Just a brief report with all the main bits, as I am rather tired!!
Tuesday June 11th
London/Stansted to Stockholm/Skavsta
Scheduled flight time: 1hr 50mins.
Skavsta is 100 km south of Stockholm; 1 hour 20 minutes by coach.
Ticket price total: 26 pounds
Arrived at airport at 0615; never seen so many orthodox jews in one place in my life!!! Literally hundreds of these guys, with the cabaret-like hats and curly hair were milling around the check-in area at Stansted. It turns out they were all heading to Montreal on a chartered "Euro Atlantic" flight, code "MMX".
As we'd missed the first wave of early-morning flights, the airport wasn't as crowded as it might have been, but it was still very busy. A quick glance at the screens revealed FR 53 to NYO check-in desks 63-65, Zone K (at far-end of terminal).
The queue for the Stockholm flight was already 10 deep, and I waited 10 minutes to get to the desk; the longest Ryanair check-in time in my life, usually it's just a matter of walking right up to the desk (no queues), and checking-in in 10 seconds!!
There were a few businessmen (7-8), but most people seemed to be young Swedes who probably flew over to London or Cambridge for the weekend. Then there were people like me, with nothing better to do than fly to Stockholm for a day or two.....
Well, we boarded the bus at 0658; the departure time, 0705, came and went--and we were still on the bus waiting for late pax. A few minutes later we started moving along the ramp towards our 737-800; got some nice views in the sunny weather of the usual Stansted traffic (the flight to Montreal was a Portuguese registered Tristar, with "Euro Atlantic" titles).
Other a/c were the usual assortment of buzz, go & Ryanair, plus two KLM uk ATR-42s.
When we arrived outside our a/c only the front door was open, rear door was shut. Unusual for Ryanair, who like to get pax on and off a/c rapidly to save time.
Well, I was about the 20th pax aboard, so I got a window just behind the trailing edge.
As I walked up the front steps, I caught a glimpse of our Captain, half-way through eating his breakfast banana....no problem.
There were 4 cabin crew aboard, 1 guy and 3 girls; all seemed to be quite happy to look after us. Cabin was nice & clean, as seems to be usual with Ryanair.
We pushed back at 0728, 23 minutes late, probably due to late pax. Flight was 90% full--not bad.
As we began to roll forward to begin a short taxi to CAT I/II/III R/W 23, flaps were lowered. The weather was just beautiful......clouds, sunny morning scene.
We held short of the r/w threshold for a "go for it" 737 on late finals, then proceeded to line up and wait.
After 2 mins, throttles were opened, and the CFMs just gave a rrrrrrrroooooAAAAARRRRRRRRR sound--we were off on the roll--possibly my favourite part.
TO roll was brief, we slid into the sunny sky after about 20 seconds, and climb rate was good, although nothing spectacular. There followed 3 staggered left turns as we began our heading to the East, then North East.
For those interested in the routing, it was LONDON-AMSTERDAM-HAMBURG-BILLUND-COPENHAGEN-STOCKHOLM. Does this make sense? I haven't consulted a map....
The Captain was very jolly, and spoke to us at top of climb, giving us some nice details, welcome aboard Ryanair etc. He was Australian. Cruise altitude was 37,000 ft today. Cloud types under us were Cumulonimbus (so a bit bumpy whilst we were still climbing) and Altostratus, for most of the flight.
We had a nice tailwind of 30-50 knots pushing us along, helping to reduce the small delay.
There was no spectacular turbulence to report.
Food and drinks were selling quite well--many people bought a coffee, and a few also bought some bacon & cheese baguettes. The lady next to me had bought her own coffee in a thermos flask....very clever!
Well, as with all flights, this one was ending quickly!
After 1 hour 22mins, throttles were idled, and we began our descent into Skavsta; the Swedish countryside is quite interesting; forests, lakes, islands and green fields--quite nice. Captain came on to report some nice weather conditions--broken cloud at 5,000 ft, scattered at 3,000ft with temperature of 19C--not bad!!
He ended with "Thanks for coming along folks, and we hope you enjoyed the short ride." (Of course!!)
The landing wasn't too bad, like falling on a cushion--no bounces.
Skavsta airport is tiny--what a joke! The other airlines serving NYO are Golden Air (operating to Helsinki for Finnair), and some Swedish charter airline. I saw a small hangar with 2 bizjets inside, a Swedish AF Hercules, and some Cessna 172s.
Our 737 kind of made the airport building look very small........well, we were off by the rear stairs this time.
We arrived on-time too--not bad at all!
Stockholm is a great city, and the Swedish people are really cool and friendly. Wednesday, after the match with Argentina, the Swedes came out to celebrate on the streets--waving flags from cars, making big noises, everyone hugging each other....it was crazy, but fun!! You must visit.
The Ryanair flight was great, if you're short on money, I really recommend them; but if money isn't a problem, I would advise you to fly with BA or SAS, because Skavsta is a bit too far really from Stockholm.....1 hour and 30 minutes is a bit too long after a flight--but it was 5 pounds each way, so not too bad.
I am too tired to talk about the return flight, but it was the same really; on-time and service generally was good. We climbed into a beautiful Swedish 10pm sunset over the lakes and forests.....you really must experience the scenery, especially on a summer night......just reminds you how nice flying can be!
Ok, hope you enjoyed the ride, and happy flying; I know this isn't a very long or detailed report, but I am very tired. If you need to know anything, of course I'll tell you. I need bed and sleep!!