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Bmi Baby EMA - GLA  
User currently offlineDjmatthews From United Kingdom, joined Dec 1999, 213 posts, RR: 0
Posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 3907 times:

Background.

I live work and live in Glasgow, but I’m originally from North East Lincolnshire. I visit home quite regularly normally using the trains, with only one stop, this normally takes about 5 – 6 hours, which is quite a long time. This particular weekend it was to be even worse on the return journey as there was some engineering work on the line, this meant numerous changes involving trains and buses. After consultation with my parents I decided to take the train from Glasgow on Wednesday and fly back on Sunday 10th November.

The flight of choice was to be bmibaby flight WW5823 from EMAGLA. EMA is actually about 2 hours drive away, the local airport (HUY) unfortunately doesn’t offer a GLA flight… or many flights for that matter.

- - - -

September 10th 2006
WW5823
EMA-GLA
Scheduled / Actual Departure: 19:45 / 21:25
Boeing 737-36N
G-TOYF
Seat 23A

I arrived at EMA at approximately 6:15pm, check in was due to close at 7:00pm, so I had plenty of time to spare, plus I had pre-booked a seat (at additional cost). The line was very long with only one desk open, and due to the new security most people seemed to be checking a bag of some sort.

The check in girl was quite pleasant, I handed her my documentation and waved goodbye to luggage, at this point she informed me the flight was running late, and was now due to leave at around 9:00pm. I wasn’t too bothered about the wait; it has been years since I’d been to EMA, so at least it would give me a little extra time to have a wonder.

I headed for security - no separate domestic/international areas so I joined the long queue to be screened, I was probably in the queue for about 15 minutes, which is quite a long time for a fairly small airport, however, there were only two scanners in operation. Shoes off, bags scanned etc. I find it hard to believe that people are still taking creams etc through security with them despite the airlines notifying passengers, and the numerous posters in the airport and around the security area. The guy behind me had an overnight bag with him, needless to say, the security staff removed most of his grooming products – he seemed surprised.

EMA has a brilliant view of the apron and runway, the departure area is on two levels, make sure you head upstairs if you have time to kill at this airport, it’s not very clearly signposted, so follow the signs for Pizza Hut / Burger King.

I had a wonder around the shops and picked up a magazine, a glanced at the departure screen which was now showing a 21:45 departure. By this time the airport was quieting down, as few flights remained, some passengers were now starting to ask questions, and some getting angry with the ground crew. I really want to interrupt these angry people and give them a good slap, they annoy me. Whilst I can understand the frustration of some passengers, the ground crew are only doing their jobs!

- - - -
The flight time moved forward to 21:25, and boarding commenced around 15 minutes prior. EMA doesn’t use air bridges, so I embarked from the rear stairs as I was sat in row 23. The flight was very full indeed.

I found the aircraft to be dirty and run down. The seats were quite scruffy, however they were relatively comfortable.

It wasn’t too long before we were on our way. I have very little to report from the flight itself. A trolley service came round with snacks and drinks to purchase; these were the standard no-frills prices. I didn’t purchase anything.

After what was a very short flight, we were on our approach to GLA. I like landing at GLA because I can see my flat just moments from touch down!

Just before disembarking we were asked to cross our seat belts and leave any rubbish on the aisle seat… I’ve never been asked to do this on a FR or EZ flight before.

After leaving the aircraft I headed to collect my bag…. I have never seen so many people at the baggage reclaim, it was so busy, there were about 5 domestic flights all landing within about 30 minutes of each other.

My bag (fortunately) didn’t take that long to arrive, so I grabbed it and ran, hopped in a taxi and within about 5 minutes I was home.

Conclusion

I now find it very hard to get excited about short-haul flying on no-frills carriers a) I do it so often and b) there isn’t a lot of difference between them. I thought I’d make a note of a few pros and cons that are pertinent to me of the 3 I have used. These are based on my opinions and flights that I have taken and aircraft and airports used.

easyJet
Pro
Use convenient airports
Nice new aircraft
Pretty good network
Pretty punctually

Cons
No allocated seating, but a better arrangement than FR
Often quite expensive

Ryanair
Pro
Nice new aircraft (but not as comfortable as EZ)
Often cheapest

Cons
Random airports
No allocated seats, even more of a scramble than EZ
Hold baggage charge

bmi Baby
Pro
Use convenient airports
Allocated seating available (at a price)

Con
Shabby 2nd, 3rd hand aircraft

As you are aware, none of the above offers complimentary food and beverages, or allocated seating as standard.

My preferred airline for domestic travel is BA, I only fly BA when it is the cheapest option. BA allocates seats, you get food and drink, the crew are the best, and the aircraft are comfortable and spacious, unfortunately LHR isn’t the most convenient when I am flying down south.

It would be great if EZ offered an option to allocate a seat, even if it meant paying for it. The bmi Baby model seemed to work, we filled up really quickly. I would quite happily pay a little extra for the piece of mind that I have a window seat, and I’m not stuck between two people.

Any questions, comments or suggestions for improvements, please let me know.

2 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineRyanair737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 3801 times:

I enjoyed this report, thanks for writing it.

I (kind of) feel the same way about bmibaby, flown on them 3 times now. Their punctuality leaves a lot to be desired and their aircraft, well they aren't looking their best inside (but they do work them hard).

I do though feel like you're not on a LCC with bmibaby if you know what I mean; I like the Recaro seats too, which are very comfortable. There website also is quite professional compared with some LCC's (Jet2 for example). I do rate them above easy and Ryanair that's for sure.

Quoting Djmatthews (Thread starter):
Allocated seating available (at a price)



Quoting Djmatthews (Thread starter):
I would quite happily pay a little extra for the piece of mind that I have a window seat, and I'm not stuck between two people.

They have online check-in - http://www.bmibaby.com/bmibaby/en/webcheckin.aspx?&LinkID=70/ - Free allocated seating is available on there.

Quoting Djmatthews (Thread starter):
My preferred airline for domestic travel is BA, I only fly BA when it is the cheapest option. BA allocates seats, you get food and drink, the crew are the best, and the aircraft are comfortable and spacious, unfortunately LHR isn't the most convenient when I am flying down south.

Yes but to be fair, that is what you pay the extra for with BA. You expect all those things with a carrier of their status. Although I disagree that their crew are the best, especially on long-haul.

Cheers
Ryanair737


User currently offlineComeflywithme From Argentina, joined Sep 2006, 265 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 3784 times:

Good trip report Darren.

It's good to get one of BmiBaby for a change and of one so near to home as well!!


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