NQYGuy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (5 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 12804 times:
I’d already arranged visiting my girlfriend for the Easter weekend, and was originally going to take the painful First Great Western train ride into the London area. As always, I checked the prices with Air Southwest and BA who both fly from Newquay..so I wouldn’t miss out on a cheap fair if there was one. Prices were a bit steep, so I checked out my Dad’s airmiles account. Great I thought..5,000 airmiles, NQY-LGW-NQY is 700 miles + no tax/fees return so I booked up with BA. Here is my trip report. This is my first trip on the 400 and 500 series 737 AND British Airways.
Airline: British Airways
Date: 20th March 2008
STD: 13.35 (Actual- 14.30)
STA: 14.35 (Actual- 15.10)
Flight Number: BA2973
Aircraft: Boeing 737-400
Reg: G-DOCO [Delivered new to British Airways in 1992]
Price: 350 Airmiles + No Extra Fee
Class: Domestic Economy
Web check-in details
We left the house at about 11:30 for my 13:35 flight to Gatwick, and were once again caught up in the usual Truro traffic. NQY is about 20 minutes from my house on a good day, and I was hoping to get to the airport for the recommended ‘hour and a bit before’ departure..which is why we left slightly earlier, and proved to be quite useful in hindsight.
Passing the Royal Cornwall Hospital, you can just see the traffic building up. Before we made our way toward the airport, my mum needed to pick up a medical certificate. That only took 5 minutes and therefore wasn’t a huge drag on my timings. The picture below is on the A30, which actually goes all the way to London. Few things to note is the Robin Reliant, and the Kingsley Shopping Village which sells damn good olives!
Then my mum took a wrong turning (or didn’t turn at all!) and we ended up halfway to Bodmin before we realised we missed the junction. Being this Cornwall, things aren’t greatly signposted; but nevermind, we turned around and came back. The trip to NQY is quite remote really, not exactly where you’d expect to see an airport- quite a lot of twisty steep roads. Though this has been a practising RAF base since whenever during WW2, and they weren’t built on possible passenger convenience. We arrived at NQY at about 12:15, in ample time to have a Cornish tea and cake before heading off into departures!
Stannah Electric Stairlift, featured in Airports Of The World, Issue 14! I laughed when I saw it.
Close up of the NQY Terminal
I arrived into the terminal and immediately dropped my bags off at the check-in desk, all I needed to do was show them my boarding pass and I was off. They seemed a little uninterested and just sat there gossiping to each other, it took another staff member to comment the fact I was stood waiting there. They didn’t ask for photo ID here. Anyway, that was done and I met my mother who had gone to park the car. We sat down in the Horizons café, admiring the fact that there was some official looking man from ScillySkybus sat next to us. They seemed to have some kind of fancy champagne reception going; perhaps it was a route reception. Anyway, I was eager to finish my tea and go through to departures; security took about 2 minutes and the checkpoint was way overstaffed..almost so much it was intimidating- though I do hand to them that there was only one channel open, and it wasn’t busy at all..Probably why.
This being my 3rd transit outbound through NQY, I thought it pretty flawless. The place was a bit of a construction zone, but nevermind..the place is expanding so it need happen. Once I was in the departure lounge, I was highly amused to the fact that the two customer service agents kept rearranging the queue ticker tape. They must have spent 10 minutes fussing around with it before moving it all anyway… I can only guess they were arranging the cattle pen for the later Ryanair flight!
It became evident after 13:20 that the aircraft must be late arriving from Gatwick, because no announcements were made. In the mean time, a Scilly Skybus flight to St Mary’s was being ushered over toward the monitor in the left of the above picture for the safety briefing. Quite funny.
Eventually the aircraft arrived in from LGW, and the passengers disembarked. I quickly consulted Airfleets and found out that indeed Charlier Oscar was a -400. I was really pleased because there was more chance of having a -500 back..Meaning two new aircraft! We soon boarded, and took my seat at 13A..which is just aft of the last emergency exit seat on the right of the aircraft.
Looking down the 400.
Parked at the gate
I kinda hoped no one would take my row, but I wasn’t so lucky. A young male sat next to me, who seemed indirectly oblivious to any crew member instruction. (You’ll learn why in a minute.) After about 5 to 10 minutes in my seat, we were off. The cabin crew welcomed themselves, as did the nose crew. The safety presentation was read out manually, but little attention was paid by many people. I always strive to watch them, regardless of how much I do or don’t fly. I was impressed with the aircraft compared to its age, of course an aircraft will have general interior abuse, but this was pretty nice and relaxing.
Taxiing down toward runway 30.
After a few minutes taxiing down to the active, we held at the end to let another Dash 8-300 land incoming as WOW105 from LGW & PLH. It was nice to see the airport busy enough to have to hold for another movement! Perhaps it was pure luck! (Probably!) Now I was annoyed..The guy next to me didn’t put his seatbelt on for take off. I had my suspicions while we were taxiing, but didn’t want to sound weird if I said anything (it’s not really my place to). It pretty much summed it up when he moved to sit next to his mother on the other side of the cabin..I heard no click. Pretty damn stupid, all we had to do is have a sudden harsh RTO ect and he’d be pretty much dead.
Climbing over Cornwall
Nearly as soon as we were up, they started the drink and snack service. On offer today was a hot drink and a cookie/ or a cold drink and a savory Skybite snack. The cookie was beautifully moist, and the tea brewed well. The tea was a tad on the small size though, addimitely. The service was polite and with a smile..as I expected I guess. Pic of outbound food:
Note the mess I made.
We soon started the descent into LGW, and it seemed ever so quick. The weather was pretty much crap as we pierced through the clouds and onto the approach for runway 26L. Here are some pictures to reflect it:
It wasn’t a particularly long taxi to the gate, took about 5 minutes. Weather was awful, which made my photos turn out bad due to the excess water on the windows.
Zoom UK 767
At the gate, but which I’m not sure. We were then deplaned via the rear airstairs and onto a coach; even though this stand DID feature a jetbridge. Thanks in a way BA..it’d meant I got some nice shots of the 737 and didn’t have to walk half a mile through Gatwick to get to reclaim!
The aircraft in question looked fantastic, these little 737’s are really attractive! The man looks a wee bit bored though…and wet.
BA Transit to South Terminal and the National Rail station. When I arrived at the station, my couldbe train had just left, and the next one was in a half hour. I didn’t really mind, so I walked over to Costa for a bit and relaxed.
I was very pleased with British Airways, and my first flight with them was a positive one. The aircrafts interior was a bit battered, but still looked neat and usable inside.. the food/tea on this leg was great too, as were the crew.
Airline: British Airways
Date: 25th March 2008
STD: 11.55 (Actual- On Time)
STA: 12:55 (Actual- 12:30)
Flight Number: BA2972
Aircraft: Boeing 737-500
Reg: G-GFFE [Delivered new to Luxair as LX-LGR in 1995]
Price: 350 Airmiles + No Extra Fee
Class: Domestic Economy
Time to go back to Cornwall after a week with my girlfriend in Berkshire, its always hard..but with ease due to the fact I’m flying with BA instead of First Great Western on a train for 6 odd hours. Unfortunately I didn’t completely leave First, as they operate the train from near my girlfriends house to Gatwick Airport, which takes little under an hour. I caught the 8:51 service, and decided to treat (Or not) myself to First Class.
Feat. My KLM Baggage Tag! =D
Arrived into LGW at about 09:55, a bit delayed after some problem nearby. I made my way straight to the North Terminal Transit, so I could drop my bags off and go through to get some breakfast.
Walkway by Station
South Terminal Checkin
North Terminal; My Checkin/bag drop area was to the right in this picture. Although I didn’t need to, I printed off another boarding pass..so in effect I have another unused one. Obviously not valid for travel. xD
Dropping off the bag was easy, certainly more than with the generic staff member at NQY. She was very helpful when I queried her about a flight I’m taking with BA next month, too. She also asked for photo ID on this flight. Kudos to her! After the bag drop, I made my way to security. As usual, pretty much uneventful if not a little longwinded with all the shoe scan stuff ect. They also took a picture of me (as with everyone).Departure lounge was pretty dingy, but had quite a lot of character and shopping. Shame I didn’t get to explore it a bit more, didn’t really have tonnes of time. I was pretty hungry as I didn’t have much before leaving, so I went to the Weatherspoons restaurant and bought an all day breakfast and drink. I think the next picture sums it all up!
And my mothers birthday present in the bag…nobody tell her though! You can see all the aircraft there, shame that AA are leaving. The T7 was about to leave for Florida as BA2037, I didn’t actually know BA flew into Orlando. Afterwards, I looked at the departure boards. They still showed the gate as ‘Please Wait’, although I knew it’d probably be the 55 area. To kill the hour or so, I went around the terminal a bit; trying to look at aircraft around. I saw plenty of T7’s and AA ships too.
Off somewhere nice, no doubt.
As I presumed, the gate would be within the ‘Gate 55’ domestic area. Basically all domestic passengers are separated into this category, and then the flight gates to MAN, EDI, NQY ect are from A, B, C, E to G I think I saw. There was quite a wide mix of flights from LGW today.
I made my way to the domestic gates almost straight away, where there was another security checkpoint. Well, not as such a search, but they scanned boarding cards and then your picture popped up from the first security checkpoint. I guess this was to verify you still were who you said you were when you checked in. Once through, it was obvious where my gate would be- 55B, as shown by the monitors. The stand was 551, and we would board via an Airbridge.
‘55’ Gate Area
Another company 737.
Boarding began about 20 minutes after I arrived at gate, and was pretty much as simple as could be. Women and children got on first, followed by the rest. Its so reassuring boarding an aircraft you know you’re not going to have to scrum to for seats.
The cockpit. Sorry it’s so blurry; I didn’t really want to attract too much attention to myself. Embarrassing!
Engine shot as soon as I sat down.
This time I selected seat 5A under the strict selection orders of PLYMspotter, Ahaha. Really enjoyed this ride, and I got the whole row to myself..from A to F. Its nice not having someone that stares at you if you attempt to take a photo for an hour.
Legroom was ample, and is actually bigger than I’ve made it out to be. (I’m about 6ft2).
Safety Card, 737-300/500
Doors were shut up pretty quickly, and we were soon getting ready to push back. Again, manual safety briefing done by a Spanish sounding male FA. Pushback was pretty fast, and we ended up starting engines right underneath the bizarre bridge thing, which I presume is for connecting flights from the South Terminal vice versa.
777 Pushing back too.
Inside the cabin, FA’s preparing for take off.
The taxi to 26L wasn’t too long, but there was a lot of holding for departing and arriving traffic. Mostly landing were U2 A319’s and BA737’s, and probably the most amusing a Air Southwest Dash 8...again. We were soon off..quite a powerful take off roll, with quite an ‘excited’ racket coming from two children behind me. Climb was uneventful until they started the snack service. I grabbed a carton of OJ, some Skybites, and a cup of tea. Very nice indeed! The tea was a little on the small side, but very nice never the less.
The decent was pretty uneventful; but very spectacular, as it took us over many nice places/Cornish Towns.
Fowey; note the clay ship docks. Strange place for them here! I have seen them by boat many times.
No photos of landing, because I video’d it instead. It was so amazingly smooth, hardly felt any touchdown at all.
Debarking was really quick seeing as the flight was only about 45% full, even though most people used the front exit. I didn’t know that these 737’s had the fold stairs until last week. Not having a jetbridge and lenient rampers mean photo opportunities are plentiful on the ramp, so here goes:
Perhaps the FA in this pic is trying to do some weird impression.
Charlie Romeo Q400 for Geneva and my 737. The ramp was REALLY busy, there were a few ASW Dash 8’s in, the Flybe Dash 8 and the BA 737. Since I’d left the airport had turned into a construction zone, and much of the airside terminal fascia was covered with contractors boarding. It was only a short walk back into arrivals, and pretty cool walking around all the aircraft to get back into the terminal. Arrivals is pretty basic, with a plentiful amount of posters saying ‘Welcome to Cornwall’ ect. Baggage was about 5 minutes, not too long!
The hall in question.
Again, impressed with British Airways and the way they conveyed themselves to myself. I’d rate everything perfect and highly commend them. I look forward to my next flight with BA.
PlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11137 posts, RR: 63 Reply 10, posted (5 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 12211 times:
Quoting NQYGuy (Thread starter): The decent was pretty uneventful; but very spectacular, as it took us over many nice places/Cornish Towns.
Excellent report, love the detail and it's nice to see a picture of Plymouth from above! At that point you would have been just about directly over PLH, which is quite a way further South than normal, the BA and FR flights normally cruise past about three miles North of the city on their way down to NQY, it's the closest my home city gets to jet aviation
NQYGuy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 11, posted (5 years 1 month 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 12044 times:
Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 9):
What were the loads like on these flights? - For some reason I just can't imagine them to be that busy
I'm led to believe they're slot warmers by all accounts, but I wouldn't say they were amazingly quiet. Listening around there were lots of connecting passengers, and the flight attendant even commented over the PA about how many Executive Club members there were onboard the flight too. When summer schedules kick in, they're even going to start using the A319 on the legs...and its gunna be daily again. I'd say outward was about 60% and the return about 45% full maybe.
Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 10): Excellent report, love the detail and it's nice to see a picture of Plymouth from above! Big grin At that point you would have been just about directly over PLH, which is quite a way further South than normal, the BA and FR flights normally cruise past about three miles North of the city on their way down to NQY, it's the closest my home city gets to jet aviation
You know I thought it was Plymouth too, but are you sure its not somewhere else? Like Looe or something, because that is just before Fowey..and I know thats Fowey.
Cornish From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 8187 posts, RR: 56 Reply 15, posted (5 years 1 month 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 11744 times:
NQY ahhhh my home airport (well that and LHR )
Nice trip report. Personally I do the route a lot (in the opposite direction), but by ASW, rather than BA as their schedules work much better for me, and there are business reasons why I use them If I'm going home for leisure then I tend to drive as then I have my car down there. But good to see the BA report and nice to see as part of NQY's ever increasing number of carrier/route opportunities
Just when I thought I could see light at the end of the tunnel, it was some B*****d with a torch bringing me more work
PlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11137 posts, RR: 63 Reply 16, posted (5 years 1 month 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 11652 times:
Quoting NQYGuy (Reply 11): You know I thought it was Plymouth too, but are you sure its not somewhere else? Like Looe or something, because that is just before Fowey..and I know thats Fowey.
It's about 20/25 miles as the crow flies from that point over Plymouth to Fowey, so no time at all when you're doing a couple of hundred mph in a jet. It's definately Plymouth though, the estuary is the mouth of the river Plym, and just beside it you can even see the First Great Western depot at Laira, the one where they keep those wonderful HSTs you could have travelled on
I think I meant Kudos to the fact that she was so helpful when I asked her about a flight next week with BA to SZG! I always have photo ID with me anyway.
Quoting Ansett767 (Reply 13):
By the way how come you picked seat 13A when the exit row was available? I guess if its available, i ALWAYS try to snap it up .... (being 6 foot tall).... so seems odd to me Smile hehe
I'm actually 15, so I respect the rules of the road in this case. The flight isn't too long, so it didn't bother me too greatly.
Cornish From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 8187 posts, RR: 56 Reply 19, posted (5 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 11374 times:
Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 16): It's definately Plymouth though, the estuary is the mouth of the river Plym,
Quoting NQYGuy (Thread starter): Fowey; note the clay ship docks. Strange place for them here! I have seen them by boat many times.
If you'd been on the BA flight two days earlier I'd have watch you fly over, as I was just up the Fowey Valley walking between Lerryn and St. Winnow with my other half, my mum and her dog. Remember looking up and watching the BA flight come over. Pretty much where you took your pic from
I drove down to cornwall for Easter - easy drive down, shicking drive back....
As for the clay docks, they are not in such a strange place as you think. Fowey has long been a china clay port, as it has nice deep water among other things. It has always been connected by rail to the china clay areas - by branch line to Lostwithiel these days. There used to be a railway line that went to Par as well, but that got turned into a private road for the china clay trucks many years ago. It is still used by the china clay lorries including a huge great tunnel through the hills between Par and Fowey !!
Just when I thought I could see light at the end of the tunnel, it was some B*****d with a torch bringing me more work
Khaleej777 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2007, 90 posts, RR: 0 Reply 22, posted (5 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 11007 times:
Thought you'd be interested to hear that, inspired by your excellent report, I've just booked LGW-NQY-LGW with BA in May. The pretext, er, I mean justification, is that my fellow traveller has been itching to visit the Eden Project for a while, so I figured that I would be prepared to put up with a day of trees and plants in exchange for 2 BA flights. Excellent value at 37 quid each way and to top it all, timetabled to be A319 out and 737 back. Aim is to drink the fares worth of bubbly in the BA lounge at LGW beforehand...
So thanks again for your report - and maybe you should put in a request to BA for some commission!
NQYGuy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 24, posted (5 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 10873 times:
I'm delighted that you've liked this report, and really glad that you've chosen to come and visit Cornwall. Sure its a bit in the middle of nowhere a times, but such a beautiful place. Where are you staying, Khaleej777? Can I also recommend a visit to St Ives or Fowey? They're such wonderful places, only yesterday I was with my father while he was commissioning a radar and AIS system for a yatch in Fowey. Yes I DID see the BA 737 flying over!