Photo © Dimitri Steendijk
Photo © Gerry Hill
Tuesday 15th June 2004
Flight No: EZY 5103
Equipment: Airbus 319-111
Seat: 5F (I think) Boarding Pass Number: 057
Gate: 12 (South Terminal)
Scheduled Departure Time: 11.55
Actual Departure Time: 12.55
Scheduled Arrival Time: 14.10
Actual Arrival Time: 14.40
Load Factor: 95%
We planned to go to AMS for the day, as we hadn't been to Amsterdam before and wanted to see what it was like without having to pay a lot for hotels etc. The flights was £45.98 each return. We booked it on easyjet.com. Good deal I though! Although a lot of the time it is actually cheaper. I had a feeling i'd get to go on one of easyJet's new A319s.
So we left our house at about 9.30am for the 11.55am flight. We powered down the M25 and then the M23 to get to LGW's South Terminal at 10.10am. We went over to the Check-in area, where there seemed to be some sort of attempt of a queue, but I just went over to one of the check-in desks and waited there. We didn't have any luggage so check-in was quick and easy. We then proceeded over to the Bureau de Change (Travelex), and asked for the money I have reserved on the net. I did this because I was able to get BA miles for it. After that, we went through security. Normally when I go through security I take my belt off but I forgot to do that this time, so the alarm went off and I had to be searched. But this was nothing dramatic. We then popped up to MacyD's for some food and had a look round the shops. I ordered a Double Cheeseburger and they gave me a Bacon Sandwich thing in a Double Cheeseburger wrapping!! But I had it to try it out and it actually tasted alright. We went to a restaurant (didn't buy anything though) next to the window to watch the life of the airport.
By now it was 11.10am. According to our boarding pass, boarding was supposed to have started. Here was my boarding pass:
We checked the departure boards and it said "Amsterdam, EZY5112, Wait in Departure Lounge". So we waited a bit longer and it got to 11.45am. Checked the boards again, this time it said "Amsterdam, EZY5112, Delayed to 1220". We weren't exactly pleased with this seen as it was a day trip, but we didn't complain or anything, I didn't see any need to!! At 1220, we were allocated a gate, gate number 12. We took the short walk down to gate 12 and had our boarding passes checked. I took a peep out of the window to see that there was no aircraft there. We sat down, bought a bottle of coke from the vending machine and waited, again. It got to 12.30 and then the aircraft came to the stand, Airbus 319!!!!! The passengers were offloaded and we were let on at 12.40, which I thought was pretty dam quick! After taking my seat, the doors were closed and the standard safety instructions were given. One thing that they did mention was "Ladies and gentlemen, welcome on board this brand new easyjet Airbus 319".
We took the short taxi to runway 26L but we had to wait a little while for a Continental 777, Air Transat A310, British European 146 and a BA 737 to take off. We got onto the runway at 12.55 in the end, an hour late. The engines powered up and this baby had a kick in it! The last time I went in an A319, I did not feel anything like I did on this flight! I think it must have been to make up for lost time. As soon as we got into the air, we turned right and headed for AMS. Pretty soon I had LGW in sight and I watched another aircraft taking off, which I think was a MYT A330 en-route to SFB. An FA then came over the tanoy saying that we could be a "Snack Pack" for £3 and if we wished to do so, we would need to get an FA's attention by pressing the button overhead. I needed food as all I had to eat was that bacon thing. They were pretty quick to respond. But the Snack Pack wasn't anything special. It consisted of a Cadbury's Mini-Roll, 2 different types of crackers, some paté, some cheese and 2 biscuits. It was all quite savoury (apart from the Mini-Roll). They also mentioned that the flight time would be 40 minutes, much quicker than the orginal 1 hour 20 minutes. Anyways, here is a pic of the cabin:
It was very clean, and very comfortable. It did indeed feel very new. Here is a view from the window (which were also very clean):
And here is the engine (note the reflection):
As soon as we had got to cruising altitude, we came back down again, this was only after 30 minutes into the flight and the captain came over the radio saying "cabin crew prepare cabin for landing". i was really surprised at how quick it was. I took some video's of approach, but they are huge. I filmed landing but it is 3 and a half mins long and 65MB. The approach was pretty rough, there were loads of clouds layers around AMS. We came out of the cloud layer and approached pretty fast. But it seemed like it lasted forever! We came in to land and it was very rough, we were going very fast compared to normal landings. As I said earlier, I am sure that the pilot was trying to make up for lost time. We came off the runway and then had to taxi a very long way to gate D14. On the way I took a look at the new KLM777 and an Iran Air 747SP. Here are a picture I took on the way to the gate:
Despite the cabin crew telling all passengers about a million times to stay in their seats until the aircraft has come to a complete stop, a number of passengers still got up. Don't some people ever listen? We got to the gate and got off pretty quickly. When we got off the aircraft, we walked through the departure lounge on the way to immigration. This was a little strange I thought. Immigration was no problem and we had no baggage to collect so we went straight to the train station, and got on a double-decker train to Amsterdam Centraal Station (no spelling mistake in Centraal). Schiphol seemed pretty newish. Then we went to the very lively Amsterdam centre and went for a walk around some of the streets.
The flight was ruined by the fact that it was late, if it wasn't, this would have given us some more time in Amsterdam. Apart from that, it was very much worth for £45 that I paid. I shall do the return leg tomorrow. I shall write more about AMS airport itself too. We got a 737 coming back, but I love the G's in those 737's. I hope you enjoyed reading this, please leave any comments that you have.
Check-In: 10/10 (nothing went wrong)
Boarding: 2/10 (so low because of the delay)
In-Flight Service: 7/10 (friendly FA's, not such great food, but still good service)
Flight In General: 7/10
[Edited 2004-06-16 01:23:09]
[Edited 2004-06-16 01:33:10]