Flight: Alitalia AZ265
Aircraft: Embraer ERJ170
Seat: 15A Window
Estimated Time of Departure: 0940
Actual Time of Departure: 0945
Estimated Time of Arrival: 1255
Actual Time of Arrival: 1225
GMT difference: +1
Photo © Andy Graf - VAP
Photo © Aldo Bidini
Only a day after landing from Iceland, I found myself back at an airport, this time for a day trip to Italy. Since Alitalia announced plans to serve Milan from Birmingham they went from a once daily MD83 plan to a double daily ERJ170 plan and it was then when I confirmed my seat!! The started on the 01st November and some flight had been operated by the MD rather than the ERJ so there was still some doubt as to what would turn up. Due to the early departure, although i only live 25 mins from the airport I decided to stay overnight at the novotel opposite the airport terminal. This made it nice and easy in the morning. Another bonus was that the aircraft on the morning run nightstops the evening beforehand so the 2205 arrival would be the one operating my flight.
I made me way out to the field just short of the runway just before ten and there was a plane on approach. As she crossed the keys over runway 33 I was pleased to see an Alitalia ERJ170 in full livery and a kute little black nose hehe. On stand 1 ground ops were waiting for her to taxi through so we waited by there to catch the reg - EI-DFK. Once in we made our way to our hotel room and had a few hours kip.
Just over two hours before the flight check in opened, and we were the third lot to be chcked in. There was a person behind the man who checked us in and she asked us why we was going to Milan, and if we had any reason. When we said it was only for the day she nodded at the check in agent and we got our boarding cards. The reason she asked was the flight was overbooked and as an alternative they were offering a flight the next morning (obviously no good to us as we was going for the day). We gave him our seat requests and sure got them Just behind the wing so we can get good pics on approach and that. Will have to upload the pics somewhere soon and give you guys the link.
Boarding begun at 0900 (a good 40 mins before the flight was due to depart), and i walked down the airbridge past loads of newspapers (didnt bother to get one i still had bridget jones to get through!) and stepped inside the new ERJ170. I was extreamly impressed, full leather interior, a good amount of legroom, very clean cabin, huge windows and well couldnt fault it one bit! We pushedback off stand at 0945 and followed a My Travel A320 and a BA Avro to the active runway which today was 33. the safety demo was done by one of the two cabin crew onboard right down the front of the aircraft. Rotation was very smooth, and we done a sharp right turn two miles out. We had good views of Birmingham, especially the city centre and the clouds covered the london area. The bar service came round and there was no alcohol onboard todays flight so stuck with coffee! The food was a small lunchbox packed with a small muffin type cake, a sandwich and a yoghurt.
We flew over Paris and we saw the city dead clear, the tower and all. Then the next major things we saw out of the window (other than a close Continental 767-200) was the Alps which caused a bit of turbulance for us so the seat belt sign was put on but we wasnt far out of Milan at this point anyhow. Landing was smooth approach was done softly and for ages we just seemed to glide over the italian countryside. We landed and reverse thrust was applied turning off next to a Livingston A330 and parking next door to a British Airways ERJ145. Disembarked through the front exit onto a bus and caught the train to central Milan for lunch!
Milan Malpensa MXP - Birmingham International BHX
Flight: Alitalia AZ264
Aircraft: Embraer ERJ170
Seat: 18L Window
Estimated Time of Departure: 2100
Actual Time of Departure: 2100
Estimated Time of Arrival: 2205
Actual Time of Arrival: 2156
GMT difference: +0
Photo © Sven Pipjorke
Photo © Andrea Buzzacchi
We got back to Milan Malpensa just before 1800 and proceeded straight to check in. We got allocated row 18 on the other side seats J and L. The seats are a bit weird on the ERJ170 the two on the left are A and C and then the other two are J and L. Anyway we found the pub and sat there until it was time to go getting through our third bottle of wine. We went to the gate and there was only 6 of us as the other passengers had already boarded on a previous coach and we was the final ones, still about 20 mins before departure. i was hoping for a different 170 going home and we got one! this time we flew EI-DFG, course still in the full Alitalia livery. i took my seats and before long we was off, taking another smooth take off and a few turns after departure. It was now dark outside so nothing much to see until we flew over London and could see the city - and then down into Birmingham landing again on Runway 33. We was on stand 10/15 mins later and the end to a perfect day i'd say, extreamly good flights, would definatly flt AZ again, really nice aircraft - best regional ive ever been on and good company too Oh forgot to mention the inflight meal coming home which was like a small sandwich, cake thing with coffee and i had a small bottle of wine too.
I will add my pics sometime, just havent had time to breathe since being back hehe and look forward to hearing any of your comments/questions and my next flight report will be in a couple of weeks, this time to Prague for a 2 night break.