This was to be my 20th trip with Ryanair since the company started operations and although they have received some bad press lately I wasn’t particularly worried by any of it but I was interested to see if there was any truth in it.
My flight had a scheduled departure time of 07.30 from one of Ryanair’s new boarding gates in the “old” terminal at Dublin and I wasn’t to surprised when EI-CNX a 737-200 pushed back on time. We had a 15-minute wait before take off, as this is a pretty busy time for departures at Dublin. The weather was absolutely awful, which made our climb out from runway 28 very bumpy. As with all short flights over the Irish sea we had only just reached our cruise altitude of 19,000 when the pilot informed us that he had started descent and that the weather was as bad in Manchester but he expected to have us on the ground on time, which he did.
I had only 2 days in Manchester one of which was taken up with football (the main reason for my trip), so I made sure to set aside time for a bit of spotting. This was done on the roof of terminal 1’s car park, which is good for general photography but if you want action shots then it’s not the place to go. However I still managed to shoot almost 3 rolls of Fuji! Best reg’s were G-HLAD an A300 of Prime Airline’s and B-KAA 747f of Dragonair, both are new airlines for me. Of course the ramp was also full of the usual British charter airlines Britannia, JMC, Air 2000 etc. I also noted a 146 G-CLHE with Atlantic titles, maybe someone can identify it for me? The wind was blowing pretty hard up there so I have to say that the coffee shop was doing a good trade that day with people buying tea and coffee or soup to keep the cold at bay. It just shows how seriously the British airport authorities take aviation enthusiasts. They have given up a quarter of the car parking spaces on this level to provide a coffee shop, an aviation shop and purpose built shielding from the wind, all to allow us to keep up our hobby. I just wish the Irish aviation authority would take some notice of this.
However before I knew it the time had come to return to Dublin and my ride home was aboard EI-CKQ which departed 5 minutes ahead of its 10.05 departure time. Again we were only up when we were coming down again and the weather in Dublin was so bad that our pilot warned us of 40 to 50 kt winds in Dublin and to expect a very bumpy approach. He wasn’t joking either!! and I can just imagine how the Delta passengers felt when there MD-11 left the runway a few days earlier because of strong winds at Dublin. We arrived on time however and I must congratulate Ryanair for this on both my flights and to say that not everything you might read about Ryanair is true and my advice to you is to give them a try .The only problem with my trip was having to wait for nearly 30 minute’s to collect our baggage, but this is not a Ryanair problem it’s a Dublin airport problem (as anyone who’s been though Dublin will tell you)
But that didn’t spoil my good weekend and I look forward to doing it all again soon.
Oh yes I forgot to mention , all this for Euro 19.99 !! How can you go wrong.