UTA_FLYingHIGH From Tunisia, joined Oct 2001, 6495 posts, RR: 47 Posted (12 years 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 4513 times:
LGW Spotting Break
FR DUB to LGW outbound leg
Aircraft : Boeing 737-8AS EI-DAP
My flight was departing at 8:00, so it was the usual early-morning alarm wake-up time in order to be sure to be one of the first at the check-in counter. These usually open an hour and a half before ETD, so I was yawning quite a bit upon arrival at DUB.
Check-in was quite fast due to my aforementioned arrival times. As with most, if not all, LCC’s, there are no assigned seats, so it’s a first come, first serve basis.
After the usual security questions, I was issued my boarding pass. This being a one-day trip, I had no luggage to check-in, so I made my way towards the gates.
Security screening was a bit slow-moving , perhaps due to the Aer Lingus USA flights that were also checking in at the same time.
Once at the metal detector/X-ray machine, things were pretty fast though.
I made my way towards Terminal C which is the one used mainly by Ryanair here in Dublin.
It’s a bit further away that the other terminals, so I directly went there instead of watching the A330’s at Terminal B.
Anyway, it was still early and the sun had not come up yet so I couldn’t start shooting pictures.
I grabbed a quick coffee, muffin and a paper to entertain myself prior to boarding.
As usual, I was among the first to board as I wanted a nice window seat. I could unfortunately not get a decent cabin pic as some families with children had been given priority boarding (badpeople rejection).
FR673 DUB to LGW
The aircraft on this leg was EI-DAP, which had barely three weeks’ worth of revenue service at the time :
The interior was brand-new and squeaky clean, even though the bright yellow interior, cramped leg room and absence of seat pockets was a relative turn-off.
This was my first flight on a Ryanair 737-800 as my previous FR experiences had been with the old 737 Classics.
Boarding was quick and we pushed back on time. Taxi times are relatively quick in DUB, and there was only one aircraft ahead of us in the queue.
We took off from runway 28, by now the sun was out as so was my camera :
I had chosen a seat on the right-hand side as I expected the aircraft to make a right-hand turn after takeoff, thus enabling a shot of the city of Dublin.
Bummer…the SID for LGW isn’t the same than the one for LPL, NCL or BHX, so we flew the southerly route instead, meaning a left turn.
We were over the coastline in few minutes, overflying Waterford and Rosslare :
We then settled at a FL310 cruise level, at which I was amazed by the quieness of the CFM56-7B engines.
After approximately 45 mn of cruise, we started our descent into LGW where the weather was a bit more cloudy than in DUB.
After landing, we spent around 10 minutes taxying towards the gate – bigger airport than DUB J
We then spent a further 5 minutes sitting on the tarmac as there was an aircraft on the taxiway.
There was an ATR-72 alongside us , so I snapped that during the wait :
Spotting at LGW
After customs/immigration (which means nothing as I had flown over from Eire, another EU country), I made my way up to the viewing terrace, which is free.
Upon arriving at the area you are greeted by a display of a nose section of a DeHavilland Comet, with the cockpit visible and lighted up :
I then installed myself at the viewing area proper, which consists of several benches overlooking the main apron. There also is an aviation store as well as a small snacks/refreshments store.
I stayed there a while, entertained by numerous movements of widebodies, mainly US-bound flights :
I was however a little disappointed as there was some construction work going on in the foreground; also, neither the holding point nor the runways were visible.
However, it started to rain, so I had to abandon my spotting activities and indulge in a little shopping at LGW’s nice shopping galleries, where I stayed until it was time to grab the flight home.
FR LGW to DUB return leg
Aircraft : Boeing 737-8AS EI-DAP
As I was already at the airport (and bored as dead rat due to the rainy weather that prevented me from shooting), I was at the counter before check-in had started, so I had boarding pass #1
Security screening was very slow, reminding me that this was one of the world’s major airports.
At least the screening staff was courteous, friendly and efficient.
We boarded on time with the aircraft nearly full, as always.
FR675 LGW to DUB
To my surprise, the aircraft for my return flight was exactly the same one than in the morning, EI-DAP.
As this was a night flight, I had little interest in the window seat, so I grabbed the first one available.
After boarding was over, I noticed that the cockpit door was open and that visibly, we weren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
So I grabbed my camera and asked the Captain if I could come in.
As we were refueling and therefore had a good 10 minutes wait, he granted my request, making this picture possible :
I then settled into my seat for an uneventful 55-minute flight that took us over Cardiff and the Sea of Ireland (amongst other things) after which we landed at DUB on time.
So in the whole, my first 737NG experience was a nice one.
Now, if only FR could put in better-looking seats…
Fly to live, live to fly - Air France/KLM Flying Blue Platinum, BMI Diamond Club Gold, Emirates Skywards