MAS777 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 1999, 2937 posts, RR: 6 Posted (9 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 2208 times:
My partner and I will be flying to Florence directly from LGW (since we live in Hove) and have opted not to bank further points with Skyteam members but opt for speed and convenience (to maximise our time in Florence for the weekend) by flying Meridiana on their A319s out of Gatwick.
Anyone flown with them lately?
What can we expect?
Read awful reports (after booking) on www.airlinequality.com
Any seat recommendations when we reconfirm our reservations (I know - I haven't had to reconfirm seats for many years but its stamped on our ticket wallets to do so 72hrs before flying)...
Shankly From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2000, 1550 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (9 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 2150 times:
Have flown Meridiana LGW-FLR very regularly over the last five years and have generally found them to be a great little airline, with most flights having departed on or fairly near to schedule departure time.
Used to love their BAe 146's which were finally phased out last year. Indeed I actually flew on the 1st A319 flight last year which was a great surprise. The A319 has knocked some time of the flight and as it flies a bit higher, has improved comfort on the route.
The 319's are smartly presented and kitted out with blue leather seats. In season the flight tends to be fairly full (which is why I always, visit Florence between November and February, bar one trip in May last year). In terms of a good seat, I always rather like just ahead of the wing as you then get a splendid view of the advancing Tuscan countryside during descent. Alternatively (see below) if you want to see every nut and bolt of an A319 wing, sit behind it.
If the weather is good the route is rather spectacular typically being down through France and then over the Alps to Milan, Genova, Pisa before turning left and straight into FLR's Northerly runway. If you sit on the right hand side you can see Florence clearly during the final approach. The Tuscan hills do tend to throw up a bit of turbulence and I’ve experienced some lively but very enjoyable last few minutes to the flight!
I have observed that there is very clearly a special company arrival procedure for FLR which, given the mountains to the East means the aircraft is generally very clean until the last few minutes of approach when every flap you will ever see on an aircraft is deployed and then all hell breaks loose as the 319 brakes for all its worth on the short but high grip surface runway.
Cabin service is limited to a light snack and tea/coffee with soft drinks, beer and wine served. However given you will be landing at lunch time in one of the food capitals of the world, save your appetite!
If you are going for the weekend, just take carry-on’s. On my last trip in February we landed at 1.00pm and my wife and I were sitting in our favorite restaurant 30 minutes later!
There is a regular and cheap bus service in to town, but a white cab for Eu20 will have you there in 10/15 minutes and quite frankly there is not a better way to arrive in an Italian city than at 100mph in a taxi!
MAS777 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 1999, 2937 posts, RR: 6
Reply 6, posted (9 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 2003 times:
Cheers Shankly for that - will make sure we get seats in front on the right although Business Class was a fortune and the whole trip (even in Economy) is currently costing more than my 2 weeks in China last month!!!
I love flying but have started becoming increasingly nervous (yet strangely excited each time) after an ex once pointed out that we were hurtling through space in a tin can (on a flight to Miami) and we both broke out in a cold sweat - or maybe it was the champagne that caused that...
Anyway - current partner is non too fussed and can't see any fascination with planes (heathen!) - window seat for me, I say!
Zone1 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1035 posts, RR: 7
Reply 7, posted (9 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 2007 times:
Quoting Shankly (Reply 2): Cabin service is limited to a light snack and tea/coffee with soft drinks, beer and wine served. However given you will be landing at lunch time in one of the food capitals of the world, save your appetite!
LOL! Or no cabin service! I flew Meridiana from FLR to BCN at the end of February, and the flight attendants were on strike. They did the safety demonstration and that was about it. You can read the trip report here: Star To Europe Part 2 MXP-FLR-BCN Train Vs Plane (by RoseFlyer Mar 13 2005 in Trip Reports)
Azmd80 From Italy, joined Nov 2003, 290 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (9 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 1912 times:
I'flown some times from and to Florence. A319 is the largest AC that operates on this short runway. Also on smaller AC as ATR or Bae146 the landing is very amusing. It sholud be very interesting to land on A319.