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BHX-GLA FlyBe. 20 Oct  
User currently offlineManchesterMAN From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 1228 posts, RR: 1
Posted (10 years 11 months 4 days ago) and read 3449 times:

Flight No: BE 824
Date: 20 October 2003
Scheduled Departure: 12:35
Actual Departure: 13:25
Aircraft: G-JEDM
Seat: 9D
Scheduled Arrival: 13:45
Actual Arrival: 14:15

Having flown so many jet aircraft I decided in September that it was time I gave a turbo prop a go – just for fun  Smile. So I had a think how I could do this for as little money as possible and decided flybe. was the answer. On going to their website I saw they had a free flights offer (just pay tax) on flights from BHX to GLA so I did some checking around and found that this route was operated by the Dash 8 Q400 so booked a trip – For £10 each way!

So the day came and I arrived at Birmingham International train station at 10:40 for a 12:35 departure. This being Concorde day at BHX (I deliberately booked the flight for the day Concorde was due) there was a massive queue for the skyrail link to the airport. On arriving at the airport I immediately went to check-in where there was no queue and in under a minute I had my boarding card and my seat (9D) assigned.

I then headed to the millennium link where there were views of the runway and there were a large number of people congregated to watch Concorde’s last visit to the midlands. A viewing area had been made available in one of the car parks at the “33” end of the runway and a poor airport worker was desperately trying to get people to move to this area out of the terminal. As I had to catch my flight I, along with many others stayed in the terminal for the landing (I could have gone airside but the views are no better and I wouldn’t have got the atmosphere of the locals who made the trip to see Concorde for the last time).

Luckily my flight was delayed for 30 minutes (don’t usually say that!) and at about 12:15 Concorde was in sight and to everyones delight didn’t land first time but did a fly past at which point a few cheers came from the crowd. About 10 minutes later G-BOAC finally landed on runway 33 to a few more cheers. Due to the dots on the glass I couldn’t get any photos but I wasn’t too disappointed as I knew I would get my chance at MAN on the Wednesday.


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Photo © Danny Hill
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Photo © Danny Hill



After the landing I headed for security where a very large queue had formed (I guess lots of people had the same idea as me and waited to see Concorde). After about 10 minutes I cleared security and had a quick look around the shops then headed for the window by the café where I could see Concorde heading for the old terminal. Here there were some Air 2000 crew and an Emirates worker who excitedly asked “where is it” as one of the Air 2000 crew pointed towards Concorde, to which the excited Emirates worker replied “no I mean my 777” (which had just landed) – a lady who obviously likes her job  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

Continued below as I can't seem to post the entire report in one go ...


Flown: A300,A319,A320,A321,A330,A340.A380,717,727,737,747,757,767,777,DC9,DC10,MD11,MD80,F100,F50,ERJ,E190,CRJ,BAe146,Da
5 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineManchesterMAN From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 1228 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (10 years 11 months 4 days ago) and read 3400 times:

...

At this point my flight was called and I proceeded through door B to gate 62. When making the announcements the airline name is pronounced “fly bee” rather than “fly B E” which is how I usually pronounce it. Anyway,

We finally boarded at 13:10. The aircraft was on a remote stand so we had to be bussed a short distance across the apron, past an MYT A320 and LH A319 where I found to my relief that my aircraft was indeed a Q400 and was even one of the new ones (G-JEDM).


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Photo © Simon Boothroyd
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Photo © Steven Grace



On boarding the cabin was immaculately clean and you could tell the aircraft was new as the overhead bins were pure white with no marks on them and the leather seats didn’t have a single mark on them. Leg room on the Q400 was typical of a low cost carrier – there wasn’t loads of room but on a one hour flights this wasn’t a problem. The big difference from the larger jets I am used to flying was the seat width was much less, although on this journey seat 9C wasn’t occupied so it didn’t really matter.


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Photo © Shaun Grist



Row 9 is just behind the engines so you can see the blades rotating which makes for a more interesting view than on the typical jet. Once boarded the flight attendant welcomed us on board “the UK’s premier low-cost regional airline”. Following this the captain came over the intercom to give us the details of the flight – it will take hour, we will be routing over Derby, then Manchester and up the west coast to Glasgow where the weather is clear etc. He also apologised for the delay and gave the reason:

“As a company we have been having a few problems today. Earlier today one of our aircraft went technical – this one actually …” which always send murmurs down the cabin. Plus, he continued “Birmingham is very busy today as Concorde is here and people are just spending their time gorping at it instead of getting their work done…” In the spirit of the week very few people seemed to mind (certainly not me).

Boarding was very fast and at 13:20 we pushed back and the engines were started. The safety demonstration was typical and uneventful and we taxied to the threshold of runway 33. A short pause at the threshold as another BE Q400 landed and we were off. I though the propellers were going some when we were taxiing but as we started rolling they really picked up and I was amazed by the acceleration of the aircraft down the runway as it threw me back in my seat. We rotated just after passing the old terminal where Concorde was parked to the delight of the people on the other side of the aircraft and we were up.


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Photo © Toby Willis



The climb wasn’t particularly fast (as I’d expect in a turboprop) but soon enough the cabin crew were released for service. The first 5 or so rows of the aircraft seemed to have been reserved for flybe’s “passport to freedom” customers (their FFP) although there were only about 4 people sat in this area so it seems like a waste of space to me, particularly as FlyBe. is now supposed to be a LCC. They were served first with complimentary drinks and then the rest of us had the opportunity to buy drinks and snacks, although I didn’t partake in this opportunity. It didn’t take long for the two reasonably attractive FAs to work the cabin and they were finished just after the seat belt sign was switched off.

At this point the novelty of watching the engines had worn off and my neck was sore having been looking out of the window constantly for the last 20 minutes. As we reached our cruising altitude of 26,000 feet were still quite noisy I thought – which got me wondering that if the Q400 was one of the quietest turboprops what must something like the ATP be like?

I decided at this point to peruse the in-flight magazine “uncovered”. Apart from an article on Ibiza the magazine was deveoted to information on FlyBe. destinations and therefore didn’t occupy me for too long. At this point I decided to use the room of the unoccupied seat next to me to stretch my legs and I just relaxed until we began our decent into GLA. During the flight the flight attendants came round a few times to collect any litter and also offered to opportunity to buy gifts. The first officer also updated us on our progress just before decent and informed us that the weather in GLA was clear but a little breezy.

As we began to descend the flight attendants made one final litter collection as the engines were cut back and the ground began getting closer. Passing over Celtic park the sky was clear and there wasn’t much turbulence from the breeze the first officer talked about. Just before landing we banked left, with some wonderful scenery in the distance before descending onto runway 05. In the corner of my eye I caught the gear being deployed and a minute later we were on the ground. Landing was very smooth as the engines once again groaned out to slow us down. Landing was at 14:15, just 30 minutes late so we had made up a little bit of time. We quickly arrived on stand 15 and as the engines cut there was a mass releasing of seat belts (as usual before the sign was switched off). As I was in no rush I just sat back until the masses had gone then leisurely disembarked through the front exit. A short walk up some stairs into the terminal and that was journey over – it just remained to collect my bag which was there before I was!

Overall I can’t fault FlyBe. – the price of the ticket was fantastic, the aircraft was clean and modern, there was a slight delay but even this was good given G-BOAC’s BHX visit. My impressions of the Q400 were generally good although I much prefer my usual A320s for comfort.

Has anyone else got any experiences of FlyBe? Also if you have any questions or I have left anything out let me know. Thanks for reading  Smile/happy/getting dizzy



Flown: A300,A319,A320,A321,A330,A340.A380,717,727,737,747,757,767,777,DC9,DC10,MD11,MD80,F100,F50,ERJ,E190,CRJ,BAe146,Da
User currently offlineManairport From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (10 years 11 months 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 3288 times:

Great report. I too flew BHX-GLA (on G-JEDL) and my experience was very similar to yours, although without the beautiful site of a Concorde to while away the time. My only criticism of Flybe at BHX is that irritating coach ride to the remote stand, particularly when you think that you could walk it in 15 seconds!

User currently offlineManchesterMAN From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 1228 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (10 years 11 months 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 3282 times:

Manairport,

The coach ride was particularly frustrating on the return trip as we actually parked in front of the terminal but were still bussed to the arrivals area. When we reached the area we then had to wait for someone from the handling agent (Aviance i think) to turn up to show us the way through the door before we were let off the coach. This ended up being for about 10 minutes which got everyone more than a little frustrated, particulaly as when we finally arrived at the beggage reclaim the bags weren't there yet (certainly not as efficient at BHX as at GLA). Then as the skyrail was approaching the rail station I saw my train pulling away - annoyingly on time  Angry

Glad you enjoyed the report - I didn't do a return report as it was pretty much exactly the same as the outward apart from the above mentioned (the return was on G-JEDJ).



Flown: A300,A319,A320,A321,A330,A340.A380,717,727,737,747,757,767,777,DC9,DC10,MD11,MD80,F100,F50,ERJ,E190,CRJ,BAe146,Da
User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From Germany, joined Sep 2003, 5170 posts, RR: 55
Reply 4, posted (10 years 11 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 3230 times:

Hi ManchesterMan,
always interesting to read about Europes growing LCC´s and your report itself.
Last time at STR my aircraft parked exactly in front off my gate, a real short way to go,but like your experience, bussed to the aircraft.
Thanks for post it,
Markus (FLIEGER67)



Next: Capital travel on schedule!.
User currently offlineManchesterMAN From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 1228 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (10 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 3224 times:

Have got a few photos from the trip described above, plus the return flight on the links below.

http://www.jetphotos.net/viewphoto.php?id=175091
http://www.jetphotos.net/viewphoto.php?id=175090

Hope I'm not breaking too many rules plugging another site Big grin

John



Flown: A300,A319,A320,A321,A330,A340.A380,717,727,737,747,757,767,777,DC9,DC10,MD11,MD80,F100,F50,ERJ,E190,CRJ,BAe146,Da
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