Give it a GO From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2001, 138 posts, RR: 0 Posted (13 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 5343 times:
Route: LGW (London Gatwick) - GOI (Dabolim airport, Goa, India)
Aircraft: Airbus A330-200 G-EOMA
We arrived at LGW 3 hours prior to departure, in the hopes of getting good seats. However, as Monarch operate a 24 hour check-in service at Gatwick, the best seats were already gone. We were given seats 40 D + E.
The A330 seat configuration was 3-3-3, narrowing to 2-3-2 at the rear of the aircraft where we were seated. This was great as we had a nice wide isle to stretch out in for the 10 hour flight.
We boarded on time, and everything looked fine. Then out push-back time came... and went. With no word from any crew members on what was happening some passengers began to get upset. Eventually, after almost exactly 1 hour of sitting on the tarmac the Captain addresses the 374 passengers, and told us to get off again. The aircraft had gone tech due to it rejecting fuel from the bowser. This meant the aircraft would have to be hand filled with fuel, and this was to take a further 2.5 hours. 374 disgruntled passengers got off the aircraft.
At 9:40pm, 3.5 hours after scheduled departure time we got back on the aircraft and departed. As we taxiied to runway 26, the TV monitors were lowered for a film style safety briefing. Then these stopped working too so the cabin crew had to "prepare for a manual demonstration". The crew were fantastic, and the first drink was free as an apology for the delay. Dinner was promptly served and was tasty.
I was disapointed with the Monarch A330, as when I travelled to the Dominican Republic last year with Airtours on one of their A330's everyone had personal seat back TV's, on Monarch there are only a few TV's suspended from the ceiling.
We eventually landed at Dobolim airport, and had to sit for some time as the Manchester Monarch flight, an A300 had landed only minutes earlier and were using the air-stairs.
The return flight was un-eventful, and departed on time. Amazingly we were checked into the same seats again! This we didnt ask for and was pure fluke. Out of 374 seats - how strange! It was also the same aircraft, this is not so amazing however, as Monarch only operate 2 A330's.
Overall I would give Monarch as a company 5/10. The crews I met, however, deserved 10/10 as they coped admirably with what they had.
LBA From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2000, 494 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (13 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 4958 times:
Having been to Dabolim twice I can imagine the scene where there were no steps! The first time we went the steps were too short for an A300 so we had to wait while they found some more. The second time we went, two years ago, we circled the airport for an hour, we couldn't land due to the airforce using the spare manouvering area as a runway, we then sat on the outer apron for a further hour because the airport controller decided no more than 3 widebodies could be put on the apron in front of the terminal that day. The pilot said the week before there had been four widebodies with no problems!
Did you notice the road which crosses the runway and the man with the flags stopping the workers going to the air force base, we thought this was hilarious, particularly as the airforce were screaming up and down the runway. There was also an old Constellation at Dabolim on the airforce base side, I don't know if you noticed whether it was still there, it was bright pink so quite noticeable.
I must say I enjoyed Goa, it's just a shame they still use the A300 from MAN (my local longhaul airport) as it means stopping in Bahrain, although the duty free shop makes this almost bearable.
I trust the airport is still total chaos when checking in. We arrived three hours before take off and arrived in the 'departure lounge' fifteen minutes before departure due to the manic queues waiting to get through immigration. If an airport is struggling to cope it has to be Dabolim.
Give it a GO From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2001, 138 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (13 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 4902 times:
LBA - Im delighted to tell you that absolutley nothing has changed at Dabolim! (Although I didnt see that Constellation anywhere)
The whole place was a joke from the powercuts 4 times an hour, to the ridiculously long and un-needed queues. We also arrived 3 hours prior to scheduled departure and ended up boarding the aircraft over half hour after scheduled departure time! (And we were amoungst the 1st to board)
As we boarded, an Air2000 B767 and an Icelandair B757 were also boarding.
What a great last memory of Goa!
Still, I would return, if only for those beautiful beaches!
Greenjet From Ireland, joined Aug 2001, 991 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (13 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 4834 times:
An A300 to Goa via Bahrain isn't too bad when you consider the flights to Goa from the UK about 15 years ago. Paramount operated an MD80! It made 2 or three stops, the first of which was Corfu. The outward flight took something like 14 hours and the homeward flight 16 hours. Those were the days....
Dispatchboy From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 12 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (13 years 4 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 4790 times:
Well Greenjet not even 15 years ago, Caledonian used to use A320's from Glasgow via Newcastle to Goa, and one day it was delayed for over 24 hours because apparently the slide was deployed inside the airbus. The flight operated just over 24 hours late, but if memory serves me it was a L1011 that operated the flight. Cant remeber if the A320 stopped down route, it probably did but I cant remeber where?????