I was bored this afternoon and no-one else had finished college so…
After starting the FS trip report thing waaay back, I haven’t done one for a very long time. Air Belgium’s latest crew venture has got my fingers typing and the imagination flowing once again, enjoy!
“I was on the afternoon today which meant a chance to stay in bed and watch rubbish daytime TV. After lunch I clambered into my car and 10 minutes later was pulling on the handbrake in the staff carpark.
After walking through parts of the terminal I entered the crew room. I was scheduled on the 1600 departure to Paris, LMT094. The aircraft scheduled was an A320 but this soon changed as it became apparent there had been an aircraft change to the smaller A319.
The load was 99% full, 128 pax leaving 2 seats free if everyone turned up. Delving deeper showed that Euro Business was full with 15 and Euro Economy had 128/130.
Joining me on this flight were a further 4 cabin crew totalling at 5, 2 up front and the other 3 down the back. I was lucky as today I would be serving J and with a crew member I get on well with, Jill.
Due to the aircraft change we were bussed out into the maze of remote stands at Gatwick. G-LMBZ was our aircraft, one of the two new Airbuses to join the fleet and sporting the nifty‘.com’ titles.
We climbed the stairs and I immediately started preparing the galley with Jill. After making sure everything was in order we gave the ok and boarding was started. It took quite a while, because it’s England and busses never come when you need them, but finally the passengers started to arrive. Euro Business only to board through the front door, the rear would be used for Economy.
After greeting each of the 14 passengers by name (1 didn’t show) I collected coats whilst Jill prepared the warm roasted peanuts and pre flight drinks. After hanging them up in the closet I assisted her in taking drinks orders, the choices today were Champagne, Bucks Fizz, or fresh orange juice. After shutting the doors and cross checking we handed these out on the usual silver trays and took to our positions for the safety video.
Ladies and gentlemen, a very warm welcome aboard this Air Lambert Airbus A319 on your flight to Paris this evening. Please now put your newspapers and magazines down and pay attention to this short safety video as your safety is our priority at Air Lambert, thankyou.
After pointing out the exits etc I checked that everyone’s seat belts were secured and that their luggage was stowed correctly and so on. I sat down on the crew seat and Jill soon joined me as we were instructed to do so by our flight crew, Captain Gary Wright and First Officer Tom Walker.
1600 is peak afternoon time for Air Lambert with 4 departures in 5 minutes! We followed the A321, ‘Nick Parker’s Dreamflight’ out, bound for Amsterdam, and after waiting a few short minutes for it to depart we swung onto the runway and the throttles were immediately put into action as the CFM’s roared into life making their usual lawn mower sound.
We were in the air in no time and with a couple of bumps turned left through some cloud layers. The cabin crew were released and Jill and I immediately got to preparing the meals.
With a bong the seat belt sign was turned off just after we had completed the second round of drinks, with the addition of chilled bear and other fruit juices and wines. Dinner service was a breeze and today’s offering was freshly baked warm rolls from the bread basket, roasted chicken breast tossed into a salad with balsamic vinegar along with a chocolate brownie. A selection of liquored chocolates was served after along with coffee.
An American businessman commented on the fact that we were using metal cutlery to which I replied that it is very much being brought back in the UK. At this point the seat belt sign came on again.
Ladies and gentlemen as the seat belt sign has now been switched on we ask that you return to your seats as soon as possible and fasten your seat belts. Please ensure your luggage is correctly stowed in the overhead bins or under the seat in front of you and that your seats are in the upright position and your armrests down. Thankyou
It was soon time to clear and I did all the usual procedures to prepare the cabin for landing. The Captain came on the P/A and gave an update on the weather in Paris and our arrival time in 15 minutes from that point. We were warned that it would be a very bumpy approach.
After passing through the cabin one final time collecting any empties I took to my seat along with Jill as we were told to take our seats for landing. The smooth flight abruptly changed at this point as the turbulence started. Although not all that cloudy outside it was very windy and the Airbus was being thrown around as we turned this way and that.
We finally lined up and the flaps started to be set, and with a clunk the gear brought down. The engines were powered up in short bursts as the aircraft bumped its way along the glideslope.
The airport finally came into view and after what seemed like a very long time we smacked into the French tarmac hard, a roar of thrust reverse filling the cabin.
Ladies and gentlemen welcome to Paris where the local time is 1705, bang on schedule, and the outside temperature is 6C. Please remain seated until the aircraft has come to a complete stop on our allocated stand and the Captain has switched off the seatbelt signs. When removing your luggage from the overhead lockers please be careful as items may have moved during the flight causing injury to you or other passengers. Smokers, you’re going to have to wait that little bit longer until well inside the terminal building and in a designated area. Finally on behalf of myself, all the crew here today and Air Lambert, thankyou for flying with us and I wish you a very safe and pleasant onward journey. Thankyou and good evening.
We taxied in quickly and soon came to a halt. All de-boarding would take place through the L1 door and a jetbridge was soon attached. I opened the door, said “bonjour” to the gate agents and gave the thumbs up to start offloading pax. We played some gentle music over the P/A system as we said our goodbyes, the Captain coming out to join us too.
As soon as the last passenger had disembarked the cleaners came onboard to get the cabin ready for the return flight. I headed down to the rear galley to join the rest of the crew and eat our meals.
All too soon we were back in the cabin giving it the final touches ready for our next departure back to Gatwick. It’s hard work, but all good fun!”