London Stansted - Stockholm (ish) Skavsta Ryanair 737-800
Booked a very agreeable £56 rtn fare over the net, very easy if you haven't tried it yet. Check in three desks by Serviceair, got through the crowd quite quick despite a bizare number of people trying to buy tickets from them. Service tollerable. Later on check in queue was 20 minutes long and made us late, by 20 minutes!
Long queue at security, but through quick, no where to sit in departures and long queues at all the shops. Shuttle train crowded.
Announcements inaudable, with five minutes to boarding a vast mass crowded the gate jostling to get that all important window seat. (I love open seating).
On board Ryanair 737-800 cabin crew kept the first three rows by the galley empty, a bit of priavcy as they work away, oh yes and a nice crew rest area, steward was violently agressive to an elderly lady unawares of this who tried to sit there. Pretty disgusting, probably the worst act of cabin crew I've ever seen.
The crew spoke only English (then only just), although most Swedes speak better English than anybody from an English Speaking nation I know, some Swedish might have been useful.
Interestingly, the ride of the 737-800 on the tarmac seemed much rougher than other 737 types. I thought the interior looked very dated, apart from the aka 777 rounded overhead doors, couldn't see anything different to a 732. The galley bulkhead finish was disgraceful (probably not by Boeing?) with filler from the edges just wiped across the panels from manufacture which looked quite dreadful.
Space at 30 inch pitch fine, although seats hidiously uncomfortable, less lower back support than free fall, after two hours my back was giving pain. Crew round after thirty minutes with food and drink for sale, but with 60p (US$1) for a tiny party cup size coke a rip off, food cost up to £6. They do give away water though. Inflight magazine merely a sales brosure for their onboard shop, mostly £20-50 bracket with savings of about 1/3 so pretty good and wide range (which they did in fact carry). Only one drinks round and shop once as well. While I can't really put my finger on the cabin crew, I think they'd have difficulty finding employment at McDonalds.
Had a mother with four months old baby take the other two seats, it crossed my mind the car seat type thing they had blocked my exit route completely, if there had been a crash, I was condemed, a very sobering thought and one proponents of such contraptions should ponder. Fine make the baby safe, kill me.
Very bouncy landing, had to turn around and go back up the runway at Skavsta. Airport deserted, literally the only other plane a tiny Banderette parked up. Nice terminal though, small but clean, modern and efficent. Coach to City (55 miles or 1 1/2 hours away) sat waiting and 120kr (£8 or $12 rtn).
Stockholm (ish) - London Aero Lloyd A320 on behalf of Ryanair.
The boards at the CityTerminal showed the Ryanair flight departing from gate 24, the CityTerminal is Stockholms main coach station so it raised a few smiles. Once at Skavsta Check in five minutes, security two or three. Departure lounge had bar and well stock shop plus ample and comfortable seating. All very Ikea. Very clean and modern. No monitors to indicate where to board from. Boarding slow process.
Aero Lloyd, the German Charter Airline was operating on behalf of Ryanair. Full Aero Lloyd Cabin CRew, not a Ryanair in site. Space at 30 inch pitch fine, seat very comfortable indeed. Overhead space for all the talk of it being bigger on the A320 to me seemed less, although the bigger cabin was noticable. Having been disapointed by the dated Ryanair 737-800 cabin the Aero Lloyd 320 was much more modern, light tones of grey on the lockers and roof, which the hidern lighting set off well. Being more upmarket they had the pop down LCD TV's the first time I've experienced them and they gave a good picture. Crews english exceptional, but why give a safety briefing in German on a flight between Sweden and the UK?
Cabin Crew much more professional, generally efficient, professional and friendly. Drinks round as before, Duty Paid or what ever it's now called round, stewardess didn't have a clue what she had, but seemed quite pleased to find out and was very helpful.
I thought the A320 cabin was louder than the 737-800 and in flight manuvering not as smooth. However, without wishing to start a war, the Aero Lloyd plane was nicer and cabin crew better.
Apart from the unexpected ride on Aerolloyd, two rather uneventful flights. Better luck next time!