Ndebele
Topic Author
Posts: 2847
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2001 3:16 am

Easyjet STN-NCL With Pics

Sat Jul 09, 2005 2:38 am

This is my first Easyjet trip report, so bare with me...

STN-NCL
EZY285
29 June 2005
STD: 11:15 ATD: 11:48/12:02
STA: 12:20 ATA: 12:45/12:52
B737-700
G-EZKE
"Daniel Swaddle"
Delivered March 2004

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Photo © Josep Manchado



After my arrival on Germanwings from STR ( http://www.airliners.net/discussions/trip_reports/read.main/60133/ ) I spent some time spotting before check-in for my connecting flight to NCL began. Two hours before departure, I checked the departure boards to see which check-in to go to for my flight to Newcastle. The screens showed B29 as my counter, so I went there. Only two passengers in front of me, and at check-in B29 it said "Edinburgh". So for the next two minutes I looked at the board which said "Edinburgh", and when it was my turn for check-in and the friendly Swissport agent asked me where I want to fly to, I replied "Edinborrow, please". She couldn't find my name on her passenger list, so she asked me for my booking code, but she still couldn't find my booking, so she asked me when I booked this flight, and if I have any printed confirmation with me. I didn't print the confirmation eMail, but I had booked four weeks before, so that shouldn't be the problem. "Are you sure you are booked on flight 235 to Edinburgh?" - "No, actually it's flight number 285." - "But flight number 285 is going to Newcastle..." Damn, I had really looked too long at the screen at the counter saying Edinburgh, of course I was flying to Newcastle, so I said: "Oh, I'm so sorry, I always mix up these Scottish towns...". It was only two days later back at home while I had a look at a map of the UK, when I found out that Newcastle is not in Scotland, errm. Anyway, after having asked for the number of passengers booked (a total of 109 passengers were expected), I got my orange boarding pass with sequence number 021, still in boarding group A, which is for sequence numbers 1-30. So I went through security to my gate 88 and waited for boarding of my flight to what I still thought would be Scotland.

At 10:55 an announcement was made that they expect a 20 minutes delay for the flight to Newcastle, because of the late arrival of the inbound aircraft. As I later found out, this was a NCL-based aircraft, flying NCL-STN-NCL. It was 11:30 when boarding began, first the pre-boarders and then boarding group A. Walking towards the aircraft, I saw that this aircraft is named after David Swaddle. I had never heard that name before, but I googled the name later at home: David Swaddle was one of the youngest ever applicant for becoming pilot at Easyjet, but died aged 17(?) before he could start his carrer with Easyjet. - Just as always when it's free seating, I took the rear door:



...and took seat 22F. With 109 passengers booked, I expected the middle seats at least in the rear of the plane to remain vacant, but as the rear door was more popular than usual, seats in the rear were quite popular as well, so a girl on her way to the open day of Newcastle University was sitting next to me on 22E. At 11:40 doors were closed, we were pushed back and taxied towards runway 23 and took off. My first flight on a B737-700, and also my first flight on Easyjet by the way.

An all-white B747F:


A Lufthansa Régional BAe146 (probably being prepared for delivery to Eurowings) and in the background another all-white B747:


It was overcast all over England, so we soon disappeared in the clouds.



Inflight magazines were distributed. Although I didn't want to buy anything, I took one, just to have a look inside, and to check the prices of the drinks and snacks, and let me tell you that Ryanair is definitely NOT "50% cheaper than Easyjet", in fact I think prices for snacks are more or less the same on both airlines. Anyway, the "experienced" female purser was responsible for the front of the cabin, while the two young f/as (one male and one female) were doing the rear part. Well, the trolley stopped at the second-last row, the male f/a walked to the middle of the aircraft, took the orders and the money, walked back to the trolley, put the money into a box and took the drinks and snacks to bring them to the passengers in the middle of the aircraft, and so on. It seemed like the only job of the female f/a was to write down what the male f/a sold.

Nothing else to report about this flight, well, here's a Easyjet 73G cabin shot:

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Photo © TZ Aviation


This aircraft was only one year old and is one of the newest B737-700s in Easyjet's fleet. The cabin was in good condition and looked very modern, only the net of the seat pocket in front of me was torn, so my stuff (i.e. my digicam) kept on falling out.
We started our descend and landed on NCL's runway 07:









I left the aircraft through the back door again, and took a photo of the BA 737 parked next to us - always nice to still see a World Tail:




Our aircraft, notice the Servisair stairs:


Crew change here at NCL, our crew left and a new crew was already waiting in front of the delayed aircraft.
On our way to the exit, we had to walk through what must be the whole terminal of Newcastle, a rather long way for a small airport like NCL. But with the nice windows, this already gave me a first overview of this airport which I hadn't been to yet - well I had passed close to the airport on the motorway a few years back, if that counts.

My short stay at NCL
The first thing I did was to check in for my flight back to STN. Got my boarding pass with sequence number 002, it was nearly four hours before departure so I really wondered who had 001, somebody must have been to the airport really early.


The charter terminal, not so busy:


From the outside:


And an air-to-ground impression:

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Photo © Andrew Povey
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Photo © Jonathan Slade



I walked around a bit, it was looking like it would be starting to rain every second, but it didn't. During landing, I saw a myterious B737-200 parked at the other side of the airport, and as I had lots of time before flying to STN, I decided to walk around the whole airport to solve the mystery, something like 2km each way, I guess. On my way, I passed a street "Prestwick Terrace", a kind of partnership between the two Scottish airports, I thought...

Finally I arrived at the B737-200, an ex-Westjet aircraft now being owned by the University of Newcastle, at least the titles say "Kingston University" and "Newcastle Aviation Academy". Here's a photo, sorry about the fence and the other stuff in the foreground, I simply couldn't get any closer.


As I was about to walk back to the terminal, I realized that the road I had taken was not a public road, and a sign said no pedestrians, no trespassing, but I didn't know any other way back to the terminal so I didn't mind, and nobody else minded either. Back at the airport, I took a photo of the other (older?) terminal building:


NCL-STN
EZY286
29 June 2005
STD: 16:35 ATD: 16:38/17:15
STA: 17:45 ATA: 18:08/18:16
B737-700
G-EZJZ
Delivered July 2003

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Photo © Guy Daems - Brussels Aviation Photography



Passed through security and had a meal, an English Breakfast Sandwich (at 15:30 o'clock). Debbie, the girl at the cash point was busy flirting with a ramp agent, finally she found some time, I paid, then bought some Onion Rings at BK and had a seat at the window, watched the movements and waited for the gate to be announced, the monitors still said "wait in lounge". Am I the only one who hates the British system of announcing the gate numbers just a few minutes before boarding? Everybody stares at the monitor and waits for his gate number, and then when the gate is announced, 120 people rush to the gate.

At the gate, everybody was already queueing at the gate door. No separate queuing lines for each boarding group as in Stansted, still alright for me as they still did boarding by groups. Pre-boarding for elderly passengers, passengers with small children and Easyjet staff. There was once a discussion about priority boarding for airline staff. I'm sure Easyjet staff works hard every day at work, and it's only fair if they get the small benefit of discounted tickets and priority boarding. But they could have done it a bit more discreetly, making their way to the front, showing everybody their company batch, and then boarding even before the families with children, a bit annoying. But hey I didn't want to sit in the exit row anyway, there's nothing less important to me than seat pitch, and I also hate sitting above the wing anyway. So when it was time for boarding group A, I took the back door again and took seat 21F of G-EZJZ, an aircraft that was parked at NCL the whole afternoon, because all Belfast flights that afternoon were cancelled (both Belfast city and international, on all airlines). So I think it was also the first flight of the crew that day. Notice this time the Newcastle airport stairs:



Boarding was completed soon, doors were closed, but the captain came to the phone and told us about an ATC restriction because of bad weather in the London area. Still we pushed back, engines were started, we taxied to a remote part of the ramp, and with two running engines we waited for more than half an hour for our slot to begin. Finally we taxied to runway 07, took off...

...and once again disappeared in the clouds quickly.

Nothing more to report about this flight, the normal pay-for-snacks-and-drinks service, nothing to see outside, well but it became interesting when we approached STN: First we passed the airport in a rather low level:





Please, notice the typical English landscape around the airport:



Then we made a 270° turn to the left, through some thunderstorm clouds, a turbulent approach, and then we landed on runway 23:





We passed G-EZYI, a stored ex-Easyjet B737-300 with its titles removed, but overpainted so cheaply that one could easily tell it's an ex Easyjet aircraft. This is what the owner of Easyjet's aircraft then calls all-white, I remember a few weeks ago when I was standing in front of another airline's B737, I had to laugh because I could still read the old "The web's favourite airline" titles shining through.

Anyway, back to my flight, we taxied to our gate, cabin crew apologized for the delay, and we walked to the terminal door, it was just between two rain showers, which later in the evening it should become a real thunderstorm:


Made my way to the check-in for my Germanwings flight back home. So far that's my Easyjet report, I hope you enjoyed it, and if you did, feel free to leave a reply. Thanks for reading, and thanks to ContactAir for letting me use his photobucket account. Regards, Alex.
 
INNflight
Posts: 3526
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2004 5:11 am

RE: Easyjet STN-NCL With Pics

Sat Jul 09, 2005 8:15 am

Quoting Ndebele (Thread starter):
we taxied to a remote part of the ramp, and with two running engines we waited for more than half an hour for our slot to begin

So that's their trick on saving money? Ah who cares, fuel is very cheap these days anyway...  Wink

Thanks for the report, was enjoyable to read, and the photos were nice too! Good that we've LCC's for short daytrips like this.

Looking forward to more reports, as usual - Yours are high quality!

cheers,
Florian
Jet Visuals
 
TriStar500
Posts: 4411
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 1999 9:50 pm

RE: Easyjet STN-NCL With Pics

Sat Jul 09, 2005 5:13 pm

Hi Alex!
Finally we get to read about your first experiences with the Big Orange!  Smile So how would you rate your experiences with EasyJet? Since U2 is sort of becoming our "hometown airline" here in DTM, I have travelled around with them quite a bit and must say, they offer a totally unglamorous, but solid and value-priced product. Kind of like travelling by regional train.

And what did I tell you about not printing out your booking receipt, you lazy git !?  Wink Have you already forgotten the trouble you and Contact Air had in VLC earlier this year?

Anyway, very good report, well illustrated with an abundance of pictures. which capture the mood of your flights and the shi..y English weather pretty well. Big grin
Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
 
FLIEGER67
Posts: 5195
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2003 4:43 am

RE: Easyjet STN-NCL With Pics

Sun Jul 10, 2005 5:34 am

Hi Alex,
interesting to read about your "adventures" around Scotland, ahh..., sorry the UK!.
I will do my first EZY flight in roundabout 6 weeks, if nothing else happens, nobody knows it, these days.
I´am also not amused about these UK system, all the pax in one hall, waiting for their gate announcement.
What about the fare?. For my side-trip LHR-GLA-STN, BMI to GLA was cheaper than EZY back to STN, not the big difference but cheaper.
Good pix as always,
Best regards,
Markus (FLIEGER67)
Tripreporter.net
 
UK_Dispatcher
Posts: 2254
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2001 8:44 pm

RE: Easyjet STN-NCL With Pics

Sun Jul 10, 2005 1:06 pm

Great report - I was looking forward to reading about your visit to NCL. Some nice pics too, especially the last one taken back at STN.

Ian.
 
ZRHnerd
Posts: 830
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 8:20 pm

RE: Easyjet STN-NCL With Pics

Sun Jul 10, 2005 5:09 pm

Gotta love your reports bud, keep em coming please  bigthumbsup 
 
Ndebele
Topic Author
Posts: 2847
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2001 3:16 am

First DBA Fokker 100 Report: STR-TXL With Pics

Tue Jul 12, 2005 6:35 pm

Thanks for your comments, guys! Though I somehow miss the feedback from the British members (I know it's just a lowcost British domestic, but I wrote this report mostly for the British members), I was glad to see the replies from my German, Swiss, Austrian and United Arabian friends, thank you!

Quoting INNflight (Reply 1):
So that's their trick on saving money? Ah who cares, fuel is very cheap these days anyway...

I was surprised as well about the engines running, especially because the captain announced in advance that we'd have to wait half an hour for take-off clearance. Or maybe the engines need to run before they can send a ready-message to ATC in order to ask for a better slot? I don't know.

Quoting TriStar500 (Reply 2):
So how would you rate your experiences with EasyJet? Since U2 is sort of becoming our "hometown airline" here in DTM, I have travelled around with them quite a bit and must say, they offer a totally unglamorous, but solid and value-priced product.

Your statement reflects my impressions, there was absolutely nothing special inflight (that's why my report covers mostly what I experience on the ground), but with 52 Euro tax-inclusive for the return flight I think I cannot complain.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 3):
What about the fare?. For my side-trip LHR-GLA-STN, BMI to GLA was cheaper than EZY back to STN, not the big difference but cheaper.

Easyjet's fares for my flights were definitely not too expensive. I think it's bmi who have begun to sell even their LHR flights rather cheap. I even read somewhere that they're going to sell their bmi LHR flights on the bmibaby website, though the equipment will be mainline.

Quoting UK_Dispatcher (Reply 4):
Great report - I was looking forward to reading about your visit to NCL. Some nice pics too, especially the last one taken back at STN.

Thanks for your reply, Ian. NCL is a nice modern airport, rather quiet regarding movements at least in the afternoon when I was there, but the capacity of the check-in hall indicates that this airport sees busier times as well, probably in the morning and evening hours. I enjoyed my short stay at NCL!

Quoting ZRHnerd (Reply 5):
Gotta love your reports bud, keep em coming please

Glad to hear you enjoyed my report. Unfortunately no more trips planned in the next few weeks, but it's comments like yours which make me keep on writing reports, even if the airline/routing combination isn't special.

Once again, thanks for your feedback!
 
gkirk
Posts: 23349
Joined: Thu Jun 15, 2000 3:29 am

RE: Easyjet STN-NCL With Pics

Tue Jul 12, 2005 9:14 pm

Good report. Glad to see you enjoyed your stay at NCL  Wink
Not have a chance to try the famous Newcastle Brown Ale?
When you hear the noise of the Tartan Army Boys, we'll be coming down the road!
 
cambrian
Posts: 566
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2003 1:45 am

RE: Easyjet STN-NCL With Pics

Tue Jul 12, 2005 11:08 pm

Great report!

I have never flown Easyjet, so you gave me a very good idea of what it's like to travel with them.

I travel LHR-NCL quite a lot- I think that NCL is a very nice airport indeed.
The best thing about it is that they have a branch of Gregg's in the terminal.

As they say in Geordieland, "Champion!"
 
Contact Air
Posts: 1143
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2001 4:13 am

RE: Easyjet STN-NCL With Pics

Fri Jul 15, 2005 3:28 am

Hi Alex,

very well-written report once again with lots of great pics!  bigthumbsup 

Easyjet seems to be the only low-cost airline (besides Ryanair) who really care about the boarding groups and priority boarding for lower sequence numbers. Quite a good thing as it avoids queueing up at the gate hours before departure.

Quoting Ndebele (Thread starter):
A Lufthansa Regional BAe146 (probably being prepared for delivery to Eurowings) and in the background another all-white B747:

The Lufthansa Regional should probably be an ex-Buzz aircraft. Interesting that it is prepared for LH at STN and not in one of LH's maintenance facilities in HAM or FRA.

Quoting Ndebele (Thread starter):
only the net of the seat pocket in front of me was torn, so my stuff (i.e. my digicam) kept on falling out.

Why has that always to happen on LCC's, even on new aircraft? Are their seats (and seat pockets) produced more cheaply or don't they care that much about their cabins like major airlines and don't repair broken seats that quickly?

An other question, a little bit off-topic: does anybody know what happened to the rumour that Easyjet might open an other base in Germany? Anything new about that, or has it been cancelled again?

Christoph
 
Ndebele
Topic Author
Posts: 2847
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2001 3:16 am

RE: Easyjet STN-NCL With Pics

Wed Jul 20, 2005 11:39 pm

Nice to get some British feedback, thanks very much guys!

Quoting Contact Air (Reply 9):
The Lufthansa Regional should probably be an ex-Buzz aircraft. Interesting that it is prepared for LH at STN and not in one of LH's maintenance facilities in HAM or FRA.

I'm not too surprised, lots of BAE146/RJ maintenance is done in the UK, I think I read somewhere that even Lufthansa's own (CityLine) RJs are sent to the UK for heavy maintenance.

Good point regarding the announced Easyjet base in Germany - they must have delayed their decission, the decission was announced for "next week" several weeks ago...

Regards, Alex.
 
Sabena 690
Posts: 6065
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2002 12:48 am

RE: Easyjet STN-NCL With Pics

Fri Jul 22, 2005 3:10 am

Hi Alex,

Thanks for letting us know about your first EZY experience! Sorry for the late reply, but I'm running behind in reading all the trip reports...

Quoting Ndebele (Thread starter):
it was nearly four hours before departure so I really wondered who had 001

Out of curiosity: how were you able to check-in 4h before your flight? I thought that low-cost airlines only allowed to check-in 2h before your flight?

I agree that sitting in a lounge before the gate of your flight is very annoying, but I don't care about this too much to be honest: normally, I just walk to a gate with a good overview of the airfield, and spot from there till about 1h before the departure of my flight. Afterwards I just check a flight information screen and proceed to my gate.

Regards
Frederic
 
Ndebele
Topic Author
Posts: 2847
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2001 3:16 am

RE: Easyjet STN-NCL With Pics

Sat Jul 23, 2005 4:15 pm

Hi Frederic,

Quoting Sabena 690 (Reply 11):

Out of curiosity: how were you able to check-in 4h before your flight? I thought that low-cost airlines only allowed to check-in 2h before your flight?

I think it all depends on whether they do manual check-in or if they use a computer system. Easyjet does check-in by computer, so basically it is at least possible to do check-in at any counter, and even several hours before departure. Remember, for STN-NCL I went to the STN-EDI counter... It was definitely better than having to wait for the counters to open two hours before departure.

Thanks for your reply, Alex.

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