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Frustration And Angers! BA LCY-ANE-LCY In Y And J  
User currently offlinecountvis From UK - England, joined Feb 2012, 106 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 7255 times:

Here’s my third attempt at a trip report here, this time covering the unusual thrice weekly service to Angers from London City with British Airways.

I have to say I was perplexed when it was announced that British Airways would begin summer seasonal services to the French provincial towns of Angers and Quimper from London City using BA Cityflyer E170s. How did a little known regional airport manage to persuade BA Cityflyer to launch thrice weekly flights? The answer is of course a subsidy provided by the local government, to the tune of roughly €215,000. A French holiday was order, so a few months later Angers was chosen as my holiday destination, a booking made using avios, with the outbound in Euro Traveller and the return in Club Europe. The flights were quite good value, as I am quite sure the €215,000 would have gone a very long way to cover the operating costs of the route.

BA8469
LCY-ANE
DEP 8:15 ARR 10:20
E170 G-LCYF
Euro Traveller 17D

So before I knew it, I found myself at London City Airport before 7am on a Saturday morning for the flight at 8:15. The airport was relatively quite at that time on a Saturday morning. OLCI was not available according to BA.com, however I was checked in swiftly by a friendly agent and was quickly through to departures, with not problems.
I noticed a plaque and photo of Diana on the wall near to Gate 1.


ANTR40 by CountVis, on Flickr

G-LCYH departed on the 7am service to Barcelona. Saturday perhaps the quietest day at LCY, with limited business travel, also the airport closes at lunchtime. BA Cityflyer only has 5 departures on Saturdays in the summer.


ANTR38 by CountVis, on Flickr
A brief appearance by the sun on an otherwise wet and dreary Saturday morning:

ANTR39 by CountVis, on Flickr

G-LCYF being prepared for the flight to Angers.


ANTR41 by CountVis, on Flickr

It wasn’t long before boarding was called, which was through Gate 1. It was a little bit dreary in the holding room with it looking a bit worn, and as it became quite cramped, it became clear it was quite a full flight. Newspapers had been placed on top of the leather seats for passengers.

After 10 minutes or so I boarded through the rear steps, only to be greeted by an almost inaudible murmur by the male Spanish flight attendant. Not the best of starts. I soon took my seat, 17D. The E170s are comfortable aircraft, however legroom is considerably less than the generously pitched BA E190. I don’t really like the short backed seats which Embraer seems to put on all customers aircraft.

I think the Purser was also Spanish, and after his friendly welcoming announcement, we were shortly on the way Angers, leaving the stand a couple of minutes ahead of schedule. There was also announcement by Captain Compton, with a flight time of 50 minutes announced.

After being overtaken by a Cityjet RJ85, we were airborne at about 8:30, and quickly broke through the murk into the sunshine.


ANTR3 by CountVis, on Flickr
A shot of the cabin, it’s quite clear that the seats really have a very low back, which I dislike ever so much. As is shown from the photo, the load factor was quite high, around 75%, with at least half of the passengers being French.

ANTR4 by CountVis, on Flickr

Soon the Spanish cabin crew member serving the Euro Traveller cabin reached by seat on the penultimate row. I was pleased to see a hot breakfast was being served. BAs catering policy seems to be contrary to common sense. Scottish flights before 10am from City, Heathrow and Gatwick get hot breakfasts, whilst most European flights before 10am from Heathrow and Gatwick, only a small roll is served. Yet today a hot breakfast was served to Angers from City, what is what I now believe to be the usual service on morning flights from City, excluding Amsterdam. Certainly very confusing, and I can only guess rationale behind it.

I have to say when my breakfast was served it was slightly disappointing. It seemed like there had been cutbacks since I last had it last year from LCY, and also earlier this year from LHR. Unlike the LHR hot breakfasts, it was not branded in BA packaging, suggesting that it is from a different catering supplier. I am sure the baked beans are a new addition, having replaced something. If British Airways carries on cutting back in such a manner, it is almost not worth them trying to provide the hot breakfast at all, especially if the size and quality was to get any worse.


ANTR6 by CountVis, on Flickr

Anyway, it seemed like the Spanish cabin crew who had failed to greet me on the door was just very shy. He was very polite and quietly friendly during the meal service. More like what I was expecting of the crew. The Purser who had been serving Club Europe shortly followed down the aisle with the drinks cart, offering tea, coffee, fruit juice and water.
Cruising along...


ANTR5 by CountVis, on Flickr

Descent came very soon after, and it was only 15 minutes or so before arrival at Angers Loire Airport. Landing on Runway 26 was just before the ETA of 9:20 local. Not all of the 1800m runway was required and we turned around someway before the end of the runway, and backtracked to the single taxiway to the deserted apron. There was not a single other aircraft to be seen

The control tower:

ANTR7 by CountVis, on Flickr

The rather nice small terminal building...


ANTR8 by CountVis, on Flickr

I was one of the last few to disembark, through the front door, as Angers Airprot evidently only has one set of steps! The aircraft was parked nose out from the terminal.


ANTR9 by CountVis, on Flickr

G-LCYF looked very smart in the sun.


ANTR10 by CountVis, on Flickr

Efforts being made to turn the aircraft around. The greatest efforts were being made to service the largest and most prestigious aircraft to offer scheduled services from the airport.


ANTR12 by CountVis, on Flickr

The control tower and a fire engine.


ANTR13 by CountVis, on Flickr

Unfortunately things now started to go downhill. I joined a queue for immigration which spilt out onto the apron. Meanwhile I watched with some amusement the efforts being made by the ground staff to get the Embraer turned around. The dispatcher was running up and down everywhere. The whole affair seemed quite inefficient and disorganised, and this is after 2 months of flights! They were clearly trying their best, but I couldn’t understand why it was all quite so disorganised, as if they had never turned an Embraer around before.

The queue moved very, very slowly, and I finally made it inside, to queue in a corridor. After 35 minutes I reached the immigration desk, to find no less than 5 immigration officers. 3 were standing around twiddling their thumbs. Meanwhile a fourth officer was checking passports against a computer, exceptionally slowly, whilst under supervision by another officer, who was laughing and joking with him.

Queuing outside:

ANTR11 by CountVis, on Flickr

There was unsurprisingly no wait for hold luggage. I got outside the airport to see no sign of any taxis, and the advertised shuttle bus had presumably departed. With no other alternative transport to Angers, a taxi had to be ordered from the information desk, which took a further 25 minutes to arrive. So the whole experience wasn’t exactly quick and easy as travel through such a regional airport should be.

[Edited 2012-08-31 05:47:39]

[Edited 2012-08-31 05:49:36]

13 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinecountvis From UK - England, joined Feb 2012, 106 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (2 years 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 7240 times:

So five days later, Angers Airport had another opportunity to appease me.

BA8470
ANE-LCY
DEP 14:15, ARR 14:20
E170 G-LCYI
Club Europe 2A

The terminal building at Angers is quite nice. It was built in 1998, however it appears to be far newer.



ANTR26 by CountVis, on Flickr

The airport opened 1998, after having being relocated from elsewhere. The considerable terminal was paid for by the local government, being designed to have an annual capacity of only 50,000 passengers per annum. Clearly it can never have been envisaged that the airport would ever be commercially viable, instead requiring to be propped up by huge subsidies by the local government. However even the very modest passenger capacity of the terminal has proved to be far too large. Only 110,000 passengers have passed through the airport since it opened in 1998. The airport has been operating at an average 14% capacity, with the figure in recent years being even worse than that! All of the passenger flights attempted have not been commercially sustainable, even with generous subsidies up for grabs. In the early days, Air France through its regional subsidiaries operated twice daily flights Clermont Ferrand and later Lyon. Both were unable to attract sufficient clientele, and were discontinued. Aer Arann and Flybe announced flights, however the former’s plans never got off the ground owing to the lack of radar at Angers. Flybe’s Southampton in 2006 and 2007 was the most successful, lasting two years, only to be cut, probably when the subsidy was reduced.

Meanwhile many other services have been proposed, including most strangely Sun Air, proposing at the end of 2010, that they would operate twice weekly flights to London City. These flights also never got off the ground.
Last year Air Vallee operated a series of flights, to 6 destinations in a Dornier 328J, but these flights carried only 5000 passengers across the summer and were too discontinued.

Looking for another airline to give huge amounts of public money, it was in 2012 the London City route was actually launched, operated by BA Cityflyer, thanks to the subsidy of €215,000, or €3000 each rotation, and provided by the local government. I would suspect that ‘advertising’ subsidy will neatly cover the fuel bill for the flights. Also a 4 times weekly service to Nice, operated by Slovakian carrier Danube Wings was announced, once again in receipt of a subsidy, however the season length was reduced, and the frequency halved to twice weekly.

So what is the purpose of squandering huge amounts of money to operate, and also attracting airlines to the airport? The theory is to attract tourists to the area, who are valuable to the local economy, although many would have probably visited anyway. Yet at least half of the passengers on both flights were French, so instead it seems to be instead helping the local population get to London to spend their money there! It seems to me to be a ludicrous set up. I am a great believer in regional aviation, but only when it at least has a chance of standing on its own two feet, and not demand unsustainable subsidies in order to operate. Subsidies certainly do have a place supporting remote and isolated communities. However Angers is not an isolated or remote community dependant on the subsidy. Although not the best connected region by air, the necessity of the airport is questionable, especially when it requires huge amounts of public money to operate. Nantes Airport is only 40 minutes further from Angers by road.

The site also contains the Musee Regional De L’Air, which claims to be second only to the Museum De L’Air et de l’Espcae at Le Bourget. Unfortunately it was closed, not opening until 3pm...

ANTR24 by CountVis, on Flickr

ANTR25 by CountVis, on Flickr

Check in unfortunately was disappointing. The check in area is very small with 2 check in desks, photographed empty after my arrival five days before.


ANTR18 by CountVis, on Flickr

ANTR17 by CountVis, on Flickr

When I arrived for my departing flight, I have to say I was surprised to see a check in desk for Club Europe...


ANTR42 by CountVis, on Flickr

However despite the screen, there was no-one there. The other check in desk had a very slow moving queue. So I went and stood by the Club Europe desk, and nothing happened. The check in agent didn’t even acknowledge me, or do the decent thing and apologise that there was no one to check in Club Europe passengers despite the screen suggesting so, and to kindly join the other queue. Again, not very impressive, however it could be put down to a misunderstanding. Not wishing to try and ask with my broken French, I went to the other queue, where there was a wait of about 15 minutes. Once at the front of the line and checked in, the agent was perfectly polite, and remarked, ‘you are in business class, there is a lounge for you with television.’ I have to say I was very surprised that such a thing would exist in Angers when there isn’t even a lounge for Club Europe passengers at London City.

Before going through the single security lane, I took a few more photos of the rather nice terminal.

The arrivals area with a car hire desk.

ANTR23 by CountVis, on Flickr

There was also a nice viewing area on a mezzanine level.


ANTR20 by CountVis, on Flickr

The only problem is that there wasn’t an aircraft in site!


ANTR22 by CountVis, on Flickr

Also from the viewing area it is possible to look down on the arrivals hall, which had taken so long to pass through when inbound.


ANTR21 by CountVis, on Flickr

There’s also a cafe-bar in the middle of the airport


ANTR15 by CountVis, on Flickr

ANTR16 by CountVis, on Flickr

Trying to attract tourists, or encouraging the local population to go away and spend their money elsewhere? Clearly the airport is trying to punch far above its weight. I wonder how many takers there have been to fly from Angers to Madrid via London City! Especially when you can fly direct from Nantes with Iberia.

Then I proceeded through passport control and security, which unfortunately was another saga. The impression I got was the staff were just trying too hard. All of the staff were very friendly and polite, however for some reason they were confiscating chocolate biscuits, whilst allowing oranges through. Perhaps they fancied some biscuits with their coffee later? I really can’t think of the rationale for confiscating biscuits at security. I set off the metal detector, and the metal detector wand suggested to the agent that my back was metallic. I was asked if I had an operation in my back. It turned out it was a couple of French policemen with guns standing behind me (overkill I think) who were setting off the metal detector and fortunately not my back.

I was then directed to the lounge. From the smell of new leather and the brand new television it was apparent that the lounge was the latest investment made by the local government in the airport. The lounge can be dexcribed as proportional to the size of the airport, having 7 seats, a desk and a television. The only amenities were a couple of magazines and most intriguingly, 2 Luftahansa towelettes!


ANTR28 by CountVis, on Flickr

ANTR29 by CountVis, on Flickr

By the door of the lounge there was an espresso machine offering 1 free cup to all passengers, who looked peculiarly at me in the lounge whilst making their coffee. Once again, it is as if the airport has no intention to make any money, coffee sales airside could be a small but worthwhile revenue stream. How many other airports give away coffee to passengers? Although the ‘lounge’ was comfortable, I did wonder who could possibly justify its investment, as it really wasn’t necessary or really very worthwhile.

The inbound flight from London City arrived just ahead of schedule, this time parking nose in, instead of nose out. This tome it was G-LCYI, the newest E170 in the BA Cityflyer fleet.


ANTR27 by CountVis, on Flickr

The turnaround commenced and I watched again the same dispatcher running up and down the steps, here, there and everywhere.

After just over 20 minutes, boarding commenced through the door. No priority boarding of course as anticipated. There wasn’t even a boarding announcement, the door was just opened and passengers proceeded. Especially when there is only one set of steps, it might have been an idea to board passengers in a methodical way to expedite the boarding process. There was a relatively light load, 60% or so, with no other passengers in club, at least once the purser removed the headrest and the curtain forward, placing a passenger in row 4 back in Euro Traveller. Quite why she was allocated that seat in the first place by check in is a mystery as it was by no means a full flight.

The male purser was French, accompanied by a Scottish female flight attendant. The F/O was also fluent in French, as he and the purser both spoke fluently in French to the ground crew.

The engines were started and we were off blocks on time, and taxied straight off stand with a right turn. We had to hold at the single holding point for 10 minutes whilst an Air Ambulance Merlin eventually landed, before we backtracked Runway 26 and took off, with a right turn homeward bound. Perhaps a novelty having to wait for other traffic at the airport! There was some winch launched glider activity also.

The takeoff was quick and powerful, with less than 2/3rds of the 1800 metre runway being used.

Some showers in the vicinity;

ANTR32 by CountVis, on Flickr

The rather majestic winglet:


ANTR31 by CountVis, on Flickr

There was a welcome from the purser, with the standard drinks and snacks announced for the Euro Traveller Cabin and a light lunch in Club, despite it being 2:45pm French time.

Lunch was served by the purser, and the hot bread basket was offered by the Scottish cabin crew. Lunch consisted of a cold chicken salad with potatoes, parmesan and a piece of fruitcake. I had some tea later. It was a perfectly nice offering, and although the meal salad was quite basic, it was nice, and despite having been enjoying French bread all week, the warmed bread was very nice and crusty. The fruitcake for dessert was very good, a fitting conclusion to the meal, albeit stone cold.


ANTR34 by CountVis, on Flickr

The Purser did his job, but certainly seemed like he would rather be elsewhere, going only through the motions which was disappointing. The other cabin crew member was much better, friendly and smiling. I have to say I have generally found BA Cityflyer crew quite disappointing, especially when from my experience crew on easyJet for example are consistently good.

Looking forward from Row 2:

ANTR36 by CountVis, on Flickr

The seating on the E170 in Club Europe is identical to Euro Traveller, with no spare seats, not that that was a problem for me. There was very slightly more legroom than at the back of the plane, but unfortunately not a patch on the legroom on the E190 which is very generous even at the back.

Just as I had finished my meal, the Captain announced we were just commencing our descent, having cruised only at 18,000 feet, and that Autumn had arrived in London. So into the murk we descended:



ANTR37 by CountVis, on Flickr

It was a bit bumpy on the way down, with a cloudbase around just above 3000 feet as we made the approach to Runway 27. A relatively smooth touchdown and an immediate turn off to taxi to the stand.

A quick chat with the Captain before disembarkation, apparently it was French ATC which kept the flight lower, which also made the flight time slightly longer than the outbound, being just under an hour.

Unfortunately there was a bit of delay for immigration at London City, with the queue spilling out into the corridor. I could not understand why there were so many passengers in the non EU national queue. However unlike in Angers, the queue did move quickly, and it took about 15 minutes to pass through. The crew from my flight came through far more quickly through the staff channel. I was surprised to see a few members of staff going the opposite way, between the immigration desks, one of the quirks of City Airport it seems.

All in all I had an enjoyable 2 flights, although some of the cabin crew did not really fulfil my expectations. I’ve already ranted enough about Angers Airport, but I certainly think that management need to liaise with the immigration staff so it doesn’t take 35 minutes to process 60 passengers. It wasn’t like immigration was sort staffed. There was no shortage of staff around the airport, with 3 sitting behind what looked like a reception desk seemingly not doing a lot. I think they could have staffed the second desk, even if it was for all passengers, so that the queuing time at check in could be reduced, so that the airport can deliver the swift airport experience which it promises.

However from the point of an enthusiast, the whole route and airport was a novelty, and certainly quite a unique little airport with its French charm travel through, despite the snags.

I hope this all was of interest, and will happily receive comments and criticisms.


User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1714 posts, RR: 18
Reply 2, posted (2 years 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 7165 times:

Interesting report of this little niche route experiment BA are trying to pull from LCY.

Quoting countvis (Thread starter):
as I am quite sure the €800,000 would have gone a very long way to cover the operating costs of the route.

Must say that's quite a substantial amount of subsiding from the government. Surely they must run this route on profit, well at least BA? Also what customers are they trying to target here, just leisure pax or business pax who will actually yield in some money?

Quoting countvis (Thread starter):
A shot of the cabin, it’s quite clear that the seats really have a very low back, which I dislike ever so much.

Well those seats do have winged adjustable headrests that can be raised, so surely it's not really a big problem. Shame though that most pax don't seem to bother using them.

Quoting countvis (Thread starter):
I have to say when my breakfast was served it was slightly disappointing. It seemed like there had been cutbacks since I last had it last year from LCY,

I don't see how one could complain about a free hot breakfast on a short >2hour EU flight. Most airlines would either force you to pay for food, or serve up an even crappier dry sandwich or bag of birds seeds. One should never expect home cooked quality/restaurant quality in the first place.

Quoting countvis (Thread starter):
Embrear

It's Embraer  
Quoting countvis (Thread starter):
How many other airports give away coffee to passengers?

Well if I recall, Lufthansa gives away free coffee to passengers at the major german airports. For sure it must piss off the café's and shops by essentially snagging their customers from under the nose.

Quoting countvis (Thread starter):
Lunch was served by the purser, and the hot bread basket was offered by the Scottish cabin crew.

Must say that the tray presentation looks impressive, with the linen and all. Looks strikingly similar to the trays used for Club World!

"Wheels Up!"
//Jonas



SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
User currently offlineRichcandy From UK - England, joined Aug 2001, 723 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (2 years 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 7078 times:

Hi

I guess difficult to tell, but where there lots of second home owners on your flights? (pax without checked bags, maybe?)

I often wonder are these regional French services and the flights to the med beach resorts from LCY aimed at people who live and work in the city but have houses overseas.

Alex


User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 15
Reply 4, posted (2 years 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 7002 times:

Hello

Interesting report. I must say the breakfast looks pretty generous.
ANE seems to be interesting as well, just too bad the expercience did not work out that well.

Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlinecountvis From UK - England, joined Feb 2012, 106 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (2 years 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 6891 times:

Thanks for your feedback Jonas.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 2):
Quoting LH4116 (Reply 2):
Must say that's quite a substantial amount of subsiding from the government. Surely they must run this route on profit, well at least BA? Also what customers are they trying to target here, just leisure pax or business pax who will actually yield in some money?

Goodness knows how I wrote 800,000, when actually the figure is 215,000, which works out roughly as 3000 Euros each rotation . Along with the Embraer error, thanks for bringing that to my attention, clearly I must proof read more carefully. I think the whole point of the exercise is to attract leisure pax, and the vast majority of passengers certainly seemed to be travelling for leisure. The fares remained relatively low even until a week before departure, so yields were not good, but they don;t need to be, with such a generous subsidy. I assume it will be profitable for BA, however LCY is of course a very expensive airport to operate into.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 2):
Well those seats do have winged adjustable headrests that can be raised, so surely it's not really a big problem. Shame though that most pax don't seem to bother using them.

I had never realised that, I had assumed, perhaps like other passengers that they were fixed! Since that is the case you are quite right, it is not an issue at all. I assume the seat backs are deliberately lower to make the cabin feel more spacious?

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 2):
I don't see how one could complain about a free hot breakfast on a short >2hour EU flight. Most airlines would either force you to pay for food, or serve up an even crappier dry sandwich or bag of birds seeds. One should never expect home cooked quality/restaurant quality in the first place.

I wasn't complaining, I was just commenting that the quality and quantity seemed to have been reduced which is always disappointing. I think they have removed the egg and mushrooms, which is a shame. I certainly did not expect home cooked/ restaurant quality, rather the decent standard which I have consistently received with BA before, hence why I was slightly disappointed.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 2):
Must say that the tray presentation looks impressive, with the linen and all. Looks strikingly similar to the trays used for Club World!

It does, and it was a very nice spread, especially for a short flight. The meal was served rather nice Royal Daulton china, and the cutlery with the speedmarque was very nice too.

As with Lufthansa, thank you and I stand corrected. But this time it was the airport authority giving the coffee away, which is especially strange.

Quoting Richcandy (Reply 3):

Thanks also for your thoughts about the set up. It is difficult to tell whether there were many second home owners, as at check in at Angers, all of the other passengers seemed to be French. Infact on the return flight the vast majority of passengers were French tourists travelling to London, which goes against the idea if aiding the economy around Angers.

I interpret the London City leisure flights trying to attract holidaymakers who are seeking a slightly civilised travel experience away from the likes of Ryanair.

[Edited 2012-08-31 07:22:57]

User currently offlinelukeyboy95 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 1092 posts, RR: 31
Reply 6, posted (2 years 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 6808 times:

Hi Count.

Thanks for an interesting report on an interesting route. You are right to question the levels of subsidisation but I think we have to accept it is just common practise these days. Rather subsidise BA to come in that FR bringing a load of lager-lout Stag people. If the route does well then the subsidy can be reduced or removed. If not then it wasn't meant to be.

Quoting countvis (Thread starter):
I have to say when my breakfast was served it was slightly disappointing.

I think that breakfast looks excellent for a 50 min flight time. It is confusing why they offer a better breakfast on Scottish routes... perhaps it is to maintain the loyalty after having all but abandoned the north.

Quoting countvis (Reply 1):
Yet at least half of the passengers on both flights were French, so instead it seems to be instead helping the local population get to London to spend their money there!

With such huge numbers of French living in London (preferable tax etc. ) could it not be argued that these might be PAX coming home to spend alot of their hard earned £'s? At £3000 a rotation they would be betting on each person putting £40-50 into the economy...

The airport looked excellent though!

Thanks once again.

Luke



Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
User currently offlinecountvis From UK - England, joined Feb 2012, 106 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (2 years 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 6522 times:

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 4):

Thanks for your comment Marc. It was a shame there were a couple of issues, maybe because I was expecting it to be as perfect as my recent experiences through London Southend and London City.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 6):
Rather subsidise BA to come in that FR bringing a load of lager-lout Stag people

Many thanks for your comment too Luke. Very good point, certainly better subsidising BA. Maybe I would have been slightly less harsh on the set up if I had had a better experience at Angers. It was only minor things, but it made a big difference in my perception of the airport generally! The terminal is lovely, however the vast investment put into it only makes me think more that it was a dream thought up by politicians, especially when Nantes is just over an hour away.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 6):
could it not be argued that these might be PAX coming home to spend alot of their hard earned £'s? At £3000 a rotation they would be betting on each person putting £40-50 into the economy...

Interesting theory, and the subsidy does seem very reasonable if it is £40- £50. However I would argue that the cost per passenger is actually much higher, as you have to add to annual running costs of the airport, which must be considerable. It is of course impossible to determine exactly whether or not it makes financial sense. My perception is that it doesn't. On the inbound flight it seemed like a lot of passengers were heading to the Paralympics.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 6):
I think that breakfast looks excellent for a 50 min flight time.
Quoting MSS658 (Reply 4):
I must say the breakfast looks pretty generous.

I'm starting to regret the way I [phrased that comment now! I agree it is still an excellent offering better than any other European airline on such a short flight. However I didn't really enjoy it as much as I have previously done, and noticed it was smaller, hence my slight disappointment! It was quite cold, maybe that is what hampered my enjoyment of it!

[Edited 2012-08-31 12:05:51]

User currently offlinelukeyboy95 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 1092 posts, RR: 31
Reply 8, posted (2 years 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 6492 times:

Quoting countvis (Reply 7):
however the vast investment put into it only makes me think more that it was a dream thought up by politicians,

Yes... politicians had so many airy dreams before this recession!

Quoting countvis (Reply 7):
whether or not it makes financial sense. My perception is that it doesn't. On the inbound flight it seemed like a lot of passengers were heading to the Paralympics.

I would agree.... time will tell. But it sort of feels that this route could outlast some of the other's you mentioned had come and gone.

Quoting countvis (Reply 7):
and noticed it was smaller

haha. Yes.. you can't sniff at a BA breakfast! It is definitely getting smaller and that is disappointing that it wasn't properly heated.

Have a look at my one from a few years back. Standards are slipping...

BA And Cityjet - Scotland To London (DND/GLA/LCY) (by lukeyboy95 Mar 31 2010 in Trip Reports)

Rgds



Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3272 posts, RR: 12
Reply 9, posted (2 years 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 6449 times:

Very interesting report countvis....I was wondering about their Angers service.

Quoting countvis (Thread starter):
How did a little known regional airport manage to persuade BA Cityflyer to launch thrice weekly flights? The answer is of course a subsidy provided by the local government, to the tune of roughly €215,000.

Wow, that's a lot of money. I guess most loicals would be shocked to discover how much money had been sunk in to the (pointless) airport over the years. As much as I love aviation, there is a time and place for it, and it seems Angers is not it.

Quoting countvis (Thread starter):
. I was pleased to see a hot breakfast was being served.

Looks quite nice...there must be very few routes in Europe that have a hot breakfast service in economy.

Quoting countvis (Thread starter):
The queue moved very, very slowly, and I finally made it inside, to queue in a corridor. After 35 minutes I reached the immigration desk, to find no less than 5 immigration officers. 3 were standing around twiddling their thumbs. Meanwhile a fourth officer was checking passports against a computer, exceptionally slowly, whilst under supervision by another officer, who was laughing and joking with him.

Ridicuous. How can it take so long to process 60-odd EU pax?

Quoting countvis (Thread starter):
Only 110,000 passengers have passed through the airport since it opened in 1998. The airport has been operating at an average 14% capacity, with the figure in recent years being even worse than that!

Terrible for the local people, but great for BA....they must be printing money on the route

Quoting countvis (Thread starter):
All of the staff were very friendly and polite, however for some reason they were confiscating chocolate biscuits, whilst allowing oranges through. Perhaps they fancied some biscuits with their coffee later? I really can’t think of the rationale for confiscating biscuits at security. I set off the metal detector, and the metal detector wand suggested to the agent that my back was metallic. I was asked if I had an operation in my back. It turned out it was a couple of French policemen with guns standing behind me (overkill I think) who were setting off the metal detector and fortunately not my back.

Another poor view of Angers airport. Nice to supply you with a lounge, but it was hardly worth it.



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User currently offlinepalmjet From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1223 posts, RR: 17
Reply 10, posted (2 years 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 5822 times:

Hi countvis - nice to read another report about one of the new seasonal services from LCY with BA Cityflyer.

I flew to Quimper in July (report is posted on here) and sorry to hear you weren't overly impressed with your experience on the ground at Angers.

By way of comparison, arriving into Quimper was fast and not a problem at all, even though the airport there is far less modern than Angers. We were all processed very quickly, even though I was travelling on a non-EU passport.

Security staff were also very polite and joked with a few of the passengers as they passed through. Check in staff were also very polite.

I have travelled on multiple BA Cityflyer services out of LCY in the past 18 months (LCY is my local and closest airport) and I've always found the crews to be pleasant and friendly. I can't recall having a poor experience with them. Perhaps you've been unlucky?

Thanks again - I heard that Angers is not going to be served again next summer, but Quimper is.

Cheers Palmjet



Eastern - Number One To The Sun
User currently offlinecountvis From UK - England, joined Feb 2012, 106 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (2 years 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 5758 times:

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 9):
Very interesting report countvis

Thanks for your comment, and glad it is of interest.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 9):
As much as I love aviation, there is a time and place for it, and it seems Angers is not it.

Precisely my conclusion, the airport certainly constitutes a shocking waste of public funds, and clearly isn't viable. You would have thought some independent aviation consultants would have been employed to consider the viability of an airport, and were able to tell the local government the airport had little chance of being a success.


Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 9):
Terrible for the local people, but great for BA....they must be printing money on the route

I wouldn't be so sure, the fares have been low, and even on the Saturday of a bank holiday weekend the flight wasn't full. I wouldn't think they will achieve decent loads apart from in the summer peak, the return was only 60% full. I suspect the operating costs would have been quite high, especially since the return flight was almost 10 minutes longer and we cruised only at 18,000 feet. The costs of operating into London City are certainly very high too.

Quoting palmjet (Reply 10):
i countvis - nice to read another report about one of the new seasonal services from LCY with BA Cityflyer.

Thanks Palmjet, and I much enjoyed reading your report, it was a shame Angers couldn't quite replicate the good experience.

Quoting palmjet (Reply 10):
I've always found the crews to be pleasant and friendly. I can't recall having a poor experience with them. Perhaps you've been unlucky?

I clearly have been unlucky with them. The female flight attendant on the return flight certainly was very pleasant and friendly, just a shame the rest weren't quite so good. There's the same problem on BA mainline, however even a bad crew ex. LHR seem to be better than many of the crew from London City from my experience. Overall the whole BA Cityflyer operation is excellent in my opinion, offering a very good product, especially on the Embraers.

Quoting palmjet (Reply 10):
I heard that Angers is not going to be served again next summer, but Quimper is.

Very, very interesting, and not surprising that Angers won;t be continued next year. Another route to be added to the list of failed operators. The fares seemed to be consistently higher on the Quimper route. I will be watching closely to see which airline gets the subsidy next year.... Many thanks for that information.


User currently offlineba319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8546 posts, RR: 54
Reply 12, posted (2 years 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 5181 times:
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Interesting report, the route certainly, quite an unusual one, so thanks for sharing.

Quoting countvis (Thread starter):
How did a little known regional airport manage to persuade BA Cityflyer to launch thrice weekly flights? The answer is of course a subsidy provided by the local government, to the tune of roughly €215,000

- Interesting to know, helps explain the route, not one to have expected.

Quoting countvis (Thread starter):
A shot of the cabin, it’s quite clear that the seats really have a very low back, which I dislike ever so much

- Agreed, a point I have noted on my flights.

Quoting countvis (Thread starter):
I have to say when my breakfast was served it was slightly disappointing. It seemed like there had been cutbacks since I last had it last year from LCY, and also earlier this year from LHR. Unlike the LHR hot breakfasts, it was not branded in BA packaging, suggesting that it is from a different catering supplier. I am sure the baked beans are a new addition, having replaced something. If British Airways carries on cutting back in such a manner, it is almost not worth them trying to provide the hot breakfast at all, especially if the size and quality was to get any worse

- Well it's a sign of the times really, I think YCL passengers are lucky to get this kind of service to be honest.

Quoting countvis (Thread starter):
After 35 minutes I reached the immigration desk, to find no less than 5 immigration officers. 3 were standing around twiddling their thumbs. Meanwhile a fourth officer was checking passports against a computer, exceptionally slowly, whilst under supervision by another officer, who was laughing and joking with him.

- Welcome to France, not!

Quoting countvis (Reply 1):
. I got outside the airport to see no sign of any taxis, and the advertised shuttle bus had presumably departed. With no other alternative transport to Angers, a taxi had to be ordered from the information desk, which took a further 25 minutes to arrive. So the whole experience wasn’t exactly quick and easy as travel through such a regional airport should be.

- Yikes, I would have assumed the local taxi firm would have some cars there, seems standard procedure at most airports ..........

Quoting countvis (Reply 1):
I went and stood by the Club Europe desk, and nothing happened. The check in agent didn’t even acknowledge me, or do the decent thing and apologise that there was no one to check in Club Europe passengers despite the screen suggesting so, and to kindly join the other queue. Again, not very impressive, however it could be put down to a misunderstanding. Not wishing to try and ask with my broken French, I went to the other queue, where there was a wait of about 15 minutes.

- Rather rubbish service, an e-mail complaint to EC should see a few Avios head your way.

Quoting countvis (Reply 1):
There was also a nice viewing area on a mezzanine level.

- If only there were planes!

Quoting countvis (Thread starter):
I proceeded through passport control and security, which unfortunately was another saga. The impression I got was the staff were just trying too hard. All of the staff were very friendly and polite, however for some reason they were confiscating chocolate biscuits, whilst allowing oranges through. Perhaps they fancied some biscuits with their coffee later? I really can’t think of the rationale for confiscating biscuits at security

- Confiscating biscuits?, how odd!!

Quoting countvis (Thread starter):
Lunch was served by the purser, and the hot bread basket was offered by the Scottish cabin crew. Lunch consisted of a cold chicken salad with potatoes, parmesan and a piece of fruitcake. I had some tea later. It was a perfectly nice offering, and although the meal salad was quite basic, it was nice, and despite having been enjoying French bread all week, the warmed bread was very nice and crusty. The fruitcake for dessert was very good, a fitting conclusion to the meal, albeit stone cold.

- BA and the salad is a typical meal on the shorter European legs, thankfully I find them quite refreshing and light, leaves me enough room to have a meal with the wife in the evening  

Cheers

Mark



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User currently offlinecountvis From UK - England, joined Feb 2012, 106 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (2 years 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 4837 times:

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 8):
Have a look at my one from a few years back. Standards are slipping...

Sorry for the delay in my resonse. I was trying to dig out a photos of the breakfast last uear from LCY, but to no avail. However the breakfast I recieved ex. LHR in February was identical to the one you had a few years back. And I have to say its is a a lot better!

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 12):

Thanks Mark for your comment, glad you found it interesting.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 12):
I think YCL passengers are lucky to get this kind of service to be honest.

Certainly are really, but it is rather strange that BA catering between LC, LHR and LGW is so varied.


Agreed, perfect for a flight of that length.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 12):
Rather rubbish service, an e-mail complaint to EC should see a few Avios head your way.

Certainly an idea, I would certainly want my feedback to make it to the management of the airport too, as they could so easily do better.

Thanks again for your comment!


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