FlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1705 posts, RR: 40 Posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 12748 times:
In November 2009 easyJet announced a couple of new routes from Helsinki, starting on 8th of February 2010. The destinations were a daily connection to CDG and four weekly flights to MAN. Of course I had to try to find a way to fly these new routes - doing either of the inaugural flights would've been great, but that particular Monday didn't suit my plans. The flight times were a bit problematic as well, as both flights depart late from HEL, arriving at their destinations far too late to catch any sensible connections to anywhere. Luckily this works better if one flies the other direction, so after finding a suitable open date in my calendar I quickly put together a nice little day trip to catch the MAN-HEL flight and to log a new airport, Liverpool as well by doing RIX-LPL on FR. To get down to Riga, airBaltic was obviously my choice.
After checking the train timetables between Liverpool South Parkway station and Manchester airport to make sure I had enough buffer in my plans (I did, but not too much, read on) everything was booked. All in the three flights cost around 100 EUR total.
Once again, thanks to the annoying BT check in situation at HEL I'm taking a way too early bus and arrive at T1 almost two hours before the scheduled departure time of 8.45. I sat next to an AY FA doing just a r/t to FRA today and joke with her how we both knew this bus route by heart - seriously I was almost asleep for half of it and could pinpoint exactly where we were by the turns, bumps and changes in elevation with my eyes closed! Once inside I ask the only guy waiting in the queue in front of me whether we are in the wrong place owing to the non-existence of any significant queue - very unusual for this peak departure time. He agrees with me - no wonder Wednesdays often feature the cheapest air fares as well! Anyway once at the counter I get a great agent, after I voice my usual complaints about the self-service machines not working she actually says that I should try it anyway the next time and go directly to the bag drop counter to sort it out if it doesn't work. I tell her that well, the last time the instructions were something completely different and this is the reason I'm here already at seven in the morning, bleary eyed. She symphatizes and repeats the instructions, so I agree to try it. Too bad I didn't ask it in writing, I'm sure the next time (surprisingly for me, that's almost two months away!) they will give me a scalding for not being there early enough...
This FIDS is having a bad morning:
Security upstairs is almost as deserted, actually there are far more people in the so called priority lane than the two regular ones - I spot a former colleague among there and tell him that he should've swalloved his pride this time and just joined the proletariat at the normal queue. He agrees, but has to hurry for his flight to ARN, so I go for a little walk, ending up at the coffee shop over in T2 in an attempt to wake myself up. I end up spending a good three quarters sitting there, reading the morning paper and just watching people coming and going.
Hope they won't start the engine just yet:
Yes, it looks like they are actually deicing the deicing truck:
Some twenty minutes before the boarding time printed on my boarding pass I schlep it back to T1, to the usual BT bus gate 13A. Quite a few people here today, a bunch of Dutch people presumably connecting onwards to AMS (which turned out to be operated by a 757, bummer! Thanks for the heads up, Eric!) and a number of Austrians continuing to VIE. Boarding starts ten minutes early, but as usual we wait almost 15 minutes in the cold bus until everybody's on board (have I ever mentioned how I hate bus boardings for this particular reason?). While approaching our plane for a while I think there's been an equipment change as the winglets make it look a bit like the 757, but in the end it turns out to be a good old 737-300, YL-BBI, the same bird I flew on this very same flight less than three weeks ago. Third flight with her.
Parked next door, a very impressive UPS 767-300:
Sorry, I don't have a fisheye lense (heck, I don't even have a camera that you could use different lenses with!) and it wouldn't fit in one picture.
Maybe I fly BT too much (or maybe it's just a small company) - I recognize at least two of the four cabin crew members today from previous flights. They don't seem to remember me, but that's okay - I wouldn't remember me either. An older Latvian gentleman is sitting on the middle seat next to me - how did this happen? Our load is less than 60%, with complete blocks of three seats vacant here and there (unfortunately for BT, it looks like this includes the whole of business class) and somebody at check-in decided to assign two complete strangers seats next to each other, with the other one being a middle seat? Oh well, this guy has the decency to move to the aisle seat the second they announce boarding completed - I give him my thumbs up and say "Paldies" - he doesn't seem to have much English. I'm always surprised by how many people have to be actively encouraged to do this simple thing - switching to a better seat I mean, not speaking English. Although you have to do that as well a lot, in Germany at least.
So many blue tails:
Boarding is completed in good time, but then nothing much happens. We sit at the parking place past the departure time with no explanations, finally pushing back seven minutes late. We still need to be deiced, looks like they are using the real deicing area right next to runway 22R today, so that's where we head for the procedure.
Crossing snowy runway 04R/22L:
Ominously praying for their next victim:
Oh look now what you have done:
The wings having been dyed red, it's only a short hop to runway 22R, where we take off 25 minutes past the scheduled departure time.
It's aother quick flight with some nice wintery views enroute, first of a frozen Gulf of Finland:
Then of Northwestern Estonia, the pier of the former Soviet nuclear base of Paldiski can be seen in the middle of this picture:
Barely 25 minutes after take off we are already descending over an icy Gulf of Riga:
The Jurmala beaches not looking very summery right now:
Nice vortex effect from the flaps:
We land on runway 18 of a very snowy Riga airport after 45 minutes of flight followed by a short taxi to the end of the main pier. Looks like this bird is going to a non-Schengen destination (judging from the departures board later, I'm pretty sure it was either IST or LGW) next as it is parked a short distance from the non-Schengen D-gates and we walk over to the jetway and climb the stairs to the terminal.
Lots of people in the main pier with a number of departures scheduled within the next couple of hours. Not liking this packed atmosphere (not to mention the serious shortage of toilets they have!) I quickly pass the passport control to the non-Schengen C-gates where there are only two flights within the next hour: FR to STN half an hour before the second one, my flight to LPL.
Being a bit peckish and knowing Ryanair's food offerings to be very overpriced and mediocre, I grab a wrap and a Gingerbread Roasted Nut latte at the coffee shop instead. It is rather good even though doesn't look at all like the one in the ad:
A good number of young British lads are out on a boozing trip, at least judging from the annoying noise and stories they make over the next few tables. I hope they are on the STN flight (at least I understand what they are saying, so Scousers they definitely aren't!) and not mine - luckily this turns to be the case.
After a while I retreat downstairs to the gate area, entertaining myself by watching the huge boarding scrum for STN. After that flight is closed and the monitors switched to our flight another huge queue forms in seconds. Come on, it is still 50 minutes until the departure time, the plane probably hasn't even entered Latvian airspace yet! Priority boarding sure is worth the few Euros it costs.
Boarding is a bit amateurish, one gate agent checks everybody's IDs while on the queue and writes a big "OK" on the boarding passes with a bright marker pen, but when boarding another agent asks for the IDs again - I point to the text and tell her that this was already done but she will have none of that and just mutters something I don't understand at all. They seem to have a trouble acquiring a bus as it takes a number of phone calls in rapid fire Latvian - all while the flight status keeps cycling between "Check In", "Go to Gate" and "Boarding" and their Latvian equivalents on the gate display.
Finally a bus pulls up, as usual in Riga it is reserved for priority boarders and those traveling with small children - all in all some 20 of us in that bus. Short way to the Northern apron where most FR planes nowadays seem to park to EI-DPA, a new plane for me.
The bus stops right in front of the front steps, so for a change I board using the front door, still heading to the back of the cabin while everybody else is packed on the few front rows (so typical!).
A couple of busloads of passengers, some shuffling of luggage and a lot of annoying Bullseyebaggiesbeamillionairewithryanairstarfishtelecomcallingcardsetcetera advertisements later boarding is finally completed. As customary with FR, the load is very good, somewhere close to 90% I'd say. Some middle seats empty towards the back of the cabin, including the one next to me. It helps to board early and spread your stuff on that seat and hope a single traveler takes up the aisle seat - this is the case today as well.
For the two people in this board yet to see the ugly interior of an FR plane:
Our captain welcomes us onboard "for the flight back to Liverpool", explaining that they are just finishing the luggage loading, after which we need to be deiced which shouldn't take more than ten minutes. Flight time today will be a longish 2h55mins at flight level 360, with Liverpool having some fog, with potential showers or even snow and a temperature of two degrees.
The deicing takes a while and we end up leaving 21 minutes late, followed by a very powerful take off from runway 18. Sorry, the window was wet from the deicing:
Leaving Latvia for the Baltic Sea:
I spend the flight drinking a few overpriced beers and watching a movie with my Ipod, most of the other passengers seem to prefer sleeping. I notice that FR is advertising a "Chili Con Carne" hot meal which looks exactly like a plain microwave meal you get for an Euro at a supermarket. I'm tempted to try it just for the experience, but decide to leave for the next time. The previous time I tried hot food on FR was the "New York Style" hot dog and it was frankly quite horrible, but it was a long time ago so I'm ready to sacrifice myself again!
It stays overcast for the first two hours of the flight, with some openings over the North Sea close to the UK coast and further. While closing on the coast our captain announces that we are still "some 200 miles out of Liverpool" and will start descending soon for a "slightly delayed" arrival in still foggy Liverpool.
Hello UK, it's been ten days since we last met:
Making landfall over Druridge Bay on the Northumberland Coast. Coquet Island and the town of Amble are also visible in these photos:
There are some nice views over the snow-covered Pennines and the Yorkshire Dales:
We descent over Blackburn and Preston. Samlesbury Aerodrome near Blackburn:
Over the West Pennine Moors:
A number of reservoirs with the town of Chorley visible on top:
We head towards the Irish Sea which is covered in clouds.
A left turn follows over the sea to line us up for landing on runway 09. We only break the clouds once we are already just a few seconds from touchdown over the river Mersey. It is actually eerily beautiful with the smockstacks from Ellesmere Port on the opposite side of the river just barely sticking out from the fog.
We land 16 minutes late, followed by applause from many of the passengers, but no "Early Ryanair Arrival" fanfare this time. Maybe they should introduce a "Another late Ryanair Arrival" as well.
The airport is not that busy, just a couple of Ezy Airbuses and a row of parked FR Boeings.
An interesting visitor parked past the Boeings - what is the Beluga doing here?
Liverpool John Lennon Airport
Short walk outside to the immigration hall which has a definite third world feel to it - small, dingy, packed with people as the Ezy passengers are also siphoned to the same queue here, at least they deboarded via the terminal building and can queue inside - the spillover from my flight has to queue outside in the coldness. Looks like the designers of the facilities here didn't take into account that it could get cold (or maybe the heating has just broken down) - there are four large electric heaters on the corners of the room:
I'm happy that I powerwalked my way here as the wait is only five minutes or so, owing to my good spot in the queue.
Well, the delay meant that I had missed the train I originally intended to take for Manchester and the next one is almost an hour away - so I decide to take a look around the airport before heading for the train station. The airport looks exactly like what it is: an old, small regional airport given a haphazard face lift and resurrected as a mainly low-cost airport. Somehow it looked much better in that Easyjet TV series. There is some renovation work carried out upstairs, which results in most of the shops there being closed and people forced to walk narrow corridors made from plywood.
Imagine all the people etc.:
I grab a burger from Burger King upstairs for the road and head outside. The Raillink 501 bus soon arrives and being the only passengers I'm quickly dropped off at the Liverpool South Parkway station, where I thank the driver for the private £1.70 taxi ride. As far as small train stations in the UK go, this one is actually quite nice. I buy a single ticket to Manchester airport from the ticket office for almost twelve quid, which is way more than the base fare for my FR flight.
The train finally shows up, not too badly delayed. Man, these DMUs are ugly:
35 minutes later I step off at Manchester Piccadilly station, spend some time trying to find the train to the airport - the displays here are even more confusing and messed up. Finally I sit in something I (and a number of other passengers as well) assume is the right train, only to be ejected a few minutes later by an employee barking that the next train (that wasn't on the platform when I boarded) is the one actually going to the airport. Ahh, train travel in the UK is always such a delight.
This train fortunately turns out to be the correct one, and the ride over to MAN is quite pleasant and pretty much on time, arriving there around 1h10mins before my flight is scheduled to depart.
The escalator from the main station level to the terminal walkway is broken and there are no signs about where the elevator or stairs are. Luckily a number of other people here are more accustomed to MAN airport and I follow them around the corner to the elevator which surprisingly seems to work.
All the check in counters at the train station seem to be closed:
My train, the a.net member favorite Bewley's Hotel in the background. I will be staying there this June as well:
FlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1705 posts, RR: 40 Reply 1, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 12740 times:
Man this post truncation is starting to get on my nerves. Sorry, here's the rest:
My train, the a.net member favorite Bewley's Hotel in the background. I will be staying there this June as well:
I had completely forgotten how far the terminals, especially T3 actually are from the train station. Once upon a time (ok, no more than four years ago actually!) you could walk from T1 to T3 staying inside but this is not possible any more. Outside it is snowing, luckily ever so slightly that it shouldn't cause any chaos, not even in Britain!
T3 security seems to have been given a complete makeover (actually the whole departures area, come to think of it) and features the same kind of automated bar code reading barriers as T1. Well, my OLCI boarding pass won't scan on the machine (just like what happened last time with Ezy at Gatwick as well!), but luckily the guy there scans it manually on his computer which seems to work better and I can proceed without a detour to the check in desk. Not many people at security, but I wonder if they actually search your bags manually inside the so-called X-ray machine as the stuff spends a long time inside it - I joke about this with the American woman in front of me...
I should really get around flying one of these babies soon:
The monitors are showing a delay of five minutes for my flight - come on, most airlines wouldn't even bother to call it a delay, with no gate yet announced. I do a quick bit of shopping (I'm just a sucker for decent 2-for-1 deals on Champers!) and grab a pint at the bar in the central lobby right under the BA Terraces lounge (it still exists, right?).
Flew this bird back in October:
A gate and "go to gate" is announced around 15.50, luckily it is gate 54 just a short distance away and not any of the bus gates which seem to be somewhere deep in the bowels of the building half way to T1. Last time I departed from this gate was a year ago on an AA 767 to ORD.
Bigger brother parked on the next gate:
Obviously no plane yet, but as all the ground staff is already standing there it apparently will be arriving pretty soon - and around 16.00 G-EZFF shows up:
Being marshaled into position:
Barely ten minutes after arrival the boarding call is already made. I manage to creatively be among the first ten or so to board even though I miss the main queue - after the three pax in the priority boarding queue are processed they ask people to form another line there and being the opportunist that I am end up the second on that one .
Well, we don't really board yet, instead we walk down a few flights of stairs to a closed door to a tarmac and form a queue snaking its way upwards. This reminds me of the FR boarding procedures at CRL, although this staircase doesn't smell of damp concrete and stuff air, instead it smells like grass. The green garden variety, not the one that gets you high. Another five minutes passes here, and then the doors to the Shangri-La, no sorry, tarmac, are opened.
MAN-HEL U21873 A319 G-EZFF Seat 11A 16.37 - 21.03
I manage to snatch another exit row window seat, actually it is not even hard as the cute very young FA has to actively encourage people to sit on these best seats on the house, at least for take-off. My British seat mate on the aisle seat rolls his eyes at this and we joke about how some people are afraid of these seats. Actually easyJet is pretty much the only airline that actively places at least two people on every exit row for take off - many other airlines do not bother at all. Load for this new service is not very good, around a third full. A surprisingly number of business travelers on this service - despite the low weekly frequency this route might end up hurting AY...
Around our new, five minutes delayed departure time the young captain (well, you couldn't tell from his voice but when I later saw him on the flight he looked very young indeed. The first officer was even younger, I don't think he was old enough to shave, not to mention to fly an airplane...) welcomes us onboard, with the following speech: "We are otherwise ready to go, but it appears we have accumulated some frost on the base of the wings next to the plane fuselage which needs to be removed by the deicing team. This shouldn't take more than 5-10 minutes and then we are on our way, taking off towards the northwest for our flight lasting 2h25mins today.". He also apologizes for the slight delay, explaining it with some fog here in Manchester in the morning and the knock on effect it had on flight operations all throughout the day.
The offending patch of ice:
Deicing truck soon arrives, I wave at this guy through the window and he waves back:
The whole deicing is surprisingly quick and we push back only 12 minutes late, not bad at all.
Taxi to runway 05L takes a good ten minutes as it looks like a number of taxiways have been closed and used for private jet storage, I guess that's a way for raising money for the airport:
While taxiing the exit door starts to bleed water which soaks my shirt, nasty:
Our take off appears to be heavily derated as the slow ascend feels almost like riding on a A340.
Being a bit hungry I decide to go for one of the sandwiches - this one is very good and at 3.50 quid good value. Any airline serving London Pride gets thumbs up from me as well, that's definitely better than your generic lager, be it Stella, Carlsberg or whatever:
The sun going down:
I haven't noticed before that they have Ezy branded soap:
Over the North Sea the captain gives us another update, mentioning our position as "Over the North Sea just leaving Newcastle behind". Helsinki weather according to him is "Surprisingly far worse than at Manchester, minus eleven degrees and snowing.", well I could argue about the surprise, but maybe he has a point. The route is described as "across the sea to Denmark, passing just north of Copenhagen, to Sweden, over Stockholm and direct to Finland and Helsinki".
Otherwise another quite flight, I finish my movie and spend the rest of the flight catching up on some reading. In no time at all (so it feels, it is two hours, though) we start our descent to a quite miserable (at least weatherwise) Helsinki. Landing is on runway 04L 10 minutes early after around 2h10mins of flight, but it being the far runway our taxi to the terminal takes up most of that advantage.
Jetair Jetstream from Poland operating to LPP for Wingo:
At the terminal there is a new sight - all three Ezy flights are here at the same time, A320 to LGW just being pushed back, A319 to CDG is being deiced at the gate on the back and finally ourselves:
We dock to a jetway on the old part of the non-Schengen terminal which is just fine with me as it is right next to the passport control desks. The load for the return flight looks a little better.
Two minutes after getting off the plane I'm already standing outside in the bitter coldness waiting for my bus, which handily arrives another minute later, whisking me home in 15 minutes.
Well, an enjoyable day out for sure - two new planes, one new airport and another frustrating encounter with the British railway system.
I wish easyJet well on the MAN route, load wasn't too good but on a new service on its second week of operation that's to be expected. I hope it gets better, we sure need some LCC competition here in the north. I've got another two flights on this route booked for the next months, so I'm paying my dues. The CDG route will have to wait until May for my patronage.
This trip was also good at highlighting differences between Ezy and Ryanair - both do low cost, but Ezy do it with style and class without being outright in-your-face cheap like Ryanair (although the orange colour sure is an eyesore!). Also the Ryanair pax tend to be somewhat... how should I put it... lower class than what you usually get on Ezy. Of course it might be just the routes I fly, as the ex-Riga ones are usually quite well patronaged by the Latvian economic diaspora (just like the famous Polish Plumbers are to be found on the numerous routes ex-Poland). Not that I mean this in a racist way or anything, but you probably know what I mean.
The next trip is one and half weeks away, logging a new seasonal domestic route by flying TKU-KTT-HEL.
Contact Air From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 1154 posts, RR: 14 Reply 3, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 6 hours ago) and read 12547 times:
Great report, very entertaining au usually, a nice Thursday evening read.
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1): the a.net member favorite Bewley's Hotel in the background. I will be staying there this June as well
Definitely a nice place, but have you ever tried this? www.theairporthotel.com
It is actually more a pub with a few rooms than a hotel and the rooms don't offer too much comfort, but you can't be closer to aviation than this. You might also just have a beer in their garden - a really nice place from my point of view.
I stayed there a couple times 6 or so years ago. It was, as far as I can remember, all right. And the reason for staying, of course, were the utterly fantastic views from the area for those staying overnight and also from the beer garden.
[Edited 2010-02-18 13:43:07]
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
Nice to see, what looks like a so called technical de-icing.
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter): but in the end it turns out to be a good old 737-300, YL-BBI, the same bird I flew on this very same flight less than three weeks ago. Third flight with her.
Yes, you're facing this problems more and more in the future. I noticed that lonely standing B757-200 in the background... in the snow. What a life for such a great aircraft!
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter): Short way to the Northern apron where most FR planes nowadays seem to park to EI-DPA, a new plane for me.
Good catch. With about 200 frames in the FR frame, enough to choose from. Can you believe that I got to fly on 'same registrations of the FR fleet' several times already, despite their large fleet?! I guess it's my bad luck...
At least 2 of their aircraft I've been on crashed -O): The FCO aircraft I was on just weeks before the accident, and the ET B738 which crashed lately was also logged by me before. Is it safe for me to fly FR again in coming June?
So it's you that keeps FR flying! I guess for the Finnish these prices are not too bad? Alcohols tend to be expensive by itself in Scandinavia isn't it?
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter): We land 16 minutes late, followed by applause from many of the passengers, but no "Early Ryanair Arrival" fanfare this time. Maybe they should introduce a "Another late Ryanair Arrival" as well.
Hmm,... never had bad delays on FR (except 1 cancellation due weather). I think FR is very reliable and has a great punctuality too.
btw, nice pics, also the train. I also have the opinion that railway companies ask a lot of money for railtravel in the UK. Distance between LPL-MAN is short also, otherwise you could've taken a flight instead...
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
Nope, I read about it some itme ago though. Sound like a good plane nerd's place, I'm just not sure if they are good for connections back and forth from the airport - you know I nowadays spend more time onboard than at hotels...
Yep, not a bad price for a days flying. Like Markus put it: "There are some amazing bargains to be had.". Of course I ended up spending around the same during the day, but that's a whole different issue...
Quoting akhmad (Reply 4): Hey, it's just me or it's ZRH like FIDS.
Quoting akhmad (Reply 4): You sounds like Kevin Spacey in 'American Beauty'. I bet you have now been developing a muscular figure like him.
That's how I usually feel, true. I'm just too lazy to do it and too busy traveling or dreaming about and planning traveling..
Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 6): Definitely a nice move to bring in some more loco competition, especilly when we know
that AY doesn´t offer acceptable one way fares anymore, unbelievable, isn´t it?.
Just for the heck of it I did a small comparison today. These are all one-way ticket prices for Wednesday, 21.4.2010 (i.e. a bit over 2 months from now):
U2: 31,99 EUR
AY: 747,78 EUR (full Y), a roundtrip with a couple of nights is down to 366 EUR
U2: 64,99 EUR
AY: 1059,78 EUR (full Y), a roundtrip with a couple of nights 270 EUR
KF: 88 EUR
Yeah, very much a thing of tha past. I sure hope AY wakes up and smells the coffee again - it is a nice airline and everything but the premium I'd pay to fly them on an European route is definitely less than 50 EUR, not anywhere near 700 EUR.
Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 6): Some UK travel is also needed here, but looks like spring or summer for me.
Looks like this is turning to be an UK year for me, five visits booked so far and planning a number of more as well...
Quoting airbuseric (Reply 8): Thanks for this nice read. Not the highest quality airlines, but as usual, a high quality report.
Thanks, mate. Cheap and quality often are a bit far apart, more so with FR, less so with U2.
Quoting airbuseric (Reply 8): Nice to see, what looks like a so called technical de-icing.
Heh, more like "Human deicing".
Quoting airbuseric (Reply 8): Yes, you're facing this problems more and more in the future. I noticed that lonely standing B757-200 in the background... in the snow. What a life for such a great aircraft!
I'm a bit confused why did BT get the 757s in the end. The original reason was to support their medium-haul operation to Asian places like Kazakhstan etc. but they haven't really used them that much on those routes, probably owing to not that great loads on the route. So instead they end up using them occasionally on a few trunk European routes like RIX-LGW and RIX-BCN...
Quoting airbuseric (Reply 8): Good catch. With about 200 frames in the FR frame, enough to choose from. Can you believe that I got to fly on 'same registrations of the FR fleet' several times already, despite their large fleet?! I guess it's my bad luck...
Yeah, I've always been afraid of that but hasn't happened yet. Since they base only a handful of planes at each base with a not too frequent rotation of airframes if you fly the same route often (or from the same base) you are bound to log a few duplicates every now and them. I was looking at the acarsd data before and actually just the previous RIX-LPL flight was operated by a frame I flew before on HHN-GSE.
Quoting airbuseric (Reply 8):
At least 2 of their aircraft I've been on crashed -O): The FCO aircraft I was on just weeks before the accident, and the ET B738 which crashed lately was also logged by me before. Is it safe for me to fly FR again in coming June?
Yes, but not the pax on the same bird afterwards!
Quoting airbuseric (Reply 8): So it's you that keeps FR flying! I guess for the Finnish these prices are not too bad? Alcohols tend to be expensive by itself in Scandinavia isn't it?
Definitely expensive here. But let's see - a lukewarm can of generic lager costs 4.50 EUR on FR - that is around the same price than on the restaurant cars of VR (Finnish State Railways) - a fair comparison I'd say. Of course at the supermarket you'd get the same can for around an Euro, so it's much more expensive. They are not too bad, but bad .
I heard that the Norwegian routes make a killing on onboard sales - these prices are bargains for Norwegians!
Quoting airbuseric (Reply 8): Hmm,... never had bad delays on FR (except 1 cancellation due weather). I think FR is very reliable and has a great punctuality too.
It usually is in my experience as well, true. I've had one massive 9+ hour mechanical delay (at TMP) but that's pretty much it, apart from the normal flight time changes when booking very far in advance. I just think that the 20 minute turnaround is not enough for the winter season, especially with this winter.
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter): The escalator from the main station level to the terminal walkway is broken and there are no signs about where the elevator or stairs are. Luckily a number of other people here are more accustomed to MAN airport and I follow them around the corner to the elevator which surprisingly seems to work.
The joys of MAN. I might have studied in that city for 3 years, but rarely find a good thing to say about the airport. The escalators are frequently broken, lifts are a total disgrace and so on. Last time I lost count of the rounds I did on level 11 of the car park until I found the exit. Even the funky machines at passport control have been removed.
As for the beluga, it usually lands over at Broughton where the wings are made. Perhaps it couldn't land there for some reason that day, fog maybe?
Your geography knowledge is quite amazing. Are you simply incredibly well travelled or do you locate towns and sights from the air on google maps?
Nice read as always. Happy flying
"Do nothing in haste, look well to each step and from the beginning think what may be the end" - Edward Whymper
FlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1705 posts, RR: 40 Reply 14, posted (3 years 10 months 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 11249 times:
Hi and thanks for the additional comments!
Quoting Infodesk (Reply 11): Nice surprise to see this report combining two airports I frequently use. I'd choose LPL over MAN any day.
It is always nice reading a different perspective about places you frequent and perhaps have become way too used to... LPL didn't impress me that much, sure it is at least a human-sized airport with a single compact terminal so waiting times and walking distances are probably quite minimal (even though there was a huge scrum for security while I was there). Then again the immigration hall was a disgrace and the plywood walls for renovation annoying - but this is of course only temporary. I guess in the end it is the available destinations and prices that make or break an airport - LPL is pretty impressive in the loco field.
Quoting Infodesk (Reply 11): The joys of MAN. I might have studied in that city for 3 years, but rarely find a good thing to say about the airport. The escalators are frequently broken, lifts are a total disgrace and so on. Last time I lost count of the rounds I did on level 11 of the car park until I found the exit. Even the funky machines at passport control have been removed.
Heh, sounds very familiar. Those elevators truly are horrible, especially the car park ones. It is not that well signposted either, and the as mentioned it is a bit of a hike from the train station to the terminals. On the contrary I've found the terminals to be rather pleasant, the few recent times security has been quick and pleasant with the new machinery and many lanes and the T1 renovation was great (apart from funneling the pax through the main duty free store, BAA-style). Never been in T2, though, so I can't comment on that.
Quoting Infodesk (Reply 11): As for the beluga, it usually lands over at Broughton where the wings are made. Perhaps it couldn't land there for some reason that day, fog maybe?
Definitely lots of fog in the area that morning. Looks like I quite rightly assumed that there was an Airbus facility in the area, thanks for this piece if knowledge!
Quoting Infodesk (Reply 11): Your geography knowledge is quite amazing. Are you simply incredibly well travelled or do you locate towns and sights from the air on google maps?
It's a case of the both. I consider myself to have a decent knowledge of geography, most probably owing to my love of air travel (and travei in general as well), but I do spend hours with Google Maps trying to locate my aerial photos, that's great fun for a nerd like me. And I'm always hungry for more information, so try to stick these landmarks into my permanent memory as well...
Quoting ba757gla (Reply 13): When was your flight? because i was at RIX last saturday. I dont recall my aircraft being de iced at Riga.
The date, Wednesday the 17th of February was in the beginning of the post. Deicing is always done at the captain's discretion, if it is warm enough, the weather conditions are such that there won't be any ice accumulated on the frame or wings or the turnaround for a plane is so quick that no ice has time to gather then the procedure can (and should) obviously be skipped. That particular day the temperature was minus six when I left Helsinki, I think it was a bit colder in Riga with slight snowfall.
I hadn't noticed that while searching for airport hotels recently. However, I had soon stopped searching after finding a special offer by Crowne Plaza: only 59 Euro per night!
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter): Being a bit hungry I decide to go for one of the sandwiches - this one is very good and at 3.50 quid good value. Any airline serving London Pride gets thumbs up from me as well, that's definitely better than your generic lager, be it Stella, Carlsberg or whatever:
FlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1705 posts, RR: 40 Reply 18, posted (3 years 10 months 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 10693 times:
Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 15): I hadn't noticed that while searching for airport hotels recently. However, I had soon stopped searching after finding a special offer by Crowne Plaza: only 59 Euro per night!
I actually made a mental note to check the prices at CP when I saw it while walking from the train station to the terminal but had forgotten. Thanks for reminding me - too bad this offer isn't available for my stay in June. Sounds like a great price plus I'd get some miles from PC for staying at the Crowne Plaza. I guess I'll have check again a bit closer, might be too early.
- Really? They need a FF program, you would be the lead member
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter): An older Latvian gentleman is sitting on the middle seat next to me - how did this happen? Our load is less than 60%, with complete blocks of three seats vacant here and there (unfortunately for BT, it looks like this includes the whole of business class) and somebody at check-in decided to assign two complete strangers seats next to each other, with the other one being a middle seat?
FlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1705 posts, RR: 40 Reply 22, posted (3 years 10 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 10180 times:
Hi & thanks for the additional comments!
Quoting MH017 (Reply 20): I was wondering why you would know these English places so very well; now I know - you studied there
Err - I never studied outside Finland, actually never outside the university in my home town of Kuopio for that matter! I think you are confusing my words with some of the replies above.
Quoting MH017 (Reply 20): Being a BT-regular: how many BalticMiles did you collect sofar ?
Not too much as the program has been up and running only since October and these short hops do generate only 500 miles a pop. Still I've got some 7K miles bagged, working on it with another 13 BT sectors booked up to June... I'm planning to burn some mileage on biz class upgrades later on to check it out, so stay tuned!
Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 21): Nice TR & pics, been reading this in a bar in Ho Chi Ming City.
Hi Mark, not a bad choice for a place, although you could always argue about your reading material...
Well, if Ryanair is good at something it is creating demand for oddball routes one could never imagine would yield more than a handful of passengers, let alone a packed 738...
Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 21): - Really? They need a FF program, you would be the lead member
Actually they have one, only started last October after their paths crossed badly with once-parent-company SK. See above, working on it, although it is not a very good program (mainly due to lack of any airline partners, but the mileage upgrades should come handy...).
Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 21): - That's good stuff, when we have time, we can sink a few in my local between your flights, will see if the wife is free to drive us.
Sounds good to me! I've got some openings around the London area in April, will drop you a mail later on.