London Gatwick (LGW) – Brussels International Airport (BRU)
Brussels International Airport (BRU) – London Gatwick (LGW)
Virgin Express (Ireland)
B737-300 (Both Ways)
EI-TVO (Both Ways)
VK668 / VK667
18TH August – 20th August 2000
Price of Ticket
I left my home at around 04:10am on Friday morning to catch the early morning flight (06:40) from London Gatwick to Brussels International Airport. I arrived at London Gatwick around 05:00 and checked in for the flight. After checking in I proceeded to go “airside” I had a nice breakfast whilst waiting for information on my flight on the departure screens. About 45 minutes before the scheduled departure of the flight the screen said “Board gate 33” so, I went to the gate, with over looked most of the airport, got some good photos of other aircraft. We where parked next to OY-APD a Mearsk Air B737-500. For some unknown reason we didn’t park up at the gate, we parked a little bit away from it, so we had to go out using steps which where built into the B737-300. We walked out on to the tarmac at London Gatwick which was brilliant as hardly and flights use steps at London Gatwick, as I took the walk out to the aircraft I stopped to take a few photos from the tarmac, and proceeded to board EI-TVO. The aircraft was nice, clean, and all seats where leather seats which surprised me. I was seated in 22F (Not that that mattered there where only about 40 people on the flight!) I sat down at my window seat and had a look out of the window. The aircraft had 4 TV screens but they where not used on our short flight. Virgin Atlantic B747-200 G-VSSS “Island Lady” taxied past us to its gate. The legroom on the aircraft was very poor (but that didn’t really surprise me or bother me on a 40 minute flight) the cabin was in good condition and in looked good.
As we taxied out of gate 33 we pulled back and I saw G-MCPD Monarch Airlines A320-200. As we made our way to the runway we ran parallel with Air 2000 A321, but we got clearance to take off first so it had to wait (shame!). With nothing on approach we entered the runway and put full power on straight away, a nice take off and very early.
We cruised at 10.000 ft and flight time was 37 minutes. The weather was gorgeous for the whole flight and it was very smooth. As for food and drink on board I got a free cup of tea and a small pack of biscuits, but remember this is a low-fares airline. The landing at Brussels International was nice and smooth. We past the old TAA Airbus A300 after landing, and the busy cargo ramp, Saudi MD11, Saudi B747-200 & Air Hong Kong B747-200F. We taxied to our gate (a remote stand by the new building work) we past a Sabena B737-200, Air Belgium B737-400, Sabena A319. once again we got of using the steps, we where bussed out to the terminal.
Brussels Airport was a nice airport, quite small, and had no dedicated spotting area, but, there where areas where you could view from (Car Park, Wingtips Restaurant etc.) I took loads of photos there and I saw all but 5 Sabena aircraft.
Our flight (VK667) was due to depart at 20:55 so, we checked in at 18:55 and went airside. There where quite a few good views of aircraft from airside but, it was very poor weather it had been raining for about 4 hours before we left, and there had also been lightning. I made my way to 08B and there was our aircraft EI-TVO (again!) I was in seat 21F and two seats to the side of me where broken and wouldn’t un-recline! The cabin crew where a bit dumb and weren’t quite sure how to go about fixing it so they just left it! Once again the flight was half empty, and the aircraft was clean.
We took off 15 minutes late but we made up time and landed 1 minute early. We flew through a thunderstorm and the flight was very bumpy, so much so apparently it was to “dangerous” to serve hot drinks!
We where very high whilst on final approach, and we floated the landing, landing half way down the runway, we exited the runway still going quite fast, and taxied to our gate, gate 37. As I sat in the plane waiting to get off I saw my bag get taken off the flight, which was a first.
So, all in all Virgin Express is a good airline for short flights, but I wouldn’t like to fly with them on any longer routes. You get what you pay for!
I hope you enjoyed this trip report, and that it gave you an insight into my flight. (Any views, questions, comments etc would be greatly recieved)
The Flying Dream