Buzz, Bae 146-300 Stansted-Charles de Gaulle
It was a very early start, arrived at check in 445am and the airport was already bustling. Checkin was closed with supervisors running around apologising explaining this was due to staff being checked on the new security procedtures (this was 12th Sept, day after the hijacks).
Once opened was checked in fairly quickly and pleasantly, although the new procedtures were not being followed.
There was quite a long queue at security, but I could see no obvious reason, for all the sabre rattling it was just normal.
A check point had been set up in the satalite termainl, but I was just waved through without check. BOarding was delayed by 20 minutes for most flights, the staff were very good.
Once aboard I had a window in almost the last row, which affords a fabulous view of the underwing and it's workings. We were away about 40minutes late, which is nothing special for a weekday morning. Frm the rear it's not especially noisy but a lot louder than the front, the difference is greater than on other types.
The seats give a lot of leg room, on earlier types I did feel squashed against the wall in the 3x3 config, but I didn't experience that this time and really in terms of cabin it's fairly similar to a 737. The cabin was very bright and airy with Buzz's I think purple seats.
Service was fast to start, but slow to get round and we were only ten minutes out of CDG when I got served, which isn't much time to drink a big boiling hot tea, but it was only £1 so can't complain too much.
Crew were a little droid like, not unfriendly but almost robotic. However, two were talking in the rear galley about being very upset at working the flight after the terrorist events of late, so maybe far from being robotic they were being very human.
Landing was a bit rough, but it was a bumpy flight all the way with bad winds all round. Speaking of winds, why almost half the plane needed the bathroom despite the roller coaster ride, well I know why, but it was quite funny.
Passed through CDG very quick. Not as busy as usual with a UA777, 2xCO777, US767 and AA777? all parked in a big row. Can't understand why so many Saudi planes everywhere, a 777 at STN, and loads of 777's and MD11s at CDG.
We landed about 5 minutes late.
Buzz CDG-Stn 146-300
Arrived quite early and checkin wasn't open, so wandered in circles for a bit, reported an abandoned bag to the army (shouldn't someone of noticed, it was bright red, big and directly under the El Al Ticket Desk). Only one desk open, but man very friendly and quick, no questions asked.
Brought a lounge voucher and made my way up. I do like getting the "First Class Lounges" Lift at CDG. It's nothing special, but had free drinks of all sorts and snacks which I got my money back on! It has fairly big vinyl seats with foot stools and reading matter from the home countries of customer airlines, plus TV's everywhere on CNN. Watching those pictures of the two airliners going into the Twin Towers, in an airport lounge wasn't easy.
Security was light getting to the satalite. Had a good look at a Varig MD11 and Aeroflot A310 up close. Boarding was fairly quick and we left on time. Staff were friendly and efficient.
Seat was directly under the wing, a novalty but rather obstructed the view of the airport. Long taxi to take off, but only one plane ahead.
Service was quick, but most declined. Crew on this flight were also tence.
Landing at Stansted was smooth but approach a real stomach churner!
Negotiated the airport quickly and smoothly and twenty minutes early!