I decided that, as my Grandad hadn’t ever really flown properly (except on a Tiger Moth 55 years ago LOL), I decided to introduce him to the wonder that is flying. So being on no wage I offered an EasyJet flight. He ended up paying though . £30.00 return including taxes LGW-AMS-LGW sounded a really good deal. We booked two weeks before hand.
A couple of weeks later on a nice day I wondered my way through my favourite airport to find him. There he was at the train station. I asked him if he was nervous and he said “no” and we went to the EZY check in desks in zone K at around 09.15.
We got their and there was a small queue. We then went to the desk and were asked the usual questions about packing our own bags. Then we got REAL, yes REAL boarding passes and headed through to the departure lounge.
Funnily enough I hadn’t been out of South Terminal since 2000 and didn’t no where a thing was. Luckily I found my way around and I found me and my grandad a nice spot in a café to check out the movements at SOUTH that morning. There was EZY and FR (G-EZYS and EI-CNX), a CO 762 and many many others.
I knew what equipment I was getting already thanks to my Dad who works at the airport. G-EZJO and G-EZJK both -700’s would be my aircraft.
Our flight showed “Proceed to gate 101”, so we went to the loo and headed for one of LGW’s smaller gates. I had never been on one of these smaller gates before. It was only a short walk and we soon reached the gate.
Since we left the café, a number of EZY flights had come in and sure enough G-EZJO stood proud in the winter sunshine gleaming.
There was a little seating area by this gate but nothing else, this gate was meant for those on short flights, no need for anything else really. The doors were soon opened and they called the flight in boarding card order. Priority, then 1-30, then 1-60 and so on. I had boarding card number 54 so was in the second bunch (there were no priority passengers, although I DID try to convince my Grandad to use his knee as an excuse).
As I passed through the doors to head towards the jetbridge I heard a voice I recognised and turned around to see my Dad. He walked with me and my Grandad right up to the door where we said our goodbyes. My Grandad now said he was “apprehensive” but not nervous .
EasyJet Airline EZY 5103
Boeing 737-73V G-EZJO
Departure time (Scheduled/ Actual): 10.55/ 11.08 (GMT)
Photo © Spencer Wilmot
Photo © DerekPedley - AirTeamImages
(One of the above is shot just after I got off of the aircraft.)
I boarded “J O” or J-Lo as I’ve always called her and found the perfect seats. Seat 6F, on the right hand of the aircraft, which meant I would see my house as we were on 08R departures, a window seat, and right next to the engine, great for photos.
My Grandad sat next to me in 6E where he made himself comfortable for his first ever “proper” flight. I looked around the cabin and noticed that the flight was 100% full. A middle-aged business man sat next to my Grandad. He was very nice and showed my Grandad where we were at different stages of the flight.
We pushed back at 10.52 and were told that the flight would last roughly 55 minutes and that we would cruise at 23,000 feet (FL230). I found that the seat was surprisingly comfy and the legroom was great, yes I said it, great.
We taxied out for a 08R departure which I hadn’t done since 1997!!!!!!!! Whilst taxiing we passed a TAP A310, which I was surprised about and D-ABOK a Thomas Cook Condor Boeing 757-300 on a football charter amongst others. Also we passed this strange aircraft, a cross between a B747 and DC-10. Does anyone know what it is and why it’s there??? My guess is that it’s for fire training.
We waited for a 737 to land and G-EZJN, doing flight 703 to PH), United Kingdom">EDI, which I shall be doing in august, to take off before we lined up on 08R, my favourite runway for takeoffs. The engines roared into life for a rolling takeoff and I was surprised at just how noisy the 737 new generation aircraft were. OK so I was next to the engine, but on the way back I was much further back and it was just as noisy if not louder.
We blasted into the air at 8 minutes past 11, nearly 15 minutes behind schedule. Oh well the captain said we would make it up, and we did easily.
Over the railway lines my Grandad often travelled on, the trains looking like that of a toy set, the M23 with it’s little matchbox cars. I have never seen him look so amazed. We saw my village and just about made out my house , and my sisters school where she was having break. I love 08R takeoff’s they’re so much better, and 26L landings, for obvious reasons (even better view of my house lol).
We were soon at cruise level and my Grandad commented on just how beautiful everything looked. The FA’s came around with snacks and drinks. He bought himself a coffee and me a chicken salad sandwitch which was reeeeeeeeally nice, for £4.50.
The cabin crew were VERY friendly and were professional and efficient. They didn’t stop smiling tehe. Our cabin crew consisted of 2 men and a woman and we had an Irish pilot.
Before I knew it we had started descending and were flying back into the clouds that lay peacefully over Holland. We made quite a few turns before running alongside a motorway on approach.
We touched down smoothly and my god the thrust reverse was loud. Woooooh, what a noise. As we slowed I noticed that we had landed on the new runway!!! I saw a line of Martinair Cargo aircraft and the lonely G-BDXO. Also 2 KLM Boeing 777s!!! PH-BQD was one of them but I couldn’t manage to get the reg on the other one.
We pulled up next to a Skynet Boeing 737 (EI-CIX) which sat next to EI-CVC, an Aer Lingus A320. To our right was a Tunisair A320 TS-IMH. Everyone de-boarded very quickly but as usual I was slow and asked a member of the cabin crew if it was possible to visit the cockpit. She said yes so just 3 days after the A321 I was now standing in a 737NG cockpit. The Irish guy was really nice and the co-pilot too. He turned all the lights on for the second photo. Here they are:
I thanked the crew, stepped off the plane and walked onto the jetbridge where my Grandad was waiting and we walked down the bridge and into Schiphol Airport.
EasyJet Airline EZY 5112
Boeing 737-73V G-EZJK
Departure time (Scheduled/ Actual): 09.55/ 09.55 (Local Time)
Arrival time (Scheduled/ Actual): 09.45/ 10.00 (GMT)
Photo © Andrew Hunt - AirTeamImages
Photo © Nacho Piédrola - IBERIAN SPOTTERS
A nice night flight back. I find these sometimes boring but sometimes quite relaxing. My Grandad would experience both a night and day flight.
We arrived at the terminal over 2 hours before our day in Amsterdam. This time I got boarding card number 13. Oooooooooooooooh 13 lol. That didn’t bother me, all I cared about was being one of the first on the aircraft that evening.
I wondered around departures going up and down all the piers. I was just getting the reg of a KLM 763 when I came across Spencer Wilmot and good old Ryan Hemmings, who had been shooting for the day. Check out their pics they’re fantasic. Great Guys. Got chatting to them for ages and it really passed the time. They were going to Luton, us to Gatwick so we parted and me and Grandad headed for our gate.
The gate was nice. It was almost in its own sort of office and it had big plasma screens with, yep you guessed it, BBC News 24. There were a lot of businessmen and women again, and we noticed the guy that had set next to us on the way out. The minute they called 1-30 we shot up. There were no priority people again so we were one of the first in line.
The gate was opened and we walked down the jetbridge and onto J K, or J K rowlng as I always call her. How weird am I lol. Anyway back to the subject tehe. I wanted to get behind the wing and on the left this time.
This was in case we were on a 26L ladning and I could look out for my little village lit up and because I could show my Grandad what was going on with the flaps. I sat in 19A and he sat in 19B.
We pushed back after a runway change and the engines were started. The manual safety demonstration was shown once again and we taxied out to one of AMS many runways.
This time it was a full rolling takeoff. The front wheel had barely got onto the runway when full thrust was applied. We swung round really, really fast and plummeted down the runway. Didn’t quite match up to the LGW takeoff, but it was just as noisy.
We were lifted into the night air at 09.55, bang on time, well done EasyJet!!! This time we reached a cruising altitude of 24,000 feet, (FL240).the flight was only about 80% full this time and I was surprised to find that no trolley was taken. Instead if you wanted something you called the FA’s and they would bring everything you wanted to you. I thought that this was a nice touch.
We started our descent at 09.17 (GMT) and were soon approaching a wet and damp England. It was at this point that I noticed just how noisy the flaps/slats really are on the 737s. They’re really noisy compared with most other airliners around now like the A32X series.
We floated above the 08R threshold where just 10 hours earlier we sat in J- LO waiting to depart. We touched down lightly once again at 9.45 (GMT), a whole 15 minutes early!!! We taxied onto one of the more “into” the airport bigger stands that handles the AA flights in the mornings and the charters in the afternoon. The pier my Dad worked on until he changed to the smaller one the other day with the EZY ops.
It was now quite obvious that our aircraft was night stopping. The pilot was out of his cockpit and joining in with the cabin crew saying their goodbyes. He was great. He made numerous jokey comments throughout the flight.
I didn’t bother asking for another cockpit visit as I had already had one earlier and I headed straight out down the tunnel with my Grandad. “Did you enjoy it” I said. “Yeah, it was great” he said. We smiled and made our way through to passport control.
Overall it was a great trip well worth doing. EasyJet hugely impressed me and I am pleased to be flying again with them another 4 times this year. Their crew are some of the best around. Their punctuality is great. Well done EasyJet for making my trip great.
Thanks for reading, comments are welcome
[Edited 2004-03-14 00:17:15]
[Edited 2004-03-14 00:19:53]