i`m posting this trip in response to the recent glut of ryanair reports, thought it would be nice for a change!
wed 25th June
Well this flight was a chance for me to smaple bmi baby and compare it to easyjet. flying from manchester airport is great as it is only 10minutes away from my house, and i`d do anything to aviod flying from liverpool! amazingly this is my 12th flight this year, more than my friends have taken in their entire lives! i`m so lucky to go to uni on mainland britain, meaning i can only fly or take the ferry home to belfast, while having just got back from Barcelona with easyjet would give me a chance to compare them. so anyway the flight was booked in april, costing an amazing £19 return, it think thats about 22euroes, i`ve also booked a few other baby flights, costing £27, while a weekend at the v musical festival is costing me £60 to fly yo eastmidlands, not bad considering the other flights where so cheap, while easyjet was charging the same to liverpool anyway.
I arrived at manchester airport at 1 for the 2.40 flight, there was plenty of bmi baby signage around terminal 1, its presence was definatly felt, while substantial product defination from mainline bmi should avoid the problems experienced by continental lite for example in regards to customer confusion. the checkin que was fairly long, about 20 people, with only one desk open. the neighbouring desks where occupied by swiss, and completly abandoned yet still opne, complete with a pissed off business man loking to check in. a second desk was opened, still with swiss flight being show. checkin was fast and friendly with the regualar bmi staff. i went to the car park roof to escape the crowds in the airport, manchester is great for watching planes, with the viewing park and pub especialy good, they also have the discontinued avro rjx aircraft sitting there for people to look at. so i made my way to departures at 1.40, the que was ridiculously long, summer season must be here. so they pulled any belfast and dublin passengers to a specialy channel, of course we are all `high security` risks and need special rude treatment. my photograph was taken, the registered to a bar code on my bording card, quite a clever system. them i was rudly directed to a different security desk with no one on it, so i rejoined the rest of `the irish` at the `special` security check. once i finaly cleared that i headed to start bucks and sat watching our aircraft at the gate, i must say, bmi babys colours look great close up. i wondered to gate 4, which is really just a long corridor with some seats, the pilots and 3 flight crew walked past and borded through the gate, i`d never seen that done before. the bmi staff, police and avaince staff all gathered as bording commenced. i must say, the turn arounds certainly are not a tight with baby, then i supose the schedualing dosnt require that. anyway they borded in 2 groups, front stairs seated up to row 11, and everyone else through the back. people qued in 2 lines for 2 gates agents, who again directed us to either end of the aircraft. i was seated in 10f so boarded through the front. i was greated by a warm smile and hello, the staff seemed happy and energetic, much like bmi. the aircraft was configered much like easyjets 737`s, with no front galley. while the seats where the old early 90`s bmi blue seats, the ones they used before installing the flexi business class seats. accordingly the interior was dark and very dingy, i was really surprised, while legroom was definatly tighter than easyjet. anyway boding was done realy fast, despite the full load, which is good for bmi. we taxied to the old runway, i dont understand the point in having 2 runways, then only using 1, we had to wait for a PIA and Cargolux 747`s to land, while an air china cargo 747, bmi and british airways erj-145`s departed before us. takeoff was quite long, with much vibration. the flight was uneventfull with the crew offering people a full range of drinks and snacks for sale, considerably cheaper than easyjet who charged £1.50 for a small can of coke! the flight was clear all the way, the detail flying over the isle of man was incredible, we flew over belfast lough and cave hill while on approach. landing wasstandard, although the cabin rattled and shook like an airbus, just kidding, but it sounded like it was about to fall apart! we arrived at the gate ontime at 3.40, exactly ontime. again the head fa was curtious and pleasant on the way out. much like the way of low cost airline airports, belfast was deserted, yet within seconds, a gatwick and newcastle flight landed right after us.
overall i though bmi baby did exactly what they are supposed to, while easyjets aircraft are much nicer to fly in, the service in comparable on both, however bmi`s ground staff are much better that the liverpool easyjet staff who are terrible, while the departure gates are a joke in liverpool. so basicly i will choose bmi baby because they operate from manchester, which is much better and more convienient that liverpool, and i feel like i`m supporting bmi while they go through some tough times.