**Hey, this is my first trip report, so forgive me if it is not up to scratch.**
Registration – Unknown
Departure Airport – LGW
Departure Time – 5:55 AM
Actual Departure Time – 6:20 AM
Arrival Airport - ACE
Arrival Time – 10:20 AM
Actual Arrival Time – 10:00 AM
Flight Time – 3hr 40min
Me and my family checked in at about a quarter to four, we had left enough time to allow for breakfast and to stretch our legs before our medium haul flight to the Canary Islands. At check in, I was very surprised that the Excel Agent didn’t ask us any security questions, I didn’t say anything and he gave us our boarding cards. We had been given Seats 2 G+H and 3 G+H. This was the furthest forward in the cabin I had ever sat.
We were the last people to board the Aircraft as they started with the back rows and made there way forward. Finally when they called the last remaining seat numbers there was an eruption of cheer from the remaining passengers. We boarded the aircraft at about ten to six. I now knew that we were going to miss our scheduled slot. As we boarded a steward directed us to our seats, (there want much directing involved though, as we were in the 2nd row! :P ) Through my previous experience s with Excel I knew they don’t offer much leg room, and I was very cramped. This year was no exception. But I can’t really complain as it was a Charter flight, and we only booked it 2 weeks ago.
The doors were closed at 6:05, and we started the long taxi to the runway at 6:10. We raced another Excel 767 which was also going to Arrecife. We pulled out in-front of it, so it must have been following us for the remainder of the taxi and flight. At 6:20 we finally got onto the runway. The captain powered up the engines to full power, we were finally on our way.
We thundered down the runway for what seemed to be a long time, but I suppose it was adequate for a wide body aircraft.
I was amazed how long it took for the flight crew to turn off the seat belt sign, it went out after five minutes – Must be a new record!
(Oh and I forgot to point out, this report will not contain the famous toilet test as Signapore_Air had carried out on one of his Many travels! :p)
I am a bit biased when it comes down to Airline food, as I dislike all of it! Breakfast consisted of a hash brown, sausage in some kind of sauce. This was served with a roll, a raspberry muffin and the usual small cartoon of Orange Juice. What cease to amaze me is that Airlines call the food all of these posh names that know one has ever heard of and its only something simple like Beans on Toast!
One thing I do like about Excel is that they have good entertainment for a Charter Airline. Last years flight to ACE
that I was on had Spiderman which had only just been released in the UK. This flights movie was an animation from the makers or Monsters Inc, called Finding Nemo. When I read the review in the in-flight magazine it said it didn’t come out till October 2003!
I think the planes entertainment system had broken as the film and programmes kept cutting out. The captain kept us well informed about our progress. He came over the PA frequently with latest weather reports and our distance from ACE
The duty free came around quite late, for once I didn’t purchase anything, as I had already bought a model on last years flight. They offered the usual duty free; Cigarettes, Alcohol and Perfume etc. After duty free, the crew came round with the drinks trolley one last time before we made our descent into ACE
. I bought a can of coke for £1.00; I thought ‘what a rip off’ as it was only one of the very very small cans.
After we had begun our decent we quickly passed through the very high cloud that was above the Atlantic Ocean. Usually the approach just takes us over the Atlantic but this time we flew over Lanzarote and then flew out to the ocean and turned for finals.
We made a very smooth landing on Runway 03; the usual line up of British Charter Flights could be seen at the gates of the airport. Once we vacated the runway we followed a ‘follow me’ car, which is standard practice in Lanzarote. It only took us a few minutes to get to our gate which was 04. As we were near the front we were the first ones off of the aircraft.
As this was my third experience with Excel, I knew what they were like so there wasn’t much surprises during the flight but I was pleased on getting so close to the front. I do recommend excel for British charter flights, but only short haul as it does get rather cramped. On the way back from ACE
I flew with Futura of which I really recommend.
*So, there it is my first trip report. Let me know what you think of it, Ill take a bit of constructive criticism :P **
[Edited 2003-08-31 13:31:05]