For who missed part I, here is a link to it:
Tom and me decided to get up at 6.30am. I set my alarm clock of my gsm at 6.20am, and he at 6.30am, to avoid that we overslept us
After we got up, and washed us a bit, we went downstairs for breakfast in the Ibis Heathrow Hotel. Breafkast there was again very expensive (4.95£), but you really got all what you wanted (a good choice in cakes, biscuits, drinks etc etc).
At 7.45am, our bags were packed, we went to the reception, and at 8.00, we departed for the airport in … yes … in the rain. From the Ibis Hotel, we saw the aircrafts taxiing to the holding point of R 27R, and we first went to there to hear the beautiful engine sounds during take off. It was great to hear the difference of the engine sounds during take off between the small Avro of SNBA we saw, and the B757, B767 and the B777 of BA
In the meantime, it had stopped raining, and at 8.45h, we took the bus to the Heathrow Central Bus Station. There we went over a bridge, and so we arrived at the entrance of the Terrace (Queens building, T2). Once we arrived there, a strong wind was blowing every single paper away. A very strong and cold wind made it very difficult to take pictures of the aircrafts when they landed at 27L.
Our eyes opened very quick, because which nice beauty passed before our nose:
Photo © Jason Milligan
Photo © Bailey
B-HOY, indeed!! One of the most beautiful aircrafts I had ever seen! The aircraft went to it’s parking position in front of the BMI hangar.
At 10am, we went to the aircraft miniature shop, and we were amazed with the collection of aircrafts we saw there!! We stayed more than one hour looking there to all those aircrafts. Because we did not have enough pounds (we still had to buy some food for in the afternoon), Tom buyed a B707 of Sabena (Aeroclassics) and an A319 of Sabena (Dragon Wings). I bought an A319 of Sabena (Dragonwings) and an A321 of Sabena with the Qualiflier logo (Dragon Wings).
Due to the heavy rain, we went to the snack shop to eat some food, after we visited the inflight shop.
At 1pm, we went back to the terrace (were we saw an A310 of SU parked at the gate), but due to the heavy rain, we went one level lower, were you can spot the aircrafts without standing in the rain.
Here is a summary of all the nice aircrafts we saw:
- B-HOY: CX B744
- ZS-SAT: SA B744
- ZS-SAZ : SA B744
- D-AIAK : LH A310
- C-GAGN: AC B744
- VH-OJB : QF B744
Photo © Jason Milligan
- PH-BZG: KL B763
- HB-IWL: LX MD11
- 9Y-TJN: BWIA A343
- ZK-VBN : NZ B744
- 9K-AOB: KU B772
- G-BOAE: BA Concorde
- SU-KQF: KQ B763
- A40-LZF : GF A343
- HZ-MIS : SV L1011
- F-OGQT : SU A310
- 4X-ECB : LY B772
- JA8132: JL B742F
- 6V-JMP: Air Jamaica A343
- C-GFAH: AC A333
- D-AIAS: LH A300
- 7T-VJC: AH A310
- JA8085: JL B744
- G-VSHY : VS A346
Photo © Alan Moss
Because our flight left at 18.25, we decided to leave the terrace around 4pm, but because we wanted a good end of our great spotting trip, we waited for the take off roll of BA B744 G-CIVS
At that time, it was already 4.20pm, and we finally left the terrace, to go to Terminal 1.
We arrived in front of T1 around 4.35pm, watched the signs were we had to check in (Area E desk 9), and queued in front of the VEX check in desk. The lady told us that we could check in at the SNBA counters, so we gave the very friendly SNBA check in agent our reservation number. I mailed a week before departure SNBA with the question if they could put us on row 10 seat A and C, but they mailed us back that you can only do this when you depart at BRU, not when you depart in a foreign airport. But because I wanted those seats, I told the check in agent that our seats were, following a confirmation of SNBA, 10A and 10C, but unfortunately, already someone else had taken them . He showed us his screen with the seats which were still available, and I was surprised that already the whole right side of the plane was full!! Together with already a big part of the other side of the aircraft. I asked him if he could give us a window seat on another row, and he gave us row 7.
We left the check in area, and went to ‘International departures’ were we waited about 45 mins, after the fast security checks, before we knew to which gate we had to go.
Only 30 minuts before departure, someone said into the speakers that ‘The passengers of SN Brussels Airlines flight 3828 could proceed to gate B29’.
A short walk brought us to gate B29, and after a ticket- and passport check, we could sit down in a kind of lounge were we had to wait until boarding started aboard of our Avro RJ100 of SN Brussels Airlines, OO-DWC:
Photo © Daems Guy
Photo © Herr Jottier
Deep in my head, I had hoped to fly on OO-DWC, since it was the first Avro that was repainted in the full SNBA colours, and my dream to fly on that one, became true.
But what did we get to see… Row 7 was apparently the one without a window on the RJ100 I reclined my seat so that I could look out of the window behind me, but this was the one of the worst things that could have happened, no window during our first Avro flight
20 minuts before scheduled take off time, boarding started. The aircraft was not connected with the bridge, so we had to go on the tarmac first before we could enter the plane. The Avro was surrounded by a B757 of BA (G-CPED) and an A321 of AY (OH-LZA).
The loadfactor of the flight: 8 people were in business class (there were 15 business class seats, so 3 rows), and there were 75 people in economy (for 82 economy class seats), so the average load factor was 86%.
Flight was on time (we were even ready 5 minuts before schedule), but due to too much traffic going to the runway, we had to wait 25 minuts before we were pushed back, and started taxiing to Runway 09L.
In front of us were a BA B772 and a BA A319, after us were a LH A321, a BA A320 and an IB A320.
Finally, at 6.55pm, we started our take off roll. Take off was very powerful and short, and from the window behind me, I saw an MS B777 that was parked at the end of a taxiway.
Soon after take off, the flight attendants started serving food and drinks. We could choose between all beverages we wanted, and we got two very good and tasteful sandwiches as meal, one with cheese and one with ham.
As far as I could look out the window, we flew fast and low. I clearly saw the Belgian coastline.
Finally, the captain informed us that we were starting to descent, and that we had to fasten our seatbelts due to some turbulence (the weather was bad).
15 minuts later, an end came to our LHR-BRU flight, when we touched down on Runway 25L.
We taxied to Terminal B, were we waited to disembark until the last passengers had left the plane. We went to a stewardess to ask an after-flight cockpit visit, and she brought us to the cockpit. The two pilots were very friendly and attentive, and we started talking with the first officer about SNBA (what he thinks about the new company etc etc).
We talked about 10 minuts, and than we went outside the plane to take some pictures.
After this, he had to hurry, because the crew bus was waiting. We said goodbye, and went up the stairs to take our handluggage. I went back together with Tom for one second into the cabin were I took this picture:
Photo © Frederic Backaert
And this was the end of our fantastic trip to LHR.
I hope you enjoyed the second part of this report, and if you have any questions, feel free to ask them.
Tom - Frederic