So I thought I'd contribute with a report of my own, although it was a month ago now...I'll post a more recent report shortly. Anyway, feel free to critique me (nicely!) as this is my first effort:
Isle of Man - London Gatwick - Isle of Man
British Airways, BA 4321
dep. 06:55 arrived 08:07
Check in was during the moring rush at IOM. Nothing too bad - about 4 or 5 planes leaving at once, but only turboprops and a single 146. So there was only a 10 minute wait in an orderly queue before handing my ticket to the agent behind the check in desk. I was taking a day return, flying to London on the early morning flight and returning on the last flight of the day. So I was able to receive both boarding passes and was able to get my favourite window seat towards the back.
Very uneventful experience in the airport, they have a tiny lounge for BA silver/gold members but I never use it - it's a bit pokey. We boarded at 06.45 and it only took 10 minutes to become airborne after that. Was deafened by turboprops on the walk on the apron - a HS-748 delivering the newspapers was parking, and the RR Darts have a massive turbine squeal. A Dash 8-300 of Flybe was running one engine next to my aircraft, though it was not due out for a while yet.
The seating was acceptable as ever, but not of a particularly high standard. Fairly comfy leather covered seats with a standard 31" or 32" pitch. However the aircraft is configured 6 abreast (3-3 seating) which is a squeeze in a 146. If you're tall, you'll need to see an osteopath after using a window seat: you have to crick your neck, as otherwise your head would conflict with the curvature of the fuselage! I'm 5'10" and border line.
I live on the Isle of Man and travel off-Island fairly regularly, albeit far less now than I used to. So I'm really familiar with the aircraft which BA CitiExpress always use for IOM-LGW and IOM-LTN flights. It is a 146-200 registered G-MIMA and know colloquially as "Jemima" for obvious reasons.
Flight was smooth and uneventful.
Breakfast was served, which consisted of an OJ or water, together with a croissant and tea/coffee. Usually they serve a hot breakfast, with cold "all day deli" sandwiches in the daytime, but not today for some reason.
As ever, I "people watch" the descent to see how people react to the aerodynamic squeal the 146 makes when flaps are extended. Boring this morning; frequent fliers for the most part and well used to the sudden mournful sound.
Landed at LGW and taxiied to the gate at the BA terminal. Got an airbridge on this flight - as we do about half the time. I think the 146 is too small for some airbridges and therefore not guaranteed one all the time.
Journey back was more of the same and don't want to bore you!
Conclusion: friendly staff, good time keeping, reasonable price (£140) and OK food. Fairly uncomfortable seating arrangements. Solid 7 out of 10.
My only other criticism is that at IOM (and a lot of smaller regional airports) there is no E-ticket self service check in machine. When a lot of pax are taking cabin-baggage only day trips, they ought to provide such a machine.
My steed for the day:
Photo © Derek Pedley