Topic Author
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2003 5:19 am

BA Domestic

Thu Jun 19, 2003 6:50 am

Hi folks. I only signed up today, but really enjoyed reading some of the reports.

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:

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Photo © Derek Pedley

Posts: 2099
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2003 8:45 pm

RE: BA Domestic

Thu Jun 19, 2003 7:21 am

A good report, I would never have guessed it was your first if you hadn't have said. Just wondered if you were able to approximate how many people were on each flight and whether loads seem to be holding up since the route was moved from LHR to LGW?
I thought £140 sounded a bit pricey until I checked a few random dates for day returns on IOM-LCY with FlyBe: a whopping £260! So much for being low fares! BA's tariff sounds very reasonable in comparison. I suppose you do end up paying a price when you are flying from an airport such as IOM which many larger carriers consider "off the beaten track". Unfair for those who need to use these type of airports though.
Like a fine wine, one gets better with age.
Posts: 4127
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2002 8:55 pm

RE: BA Domestic

Thu Jun 19, 2003 8:06 am

Great report... How was the inflight service? As you know... I just completed an excellent round trip with them to Australia. Really surpassed my expectations!
Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
Topic Author
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2003 5:19 am

RE: BA Domestic

Thu Jun 19, 2003 4:48 pm

If you book early enough the tickets are arounf £95 or so, rising to £250 if you book later. In the old days, the route used to be IOM-LHR as Capital146 said. Those flights always cost a standard £300 at nearly all times.

So the move to LGW has had a big benefit for prices and the aircraft are fairly full at morning and weekends - I'd hazard a guess at 80% or more. In a standard 2-3 seating layout, they'd be about 100% I'd say. The afternoon flights are less full, ranging from 50-60% in my experience.

I am flying IOM-LCY with Flybe next month; I'll post a comparision.

Do you think the new short runway at LHR will see flights to places like IOM and JER return to Heathrow?
Posts: 1038
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2001 2:13 am

RE: BA Domestic

Thu Jun 19, 2003 11:28 pm

Nice report.

I'm hoping to fly to the Isle of Man in July from Liverpool. I've got two options, fly with BA again or with EuroManx. Have you flown with EuroManx? If so, what's your opinion of them?
Topic Author
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2003 5:19 am

RE: BA Domestic

Fri Jun 20, 2003 2:10 am

I'd go for EuroManx if possible.

Both are good, but EuroManx is a nicer, more friendly experience. Their Beech 1900D's are fun - last time I flew with them, they left the curtain open so I could see into the cockpit. Nearly as good as a ride in the jumpseat!

As a by the by: In January, I found myself stuck in Liverpool. I had come over on the ferry with my fiancee, but she got seasick and insisted we fly back! I went to the BA counter at LPL (out of sheer habit I suppose). The nice lady there suggested I might get a better deal next door at EuroManx! Amazing, really. So...I did just that.

I got a nice feeling flying with them.
Posts: 1038
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2001 2:13 am

RE: BA Domestic

Fri Jun 20, 2003 6:00 am

Thanks Mongu, I guess it would be more fun going on a new aircraft than a boring old ATP again!
Posts: 3686
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 1999 4:51 am

RE: BA Domestic

Fri Jun 20, 2003 8:22 pm

Great to read.
What do you mean, boring ATP  Wink/being sarcastic ? I especially flew BHX-IOM in january to be able to finally log an ATP. The flight was quite cheap, 10 pounds o/w, with taxes and fees I guess about 60 pounds r/t. You will miss them, they might be totally out of passenger services within 5 years. BA service remains great; hot breakfast on our short AMS-BHX morning flight and nice sandwiches the rest of the day.
nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
Posts: 1038
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2001 2:13 am

RE: BA Domestic

Sat Jun 21, 2003 12:26 am

MEA707, I didn't actually mean I hate them  Big grin. In fact, I'm quite fond of them. It's just that I've travelled on them very often, and I'd love to try the Beech1900.

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