11th August 2003
Photo © MIKE MOORES
Photo © Toby Willis
We arrived at BHX at 8:30 to check-in for our 10:15 flight to Malaga. VZ has 2 flights daily to Malaga from BHX and we were the first one of the day on the first MyTravelLite aircraft, G-JOEM. We went into departures and saw the dreaded word 'delayed'. Delayed until 12:45 (reasons a bit further down).
There was no desk to check-in at, but eventually we checked in at desk #3. We went upstairs and straight through security where I wasn't searched for a change, then through to the (boring) departure lounge. I say boring because it's basically a load of seats surrounded on all 4 sides by shops etc. I had a bite to eat then went to the toilers... smelt lovely
On the screens, all VZ flights were delayed. Other airlines had delays too, and some flights were cancelled, luckily, not ours. Finally after 4 hours doing not much, it was time to go through door C to gate 57. Chaos is the word that describes that gate. After we all 180 ish people got down a small corridor to the gate, there weren't enough seats and people were everywhere. The staff didn't seem nice at all - one man who was standing looking out of the window started walking towards the gate itself and was quickly shouted at and was told to 'stand still' by the woman who was just standing doing nothing really.
After 15 minutes of standing around there was an announcement for disabled people, people with children, and people with boarding cards 1-60 to go to the front. Is the woman who said that a bit thick? She's just got all these people to stand together by the gate, now she wants to get certain people to the front. I didn't think it would happen... and it didn't work at all. All the children did get to sit with their parents though, and there were no complaints.
Photo © Stuart Lawson
Photo © Shaun Grist
I sat in 21A or 26A.. one of the two Anyway, I was just behind the wing and I was quite happy with my seat No problems with low cost yet except the delay.
Announcements were made a few times asking people to go to the back of the aircraft where there were plenty of seats, unlike the front. Once we were all on, we got an explanation from the captain. He stood at the front with his telephone where everybody could see him.
He started by apologising for the delay, and then said that there was a delay because there weren't enough pilots to fly for the airline. He said that there was no pilot for this flight, and he was called at 8:00, which is the earliest he can be called into work on a day off. Luckily for us, he came to work to fly us to Malaga.
He said VZ employs the smallest number of crew it can to keep costs down. He then told us not to bother complaining about the delay and said we should forget about it and enjoy the holiday. He was a very nice man - old, big white bushy moustache and, well, a nice man! Before his explanation he went down the aircraft saying hello to everyone before walking back to the front, whistling as he went.
As the TV's don't get used with VZ, we had a manual demonstration, which went well; only one thing went wrong, the sound went when we were being told how to do the seat belts. They got the sound back so we all knew how to take them off
We eventually took off at around 13:10. We had in the seat pocket issue #4 of 'lite reading’, which really was lite. 2 sheets of A3 card folded and stapled. It contained information on all the destinations and the flight schedule for all flights. On the back there were prices for food etc. Of course, David Dickinson was on almost every page I think
I didn't buy any food or drinks, but from what I saw the staff seemed helpful and generally pleasant. They were all young - looking at them I don't think any were originally with MyTravel, they seemed too young. There were 3 in total.
We landed at AGP at 16:55 local time. There was applause at the back! Where there were loads of planes around. The flight back to BHX (VZ7012) was obviously delayed; they should have left AGP at 15:45. Went through passport control, after what seemed like going through endless corridors, where as usual they didn't check the passports, then went to get the bags from carousel #22 (again, I'm not sure if it was this one ). Toilets in there were disgusting. If I describe them then this thread will probably be deleted It really was that bad.
And that was my first experience with MyTravelLite. And after flying with them I know that MyTravelLite is all one word and my capital letters are in the right places
Then after a week of drinking San Miguel, having a car crash and doing other stuff, it was back to AGP.
18th August 2003
Photo © Manuel Marín
Photo © Francisco José Jurado Ariza
That week went fast.
This time there were no delays!! We went to check-in desk 233 at 1:15 for out 14:45 flight in the massive check-in area - absolutely huge compared to the cramped BHX! Went through security and it was still huge! Very spacious. Went upstairs to do some shopping, then headed to gate C 50 at 14:30 where everyone was gathering. Boarding wasn't as bad as at BHX, there were plenty of seats and it was nice and spacious. Everyone got on with no problems. This time we were on G-TICL, a MyTravel aircraft, not a MyTravelLite one.
Photo © Simon Boothroyd
Which used to be:
Photo © Jordi Grife - IBERIAN SPOTTERS
Photo © Erik Frikke
We watched the demo as before, took off, as before, but there was one difference on this flight - because it was a MyTravel aircraft, the radio worked! So there was some entertainment. The captain on this flight wasn't really friendly, we only heard him, didn't see him. There were 4 cabin crew this time, one male, three female. The (camp) male one was in charge and constantly had a smile on his face. We took off at 14:55, just a little later than planned, and headed out over the sea before turning back and going over land.
I was in 13A. Lucky for some. Lucky for me! It was a seat by the exits in the middle - extra legroom! It was like being in first class, I've never had that much room in my life! I was told just before take off to read the instructions about how to open the door and throw it outside, which seems simple when you've read it. Then one of the cabin crew took my bag, which was under the seat in front and put it above me.. probably because there's more chance of us crashing while taking off and it would get in the way of the exit. I was allowed it back there when the seat belt sign was off
I went to the toilet at the front halfway through the flight. There was a queue so I stood in the dark corner behind the MyTravel sign by the front door where we all came in and watched 2 of the cabin crew relax the muscles in their faces for the first time in the flight - they're constantly smiling!! Then it was my turn for the toilet. It smelt. It had something in it.. you can guess what, and it wouldn't flush down the toilet. Oh well. I got out once I'd done and had to wait again in the dark corner while they did they tried desperately to sell duty free stuff to the first few rows. Then they moved back so I could get past. How nice
The captain then said we were going to be beginning our descent shortly and he said we were flying directly over LHR. A few minutes later a plane came out of the clouds and came straight under us - I saw it out of the window, it seemed very close, but I couldn't make out what it was because of the speed. Nobody else seemed to notice it or someone would have made a fuss
We landed at 16:35 local time and had to go outside down some steps towards the gate and then up into the building where we got our passports checked then headed to carousel #6 where we were sharing the carousel with a BE/AF flight from Guernsey. The belt started. Then stopped. Then started. Then stopped. Then started. Finally we got our bags at around 17:10 and left.
A friend took a few pictures out of the window, which I don't think will be brilliant quality. I'll upload them to the net when he's emailed them to be and post the links here.
That was my first time going low cost. It was fine except the delays. MyTravelLite don't have a huge reputation unlike easyJet and others, but they're as good as I expected them to be, and I would consider flying with them again if the price was right. Both flights were full with only about 4 empty seats on each one, so it doesn't seem as though planes are leaving empty.
Feel free to ask any questions