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Manchester-Antigua With Bmi, 7th March 2008 (long)  
User currently offlineDazbo5 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 2910 posts, RR: 2
Posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 30851 times:

Trip report: Manchester (MAN/EGCC), England to St. John's - V.C. Bird International (Coolidge Field, ANU/TAPA), Antigua. Friday 7th March 2008.

Flight Details:
Date: Friday 7th March 2008
Departure Airport: Manchester International (MAN/EGCC), England. Terminal 3
Airline: Bmi
Flight: BD721
Equipment: Airbus A330-243
Registration: G-WWBM
Destination Airport: St. John's - V.C. Bird International (Coolidge Field, ANU / TAPA), Antigua
Allocated Seat: 39G (40H/J actual)
Departure Gate: 54
Scheduled Departure: 0945 (GMT)
Actual Departure: 0945 (GMT)
Departure Runway: 23L
Scheduled Flight Time: 8 hrs 40 minutes
Scheduled Arrival: 1425 (GMT -4)
Actual Arrival: 1340 (GMT -4)
Actual Flight Time: 7 hrs 55 minutes
Arrival Runway: 07
Distance: 4031 nautical miles
Arrival Gate: remote stand

In the depths of winter, it’s difficult not to dream of warmer climbs and turquoise seas. It was time to think about my next holiday for March 2008. Weather wise at this time of year, destinations east of England such as Indian Ocean tend to be warm but wet and destinations west such as the Caribbean warm and more settled. West it is! The problem with having Manchester as your local airport, only the more popular Caribbean islands are accessible by direct flights. Having visited the Caribbean region on 4 previous occasions including Cuba, Jamaica, Barbados, Dominican Republic and St Lucia, there are few other islands with direct flights in the winter season. Then I remembered Bmi offer a direct flight to Antigua. That had a certain ring to it! After searching around for deals to Antigua, I settled on the Jolly Beach hotel located on the west of the island in St Mary’s province. The hotel looked to have everything required; a nice beach, good reputation for food and a dive centre just up the beach. Perfect! A few clicks of the mouse later and everything was booked; 2 weeks departing on Friday 7th March 2008.



Virgin Holidays sent out the tickets 2 weeks prior to the departure date with all the flight details confirmed. We would depart from Manchester’s Terminal 3 at 0945 for the 8 hours 40 minutes flight to V.C. Bird International. The last time I flew with Bmi was back in September 2005, a charter flight to Dalaman, Turkey. They operated out of Terminal 1 back then so this would be my first opportunity to have a look at Terminal 3. One of the plus points of travelling with Bmi is their generous luggage allowance; 2 piece’s up to 23kg each. I normally have problems travelling with my diving equipment and underwater camera but wouldn’t have a problem on this occasion. One suitcase for clothing and one for diving equipment! It would also give me over 8,000 diamond club air miles (Bmi / Star Alliance frequent flyer programme).

It was an agonising wait but the day of departure finally arrived. The airport taxi was booked for 0615 for the 45 miles / 1 hour drive to the airport. It arrived early at 0600, as we were to pick some other holidaymakers up on the way. The motorway around Manchester, M60 is normally quite busy from 0645 and today was no exception. The traffic was quite heavy in places but eased as we approached the M56 junction for the airport. The others were travelling with My Travel (Thomas Cook) from Terminal 1 so we dropped those off first before heading over to Terminal 3. We arrived in good time at 0730.

Terminal 3 is much smaller and quieter than terminals 1 & 2 and therefore much less congested. With all the security restrictions now in place, it can take a while getting through the other terminals so it would be interesting to compare this terminal. Once inside, we headed upstairs to the departures area and check-in desks. Bmi offer online check-in on their domestic and European routes, but not on their long haul routes. A look at the screens showed our flight, BD721 and the only other long haul flight that day, the daily BD705 service to Chicago were to check-in at desks 23-29. Two desks were allocated to business class travellers and the other 4 to economy and premium-economy. However, when the business class desks were empty, passengers were called forward to ease the queues but business class passengers always took priority. Before queuing for the desks, we had to show passports and tickets to an agent who scanned our passports and checked our tickets. This was presumably part of the advanced passenger information that was required and speed up check-in.

In took about 15 minutes to get to the front of the queue so not too bad. As there were no business class passengers checking in at the time, the agent at one of those desks called us forward. For some reason, she was a little rude and straight to the point with her choice of wards. I don’t know what we’d done to deserve it; maybe she was having a bad day! I handed over our passports and tickets, along with my Diamond Club membership card to claim my air miles. I only have blue plus status at the moment but this trip would add over 8,000 miles so half way to silver status!



Both my suitcases were checked in along with the others I was travelling with. I mentioned to the agent one of them contained diving and camera equipment as in the past, I’ve had to take it to a separate desk to be x-rayed before it was sent down but she said it would be fine. Our boarding cards were issued; we were allocated row 39 seats C/F/G which is towards the rear of the aircraft. Bmi configure their A332’s 2-4-2 in economy that reduces to 2-3-2 for the final 5 rows as the fuselage narrows. We were allocated 3 centre seats towards the rear so we were together. I was hoping for a window seat but it wasn’t possible. I’d just have to hope one was empty once onboard.



Once checked in, the smokers in our party (not me!) wanted to have a last smoke so we headed back outside so they could stock-up on nicotine before we went through to the departure lounge. The queue at security was small and only took a couple of minutes to proceed through. As usual, even though I went through security with no problem, no alarms on the x-ray or metal detector, I was pulled to one side to be searched. I must have one of those shifty looking faces or something as I always get searched! The transition from land to airside in Terminal 3 is a breeze compared to the other two terminals. I was pleasantly surprised.

Once in the departure lounge, we had about 1.5 hours before our flight was due to depart. The departure lounge is smaller than the other terminals but has the usual selection of shops; W H Smiths (newspapers & magazines etc), Boots, duty free shops and a large central food outlet. The executive lounges for those lucky enough to have access to them, Bmi’s Diamond Club and BA’s Club lounge were located upstairs. As the others browsed the shops for their 2 weeks supply of tobacco, I had a walk around the gates to view the aircraft waiting to depart. The daily British Airways BA1503 service to New York JFK (767-336/ER) was being prepare for it’s 10am departure …..



Along with the daily American Airways AA055 service to Chicago (767-332/ER) …..



At the far end of the gate area, 54 was the aircraft operating my flight to Antigua; a Bmi Airbus A330-243. G-WWBM normally operates the flight while G-WWBB operates the daily Chicago flight. As usual, G-WWBM was operating our flight …..



I couldn’t see the other Bmi A332 since the gate area where that was located, 44 is obscured from view by advertising boards lining the windows. Other aircraft included several Flybe Dash8-402’s and VLM F50’s. At the other side of the gate area were some BA A319’s and a 757-200 operating shuttles down to Heathrow …..



After having a walk around the gate area, I met up with the others and we decided to have some breakfast. 3 cups of tea, a full English breakfast (not for me I might add!) and two bacon and sausage sandwiches came to £21.50. They certainly know how to charge! As we finished breakfast, our flight was called for boarding and we were advised to proceed to gate 54.

We proceeded down to gate 54 and the business class passengers were just boarding the aircraft, probably for a pre-departure glass of champagne! A few minutes later, passengers in the rear cabin, including ourselves were called. We handed our boarding cards and passports to the agent and made our way down the jetbridge to the aircraft. By the aircraft door was a pile of Daily Mail newspapers if you wanted a copy to read during the flight. Once onboard, the friendly crew greeted us and I was directed to the starboard side of the aircraft for my seat towards the rear. Before reaching the economy section, we passed through the premium economy cabin. This looked very roomy with 48” seat pitch seats. These seats are the old business class seats which were replaced by lie-flat sleeper seats.

I took my seat, 39G and settled back for departure. I kept an eye out for empty window seats just in case my luck was in and one was free. There were 3 on the port side and 2 on the starboard side but as passengers boarded, all but two of the window seats were taken. As I waited, I thought I’d grab a quick photo out of the spare seat on the port side overlooking the wing and the AA 763 that was boarding adjacent to us …..



As I took the photo, the passengers arrived so I retreated by to my allocated seat. A few minutes passed and 40H/J, to my right were still free. The only window seat with no-one sat there in the rear economy cabin. I waited a couple more minutes and couldn’t see any more passengers walking aft so decided to move over to 40H/J. If anyone came, I could always move back to my allocated seat. Just in case I had to move, I got a quick photo …….



Then the announcement I was waiting for was made ‘cabin crew doors to automatic’. The doors had been closed and no other passengers were due to board so I had my window seat! A minute or two later, we pushed back bang on time at 0945 and the distinctive noise of the Rolls Royce Trent 772B’s could be heard as they spooled up.



As we taxied over to 24L for take off, the safety video was played via the seat back screens and the nearest exits pointed out by the cabin crew. I was hoping the forward facing pilot camera would be active for take off, but it wasn’t. We taxied on to 23L via tango link and didn’t stop. The throttles were pushed forward making the Trent’s sing, pushing us in to our seats as we accelerated down 23L …..






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Photo © Darren Wilson
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Photo © Darren Wilson



The A332 is quite a graceful aircraft and we rotated gently in the clear Manchester sky …..




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Photo © Darren Wilson





Take off was pretty smooth, just an odd bump as we powered away, making a gently right hand turn …..



We headed out towards Liverpool and was soon over the coast. I recognised the long sandy beach of Formby and could see RAF Woodvale and the river Ribble estuary. I couldn’t quite see Blackpool airport in the distance because of a cloud, but it was there somewhere!



As we crossed the Irish Sea towards Ireland, I looked back at my photos and couldn’t believe what I was seeing; a huge dust spot right in the middle of the frame. I’d only cleaned the sensor the week before this trip and didn’t have anything with me apart from lens cleaning equipment. Damn!! I must have got the spot when I changed lenses in the terminal from my Canon 24-85mm to Sigma 10-20mm. I couldn’t carry on as it was so I took the lens off and opened up the shutter to see if I could use the lens brush to dislodge the spot. I looked inside and it was a huge white spec of dust. I turned the camera upside down and gently used the lens brush to remove the spot before quickly re-attaching the lens to prevent any other dust entering the sensor chamber. Luckily, that did the trick and I had a clean sensor once again. By this time, we’d passed over Ireland towards the southeast around Shannon to start our flight across the Atlantic.



Our route from Shannon would take us on a southeastern track virtually straight in to Antigua, passing over the Azores. The flight time was scheduled to be 8 hours 40 minutes with a distance of 4031 nautical miles.



The Captain made an announcement to give us some routing and flight information as we reached our cruising altitude of 40,000ft. He said due to favourable winds, we were expected in Antigua 45 minutes ahead of schedule, a flight time of only 7 hours 55 minutes. Using the remote control, I switched the seat back screen to the skymap to catch up on our progress …..

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v288/Dazbo5/Scuba2/skymap1.jpg

The cabin crew announced the itinerary for the flight. First thing would be our immigration papers for Antigua. A drinks service would then be made followed by lunch 2 hours in to the flight. After lunch would be the duty free and gift service followed by another drinks run and a snack 1.5 hours before landing. Soft drinks are complimentary but all alcoholic drinks and snacks are chargeable. Miniature bottles of spirits (50ml), wine (187ml), cider (440ml can) and beers (330ml can) are £3 each, champagne £6 (200ml bottle). I had a can of Carlsberg Export and a can of Coke, an unusual combination but both enjoyable! If you wanted a drink at anytime, we were instructed to visit the galley or press the call button. Once the drinks round was done, and since passengers were all in their seats enjoying the IFE, I thought it would be a good opportunity to get a cabin shot …..


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Photo © Darren Wilson



As we were well over the Atlantic at this stage and there was little to see out of the window, I thought I’d watch a film. I watched Sleuth starring Jude Law and Michael Cane, which wasn’t too bad. One problem I found with the IFE, apart from it being a looped system rather than on-demand, was you didn’t know what was showing on each channel. There are over 20 channels of movies, comedy, drama and documentaries but the guide doesn’t give channel numbers so it’s hard to work out which movie / programme is on which channel. I found I generally missed the start trying to work out which channel I wanted. Channels 26 and 27 were the pilot / belly cameras respectively (not available at take off) and 28 was the skymap / flight information screen. As the movie was coming to an end, the meal service commenced. We had a choice of sausage and mash, chicken curry or beef. I opted for the chicken curry …..



It was served with salad and balsamic vinegar starter, two bread rolls and lemon cheesecake desert. Cheese and biscuits, a carton of spring water and a choice of tea or coffee followed. The meal was ok, but I must say I’ve had better.

After the meal, I sat back and enjoyed another movie. This time it was Lions for Lambs with Tom Cruise and Robert Redford. I found it hard to follow with all the tooing and froing, but quite a good story. As I watched, the duty free service was conducted with some decent deals on cigarettes, £34 for 400. After the movie, I checked on progress on the sky map. We’d just passed over the Azores so over half way there already. It was a little cloudy below us so I never saw the Azores. As I waited for the IFE to loop and restart, I thought I’d stretch my legs and have a walk around the aircraft. First I visited the forward economy cabin …..



then had a sneaky look at those in premium-economy. It looks very spacious in their …..



I was tempted to be very cheeky and try and get a shot of those in business but thought I’d better not so walked back to my seat. I thought it was about time for another beer, I’m on my holidays after all! I went to the rear galley to ask and was told the cabin crew would be making a drinks run in 5 minutes so if I took my seat, they’d be with me in a few minutes. A few minutes later, I was the first to be served. By this time, the IFE had looped so I decided to watch Zoolander with Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson. It was a little silly, but quite funny.





Before the movie finished, the cabin crew brought our snacks. We had a choice of chicken or cheese sandwiches followed by a kit-kat and tea or coffee. It wasn’t much but a nice light snack before our arrival in Antigua.



I checked the IFE and we were nearly there, only a few hundred miles to go. The cabin crew came through the cabin to collect any litter in preparation for landing. The Captain made an announcement to say we’d be starting our descent in to Antigua in the next 10 minutes and we were expected to land at approximately 1340, 45 minutes ahead of schedule.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v288/Dazbo5/Scuba2/skymap2.jpg

I switched over to channel 27 to watch the pilot cam. At this stage, because we were still at a high altitude there was little to see other than an odd cloud.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v288/Dazbo5/Scuba2/P3070092.jpg

The sound of the engines reduced and I felt the aircraft pitch down as we commenced out descent. We descended quite quickly and levelled out just below the cloud base.



We circled around the north of the island on the downwind leg of our approach as the prevailing winds are from the east. We would be landing on runway 07. As we passed over the north of the island, I got my first views of Antigua. It looked very nice down there and the sea’s clear and tropical, perfect!



Once over the island, we flew west out over the Caribbean Sea before making a 180 degree turn for final approach, approximately 10 miles from touchdown. As the landing gears were being lowered at about 5 miles out, we passed over the western side of the island. I sort of recognised the beach and harbour area below from photo’s I’d seen; it was Jolly Harbour and Jolly Beach where I’d be staying for the next 2 weeks. I could make out our hotel tucked away in the palms to the south of the beach …..


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Photo © Darren Wilson



As we descended over the island on final approach, we hit a bit of turbulence due to the hilly terrain. I had one eye out of the window and another on the excellent views offered by the forward facing pilot cam. I did try and take a photo of the screen but all I got was blurry images due to the turbulence. Luckily, Gianni Deligny has uploaded an excellent photo to the database while on approach to give you an idea …..


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Photo © Gianni Deligny



The airport came in to view on the screen as we descended over small towns and villages. A quick glance to the left located the islands capital, St John’s …..



I felt the aircraft pitch up as we flared for a nice smooth touchdown …..




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Photo © Gianni Deligny



Lots of brake pressure was used and reverse thrust as we decelerated quite quickly. We rolled to the end of the runway to make a 180 degree turn as there is no parallel taxiway at this compact airport …..



After making the turn, we backtracked up runway 25 and took the exit by the large remote parking area adjacent to the terminal …..



I could see two marshal’s directing us on to our parking area as a Virgin 747-400 was due in from London Gatwick just after us. There didn’t look to be much room for more than 4 aircraft at any one time. A First Choice Airways 767-300/ER was already parked at the rear of the apron that had arrived before us, also from London Gatwick.

Once parked, the Trent’s wound down and the seat belt signs switch off. The cabin crew made their usual announcement ‘cabin crew doors to manual’ followed by ‘welcome to Antigua’. Everyone were quickly out of their seats to retrieve their bags from the overhead lockers but I was in no rush, I wanted to go and have a look at business class. As everyone started to disembark, I got a photo of my two seats for this flight, 40H/J …..


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Photo © Darren Wilson



followed by a photo of the spacious premium economy seats …..


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Photo © Darren Wilson



Once at the 2L/R door area, instead of disembarking down the steps, I asked if I could have a quick look in business class, ‘no problem, go right ahead’. The cabin looked very spacious and the seats very comfortable. It wasn’t exactly as I was expecting though, very nice but not the same level of personal space other airlines offer. At 78” seat pitch though, even the tallest person would have plenty of legroom. I’m not sure I would pay the £4,000 fare for a return trip considering how nice the premium-economy cabin looked for a third of the price. Even if business class passengers do get a chef to cook your meal! If work was paying though (fat chance of that!), I wouldn’t say no!



I grabbed a couple of shots and disembarked from the L1 door, down the stairs to meet the others in my party. We walked across the apron, following the arrows for arrivals. I had to get one last shot of the aircraft before entering the terminal so turned round and fired away …..



As I turned round to carry on towards the terminal, a security office approached and said ‘sir, photography it not permitted here and can lead to a fine, please don’t take anymore’. 60 seconds in the country and I was already it trouble!!

The terminal is quite small with only 6 departure gates. The immigration hall had 4 officers waiting for us so it took 10 minutes or so of queuing before it was our turn. I handed over my passport and immigration card, it was stamped without a problem. By the time we got to the luggage carousel, baggage was beginning to arrive. Repatriated with all our luggage, we headed through customs without a problem to be greeted by the Virgin Holidays representative just outside the terminal. A taxi was soon allocated to us for the 30-minute drive across the island to Jolly Beach hotel where I would spend the next 2 weeks relaxing and diving with sharks.

To sum up, the flight was uneventful, departed bang on schedule and arrived 45 minutes early due to favourable winds. The IFE was good but the entertainment guide could do with the addition of channel numbers to make finding things easier. The external flight cameras are a great addition; I just wish they were available on both take off and landing. Only My Travel’s A332’s (now integrated in to Thomas Cooks fleet) and Bmi A332’s are fitted with these in the UK, other airlines should take note. Catering was ok, nothing special but a varied choice was offered. The cabin crew never stopped throughout the flight and would do all they could to make your flight as comfortable as possible. The flight was fine and enjoyable, but nothing special.

I’ll get my return trip report written up, BD722 back to Manchester aboard G-WWBM’s sister ship, G-WWBD as soon as I can. This flight was a little more dramatic on the approach in to Manchester with a 42kn gusting wind!

Happy flying,

Darren


Equipment: 2x Canon EOS 50D; Sigma 10-20 EX DC HSM, 50-500 EX APO DG, Canon 24-105 f/4 L, Speedlite 430EX
22 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineSemsem From Israel, joined Jul 2005, 1779 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 30812 times:

How was the Jolly Beach Hotel?

User currently offlineRyanair737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 30750 times:

Good report, I wish I could do all the travelling you seem to do!

bmi look decent, the food looks kinda naff though compared with VS or BA economy.


User currently offlineSASDC8 From Norway, joined Mar 2006, 755 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 30689 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Really nice report with absolutely fantastic pictures Big grin

BMI looks really nice, by the way. At lest their Business and Economy + cabins.

Cheers
Stein



2-3-2 is NOT a premium configuration
User currently offlineDazbo5 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 2910 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 30525 times:



Quoting Semsem (Reply 1):
How was the Jolly Beach Hotel?

The Jolly beach was very nice. It's only a 3+ star hotel so quite basic, but the food was excellent and the sea shark infested which is one of the main reasons I went. I'll post the diving video and a few photo's of Antigua on the return trip report. It's quite a scenic island, I think I prefer St Lucia though.

Quoting Ryanair737 (Reply 2):
I wish I could do all the travelling you seem to do!

I don't do that much travelling!! Well, maybe. I've just booked 2 weeks in Turkey tonight for September and I've already got a trip up to Yallis in northern Finland booked for December!

Darren



Equipment: 2x Canon EOS 50D; Sigma 10-20 EX DC HSM, 50-500 EX APO DG, Canon 24-105 f/4 L, Speedlite 430EX
User currently offlineTrintocan From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2000, 3238 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 30504 times:

Thanks for this great trip report Dazbo5. A flight to the Caribbean - exactly what one needs for the UK winter! It's been snowing here today... and it's meant to be spring. BMI seems to have a very good product indeed. Alas, the authorities in ANU are very strict about photography at the airport and when I was last there, in 1999, there were signs all over the terminal pointing out the penalties for taking photos - a fine and/or imprisonment. Exactly why so many of the Caribbean Islands are so uptight about photos at airports is beyond me.

I hope that you had yourselves a great time in Antigua - its beaches are amazing!

TrinToCan.



Hop to it, fly for life!
User currently offline5YKQW From Kenya, joined Feb 2007, 44 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 30015 times:

always annoyed when an officious official tells me not to take photographs of the plane when I;m boarding or disembarking. I don't know how they think they are doing their jobs by making such comments. The aircraft are there to be appreciated especially if you are on holiday and want to capture every moment of your trip. You were quite lucky to get that window seat and thanks for reminding us about the distinctive sounds of Trent 772s spooling up.

User currently offlineRyan h From Australia, joined Aug 2001, 1543 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 29724 times:

Nice report and photos.

Quoting Trintocan (Reply 5):
Alas, the authorities in ANU are very strict about photography at the airport and when I was last there, in 1999, there were signs all over the terminal pointing out the penalties for taking photos - a fine and/or imprisonment. Exactly why so many of the Caribbean Islands are so uptight about photos at airports is beyond me.



Quoting 5YKQW (Reply 6):
always annoyed when an officious official tells me not to take photographs of the plane when I;m boarding or disembarking. I don't know how they think they are doing their jobs by making such comments. The aircraft are there to be appreciated especially if you are on holiday and want to capture every moment of your trip. You were quite lucky to get that window seat and thanks for reminding us about the distinctive sounds of Trent 772s spooling up.

Seems the paranoia is slowly spreading from the USA...

Guess I won't be going there in the future.



South Australian Spotter
User currently offlineManchesterMAN From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 1224 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 29706 times:

Thanks for the report and great pics. I always enjoy flying on BD A330s from MAN and the crew are usually fantastic (never flown them to ANU though ufortunately). I actually think they have one of the best long haul economy products across the pond. I live near LHR now but I still prefer to connect in MAN and fly BD if I am heading to ORD rather than flying one of the lesser airlines direct.

And they definately have the best PE product EVER! I've tried the new Premium Economy seat a few times now and it is fantastic for a daytime flight and I agree that I wouldn't see the need to pay for Biz heading West (apart from the excellent food prepared by the chef). Coming back it is more worth the extra for a good night's sleep. bmi often have very good deals for PE too - I've seen round trips to BGI/ANU/LAS/ORD for well under £700 recently which is definately worth it.

Look forward to your return trip report.



Flown: A300,A319,A320,A321,A330,A340.A380,717,727,737,747,757,767,777,DC9,DC10,MD11,MD80,F100,F50,ERJ,E190,CRJ,BAe146,Da
User currently offlineSketty222 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2006, 1778 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 29519 times:

What a great report. I have been to ANU twice in the last 3 years and absolutely love the place. Ive only ever travelled with BA (only cos I work for them) and would love to try this BMI service from MAN.

Loved the photo's of your arrival into ANU over Jolly Harbour. This isn't the normal approach is it?
Ive stayed at the JB before and the beach is one of the best Ive been on.

Quoting Dazbo5 (Thread starter):
diving with sharks.

 eek 

Quoting ManchesterMAN (Reply 8):
And they definately have the best PE product EVER!

At the moment, your forgetting about OpenSkies PE. Even that will put BD's to shame

The PE cabin on BD does look very roomy though and I like the fact that everyone gets a PTV that pulls up from your arm rest rather than a seatback one like on other carriers

Lee



There's flying and then there's flying
User currently offlineDanTaylor2006 From UK - England, joined Feb 2006, 495 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 29469 times:

Great trip report! Very detailed and I love all the pictures  Smile

BD don't look too bad, to be honest... the Premium Economy looks nice.



Flown: A319-21, A346, A380, B733-4, B738, B744, B752, B762-4, B77W, CR2, CR9, DH4, E190-95, F70-100, MD-11, MD-88, MD-90
User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8534 posts, RR: 54
Reply 11, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 29185 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Nice report Darren, thanks, look forward to your return trip!

Those PE seats look pretty decent, quite fancy trying those out one day.

Food looks ok too from your pictures.

Regards

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlineTriStar500 From Germany, joined Nov 1999, 4693 posts, RR: 42
Reply 12, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 28994 times:

Very nice trip report with some great photos!  Smile


Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
User currently offlineAndaman From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 28717 times:



Quoting Dazbo5 (Reply 4):
got a trip up to Yallis in northern finland booked for December!

Hi, just for curiosity: What/where is 'Yallis' in Northern-Finland? Doesn't sound like a Finnish name, sounds more like Greek to me  Smile


User currently offlineDazbo5 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 2910 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 28617 times:

Thanks guys, I've started the inbound report so I'll hopefully post it in the next week or so.

Quoting Sketty222 (Reply 9):
This isn't the normal approach is it?

It seemed to be the normal approach while I was there. The larger aircraft went further out to sea on the downwind leg before approching on about a 10 mile final. The BA 777 sometime came in with probably 5 miles, but it seemed to be the norm.

Quoting Andaman (Reply 13):
Hi, just for curiosity: What/where is 'Yallis' in Northern-Finland?

It's right up north in Lapland. We fly in to Kattila. Yallis is a ski resort but we're taking the kids to see santa!

Quoting Trintocan (Reply 5):
there were signs all over the terminal pointing out the penalties for taking photos - a fine and/or imprisonment

There were once in the terminal, but not when you disembarked the aircraft! Most of the caribbean islands are the same to be honest, it's not just Antigua. Why taking a photo of an aircraft you've just departed or are about to get on is a security issue, I don't know. You can understand not allowing photography in sensitive areas such as security and immigration, but I've never understood the rest.

Daren



Equipment: 2x Canon EOS 50D; Sigma 10-20 EX DC HSM, 50-500 EX APO DG, Canon 24-105 f/4 L, Speedlite 430EX
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26946 posts, RR: 58
Reply 15, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 28572 times:

Brilliant TR , Love the Prem Y seats and the J class ones. Id love to try it sometime. I heard its hard to get redemption availability though. Being Gold I get Prem Y for Y miles but I guess everyone is looking for the same thing.

Thanks for the report

OA260


User currently offlineAndaman From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 28522 times:



Quoting Dazbo5 (Reply 14):
It's right up north in Lapland. We fly in to Kattila. Yallis is a ski resort but we're taking the kids to see santa!

Ok it's Yllas & Kittila, great place, peaceful in December. Your kids will love Santa & Reindeers!
And forgot to say great TR here, fab pictures.


User currently offlineBongodog1964 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2006, 3572 posts, RR: 3
Reply 17, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 28425 times:



Quoting Dazbo5 (Reply 14):
Quoting Sketty222 (Reply 9):
This isn't the normal approach is it?

It seemed to be the normal approach while I was there. The larger aircraft went further out to sea on the downwind leg before approching on about a 10 mile final. The BA 777 sometime came in with probably 5 miles, but it seemed to be the norm.

From my memory the "normal" approach is a bit further North of Jolly Harbour


User currently offlineDazbo5 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 2910 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 28243 times:



Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 17):
From my memory the "normal" approach is a bit further North of Jolly Harbour

I suppose it depends on the conditions at the time. You can see approaching and landing aircraft from Jolly Beach. It was common for aircraft approaching from the east to overfly the airport on a westbound (downwind) track, turn to the northwest before making a 180 degree turn about 10 miles out for approach. Those on an eastbound approach tended to come staight in. The BA flight from LGW tended to make a sharp left turn on to finals over St John's, about a 5 mile final. I can only say what was normal for the 2 weeks I was there. Approaches weren't directly over Jolly Beach, as in my photo, just to the north as you say.

Darren



Equipment: 2x Canon EOS 50D; Sigma 10-20 EX DC HSM, 50-500 EX APO DG, Canon 24-105 f/4 L, Speedlite 430EX
User currently offlineManchesterMAN From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 1224 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 28184 times:



Quoting OA260 (Reply 15):
Brilliant TR , Love the Prem Y seats and the J class ones. Id love to try it sometime. I heard its hard to get redemption availability though. Being Gold I get Prem Y for Y miles but I guess everyone is looking for the same thing.

Thanks for the report

OA260

To LAS it is impossible!!

As a Diamond Club Gold though you can call and request that a seat be opened up on any flight for an award ticket even if there is no award availability showing. They then waitlist you and it usually clears, more often than not successfully, within a few days. I've done this to LAS and ORD before when there was no chance of an award seat through normal channels. And it is very nice to get PE for Y miles too (although they still charge you the higher tax ex UK). Best bet is PE ex MAN and Biz on the way back for some sleep.



Flown: A300,A319,A320,A321,A330,A340.A380,717,727,737,747,757,767,777,DC9,DC10,MD11,MD80,F100,F50,ERJ,E190,CRJ,BAe146,Da
User currently offlineB747forever From Sweden, joined May 2007, 17065 posts, RR: 10
Reply 20, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 27876 times:

Brilliant TR

Really a fan of your TRs.

The pics are really good.

BMI seems to be a okay airline. Not too good and not too bad.

The food seems ok for BD standard


Thank you for sharing

B747forever



Work Hard, Fly Right
User currently offlineCrjflyer35 From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 668 posts, RR: 2
Reply 21, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 27749 times:

Darren, I really enjoyed reading your trip report...your writing style reminds me of my own..very casual yet descriptive. I just had my first A330 long haul this past Jan. and thoroughly enjoyed the aircraft...(Albeit I was in a 'tad better seat..US Envoy Sleeper..lol) BMI economy looks rather nice, even for a long flight such as yours, shame the IFE is on a loop though, you'd think that's be an easy upgrade with today's technology. Kudos on a really excellent TR!! I shall sniff some more of yours out!


Ok, wait for the RJ to pass, cleared to push tail south Mike, and you're cleared to spin #2 in the push.
User currently offlineDazbo5 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 2910 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 27334 times:

My return trip report is now available: BD722 Antigua - Manchester March 2008

Darren



Equipment: 2x Canon EOS 50D; Sigma 10-20 EX DC HSM, 50-500 EX APO DG, Canon 24-105 f/4 L, Speedlite 430EX
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