First trip report from me in a while, the last one was a Monarch flight from Gatwick to Palma, but i never got round to doing the return.
I've tried my hardest to cover everything on film, be it still or video, however i have no take off or landing photos as i was video-ing it, but the videos are too big and i've tried for ages to upload them to somewhere but couldn't, so unfortunately there are no take off or landing pics
Ok, so I drag myself out of bed at 5:40am on Wednesday 1st June, for a little day out to Manchester. I pack my essentials and get in the car, to go to the station. After buying the tickets we stepped out onto the short platform of Billingshurst station. A couple of minutes later the chirpy man came over the loudspeakers saying "The next train to arrive at platform 1 is the 06:25 Southern service to London Bridge, calling at Christs Hospital, Horsham, Littlehaven, Faygate, Ifield, Crawley, Three Bridges, Gatwick Airport, Horley, Salfords, Earlswood, Redhill, Merstham, Coulsdon South, East Croydon and London Bridge." It then went onto say about short platforms blah blah, yeah like you give a damn.
So bang on time, an old slammer pulled up at the platform and i got on and sat there as the old codger chugged on. We got there at about 7:00 and headed into the terminal at Gatwick. The Jet2 check in appeared empty, so we headed over, the process was all quick and we were given seats 24A/B. After that we headed straight through to departures, where they took a photo of us, for some unknown reason (at the time). So it took us just 5 minutes to get from the train to departures, not bad going.
I bought a packet of steak McCoys at WHSmiths and headed up to the viewing area upstairs. It seemed pretty busy at the time, and they were trying desperately hard to get two departures to every arrival. So at 7:55, we expected a Jet2 B737-300 to come over the threshold, but it didn't come in until 08:20. That gave it 35 minutes to turn around. Oh well, still more than Ryanair!
I looked through my binoculars as the aircraft came towards the terminal and made out the registration. It was the usual on the morning flight, G-CELF or "Jet2 Valencia"
It parked into Gate 10, so we headed down to gates 1-10, and headed through to the waiting area at Gate 10. There was a window that looked straight out to the runway. There was an Aurigny Air Services ATR-72 on stand, but it soon pushed away and gave a clear view of the runway. Here's some pics:
After about 10 minutes, they started boarding. First to board was the first and last rows. So we headed over and gave in our boarding passes. Our photos popped up on the screen as they put them under the laser and our boarding cards we ripped off our tickets and given back to us. Then we went outside onto the apron to the aircraft. We boarded through the back door (being in the 3rd row from the back) and again, i took a couple of pics:
Once in, i sat down by the window. The seats were leather, and seemed slightly strange at first, they seemed too straight. Oh well who can complain, its only a 40min flight. There didn't seem to be much legroom either, or perhaps i've just grown a lot since July last year.
Anyway, enough of examing the seat, its time to look out the window. And there stood a FlyBE 146-300 turning around to Belfast City.
As we were running late, they seemed to be hurrying people onto the plane, and within about 5 minutes, the door was closed and the step moving away. They went through a brief welcome, telling us who the crew were and how long the flight would be. Then, we moved slightly forward and then started push back, now about 09:05, 10 minutes late.
Behind the FlyBE were two Maersk B737's, one a -500 and a -700
Then, in a rush, an easyJet A319 quickly took our stand, as G-CELF's engines conked into life.
So we moved forward and i quickly put the camera away and got the video camera out. We turned left towards the runway, and the hold seemed to be pretty clear. There was a B757 on approach and as soon as that had passed we went onto the runway. After sitting there for a while probably waiting for the arriving aircraft to evacuate the runway. Then the engines spooled up and the the throttle was increased. In what seemed no time, we were rotating, and were up. A pretty uneventful take off, which took us over the end of the runway, before making a right turn towards the north.
It was then time to get the camera back out:
The seatbelts signs were turned off pretty quickly and the cabin crew immediatly cracked into work. Of course, they charged for food, but they were pretty reasonable. £2.00 for a coffee/tea and a danish of your choice. I didn't bother as i had already eaten and i don't drink tea or coffee. But the 3-women cabin crew did a great job of serving everybody on board and then clearing everything up.
Yeah the flight was pretty uneventful too. We cruised at 17,000ft and apparently the weather in Manchester was "raining." Oh great, perfect weather for a day of spotting, not. Is Manchester ever sunny?
And true enough we started descent into some heavy clouds and started rocking about a bit. So i got the video camera back out, not that there was anything to film, until we got out of the clouds. Mind you, we were almost on the ground then.
We cruised into 24R and touched down, followed by some seriously heavy breaking, enough to throw me right out of my seat. We exited the runway just by the Aviation park with Concorde and taxied towards the terminal. We stopped while a few aircraft taxied out, obviously off to better weather.
I then managed to get three bmi long haul aircraft together:
After the outgoing aircraft had budged, we moved forward towards the T1 pier and passed a Mytravel A320 G-GTDK, which we then parked next to in gate 14 (?)
The engines were shut down and everybody started getting out of their seats and heading towards the exits. Once again there were no airbridges, just steps to a bus. We exited via the back door into the lake, i mean airport, of Manchester. Thankfully it had near enough stopped raining once we disembarked, but it must have absolutely tipped down.
The bus was pretty close to the aircraft and so our feet didn't get too wet. Soon enough the bus doors closed and we were taken to some random door at T3, where we came out and after walking though a small baggage reclaim, were pretty much landside, and in the food hall, where, thanks to Manchester's brilliant weather, we ended up spending a lot of the day there.
Well in all Jet2.com were pretty reasonable from first instincts, but there isn't really much of an impression you can make in a 30 minute flight. I'll post the return soon, and hopefully find a way of getting the videos online. Any suggestions for 12-15MB videos? (and not scaling them down )
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