Following a week in the glorious Provençal sunshine, it was time to return the hire Peugeot to the rental stand at Marignane and set off for MP2, the new lo-co terminal.
I had allowed far too much time for the journey to the airport with the result that I had an hour to kill before check-in opened, and rather than haul my luggage around to visit the other terminals, I found a seat in the departure hall (only one small café the only facility) and immersed myself in book and iPod.
Exactly two hours before scheduled departure three check in desks opened and I was quite quick off the mark to join the queue and be one of the first through. My suitcase had put on a little too much weight during the week but fortunately this wasn’t noticed and I wheeled it off to the bag drop point and joined the queue for security, which was slow going with only two scanners open, and about a 25 minute wait, not that impressive as I had already abandoned my bottled water- I rather wish I’d kept it.
My laptop bag with all its fiddly pockets received a thorough manual search for the first time ever, though my comment ‘il y en a trop’ received a smile from the security officer.
Airside there was a small lounge area with a handful of shops and a small snack bar- not a BAA style haven of commerce but fortunately slightly better than terminal three at CDG, which I endured about 18 months ago! There was a reasonable view of part of the apron and I found a table to excavate my baguette and watch the world go by.
The incoming flight was on time and we were called for a short walk to passport control and onto the gate.
The 737 was close enough to the gate to avoid the need for a bus so up the airstairs, and onboard. About a 70% capacity flight, which left on time, though taking off on 13L as the direction of operations must just have changed- I was watching flights land on 31R as we boarded.
The flight itself was uneventful and smooth, but with only the single pre-flight announcement from the flight deck.
The route took us up the Rhône valley, past Avignon, just to the east of Paris (with views of Orly and CDG) and then over London and straight in to Birmingham on Rwy33, some ‘25 minutes ahead of schedule’ (ie par for the course- schedules have plenty of slack built in so that punctuality rates can be massaged!). Also a good view of the Gaydon test track (Land Rover and Aston Martin, as well as the Heritage Motor Museum).
We did have a 10 minute delay getting on the gate as the staff weren’t ready, but the biggest delay was in the immigration hall, as we arrived shortly after an Air India 777; time I registered for IRIS, I reckon! 20 minutes later and in a pile of suitcases in the baggage hall I found my case. Fortunately, a train from Birmingham International station was due in 10 minutes, and it only took five to get from Terminal one to the rail station, the train was on time, and I was soon home.
Trintocan From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2000, 3211 posts, RR: 4 Reply 3, posted (6 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 2871 times:
Thanks for this lovely little trip report, the pictures certainly depicted the atmosphere at MRS. I like your contrast with BAA run airports - those are indeed havens of commerce! I am surprised that there was no other announcement beyond the pre-departure one. Is that the state of WW flights? I flew with them in March and yes they did not seem a lively lot aboard, in stark contrast to U2.
Rogbi200 From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2006, 16 posts, RR: 0 Reply 4, posted (6 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 2659 times:
Quoting Trintocan (Reply 3): I am surprised that there was no other announcement beyond the pre-departure one. Is that the state of WW flights?
My mistake for being as clear as mud. There was the usual welcome from the flight deck before pushback, but we then didn't hear again from them until a brief explanation after landing about the delay docking to the airbridge at BHX. Nothing mid flight, which I know isn't a requirement but something I appreciate.
There were all the usual cabin announcements on safety, seat belts off, catering run etc, and two runs of the snacks and drinks trolley (I didn't partake) and one of the duty-free trolley (which didn't get many takers, at least in the forward part of the cabin).