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Loganair (FlyBe) Saab 340B: GLA - LSI (pics)  
User currently offlinejamesontheroad From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2005, 552 posts, RR: 1
Posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 10632 times:

THE BACKGROUND

This is the story of a long awaited trip. Loganair is a small Scottish airline that primarily provides a network of domestic passenger and freight service between the central belt cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh, the northern cities of Aberdeen and Inverness, and the remoter islands and peninsulars of Scotland. Prior to October 2008, Loganair was a franchisee of British Airways and flew under their flight numbers and in their colours. BA has shown little interest in regional flying in the last years however, so when the franchise expired, Loganair switched allegiance to become a franchisee of FlyBe. FlyBe is, of course, the airline that has inherited and developed many of the regional routes once flown by BA and their regional subsidiaries and franchisees.

Most of my domestic flying is now with FlyBe, although with their "mainline" services rather than Loganair. As a result I've been accumulating points with FlyBe's "Rewards4All" loyalty programme. It's got a horrible name and the points aren't exactly useful.

One flight in FlyBe economy earns one point (two points in Economy
Plus) and sixteen points can be redeemed for a domestic roundtrip. Thirty-five points can be redeemed for an annual pass to FlyBe's lounge network. In principle, the programme sounds great: just eight roundtrips and you get a free flight. But when it came to price up a redemption, I found the taxes and charges on my most regular route cost more than the total fare, taxes and charges being offered on flyBe.com at the time for the exact same flight. So for a while I stacked up the points with no idea what to use them for. Then, however, a chance discovery one evening, testing out possible itineraries on flyBe.com, revealed something promising. Rewards4All points can naturally be redeemed on Loganair-operated flights as well, and because of the favourable subsidies given to their remoter essential air service routes within Scotland, my apparently useless points suddenly seemed rather valuable.

For instance, a roundtrip from Glasgow to Barra usually prices up in the region of £150, and a return to Sumburgh in the Shetland Islands around £350. Yet with points, the subsidised taxes and charges on these flights are (currently) about £25 and £35 respectively.

No doubt like many others on this forum, I had long dreamed of making the unique trip from Glasgow to Barra in one of Loganair's two Twin Otters; the only scheduled airline service in the northern hemisphere that lands on a beach. I considered a weekend trip to Barra, but decided in the end to set that one aside for another time (as we were already planning a holiday walking in the Outer Hebrides this year, traveling there and back by boat).

Next on the Scottish travel wish list was, therefore, Shetland.

If you grow up in the UK you will probably come to learn about the Shetland Islands through maps or atlases of the British Isles. The Shetland Islands normally reside not in their true geographic position, but in an inset box alongside the much closer Orkney Islands. Shetland is home to the northernmost point in the UK and the easternmost point in Scotland. Closer to Norway than to the capita city of Edinburgh, these islands are a living, breathing connection between contemporary Scotland and its Norse history.

An opportunity to go soon arose: aside from flying, one of my guilty passions is the cinema, and fueling that interest are the film reviews of the BBC correspondent Mark Kermode. He and his wife, Dr Ruth Williams, curate the annual film festival in Shetland, and seeping how the 2011 programme was packed with films that I had conveniently not seen, it was an easy decision to make.

Using 16 of my accumulated Rewards4All points, I was able to book a roundtrip from Glasgow Iternational to Sumburgh for £35.40. The equivalent flight was selling for a cash fare of around £350. This really was an instance of an award flight making possible a trip I simply wouldn't have been able to consider otherwise. The alternative to the normally very expensive flight is a train journey to Aberdeen and then a 12 hour ferry crossing to Lerwick. A high season single ticket costs about £36 on the boat, plus upwards of £130 for a car and as much as £120 for a two person cabin.

THE FLIGHT

Date: Wednesday 31 August 2011

Route: Glasgow International (GLA / EGPF) to Sumburgh (LSI, EGPB)

Airline: FlyBe, operated by Loganair

Flight number: BE6917
Departure time: 1330 GMT +1 (on time)

Arrival time: 1500 GMT +1 (on time)

Type of aircraft: Saab 340B

Registration: G-LGNE

Load: 22 passengers, 3 crew

Seat: 4A

Glasgow Airport is accessible by bus and train from Glasgow city centre. The bus is very expensive for such a short route, so I chose to take the train instead. Although Glasgow Airport doesn't have its own station, you buy an inclusive train ticket to the airport which includes a bus connection from Paisley Gilmour Street station, which is 10-15 minutes ride from Glasgow Central and then a short 5 minute bus ride from the airport. A single ticket from the city to the airport is currently £2.90.


DSCN5723 by jamesbrownontheroad, on Flickr

A mix of fast and slow suburban trains run from Glasgow Central to Paisley Gilmour Street, and this was mine, the 11:00 to Ayr. It was formed of the pride of Scotrail's fleet, a new, German-built, Siemens "class 380" train. Ayr trains also call at Prestwick Airport, which is about forty-five minutes away, and familiar to many a Ryanair passenger.

At Paisley Gilmour Street, it's an easy (and clearly signed) connection to the local route 66 bus outside, which arrived about ten minutes after I arrived. If you're going from any railway station to Glasgow Airport, the driver will accept your train ticket when you board. If you're going in the opposite direction from the airport to a railway station, it's slightly more complicated. At the airport the driver should (though often doesn’t know how to) sell you a "rail exchange" ticket for about £1.80, which you can then use at Paisley Gilmour Street as £1.50 credit towards your onward train.


It's a quick five minute journey to the airport, swinging in via a security checkpoint for buses and taxis that have access to the roadway in front of the terminal building. It was the terrorist attack in June 2007 at GLA that lead to these vehicle restrictions at this and many other UK airports. Having left Glasgow Central at 11:00, I was at the airport by 11:30, catching sight of Air Transat's C-GFAT reading to carry flight #851 to Calgary.


DSCN5729 by jamesbrownontheroad, on Flickr


DSCN5736 by jamesbrownontheroad, on Flickr

I had checked in online the day before, but had a large pack to check-in. There was no-one ahead of me at the FlyBe check-in counters and one of the three agents soon had my bag tagged. Given its size, I left the pack at the adjacent outsize baggage conveyor and headed upstairs to pass through security. That was with some trepidation, given that the last time I checked a large backpack into the outsize baggage facility at GLA was in 2007 for a US flight to LGA at the end of which my bag never emerged (and was never returned to me, nor adequately compensated by US). Hopefully today's flight would be simpler.


DSCN5733 by jamesbrownontheroad, on Flickr


DSCN5734 by jamesbrownontheroad, on Flickr


DSCN5742 by jamesbrownontheroad, on Flickr

Security was similarly easy; while hundreds of people were queuing to check in for the daily Emirates flight to DXB, it seemed that few of that crowd had got as far as security. I use GLA about two or three times a month, and the security experience can depend very much on the time of day. For a 07:00 departure, when most of the passengers are business folk or commuters (who know what they're doing) and up to a dozen scanners are working, it's a breeze. A few hours later after the first wave of departures, it can be chaos as the trans-Atlantic and sunshine flights (packed with infrequent flyers unfamiliar with security procedures) clog up the security channels.


DSCN5740 by jamesbrownontheroad, on Flickr

Given that BAA invested hundreds of thousands of pounds in the relatively young security search area at GLA, it's a painful jolt to then hit a truly grotty "duty free" shop through which all passengers are obliged to pass. This is badly laid out, badly ventilated and a pain to have to slalom through. It's a clear reminder that BAA has for a number of a years been one of the most profitable owners of retail space in the UK, rather than an efficient airport operator.


DSCN5744 by jamesbrownontheroad, on Flickr

I meandered through the airside area, but again it's almost entirely oriented around shopping with no real views out onto the apron. From this core area of the terminal, the are three piers: one international and two domestic. The two domestic piers are only accessible to domestic passengers (with a boarding pass check). I was instructed to turn right and head towards the smaller of the two piers, where gates 1-8 are located. British Airways, BMI Regional and the majority of FlyBe domestic flights depart from the other (central) domestic pier, which is distinctive from the other piers by it's black triangular lounge area at the far end. There wasn't much happening out on the ramp, just a single FlyBe Dash 8 Q400, G-JECP, parked on stand awaiting duties later in the day.


DSCN5745 by jamesbrownontheroad, on Flickr

These long, thin 'props are the bread and butter of FlyBe's extensive network, and I always enjoy traveling on them. Flights with lighter loads are especially enjoyable, as the engines are phenomenally powerful for such a light aircraft.

I walked the length of the smaller domestic pier, and just after 12:00, G-LGNC landed as FlyBe #6916 from Kirkwall before taxiing round to the dedicated Loganair stands at ages 1-3. It parked alongside its sister G-LGNK: one of these two aircraft would be taking me to Sumburgh today.


Loganair Saab 340 G-LGNC by jamesbrownontheroad, on Flickr


Loganair Saab 340 G-LGNK by jamesbrownontheroad, on Flickr


DSCN5752 by jamesbrownontheroad, on Flickr

This domestic pier has recently had some mild refurbishments, with a new coat of paint and new flooring materials. However it's still clearly the oldest part of the terminal, with single glazed steel frame windows and what must be a prodigious heating bill in the winter. Later additions (the sloped roofs in the photos) have created addition lounge space at ground floor, the furthest of which are mainly used by EasyJet for their domestic departures. I've used this pier a few times for FlyBe flights displaced from their dual gates and a handful of painfully early EasyJet flights over to Belfast International.


DSCN5750 by jamesbrownontheroad, on Flickr


DSCN5749 by jamesbrownontheroad, on Flickr

The nearer of the two ground floor lounges on this pier is Loganair's, and it's from here that gates 1 - 3 are served. There are some vending machines, large scale photos of some of Loganair's destinations and even an action shot of Loganair Tw'otter G-BVVK at Barra Airport. I witnessed just such a delicate landing on the beach at Barra a few months earlier during the aforementioned holiday on the Outer Hebrides. Witnessing that beautiful landing on such a beautiful island left in no doubt that that will be the next Rewards4All redemption.


DSCN5767 by jamesbrownontheroad, on Flickr

At 12:35, flight BE6915 to Kirkwall began boarding through gate 1. It soon became apparent that the flight was one passenger down, and a few "final calls" were made for him to get to the gate. These were unsuccessful and his bag was offloaded. The passenger arrived a few minutes later, before G-LGNK had even been pushed back, but it was too late. He was advised to collect his bags from baggage reclaim and make arrangements to come back for tomorrow's flight.

At about 13:15 it was our turn, and flight BE6197 to Sumburgh was called for boarding. G-LGNC was to be our aircraft, and I stopped to get a few photographs of it and another recent arrival, sister ship G-LGNE.


Loganair Saab 340 G-LGNC by jamesbrownontheroad, on Flickr

I was greeted at the top of the steps by a friendly female flight attendant who dircted me towards seat 4A. There's no row 1 on these Saab, just rows 2 through to 12, with single A seats on the right as you board and a pair of CD and your left. For future travel it's worth remembering that row 3 has now window. I had been uncertain about whether I would have an overwing view, but in fact row 4 is just forward of the wing with a fine view of the port propellor. The cabin was slightly dated, and the blue leather seats were well worn around their edges, but if anything this just contributed to the comfortable feel of the slightly squishy seats. Certainly a step up from the somewhat thinner seats on a FlyBe Q400.


Loganair Saab 340 G-LGNE by jamesbrownontheroad, on Flickr

I counted 22 passengers on board today's flight; a mix of tourists, families and business folk. The flight attendant welcomed everyone on board with the same courtesy and was friendly throughout the flight. The door was closed at 13:24 and we were soon being pushed back. Through my window I could see that Loganair's Twin Otter G-BZFP had come onto the adjacent stand, and was being unloaded.


Loganair Saab 340 G-LGNC by jamesbrownontheroad, on Flickr

The captain welcomed us on board, warning us of quite low cloud level on our flight today, so little opportuniy to see the stunning scenery of the central highlands. We would be departing in a south-westerly direction before turning north towards Loch Lomond, Perth and finally Aberdeen before heading north to Sumburgh.

As our flight attendant completed the safety demonstration, I noticed out of my window something of a gathering on the ramp we had just left. A group of employees, both ramp and handling, had gathered with a large hand written banner that read "We'll miss you Jack!" As we taxyed away from the terminal towards runway 23, I spotted a BAA fire truck taking up position at the end of the cul-de-sac to these gates, with another Loganair Saab 340 approaching. Although we didn't see it, I gathered later from the flight attendant that this this was of course the last day at work of a beloved Loganair flight deck colleague, and the water cannon salute was in honour of his retirement after more than twenty years of service for the airline.

We taxyed out to the threshold of runway 23 but were held for a few moments while an Aer Arann ATR landed.

Take off was swift and powerful, although certainly not as sprightly as the Q400's I'm more used to. We quickly banked to the right and were heading into the clouds before we'd even crossed the River Clyde. We were soon breaking through this thick cloud base, however, and cruising under a beautiful soft blue sky. The nacelle of the propellor beside me seemed almost to have been polished, offering a perfect reflection of the cockpit's port windows.


Loganair Saab 340 G-LGNC by jamesbrownontheroad, on Flickr


Loganair Saab 340 G-LGNC by jamesbrownontheroad, on Flickr

Cabin service on Loganair differs slightly from FlyBe. Although there's a FlyBe magazine in the seat pocket, Loganair flights have a modest complimentary offer of tea, instant coffee, juice or water. The attendant passed through the cabin offering cups, milk sticks and a napkin pack before returning with coffee and tea in jugs. The somewhat infuriating milk sticks splattered me and the back of the seat in front of me slightly. Some dried white spots on the blue leather in front of me suggested that this is a frequent problem.

There was nothing of Scotland to see below the clouds today, just a blue sky above us and thick cloud below us. We turned north at 14:15 and shortly afterwards the first officer informed us that we were cruising at 19,000ft and experiencing only a slight headwind. We were expected on the ground at five minutes to three for an on schedule arrival. Our flight time would have been approximately one hour and twenty minutes.

At around 14:40 our felt our pitch change slightly, and my ears told me we were starting our descent. We started to clip the clouds and had a relatively smooth descent. With my camera at the ready, I caugt sight of Fair Isle behind us over the wing. We were approaching Sumburgh from the south, so there were very few advance views of Shetland: a few outlying uninhabited islands and rock formations, before the sharp cliffs of Fitfully Head on the south-west coast of Shetland mainland appeared.


Loganair Saab 340 G-LGNC by jamesbrownontheroad, on Flickr


Approaching Sumburgh Airport (LSI), Shetland by jamesbrownontheroad, on Flickr


Approaching Sumburgh Airport (LSI), Shetland by jamesbrownontheroad, on Flickr

For a stunning pilot's eye view of the approach to and landing LSI's runway 33, take a look at YouTube user Bwaname’s video - taken from just such a Loganair Saab 340.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lz5_7gXkqgs

The approach seems devishly simple: aim for the tip of Shetland, keep the lighthouse at Sumburgh Head on your right, hang a left at the quarry at Grutness and pop 'er down on the piano keys. Simples!

For the passengers in A seats, there's very little to see before the bank left at a few hundred feet. I managed to catch a glimpse of the airport by craning my neck against the fuselage. A plume of black smoke was emerging from the fire service training area beside the terminal complex, and is visible in this photo.


Approaching Sumburgh Airport (LSI), Shetland by jamesbrownontheroad, on Flickr

Even though I was expected it, the bank to the left was a surprise, with a close up view of the farm buildings below us. Within seconds we were aligned with runway 33 and before I knew it, we were down and the plane was decelerating sharply. It was one of the most anticipated and enjoyable landings I've experienced in a long time.


Sumburgh Airport (LSI), Shetland by jamesbrownontheroad, on Flickr

Turning to the right, we taxyed back towards the terminal. The fire service had indeed been practicing their valuable and sophisticated fire fighting skills, and after passing their training hulk, I also caught a glimpse of a visitor to Sumburgh, a Metroliner of Ben Air registration OY-BJP.


Sumburgh Airport by jamesbrownontheroad, on Flickr

Also on stand near the terminal was another Loganair Saab, G-LGNH.


Sumburgh Airport by jamesbrownontheroad, on Flickr


Sumburgh Airport by jamesbrownontheroad, on Flickr

We taxyed into position behind her, with the terminal on our right. It was with some reluctance after such an enjoyable flight that I gathered my things together and bid farewell to the stewardess.


Loganair Saab 340 G-LGNC by jamesbrownontheroad, on Flickr


Sumburgh Airport by jamesbrownontheroad, on Flickr

The terminal building of Sumburgh Airport is arguably one of the strangest in the UK. Appearing to date from the nineteen-seventies or eighties, it's the largest and boxiest looking building for miles around. Inside it is slightly more forgiving, with a welcoming check in hall and a friendly looking cafe. There is one baggage belt which was soon moving with the luggage from our flight. It didn't even complete one complete rotation before stopping again, with all the luggage available. I grabbed my pack, and headed out to these enticing islands.

THE POSTSCRIPT

And that, was that. Or so I thought. Less than twenty four hours after arriving in Sumburgh, I was presented with the unexpected opportunity to take flight once more; an opportunity that I simply couldn’t resist. Keep an eye out for my next trip report, due online in the next week or so, which will record a breathtaking scheduled flight on something even smaller than a Saab 340 

If you enjoyed this trip report, check out some of my past ramblings (although sadly not my two most recent reports from February 2011, which appear to have vanished from the a.net servers... for some infraction or perhaps a bug, I’d love to know?)

BHD-ORK-BHD With Aer Arann (w/pics) (by Jamesontheroad Jul 15 2005 in Trip Reports)
BHD-NWI-BHD With FlyBe (w/pics) (by Jamesontheroad Jul 20 2005 in Trip Reports)
BFS-CWL-BFS With Air Wales (doing It Backwards...) (by Jamesontheroad Aug 3 2005 in Trip Reports)
LGW-YUL Trans-Atlantic TCX752 - 35" Y Pitch (Pics) (by Jamesontheroad Sep 20 2005 in Trip Reports)
YUL-HAV-YUL AC A319 Cuban Christmas (-17C To +27C) (by Jamesontheroad Jan 1 2006 in Trip Reports)
MAN-ORD-YEG-LHR-MAN: BD & UA In Y & AC In J (by Jamesontheroad Jan 5 2008 in Trip Reports)
UA777 ORD-LHR In C (1st Day LHR T1, Arr. Lounge) (by Jamesontheroad Jul 5 2008 in Trip Reports)
PIK-BHD: Ryanair's Shortest Route (pix) (by Jamesontheroad Jul 22 2009 in Trip Reports)

[Edited 2011-09-05 15:08:39]

16 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineBAViscount From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2004, 2338 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 10542 times:

Quoting jamesontheroad (Thread starter):
Prior to October 2008, Loganair was a franchisee of British Airways and flew under their flight numbers and in their colours.

Plus of course prior to becoming a BA franchisee in 1994 they flew in their own colours.

Quoting jamesontheroad (Thread starter):
No doubt like many others on this forum, I had long dreamed of making the unique trip from Glasgow to Barra in one of Loganair's two Twin Otters; the only scheduled airline service in the northern hemisphere that lands on a beach.

It's certainly on my Bucket List!!

Quoting jamesontheroad (Thread starter):
The equivalent flight was selling for a cash fare of around £350.

Extortionate!!!   

Excellent report! I've always wanted to explore the Scottish islands so this report is especially interesting to me. I understand that some of their beaches could put the Caribbean to shame...just a shame about the weather really!

Looking forward to the next report. Some photos of the islands would be great too if you want to share.

Cheers.

Andy.



Ladies & gentlemen this is Captain Tobias Wilcock welcoming you aboard Coconut Airways flight 372 to Bridgetown Barb
User currently offlinejamesontheroad From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2005, 552 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 10509 times:

Quoting BAViscount (Reply 1):
Extortionate!!!   

If you think it's bad as a tourist, consider living there. The Scottish Government offers a 40% subsidy of the basic fare to residents, but only for personal travel. Business and third sector travel was withdrawn from the programme earlier this year, which remains a bone of contention amongst locals.

Quoting BAViscount (Reply 1):
Excellent report! I've always wanted to explore the Scottish islands so this report is especially interesting to me. I understand that some of their beaches could put the Caribbean to shame...just a shame about the weather really!

Thanks!    The weather is of course changeable, but that's its advantage. It means that as well as going from bad to worse, it can go from good to even better! While you will experience rain and wind in the summer, a week's trip is almost guaranteed to bring you at least one day of perfect blue skies and warm sunshine.

Quoting BAViscount (Reply 1):
Looking forward to the next report. Some photos of the islands would be great too if you want to share.

Follow the links to Flickr on any of the photos and you'll see the photo is within a 'photoset' on Flickr. These include some landscapes, but also plenty of hints about the next trip report 


User currently offlineWidebodyroga From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 613 posts, RR: 16
Reply 3, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 10459 times:

I'm speechless. What a wonderful TR, I can't wait for its next installment (I already peeked at the flickr photos though). If I have one regret about all those years I lived in Scotland is that I never flew to one of the islands (Hebrides, Orkney, Shetland or other). I did manage to get to Orkney however (with the ferry from Aberdeen and then to John O'Groats on the way back) and loved the place. Are the people in the Shetlands as friendly as the ones in the Orkneys? I personally never met friendlier people anywhere in Europe. FlyBe is such a nice little airline (even though your trip was technically with Loganair). I flew them a couple of times between EDI and BHD.

Thanks again for this report.

WideBodyroga



Visit my aviation page: http://widebodyroga.weebly.com/
User currently offlineBAViscount From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2004, 2338 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 10454 times:

Quoting jamesontheroad (Reply 2):
If you think it's bad as a tourist, consider living there. The Scottish Government offers a 40% subsidy of the basic fare to residents, but only for personal travel. Business and third sector travel was withdrawn from the programme earlier this year, which remains a bone of contention amongst locals.

They don't want those people to leave!!

Quoting jamesontheroad (Reply 2):
Follow the links to Flickr on any of the photos and you'll see the photo is within a 'photoset' on Flickr. These include some landscapes, but also plenty of hints about the next trip report

I'm off to have a butchers!

Cheers,

A fellow flâneur



Ladies & gentlemen this is Captain Tobias Wilcock welcoming you aboard Coconut Airways flight 372 to Bridgetown Barb
User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 3017 posts, RR: 8
Reply 5, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 10133 times:

James,

thanks, a fascinating trip report! And good to find a use for those R4A points   I have about 3, which are next to useless...
I always had a soft spot for the Shetlands, and I visited a few years ago, using the ferry from Aberdeen (£25 each way "deck class", plus another £25 each way for a berth in a shared cabin). I did visit the airport, on a day out from Lerwick, to see the Jarlshof ruins and puffin cliffs nearby - the airport bus stop was useful for the return, especially considering the 3 or 4 busses per day!

Looking forward to the continuing series!

signol



Flights booked: none :(
User currently offlinemarcmcg From UK - Scotland, joined Jul 2011, 29 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 10130 times:

Hi James,

Great report, i enjoyed every detail of it and i'm eagerly awaiting your follow up!

I also pass through GLA alot as it is my home airport and i've fell into that habit where you just take it for granted and pass through without acknowledging the improvements they are trying to make to the place, it was nice to view it through your pictures, especially the 1-8 gates where i've never actually been yet.

Quoting jamesontheroad (Thread starter):
As a result I've been accumulating points with FlyBe's "Rewards4All" loyalty programme. It's got a horrible name and the points aren't exactly useful.

Good to know, i'm starting a new job just outside of Leeds in a few weeks so i will be a regular user of the MAN-GLA and back service for VFR and will quickly reach the 8 return flights mark.

Quoting jamesontheroad (Thread starter):
A single ticket from the city to the airport is currently £2.90.

Always my way of getting to GLA, i was hoping that the introduction of the Firs Bus Airport direct service might create some price competiton with the Airport Flyer bus but sadly it hasn't, it would be alot handier for me when i have to use the Queen St Station line to get into Glasgow.

Quoting jamesontheroad (Thread starter):
A few hours later after the first wave of departures, it can be chaos as the trans-Atlantic and sunshine flights (packed with infrequent flyers unfamiliar with security procedures) clog up the security channels.

I made the mistake of geting caught up with the trans-atlantic passengers a couple of weeks ago at security, almost missed my flight to EMA as a result.

Quoting jamesontheroad (Thread starter):
These long, thin 'props are the bread and butter of FlyBe's extensive network, and I always enjoy traveling on them. Flights with lighter loads are especially enjoyable, as the engines are phenomenally powerful for such a light aircraft.

Always fun to fly the Q400's, particuarly on one of Scotlands notorious windy days! Have you been lucky enough to get on one of the E195s yet? I managed it earlier thus year going down to BHX, it's a stunning aircraft.

Marc


User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 16
Reply 7, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 10070 times:

Hi James

Interesting report you have got there! Glad you enjoyed the flight,
Interesting you got the Saab 340 as well.


Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlineairbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4273 posts, RR: 51
Reply 8, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 10057 times:

Hi James,

nice route and especially aircraft to fly on! Would love to give BE and their SF3 a try also one day...

Eric



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlinejamesontheroad From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2005, 552 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 10022 times:

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 3):
I'm speechless. What a wonderful TR, I can't wait for its next installment
Quoting signol (Reply 5):
thanks, a fascinating trip report!
Quoting marcmcg (Reply 6):
Great report, i enjoyed every detail of it and i'm eagerly awaiting your follow up!

Thank you all, your comments are much appreciated.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 3):
If I have one regret about all those years I lived in Scotland is that I never flew to one of the islands (Hebrides, Orkney, Shetland or other).

Likewise. I've been in Glasgow for more than three years now, and after our second Parisian holiday we decided this should be the year of Scottish holidays.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 3):
Are the people in the Shetlands as friendly as the ones in the Orkneys?

No idea - but a great excuse for a trip to Orkney! I met a few during my stay in Shetland and was sure to ask them what differences they perceived. They were very diplomatic, so I'll have to find out for myself 
Quoting marcmcg (Reply 6):
Always my way of getting to GLA, i was hoping that the introduction of the Firs Bus Airport direct service might create some price competiton with the Airport Flyer bus but sadly it hasn't, it would be alot handier for me when i have to use the Queen St Station line to get into Glasgow.

The airport contract debacle has been very frustrating. For those not following, BAA awards a contract to a particular bus operator to serve a 24 hour direct express bus between Glasgow city centre and an exclusive set of bus stops right outside domestic arrivals at GLA. Until 31 December 2010, this was held by Arriva, who lost the contract to First Bus, the dominant bus company in Glasgow. Arriva refused to give up without a fight, and for about six months they continued to operate their own airport shuttle, but were forced to stop at a satellite bus stop out of sight of the main terminal at GLA. For those six months, Arriva and First buses would shadow each other through the city en route to the airport, sweeping up passengers and selling their own tickets despite operating on the same route number. It's not a good welcome for business or tourist visitors to the city: especially when the (frankly rude) bus drivers would kick passengers off because their return ticket wasn't valid on that company's bus. Unless you're a bus spotter you're not likely to notice the difference between an Arriva 500 and a First Bus 500.

I have heard rumours however that Arriva may have another go, and extend their local Paisley > Airport bus (described in this TR) into Glasgow. The 66 is technically a local service, but it has access rights to bus stop outside domestic arrivals. It might, therefore, be well placed to become a low cost alternative into the city centre.

Quoting marcmcg (Reply 6):
Always fun to fly the Q400's, particuarly on one of Scotlands notorious windy days! Have you been lucky enough to get on one of the E195s yet? I managed it earlier thus year going down to BHX, it's a stunning aircraft.

No luck with BE E195s yet, although I had a very positive impression of a brand new Embraer with AC about five years ago. For a good impression of what it is to land a Q400 in squawly conditions, this is another great pilot's eye view, this time approaching BHD:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gM7QsBlzGHc

Cheers all   


User currently offlinejamesontheroad From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2005, 552 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 9948 times:

Quick PS. In the trip report posted above, I incorrectly stated two of my previous trip reports might have been deleted. They haven't, and I'm pleased to include the links here:

US: DUB-PHL-SFO (Y) To Ask A Question (some Pics) (by jamesontheroad Feb 19 2011 in Trip Reports)
NZ: LAX-LHR (C) - Business Premier For £15.20! (by jamesontheroad Feb 19 2011 in Trip Reports)

Cheers.


User currently offlinejamesontheroad From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2005, 552 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 9844 times:

And here, earlier than expected, is the promised continuation of my trip!

BN Islander "Mind Sitting Next To The Pilot?" (by jamesontheroad Sep 6 2011 in Trip Reports)


User currently offlineLuftyMatt From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2009, 428 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 8536 times:

Excellent report James, and good pictures as well. I've aways been fascinated by Loganair ops, they look a really good airline to fly with

[Edited 2011-09-17 08:30:59]


chase the sun
User currently offlineN272wa From Ireland, joined Jun 2007, 410 posts, RR: 7
Reply 13, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 8500 times:

Oh this has brought back some great memories to me of my trips on Loganair flights between Dublin (DUB) and Derry (LDY) from 2005-2008.... the Saab's painted in BA colour scheme! I always enjoyed my flights on Loganair and the cabin crew (one) were always very friendly. I am looking forward to trying them again soon when they commence services between Dublin and Donegal (CFN).
Best wishes & thanks for the nice report,
Mike  



Next: (EI)DUB-ORD-DUB, DUB-EWR-IAH-DFW-MSY-AUS-AMA-DEN-EWR-DUB
User currently offlinelukeyboy95 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 1096 posts, RR: 32
Reply 14, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 2 days ago) and read 8432 times:

Hi James.

Congratulations on a beautifully written report... you have a great eye for the details and it made this report flow smoothlz and very easy to read. . .

Terrible name indeed, but a very cool oportunity to get up north. Shetlands are great, but they dont boast the best beaches like some of the inner and outer hebs...

Quoting jamesontheroad (Thread starter):
considered a weekend trip to Barra, but decided in the end to set that one aside for another time (as we were already planning a holiday walking in the Outer Hebrides this year, traveling there and back by boat).

This is making me miss Scotland!

Quoting jamesontheroad (Thread starter):
but in an inset box alongside the much closer Orkney Islands.

A wonderful observation... yes it is a little more than that!

Nice to see most recent photos of GLA, looks quite busy and barely recognisable from the old GLA I used to know...

Look forward to next part.

Luke!



Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3311 posts, RR: 12
Reply 15, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 8267 times:

Nice report - good to see that there are some good redemptions available on FlyBe. I think that taxes + charges with many airlines make many redemptions awful value for money. A couple of times, I've seen BA selling a miles + cash ticket where the cash part has been MORE than just a standard cash fare. Ridiculous.

Quoting jamesontheroad (Thread starter):
Cabin service on Loganair differs slightly from FlyBe. Although there's a FlyBe magazine in the seat pocket, Loganair flights have a modest complimentary offer of tea, instant coffee, juice or water. The attendant passed through the cabin offering cups, milk sticks and a napkin pack before returning with coffee and tea in jugs. The somewhat infuriating milk sticks splattered me and the back of the seat in front of me slightly. Some dried white spots on the blue leather in front of me suggested that this is a frequent problem.

Shame there is no more free booze. I remember flying EDI-INV a few years ago, and the trolley coming down the aisle with full sized bottles of spirits - plenty was drunk on that short flight by pretty much everyone!



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW,STN-OTP-AMS-YUL,YQB-JFK-LAX-DUS-STN,LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-
User currently offlinejamesontheroad From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2005, 552 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 8131 times:

Quoting LuftyMatt (Reply 12):
Excellent report James, and good pictures as well. I've aways been fascinated by Loganair ops, they look a really good airline to fly with
Quoting N272wa (Reply 13):
Best wishes & thanks for the nice report,
Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 14):
Congratulations on a beautifully written report... you have a great eye for the details and it made this report flow smoothlz and very easy to read. . .

Thank you all, very kind comments   

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 15):
Nice report - good to see that there are some good redemptions available on FlyBe. I think that taxes + charges with many airlines make many redemptions awful value for money. A couple of times, I've seen BA selling a miles + cash ticket where the cash part has been MORE than just a standard cash fare. Ridiculous.

Here are some screengrabs from my first explorations of Rewards4All:


The FlyBe con (Rewards4All fare) by jamesbrownontheroad, on Flickr


The FlyBe con (cash fare) by jamesbrownontheroad, on Flickr

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 14):
Look forward to next part.

Thanks! In case you missed it, here's the link:

BN Islander "Mind Sitting Next To The Pilot?" (by jamesontheroad Sep 6 2011 in Trip Reports)


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