VoeKL From Netherlands, joined May 2007, 24 posts, RR: 3 Posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 8115 times:
This is my fifth airliners.net trip report, the last one you can read here. I hope you enjoy this one too.
AMS Amsterdam Schiphol Airport - BHX Birmingham International Airport
Date: 9 of November 2007
Aircraft: Boeing 737-59D
Gate: H6 changed in H3
Planned departure time: 9:40 am.
Actual push back time: 10:25 am.
Arrival time: 10:44 am.
This trip was the first time for me with a so called LCC in Europe. I tipped this possibility to the Dutch company which organized for us a reference visit to a company near Birmingham. They compare the prices with KLM and difference was it worth to try this opportunity.
In bad weather (heavy rains, storms) me and my two colleagues took the train to Schiphol. Fifteen minutes before we arrived the director of the Dutch company called me where we were. I answered him that we just passed Leiden station and that we within five minutes arrives at the airport, I always mistake me in the distance between Leiden and Schiphol, I think because when you passed Leiden you can see the huge tower of Schiphol airport.
We arrived 8:15 am at the airport, the director and his son were waiting for us in the front of the long row in terminal 3. Without standing there we get our boarding pass. Then we must stay in a long row for the passport control. There, a very arrogant man of the Dutch military police controlled my passport. Why think most of the people when they wear a uniform that they can treat you like a dog, of course I said most, there are always exceptions. At 8:40 am we stood in the departure hall and walked to the H concourse.
Twenty minutes later I was at the H concourse of Schiphol, was the first time for me. A lot Amsterdam weekend tourist arrived and we must wait. Positive of the H concourse that you through the large windows and the location can see all the traffic and activity around the planes, negative thing that there are almost no seats, a lot of people were sitting on the ground. I had read article about this concourse with his very basic interior, but Schiphol, IMO is placing more seats not a real big problem.
Sister plane arrives at AMS, next destination EMA
Reflection in the large windows from the H concourse
The plane was delayed, later I heard the reason, due the stormy weather and only two of the five runways in use was flight with delay departed from BHX, so that flight arrived 9:30 am at AMS. Ten o'clock they announced that we can go downstairs, they placed the passengers in four rows, two for the entrance behind and two for the entrance in front. We came in the plane with the boarding stairs in front. I was sitting in the second row from the right site of the aisle.
At 10:20 am the door closed and 5 minutes later the push back started. The runway where we took of was a 10 minute ride (the Polderbaan). There we stand in a long row, with in front of us a KL 744 and a Swiss A319, behind us an Alitalia I guess an A320, an Adria CRJ 200, a Northwest A330 and a KL 737. It was beginning with raining and because of that it looks spectacular when the KL was starting. Unfortunately no photo of this moment because miss F/A forbidden me to take photos, I asked her why, but she couldn't respond me with a plausible answer.
At 10:45 am we took off from runway 18R-36L half sunny and raining Schiphol, we turned to the left in the direction of the North Sea. After 10 minutes the F/A started with the food and beverage service, I bought a not real strong coffee with a biscuit for an amount of 3, 50 Euro. I change from seat (3F) and looked to the fascinating English landscape. After 35 minutes flight time the seatbelt signs went on and the plane started with the landing, slowly approach the almost full loaded Boeing 737 the airport and at 10:44 am local time the wheels touched runway 33. A few minutes later the plane parked at the ramp of BHX. The boarding stairs connected to the doors and we walked to the bus outside. The bus brought us to the arrival hall where we went relative fast through the passport and luggage control. At 11:05 am I stood outside the terminal in a sunny Britain.
Coffee with a biscuit
Just before landing
Terminal T1 BHX
Date: 9 of November 2007
Aircraft: Boeing 737-5Q8
Planned departure time: 3:55 pm
Actual push back time: 3:57 pm
Arrival time: 5:54 pm
After a short visit to a company in Nuneaton we arrived at 2:00 pm at the airport, before we went to BMI baby counters we ate something in one the airport restaurants. After we get our boarding pass, I went to the bookstore where I bought batteries for my camera and Jeremy Clarkson’s book Motorworld, I'm huge fan of him. At 3:15 pm. we passed the passport and luggage control. On the screens they displayed not the gate number where we must boarding, we thought we have enough time for take a drink. Me and one of my colleagues went to one restaurants and where we drunk a coffee. In the meantime we saw that they on the screens displayed the gate. We waited a few minutes and walked to the gate. When we were walking they announced last call for flight WW 1013. BHX is not so big so we walked a little faster to the gate.
In the boarding bridge stood a long row for entrance into the plane. At 3:44 pm I was sitting in the plane, there following further maybe 5 or 6 passengers most of them gasping from the run that they have made. With a lot difficulty the F/ A closed the door. Two minutes after the planned departure time the push back started. At 4:10 pm the fully loaded plane took off from runway 33. Before the food and beverage serving was starting the captain or one of the purser excused that there was no coffee but they served well tea and hot chocolate. This time I bought nothing. The sun was going under and after about 30 minutes flight time the plane started with the landing. With a lot of side wind we landed finally at the Kaagbaan 06/24.
G-BVZG at the gate
The sun is going under
Concourse H is on the other side of the airport, so after a ride of 10 minutes and 5 minutes wait time before the gate the doors opened. In meantime the persons who were sitting next to me, talked with the F/A about her work schedule. She told them that she made 4 or 5 and that the plane made 8 or 10 trips a day. After AMS she goes back to BHX and then a flight to Alicante and return to BHX. F/A by an airline means hard working and it's not so romantic as a lot of people think. We walked to gate, went upstairs to the concourse and after a walk of 15 minutes we passed the passport control and the customs. A last coffee with our guides and finally we took the train to our home.
Conclusion the service level of BMI Baby is quite low but that can you expect from a LCC. One thing what me irritate was that miss F/A forbid me to take pictures. Nowadays everyone knows that digital camera hasn’t any electromagnetic interference to the aircraft systems. The airports, BHX is nice okay they can earlier display the gate numbers, it’s in comparing with AMS small but you can see there a big variety of planes. The H concourse of Schiphol, it's very basic, the views are great, what IMO can improve is the amount of seats for the waiting passengers there.
Thanks for reading.
All my aviation pictures which I've taking during this trip you can see in here.
Eurohub From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 230 posts, RR: 0 Reply 4, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 7196 times:
Quoting VoeKL (Thread starter): The H concourse of Schiphol, it's very basic, the views are great, what IMO can improve is the amount of seats for the waiting passengers there.
I used the H concourse last shortly after it had opened when flying with ThomsonFly CVT-AMS-CVT. I agree that the facilities are pretty basic but I applaud AMS for providing a low-cost facility for the low-cost carriers to use. If it means that carriers such as EZY, WW, THOM and LS continue to serve AMS giving travellers from the UK regions a choice from KL, then I can live without the seating. After all, you get what you pay for! That said, my next trip to AMS will be with KL, BHX-AMS-BHX (my SkyMiles account needs a top-up).
Forget A vs B - Give me E or BAe any day of the week!
Airbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4015 posts, RR: 52 Reply 8, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 6754 times:
yes, I completely can follow your report, comparing with about 5 own WW flights done until now. Basic service level, interesting planes though, maybe even the oldest with European LCC's in service nowaydays.
Thanks for sharing
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
Quoting VoeKL (Thread starter): Date: 9 of November 2007
Aircraft: Boeing 737-5Q8
A well known machine also for me, around four weeks ago on CDG-EMA.
And about the H area at AMS, I agree a bit more comfort should also be possible for the LoCo-Pax.
I remember a EZY flight to STN, there was no visible restroom near the gates after security,
so immediatelly after the seatbelt-sign was off, queues in the plane´s aisle.
Airnewzealand From New Zealand, joined Oct 2000, 2538 posts, RR: 6 Reply 10, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 6577 times:
Quoting VoeKL (Thread starter): F/A forbid me to take pictures. Nowadays everyone knows that digital camera hasn’t any electromagnetic interference to the aircraft systems.
Fantastic report. I can give you the reason why at my airline it is not "forbidden" per-say but rather advised against taking photos on takeoff and landing. The reson is because your camera can become a flying object if the aircraft has to suddenly stop/accident thus creating a risk of injury to yourself or fellow passengers.
VoeKL From Netherlands, joined May 2007, 24 posts, RR: 3 Reply 12, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 6033 times:
Hello, thanks so much for your kind replies!
Quoting Eurohub (Reply 4): I applaud AMS for providing a low-cost facility for the low-cost carriers to use.
Me too, but when AMS want to be (or keep IMO) the best airport of Europe then must you always improve yourself.
Quoting Airnewzealand (Reply 10): The reason is because your camera can become a flying object if the aircraft has to suddenly stop/accident thus creating a risk of injury to yourself or fellow passengers
I understand, I remember now a conversation which I had with a KL F/A. He had no problem with the camera when I use the strap. That I was wearing my earphones of my MP3 was a problem because I was sitting next to the emergency exit. he explained that in case of emergency that I must hear and follow his commands.
SAAB900 From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2007, 479 posts, RR: 0 Reply 14, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 5715 times:
Great little trip report, thanks!
I flew for the 1st time with BMIbaby EMA-PRG-EMA in August. They were ok, nothing special but then again there was nothing bad about them!
I've just been looking through all your photo's from the trip & if you didn't know the airfield on the photo over the UK was Coventry(CVT/EGBE)!