Ndebele From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 2895 posts, RR: 25 Posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 1419 times:
11March 2002 HHN-BOH FR8096 EI-CSR
12March 2002 Bournemouth railway station - Southampton airport SOU and back by train (British Southwest Trains)
12March 2002 BOH-HHN FR8097 EI-CSI
It all started four weeks ago, when searched on www.ryanair.com for cheap flights. I flew Ryanair HHN-PIK-HHN last year in June and I really enjoyed it, so I wanted to make a similar trip again. I found a flight HHN-BOH-HHN for 0.61€ return per person (yes, that's 61 cent!), so I immediately called Contact Air (the a.net user) and asked him if he wants to join me on that trip. Of course he did. So we booked that flight, including taxes we had to pay ~24€ per person, 47DM, which is still very cheap!
Keep in mind that Contact Air and I are living in Stuttgart, and Stuttgart-Hahn is a real hell of a trip. We left at 10am, but due to traffic jam on the A81 highway, it took us more than three hours by car. Unfortunately there is no train service to HHN, so we had to take the car. Parking at HHN is free but overcrowded, so we had park far away from the terminal building. (Last year, hardly anybody parked at HHN, and even the car park close to the terminal was for free. This very car park, however, is no longer for free, it would have cost 8€ per day I think)
There was a small check-in queue, but the check-in staff worked efficient, so it took us less than five minutes until we had checked in. I asked for the number of passengers booked, and she told me that they expected a little more than 100 people. Most of the people around us in the queue were British, I guess that less than 25% on that flight were German. - We left the terminal then, to have a look at the parked Air Atlanta 742F, and we watched the landing of two Ryanair 738s. Then we went back into the terminal and passed the security (which was very thorough). Boarding started at 14:50 and was very quickly; we took seats 31A and 31B. The aircraft left at 15:06 which is 4 minutes ahead of schedule.
Flight time was 55 minutes, the sun was shining when we left, and about 20 minutes after departure, we saw Brussels airport from high above. Later, it became more and more cloudy, and when approaching BOH for landing, it was overcast and raining. We were 15 minutes ahead of schedule when we arrived at BOH, we left the aircraft and walked to the arrival hall, which can't be called terminal building, it's more like a wooden hut.
We didn't have much baggage with us, so we walked a little bit around, watched "our" 738 leave, watched the Ryanair 732 landing from DUB, saw the parked Channel Express F27, Emerald HS-748, LeCocq Trislander and, most importantly: the new European 742 G-BDXJ in black/yellow livery, it must have arrived only hours before, because neither a.net nor justplanes.com had this aircraft in the database. We also saw a VIP 727 from Cyprus, a VIP BAC-1-11, some FR Aviation Falcon and Do228. And then of course, we saw many retired aircraft: two ex-South African A300, *many* European BAC-1-11, a BAe125, ...
Then we took a taxi to our hotel in Bournemouth city, 13GBP.
The next day, we got up early, walked to the near Bournemouth railway station and took the next train to Southampton airport. Journey time was about 40 minutes, a return ticket per person costs ~12GBP I think. We only had a very short stay at SOU, but 9:30 am was a rather busy time, we saw some BA ERJ, Scot Airways Do328, an AF CRJ and a British European Dash8-300. At 10:30 we took a train back to Bournemouth, and then the bus to the airport (2.50GBP per person).
We arrived there at 12:00, had lunch at a restaurant near the viewing garden, the BOH departure terminal is rather small, too, but new, clean and convenient. Because there was no scheduled traffic at all (the arrival of "our" Ryanair was the next movement), we decided to visit the Bournemouth Aviation Museum, about 500m from the terminal building. Most interesting displayed aircraft are the AB Airlines BAC-1-11 and the Channel Express Handley Page Herald, which both used to be in scheduled service until three years ago! Both aircraft were opened, we could have a look inside the cockpit - wow - and the cabin of both aircraft.
At 14:10 (two hours before departure) the Servisair staff opened the check-in counter, there was no queue at all, they worked very efficient, too, again I asked how many passengers were booked, only 66 passengers this time.
As a sidenote, it's really impressive how young the staff at BOH is! When I started as a ramp agent at STR, I was 19 years old and one of the youngest in the company, maybe at the whole airport. At Servisair BOH however, there was only one, let's say, "experienced" lady, all the others (both at check-in and on the ramp) were younger than 20, some even looked younger than 18. But they worked really efficient.
The flight BOH-HHN was on time, we left at 16:05 (16:10 is scheduled time), but we had to wait for a few minutes for some landings of Pipers and Cessnas, plus the Ryanair 732 from DUB, then we could finally take off. Due to only 66 pax on that flight, the last 5 rows were blocked, we took 28A and 28B, which is closer to the engines, and it was really much more noisy than on the HHN-BOH flight on 31A/B. Once again, the Ryanair crew was friendly, but announcements only in English, although some of the f/a were German.
There were so many free seats, for landing at HHN I decided to take 26F. We arrived very early, 18:25 (18:45 is scheduled).
We took our baggage, went through passport control - once again, German passports were the minority - and walked to my car, arriving at Stuttgart at 21:30. The end of a short, but rather cheap trip.
Ndebele From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 2895 posts, RR: 25 Reply 4, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 1243 times:
Contact Air had one cheese sandwich and an orange juice, I had a coke (150ml). I'm not 100% sure how much it has cost, because on the menu all prices were in GBP, but we paid in Euro, I think the sandwich was 3.75GBP, orange juice and coke 1.20GBP. Especially the sandwich for 3.75GBP is really expensive. In addition to that, Contact Air said that the sandwich tasted awful.
All Ryanair flights are free seating. At HHN, you get a plastic boarding pass, on which there is only printed your destination and a number (security number, as we call it), beginning with 1 for the first passenger at the check-in counter, up to 189 for the 189th passenger. Those plastic boarding passes are re-usable.
At BOH (and PIK, by the way) you get a paper boarding pass, but without a seat, only destination and security number written by hand.
Avion, I really enjoyed flying Ryanair. However, "FR is the future" seems a little exaggeration to me. It was okay for me, but I'm sure if it was not me but my parents instead, OMG I can already hear my dad swearing on Ryanair and Hahn. It's a good choice if you don't have much money, but as soon as you can afford it, I'm sure you would prefer an airline serving the main airports.
Contact Air From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 1154 posts, RR: 14 Reply 7, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 1224 times:
good trip report; I couldn't have written it better! (to all the others: I was on the same trip).
By the way, a drink (coke or orange juice) was GBP 0,70, which is all right for on the plane, I think (if you buy it at an airport restaurant, it is not much cheaper).
Compared to that, the sandwich with GBP 3,75 was quite expensive. But all in all, it didn't taste that awful; there was just much too much mayonnaise on it for my taste.
Ndebele From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 2895 posts, RR: 25 Reply 9, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 1173 times:
Just a small addition to my trip report, which I forgot to mention:
Both at HHN and at BOH, even the check-in staff wore that reflecting, bright yellow protective clothing. That's a little unusual, but I soon found out why: At Ryanair, everybody seems to be responsable for everything, and a check-in agent might be out on the ramp two minutes later; even the Ryanair flight attendant came to the gate to help boarding! I've never seen so much common sense before! Imagine a Lufthansa (or even worse: any German charter airline) f/a coming to the gate to help the gate agent boarding - never!
This way, the flights are always on time.
Setjet From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 1086 posts, RR: 0 Reply 10, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 1148 times:
Question: You are saying they blocked the last rows because there were only 60 pax on board. Why would they do this? It doesn't make any sense to me.
I've seen it at a Mc Donalds shortly before they close, but to block seats in an airplane because it's half empty? Maybe they didn't want to give you the experience of space in a 737...
Anyway, great report!
Ndebele From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 2895 posts, RR: 25 Reply 11, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 1142 times:
I'm not so familiar with the 738, but I guess it might have something to do with weight and ballance. 66 passengers, with a total capacity of 189 seats. That's 35%, keep in mind that it's free seating, very difficult to trim, I didn't even see them counting passengers for a seatrow trim. But I've seen them loading all the baggage in the front compartment, so I guess the 738 needs all the weight in the front, and so they blocked the last five rows. As I said, I'm not familiar with the 738 (I have never worked on any 737NG yet), if anybody is, correct me if I'm wrong.
We had space enough. But I like your comparison between Ryanair and McDonald's
Capt.Picard From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 12, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 1140 times:
Great report! I have to tell you now that I am a die-hard Ryanair fan! (I even have a Ryanair 738 plastic model on my desk! ).
Good to see your experience was nice-there are unfortunately, many who do complain after having a bad experieince with Ryanair-I understand that, given that sometimes the FA's are not always nice & cheerful-my reasoning is that you can still smile and welcome the pax, even if you work for a low-cost airline!
And as you say, there are many for whom Ryanair are NOT the suitable option, especially given their choice of airports-but everyone makes a choice, and since most people are not highly wealthy, low-cost airlines will always be considered.
I also greatly appreciate the likes of BA & Virgin-they are both great airlines, and provide excellent longhaul service; however, on most shorthaul routes, I will consider the low-cost alternatives first.
Well, enough of me. Bournemouth is not exactly a destination which excites me (!), but given a silly price, I might still go!
I do want to visit Newquay at some stage, I have heard that is quite a nice little seaside town-the lowest fares are about £18 o/w at the moment.
p.s. wouldn't you love it if Ryanair decided to fly to the Croatian coastline-Dubrovnik, Split etc!! I would definitely go there!
Ndebele From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 2895 posts, RR: 25 Reply 13, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 1108 times:
Mon capitaine, I have to tell you that I somehow became a Ryanair-addict, too, with a trip to SNN planned as soon as I find another cheap offer
You told me in a topic that I've started some weeks ago that I should visit the city of Bournemouth, too. Well, as you can read, we had our hotel in the city of Bournemouth. We have visited the beautiful KFC restaurant close to the hotel. Later we decided to have a walk to the beach, living close to the Alps we don't have that chance every day. But it was already night, we didn't see anything, plus we were on top of a sort of rocket, with the beach ~50m below us. We decided that this was enough of Bournemouth sightseeing (or better: sight-not-seeing)...
Patroni From Luxembourg, joined Aug 1999, 1403 posts, RR: 15 Reply 14, posted (11 years 2 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 1084 times:
did the same trip like you from 15.-17.03. HHN-BOH-HHN for a similar fare. However, probably due to the weekend (out on Friday, home on sunday) the flights were nearly fully booked and about 50% of the passengers were German. I can only back up your positive comments about Ryanair, the flight with their EI-CSR on both ways was extremely pleasant, smooth and on time. Staff was friendly and helpful.
BTW, I participated in the BAC 1-11 farewell flight on Saturday, 16 March. Also visited the Southampton airport on saturday afternoon, but of course there was nearly no traffic at that time. In Bournemouth we had a rental car which was very useful to drive around the airport to get a view on the European Air Charter hangars, the parked 1-11's, 737-200's, A300s and of course the 747SP V-BAT and Europeans two 747-200s which were parked there as well.
I will certainly return to BOH soon, of course again certainly on Ryanair rather than flying Luxair to LHR and then taking the bus to the South....