This is a summary A of a two part trip report of bmibaby's service to Dublin (part B - the return flight to follow later.) with my mum.
Airline: bmibaby (WW/"baby")
Aircraft: G-ECAS Boeing 737-301
Aircraft Name: Golden Jubilee Baby
Date: Sunday 31st March 2002
Estimated Time Of Departure: 1605
Actual Time Of Departure: 1605
Estimated Time Of Arrival: 1705
Actual Time Of Arrival: 1654
Seat(s) Designated: Row 4 seats D and E
Seat(s) Occupied: Row 4 seats E and F
Today I was flying the new "low cost" airline from bmi british midland, the UK's second largest operator. bmibaby is based at East Midlands Airport (EMA/EGNX) which is already a base for bmi british midland's european sectors. This was to be the second time I have flown with a UK low cost airline, having previously flown with Luton based Easyjet to Geneva in 2000.
I arrived at East Midlands at 1405, two hours before departure, there was nobody in the queue for flight WW5789 and the plesant bmi check in staff checked us in. The screens obveously has bmibaby on them but she had to stcik a small sticker on the boarding card which reminded us we wasn't flying bmi There were two desks open for this flight, and the lady allocated seats in Row 4, seats D and E.
bmibaby is a brand new somewhat rushed launched low cost operator, and since the aircraft had many routes and only one aircraft to fly them (G-ECAS) I had heard bmi british midland was supplying the odd Fokker 100 to WW to help them out. There was two bmibaby flights that afternoon, one to Barcelona and one to Dublin so taking into account bmi used to operate the F100 on the Dublin route before bmibaby was launched I thought we would be placed on a F100 with the 737 doing Barcelona, though I was desprate to fly the 737!
East Midlands Airport has the best hobby shop for miles! Fantastic models can be purchased here along with a wide range of videos, books, and other aviation related material. The viewing balcony isnt the best in the world however does offer a view thats better than nothing. Before we were called to the gate at 1520 I saw:
Britannia Boeing 757-200 G-BYAH
My Travel/Airtours cross coloured Airbus A321 G-JSJX
bmi british midland A321 G-MIDM
countless bmi F100's and some dinky prop
The Cargo frieght aircraft were also present.
We were called to board at 1520, so I went to gate 001 through security (which wasnt intense at all - very laxy daisy) and went into the room with me mum who accompanied me on this trip. In this room out of the window parked up ready to take us to DUB was absolubtly nothing, because at 1530 when phase two of the boarding process began we were taken to the gate which yai! had a plane infront of it, though my heart sank because it was a dreaded Fokker 100! There was two parked next to each other but as I twisted my head around further I saw the bmibaby 737-300!!! yai!!! but dum dum dum Barcelona was due to depart soon, who is going where??!!
At 15:35 or something like that the Fokker 100 boarded, the people came from nowhere! and pushedback, i checked the screen out of curiocity and the Barcelona flight had "departed", as soon as I saw that we were called up for boarding, and we were taken past the second Fokker 100 and over to G-ECAS, "Golden Jubilee Baby" yes! I was soooooo excited, im 15 and I acted like a 3 year old, camera in hand i took photos of everything from the engine blades to me mum walking up the stairs! I was in heaven.....
To my horror it hit me that I hadnt got a window seat (dum dum dum) so i sat there anyway, until the last came, and then I thought I know, I will give it a go so I asked her if she minded me sitting by the window as I was a kid (make her feel guilty lol) and that I had a camera, she said she didnt mind (THANK GOD!!) so now happy as hell the door closed bang on time and we departed for the emerald isle with one little happy chap sitting in 4F!
The cabin crew were made up of two male and one female, dressed in dark blue trousers, and a white T-shirt, with the bmibaby logo on, and a thin blue strip accross the chest, topped with their name of a nice badge with "tiny" on it - the company mascot. The safety demo was intense and completed shortly after pushback. We taxied to R27 and departed for Dublin, take off was nice and smooth the cabin crew got straight to work serving the inflight products eg coffee (£1.50) and Kit Kat Chunky's (£0.50) i mention them two because thats what I had on the flight home
Infight was jolly because the mood of the cabin crew was cheery, there was babies onboard laughing which was very suited! and that woman in 4D was trying to mess about with a kinder egg toy and she was a grown adult! Some passengers took the baby part of the name a bit literally!
We zoomed up to 22,000ft in the 733 in no time, and by the time we got there it was time to come back down again, the flight wasnt long at all (approx 25/30mins) and as we approached the plane lowered its nose quite sharply as we were a tad overspeed. Inbound to DUB was nice and senic, with Irelands "eye" on the left hand side and another dinky island on the right, came in over the sea, over a bunch of houses and cows, plus a fottie match, it was nice to see people look up at us and wave
Touchdown was way to fast and too late we were thrown into the runway, full reverse thrust was used and we swerved on the runway side to side a bit, the lady in seat 4D looked scared stiff! We turned of at the last exit (just) so i think that captin need sto be in less of a rush next time (well there was the wether as well, a stong gust of wind hit the plane just before and just after touchdown which didnt help the passenger in 4D!)
Taxi in Dublin was well nice I guess, bit bumpy in places but hey you get that everywhere, there was LOADS of aircraft in but some that immediatly spring to mind were G-MONE that newly painted Monarch 757-200 and erm some others eg Lufthansa A320, Aer Lingus galore, Spanair A321 and MD83 and another Monarch 757-200 in the old livery. We had to wait for 10 minutes on the ground for a gate due to our early arrival and G-MONE pushed back so we nicked that gate when in had gone. We got off up the airbridge to collect our luggage, the arrival screens inside the airport had our arrival time as 1654.
Baggage collection was very rapid, no damage caused to any luggage and as we picked up the hire car and drive out of Dublin Airport I reach the end of this long trip report, look out for the flight home
I hope you've enjoyed this onlook bmibaby experiance.
(a very happy bmibaby chap!)