Departure: 08:55 a.m. Actual Departure: 08:55 a.m.
Arrival: 09:55a.m. Actual Arrival: 09:45 a.m.
Flight Number: BD584
Photo © Liesbet Brouckaert
Photo © Stephen Fox
I left my house at 05:30 a.m. for the very cheap (£13.99) coach journey with National Express. Route SH032 (05:50 a.m. Southampton-Heathrow route). I arrived at LHR T1 at about 07:35 a.m. Made my way straight to check-in zone A and my god it was packed!
They started calling out flights that were due to depart with in the next 40-60 minutes. I got called at 8:10 a.m. luckily for me I cut out a huge amount of the queue! I was assigned seat number 9B which I am not happy about! Sorry guys, no in-flight pics this time
I proceeded through security and they looked a right happy bunch, not! This was my first visit to Heathrow to fly and it wasn’t a bad airport. Lots of walking but it was fun.
After the security screening I made my way to gate 79 which is a very nice area indeed. There were a few widescreen TV’s playing BBC News 24 which was quite interesting. As I went to sit down to watch some of it, they started calling out the rows on our flight! No big deal I suppose!
Well my row got called out so I gave my ticket to the gate agent and proceeded down the tunnel to our baby! My first impressions of the A321 were very positive. It was quite spacious and felt really comfortable indeed. So I looked down at the nicely lit numbers on the overhead panel then it dawned on me that I had been given the emergency exit row. This wasn’t bad in some respects, more on that later on!
I was seated next to a middle aged woman who sounded Scottish and was sat there very tired looking. She was connecting from Canada visiting a niece who is very ill apparently. Best wishes to her.
I joked about the leg room and “nice view” we had just before we were joined by a man of about 50 years old I would say. He sat down next to me and began to chat with me which was very nice indeed. He was a University lecturer and this was his 1st flight of 3 for that day. His wife didn’t want him driving from Oxford to Manchester so he got on the plane. He was flying Manchester-Washington Dulles-Pittsburgh. Also a Star Alliance frequent flyer with a stack of miles the lucky man!
I took a shot at MAN of his plane departing to IAD!
Photo © Justin Wood
We finally pushed back at about 08:55 a.m. During the taxi to 27L I noticed that the path wasn’t exactly smooth This is where the A321 demonstrated to me that it was noisy and creaky.
We turned for departure and stopped. The engines roared and we began take off roll. You could hear the engines like as if you were on the ground! Impressive, but too loud really! In comparison to the 734 this was a very sluggish plane, but it still went
We rotated and I noticed that the emergency exit door kept creaking! The usual popping of ears occurred and I remained chatting to the guy next to me. Again I had the floating sensation which is great fun!
Gear up….. And we banked hard to the right. The engines lowered their tone and then we levelled off. Then the seat belt sign came off and the F/A’s rushed around preparing breakfast for everyone I opted for the famous bacon Panini which was quite good! See image:
By the time I had ate that they came around with the drinks, I had a cup of Orange juice. The captain came on the P/A and told us about the conditions in MAN, it sounded like I was in for a good day up there! He then informed us that there was about 15 minutes to landing. I buckled up and joined in the conversation between the guy and girl next to me.
Before I knew it we were descending and on finals. The landing was really smooth but we braked real hard! Everyone looked at one another as if to say “What the hell?!”
We taxied to our gate and got off the plane! A nice flight, just shame I had no window view. Well done to all BMI staff involved on that flight
It was now my turn to meet my good friend Alex (myt332) for some photography/spotting.
Whilst on my way to meet him, I saw Richard Keys the Sky Sports football presenter/commentator in Terminal 3!
Saturday 6th March 2004
Departure: 18:55 p.m. Actual Departure: 19:00 a.m.
Arrival: 20:00 p.m. Actual Arrival: 19:55 a.m.
Flight Number: BD593
Photo © Willem Honders
Photo © Sascha Kamrau
After one day of photography I was pretty damn tired! I checked in 1 hour and 20 minutes before hand and grabbed some healthy Burger King. I was assigned seat 25D. Me and Alex said goodbye at about 5:10 p.m. and I made my way to departures.
No queues whatsoever at this time so it was straight through. I proceeded through security and these guys looked happier than the ones at LHR! By now the time was about 5:20 p.m. I had about 1 hour and 25 minutes till my flight to wait.
I made my way to gate 18 and sat down. It was like a ghost town! Not a sole to be seen. I slouched back and drifted to sleep for about 10 minutes. I had a headache now I used the power of my mind to over-come this
A few more people appeared and I thought that this flight was looking pretty empty! Until a rush if like 50 people arrived. I noticed one guy asleep lying across 5 seats and there were people wanting to sit down which made me kind of sick.
So I was sat there, and I noticed how dark it got. I looked down at my watch and it was 6:35 p.m. and our plane wasn’t here yet! Then before I thought more about it.. There came G-MIDR. I got out my trusty DV3 camcorder and recorded her pulling up to the gate. Here are some shots taken from the video:
G-MIDR Approaching Gate 18
A herd of people dis-embarked this lovely looking aircraft. I sat in awe, staring into space when all of a sudden 3 flight attendants arrived on the scene. Now this gate was looking really full! They then announced on the P/A that we would be boarding in 5 minutes. This brought a smile to my face! I was on my way home
We were called for boarding at Gate 18 and I was one of the first to form a queue. In fact I think I was the second person on board! I was greeted with a smile by one of the male F/A’s and I see they had the cockpit door open.. My jaw hit the ground, it looked great all lit up and the guys up front working preparing themselves for this flight!
I made my way down to 25D and was a little hesitant at the seat I got, but the lady on the desk said it was a busy flight so really I didn’t have a choice I sat down, and this plane felt really similar to the A321. I think the seats were a little bit more comfy though. I then saw two guys approaching looking down at me, they were seated in 25E and 25F. I got up and made room for them to pass, then sat back down.
We finally pushed back at 7:05 p.m. and the screens flipped down in front of me. This was pretty good. I watched, and kind of looked around the cabin. I had seen the safety demo earlier that day, but I was content enough
We taxied towards 24R then lined up. There was a pause, and then we hit full power! “Wow, this is more like it” were the words that I said to myself. It moves nearly was well as the 737-400 did! After about 10-20 seconds of pounding away we were airborne and made a turn to the left.
I sat back in my seat and nodded off yet again. I then awoke to see the F/A’s running around handing out sandwiches and drinks. This was perfect timing as I felt some food with cure this headache. Guess what!?!? It did! I had a Chicken, Mayo and sweet corn sandwich with a mini can of Pepsi with ice. I was in heaven!
The captain came on the P/A and said that there was 15 minutes to landing and that they had rain in London today and that it was about 7 degrees outside. I sat back and just stared into space again. It was a taxing day and I was pretty tired But all worth it of course!
We made some turns over the City of London. I couldn’t help but look out the window on my right. I saw Tower Bridge and it was spectacular! We were then on finals for 27’s.
It was a nice landing up until I got the runway ground in my sights… We made a very very sharp turn to the left and the ground appeared very very rapidly! I thought we were going to make a ground strike! Everyone looked at each other in shock, I swore as this happened!
The captain came on the P/A and announced that it was an interesting landing. He wished us all a safe journey home and then said good bye. I was relieved to be home (nearly) as I was pretty tired. We dis-embarked and I made my way towards the central bus station to get my coach home to Southampton.
Overall BMI provided excellent service and was very comparable to BA! Very friendly cabin crew on BMI where as BA seemed a bit snobby. The food was great on both airlines!
I look forward till my next flight with who ever it may be. I apologise for the lack of in flight shots, maybe if I had a window seat then I would probably have got some
I look forward to your responses and questions,
[Edited 2004-03-11 21:11:01]