Sunday 14th March 2004
Departure Airport/Time: LGW - 08:50
Arrival Airport/Time: MAN - 09:50
Flight Number: BA2904
Flight Duration: 1 hour
Aircraft: Boeing 737-436 G-DOCR (U.S.A)
Photo © Konstantin von Wedelstaedt
I woke up at about 6:30am and me and my dad made our way to LGW for our flight to Manchester.
We parked the car in the Long Stay car park as it was only £6.50 for the day which is better than the Short Stay as they wanted £17.50! We then got the bus to Gatwick's North Terminal.
We then checked in at the desk as the machines wouldn't let us do it for some reason. We waited in the short qeue for about 5 minutes and then checked in. We were also asked if we wanted to check in for our return flight so we did.
We made our way through security which took about 20 minutes and then browsed our way through the shops until our flight was called. Our flight was then called to gate 55 so we made our way to the gate. Our boarding passes were checked once again and we made our way straight to the aircraft through the tunnel. I was pleased to see that our 734 had the U.S.A tail as I wanted to fly on one before they were all gone.
We were welcomed by two flight attendants and our boarding passes were checked once again. I got given seat 7A and my dad got seat 7B. I had a very good view of the aircraft's engine. We also had crew from other airlines that must have been flying to MAN to attend other flights. (Delta, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic.)
The flight was 100% full which made me suprised. Before we knew it, we were pushing back and the flight attendants were performing their manual safety demonstration.
I was very pleased as I really liked the leather seats although they were a bit tatty but that didnt matter. I also liked the idea of the coat hook on the seat infront of you.
Photo © Sokol Ymeri
We were then making our way to the runway for take off. Before we knew it we were picking up speed down the runway and then took-off. I was so shocked as I didn't know that that these 734's were so powerful! I have flown on Easyjets 733's but these were no where near as powerful and exciting as BA's 734's!
We were then crusing in the air. The flight attendants then quickly served breakfast which consisted of Scrambled egg, 2x Bacon, Sausage, Mushrooms and half a Tomato. We also got a bread roll with Jam and a choice of Tea, Coffee or Orange Juice. But then we had a problem, what do we eat it with? The flight attendant then came on the P/A and said that the catering company had loaded on tea/coffee spoons insted of a knife and a fork so we had to make do with a rather small spoon! This didn't bother me too much but it was a bit hard to cut open a bread roll with a spoon!
Shortly after, we began our decent into MAN. The crew then came around to collect our trays. We slowly came out of the clouds and we could now start to see Manchester. As we were getting lower, the view got better.
Then, I noticed that the engines got very loud and we started to go back up. The captain then came on the P/A and said that there had been a minor incident on the runway and that we were waiting for the runway to be cleared as there was some debris still on it. Anyone know what this was? We then went back up and circled for about 10-15 minutes.
After this, we then made another attempt and started to decend into MAN. We also hit a bit of turbalance on the way down into MAN. The aircraft was shakeing alot and some people didn't look very happy. This must have been the worst landing that I have ever had. We were swaying all over the place and finally slammed down on MAN's runway. The captain then applied reverse thrust which sounded great as I was next to the left engine. Then the people at the back of the aircraft started cheering and clapping! The captain then apologised for such a terrible landing and wished us all the best.
Sunday 14th March 2004
Departure/Time: MAN - 16:40
Arrival/Time: LGW - 17:50
Flight Number: BA2909
Flight Duration: 40 Minutes
Aircraft: Boeing 737-436 G-DOCN
Photo © Ben Pritchard
After a great day at MAN, it was time to go home. We made our way straight to security as we had already checked in a LGW.
Once we passed through security, we browsed the few shops that T3 had. I then looked out on the aprons and there was only a VLM Fokker 50, British Airways Boeing 757 and a British Midland Embraer 145. There was no sign of our 737 that to take us back to Gatwick. We only had about 30 minutes until our departure time and there was still no BA 737. After about 20 minutes one finally landed and I thought that this would be the one that would take us back to Gatwick.
We were then called to our gate where we joined a qeue so we could have our boarding cards checked.
After this, I then knew that we were going to be delayed, but this didn't bother me too much. We were then welcomed by two flight attendants and me and my dad made our way to our seats which were 23E & 23F. Again, this flight was 100% full. One of the flight attendants came on the P/A and said sorry for the 30 minute delay. The reason for this was because the aircraft arrived late into MAN.
Before we knew it, the aircraft was pushing back and the crew begun their safety demonstration. I then looked forward to another powerful takeoff!
We were then crusing in the air and one of the crew came on the P/A and said that we will not be getting an in-flight meal as we didnt have enough crew on-board. Insted they offered us a free drink. I was hungry but this didn't bother me too much.
After a quick flight, it was time to decend into LGW. The seatbelt light came on and the crew took their seats. We then had another bumpy landing at LGW but hey, I loved it!
We taxied to our gate and left the aircraft via stairs at the rear door. We then got into two buses and they took us to the North Terminal. We then got another bus to the Long Stay Car Park to collect our car.
Overall, I enjoyed my day trip to MAN but when I return there in July, I think that i'll probally try VLM or bmi. British Airways were good but not excellent.
My next trip is with FR (STN-HAU-STN) in April so expect another report!
You views and feedback would be appricated.