Route : MAN-BFS
Flight : WW3501
Aircraft : 737-300
Registratiom : G-TOYA
Seat Assigned : 15F
Photo © Stéphane Mutzenberg
Photo © Graeme Bolton
Today was a very special day, I was travelling to Belfast to see a very special friend of mine get married. I decided to try something different and decided to fly BmiBaby from Manchester to Belfast International, I got up at 0300 for the hour long drive across the Pennines from Barnsley to the Airparks Car Park in Handsworth Dean, I arrived at the car park at 0445 where the transfer bus to MAN was waiting to depart, I checked my car in and jumped on the bus, transfer time was about 15 minutes, we were dropped off at the train station at MAN
My flight today was departing from terminal 3 so I began the long walk, via terminal 1 and looked for bmibaby check in. I joined the long queue, thinking it would take forever, but I was wrong after 5 mins I was called forward, I asked if I could be seated in the overwing exit so I could have a bit of legroom, the check in clerk said I could have a seat there for an extra £15, I politely declined and said the row behind will do.
Security was a breeze, the line for UK Domestic and Rep. of Ireland was empty so I waltzed on through to the busy departure area, I grabbed myself a full english breakfast from 'the grill' , on my boarding card it said I would be boarding from gate 52, so I decided I would go check out my ride for todays flight, sitting infront of me was G-TOYA, a 737-300, I had been hoping to get a 737-500, my flight was called for boarding at 0630 I proceeded to the gate and showed my boarding pass and photo ID and boarded the aircraft via the front steps, no airbridge today, I found my seat behind the overwing exit and squeezed myself in, todays flight didnt seem that busy, as it turned out there was just 31 of us onboard, no one in the overwing exit, a member of the cabin crew approached me and asked if I would mind moving forward 1 row as there was no one assigned in the overwing exit to operate the door in case of emergency, I jumped at the chance and moved forward and got my exit seat that I asked for at check in and saved £15
Push back was ahead of schedule, we began the long taxi to runway 06L passing a recently arrived Singapore Airlines 777-200 waiting for a stand to park on, several "Flybe" Embraers still in BA Connect colors, past the Concorde at the Aviation Viewing Park then onto 06L the take off was very very powerful, maybe the most powerful ive ever experienced, we were airborne after around 12 seconds, we made a left turn towards the north, then doubled back on ourselves towards Liverpool, fly over LPL in the process, we headed out into the Irish sea, towards the Isle of Man, we had only been flying for about 20 minutes when the captain announced that we had began our descent into Belfast and that the weather was pretty much the same as Manchester, clear skies and warm with a light northerly breeze, it seemed like the perfect weather for a wedding! As we neared Belfast the clouds got thicker and then the ground disappeared completly under a thick blanket of cloud, the flaps were set at 5 degrees and the wheels were dropped, I thought this was a bit unusual but then thought we were a lot lower than I thought, we carried on descending and broke through the clouds and noticed we were still at around 4000ft maybe a bit higher, we were on a very long final approach to runway 25, the city of Belfast and George Best City Airport was on the left hand side, we continued the approach and landed smoothly 10 mins ahead of schedule, taxied to stand 10 and disembarked right on schedule, I dragged my hand luggage from the overhead locker and into the terminal to collect my rental car.
To sum up BmiBaby they are a good airline, aircraft was bit worn but service was faultless, I would consider flying them again in the future!