Scheduled Dep. 6.55
Actual Dep. 7.05
Scheduled Arv. 7.55
Actual Arv. 7.55
737-800 (no winglets)
Photo © Paulo Carvalho
Is it insane to travel by plane for a day trip to a theme park?
It was in May, whilst looking at airfares to elsewhere, I stumbled across Ryanair's flights to BLK and how cheap they were.
Within days of this, all 4 of us had booked the tickets to BLK costing just £30 rtn each (inc. taxes).
Finally, on August 8th, we were off to BLK.
To the airport
Journey took just 35 minutes from my house, which was quicker than expected, but then again, I guess I didnt think how empty the M11 would be at 2 am.
Arrived at STN around 3 am to find people crowding round check in desk boards waiting their flight to open, as well as passengers sleeping on the floor after over-nighting from London.
Check in Desks opened at about 4am, and we were the first passengers to check in for FR2752. Having no bags to check in, we were completed in about 5 minutes and were off with our boarding cards. I will add here that the person checking us in seemed very friendly and efficient, which is always nice to see.
(Check In Desks)
(My Boarding Card)
After getting picked up by the metal detector, and after having my bag randomly tested for explosives (annoying, I had everything packed perfectly), we were in for a 2 hour wait in the departure lounge. (Giving me time to get a cookie from Millies cookies of course)
At 6am we went down to the gate area, seeing as were only sitting around the departure lounge anyway. Down at the departure gates, the screens which should have been showing information on our flights, had crashed displaying one of Windows many error messages.
(Ryanair flight to Glasgow PIK [our planes to the far left])
Around 6.35 boarding began for our flight, however, no one could actually understand what was being said over the intercom as the person speaking was just too quiet.
(Our Plane again, from a different angle)
After a free for all of boarding, and a walk down to the tarmac, we were welcomed aboard by the crew and settled in to seats 19 E and F, and 20 D and F.
(The view in front...)
The first thing I noticed on board Ryanair, was the advertising message, being played constantly in the background. At first, i was ok with this, but it became incredibly repetitive.
The seats seemed comfortable enough to me, being made out of dark plastic (or leather?) with the seat backs being topped with a bright yellow coating and safety card stuck to this. The legroom seemed to be quite good, and felt more spacious than on previous flights with FCA. This flight was about 3 quarters full, leaving both our rows with D free.
Safety announcement came next, and which surprised me, was that it was all pre recorded. Unusual, but at least this way you were guaranteed to understand the announcement.
We left the stand at about 7am, and taxied to the runway, leaving STN about 7.05
Leveling off at 18,000ft cabin service started, which was a very rushed affair, as they battled against the clock to sell as much as they could to us. Seat belt lights were turned back on after just 20 minutes and we started our decent after turning into a NW direction.
No cloud to go through thankfully, and there was a nice clear view of Blackpool tower, and the Pepsi Max Big one at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.
Wheels touched down dead on 7.55 and the landing, although not the worst, definitely wasn't the smoothest. The only other plane on the ground was a jet2 733.
The plane stopped up next to what we assume was the terminal, but seemed more of a tent, I grabbed a quick photo of the baggage reclaim as we walked past.
(The baggage reclaim)
Exiting BLK airport was easy, and it was then just a 25 minute walk to Blackpool pleasure beach (then a 2 hour wait for the place to open ).
Scheduled Dep. 22.00
Actual Dep. 22.15
Scheduled Arv. 22.55
Actual Arv. 23.00
Photo © Michal Kaczmarek (Wlkp_Spotters)
We arrived very wet and worn out from a long days riding of roller coasters and from the rain which chose to start as we left the park.
Check in opened at 8pm I was informed, meaning we had a 10 minute wait. At this part of the airport, there are no seats and just 14 check in desks. None of which were open, as we were the final flight out of BLK that day.
Check-in opened dead on time, and again we were first to check in. However, this time the ground air staff were from servisair, and unlike at STN, we had to weigh our hand baggage. Not really a problem there. Whilst we did this, i asked a few questions, finding out our flight was to be about half full (or empty, however you wish too look at it).
(The check-in area)
After checking in, we went through to BLK's very small yet comfortable departure lounge.
(Departure lounge photos)
Grabbing a quick bite to eat from the cafe there, and some jelly beans from the shop, we settled in to some seats which had an excellent view of the tarmac, but sadly, there were no aircraft, other than a Jet2 733 which landed, unloaded and parked up.
At 22.00 boarding began, and again, it was a complete mess, however, I did get some photos as we walked to the plane on the tarmac. I noted at this point we were on EI-DAN and it was fitted with winglets.
Cabin crew welcomed us aboard, and we chose to sit in the same seats as we had on the way out.
(Our plane home)
Captain welcomed us aboard and informed us that we were just about ready to depart, and that our route was to take us over Liverpool, down to Luton, and round into STN, taking about 35 minutes. i noted at this time, there was no pre recorded advertising playing in the background.
We taxied to the runway, and departed about 22.05, only 5 minutes late.
The flight then turned and headed towards London. Again at 18,000ft we levelled off and service began, this time it was even more rushed.
I chose to make a quick trip to the bathroom, and on my way back, I asked a crew member if I could see the flightdeck on landing, and she said I was more than welcome to.
We began our decent almost just after about 10 minutes of having the seat belt light off, and we came into land, touching down at STN around 23.00. The landing was one of the best I've ever experienced.
After the plane cleared, we made a quick trip to the flight deck, which I haven't done since I was 5, and was amazed at how computerised it all was. After thanking the pilots, we made our way off the plane, and into STN, completing a long day. However, well worth it.
I went onto FR expecting not much, however, I got more than planned, the seats were comfortable, legroom good, and the staff were friendly. (the return flight being a much better crew and plane).
I will defiantly choose FR if an option in the future (of course, only if the lowest), and for this flight I give them 9/10, especially seeing as it cost just £30 return each.
Thank you for reading, comments are appreciated