First time on a lost carrier and since I so far didnt have the pleasure (or misfortune) to enjoy the offerigs of Ryan,easy jet and others, I just aim to keep this report factual.
Fare paid was a very reasoanble £7 plus taxes (all told £37) BHX GLA RETURN booked through the airline website two weeks before departure. Booking was easy and email confo received without problems.This was a 3 night trip ut on 23rd Jun and back on 26Jun.
Unlike its low cost bertheren, flyBe does offer pre assigned seating plus they openly claim no overbooking hence no aparent need to check in at an ungodly hour.
However lack of connecting coach services plus a 6.30 Dep BHX GLA meant reached the BHX airport by 4am. Check in opened by 4,45 am whereby got checked in and was given 5A and 5B (seq no 1 and 2). Went throgh BHX security without hassles and then wasted quite a lot of time queing to pay for a coffee in the Costas outlet in the departure lounge. Apparently the "low cost efficieny concept- as wel as the prices" has not reached the above outlet by any means .Staff doest lok they wil be on top of any srecuritment list for airline check in staff postions anyway. Wandered around till the flight was called at 6.15 am. Had to wait in the bus for a few last minute pax to make it - mosstly all the coated/suited types - as well as for a elderly gentleman to be removed from the bus with a polite reminder that the EDI flight is from the next gate (but handled well without fuss - no shouting/anger etc). Finally was taken to the aircraft (Dash 400) at around 6.45 am and sat on it for about half an hour without any action - ewather being heavily overcast,- assuemd it was a weather delay as most other aircraft seemd to be on the ground as well. After half an hour captain came on on the PA anmnouncing that it is as an ATC slot restriced delay brought about in the first place by the original captain reporting sick and he habing to take up the flight at short notice. Well ,I iactually aprreciate such openness (better than the bland OPERATIONAL REASONS or the even more common SILENCE). Got airborne after an hour delay and captain again came on line apologising for keeping the seat belt sign on as there was heavy turbulence.
There was the trolley service and prices seemed reasonable. One of the two stwwardesses requested me to fill a inflight surrvey which I was glad to do. Looked at the inflight magazine and found that that it was one of the best as far as the contents are concerned - lots of article people would like to actually read.
Touched down at GLA one hour late but again the captain apoligised for the incoveneince. Luggage arrived very fast (but unlike in BHX there is a quite a walk to the baggage reclaim area)..
Return sector was a 10.35 departure and this as actually a flight with a AF code share. Because we reached the check in desk only at 9.15 there was a biggish que, eps sicne one of the two check in staff was away from her desk for sometime. But once she returned the que moved quickly and the staff definitely were pleasant (dont know who handles flyBE at GLA , but in BHX it is Aviance and the staff atleast for my flight was grumpy and indifferent - the only blemish I must say of an otherwise excellent experience). Flight was only 10 min delayed this time around and boarding was from both front and rear doors (no bussing).. Aircraft was again dash 400. Flight was pleasant as usual and mainly i guess due to the reasonable prices quite a lot of people were buying food/.drink even for a 1 hour flight. Bussed to the arrival hall from the aircraft at BHX and ad to wait a little longer than usual for the baggage to arrive but nobodyseemd to mind!
Overall except for the grumpy Aviance check in at BHX it was a wondeful experience, Will I fly the airline again? ,Ofcourse I will and not just for the low fares but for the service as well. Sharpened elbows and pushing and shoving is not my cup of tea (I am a little too old for that sort of thrills) and pre- assigned seating still means I can continue to be civil while enjyiung high class low cost service.
Well done flyBe.