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FlyBaboo & The Q400: From The City To GVA + 2 More  
User currently offlineAirbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4269 posts, RR: 51
Posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 17917 times:

Hello all!,

FlyBaboo & a Q400 // From the City to Geneva


Welcome again, yet another tripreport of me. Now featuring my latest travel done in January, which was my second trip for 2010 actually. Flightnumbers 3,4 & 5 are counted for, and this one includes 1 new aircraft type for me, and also the main reason for this trip.
Nevertheless, I would like to give this report the extra name:

”Amsterdam to Rotterdam, The Alternative Way”


Travel distance between the cities is roughly 25 minutes by train, 45 minutes by car,… or just fly.

Booking was done in late December for all segments, with still the best fares available with all airlines to fly that day, January 20, 2010.

The day started a bit early. My clock went off around 4.45am, to catch my bus 1 hour later, arrived at the airport just after 6 o’clock that morning. Still a little of an hour till my flight leaves.
I checked in at home already, and my first flight will take me across the Northsea again, to the UK. No security check, since I use the normal international terminal in AMS. Only I pass passport control to leave the country and can proceed to my gate. Gate D8 was mine, not a far walk.
Since (pre)boarding didn’t start yet, I looked around a bit more and to my surprise I found yet another Starbucks which recently opened at AMS. So, the airport now has 4 locations of this brand, and the one located halfway down the D-gates is one of the larger examples with a good seating area too. I grabbed my first coffee of the day and sat down for a while, watching some early traffic.


Departure Lounge 3 at AMS



Upstairs between Lounge 3 and Lounge 2, you’ll find business class lounges



An airport still sleeping…?



Starbucks no4 at AMS, location D-gates


After my coffee was done, at 645am, I went to the gate. Security check was in progress, just the normal x-ray check of bags and body. No bodyscanner or so, for those who wonder. I stopped to take a few pictures but groundstaff called me to proceed for the preboarding/passport check.
Judging by the amount of passengers in the waiting area it would be a quiet flight.


Gate display / Flight Information



BA Cityflyer G-LCYE waiting for boarding



More interesting, this was to be my only second Embraer 170 flight, and it was a new entry for my personal logbook. I flew on the inaugural day of service with BA’s G-LCYD, but now it’s follow-up was to operate my flight. Boarding started at 7.00am sharp, finished in 8 minutes.

AMS-LCY
Flight No.: BA8450 Date: 20JAN10
STD: 0720 ATD: 0728
STA: 0730 ATA: 0734
A/C: Embraer 170 Reg No.: G-LCYE
Seat: 18F – Economy Class (moved from 18A)


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Rafael Nunes



Once everybody was seated, which went very quickly and organised (the majority of travellers on these flights are very frequent flyers to the City, and know how to behave), the captain was on the PA. A technical error let them to reboot the systems in the cockpit. This would result in all lights off for a while. He expected to be ready on time, but in the end they had to reboot 3 times and it resulted in a slight delay. Our takeoff runway (24) was consequently also changed now, resulting in a few minutes more delay due longer taxiing.

We left 8 minutes late, and the 2 male cabin crew did their manual safety demo. I counted 26 passengers on this particular flight, roughly a 30% loadfactor. Not good, and this route sees a lot of competition from AF/KL with their Cityjet RJ85’s. I wonder about the future timetables …

As mentioned, taxiing took longer now, runway 18L was given to us, and an intersection departure was apparently not granted either, so we crossed the inactive runway 09/27 and lined up via E6, the beginning of the runway. A short takeoff roll followed and this ‘junglejet’ quickly found her way into a thick layer of clouds. Views to the ground were gone and would not return until final approach for City Airport.

Said that from my experience already, I wonder why the captain gave his enroute info and said about the weather in London to be very good, and offering very good views on the city. This was definitely not the case.

BA Cityflyer still offer a sandwich service for Economy Class, and so was I given a prepacked sandwich and 1 drink. I had an orange juice.
For those interested; BA always gives interesting names to their dry and ‘not so special’ sandwiches. The one I got was called “Smoked Salmon & Soft Cheese on an oat topped square roll” The package was nearly too small to provide space to all this text  
As you might understand, the filling was a little, the bread too much and a bit on the dry side. Not the best offering today.


Cabin view on this early morning BA8450 flight



Sandwich service for breakfast



Seats on the BA/Cityflyer Embraer 170’s (31’’ pitch)



Enroute in the darkness



The rest of the flight was just a normal cruise. Speed was reduced by ATC order, and we would land just on schedule. It took forever until we came clear of the overcast clouds over London, and it was only a minute of sightseeing before we touched, uhm smashed on the concrete of runway 09. This landing was really, really hard to be honest. BA, be gentle with your new purchases!

Anyway, the gear was able to absorb all the forces, and we even made it quickly to the terminal, parking position near spot 2, next to the UK Immigration point. I entered the UK after about 5 minutes waiting time in the queue. That’s the convenient and big advantage of LCY over any other London airport!

I had a transfer of nearly 90 minutes for my second flight that day. Check-in had to be done at LCY, since the airline (FlyBaboo) does not offer online check-in. Airline logo-signs near the many self-service kiosks tell you to use them, but for my case it did not accept my passport, neither my booking reference, neither my e-ticketnumber. So, it was queuing at the Cityjet/AF/KLM desk for Y-class. This desk is also taking care for FlyBaboo.
Why, you think? Because FlyBaboo will be next in line to integrate with Cityjet. First VLM, then this Swiss niche airline. And finally, all competition will be out of the market, and the customer will have to pay a higher fare in the future.

I asked the lady for a seat in the back, and she handled it very good. I got row 20A, assuming that it was good enough, taking in mind the aircraft type to operate on my flight, the Q400! A first for me.


Cityjet check-in desk handling the FlyBaboo flight



Despite the logo of FlyBaboo, these machines didn’t work for me (note all the waiting people upstairs)


I had to pass the security check now, and that would be a real issue on that morning. The queue was so long, even the escalator to first floor was out of use, since it was completely packed with waiting people upstairs. I took the elevator, and moved into the queue. Now my most terrible LCY experience began. I waited for nearly an hour. Until my flight was switched to ‘boarding’ on the FID, I jumped the line following an order from a groundstaff. Just before the x-ray machine I jumped the line once again, since it was ‘final call’ on the screens. UK security officers do their job thoroughly that morning. Everybody shoes off. People complaint a lot. It took ages. And a bad impression. If this is the future for this airport, LCY will have no further success!
As you imagine, the whole departure lounge was empty. Passengers leaving the security area were running to their gates. No time for shopping, no time for the lavatory. A good gate for me, 4, so a short run only. Boarding was just started so I was able to continue. I took a picture on the ramp, and was immediately warned by a passenger groundstaff. Something to hide for me? I got my pictures anyway…


Boarding of HB-JQB from gate 4



Engine view before boarding


Boarding finished at 0854am. Let the next flight begin!

LCY-GVA
Flight No.: F7 902 Date: 20JAN10
STD: 0900 ATD: 0915
STA: 1155 ATA: 1205
A/C: Bombardier Dash 8-Q400 Reg No.: HB-JQB
Seat: 20A – Economy Class


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Alejandro Pérez



No information from the flightdeck, and cabin crew was providing 2 mothers with infants the additional safety belt and instructions. Meanwhile our departure time passed, probably caused by ATC/Airport operational reasons. LCY is a bit congested from time to time, and there is not always adequate room to taxi-out and wait for the runway. In the end we counted up for a 15 minute delay on block-out, one that counts actually. We used runway 09 for takeoff, which the Q400 was flying 6 minutes after block-out.


Taxiing out, passing this little sistertype operated by Air Southwest



And airborne, heading for GVA!



Climbing out of LCY


The load today, 26 passengers, 2 infants, nearly 35%. Also not the best performance, but let’s take in mind the recent opening of this route for FlyBaboo. It’s codesharing with AF.

This Swiss Q400 was fitted with nice lightgrey leather seats, ample legroom too. Service started after a while and the 1 female/1 male cabin crew came into action. First a kind of smoothie drink was given, in a tiny bottle.
A while later the crew came with a tray of muffins, nicely decorated. Coffee/tea was provided also.
Again after a while, a tiny swiss chocolate and wet towel (in a state of the art package) was given.


In the seatpocket…



Meal/Beverage service on FlyBaboo is included



Wet towel and swiss chocolate


The service was given with attention to the passengers, in a very friendly way. This does a lot, and makes the flight to succeed. Once the crew took their position in the rear galley, it was my turn to make a few pictures of course, and also had a quick chat with the crew. They told me to worry a bit about their future, since it is expected that Air France/Cityjet will take their airline over, comparable with the happening to VLM from Belgium/Flanders. They said that it would mean the end of their current service level, pricing and niche network. I wished them luck in their career and future with Baboo, and they did the same to me, since I also have hard times at work at the moment.
They promised me to call the captain to grant me a visit to the flightdeck after landing.


Inflight cabin view on HB-JQB


The flight continued for a while, quite boring in the end, since clouds were blocking any views on Earth. Until we descended for GVA, clouds got a more open character and views on the Alps were becoming more and more. Even that nice, that the female flight attendant took a seat behind me and watched outside. We chatted a bit more, and I made my pictures. It was not a problem for her at all, even when we were already on initial approach now, turning in over the lake for a landing on runway 23. Though also a layer of clouds over the lake, but at low altitude, but quickly all views were gone again and I was back in a grey and dull world.


Finally some views outside…



… and more, during approach for GVA



The Swiss Alps


The landing itself was very smooth, and we parked within a couple of minutes on a remote position. A bus waited for us, so I had not much time to take my picture of the flightdeck of this prop. Friendly crew, and even when I stood in the bus, the male cabin attendant waved to me from his door. Bye bye Baboo, it was a pleasure to be your guest!


Captains side on this Q400 after landing



The friendly wave,… Bye Bye Baboo!


I did the normal arrival procedure, since I needed to check-in also at the airport, for the next flight. With about 3 hours to spend in GVA, enough time to grab some food at the convenient store, and a few minutes later I was outside, eating lunch on the bench, with snow falling from the skies.


Geneva International Airport


The next flight, would be the final leg to make it in Rotterdam that day. I didn’t know in advance, but by coincidence I found Dutch airline Transavia operating a couple of weekly flights between GVA and RTM, with a good timetable for me on the Wednesday. The flights are sold as ‘ski-charter’ and GVA is not a usual destination in their network.

Upon booking I noticed a low fare on this route, telling me that it would not be so successful.
On the ‘easy to navigate’ Transavia website, you can purchase your selected seat for an additional charge, between EUR 7,50 for any general seat up to EUR 20,- for a emergency exit. Since the fare itself was low enough, and also no additional charge for creditcard payment was asked for (they did usually!), I decided to get myself in the back of the plane at 24F.

Check-in opened exactly 2 hours before departure time, 1 desk got manned and I was the second to check-in. My seat 24F was printed out, I asked about the loads and to keep the seat next to me empty if possible. She said, no problem. The flight will not be busy. Good news, since I know from experience that the legroom on Transavia is really bad.


FIDS



Terminal/Check-In area



A view from upstairs


GVA is under renovation. I noticed that the airport is now managed by Dnata, if I remember well from the UAE, also very active in DXB. GVA was always an old, dirty, badly organised airport in my opinion, but the new security checkpoint looks nice. It was busy though, but no problem since I had some time… After the check, a new area with shops awaited me. It looks good, various expensive brands have shops, and even I spend again my money by buying some presents to bring home. Beware though, renovation work is not fully completed yet, so it is a bit messy in some areas.


New shops for GVA



… enough places to spend your Swiss Francs


Views on the apron are very bad now, since the windows have some stupid dotted sticker on them, so you can see through it, but photos are impossible.


Windows are not good for spotting/photography



Departure Lounge A


Some 45 minutes before departure my gate became visible on the screens: D25. That was at the end of the terminal, meaning a bit of walk. The area of D-gates serve a lot of easyJet now, and is still in the old style. D25 is via the corridor under the taxiway, to a satellite on the apron, were the gates are located. My aircraft was already on spot and disembarking from the inbound flight.


Boarding gate and PH-XRA in the background



This aircraft was going to fly me back to RTM


Soon enough boarding started, 230pm it was. No gates here, so walking over the apron to the aircraft. Always nice to do, except that day, with wet snow falling from the skies.

GVA-RTM
Flight No.: HV6016 Date: 20JAN10
STD: 1500 ATD: 1454
STA: 1625 ATA: 1612
A/C: Boeing 737-7K2(WL) Reg No.: PH-XRA
Seat: 24F – Economy Class


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Javier Bravo Muñoz



PH-XRA was mine. I was a bit disappointed since I flew this particular aircraft already before in 2007. It was also the aircraft in T-mobile colours, followed by ‘Delfsail’ special livery in 2009, but now it was back in the normal colourscheme.

Boarding completed very early, and the 3-female headed spontaneous crew prepared the cabin quickly. No wonder, the load was bad with only some 50 passenger. In the back of the aircraft were most seats still available. I had the complete row for my own.

Take note: Transavia B737-700 last row 26F/Righthand side, has no window and recline!
(B737-800 last row do have a window though,… for future travellers  )


I was first on board, here a cabin view seen from the front



Seating on Transavia. Note row 26 being windowless…


We left even early by 6 minutes, and during taxiing the safety demo came on the screens that dropdown from the overhead ceiling. And we had no de-icing, so when we reached the runway (23), we were ready to go immediately.

Once airborne I noticed a quick climb to higher levels, I guess 36,000 or 38,000 feet, but no info was given. Only the route was mentioned by the cockpit crew, being via Luxemburg and Brussels, straight to Rotterdam.


Enroute view


I dozed off a bit during this flight, with my music on. Seat reclined, and my legs at seats E and D.
Cabin crew had done 1 round of inflight sales, the buy-on-board menu. Drinks, sandwiches, instant soup, magazines, puzzle books, … the selection is large enough. Prices are on the higher side too actually.



Beautiful coloursetting in the late afternoon


Not much more to say about this flight. I was a pleasant experience this time, mainly caused by the light load in the cabin. After passing Brussels we started descend to RTM, for runway 06. If you do an approach for this runway, you will overfly a part of the Rotterdam harbour and a few cities which are located immediately next to Rotterdam. It gave me some good views, and we finally landed with rough touch on the surface.


Final approach, over the port of Rotterdam



Over the highway…, almost there!



After landing, taxiing to the parking apron



Rotterdam Airport is a small airport, and has 1 terminal building. It has no passenger boarding bridges, so you always leave via stairs. Due to the distance with my flight, a bus was provided for the 30 seconds ride, but if traffic is slow, you might have to walk yourself.
HV operates quite a few services from RTM, as well do VG (Cityjet), Skywork Airlines from Switzerland. TK is looking to startup a route from SAW to RTM also. We’ll have to see if this can be materialized.

Since I had no baggage on this trip, getting out of the airport was within a minute, and a bus to Central Station was waiting and ready to depart, so really within 3 minutes after leaving the aircraft I was on my way by public transport to the trainstation, to catch my train back home.

To finish the report, let me say that BA is the airline of choice between AMS and LCY nowadays. The Embraers are very nice to be on, legroom is not the best but sufficient enough and the 2-2 layout wins always above the RJ85’s offered by the AF/KL-group and operated by Cityjet. The Cityjet RJ85’s have a 3-3 seating inside and are really cramped.
FlyBaboo is a nice niche player, but will probably be eaten up by AF/KL-group as well. Probably they will integrate in Cityjet also, following the story that happens with VLM at this moment. A shame, really! FlyBaboo is very much comparable with the old VLM. Attentive and good service for a reasonable price. I was really pleased with this airline and they delivered me my first Q400 experience. I think the Q400 is not my favourite. LCY-GVA is quite a long flight too, and the aircraft annoyed me a bit. It wins from the ATR72 anytime though, but instead give me the Embraer 170, which is in the same category of course.
Transavia is good if you need them to fly. Not really cheap with their fares usually, and on board also not the cheapest. Legroom is very tight. The crew is young and spontaneous, and the cabin has a greenish/fresh look. But they will not win the match if I compare with German carriers X3 or AB.
It’s a positive point that HV dropped their creditcard fee upon booking.

Anyway, that’s all folks. I hope you enjoyed the read of another way to get from Amsterdam to Rotterdam. So, if you are in Holland, and you’ve the time, you can always consider doing the same.

Thanks also for leaving your comment, I would appreciate it. And questions are welcome of course!

Regards,
Eric

Next:


Cirrus Airlines Dornier 328
Transavia Boeing 737-700/800
Swiss Airbus A320/321s
British Airways Boeing 757
ArkeFly Boeing 737-800s
Malaysian Airlines Boeing 747-400s / A330 / B737-400
And more to come,…


[Edited 2010-01-31 03:47:29 by airbuseric]


"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
37 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6808 posts, RR: 77
Reply 1, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 17873 times:

Hi Eric,

great report with many nice and clear pictures! I have always wondered how Flybaboo would be like.

Quoting Airbuseric (Thread starter):
For those interested; BA always gives interesting names to their dry and ‘not so special’ sandwiches.

It even looks dry...

Quoting Airbuseric (Thread starter):
Why, you think? Because FlyBaboo will be next in line to integrate with Cityjet. First VLM, then this Swiss niche airline. And finally, all competition will be out of the market, and the customer will have to pay a higher fare in the future.

...and more aircraft will wear the butt ugly Cityjet livery.  thumbsdown   thumbsdown   thumbsdown 

Quoting Airbuseric (Thread starter):
First a kind of smoothie drink was given, in a tiny bottle.
A while later the crew came with a tray of muffins, nicely decorated. Coffee/tea was provided also.
Again after a while, a tiny swiss chocolate and wet towel (in a state of the art package) was given.

Not bad. But that skewer could be used as a weapon...  

Quoting Airbuseric (Thread starter):
Transavia B737-700 last row 26F/Righthand side, has no window and recline!

That's why I mostly prefer the second last row.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8545 posts, RR: 54
Reply 2, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 17827 times:
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Hi Eric,

Nice to read your story, have been looking forward to it, especially your Baboo flight. Seems all flights were all just fine, especially good due to the low loads, good for pax, not the carriers.

Quoting Airbuseric (Thread starter):
Travel distance between the cities is roughly 25 minutes by train, 45 minutes by car,… or just fly.

- Yes, fly everytime  

Quoting Airbuseric (Thread starter):
BA Cityflyer still offer a sandwich service for Economy Class, and so was I given a prepacked sandwich

- Interesting, I was told they were being stopped, should have already happened.

Quoting Airbuseric (Thread starter):
I had to pass the security check now, and that would be a real issue on that morning. The queue was so long, even the escalator to first floor was out of use, since it was completely packed with waiting people upstairs. I took the elevator, and moved into the queue. Now my most terrible LCY experience began. I waited for nearly an hour. Until my flight was switched to ‘boarding’ on the FID, I jumped the line following an order from a groundstaff. Just before the x-ray machine I jumped the line once again, since it was ‘final call’ on the screens. UK security officers do their job thoroughly that morning. Everybody shoes off. People complaint a lot. It took ages. And a bad impression. If this is the future for this airport, LCY will have no further success!

- I know they have increased the screening but they really need to increase the staff for this. As you point out one of the attractive features of LCY is the quick time to airside, they need to keep this to keep pax happy. Airside shops too will be unhappy if pax don't have time to spend their money.

Quoting Airbuseric (Thread starter):
the crew came with a tray of muffins, nicely decorated

- Very nice indeed!

Cheers Eric.

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 offlineRogerbcn From Andorra, joined Sep 2006, 1209 posts, RR: 20
Reply 3, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 17818 times:

Hola Eric!

Another interesting one from your hand.

AMS RTM seems a great route to try new aircraft, really well done.

The security issue at LCY is, I am afraid, just the beginning of the ordeal passengers have to go through nowadays and what it will become in the near future for all those flying. So get ready for it... Scanner manufacturers are more than happy, let it alone their shareholders...

Enjoyed Baboo colors... really interesting to see some color on usually dull engines.

Salut!

Roger



"At reise er at leve" H.C. Andersen (Travelling is Living)
User currently offlineAirbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4269 posts, RR: 51
Reply 4, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 17814 times:

Hi guys,

thanks for reading so far!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
and more aircraft will wear the butt ugly Cityjet livery

Indeed. That's such a boring livery indeed!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
That's why I mostly prefer the second last row.

hehe..., you know that we have a tripreporter here that prefers to have last rows, and I know his upcoming schedule...  

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 2):
Quoting Airbuseric (Thread starter):
BA Cityflyer still offer a sandwich service for Economy Class, and so was I given a prepacked sandwich

- Interesting, I was told they were being stopped, should have already happened.

If they stop serving the sandwich, the will be far below AF/KL's offering. Cityjet also provides a sandwich on this route, with similar pricing of tickets. So BA can't afford it to stop serving.

Regards,
Eric



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 30
Reply 5, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 17769 times:

Hi mate,

Very good work on this report - I've always been quite interested at FlyBaboo. I just wonder where they got that name - it always reminds me of a silly monkey with a red butt   - probably not the image they want to have sticking to people's minds. I didn't know there were in the process of being absorbed by the ever expanding AFKL, looks like I need to hurry if I want to try them in their current state.

The Baboo Q400 seats look a lot like the VLM F50 seats. That livery on the engine covers is very cool as well.

If this security situation will continue at LCY they need to do something regarding the checkpoint setup there - there's not much room for queues and no room for adding additional lanes either. Hope it was just a temporary anomaly or possibly even an Italian strike (that's been happening a lot later with the HEL airport baggage handlers as they aren't too happy about some recent outsourcing deals).

I love that Transavia cabin, the seat design is just so fresh and completely different from the normal drab grey or blue in various shades you get on most carriers.

Quoting Airbuseric (Thread starter):
Upstairs between Lounge 3 and Lounge 2, you’ll find business class lounges

Wouldn't you get free access to the Sakura lounge as a perk from your job? Or is it not open this early?

Quoting Airbuseric (Thread starter):
I took a picture on the ramp, and was immediately warned by a passenger groundstaff. Something to hide for me?

Err, what's a "passenger groundstaff"?  

Quoting Airbuseric (Thread starter):
I think the Q400 is not my favourite. LCY-GVA is quite a long flight too, and the aircraft annoyed me a bit.

Back in the days when SAS still had the Dashes they were flying some really long sectors on them. I've done BHX-ARN, ARN-AMS and ARN-BRU all on them, and they were used also for ARN-GVA - so I guess it could be worse   I think FlyBe is also doing IOM-PMI with the Q400.

Take care.


User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From Germany, joined Sep 2003, 5169 posts, RR: 55
Reply 6, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 17652 times:

Hoi, mate,

definitely good stuff to follow here during that all-white Sunday afternoon.
A real nice compilation of aircraft and routes to go from AMS to RTM.
Thats indeed the way to spend a day.
Baboo looks indeed nice, they operate also on the route to MXP, maybe something to do for me soon.

And thanx for the Transavia last-row-window information, also to come up soon here, you know.

Greetings,
Markus (FLIEGER67)



Next: Capital travel on schedule!.
User currently offlineAirbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4269 posts, RR: 51
Reply 7, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 17643 times:

Hi guys,

so let's reply to your comments where possible;

Quoting Rogerbcn (Reply 3):
The security issue at LCY is, I am afraid, just the beginning of the ordeal passengers have to go through nowadays and what it will become in the near future for all those flying. So get ready for it...

I hope not, but as FlyingFinn mentioned, there is not much room for these issues at LCY. Also the whole strong point of using LCY is gone, if I've to wait so long. And it seems that the British always have to do it 'different' or 'more tight' then everywhere else. Don't know if it's good to say, but security checks at mainly UK Airports take longer then at other places.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 5):
I didn't know there were in the process of being absorbed by the ever expanding AFKL, looks like I need to hurry if I want to try them in their current state.

Me neither, but the crew told me about it and worried about their future. So I guess something is being worked on behind the scenes already.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 5):
I love that Transavia cabin, the seat design is just so fresh and completely different from the normal drab grey or blue in various shades you get on most carriers.

True. HV's fabric seats are very good looking. It's a shame about the bad legroom though. Maybe they should consider introducing slimline seats, when they get their new B737-800's from this year.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 5):
Wouldn't you get free access to the Sakura lounge as a perk from your job? Or is it not open this early?

It's closed at that early time, but later in the morning used by US. And it's not a perk for me. Revenue passengers only  

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 5):
Err, what's a "passenger groundstaff"?

Uhm, sorry to be unclear. I guess wikipedia doesn't have the answer. I mean a lady, not too old in age, who scans your boarding pass and opens the door to the apron for boarding. So, belongs to passenger handling.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 5):
Back in the days when SAS still had the Dashes they were flying some really long sectors on them. I've done BHX-ARN, ARN-AMS and ARN-BRU all on them, and they were used also for ARN-GVA

That are indeed long routes too. Give me the Embraer of Fokker 70 anytime for those.

Regards,
Eric



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlineAirbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4269 posts, RR: 51
Reply 8, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 17631 times:

Hi Markus,

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 6):
Baboo looks indeed nice, they operate also on the route to MXP, maybe something to do for me soon.

Sounds good. So I guess more Italy-travel is on schedule for you!

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 6):
And thanx for the Transavia last-row-window information, also to come up soon here, you know.

I hope not the last row is coming up   No, but the B738 is fine. If I'm not mistaken, last row is 31A or F on HV's B738. No recline, but they do have a window.

Regards,
Eric



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlineThegreatRDU From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 2310 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 17585 times:

Solid...the Q400 is my favorite a/c


Our Returning Champion
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26993 posts, RR: 57
Reply 10, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 17572 times:

Hi Eric,
BA E Jets again!! Im jealous lol... I so want to go on one sometime.

Another great report from you. Flybaboo look great, Id love to get on their Ejets also.

Lots of nice photos. I also like the Transavia Green interior which is unusual for me .

Chat soon

Philip


User currently offlineLYchemsa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1201 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 17303 times:

CityJet used to operate GVA to LCY. So now Baboo competes with Swiss. Baboo also started flying to Oxford.

They tend to get into a route and then get out. They used to fly to Prague together with Easyjet. Swiss came in and both airlines canceled the route. They also started competing with OS to VNA but soon got out.
Seems they offer great service and reasonable fares.

As to BA I am still confused. What I understand no more food for flights under 2 1/2 hours but I had read that they give something for early departures / breakfast.


User currently offlineBasilFawlty From Netherlands, joined Jun 2009, 1326 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 17067 times:

Hi Eric,

Great detailed trip report as usual, well done!  

Quoting Airbuseric (Thread starter):
I had to pass the security check now, and that would be a real issue on that morning. The queue was so long, even the escalator to first floor was out of use, since it was completely packed with waiting people upstairs.

I experienced the same last December. LCY is getting extremely crowded during rush hours.



'Every year donkeys and mules kill more people than plane crashes'
User currently offlineCrimsonNL From Netherlands, joined Dec 2007, 1871 posts, RR: 41
Reply 13, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 17049 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
CHAT OPERATOR

Hey Eric and thanks for another excellent report. Loved the pictures. That is one handsome Q400 you flew on! How far is LCY-GVA? I've been on one of the longest Q400 flights in the US but I didn't mind it at all and still think its a great plane. I should get one of the ERJ 170/190 series myself sometime.

Quoting Airbuseric (Thread starter):
Since (pre)boarding didn’t start yet, I looked around a bit more and to my surprise I found yet another Starbucks which recently opened at AMS. So, the airport now has 4 locations of this brand, and the one located halfway down the D-gates is one of the larger examples with a good seating area too.

I stumbled upon that one too on my DUB trip. Loved it!

Quoting Airbuseric (Thread starter):
Why, you think? Because FlyBaboo will be next in line to integrate with Cityjet. First VLM, then this Swiss niche airline. And finally, all competition will be out of the market, and the customer will have to pay a higher fare in the future.

That's just a shame.. I hate to see VG go as well..

Best regards,

Martijn



Nothing's worse then flying the same registration twice, except flying it 4 times..
User currently offlineContact Air From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 1154 posts, RR: 13
Reply 14, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 17008 times:

Hi Eric,

Great report and a very nice selection of pictures - thanks for taking the time to write this report.

Quoting Airbuseric (Thread starter):
Travel distance between the cities is roughly 25 minutes by train, 45 minutes by car,… or just fly.


Flying is definitely the best way.  

Quoting Airbuseric (Thread starter):
Because FlyBaboo will be next in line to integrate with Cityjet. First VLM, then this Swiss niche airline. And finally, all competition will be out of the market, and the customer will have to pay a higher fare in the future.


Yes, a pity to see another small independent carrier disappear (in this case being integrated into AF / Cityjet). Not many of them are left.

Quoting Airbuseric (Thread starter):
TK is looking to startup a route from SAW to RTM also. We’ll have to see if this can be materialized.


Sounds like an interesting route.

Regards
Christoph


User currently offlineAirbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4269 posts, RR: 51
Reply 15, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 16909 times:

Hi guys, thanks again for your kind replies!  thumbsup  I appreciate it!

Quoting OA260 (Reply 10):
BA E Jets again!! Im jealous lol... I so want to go on one sometime.

So Philip, why are you waiting. You can get on it easily from LCY, and come over to AMS for a day!

Quoting OA260 (Reply 10):
Flybaboo look great, Id love to get on their Ejets also.

Yes, those Ejets are looking good, would also like to fly of those some day.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 10):
I also like the Transavia Green interior which is unusual for me .

That would be an option too, RTM-LGW can be flown on HV, and then back to DUB   What an ideas for a daytrip for you!

Quoting LYchemsa (Reply 11):
CityJet used to operate GVA to LCY. So now Baboo competes with Swiss.

It does indeed. But Cityjet of Baboo. Basically the same now. Baboo carries AF flightnumber already, and they are in FlyingBlue also now. It's a direct Skyteam - Star Alliance competition here. Were is oneworld??

Quoting BasilFawlty (Reply 12):
I experienced the same last December. LCY is getting extremely crowded during rush hours.

So far I had only positive experiences, mostly visited in rushhours. Maybe this are just one-offs, but I doubt. This is LCY's main issue to work out right now!

Quoting CrimsonNL (Reply 13):
That is one handsome Q400 you flew on! How far is LCY-GVA?

About 2 hours flying time, and indeed a very smart and clean Q400. I thought not to do 'just a FlyBE' run or so  

Quoting CrimsonNL (Reply 13):
I hate to see VG go as well..

Oh yes, VG was my favourite, and I took them quite a lot out of RTM. Maybe I have to take them once again, a F50 in Cityjet colours. Hopefully not Cityjet service then...

Quoting Contact Air (Reply 14):
Quoting Airbuseric (Thread starter):
TK is looking to startup a route from SAW to RTM also. We’ll have to see if this can be materialized.

Sounds like an interesting route.

Indeed it is. TK is doing very fine in The Netherlands. Also SAW-AMS was introduced in 2009, a daily flight. And the IST flights see a lot of large equipment (A330/340). And it would be good for the airport of RTM also, since they lack some new carriers/routes lately.

Regards,
Eric



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlineAkhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2472 posts, RR: 53
Reply 16, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 16805 times:

Hi Eric,

I have been waiting for this report! What a beautiful pictures you have captured! I love it!

Quoting Airbuseric (Thread starter):
BA Cityflyer G-LCYE waiting for boarding


What a beauty! I envy you on this flight!

Quoting Airbuseric (Thread starter):
and was immediately warned by a passenger groundstaff.


Why being so difficult?

Quoting Airbuseric (Thread starter):
Meal/Beverage service on FlyBaboo is included



Quoting Airbuseric (Thread starter):
Wet towel and swiss chocolate



Quoting Airbuseric (Thread starter):
Friendly crew, and even when I stood in the bus, the male cabin attendant waved to me from his door.


Great service of FlyBaboo! Pity about their unpromising future.  

Thanks for sharing and I certainly look forward to your next installments.

Cheers,
Suryo



Friends forever
User currently offlineDL752 From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 174 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 16618 times:

Wow,
Two nice airlines and a great report!

DL752  airplane 


User currently offlineYULtoPEI From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 218 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 16514 times:

Really nice trip report and you picture with the fisheye are awesome...


PEI in Colombia!!!. [Canon T2i]
User currently offlineAlphafloor From Chile, joined Jun 2004, 1277 posts, RR: 40
Reply 19, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 16335 times:

Hey! It was nice to read your report and glad you choose my pic for the Q400  
At first I thought you decided to stay one night in GVA to see the A380 flying in the very next day (foggy though). If you want to see some pics of that event just click on the flickr link on my profile.

Cheers from GVA  



Whatever
User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1714 posts, RR: 18
Reply 20, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 16314 times:

Good evening Eric, a very nice and interesting report as usual!

The service onboard BA cityflyer looked very generous, by far better than mainline BA. Is there any chance that BA will also go no-frills, in the near future?

Quoting Airbuseric (Thread starter):
The one I got was called %u201CSmoked Salmon & Soft Cheese on an oat topped square roll%u201D The package was nearly too small to provide space to all this text


Interesting to see that BA have kept on using those euphemistic names for their sandwiches. I suppose the Whole Wheat Bap, was a lot tastier than this one?  

FlyBaboo, looks to me very similar to the Canaidian airline Porter Airlines, they operate the same aircraft, with the same interior and offer the same high level of service. The only difference is that Porter give all their pax Lounge access.
The service on your flight however seemed great, and I liked all those small touches, they really seemed to enhance the in-flight experience

The Transavia flight looked pretty average, though I like the fisheye shot. Why didn't you use it for the whole report?  

Quoting Airbuseric (Thread starter):
Travel distance between the cities is roughly 25 minutes by train,

25 minutes? To me it felt like it took more than one hour.

Thanks for sharing!
//Jonas



SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
User currently offlineAirbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4269 posts, RR: 51
Reply 21, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 16253 times:

Hi all, thank you for your many replies!

Quoting Akhmad (Reply 16):
What a beauty! I envy you on this flight!

So get yourself on one soon too   It's not too difficult nowadays.

Quoting Akhmad (Reply 16):
Thanks for sharing and I certainly look forward to your next installments.

Next week the next travel on my schedule. Keep you posted!

Quoting Alphafloor (Reply 19):
It was nice to read your report and glad you choose my pic for the Q400

You're welcome. This picture got my attention most, it's a great action shot!

Quoting Alphafloor (Reply 19):
At first I thought you decided to stay one night in GVA to see the A380 flying in the very next day (foggy though).

I was aware of that event once I got home and noticed the next day. Have seen the A380 already for a few times, so that is not too special anymore (for me). I hope it was a great experience for you all in Geneva though! Shame for the bad weather, a nice clear mountain background would've been great for some pictures...

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 20):
The service onboard BA cityflyer looked very generous, by far better than mainline BA.

They have no choice here, direct competitor Cityjet offers similar service.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 20):
The Transavia flight looked pretty average, though I like the fisheye shot. Why didn't you use it for the whole report?

Don't know. I did not want to exchange lenses too much, I think.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 20):
25 minutes? To me it felt like it took more than one hour.

We had to change trains once, and took slower trains. The new raillink is taking you much quicker to Rotterdam now. You'll notice in a few weeks, when you're going to travel that new track  

Regards,
Eric



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6430 posts, RR: 38
Reply 22, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 16236 times:

Hi Eric,

Nice TR with excellent photos. A very interesting way to get from AMS to RTM instead of the quick and easy way by land transport!

The interior of the E70 looks exactly the same as the DJ one I flew on last year! Brings back memories and reminders for me to finish the series off. It's quite funny that the longer flight of the day was taken on a prop! I'm not really fond of the colours used inside that Q400 though, but the exterior is a different story. GVA looks like a rather upper class airport.

Thanks for sharing!

Regards,
Nicholas



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlineVandenheuvel From Netherlands, joined Dec 2008, 501 posts, RR: 2
Reply 23, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 16200 times:

Hi Eric,

Great report, outstanding pictures.

I'm currently facing the dillema of what airline to fly to LCY. I prefer to try the VG flights for the equipment used. Yet BA looks way more attractive.

Its very original to escape GVA with HV, since most A.net users tend to use the U2 flight to AMS.

Tim,


User currently offlineAirbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4269 posts, RR: 51
Reply 24, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 15947 times:

Hi Nicholas & Tim,

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 22):
A very interesting way to get from AMS to RTM instead of the quick and easy way by land transport!

I was so used to the normal trains, that I decided to do it different now  

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 22):
The interior of the E70 looks exactly the same as the DJ one I flew on last year! Brings back memories and reminders for me to finish the series off. It's quite funny that the longer flight of the day was taken on a prop!

Indeed interesting that prop on the longest run. With these loads, Baboo's Embraer 190's would be far too oversized. And the Q400 was my goal that day!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 22):
GVA looks like a rather upper class airport.

It was a bit messy in the past, but now it clearly becomes more 'upper class' indeed. Anyway, it always had it's upper class passengers; GVA attract a lot of biz traffic, private jets, and a lot of large private aircraft from the Middle East and Russia.

Quoting Vandenheuvel (Reply 23):
I'm currently facing the dillema of what airline to fly to LCY. I prefer to try the VG flights for the equipment used. Yet BA looks way more attractive.

So my opinion; do not take VG (=KL = Cityjet) out of AMS, you'll get a 3-3 abreadst RJ85, very uncomfortable. Take a VG F50 flight out of RTM to get some good service (not sure though, since it might have changed after integration with Cityjet now).
BA is an Embraer, that's for sure. You'll have a nice ride, but... these Embraers are around more longer, and the F50's will retire at some near date... Good luck with your choice. And, why not take both and buy one-ways?

Quoting Vandenheuvel (Reply 23):
Its very original to escape GVA with HV, since most A.net users tend to use the U2 flight to AMS.

I've flown U2 so many times, also the GVA-AMS route is one of the most flown sectors ever by me. And U2 lately cancels quite a lot of flights on this route. Reason? I don't know...

Regards,
Eric



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
25 Post contains images DALCE : Hi Eric, What a detour to get to RTM from AMS.... Good report on some interesting flights, especially the Cityflyer segment, since my friend stiil wor
26 Palmjet : Hi there - Really enjoyed your report and pics. I had heard Baboo had started service from LCY, but have not seen any of their aircraft flying over my
27 Post contains images Vandenheuvel : Thanks for the advice. Since I already flew the VG F50 I will take the flights from out of AMS. The choice was just too complicated to make, so I boo
28 Amsspot : Great trip report! Your photos are nice as well. I flew Baboo last summer and I absolutely loved them. Really impressive service. It would be terrible
29 Post contains images airbuseric : Hi again, thanks for your kind replies! I spoke with him indeed, and I noticed that his time to fly those Ejets will come soon too. Thanks. I had to f
30 DunaA320 : Nice report Eric and quite an interesting one. Seems a bit of a let down the experience you had at LCY as it is marketed as a very quick airport to ge
31 airbuseric : Hi Matt! Thanks for your reply. Will try to get more used to that fisheye. It's my latest lens to the collection... Regards, Eric
32 Post contains links Group51 : Thanks for this trip report. I'm flying Baboo in the opposite direction this July. I hope they and the Q400 are still there, I'm looking forward to tr
33 airbuseric : Hi, Thanks! Interesting and good choice! I guess they're still around, no worries about that. Do you report you flight here also? Eurostar is lately n
34 Infodesk : Hi Eric, I must have missed this TR first time round and as things are rather quiet at work I'm catching up! It was a delight to find this report, par
35 airbuseric : Hi Hannah, I somehow forgot to reply on yours. Sorry for that. It was a real pleasure to be a guest with them. I wonder how your view will be on Baboo
36 Toulouse : Eric, Great report! I finally got to try out Baboo for myself a couple of weeks ago flying GVA-TLS-GVA, and what a great little airline. Service was p
37 BMI727 : I agree. They are definitely one of my favorites.
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