, before the brakes were released and we made a powerful and loud takeoff.

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A few moments later we were into the clouds.

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Shortly after departure, the crew started the on board service, although I didn’t buy anything. As I took the next picture, I noticed one of the passing crew give me a bit of a glance from the corner of her eye.

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Then after I took the last picture, the same member of cabin crew came over immediately and questioned all my picture taking. I explained that I have a website that I like to record my flight experiences on and she seemed ok with it – just so long as I didn’t take any pictures of the crew or other passengers. I made it clear that I wasn’t interested in people, just my own flight experience. After this, I decided to lay off the photography for this flight – at least until the crew were seated for landing. Quite the opposite attitude to last weeks flight on BA ( http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/trip_reports/read.main/245220/ ) where the crew were almost encouraging me to take pictures. After my experience last year with Flybe and their attitude towards me taking pictures, I’m wondering if this is official company policy, or I’ve just been unlucky? As the crew passed through the cabin to collect the rubbish, the purser approached me and I was again questioned, with the initial crew member that questioned me in attendance also. She wanted to make sure that I hadn’t got any pictures of anybody (blaming data protection) and I told her I hadn’t. No believing me though, she then wanted to see all the pictures I had taken though, just to make sure. I did consider telling her where to go, claiming it was in breach of ‘data protection’, but if I figured if I didn’t comply things could have got a whole lot worse for me upon arrival. She then asked what website they were for and I told her my own personal one. They both then carried on their way, no doubt feeling very satisfied with themselves.

To be honest I wasn’t feeling all that impressed with the extended grilling I got – in full earshot of the passengers around me at that, who were now starting to give me a few stares. I’ve been on plenty of airlines in the last 18 months and it’s only Flybe that I’ve had any issues with. After the booking problems I had before the flight I’d basically made the decision not to use the airline again, and this was just vindicating my decision.

I spent the rest of the flight staring out if the window feeling just a little bit pissed off.

Descent started, most of which was above the clouds and cabin crew got the ten minutes to landing announcement. There were some good views to be had of the forth bridge on approach, although as the crew were late sitting down, well after the landing gear was lowered, I didn’t fancy taking the risk of getting any pictures until well on to finals.

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We made a smooth touchdown at around 6pm and made the taxi over to a remote stand, pulling in along side a company Dash 8 and a Loganair Saab 340.

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I disembarked via the rear stairs and made my way on to the waiting bus. We made the short drive over to the domestic arrivals area, which was pretty much straight into the arrivals hall.

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Under the wing

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As I exited, I brought a ticket for the 100 bus into the city centre.

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Around fifteen minutes later I was at the Haymarket station where my hotel was located.

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I checked in and was told I was given a deluxe room – the first bit of good news in this trip it seemed. It was then a bit of an odd set up. My room was actually located up the road! So I exited the main building, crossed the road and walked around a hundred meters or so to the other building. Once inside, again, it was an odd set up. It was through a door, up some stairs, through another door, down two flights of stairs and into what seemed like the basement. Hmm. Luckily, upon reaching my room it was pretty spacious and clean. Nothing like an unexpected upgrade to heal some of the wounds that the Flybe cabin crew had inflicted earlier!

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I dumped my bag and made the thirty minute or so walk into the city for some dinner and to take in the atmosphere of the festival.

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Upon arriving in the city, I stopped for one of the biggest sandwiches I’ve ever seen!

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Feeling more than a little full, I was glad of the long walk back to the hotel to work it off!

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Although not before stopping to admire the fireworks coming from the castle where the Edinburgh Tattoo was just finishing up ( http://www.edintattoo.co.uk )

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It was then a slow walk back.

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The following morning I had a bit of a lie in before heading out around the local area, grabbing some breakfast along the way.

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Bath or Edinburgh?

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Simple enough breakfast.

I then went back to my hotel and watched a bit of TV for the next hour or so – as I had such a nice room, I felt like it would be a bit of a waste if I didn’t spend a bit of time in it! A bit later on I took the train into town.

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First stop was the Holyrood Park, for a walk up the hill:

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Followed by a walk around the golden mile, and up to the castle:

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Stopping for something traditional along the way:

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Before reaching the castle grounds.

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I then took a walk back down the hill again.

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More festival antics.

The final stop was a look around the shops, stopping to upgrade my phone price plan to 4G. At 16:00 it was on to a busy bus back to the airport.

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Last view of the city from the bus.

I arrived at a packed airport at just past 16:30. I made my way inside, grabbed a couple of souvenir boarding passes and then made my way through security. This was also pretty busy, but also efficient therefore it didn’t take too long.

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Bit of a blast from the past

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Once through, I made my way to find something to eat as I’d only really had a couple of snacks all day. There weren’t a lot of options really. A few Costa coffees, a sandwich bar and a busy Weatherspoons, which is what I went with.

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After I had finished eating I had a bit of a look around Dixons and had a look at what was going on outside.

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The BA flights seemed to be suffering from a few delays today.

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The gate was announced at 17:45.

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I made my way down to the gate through the basic looking corridors to what was firmly the LCC wing, although there wasn’t really a holding pen as such – just a corridor.

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So I stood next to the window, watching G-ECOD arrive, delivered to Flybe in July 2008 and in service with them since.

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Boarding was delayed due to there being a passenger in a stretcher having to be loaded, but boarding began at 18:20. Hopefully I wouldn’t have the same issues as yesterday…

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BE 296
EDI-MAN
25th August 2013
Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 / G-ECOD
Seat: 5A / Economy
Scheduled: 18:30 /19:40
Off Stand: 18:31
On Stand: 19:33

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Something that was missing from yesterday’s flight.

I did have a seat mate and although there were plenty of spare seats around he refused to budge – instead staying engrossed in his newspaper. The captain announced a flying time of forty five minutes and a cruising altitude of 19,000 ft. We pushed back a minute or two behind schedule and made our way out to the runway on one engine. We had to hold for a second or two to let the delayed BA flight to LHR pull out ahead of us.

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The remaining engine started and we pulled on to the runway a couple of minutes later, departing at 18:40.

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It was up into the hazy skies above Edinburgh. A few minutes after departure the crew started the service. I managed a couple of shots out of the window and one mobile pic of the cabin, but was still a little reluctant to take many more pictures.

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The guy with his head down in front would turn out to be my seat mate on my following flight.

The captain gave a brief update a few minutes before descent, saying we were just passing the Lake District and that he expected us to be on stand shortly ahead of schedule at 19:30.

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Thankfully, this flight remained uneventuful, and descent into Manchester started at 19:07.

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We landed at 19:25 on Manchesters new runway. Although it’s not so new anymore.

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We exited in the direction of the terminals, the number one engine was shut down almost immediately and we made a short taxi over to the stand and I disembarked.

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MAN’s new tower.

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Want to try one of these – but the high prices put me right off!

I checked the FID for my next gate, but unsurprisingly it hadn’t been announced yet.

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I followed the signs for flight transfers, however when I got there I was told that my next flight would be departing from gate 1 – back in the direction I had just come from so it would be better off me heading straight there – which I did.

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Last time I was in this area, there was a bit of a celebration going on…

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Heading back to where I came.

When I arrived, there wasn’t an aircraft on stand.

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Fortress Flybe at MAN

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G-ECOE pulled in a few moments later though. Despite being the previous birds sister ship, this one has had a much more interesting history since it’s delivery back in July 2008. It headed off to Wideroe in October 2008 and then Olympic in August 2009 before spending a brief period in storage from June 2010 before returning to BE in June 2011.

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Boarding was called at 20:20. It seemed to be a pretty full flight and I had a seat mate – a guy who sat a couple of rows ahead of me on the EDI-MAN sector earlier. However despite there being a free row behind, once again he refused to budge. Oh well, at least its only a short flight.

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BE 874
MAN-SOU
25th August 2013
Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 / G-ECOE
Seat: 4D / Economy
Scheduled: 20:35 / 21:30
Off Stand: 20:44
On Stand: 21:41

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Legroom etc. was identical to my previous flight, so no repeat shots. It was amusing to watch the other passengers force their massive carry on bags into the Q400’s tiny overhead lockers! We pushed back ten minutes or so behind schedule, due to a late arriving passenger. We made the taxi out to 05L and were held at the threshold for a few minutes before departing pretty rapidly into the darkness. Not much can be said about this flight as it was pretty similar to the last – apart from the fact this one was in darkness and I was sat on the other side of the cabin.

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My IFE on this sector was staring at the girl opposite wearing a massive pair of sunglasses, despite it being night time and wondering why? The captain came over the PA a little while later, giving our expected arrival time, a cruising altitude of 19,000 ft and a speed of 400mph.

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Descent then started, although due to the darkness there wasn’t much to be seen.

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As we got lower, I could tell we were over the water, before making a pretty sharp turn to the right – passing a well lit cruse ship as we were on final descent.

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We thumped down on to Southampton’s runway at just before 21:40, did a U turn at the end and made a quick taxi over to the stand. Shortly after, the doors were opened and I was on to a waiting bus.

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It was through the doors straight into baggage claim.

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Then straight out the other side into arrivals.

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From pulling up on to stand, having to be bussed to the terminal and walking out the front door of the terminal took a grand total of eight minutes – only LCY could rival that!

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A few moments later I was at the train station, waiting for the 22:03 train home – approximately an hour after departing from Manchester.

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Shows how near the station is to the terminal at SOU

I arrived back at home an hour or so later.

So what did I think of Flybe? I think you can probably guess to be honest. After being less than impressed with my flights with them last year, due to their pretty high prices for a LCC and low service I thought I’d give them one final shot. And quite honestly they were actually worse on this occasion – from the mess up of my booking (granted, part of it was my fault, but if they accept a booking, they should honor it without me having to chase them) and also the treatment I received from not only one, but two crew members on the outbound flight. I also think the seat selection process is pretty rubbish – basically having to pay (quite a lot – £8 per sector, compared to EasyJet’s £3) to be able to choose where to sit. I think I’ll be avoiding them in future unless they have a VERY good offer. To be honest, I’m hardly surprised they’re struggling.

However, despite all this I had a good weekend in Edinburgh, and glad I did bother in the end!

As the day following my return from Edinburgh was a bank holiday in England, I took the opportunity to head up to the O2 in London to visit the Emirates aviation experience and the air line – so as it might be of interest to some, I’d like to share a few pictures of that too.

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View of the Olympic stadium from the airline.

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And LCY to the other side

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Watching the arrivals into LCY:

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And after lunch at one of the O2’s many eateries it was on to the Emirates Aviation Experience:

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FlyBe | E195/Q400 | LGW-BHD-GLA-BHD-LGW

Photobucket

Maps generated by the
Great Circle Mapper –
copyright © Karl L. Swartz.This weekends trip started out some months ago. Originally I had planned to take a BMI regional flight to ABZ using my VS flying club miles so I could log an E145. I had looked up the taxes/fees on the BMI website and they came to a reasonable £57. So I called the VS flying club to book, and everything went to plan until it came to the payment. As BD had only given VS their fully flexible tickets, the taxes and fees were in the higher bracket. I can’t remember the exact amount of money, but I didn’t think it was very good value considering the amount of miles they wanted and I decided to leave it. I still quite fancied a trip to Scotland though, as I had never been, and studied other options. As it turned out, Flybe came through with an interesting option. An E195 from LGW to BHD and a Q400 between BHD and GLA. Both types were new to me and I had never been on a prop before. Plus I’d very briefly get to visit Northern Ireland for the first time. Prices seemed similar to BA, but I got 2 extra flights thrown in, so in my mind this was better value! Without taking much time to think, my card was coming out of my wallet and the flights were being booked for a couple of quid under £150.

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Cant say I’ve ever seen so many adverts on an air ticket

Next came a hotel. The Ibis looked like a good location, got good reviews on trip advisor and for booking so far in advance I managed to secure a good advanced rate.

https://i2.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/glahotel.jpgAs the flight would be departing at 08:50, it meant taking the 05:53 train. I prebooked my tickets for £25.

https://i2.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/ticketsgla.jpgAnd whilst I was in the mood for booking things online, I booked a return on the number 500 bus from Glasgow airport to the city for a pretty expensive £7.50. Although its still cheaper than the coach that goes from my local station to Heathrow.

https://i0.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/glabus.jpg36 hours before my first flight was due to leave, I reluctantly decided to check in online. I’d heard that you just get randomly assigned seats but thought I’d try my luck anyway as in my mind I could just cancel the operation if I wasn’t assigned a seat I wanted. As it turned out that wasn’t an option to do that. You’re greeted with a list of your flights and a check box to select each one you want to check in for. The next screen is your boarding pass with a print screen automatically coming up. No other options. Very simple, but for my other 3 flights I decided not to play ‘window seat roulette’, and checked in at the airport.

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At 05:30, I set off for the station.

https://i1.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/9d775bf6.jpgAs expected the train was virtually empty at this time of the morning

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https://i0.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/874ec889.jpgMy second train of the morning had a few more people on it and considering most had suitcases it was fair to assume they were headed for Gatwick too. I spent my time on the train catching up with the news on my ipad and also took a look at flight radar24 – and yet again I saw that LGW arrivals and departures were to the East – that’s now 8 trips in a row, dating back to 2002 where I’ve missed out on 26L! After around 50 mins or so the train pulled up at Gatwick station and it was off to check in for my BHD-GLA sector. The self-serve kiosk seemed to have a few problems with this, so I headed over to see an actual person and they managed to sort it for me.

https://i2.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/03ce3ddc.jpgI then made my way round to security via the VS check in area and they seemed to have a bit of a celebration going on for their inaugural flight to Cancun. The flights had actually started a few weeks previously but today was the official launch.

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Gatwick Check In overview

After that it was through security. I spotted a free lane at the far end so I headed for that. Unfortunately the ‘I’ve never flown before and I don’t know the rules’ family spotted it a second quicker than I did and I got slightly held up. It still only took a couple of minutes though. Once through I went off to get some breakfast. After the poor showing by my favorite spotting location airside on my previous visit, I decided to try out Franky and Bennys. Slightly better attempt than The Bridge Bar, but the view wasn’t as good where I was seated. That’s where the Bridge Bar has and advantage – being a pub you choose where you sit rather than relying on somebody to choose for you.
I still managed to get some decent shots though. And the service was quick. A bit too quick for my liking. It filled a hole though.

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https://i1.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/5549d43d.jpg

Unusual to see the door open on the upper deck

It was then off for a quick wonder as boarding was due to begin at 8:20. The FID showed that the gate would open at 08:10, however I knew that this probably wouldn’t be the case. In the end it opened at 08:15, so not bad by LGW’s standards!

https://i2.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/3af663e8.jpgToday’s flight would be departing from gate 6 – I hadn’t departed from this pier before so was interested to see what it was like.

https://i0.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/950d0877.jpg
https://i1.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/c1ad6a77.jpg
https://i1.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/96ccbe82.jpg
https://i1.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/9c849d8e.jpg

Taken en route

I wasn’t left with the best impression. The ground staff wanted everybody to join one LONG queue to get through. There were quite a few people complaining about this but in the end it only took around 10 minutes or so to reach the holding pen.

https://i2.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/49a89ca5.jpg
https://i2.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/0240d071.jpg
BE962
LGW-BHD
7 July 2012
E-195 – G-FBEG
Off Stand: 08:53
On Stand:10:07

Shortly afterwards, boarding was called by row number. Being initially seated in 8a I was amount the last to board. It seemed like there was a load of around 80% or so. I had a seatmate but noticed row 4 was free so I made the decision it wouldn’t be free after take off! The female captain came on the PA and announced a flying time of just under an hour.

https://i1.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/baf8aa39.jpg
https://i0.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/ef7b5f18.jpg

A bit tight, but it will do for this short hop.


https://i2.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/54496314.jpgWe pushed back slightly behind schedule and made our way down to 08R for a damp take off. On the way down I spotted yet another new VS A330 – G-VNYC this time. As it was over the other side of the plane, no photo this time. Take off was just before 09:10 local. One thing I did notice was that we taxied out with just the one engine running. As we reached the end of the runway, the air conditioning went off and the other engine was started.

After take off, I made my move to row 4 just after the seat once the seatbelt sign had gone off. Just shame the lovely British summer we’ve been having prevented any decent photo opportunities. There were some good cloud formations though.

https://i0.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/5bf4671e.jpg
https://i2.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/fd32e4d8.jpg
https://i0.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/ec3f10e9.jpg
https://i2.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/4a115b0e.jpg
The crew then came through the cabin offering food or drink for sale. Not for me this time though.

https://i2.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/88b32aea.jpg
https://i1.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/8cbd3214.jpg

Cabin Overview

https://i1.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/61467659.jpg

Jodrell Bank, near Manchester

https://i1.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/ee7d7d08.jpg

Isle of Man

After half an hours flying time the captain was on the PA again saying that we’re making good progress, giving a weather update for Belfast and that we would shortly be starting our descent. No sooner had she hung up the phone, the engines spooled back and we were indeed heading back towards solid ground.

Landing was a cloudy, wet and bumpy affair. We arrived on stand just ahead of schedule though.


https://i2.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/79216b4f.jpg
https://i1.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/af841f0f.jpg
https://i0.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/721a137e.jpgThen it was time to wait for my next flight. Upon checking the fids, I noticed here was a 25-minute delay. It seemed like most flights were delayed today – maybe due to the bad weather in the UK? My flight had one of the shortest delays – others were up to 2 hours.

That left me 3 hours to wait around at BHD, and the fact the weather was so bad, it meant I didn’t much feel like taking a walk outside either. I did manage to check in for my flight home tomorrow while I was waiting though.

Once the weather cleared up a bit, I took a brief walk outside I spotted the aircraft that brought me to BHD sat quietly in a corner all alone.

https://i0.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/7a24c7d0.jpgAt around 11:30 I headed through security. This took quite a while as there was only 1 lane open. I got some amusement though – 2 lads in front had either been living under a rock for the last few years or thought all the publications/signs/ whatever saying no liquids over 100ml didn’t apply to them. Either way they had to leave what seemed like the entire contents of Tesco’s styling aisle behind.

Then it was up to departures

https://i2.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/632b1269.jpgAfter a brief look at what BHD had to offer airside (not a lot), I found somewhere to grab a cake and coffee and watch what was going on outside (not a lot).

https://i2.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/910426df.jpg
https://i1.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/bb551702.jpg
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https://i0.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/f0085fd2.jpg
https://i2.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/6c0b7908.jpg


Relying on our favorite Finn for some entertainment

And that’s where I remained. Yet another delay flashed up. Estimated departure time was now 13:30 – 45 minutes behind schedule. At 13:05 G-ECOG landed and pulled on to stand. I came to the conclusion that I would be on this one as the only other aircraft around was the BA/BMI A319.


BE133
BHD-GLA
7 July 2012
Q400 – G-ECOG
Off Stand: 13:39
On Stand: 14:12

Boarding started at 13:25, although I just happened to notice this by chance as no announcement was made. Good thing too as I was pretty fed up with waiting around by then!

https://i2.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/2cebb6b9.jpg
https://i2.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/8755a5bc.jpgI took my seat onboard and the flight seemed reasonably full. I still had the seat next to me free though. The legroom seemed better than in the E195 from earlier.


https://i2.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/a886b850.jpg

https://i0.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/ed93f613.jpgFlight time was given as 30 minutes. We made a brisk taxi out to the runway and a pretty powerful takeoff to the West at 13:45.

Almost immediately after takeoff the crew started their service. I guess there wasn’t anytime to mess about on his short flight. At 13:58 the 10 minutes to landing notification was given – this certainly was a quick hop! The only thing that made an appearance through the clouds was this small island.

https://i1.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/e0b8011f.jpg

Ailsa Craig

https://i2.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/5bd87a11.jpg

No mistaking which airline I’m on

https://i0.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/0a3e19fb.jpg
https://i1.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/d27b5155.jpg

Upon arrival at GLA it was a pretty quick taxi on to stand and I disembarked via the rear stairs.

https://i1.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/3ab50996.jpg
https://i0.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/001ecbc1.jpgThen it was a quick walk through to arrivals with a few pics along the way:

https://i0.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/2447ca53.jpg
https://i0.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/3ae9d7fb.jpgI headed outside and got straight on to a packed number 500 bus for the city.

https://i2.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/8ea9a0c7.jpgOnce in the city, I headed for the nearest subway station as I wanted to visit the riverside museum:

https://i2.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/52bcaef1.jpgSeemed quite old fashioned to me, but I read that it was in the process of being upgraded. The museum was very interesting, although it wasn’t too big. Could of done with an aviation section though as they seemed to have every other form of transport covered.

https://i2.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/e2adee8a.jpg
https://i1.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/8931c7e5.jpg
https://i0.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/a87e9d1b.jpg
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https://i2.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/45795fca.jpg
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One of the more interesting parts

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https://i1.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/3c5597f3.jpg

Pub in 1890’s style


https://i2.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/338a5675.jpg
https://i2.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/ced024b8.jpg

https://i2.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/8e0ba429.jpg
https://i1.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/fb1bc822.jpgOnce finished I headed back into the city to have a look what was on offer.



https://i0.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/65250148.jpg
https://i0.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/5329f1d0.jpg
https://i1.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/613992b6.jpgThen it was on to my favorite – TGI Fridays for dinner!

https://i1.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/f64e6284.jpg
https://i1.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/19c8845c.jpgAfter dinner I made my way to the hotel as I was feeling a bit tired. It was about a mile away so walked off dinner nicely.

https://i1.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/f67c18cf.jpg

 

Sunday started fairly early as I felt I hadn’t really seen all I had wanted to around the city, and I wanted to be back at the airport by around 9:30. I checked out of my hotel just before 7:30 and took a walk.

https://i1.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/73153ee5.jpg
https://i1.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/86682ff8.jpg

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https://i2.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/9964f5d1.jpg
https://i0.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/31e67409.jpg

Glasgow Cathedral – reason for the black colour is soot build up

https://i1.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/d8be64e6.jpg



I’m Famous!


https://i2.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/6eb0edb9.jpgAt 9:00 I took the bus back to the airport. Shortly after I had arrived.

https://i2.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/24c8946a.jpg
https://i1.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/41d83f46.jpgI headed off to check in and get my boarding passes, but according to the machine, I had already checked it – I wasn’t aware of that, but it said I had seat 2a so I was pleased.


https://i2.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/bebd080f.jpg
https://i2.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/8d56237a.jpg

Check in overview

https://i2.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/771d8acd.jpg

Sad sight

There didn’t seem to be too much landside so I got in a long ish queue for security. It took around 10 minutes or so to get through, then it was straight into a duty free shop that I had no interest in

https://i0.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/0106751f.jpgWith over an hour or so to kill, I decided to treat myself to a full weatherspoons breakfast

https://i0.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/abd0e9f5.jpg
https://i0.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/9fb6d184.jpgThen it was off to check out the views

https://i1.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/7a28d43c.jpg
https://i0.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/be68a13f.jpg
https://i2.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/ece2f889.jpg
https://i2.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/b85e8914.jpgI was quite impressed with Glasgow airport – lots of natural light, and very spacious feel to it considering it’s not one of the bigger airports.

https://i2.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/4575d0c4.jpg
https://i1.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/126497a4.jpg
https://i1.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/f26ab5b2.jpg
BE128
GLA-BHD
8 July 2012
Q400 – G-JECX
Off Stand: 11:40
On Stand: 12:14

https://i2.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/c809905c.jpgAt exactly 10:55 gate 14 was announced and I made my way down, through a last ditch effort to sell me stuff I don’t want, to find G-JECX waiting.

Boarding commenced at 11:28. There was a slight delay – I overheard the ground crew that they were still waiting for something. I’d seen Flybe claim that they were the most punctual low cost airline… Hmm I was having my doubts.

https://i2.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/2038b5bb.jpgA very friendly flight attendant – addressing every passenger by name, greeted me onboard. There seemed to be a bit more legroom at the front of this dash8. During boarding I noticed that all the other passengers were being directed towards the back of the aircraft. As it turned out the only other person forward of row 10 other than myself (and sat in row 2d) was a young girl.

https://i1.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/fd407bbb.jpgBoarding was completed at 11:36. We made a taxi out to the runway and during which I got spotted by the crew taking pictures/filming and asked to stop – doh! This made a bit of a mess of my takeoff video, but what I did manage to get can be seen below.

https://i0.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/09f41c1f.jpg

Take off was at 11:49 so all being well arrival should be at 12:19, as the crew had earlier mentioned that it would be a flight of 30 minutes. It was quite a bumpy crossing as it was entirely in the clouds.

https://i0.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/ed025201.jpg

Cabin overview

https://i2.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/a890267b.jpg

Gotta love how my phone cam cant handle the props!

https://i1.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/5cb58e9a.jpg
https://i1.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/368648d3.jpg

Felt brave enough to get my proper camera out now

https://i2.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/7363a0cc.jpgAt 12:03 the engines spooled back and the 10 minutes to landing call was given. So in reality it was less than 30 minutes. The cloud base seemed a bit higher than yesterday so that allowed some better views – due to my camera ban though, you’ll just have to take my word for it!

As we were pulling onto stand, the forward crew member started making the usual arrival talk. I thought to myself she couldn’t possibly tell me off again now we’ve landed…

https://i1.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/4fd575b5.jpgWrong. She stuttered in her speech before adding on “and may we remind you that all electronic devices must remain OFF until inside the terminal”.

Once inside the terminal, I figured I was probably safe so took a pic

https://i0.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/4c5d84ec.jpgWrong again. A ground crew member said “you’re not allowed to take pictures chap”. Seriously… I’ve been taking pictures in and around airports for years with no problems and I’ve now been told off three times in about half an hour!

I made my way through arrivals and headed for the flybe customer service desk to try and bribe my way into the lounge… £12 poorer I was given a pass.

Before I headed through security, with my confidence in tatters, I snuck a pic of the new BA check in desk:

https://i1.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/ebde1965.jpg


Looks a bit different to how Gabriel saw it a few weeks ago

Then I headed through security. I did everything the same as I had done previously, had all the same things in my bag (apart from some butter tablet I’d brought) and yet for some reason, the alarm went off on the X-ray machine and my bag (and myself) was taken off into the naughty corner. The security agent unpacked a few bits then took my phone and charger out… My phone seemed to be getting me into a lot of trouble this morning. Without much more trouble I was let on my way and I headed up to the lounge.

https://i2.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/aba5c7b1.jpg
The same young lady that I saw on the service desk yesterday greeted me. Finally a friendly face! The lounge was very quiet – infact apart from me, there were only 2 other people in the lounge.

https://i0.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/910ffc8d.jpg
https://i2.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/f6522d9c.jpg
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https://i2.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/1041b902.jpgThe offerings were about as much as I’d expected. Still, with flybe being a low cost carrier the fact there’s a lounge at all is a bonus. I waited here until my flight was called. Whilst waiting I saw the plane that brought me in depart to Inverness

https://i0.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/8c266037.jpg
https://i2.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/113d6361.jpg

Todays token ‘non BE’ flight.


BE969
BHD-LGW
8 July 2012
E-195 – G-FBEF
Off Stand: 14:37
On Stand:15:44

Boarding was called at 14:15 on to a wet Belfast Tarmac.

https://i1.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/9534373b.jpgThe female captain welcomed everybody on board and gave a flight time of around an hour or so, and our routing. Interestingly enough, this was the same captain from yesterday’s flight. The load was around 95% or so, however boarding was completed pretty quickly and we pushed back a minute early. Due to the heavy load I had a seatmate and there wasn’t any real opportunity to move either. This didn’t matter to me though as my seatmate was a very attractive blonde girl.

https://i0.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/e2520de8.jpg
https://i2.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/e7a8e96a.jpgThe cabin crew did the safety demonstration to a pre-recorded tape and we made a short taxi out to the runway. Luckily this time, due to being seated in the middle of the cabin I could film and take as many pictures as I liked! Unfortunately the weather had deteriorated in the couple of hours or so id spend in Belfast so there wasn’t much of a view to be had. The runway had also switched direction. Takeoff was at 47 minutes past the hour.


https://i1.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/f4449def.jpg
https://i2.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/eea035d3.jpgThe flight was quite bumpy on the way up and there was quite a bit of cloud around however once this had cleared it was a comfortable flight over to London – other than the fact the cabin was very hot.

https://i1.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/05064325.jpgOne thing I did notice on both E195 flights was that the windows in all rows didn’t seem to line up all that well with the seats. I’m assuming this was down to the reduced seat pitch onboard the flybe jets.

https://i1.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/30937604.jpg
https://i2.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/d1a3fe90.jpg
https://i0.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/80e04e81.jpg
https://i2.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/83ed4338.jpg
https://i1.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/bfc5c5bf.jpg
https://i1.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/a42cef1c.jpgAt 15:11 the engines spooled back, the plane took a very definite nose down attitude, and things started to get very bumpy again. Infact I’d never been on a plane that had done such a nosedive before – Shame it didn’t really come out on camera all that well as it was quite something. I’m assuming descent was started a bit late – or even TCAS had taken over, although I’d imagine this scenario was unlikely at cruising altitude.

https://i2.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/3903ce62.jpg
https://i2.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/46b39d02.jpg
https://i2.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/83dfedfe.jpgShortly after the captain came over the pa to give us an update. She said that barring any inbound delays we should be on stand 10 minutes ahead of schedule at 15:50. And that there were a few rain bearing clouds around. Surprise surprise. Then the seatbelt sight came on as the captain was expecting some turbulence. And boy did show up just a few moments later!

The rest of the descent mostly involved dodging some aggressive looking clouds

https://i2.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/d1298414.jpg
https://i2.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/4bc44a41.jpgThen during short finals I noticed that we were crossing the M23 – so that would mean that after a good few years I’d finally be using 26L! Touchdown was smooth enough but I think it might of been a bit late due to some very hard braking action and leaving the runway while still travelling at some speed.


https://i0.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/a45b592e.jpgAfter pulling up at the domestic pier there was a bit of a wait while somebody could be found to operate the jet bridge.

https://i2.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/d7f50b0e.jpg
https://i0.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/57403ddb.jpgI was happy to let everybody else go before me, and when I reached the front I asked for a flight deck visit, which was granted.

https://i2.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/3d22960f.jpgI asked the captain if she was on my flight yesterday but she said it wouldn’t of been her as she was off, and therefore the flight wouldn’t of been as smooth – guess its good to have a captain confident in their capabilities. I was also amazed at how small the e-series flight deck was. When I said it was a flight deck visit, it was more a case of them opening the door as there wasn’t enough room for 3 of us in there! I also noticed that they were now using iPads instead – they said flybe had been using the, for around 8 months now. The jet-powered aircraft have 2, the props have 1. The first officer also mentioned that the E-series was planned to become the backbone of the fleet as the Dash-8’s were becoming unreliable. Apparently they will be phased out over then next few years? I did question him, but he seemed fairly confident. We shall see… I felt like I had a dispatcher breathing down my neck, so bid farewell and went on my way.

https://i2.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/03d7812a.jpg

Guess this areas not been used for a few years now

https://i0.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/1f54b37b.jpg

Downside of being the last off

The reason for the queue was for a security check, and everybody had their picture taken and a card handed to them. The dispatcher who was waiting for me obviously had enough by this point and told me to let the people at the other end that I was the last passenger so they could shut the door. If only I could get the customer to do my job for me…

Then it was a case of following the signs to the exit.

https://i0.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/401b3aa1.jpgThe exit was in zone B of the departure hall. I had wondered what became of this area since Aer Lingus had moved out – turns out Air Transat had taken it over.

https://i2.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/54fb35f7.jpgThe final leg of my journey would be by train

https://i0.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/80635542.jpg
https://i0.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/64bf5cf9.jpg
https://i1.wp.com/i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/Glasgow/9f81dde9.jpgAt a reasonable 17:30 I arrived back where I started almost exactly 36 hours earlier.

In conclusion flybe wasn’t too bad. The online check in system could be better and considering they’re meant to be a low cost carrier they weren’t particularly low cost. Although I’m of the opinion that none of them are really. The E195 was a little cramped compared to some other airlines, but the dash 8 more than made up for it. My recommendation is to try and get row 2 on the a side – a lot more room than the rest of the plane, just don’t expect to be able to take any pictures on takeoff or landing! The lounge in BHD was worth the money I felt too if you have a long layover. Glasgow reminded me of Frankfurt in a way – plenty to do if you like shopping but didn’t seem to be a huge amount in the way of landmarks.