Posts: 2193
Joined: Tue Oct 10, 2000 4:34 am

Rule Britannia!

Sat Feb 10, 2001 4:17 am

I took this trip before joining Airliners.net, so it all happened several months ago & isn't totally fresh in my memmory.
However after BA747-436's request, I've decided to type up what I can remember!

It's my 1st time, so be gentle....

Airline-Britannia Airways (BY)
Departure from- London Gatwick (LGW)
Destination- Almeria, Spain
Aircraft type- Boeing 767-200ER
Date- Early August

My Mum & Dad decided that we'd have to leave for LGW at 3 O'clock in the morning, for our 6ish departure.
I had the dreadfull idea of not going to sleep the night before...I regreted this later!
So after watching TV Travelshop for several hours, we left for Gatwick and the Costa del Sol.
When we arrived at LGW it was still dark. We drove to the BCP carpark, which is at the end of the runway and is normally great for watching a/c que for take off.

We arrived at the South Terminal on BCP's courtesy bus and it was already quite busy at Gatwick.
The check-in for BY is in the same zone for Virgin Atlantic, but the VS counters were empty because only a charter airline would depart at such an dreadfull hour!

After being checked in, we joined the MASSIVE que for Passport Control.
Although we weren't due to fly for almost 1 and a half hours, our flight was called for boarding immeadiatly, and so we walked strait through the departure lounge, and began the long walk to the gate lounge.
Our BY B767 was parked parrallel to one of the big windows you pass on the way to the gates, and so I got a good veiw of the a/c I was to travel on to Spain.
There was a JMC B757-200 parked next to our a/c, and my mum said that the livery was horrid!

After sitting in the gate lounge for about 15-20 minutes, our row was boarded.
We were welcomed aboard by some very freindly cabin crew members in their very distinguishable BY uniforms, and we took our seats. I love flying with my sister as she always wants to have the seat nearest the aisle (she's a nervous flyer), which normally gives me the window seat!
I sat in seat A of aproximatley row 10.

The very crappy safety video was shown and I was shocked that this was veiwed by the CAA as acceptable. The video consisted of filmed people, but they'd been 'coloured in' and their colour was deliberatly moving, thus making it hard to veiw.

We taxied for the runway and after passing a JMC DC-10 and several British European BAe-146s, we began quing for the runway.
After an Air 2000 B767 and a BA B744 (in Column colours) had landed, we taxied on to the runway and began our take off.

We were soon above the clouds and the cabin crew began a breakfast service. It concisted of a traditional English cooked breakfast (sausages, bacon, scrambled egg etc) and a glass of orange juice. Tea and coffe was then served. Despite the fact that it was charter airline food, the meal was very nice.
About 1 hour into the flight I began to realise how uncomfortable the seats were. When looking through the inflight magazine, and being reminded that Phuket Thailand is a BY destination, I was glad I was only on a 2hour flight to Spain. Any longer would have been unbearable!
The entertainment was the typical Britcoms shown on the over-head screens. Headphones were free to use, but you couldn't keep them...good thing though as my bedrooms FULL of ones I've got from VS flights!

We began our decent and landed smoothly in Almeria.
It's a small airport, and at first we and a Sobelair B737 were the only airliners there. The other a/c were private turboprops, untill we were joined by an Iberia A320 from Madrid.
We disembarked using stairs and had to walk quite along way to the terminal, across the apron and right passed a Futura B737 from BHX. The B767 looked massive from the outside!

I was impressed with one FA. As an elderly gentleman was trying to step down from the a/c to the steps, he tripped. She rushed forwards and basically caught him before he fell and then helped him all the way to the bottom of the stairs. Very quick reactions!

It took AGES to get our bagage back...but hey, it's Spain!

Overall I enjoyed my flight with Britannia and thought they were pretty good for a charter airline.

I'll post my return flight later & will be happy to answer any of your questions.

Posts: 2193
Joined: Tue Oct 10, 2000 4:34 am

RE: Rule Britannia!

Sat Feb 10, 2001 4:52 am

Also, I wasn't very impressed with the B767 in charter configuration. BY operate in 8 abreast (2-4-2) which isn't very comfy at all.

RE: Rule Britannia!

Sat Feb 10, 2001 7:28 am

I HATE BRITANNIA! I've flow'n them Stockholm-Natal, Brazil-Stockholm on a Boeing 767-300, the flight time was 11hrs on the ARN-NAT leg and about 11½hrs on the NAT-ARN leg because we needed to do a refueling stop in Las Palmas. They didn't have enough overhead screens so i couldn't watch the movies comfortably.
I must say that my connecting flights to Helsinki were MUCH more comfortable.
BTW The safety demonstration was made in the old-fashioned style without a video.

Alexander Holst
Helsinki, Finland
ICQ 94604005
Posts: 1192
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2001 11:03 pm

RE: Rule Britannia!

Sat Feb 10, 2001 7:44 am

Great report! Glad to see that you put it in on my sugestion. I've flown Brittania from London-Antigua - StLucia, about 9 hours i think in a 767-300, i was pleased with my flight after flying BA to New York it was a refreshing change (this was in 1993 so BA had there old seats!) But it's true there seats arn't all that, but i spose for a charter it's not too bad! Well it was a lot better than the BWIA L1011-500 that i came back on! Talk about 70's livery and interoir!
Anyway great to see somone taking my advice! Kepp 'em comming
Dan Valentine - Bad Ass MOFO Photographer
Posts: 223
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2001 6:37 am

RE: Rule Britannia!

Sat Feb 10, 2001 8:28 am

I flew with Britannia last august from LGW-Paphos on a 767-200. They are really large but on the 4 hour flight down to Cyprus the seats can get very cramped. Also the video systems were down and so we had to sit and read for the whole journey. Luckily it was during the day so we could see outside but the flights were both ontime and actually arrived half an hour early into Paphos on the way out. Better than the previous year when we went to Paphos with Caledonian and we were delayed for 10 hours after one of their Air Atlanta Tristars had engine trouble and LGW!!!!
Posts: 2193
Joined: Tue Oct 10, 2000 4:34 am

RE: Rule Britannia!

Sat Feb 10, 2001 6:40 pm

I can't actually remember anything about the return flight, other than it was on the same B767-200ER (don't know the reg, but it was called Bill Travers, or something similar).

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Luis Rosa

However, I'm flying with British Midland next week (16/02/01) LHR-PMI.
It'll be my first flight from Heathrow, my first with BD and my first shorthaul flight (that I can remember) on a scheduled airline (I've only flown charters in Europe before). Ofcourse, I'm really excited!

I'll give you a full report when I get back.

I hope (unlikely as it is) that i'll get a new livery aircraft. However only 2 a/c have been repained so far (A320 & B737-500) and I'm due to fly on a B737-300.
Oh well....maybe one day!

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Paul Dopson

Posts: 1192
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2001 11:03 pm

RE: Rule Britannia!

Sat Feb 10, 2001 8:23 pm

Have a great trip, and get the safety card!
 Smile/happy/getting dizzy
Dan Valentine - Bad Ass MOFO Photographer
Posts: 4971
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 11:55 am

RE: Rule Britannia!

Sun Feb 11, 2001 2:46 am

I've been inside one of thier 767-300's here at MCO. Not impressed at all, I would never fly them. 2-4-2 looks VERY uncomfortable.
Posts: 2193
Joined: Tue Oct 10, 2000 4:34 am

RE: Rule Britannia!

Sun Feb 11, 2001 3:53 am

Well, they're a holiday charter airline, and you get what you pay for, but the 2-4-2 would be Hell on longhaul.

RE: Rule Britannia!

Mon Feb 12, 2001 2:16 am

Finnair has 3-4-3 configuration on some of their MD11s but they are changing them to 3-4-2 when the aircraft go to the D-mainteance check.

Alexander Holst
Helsinki, Finland
ICQ 94604005
Posts: 4281
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2000 6:07 pm


Mon Feb 12, 2001 5:12 am

I HATE Britannia! 4 flights with them been on a B757/B762/B763/B767 all of which where awful.

Never again, best flight? one of the 767's to ibiza (thats only cause it was lease from Air New Zealand)

I got a 762 britannia to Orlando! OUCH!

Posts: 1683
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2001 7:18 am

RE: Rule Britannia!

Sat Feb 17, 2001 8:35 pm

YEah, the safety videos are a little scary, the people remind me a bit of ghosts! I think I can remember they use real people on the safety card and on the back of it there is info on the aircraft-757 anyway. I went NCL-IBZ-NCL on one beck in 1997.

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