Now I've recently wrote a trip report after my experience with Emirates, however when I got back into work following my visit to Dubai, work (i'm a travel agent) told me I had got a place on an educational to Turkey! The educational consited of a four night stay in Olu Deniz at a 4T hotel, Half board accomodation, flights, transfers, excursions, travel to London Gatwick and the visa charge was all included. The only thing i needed was spending money and as long as i looked at at least two hotels a day (didnt take long at all) the rest of the time was free time.
So heres the trip reports!!
London Gatwick LGW - Dalaman DLM
Aircraft: Boeing 757-200
Reg: G-BYAX Old Classic Livery
Seat: 3F Window
Estimated Time of Departure: 1805
Actual Time of Departure: 1815
Estimated Time of Arrival: 0010
Actual Time of Arrival: 2325
GMT difference: +2
Photo © Airsnaps
I live in Birmingham and the educational was Ex. LGW which meant I had to stary the day off early despite the night flight. I left Birmingham on a slightly delayed coach to Gatwick which went via BHX and LHR on the way, we hit some delays and was due to get to Gatwick at 1415 but didnt actually arrive til 1545! (Our team leader wanted us to meet at the Thomson desk at 1600 so just made it!). There was around 30 of us all together, all work for Lunn Poly in the UK and was going out to see the resort and get a feel for the place. I got to the Thomson desk and met a girl who works in our Belfast branch (she'd flown over with flybe in the morning), and some other people from like Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Southampton, Essex, Oxford etc they were from all over the country! I checked in and got seat 3E but once onboard swapped with someone else in my group so I could have the window of 3F as i hate middle seats. We had a little but of time once we had checked in before boarding so once passed through security we had a drink in mcdonalds and before you knew it they was calling us to board.
We proceded to the gate and I was kinda dissapointed to find BYAX on stand, still standing in the classic BY livery whilst the ACE flight was CDUO the thomson.co.uk 757-200! How annoying! I was first boarding as I had an early seat, so found my way onto the plane, and was pleased to at least have the new tui interior which looked very smart!
Photo © Derek Pedley - AirTeamImages
Once seated, boarding finished quickly, had a long taxi which was bumpy sitting the front! Took off into the evening sky and was told the approx flight time would be 3.00hrs due to a very stong tailwind in our favour. Drinkers servvice came around and we got free drinks as tui staff but customers pay for theirs. Headphones were £3.00 or when you buy two you get a free bag of maltesers. We could have got them free but wouldnt have had the maltesers so paid instead! Food soon came around in time for the inflight movie which was Laws Of Attraction. The meal itself was a small salad, cheese, crackers, buscuit, and for main course a cheese pie which was absoubtly gorgeous - and a sweet to finsish. It went dark outside and we hit turbulence not far out due to a growing thunderstorm which provided some amazing views! The flight went quite then whilst the film was on, then when that finished my family provided the comedy alongside only fools and horses before the duty free service commensed shortly before decent into Dalaman. Landing was pretty uneventful, landing and parking on stand very quickly. Service from the cabin crew was amazing although to be honest we were traveling with our name badges on so they kinda knew who to impress. We cant travel in full uniform as its the same as the cabin crew and we are not trained on the same things obviously.
We paid our £10 visa charge which tui uk refunded, and baggage came first off. Dalaman passport control was fast and effiecent and there was a staff bus on hand to take us to our hotel!
Dalaman DLM - London Gatwick LGW
Aircraft: Boeing 767-300ER
Reg: G-OBYB "Bobby Moore" Thomson.co.uk titles
Seat: 3A Window
Estimated Time of Departure: 1510
Actual Time of Departure: 1525
Estimated Time of Arrival: 1740
Actual Time of Arrival: 1725
GMT difference: None
Photo © Jonathan Simmons
So our long weekend had now come to an end and it was time for the flight home. Upon arrival at Dalaman airport it was chaos, people have to screen bags before checking in which slowed the process up alot but I guess its for safety. Check in was open and had been for ages as we were running slightly behind schedule here, and I thought there goes my window seat but thankfully Tui had arranged one for me beforehand at no charge. Three of us checked in I had 3A. I went through passport control and on the apron was Britannia 757-200 G-BYAJ in the classic livery which I guessed was ours. I went to get a Burger King (a ruddy expensive one at that!) before sitting down in the main hall to eat it. Whilst doing to I saw a Tui tail sticking through the glass which kinda raised my hopes for a different aircraft which were shot down almost straight away when I found out the flight to Manchester departed around the same time and neither flights had a stand yet. The screen flickered so I proceeded through another security gate and headed to the screens. My flight was showing up as stand 3 which was G-OBYB a 767-300ER in the total new livery with the Thomson.co.uk titles. It looked stunning in the sun, dont think it quite has the same effect at home! The Manchester and Gatwick flights were called morealess together and once sat in my seat (again OBYB is kitted out in the new interior) I could see the aircraft on the next stand which was operating the MAN flight. I was supprised to see it was G-BRIG the 767-200 with the small red thomson.co.uk titles above the front passenger windows, the tui logo alone on the tail and the old belly markings from the classic livery.
The MAN flight pushed back just before us, and there was a slight problem with our headcount which delayed us a little. This 767-300 wasn't full although now its July/August I guess it was pretty full going into Turkey!
I had someone from Lunn Poly sitting next to me who i'd met clubbing earlier on that weekend! We pushed back, headed past loads of Thomas Cook 757-200/300's before making our way out and over the sea, done a sharp right turn and leveled out towards 39,000ft due to stong winds and storms building up enroute which the captain said would definatly cause turbulence.
It sure did, most of the flight was calm but there were patches of heavy turbulence. The inflight movie was Jersey Girl which was quite funny, followed by Friends, The Office, Jim's advert's from around the world and Men Behaving Badly. The meal onboard today was beef with potato, peas, carrots and gravy hmmm really nice!!! With it you got a cherry slice cake and custard in a tube (first for everything with inflight meals these days!) and your usual cheese, buscuits, chocolates and tea/coffee cups. Duty free came around and they made a fuss of it this time, didnt really see much about it on the flight out. I got my tui teddy bear on staff discounted rate too.
Over the Netherlands the captain cut the power to the engines, and we started our decent towards Gatwick. Kent was clearly visable for some time before heavy clouds took over as we went more inland. Twists and turns greeted us on approach into LGW and we finally came down, with a BA 734 paciently waiting to depart.
This flight was excellent again, the aircraft is gorgeous both inside and out, the crew were friendly so much better than the Britannia crew I had on my BY flights to and from MLE in March of this year.
I would definatly fly these as a paying passenger now I have had my confidance boosted by their customer service and training. (We get the same customer service prinipals in our shop and i'm not saying that just from a "i work for Tui" point of view either because obviously if you had read the one about the Maldives I slated the crew completly esp the ones based in Gatwick!
I hope you have enjoyed listening to my trip and the flight reports. Finally road on a thomoson.co.uk plane lol i'm so chuffed! If you have any questions or comments just reply to this post and I will read them next time I am online!