sitting with the computer writing trip reports.
So lets hope my memory are as good as i hope, and that you will enjoy this.
I hope it will beeinteresting that this are a charter report (we don't see them too often) with an airline i haven't seen a report from yet.
Due to a lot of happenings, this trip was only booked a few weeks in advance, at a time when the options wasn't too many.
Since we are RCI members, we had actually hoped to get an apartment on Mykonos (greeck island) and fly down on a scheduled airline (I was hoping for LH's A300 from FRA-ATH) , but we were to late to get it. So my mother started searching various travel agnets, and the result was 2 weeks at Cala'n Bosh, Menorca.
The flight was to be opperated by Braathens 737 equipment, and i actually considerd that a bit boring. The only good thing was that we could look forward to great legroom since Brathens utilise the same cabin layout for both secheduled and charter flights. From earlier charterflights with them, we also remembered their friendly staff.
B737-500 (msn:27627/ del 1996)
Since the fligt was scheduled to leave at 17:20, we didn't leave for OSL before 14:30 for the 45 min drive to the airport. Upon arrival we discovered that the parkinglots were packed, and we had to park at a kinda temporary looking field named P4. We were lucky, since the feeder bus (Mercedes Benz Citaro) left for the terminal as soon as we had said good bye to our good old Volvo 745GL.
Suddenly we found our selves in the airy check in terminal, and proceeded to the "Braathens island" (for those of you who aren't familier with OSL, the check in area has three "islands" wher you can check in. One for Braathens + partners, one for SAS + partners, and one for the other airlines)
There were no queues, and suddenly the friendly agent handeled us the bordingcards for both the out and in bound flights. (that is normal procedure when tarvling cahrter form norway, and maybe also form other countries?)
To my suprise we had seats 1 ABC on todays flight, and that actually left me with mixed feelings since i alwasy prefear to be seated in the rear. Well that should be interesting. We went through security with out any problems, and entered the tax free area that has turned out quite great after the "face lift" earlier this year.
Now you don't need to be stuck in a lonly "alcohol, chockolate and parfume shop", but can also enjoy dedicated electronic, souvernir, and deli shops. While my parents were shoping, I descided to have a look at which planes that were present this evening. Actually not wery much, but there was a SK 736 to Ajaccio, a MYT A320 (OY-CNP, the plane that took me to Corfu last year) to Herakilon, a FI 757, a LH CRJ and stuff like that. Sadly i couldn't see the most interesting plane, a PIA A310 since it left form the non schengen gates that are sepparated from the other gates with a document checkpoint. I also think that a BA 32X also were leaving from one of those gates.
Our plane hadn't arrived yet, so i went back to my father. As we speeked the three man cockpit crew for the PIA flight went by in their nice looking uniforms, that are a bit more light blue than "normal" uniforms. They were realy nice. PIA's depature time came, and went, and you could see all its pax running all over the place. Easy to understand why that flight were running late .
Our boarding time, 16:50, came, and we proceeded to gate 45 where ,to my great pleasure, LN-BUE a 735 in the old colors were waiting. I was so gald since i had hoped for the cute little baby Boeing instead of a 734 or a 73G.
Boarding comenced on time and suddenly we were seated in the firs row onboard this spottless plane named "Erling Skjalgson" after an old norwegian king. (every Braathen plane is named after old norwegian kings and queens).
Although the plane was in the old colors, it had new seats in a soft blue color, with audio features. Since we were seated in row 1, the leg room was great, and if I should guess, i would say around 45" of legroom. Another intresting think about Braathens, is that on the bulkhead in fromt of 1 ABC, there are hanging a tree carving illustrating the king, of whom the plane is named, and on the right bulkhead,a brass palte with info about the plane.
Photo © Kjell Arild Bersås
Anyway, as soon as we were seated, Elizabeth, the purser, helped us finding place in the overhedbins to our luggage, since the space in our bin was limited due to the emregency equipment. Then Cpt. Olavsstuen introduced him self, and informed us that the ATC in Brussels had pushed our depature time back with 15 minutes due to heavy trafic over europe.
But the 15 mins went by fast, and suddenly the plane was puched back, while the crew wer showing the safty demo. Actualy it was quite cool to sit in the row where the demo was carried out. Right before the doors were closed, i had heard the FA's talk about that we were (don't remeber exactly) aroud 80 souls, and some infants onboard, so it was plenty of space with around 40 empty seats
As we taxied to rwy 19L, i could se the PIA 310 still siting at the gate together with the British Airways 32X.
The engines spooled up, and LN-BUE ran down the runway, befor leaping into the air. Compearde to my last flight, which also was onbaord a 735, but from LH, this take off was a big disappointment. While the LH 735 looked a little weared, and had a nice deep sound that would have made bigger aircrafts jealous, Uniform Echo could only show us some inert sounds that would have made any environmentalist quite happy . But atleast we were ariborne, and after a few light turns, we were on our way.
It was a beautiful evning with unlimited visibility, and i had no problems recognising the house in which some of our firends live. Even though we had climbed for about five mins.
As normal on charter flights, you have to pay for the bevrage, and this flight was no exception. Beeing in the first row, gave us the privilege of beeing able to order drinks first, and so we did. Luckily we had some floor space to place all the cans and bottles on. After a little while the meal came around, and it consisted of:
Grilled Chicken breast with rice and a spicy red sauce
Pie filled with raspberry jam
Hot Ciabattas and tea + coffe were also offered.
This was a realy delichious meal, but it was way too small, so a second serving would have been grat .
If i should complain about something regarding the tase, must it bee that the sauce was a little bit too spicy, to be served as the only meal option on a charter flight. (but we all know that cocking airlinefood is difficult)
The rest of the flight was quite uneventfull, but my three windows offered great views of the Alps. I also tried to get a cockpit vistit, but ;(.
Left France near Marseilles, and I had the opportunity to se the airport. At this time with about 35 mins reamining, the sky were geting dark, and the night had reached our lattitude.
The approach to Mahon took us down the west coast of Menorca, before turning east and flying along the entire south coast of the small island. As we were geting closer to the east coast, the rwy emerged in the disatnce, and soon the litle baby Boeing turned north. (it was acctually quite strange to be so far upfront that I was, since it felt that we were almost flying past the rwy before turning final.)
The final moments in the air took us over a tent camp, before we made contact with Menorcan soil for the first time in my life. Had a quick taxi to the ramp where we parked near a Britannia 757 (old colors) that i think was G-BYAN (if that's not something i have dreamt ).
As usual, hot humid air enters the palne as soon as the doors are opened, and you can realy feel that you are on holliday. Said good bye to the frindly crew, and went down the stairs into a blue Mercedes "linkbuss" that took ALL the pax to the terminal.
Baggage belts and imigrations were downstairs. I can't remember that any thing special happend, and after a little while we were on our way to the bus, that were opperated by Norbus.
Since our hotel was on the other end of the island we had to sepnd around 1:15 hrs on the islands sole "highway" that ran across the middel of the island like the spine on a fish, with the other roads beeing the "fish bones".
B 737-505 (msn:25791/ del 1992)
As usuall all good things have to come to an end, and that was the fact for this holliday also. After sepnding 14 days in the sun (if you don't count the last two days with haevy rain and thunder) it was time to head up north again. So the Norbus picked us up at our hotel, and drove us to the airport sometime around 18:30 i think.
As we arrived at the airport, the bus drove all the way to the busparking which caused us to walk quite a distance in order to reach the depature hall. But once inside i realised that it looked quite like Venice Marco Polo airport, except for beeing a little samller.
This means that the check in counters were palced in a long row with the security and shops in the other end. After clearing security, we came into, also this like VCE, the big "hall" with a McDonalds in the middle and shops along the walls. Quite modern, but boring. I belive this evning (saturday) was quite bussy since sevral planes left for the UK including BY 757, excell 737 and a A320 leased from the Canadian branch of airtours, which name i can't remember. There were also a Maersk 737 bound for CPH, and some Spanair MD8X's.
Our plane arrived on schedule fro OSL, and suddenly we were boarding the blue MB "linkbus" through gate 6. Also this time, one singel bus was enough. After a nice ride over the ramp we stopped by LN-BRV "Håkon Sverreson"
a -500 wearing the new Braathens colors.
Photo © Tamsin Zvereva
This time we were seated in 3 DEF that offered a good 33" (i belive) of legroom, and a nice view, if it hadn't been too dark, of the right engine. Serving the front cabin were Sverre and a another man, while Elizabeth and another lady were serving the back. The cockpit was occupied by to sweedish gents. under the comand of cpt. Hanson. (probably a leftover from the time when Braathens were involved in sweedish aviation some years ago). Departed to the north 5 mins early, and had a nice view of Mahon, menorcas capital, during climbout.
The flight went by without any problems, and the frindly crew served a nice,but still too samll, meal that included:
Ham and italian salad
Some kind of stroganof with green beens and rice
And offcourse the noramal rolls and coffe/tea
Also on this flight a flighdeck visit was denied, so I had to settle down with some books instead. The descent soon satred, and Romeo Victor was sinking slowly through the clear dark night. Around the time we were estabelished on final to rwy 19L a little sulky cpt. Hanson informed us that we would landing on time. (sometime around 01:10 am)
Uneventful landing and a short taxi to gate 47 where we arrived as one of the last flights that night.
On our way to the baggege belts i saw a Swiss A32X, two Jkk Md8x's, a SK A321 OY-KBB
Photo © Alexander Jonsson
KL B734 PH-BDS
Photo © Jacek Zlotnicki
LH B737 and a LH a320 D-AIQP "Suhl".
Photo © Michael Specht
No problems geting the bags, and only a few minutes later we, togheter with another couple, were the only peolpe on the shuttle to P4.
A holliday was over, and its time to conclude. Braathens is a friendly airline, that don't suprises you. You get what you expect, but its a little boring.
Hope this wasn't too boring.