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Going Solo, Baby... MAH-CWL With A Personal 737  
User currently offlinePlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11607 posts, RR: 60
Posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 9374 times:


Going Solo, Baby



Getting that private jet feeling on WW 2186 from MAH to CWL




Introduction:


I don’t normally bother writing reports for ordinarily mundane trips like this one, but as it turned out this trip back from Spain was quite individual.

Whenever I fly between Menorca and England I check which airlines are running their first or last services of the holiday season, as the ultimate and penultimate legs in the opposite direction to the main flow are normally dirt cheap. I needed a flight to the UK towards the end of May and, sure enough, bmi baby were offering their initial CWL return on the 27th for just €1.30 plus taxes. The bargain outweighed CWL’s inconvenient location and the unfavorable times, so I booked myself onto the flight for a very economical £20.39 including all taxes.


Friday 27th May 2011:


As normal a trip out to our house in Menorca is never a really holiday, because I’m the only one in our immediate family who has either the skills or muscle to take care of jobs like painting high ceilings or other DIY jobs. As a result, by the time Friday evening came I was quite looking forwards to just sitting down and doing nothing at all on the flight back to Cardiff!

I’d flown out the previous Tuesday on Monarch from BHX along with my grandparents, so they drove me the short way to Mahon Airport for 21:30 and accompanied me up to the entrance to departures, just incase any of the things I had in my hand luggage were not allowed through security. Namely the nozzle of a pressure washer we’d sent over from England had started to malfunction so I was taking it back to exchange it for a new one with the shop, but it did look pretty gun-like, so I was concerned they wouldn’t let it through. All was well however; the contents of my bag didn’t even have cause to disrupt the screener from his conversation with a fellow worker. I gave my grandparents the thumbs up and a wave goodbye, and walked into the empty terminal.

There were just three flights left to depart that evening; an Air Nostrum ATR to Palma which was already taxing for take-off, an Air Europa Embraer to Barcelona and lastly my flight to Cardiff, which arrived about fifteen minutes after I sat down.


.



By the time the Barcelona flight had been called for boarding the terminal was totally deserted, it was quite eerie to walk through a space which is normally so busy and transient and see it completely silent and empty.


.


.


.



The flight to Cardiff left from Gate 12, which is in a section of the airport that is closed off during the low winter season, as there are insufficient passengers to warrant the space. Boarding time had come, yet I was still the only one sat at the gate when the dispatcher arrived. She smiled at me and said it looked like I was the only one onboard, another person was apparently booked to travel but hadn’t turned up. The first clue that the load could be quite light was when I’d checked in online earlier that afternoon and been given sequence number 001, considering check in had opened several days earlier.



The inbound flight from Cardiff had been 100% full, so it took a little time for all these passengers to be dealt with by immigration, before one of the border control police could make his way upstairs and check my passport. He was pretty amused at it just being me and told me to enjoy my private flight.

A couple of the cabin crew had made their way to the gate to see what the terminal looked like, which was also a sort of informal boarding call and we walked back down the airbridge together. The rest of the crew were sat around the front of the aircraft chatting and were really welcoming and friendly, we talked for quite a while before it was time for them to get ready to leave. The lady captain flying us home tonight asked me if it would be alright to skip the PA announcements and just keep me updated via the cabin crew, which was no problem to me because I’d have felt a bit daft in that situation too. I took the opportunity to ask her a few details about the route, as I suspected it took us along one of the airways I can see from my house.

Pick a seat, any seat. I chose 14A, which is the over-wing exit row with a seat missing in front, meaning lots of leg room.



With just me onboard there was no cause to do a full safety demonstration to the empty cabin, so instead one of the crewmembers ran through the instructions at my seat. He realised pretty quickly that he was preaching to the converted, although I had forgotten to put my bag in the overhead. Well to be honest I didn’t think I needed to as there was nobody else on the plane to be obstructed by it, but rules are rules I guess.

Pushback was bang on time by my watch, nudging backwards simultaneously with the Air Europa ERJ-190 a couple of stands down.


.


.

MAH-CWL Mahon Menorca Airport to Cardiff Airport

Carrier: bmi baby (3rd time on carrier)
Flight: WW 2186
Aircraft: Boeing 737-36N (14th time on type)
Registration: G-TOYH
Date of First Flight: 07.03.1998
Seat: 14A
Block Departure Time: 22:25
Actual Take off Time: 22:28
Block Arrival Time: 00:05
Actual Touchdown Time: 23:49
Distance Flown: 877 miles
Total Flying Time: 2 hours 21 minutes
Fare: €22.49 (£20.39) one way
Booking Fee: None when using Visa Electron


Once the tug had been disconnected there was no hanging about, making a quick taxi to runway 01L for a rapid rolling start. It felt and sounded like quite a low power setting was used, but even so the 737 was quick to rotate and pulled back into a steep ascent after a roll of what looked like only 1000m or so. The climb rate dropped again pretty quickly and a left bank was made, flying across the North of the island towards Girona on mainland Spain, from where the route would take me across the Pyrenees and over Western France towards the Brest Peninsular.



A little way into the flight one of the cabin crew came by to check I was alright and ask if I wanted anything from the service. I figured a coffee would be a good choice, which at £2 is about average these days for LCCs I think.



I reclined my seat back and stretched out for the rest of the flight. The seat was comfortable and the cabin looked well presented and clean, if a little worn in places. Several times the crew came by to have a chat – having just one passenger on a flight this long was a novelty; it had never happened to them before on a flight to the Med. Likewise it was a first for me; several times I’ve been accompanied by just one or two other passengers, but only on very short flights of under a hundred miles or so.


.



I was surprised to find out that this aircraft had only been built in 1998 and was just 13 years old, at that age it seems a little premature for the type to be called a ‘classic’. It was originally delivered to SATA International and then passed to BA’s Go before being inherited by EasyJet. I’m not sure where the seats came from, although the various shades of blue do remind me of SATA, so perhaps they are the originals?



Throughout the flight the pilots passed details of the flight’s progress to the cabin crew, who in turn passed it onto me. They let me know when Plymouth was just to the left, and sure enough I could just about make out the lights of my village to the North of the city… although it would take me almost another 11 hours to get back there.

By now the descent into Cardiff had begun, dropping down over the Bristol Channel until the runway lights were visible in the distance, making a quick turn to line up with runway 30. Touchdown was firm and fifteen minutes ahead of block time with both reverse thrust and braking used.



It took the ground crew several minutes to manually drag the air stairs into position, so again I chatted with the crew and thanked them for a great and laid back flight. There was just time to take a quick shot of the classic 737 cockpit before disembarking into the chilly Welsh air. It had been 21 degrees in Mahon, so 12 and a stiff wind was a bit of a shock.


.



Two members of bmi baby ground staff were waiting at the bottom of the steps to walk me through the deserted terminal, they were apparently still expecting two passengers and didn’t realise there had been a 50% no-show rate. I felt sorry for the border control staff on duty that evening; I got the feeling they hadn’t been told the load was so light and two of them had turned out in anticipation of a 737 load of passengers, they took it lightheartedly but didn’t seem very amused that there was only me until the next flight arrived in two or three hours – I can imagine it gets very boring even if they can chill out in their staff room in between flights.

I also had a boring overnight wait until the first train left at just gone 6am from the nearby station. Initially this put me off booking the flight, but in the end I reasoned that five hours or so sat in an airport was worth saving £70 for and mitigated the inconvenient location of Cardiff Airport. I’m glad I stuck with the economic option though, because I don’t expect to repeat the novelty of having a flight entirely to myself anytime soon. Value for money goes without saying on this one (I mean how much does it cost for a 737-BBJ per block hour? ) , but the friendliness of the crew deserves special note because it was very open and genuine. My previous flights on baby were so-so and left me pretty nonplussed by the crew and cabin, but this trip certainly changed my opinion of them.


Thanks for reading and I hope you’ve enjoyed this short report,


Dan  

[Edited 2011-05-30 10:20:56]


...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
27 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineeastafspot From France, joined Jan 2008, 702 posts, RR: 12
Reply 1, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 9290 times:

WOW, your TR is what every Y passenger craves  , the empty airport remind the movie inspired from a Stephen King's book also...

Quoting PlymSpotter (Thread starter):
it would be alright to skip the PA announcements

too bad for you, let's imagine: "Gentleman Daniel welcome on board..."

"Unique" experience Dan, thanks for sharing

[Edited 2011-05-30 10:41:24]


Fly with Air Burundi, Air Tanzania, Air Uganda, Kenya Airways and Rwandair...Jumuiya ya Afrika mashariki
User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6480 posts, RR: 55
Reply 2, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 9012 times:

Hi Dan!

Very nice and unique report with nice pictures! Must have been fantastic to be on a flight with yourself as the only passenger. I have met a flight (320) with only two passengers and worked a departure to SFO with only 5 passengers on a 744. I flew SFO-KOA one time on a 741 and we were only about 40 passengers on that so it was quite roomy as well.

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly...T5, CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlineDunaA320 From UK - England, joined Feb 2009, 613 posts, RR: 8
Reply 3, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 9009 times:

Nice report Dan, sounds like an awesome but pretty weird experience.

I look forward to 'low load' flights, they are quite good from a crew perspective but can also be pretty boring. Lowest I've had is 40/180 on our A320 back from Malaga at beginning of last month.


User currently offlineJetBlue777 From Canada, joined Jul 2009, 1450 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 8724 times:

Woah, it's every passenger's dream! To be the only passenger on board! Though I wouldn't mind 3 or more passengers on board, it's less awkward that way. Though it would be better if you were the only passenger on a 10hr flight onboard a 747!   I'd go crazy, try every seat and take lots and lots of photos! 

And that airport, it looks so eerie and it must have felt weird to be the only passenger sitting in the gate area!

Great report!



It's a cultural thing.
User currently offlineAlwaysOnAPlane From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2010, 305 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 8618 times:

Hi Dan.

Hey, very cool to read your story about this private flight. I can't imagine that happens to many people very often on a service like this. I often wondered what would happen should this situation arise. I guess the full load on the way out and the need to position the aircraft back to the UK ensured the service wasn't pulled.

Glad to see the crew were taking the opportunity to make you feel welcome in these personal surroundings.

Thanks for the posting.
Cheers, Lee.


User currently offlineLXM83 From Switzerland, joined May 2005, 610 posts, RR: 5
Reply 6, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 8457 times:

Hi PlymSpotter

Wow, it's great to have a 737 to yourself!

It happened to me once, but that was "only" a Shorts 360... actually I almost missed it because I didn't go through security at that small airport, but instead sat in a café waiting for the rest of the passengers to check-in and then go when everybody else would go. Fortunately the check-in girl remembered me, found me and told me to go now.

Cheers, LXM83


User currently offlineOlafW From Germany, joined Jul 2009, 102 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 8307 times:

Thanks for sharing this unique and priceless experience. The closest I came to that were 25 people on an A321.
Too bad this was on a LCC, just imagine you had full service and could choose between meals! 


User currently offline767747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1909 posts, RR: 25
Reply 8, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 8279 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Wow!

I think I remember hearing about someone being the only one on a flight back to JFK from LHR on the Concorde? I've been on a few empty flights; like an S80 from LGA-MSP with only 13 passengers on board, but nothing where there has been only 1 passenger!

Thanks for sharing!

Matthew


User currently offlineMAL787 From Australia, joined Jul 2007, 687 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 8136 times:

Lucky guy to get a plane to your self. But I cant believe they charged you for the coffee !!

Mal787



Flying cant get enough of it
User currently offlineBurj From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 900 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 7873 times:

Wow that is awesome! Thanks for sharing!

I agree...can't believe they charged for the coffee.....


User currently offlineCXfirst From Norway, joined Jan 2007, 3018 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 7754 times:

Always nice being in an empty plane.

My dad flew once on a 747 with only 5 other passengers (all traveling Y). The crew decided to bring them all up into the first class seats (but with Y service). He says that was one of the best trips he has ever had.

I believe it was a QF 744 (so actual bed-like First class seats)

-CXfirst



From Norway, live in Australia
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 31
Reply 12, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 7679 times:

Hi Dan,

Congratulations on your private "BBJ" flight - certainly something that doesn't too often!

I've managed to be the sole passenger twice, although both were smaller planes. The first time was a Finncomm ATR-72 TMP-HEL, the second one an Aurigny Trislander JER-GCI. Fun flights, for sure!

I never liked BMIBaby that much, but from your story it sounds like they were quite good - but then again it was an unusual situation for them as well!


User currently offlineTravelsUK From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2007, 134 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 4 days ago) and read 7609 times:

Brilliant!

I had a similar flight about 10 years ago when working for a major UK tour operator in Austria, I flew back to the UK from INN as the only passenger on a 757, quite a unique experience!


User currently offlinesultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1646 posts, RR: 30
Reply 14, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 7527 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi Dan,

Thanks for sharing this nice experience! I also wouldn't mind being a sole passenger on a big jet, albeit I'd prefer let's say a 777 iso a 737  


Bye,
Nils



In thrust we trust.
User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 2992 posts, RR: 8
Reply 15, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 7517 times:

That must have been one awesome experience! Thanks for reporting!

signol



Flights booked: none :(
User currently offlineAflyingkiwi From New Zealand, joined Nov 2010, 514 posts, RR: 3
Reply 16, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 7423 times:

Wow, what an odd but awesome situation. I wonder what the percentage of that happening is? Also good to see that the crew accommodated you well.

Thanks for the report.

Regards,
aflyingkiwi


User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3163 posts, RR: 12
Reply 17, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 7314 times:

Quoting PlymSpotter (Thread starter):

By the time the Barcelona flight had been called for boarding the terminal was totally deserted, it was quite eerie to walk through a space which is normally so busy and transient and see it completely silent and empty.

A few years ago I was the last pax onto the last flight on the night out of Haikou (HAK) in China - was wonderful to have the terminal devoid of all those annoying pax!

Lucky that you got a flight to yourself, although it's a shame you didn't get any complimentary catering. The closest I've got to being the only pax was when I was one of 5 on a B737-800 from Shanghai to Guiyang, and then one of 4 on an Dash (?) from Taipei to Hengchun (southern Taiwan).



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: LHR-GVA-LHR-TXL-LHR-VE-PRN,SPU-OSL-LHR, LGW-DXB-BKK-DXB-LHR
User currently offlineQuokka From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 7069 times:

Hi PlymSpotter,
What an amazing trip report. I have never been the sole passenger on a flight but I have been the sole passenger in the first class cabin on a couple of occasions. Not quite the same, but it felt weird nevertheless.

Quoting PlymSpotter (Thread starter):
for just €1.30 plus taxes.

Shame we don't get fares like that here: I would be happy to come to Europe more frequently if we did.  
Quoting PlymSpotter (Thread starter):
to walk through a space which is normally so busy and transient and see it completely silent and empty.

Reminds me of a scene from the Marie Celeste.

Quoting PlymSpotter (Thread starter):
He was pretty amused at it just being me and told me to enjoy my private flight.

Guess they're not all that used to it either.

Quoting PlymSpotter (Thread starter):
Pushback was bang on time by my watch,

A definite advantage of light loads and no excess baggage to stow.

Quoting MAL787 (Reply 9):
But I cant believe they charged you for the coffee !!

I guess they had to make some money on the flight. 


User currently onlineba319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8465 posts, RR: 55
Reply 19, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 6250 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

HI Dan,

Good story, must have felt quite odd at first to be so alone. I've been of a flight to FRA from LUX in 1992, a 737-200 with just 3 of us, that was odd for sure!

Cheers

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333,342
User currently offlineSpeedbird741 From Portugal, joined Aug 2008, 654 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 5912 times:

I am surprised you didn't jumpseat as it was an empty flight. Did you by chance ask the captain or a crew member if you could? Nice report Dan!

Speedbird741



Boa noite Faro, Air Portugal 257 climbing flight level 340
User currently offlinereifel From Germany, joined Feb 2005, 1325 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 5889 times:

Great report, I guess this must have been a very cool flight for all people involved, staff and yourself  

User currently offlineaidoair From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2006, 243 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 5867 times:

Great Trip Report !

The new terminal at Mahon does look very nice from the couple pics you have posted.

As a regular on bmibaby, despite some of those 737s getting on a bit now and the amount of flights they work, the cabins are usually in pretty good shape. Also I find the crews on baby are usually more friendly than on many LCCs/UK airlines and never use the hard sell to the likes of Ryanair. It looks like you had a great flight, though as everyone else, I have to admit they could have made you a free coffee  
Quoting Speedbird741 (Reply 20):
I am surprised you didn't jumpseat as it was an empty flight. Did you by chance ask the captain or a crew member if you could? Nice report Dan!

As good as it would be, unfortunately it would be illegal under both UK CAA regulations and EU Ops despite no other pax being onboard!

[QUOTE] I’m not sure where the seats came from, although the various shades of blue do remind me of SATA, so perhaps they are the originals?[QUOTE]

Those are bmibaby's standard leather seat covers across most of the fleet. Though the type of seats actually used across the fleet is a bit of a mish mash with the various previous operators they have come from.

[Edited 2011-06-01 13:57:32]

[Edited 2011-06-01 13:58:17]

User currently offlineSpeedbird741 From Portugal, joined Aug 2008, 654 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 5819 times:

Quoting aidoair (Reply 22):
As good as it would be, unfortunately it would be illegal under both UK CAA regulations and EU Ops despite no other pax being onboard!

Sure, but it hasn't stopped me from enjoying a good bunch of my past flights in the cockpit. It all comes down to how and who you ask.

Speedbird741



Boa noite Faro, Air Portugal 257 climbing flight level 340
User currently offlinePlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11607 posts, RR: 60
Reply 24, posted (3 years 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 4334 times:

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 1):
too bad for you, let's imagine: "Gentleman Daniel welcome on board..."

"Unique" experience Dan, thanks for sharing

Thanks, yeah I guess that would have made it even more novel but at the same time it would have felt even weirder.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 2):
Very nice and unique report with nice pictures! Must have been fantastic to be on a flight with yourself as the only passenger.

thank you, it's certainly not one I foresee myself repeating any time soon.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 2):
I have met a flight (320) with only two passengers and worked a departure to SFO with only 5 passengers on a 744. I flew SFO-KOA one time on a 741 and we were only about 40 passengers on that so it was quite roomy as well.

5 pax on a 744 - I hope they sat them all up front... for load and balance reasons of course  
Quoting DunaA320 (Reply 3):
Nice report Dan, sounds like an awesome but pretty weird experience.

Thanks, yeap it was a nice change from the ordinary!

Quoting DunaA320 (Reply 3):
I look forward to 'low load' flights, they are quite good from a crew perspective but can also be pretty boring. Lowest I've had is 40/180 on our A320 back from Malaga at beginning of last month.

That's all pretty high then, I'd have assumed you would have experienced many flights with loads in the single figures. Last year I flew LPL-IOM on your metal and there were (IIRC) just 22 booked pax. Great flight; there was no cruise, went straight front ascent to descent like a roller-coaster. 
Quoting JetBlue777 (Reply 4):

Woah, it's every passenger's dream! To be the only passenger on board! Though I wouldn't mind 3 or more passengers on board, it's less awkward that way. Though it would be better if you were the only passenger on a 10hr flight onboard a 747!   I'd go crazy, try every seat and take lots and lots of photos! 

Hehe yes, a few people suggested I took every seat in turn, but I figured that would really freak the crew out! Agree about the awkwardness, if the crew hadn't been so much fun and relaxed then it could have been a very different experience.

Quoting JetBlue777 (Reply 4):
And that airport, it looks so eerie and it must have felt weird to be the only passenger sitting in the gate area!

Yes, very out of place as there were cleaners starting to appear from everywhere so any longer sat there and I'd have felt in the way too.

Quoting AlwaysOnAPlane (Reply 5):
Hey, very cool to read your story about this private flight. I can't imagine that happens to many people very often on a service like this. I often wondered what would happen should this situation arise. I guess the full load on the way out and the need to position the aircraft back to the UK ensured the service wasn't pulled.

Thanks. It happens very rarely from this airport because Menorca has a large ex-pat community, who also know the first returns of the season are a cheap way to go back home, so normally they muster a load of 10+ pax. I think the key reason this flight was empty is that another flight operated MAH-CWL an hour and a half earlier, so most people going back would have gone on that due to the more convenient time, even though it was more expensive.

Quoting AlwaysOnAPlane (Reply 5):
Glad to see the crew were taking the opportunity to make you feel welcome in these personal surroundings.

Yes they were very happy to stop and chat and to make time for conversation.

Quoting LXM83 (Reply 6):
Wow, it's great to have a 737 to yourself!

It happened to me once, but that was "only" a Shorts 360... actually I almost missed it because I didn't go through security at that small airport, but instead sat in a café waiting for the rest of the passengers to check-in and then go when everybody else would go. Fortunately the check-in girl remembered me, found me and told me to go now.

That's lucky she did, it sounds like something I'd do myself - waiting for the crowd! Nice aircraft type too, how long ago was that?

Quoting OlafW (Reply 7):
Thanks for sharing this unique and priceless experience. The closest I came to that were 25 people on an A321.
Too bad this was on a LCC, just imagine you had full service and could choose between meals!

Glad you enjoyed it. That did cross my mind too, I've done a few flights in C with very light loads and they are either very special or you hardly see the crew at all.

Quoting 767747 (Reply 8):
I think I remember hearing about someone being the only one on a flight back to JFK from LHR on the Concorde?

Now nothing could beat that, not even the latest all-singing A380CJ.

Quoting 767747 (Reply 8):
I've been on a few empty flights; like an S80 from LGA-MSP with only 13 passengers on board, but nothing where there has been only 1 passenger!

Thanks for sharing!

No problem

Quoting MAL787 (Reply 9):
Lucky guy to get a plane to your self. But I cant believe they charged you for the coffee !!

They are an LCC after-all, so considering my 20 Euro ticket I didn't mind paying another couple of pounds for a coffee.

Quoting Burj (Reply 10):
Wow that is awesome! Thanks for sharing!

I agree...can't believe they charged for the coffee.....

Thanks, thinking about it they did give me free cups of water, but I'm not sure if that's available as standard or not?

Quoting CXfirst (Reply 11):
Always nice being in an empty plane.

My dad flew once on a 747 with only 5 other passengers (all traveling Y). The crew decided to bring them all up into the first class seats (but with Y service). He says that was one of the best trips he has ever had.

I believe it was a QF 744 (so actual bed-like First class seats)

That must have been a pleasant surprise, was it a long international flight or domestic?... which I know can be quite long too in Australia!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 12):
Congratulations on your private "BBJ" flight - certainly something that doesn't too often!

I've managed to be the sole passenger twice, although both were smaller planes. The first time was a Finncomm ATR-72 TMP-HEL, the second one an Aurigny Trislander JER-GCI. Fun flights, for sure!

Thanks, indeed it's the first time for me, so far as I recall.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 12):
I never liked BMIBaby that much, but from your story it sounds like they were quite good - but then again it was an unusual situation for them as well!

Likewise I'd had a few so-so experiences, but this was certainly very positive. Not just the fact that I was the only one on the flight, but the crew's friendliness.

Quoting TravelsUK (Reply 13):
Brilliant!

I had a similar flight about 10 years ago when working for a major UK tour operator in Austria, I flew back to the UK from INN as the only passenger on a 757, quite a unique experience!

Thank you. And I think I speak for everyone here in hoping you got a max-power take off on that 757 flight  
Quoting sultanils (Reply 14):
Thanks for sharing this nice experience! I also wouldn't mind being a sole passenger on a big jet, albeit I'd prefer let's say a 777 iso a 737

On a big jet that would be even more impressive without doubt. Not for the airline's bottom line though  
Quoting signol (Reply 15):
That must have been one awesome experience! Thanks for reporting!

No problem, yes it was great fun!

Quoting Aflyingkiwi (Reply 16):
Wow, what an odd but awesome situation. I wonder what the percentage of that happening is? Also good to see that the crew accommodated you well.

I wondered that too - from my own experience it's a 1/539 chance, but I think really the odds are much less.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 17):
A few years ago I was the last pax onto the last flight on the night out of Haikou (HAK) in China - was wonderful to have the terminal devoid of all those annoying pax!

Yes, nobody to get in your way as you rush to the gate either. Quite often I've been the only one in Bristol Airport waiting for the last flight, without being the only one on the aircraft as I'd be just one passenger joining the MAN-BRS-PLH flight, and that is serenely peaceful. Also being the first and only arriving passenger in the morning could be a problem because often the doors into the arrivals area would still be locked!

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 17):
Lucky that you got a flight to yourself, although it's a shame you didn't get any complimentary catering. The closest I've got to being the only pax was when I was one of 5 on a B737-800 from Shanghai to Guiyang, and then one of 4 on an Dash (?) from Taipei to Hengchun (southern Taiwan).

Indeed, but I can understand about the food/drink still being BoB. Could have been a Dash on UniAir, or an ATR if you flew with TransAsia, still not a great load!

Quoting Quokka (Reply 18):
What an amazing trip report. I have never been the sole passenger on a flight but I have been the sole passenger in the first class cabin on a couple of occasions. Not quite the same, but it felt weird nevertheless.

Thank you, hopefully being the sole passenger in First Class felt even better than being the sole passenger on bmi baby  
Quoting Quokka (Reply 18):
Shame we don't get fares like that here: I would be happy to come to Europe more frequently if we did.

One day someone will bite the initiative and pack 700-800 seats into an A388 and start a Lo-Co kangaroo service. Possibly when the first frames are retired in 10-15 years time.

Quoting Quokka (Reply 18):
Guess they're not all that used to it either.

No indeed, and this was their first ever 1 pax load too, although one crew member had seen a 0 pax load before. Apparently this is their only chance to ride the cockpit jumpseat, otherwise they need to be in the cabin on higher loads.

Quoting Quokka (Reply 18):
I guess they had to make some money on the flight.

Every £2 helps I suppose!

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 19):
Good story, must have felt quite odd at first to be so alone. I've been of a flight to FRA from LUX in 1992, a 737-200 with just 3 of us, that was odd for sure!

Thanks, yes a little. That must have been a very short flight, Luxair or Lufthansa?

Quoting Speedbird741 (Reply 20):

I am surprised you didn't jumpseat as it was an empty flight. Did you by chance ask the captain or a crew member if you could? Nice report Dan!

I did ask, but I knew what the answer would be as regulations are regulations. Plus if I had then this report would never have been made, because I wouldn't wish to get anyone in trouble for it. Anyway, one of the crew had got 'dibs' on it already which is fair enough.

Quoting reifel (Reply 21):
Great report, I guess this must have been a very cool flight for all people involved, staff and yourself

Thank you, yes it definitely was fun.

Quoting aidoair (Reply 22):
The new terminal at Mahon does look very nice from the couple pics you have posted.

The best thing is that it has airbridges, which the last terminal did not. Also something I find about Spanish airports is that they are kept very clean, which is nice.

Quoting aidoair (Reply 22):
As a regular on bmibaby, despite some of those 737s getting on a bit now and the amount of flights they work, the cabins are usually in pretty good shape. Also I find the crews on baby are usually more friendly than on many LCCs/UK airlines and never use the hard sell to the likes of Ryanair. It looks like you had a great flight, though as everyone else, I have to admit they could have made you a free coffee

Unsurprising I suppose, when they are being worked hard up to 18 hours a day things will start to look a bit worn in places. I agree about the selling being less vocal, it was non existent on this flight, but from my other flights I recall it being a tone below the likes of Easyjet and especially Ryanair.

Quoting aidoair (Reply 22):
Those are bmibaby's standard leather seat covers across most of the fleet. Though the type of seats actually used across the fleet is a bit of a mish mash with the various previous operators they have come from.

Thanks for the information.


Thanks again for all the comments, I'm glad people have enjoyed reading about this unusual trip.


Dan  



...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
25 Post contains images LXM83 : It was back in June 2002 on a Northwest Airlink (operated by Pacific Island Aviation) Shorts 360 from Rota (ROP) to Guam (GUM) during a crazy round-t
26 Dazed767 : How cool is that! Closest I've gotten was 28 or so in a 777 and 13 or so in a 767.
27 JRadier : UK CAA ok, I'm not familiar with those regulations, but as far as I know EU OPS does not prohibit this.
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