Ok, well last October (2004) I took a holiday with my friend and his family + other families that I know to Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt's Red Sea Riviera, we had a great week of snorkeling,quad biking in the dessert,parasailing and scuba diving one day, it was great to swim amongst the coral and the colorful fish, we even saw dolphins one day as we were going along in the boat they came and joined us and were swimming with the boat as we went along.
Anyway the holiday soon came to an end, and we had to travel back to the UK. We waited at the hotel entrance for the coach to take us to the airport.
When we arrived at the airport after a short journey we got our luggage and set out for the terminal entrance upon entering we had to put our luggage through the X-ray machine, and also pass through the human x-ray machine aswell, this was fine and no problems occurred, Checkin was rather quick as we were some of the first people, although the terminal soon filled up with people flying back to the UK, We then proceeded to passport control where they stamped my passport again,
It was then through to the waiting lounge, this is the worst waiting lounge I have ever been too, it still looks like its being built with some of the shops being full of rubbish, and the duty free shop if u can call it a shop was a sham! Well eventually the call came for us to queue at the door for us to catch the bus out to the aircraft, before doing SO we said goodbye to some of the families that we went with as they were on different flights back to LGW.
We were waiting in the queue for about 20 mins, and typically being British people started getting irate, but eventually the bus came and we boarded for the short journey to the aircraft, I was standing next to an open window on the bus so was looking out over SSH airports apron, brightly lit with floodlights, from here I saw 2 Thomson 767's and a Excel Airways Boeing 737-800 and of course not forgetting our Monarch A300B4-605R, which was glistening under the yellow floodlights, We pulled up and exited the bus and made our way towards the aircraft
This is a picture below of the actual plane that I flew back to the UK on,
Photo © Helmut Bierbaum
Once on board the aircraft, I found my seat, which I cannot remember the number of, but it was a window seat on the right side of the aircraft, a couple of rows behind the second emergency exit.
We were sitting on the aircraft now for nearly 50 mins, in this time I saw an Excel airways Boeing 767 arrive and watched the passengers depart which I watched through the window, also in this time some teenage kids just a bit younger than me seemed to be jumping on each other on the seats in front this was very annoying.I was wondering by now why we had not already left, the doors on the aircraft had been shut, and the cabin crew were just standing around chatting.
The the pilot came on over the PA system and explained what the hold up was, he said the Sharm El Sheikh ATC had not received our flight plan back to the Uk, and he said that it was being sorted as he spoke, another 10 mins passed and the cabin crew checked the cabin and made sure it was secure and also checked seat belts etc, they then gave the safety demonstration as the Aircrafts engines where started,
Once started we did not push back but instead went forward and immediately turned to the left and made a full turn and made our way to the taxi way.
We taxied to the active departing runway, which was O4L, The taxi to the runway wasn't particularly short.
Once on the runway, we did a rolling start, and the engine power increased, and we excellerated down the runway, the engines making an almost growling sound, After reaching V1 we rotated of 04L and climbed out of SSH on runway heading and then made a left turn heading north west over the Sinai Peninsular, and leaving Sharm el Sheikh behind in the distance as we climbed to our cruising altitude of FL380, by the time we flew over Cairo, we had reached cruising altitude and it was nice looking down on this large ancient city at night, also by this time Monarch's IFE system had started.
I was disappointed with it on the way out, with them showing rubbish and boring programmes, and I found my constantly bored and it didn't help because I had no window seat, I had an aisle seat and it was quite hard to see out the window as it meant leaning across the people that I was sitting next too. Anyway that flights a different trip report.
Anyway the IFE on this flight was much the same as the flight out, Although they showed little Britain as one of the programmes which I thought was great and this half an hour of the flight passed very quick.
Now during little Britain I looked out the window and saw lots of little lights 38000 Ft below, this was the island of Crete, I knew this because the pilot had given some routing details not long after take off.
The flight went really slowly, and I even fell asleep which I hardly ever do when flying the only reason was because there was nothing good to watch and we were flying at night.
I remember waking up at the pilots next PA, saying that we would shortly be starting our decent into LGW, I open the window shutter and had a look out the window seeing nothing as it was dark and cloudy below.
Eventually I heard the engine sound ease up, and we started out decent, I am not sure of the routing of the decent as the pilot did not really give any details, it was also very cloudy flying over Britain, no surprise there!
Eventually we broke free from the cloud and were now under them on approach to Runway 08R,
flaps where almost full and the speed brake was extended for a short while to slow the Airbus A300 down, this was then retarded, and the distinct sound of the undercarriage being lowered could be heard. And the full flaps were extended.
After a minute or so we were on finals, and were we getting lower and lower and cars where becoming clearer, and houses bigger till eventually were on a very very slow short finals, I thought so anyway, and so finally after 5 hours of being in the air we touched down on Runway 08R at LGW finally back on British ground,
The Speed brakes were extended and the engine throttles retarded, The sound of the reverse thrust was loud and defining as usual, and we slowed enough and turned off the runway onto the taxiway heading for the south terminal.
It was nice in one way to be back home in your own country but in other ways I wished I was still in Egypt as its much warmer there in October than it is here!
Thanx for listening hope you enjoyed!