This is the return report for the other BMI post I did yesterday....and its slightly more detailed....in order to maybe get a 5* rating
Aircraft: Airbus A320
Reg: Could not see!!
Departure Point: DUB (Dublin)
Arrival Point: LHR (London Heathrow)
We arrived at the airport with 5 hours to spare! believe me, it was either that, or a day outside in the wind wandering around the streets of Dublin!
Dublin airport has had some really nice work carried out, and it looks quite modern inside, compared to my previous 4 visits. The Bmi Checkin area had only 1 desk open for economy, and another for Biz class. Our flight wasnt open for checkin for another 3 hours so we went up to the bar and sat watching the aircraft movements (or lack of!) from the window.
The first thing I noticed was a Singapore Airlines Cargo 747 landing. It was a -200 series and had winglets. This was a pretty cool thing to see, a 200 with winglets!
Anyway, besides that, there was not much more worth detailing. Most of what I saw were Ryanair 737-200's including the "Daily Sun" painted aircraft, and a number of Aer Lingus A320 and 737's. There were also 2 Spanair MD83's which took off behind each other.
The weather seemed to be quite windy, and we could hear the wind blowing outside, a few aircraft taking off looked pretty rough as they climbed into the darkening sky.
3 hours had passed, so we made our way to the check-in desk, where we joked with the agent about upgrading all 12 of us to Business Class. Her reply was "sorry, its full". Just as well, I doubt the other pax would be happy about having us in there!
We proceeded to security, because we had seen enough of the landside to last us a lifetime! Security was pretty average, no holdups and straight through to the shops.
Airside at Dublin is also very nicely modernised! There is a long corridor with shops lining the sides, although there is a serious lack of places to get food from. something which annoyed us all. One thing to point out here - A Baguette was priced at 12.95 Euros! thats £7 Sterling, or about 10 Dollars US!
We sat in the bar for an hour, and then went to the gate - C46. At the gate was a delayed flight to Stockholm, and ours was due to board in 20 minutes....no sign of the aircraft at all!!!!!!!!
We then had an announcement to move to C42, where all 150 of us rushed to get seats. At the gate was....tarmac! still no sign of the aircraft.
Boarding time passed, and then the aircraft arrived, which was turned around pretty sharpish! We then boarded. Making my way down the airbridge, the wind was terrible, and the force could be felt all the way up the tunnel!. I got inside and sat in my seat (16E) Whilst waiting for the other pax to baord, I could feel the aircraft moving about a lot. This was due to the wind outside, and concerned me a little! It was not looking like a smooth takeoff!
The pilot announced the delay was due to air traffic control changes in the UK (They switched to Swanwick in the early hours of sunday) and we were 45 minutes behind schedule.
Having been pushed back, the engines started, and then so did the loud clunking noise beneath us. This was a horrible mechanical noise, and concerned EVERYONE around me!
The noises continued all the way out to the runway, and then the pilot began t/o. The a/c was moving sideways a lot, and I think this was due to the wind, which was confirmed as soon as we left the ground!
We were thrown all over the place, and I really thought we were going back down into the ground! But then all of a sudden it stopped, and it was calm.
Making a full 180 degree turn, we set off towards Birmingham, and climbed to 33,000 feet.
After 20 minutes, food was served - a choice of:
sausage and union;
I had the BLT..not bad, pretty usual stuff. But one thing, I thought BMi was better than BA in terms of the service and quality of food!
We began to descend, and the pilot announced we would be held in a holding patter, north of london for 15 minutes.
After 25 minutes, we proceeded over the centre of London, but it was cloudy, so nothing but "bright" clouds over the city, from the lights beneath.
Final approach was also bumby, so much so the aircraft tilted left to right about half a dozen times, before making a nice soft landing, which was then followed by more left to right movement!
Finally, we were back on the ground, and the bizzarre noises started again! I belive it was either the brakes or hydraulics, but supposedly, this is normal!
We left the aircraft, and I was glad to be back on land, and now its a 5 week wait before I jet off to Las Palmas on another Airbus, this time a 321. Although im not as confident anymore when it comes to this aircraft series...I just want to know what those noises were!!!