Just got back from a week in sunny Tenerife so here's my trip report!
Route: Manchester (MAN) - Tenerife South (TFS)
Airline: JMC Air
Flight Number: JMC470K
With my bags packed I set of for Terminal 1 at 3:30am for my 7am flight to tenerife. I arrived at the airport just after 4am and proceeded to the check in hall. I thought it would be a good idea to allow a little extra time to check in since it was my first flight since September 11th. Check in was quick and by 4:20am I was through to landside departures. As it was so early not many shops were open so I sat down for a while until WHSmith opened at 5am and then bought some magazines and chocolate. After that I proceeded through passport control. As expected, security was very tight and queues were beginning to form. I showed my boarding pass, put my bag through the x-ray machine and walked through the metal detector. It beeped so I went back, put my mobile phone through the x-ray machine and walked through the detector again, and it beeped. A security guard then did a quick body search and then I went to collect my bag only to see it being emptied out into a tray! I went over and was told that it was just a random security check. I was asked some basic questions whilst the security guard checked everything for explosives with some piece of cloth on a rod. He then allowed me to pass through to the departure lounge. I had a brief look around the duty free and then found a seat. Shortly after I heard a call for my flight, an hour before we were scheduled to leave. I walked to gate 22 and on the way looked at the departure screen and saw "Will depart 7am" next to my flight so I got the impression that my flight was not going to wait for anyone! When I got to the gate I was the first there, but only for a few seconds.
Photo © Brian Hill
Outside was a JMC 757-200 and it looked as if all the bags had been loaded already as there was only a fuel truck under the wing. Boarding commenced at 6:20am and as I was seated in the front of the aircraft I got to board first. I walked down the airbridge and took my seat, 5F. We were told not to fasten our seat belts as the aircraft was still being refueled. After about 10 minutes the seat belt sign was switched on and I buckled up. The cabin crew and captain gave the usual announcements and our flying time today was to be 4 hours and 11 minutes. With everyone boarded the doors were closed by 6:50am and we pushed back at 6:55am. We taxied to the new runway, 24L and began our take off at 7:15am. The sun was just beginning to rise and during our climb we got some great views of the Mersey estuary at dawn. Cloud cover was high and after turning south we entered thick cloud. We climbed to our crusing altitude of 37000 feet for about 35 minutes.
Photo © Lee Collins
50 minutes into the flight the bar service commenced. I had a bucks fizz. JMC don't give complimentary snacks with their drinks, a sign of cost cutting? Half an hour later breakfast was served. It comprised of sausage, omelette, hash browns, baked beans and orange juice which was pretty tasty though not very filling. The inflight movie being shown was Rat Race but I didn't fancy watching it. Instead I looked out the window and saw lots of aircraft fly past. I saw a Iberworld A320, Condor 757 and Futura 737 all fly extremely close to us, it was quite amazing to watch them just fly past out of nowhere with contrails blazing! It was also sombody's 40th birthday on our flight and so the cabin crew got everyone singing happy birthday for her!
Duty free came round after 3 hours into the flight though not many people seemed to buy anything. Another bar service came through the cabin an hour before arrival at tenerife and I had a pepsi max. Looking out of the window I was able to see the island of Madeira breaking through the cloud. We began our descent into Tenerife Reina Sofia Airport at 10:55am and there was quite a bit of cloud around the island of tenerife. Passing through it was quite bumpy. Cabin crew were asked to take their seats for landind as we flew through the cloud before making a sharp turn onto finals for TFS and the gear was lowered. Landing was pretty smooth and we touched down at 11:20am and followed the "follow me" car to airbridge 7. We arrived at 11:25am which was exactly on time. Next to us was an Airtours A321 (G-DHJH).
Photo © Steve Hall
I disembarked and felt the lovely heat of tenerife as I walked down to the baggage carousels. After collecting my bags I walked into the chaos of Tenerife arrivals on a friday and started my week in the sun!
Well, the week flew by and it was soon time for me to come home...
Route: Tenerife South - Manchester
Airline: JMC Air
Flight Number: JMC470L
I arrived at the airport at 10am and after dropping off the keys to the hire car back at the office in the arrivals hall I walked through to departures. TFS was extremely busy and I looked on the departure screen to see that our flight was checking in at the desks right at the end of the check in hall; desks 83-87!
Thankfully check in was pretty quick for my 12:25pm flight. I was checked in withing 20 minutes and proceeded to the departure lounge. Again, security was very tight which is something unusual for tenerife! However it was reasurring. Departures was already very very busy and the tarmac was a wash with British and German charter airlines including Air 2000, Monarch, JMC, Airtours, Happag Lloyd and Condor. I actually got to see the new TUI livery on a Happag Lloyd 737. It looks better in the flesh but still seems like a half finished paint job.
Photo © Paulo carvalho
My flight was delayed for 30 minutes so I went to get some food at pizza hut and bought some duty free. The airport was very busy by now so I decided to walk up to the gate once it was announced. An Air 2000 flight to Newcastle was boarding. I couldn't see any JMC aircraft near me. It was now 12:25pm so I went to check the departures screen and saw that our flight had a gate change from 31 to 36. I walked to the new gate to see that boarding had just commenced. No announcements were made at all to say that boarding had commenced or that the gate had been changed which was unusual since announcements were being made for every other flight in the airport. I walked through the gate along with other passengers and down some stairs to a bus. Once it was full we set off out onto the tarmac to the aircraft I presumed! I still couldn't see any JMC aircraft and the tarmac was very busy. We had to stop to allow an Excel Airways 737 to cross infront of us. We continued across the apron and then I saw the bright tails of two JMC 757's.
Photo © Paulo Carvalho
We boarded G-FCLG and I climbed the steps to the rear door which was great. I gave the aircraft a good old pat and took a breath of the kerosine filled air, it was great! I took my seat, 38D and the legroom seemed better than on my outward flight. A few more bus loads of passengers arrived before we were all ready to depart. It was now nearly 1pm so we were already half an hour late. There were no complimentary newspapers which could be another sign of cost cutting? The captain made an announcement saying that we would not have a slot until 1:30pm due to turnaround problems at TFS. The cabin crew were excellent during this time giving everyone lots of information about the aircraft, the number of passengers on board, our flying time, cruising height and speed. It is much better being told about small details than sitting in silence not knowing whats happening! Our flight had 234 passengers onboard, and the only spare seat on the plane was directly opposite me on the other side of the aisle.
Photo © Marlo Plate
At 1:15pm we pushed back (well we went forwards!) and taxied to runway 10. Infront of us was another JMC 757, G-FCLJ which was bound for glasgow. We had to wait at the holding point for about 5 minutes as TFS was now very busy with inbound and outbound charter traffic. At 1:30pm we began take off and lifted into the air steeply. It was certainly more noisy at the back of the plane than at the front. We headed over the south of the island and got some great views of the snow capped Mount Teide, the highest mountain in Spain! We then headed north towards the UK. There was a bit of turbulence along the route but nothing that caused the seat belt sign to be switched on.
After 30 minutes we had reached 35000 feet and were crusing at 550mph. The inflight movie was "Bandits", I didn't watch it, instead i listened to some music and watched Friends and the new Absolutely Fabulous later on. A bar service came round and I had a pepsi max and a bottle of red wine to have with my lunch. An hour and a half into the flight lunch was served. It was roast chicken which was accompanied by roast potatoes, peas, carrots, stuffing and gravy with Triffle for dessert and a bread roll. It was very tasty though again not very filling. JMC have removed one of their courses from the inflight meal so now there is no salad/fruit/crackers, another sign of cost cutting?
I was sat in an aisle seat so didn't get chance to look out of the window that much. However we flew over the coast of Portugal and the city of Lisbon. I also saw a Britannia 757 and Air Europa 737 fly past. Duty free came round an hour before arrival at Manchester and Shaun our Air steward was doing a great job at keeping our section of the cabin in order. I think it was one of his first flights though!
By now it was 5pm and we began our descent into Manchester. We were now over the Irish sea which was covered in broken cloud. We descended over Liverpool and I could make out Liverpool airport with all the orange tails of easyJet on the tarmac! We then passed over north Manchester over Bolton, Bury, Oldham. The cabin crew were asked to take their seats for landing and we banked over Ashton before starting our finals over Stockport down to runway 24R. Gear was lowered and the no smoking sign was flashed twice - I guess this is the captain telling cabin crew to be seated as the senior cabin crew member made the verbal announcement about 5 minutes before. We touched down at 5:32pm and our flying time was 4 hours and 2 minutes as predict although 45 minutes late. Landing was greeted by the good old clap from everyone in the cabin and a cheer! We braked sharply but used no reverse thrust and then taxied to gate 22.
As I was sat at the rear of the aircraft I was one of the last few to exit the aircraft. I proceeded to the baggage reclaim and then out to arrivals. Security was still very tight and passengers on my flight were having to have their luggage searched. Unusual since this had never been done on any other of my charter flights from Tenerife, but air travel has changed for good.
So thats my trip report. I have to say that JMC Air were a great airline on my trip, especially on the outward flight as the flight was right on time! The crew were very freindly and on JMC you get the impression that they are an upbeat airline. I'd certainly fly with them again.
Hope you enjoyed my report, sorry it went on a bit but I thought lots of detail would be more interesting! Any questions or comments are welcome,