On a course through work was required to make the first of 2 day trips to Edinburgh (had the choice of Birmingham but seems less hassle to fly as I live less than a mile from Manchester airport) So it was up at 5.30 am for the BD381 at 07.00. left home at 06.05 with my work colleague and headed for the self service check in machines a new feature at Manchester (always found BMI
check in a pain at MAN
as so many people traveling onwards from LHR
) the machine was negotiated in seconds stuck my BMI
diamond card in and chose where we wanted to sit 17D&F. Then gave me the option of checking in for the return but suprisingly never gave me a seat option just gave me 11A & 17A even though we were number 9 & 10 to check in. Long queue at security but this went down quickly even had plenty of time to go into the BMI
lounge for a couple of coffees before boarding on time. Complimentary newspapers available for all passengers sat down quickly and noticed the aircraft was full. Seemed to be some delay on the ground but no bother. Noticed they were landing on 24L initially at MAN
query the reason why? Departure was uneventful following a speedy taxi to 24L rolled out right allowing good views of a very full looking Manchester. Service was speedy consisting of Danish Pastry and coffee followed by warm hand towels. Flying time was around 40 minutes and we were soon commencing our descent things became quite bumpy due to the wind but we were quickly on the ground and speedily of the aircraft into the terminal and into a taxi to the centre of town in good time for 9am.
Following a good day it was time for the return back in a taxi about an hour and a half before our 18.25 departure.
Again lengthily queues at security but soon through and following a bit of shopping into the lounge for a couple of beers while waiting. Flight was called and quickly boarded the plane. In no time were heading for the the runway tried a bit of spotting but missed 2 bizz jets departing ahead of us only things of interest were DUO crj (dreadful cooler scheme) EZY A319, UPS & DHL B757s, Globespan & Channel express B737s and a couple of Scott Air DO328s. Taking off before us was BA
Dash 8 G-NSVB also Bound for MAN
. Take off from 06 was uneventful into the sunset. The EMB145 quickly reached cruising altitude of 20,000 feet for the 40 minute flight to Manchester. I have flown on 11 Embraers now and even sat by the engine its amazing how quiet they are, they give you a real feeling of flying. Service consisted of a drinks from the bar and nuts. Following a little turbulence it was time to descend out of the clouds over Stockport for an on time landing at Manchester.To my surprise I noticed DASH 8 G-NSVB shutting down engines on the BA
terminal, I never knew DASH 8's were that fast? Quickly we were through the terminal and home. Once again found BMI
friendly and efficient.
I find it hard to believe that the return fare on full flights out first thing Monday morning and back last thing at night was only £55.40 each and of that £27.40 is tax and airport charges (taxi's to and from Edinburgh cost us £34!) . Add to that use of the lounges for 2 for having a silver card and you wonder where are BMI
making their money. I will also gain an extra 3000 BMI
miles for enrolling my colleague into Diamond Club. And they wonder why the trains are empty!
Am doing the same journey in 2 weeks but the BMI
fares were £200 so am flying BA
£58 return so can compare.