I am a big fan of Ireland. Ireland offers so many things. Nice people (although I have some trouble to understand them ) , great countryside and of course excellent beers.
Wednesday, March 10th:
I got up at 4.30 in the morning and went into the bathroom. For some strange reasons I don't feel tired early in the morning if I can go on holidays I drank a glass of orange juice, checked if I packed everything into my bag and said goodbye to my family. I walked to the local train station, a little bit outside of Basel. I was supposed to take the 5.19 train to Basel main station and then the airport shuttle bus at 5.30.
Of course the train was late (usually it is never late) and I missed the airport bus. There would have been another bus 15 minutes later but I preferred taking a taxi because my latest checkin time would have been 6.20 and you never know how many people check in. The ride on the taxi was quite amusing. It was a very powerful Mercedes and the taxi driver was very proud of his car. He was driving way too fast and we ended up being at the airport earlier than the bus that I have missed...
At the airport I have checked in for flight LX412 from Basel to Birmingham. It was done very fast and took no longer than 30 seconds, then I proceeded through customs and security and went to the gate. I noticed that the whole Y-terminal at Basel is opened again. It is a good sign and it shows that passenger numbers are improving again. EasyJet is starting flights to Basel in exactly one week!
I went to an internet station and checked the early morning news and of course airliners.net, then I went to a bar and ordered a Schweppes. The barkeeper asked me if I would like it with gin but that was too early for me.
The airport made a very clean and new impression and I walked around to see other planes. There were a lot of Swiss Saab2000 and Erj-145s as well as an A-320, LH Crj-200 and Crj-700, AF Erjs, one F-100 and an A-320, Cimber Air Crj, Iberia Crj, Farnair Atrs and DHL757, TNT 737 and Fedex A-310. Also some large business jets such as some 727s that are in LH / LFSB), France">BSL quite frequently.
Boarding began on time and our Saab2000 in the old Crossair livery pushed back at 7 o'clock. I love the Saab2000 very much, it's an excellent plane with leather seats and it's not very noisy.
We taxied to runway26, which is the short runway in LH / LFSB), France">BSL. It is always nice to taxi to 26 because then you can see the Jet Aviation and SWISS maintenance facilities. I saw lots of business jets in front of Jet aviation and a DC-8 as well as a B-767. In front of the SWISS hangar there were two Carpatair Saabs and also some white Saabs. We departed immediately into the rainy and cloudy sky and turned right soon after towards France. We reached the sunny skies and I enjoyed the flight. The captain announced some rain and snow in the Birmingham area and during the whole flight it was cloudy...
The SWISS flight attendants were very charming and in a good mood. Again, they treated me very well and were joking around with passengers. All in all it was a very relaxed atmosphere. The plane was around 60% full. I was the only passenger without a suit as LH / LFSB), France">BSL-BHX is mainly used by business passengers. I think SWISS is quite happy with the route and low fares are hard to get...
During the flight I ordered a full breakfast for CHF10.- It consists of a croissant, a (large and good) coffee, a yoghourt and a 0.33lt orange drink. Almost everyone aboard ordered something so I think SWISS is having some nice extra incomes with that.
The approach into BHX was cloudy but touch down was quite smooth. We taxied to the parking position and the crew said goodbye to all the passengers.
I needed to spent some time in BHX because my flight to DUB was a few hours later. I went spotting a little bit from inside the terminal, used the internet again and enjoyed a small lunch, then I checked in for my Ryanair Boeing 737-200 flight to Dublin (FR665). Check-in was professional and I was surprised to get a boarding card (although without a seat number).
The flight to Dublin left on time and was 100% full. The 737-200 was more comfortable than expected. The interior was and looked quite old but nothing really to complain about. Again the sky was rainy and cloudy so I did not see a lot. It was the first time on Ryanair and I was positively surprised. They were on time and professional-the most important things for a traveller.
In Dublin the sun came through the clouds as we were landing. I proceeded through customs and got my bag in no time.
In the evening my parents informed me that André Dosé, SWISS CEO was sent into the desert...the man that smiled at me at the same morning in the SWISS board magazine. Maybe this was the reason why all inflight magazines were missing on my way home on Sunday?
I spent some great days in Dublin. It was rainy and windy but hey-that's Ireland! Especially I loved the live music in the pubs. I sing "seven drunken nights" everyday now!
Ahh, I needed to get up at 4.30 in the morning on Sunday, because I wanted to reach the 6 o'clock Aircoach bus from O'Connell Street to the airport. My hotel was in the Rathmines area and it's quite a walk from there to O'Connell Street. I took a shower and walked down to O'Connell Street. There were still a lot of people in downtown Dublin that celebrated the upcoming Irish National Day.
Why is Dublin Bus not operating early in the morning?? The first bus on Sunday is around 9 or so...
I was at the airport very early so I got a priority boarding pass for Ryanair flight FR664 to Birmingham. I drank a Coke and then bought some duty free presents for my family. Again our flight was on time and 100% full. Departure was excellent with a great view of Dublin City. Then the whole flight to Birmingham was rainy and cloudy. Approach into BHX was bumpy but with an excellent view of Birmingham. We arived on time at 9 o'clock. I went to the baggage locker and gave him my bag. I needed to spend a few hours because my flight to LH / LFSB), France">BSL was at 7 o' clock. I decided to buy a train ticket and went into the city of Birmingham where I have spent a nice afternoon although it was raining.
I took the train back and checked in my bag for flight LX417 to Basel. I had a drink at the local pub, then proceeded to the waiting area, watching football (Southampton-Liverpool) on TV. Our flight left on time and it was a Saab2000 again, still in the old Crossair livery. Again, it was around 60% full. Not bad for a "business" flight on Sunday. One of the flight attendants was the same than on the way to BHX on Wednesday. She was very nice. I bought a mineral water and enjoyed the flight home. SWISS is offering nice chocolates to the passengers (for free). I enjoyed it very much. We came in over the Vosges mountains and straight over Mulhouse, then landed on runway 16. After us, another Saab2000 was landing (with Pieter Bouw aboard) and a DHL B-757.
I got my bag and went through the customs, then my family welcomed me in the arrivals hall.
It was a very nice trip and I had nothing to complain about. All flights were on time, I was treated friendly, my baggage arrived.
I am looking forward to fly again soon!
I hope you enjoyed my trip report. Please feel free to comment.