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FR712/715 STN-AAR The Daytrip (lots Of Pics!) Long

Thu Jul 05, 2007 8:12 am

The Background

I came home from college one Wednesday afternoon to find a thread on here about FR offering 100% free flights. This intrigued me, and within hours, I had arranged with 3 other mates to travel to Aarhus (Denmark) for the day. Other options included Bremen, Milan or Oslo, but these flights either had less availability or were not in the time range for us. Oslo was close, but Aarhus one by a toss of the coin. I also booked some tickets to Hamburg Lubeck (LBC) and will be travelling this in September.

This trip was intended to be our final farewell trip, as now we have finished college, we are all off on our own ways.

The Airport

Left Romford for Stansted at just after 4am. The journey normally takes on average 45 minute an hour, and even though check in didn't commence until 5.25am, I felt it safest to leave a little earlier, in case there was any hold-ups at the airport.

Journey to was pleasant, with the M25 and M11 empty. My dad dropped the four of us in the short stay car park, and we went off into the terminal where, it was much busier than Id expected.
After a 10 minute or so wait, check in as announced, and we carried ourselves over to the desk to get checked in. We were the 6th,7th,8th, and 9th people to check in for this flight. From here we could see the security queues clearly and to be honest, they were a little on the busy side.

(Check In)

Finished checking in, and joined the long queue for security. Luckily, the queue although long, moved fairly smoothly, and they even opened up another security lane to speed things up. This process took about 25 minutes, which although more than when I travelled through LHR T3 in April, wasn't bad, considering the queues and heightened security.
After clearing regular security, I got the opportunity to stink STN out, by having my shoes scanned. one of the other travellers with me, Dan T also got told to, and spent the best part of 5 minutes untying and buckling his incredibly large boots. Maybe not the best choice for travel.

Despite being 6am, our stomachs rumbled, and it was decided time to get some food. Considering STN has no fast food outlets (Why?!! Some of us here like McBreakfasts), we decided on Wetherpoons. I had a sausage sandwich, which I will say was very very nice. Took about 15 minutes to get the food to our table, which was good, especially if you saw the crowd. From the table, it was possible to see a bit of the outside. For spotters who were interested, I could see Ryanair, Ryanair, Ryanair and a Jet2 plane. I also noticed a FlyGlobespan flight, which, remarkably, seemed to be ontime .

After breakfast, we grabbed a cookie from Millies Cookies, a drink from boots (who had no reasonable sized bottles of water, just tanker sized ones) and we headed to gate 85.
On our walk, i had the chance to see a few aircraft, including a Jet2 one with a green tail, and an Air Berlin Fokker 100.

(A Low Cost Lovers Dream!)

(FR flight leaving)

(Jet2 and its Channel express tail)

Boarding began at 6.50, and as usual we beat the rush of people to the gate, to board pretty much 8th or 9th. No mention of web check in or priority boarding.

(I like waling to the plane, better photo opp)

(Nice shot of the titles)

The Flight
Est. Dep 1100 Act. Dep 1105
Flt. Time 1hr 20mins

Choice of seats, and I chose to take the exit row. This was my first time seated at an emergency exit, but It wont be my last, that extra room is just unbelievable.

(Room to swing a cat. If they were allowed on board however)

With the flight still boarding, i could stretch out that little bit more.
The door was closed at around 7.20, and we began our taxi, and of course the recorded safety information. I love the way they actually turn the emergency lights on. Funky.
Take off was smooth, and it was up into the morning sky, and through the wonderful grey clouds that were hovering over London. We started to head north east, and up out over the North sea. I would have seen more, but the cloud remained quite thick below us.

(Over East Of England)

(Over Coast Of England)

(Over North Sea)

Service began, but I chose not to buy anything, and simply settled for a pack of Mentos which were in my bag, along with a bottle of coke. I overcame the temptation to mix the two together, leaving drink spillages to my mate, who opened his coke to have it spray everywhere. Just as well the seat next to him was empty.
Today entertaibnment on the flight for me consisted of reading a very boring Daily Mail, and enjoying the latest issue of Airliners World. I got a kick out of the new weird special livery's featured in an article near the back.
After this it was soon time to descent and we began our way through the clouds and down into Denmark. We touched down at around 10 am local, and taxied to our stands. Before we stopped, there was a huge bang, which we quickly realised was the sound barrier, and noticed that it had been broken by a fighter jet, from the airbase which is at or near AAR. That wakes you up for sure.

(Thick forests surround the airport)

(Our Plane)

(Our Plane Again)

AAR's entire fleet of baggage trolleys for unloading planes)

Exited the plane, and went into the tiny building. This is where we joined a fairly long queue, which we were pretty much at the back of. I had elected to take a few more shots of the aircraft on the ground and therefore most passengers had overtaken us. The corridor was long, drab and felt like something I would expect in Cold War Eastern Europe. At the end sat one security agent, scowling.

(This image fails to capture the cold concrete feel of the queuing area)

After walking through baggage reclaim, we went out to the bus stop where our coach was waiting to take us to the city. (we were also desperate for the loo buy the end of it, mainly because there was a queue for the 2, yes, 2 toilets located in arrivals.) The bus wasn't too badly priced (120kr [about £12] return, and gave all day use of local buses).

Yet again, another excellent flight with FR. The emergency exit row seats were great, and the flight was smooth, like as check-in and security.

My opinions on the day we spent in Denmark were that although we had a good time, and it was fun, the prices were just a little too steep. I didn't also enjoy the kroner, which we found horribly confusing. It might be different if it was a trip longer than a day though. They did have mountain dew however .

(The city, church and shops)

(A canal)

The Airport

At 2015 the bus left Aarhus, arriving at the airport for about 9pm.
This was my first time seeing at front of the airport terminal properly, and I was amazed at how small it really looked. guess I'm used to the big old London and major American ones.

(A very small building)

Check in was busy, and we had to queue and the queue moved slowly. There was 3 desks for us, a set of desks for SAS and one desk for Sun Air (BA). we were the only flight out this evening, and as you can see in my picture, they actually show pretty much all the flights they have on the departure board.

(The entire list of flights)

(The check in area)

After checking in, we proceeded through the security check point and into the small lounge.
The lounge consisted of a cafe, and a shop. The water was not cheap either, but I had no choice and brought some for the flight. I hate that liquid rule (it also prevented me from bringing Mountain Dew home).

(You can see how small security is in this photo)

(Im a little too late for my flight...)

Just as the lounge began to feel busy, I noticed a door which led me to a small outside area called the Mythical Garden. it was a really nice and peaceful area with a small water feature, benches and plants. Combined with the cool Danish air, it made for a relaxing place to site and enjoy a game of cards until the flight. The peace, however was to be ended by a few fighter jets which decided to land and park up near the runway. It made for a few photos however, Also parked out here was an SAS plane, ready for the next day.

(The Garden, and Water feature)

(The garden, and ornament tree thing)

(Tomorrows flight to the capital)

(Not something you see everyday at a civilian airport)

At about 2235, there was an announcement made, that our flight had been delayed for one hour, due to a previous delay, Back to the garden it was for another few games of cards, until we deemed it too cold and a bit too dark to play any more. Thankfully, at this stage it was about 2320 and people had begun gathering at the desks to form a queue. Annoyingly, I was near the back of this long queue. Luckily, we were able to entertain ourselves with Lego. This was placed here for kiddies, how ever, there was hardly any bricks. Damn

(The lack of Lego. A crime)

The Flight
Est. Dep 2245 Act. Dep 2350 (Delayed due to previous weather)
Flt. Time 1hr 35mins

Plane landed about 23:30, and the line began moving almost instantly after that. passport was checked another 2 times from here to the plane, where I faced the difficult choice of, boarding at the front or back. I chose back, for more photos.
I boarded a busy plane, and we grabbed what seats we could. I was seated 3 rows from the back, and suddenly noticed the difference in legroom. Arguably, I've been on charters with worse.

(Our plane)

(A tail shot)

(The registration, just obstructed by the door at the end)

The flight crew were viably worn out, obviously from the rushing with the delay and a long day. They did have time for one really bad head hitting joke, that was "we don't want to be stuck in here for Aarhus {it sounds similar to hours the way they said it). There was a general chuckle among English people. Safety demo and taxi began just after 2345, with us heading to the western runway. The flight was to be 1hr 25, and would take us out over the north sea, and in over the east of England and into STN. There was cloud coverage, rain and a favourably western wind. This pilot was a bit more concise compared to the earlier one. During the safety demo, we did see one passenger get told to shut up by crew. Yay.

(The winglet, lit up)

Flight took off and we were up into darkness, hence no more pictures. It took 25 minutes for the seatbelt sign to go off, and I decided to watch a few episodes of Family Guy. FR may not have AVOD, but with my zen, its pretty much the same. i just miss the moving map.
Brought a model plane, (it now had winglets) and just after doing some, the speed suddenly dropped terrifically. Timing, lol. The pilot came on to announce we were 10 minutes away from our decent, and that this was the last chance to use the bathrooms. I wish i had taken the offer now, but at the time, felt I could hold it no problem.
Seatbelt light came on meaning it was time to prepare for landing, and the plane got lower, and it got bumpier as we hit a bank of cloud.
However, suddenly we began to turn right. It was then announced that we were entering a holding pattern over the east cost. This was due to STN begin shut early, for runway repairs. It was to be about 15 minutes before we would land now.
True to their word, 15 minutes alter we were lining up with the STN runway, and it felt a little faster than before. We hit the tarmac hard, and flew down the runway. I had to push myself against the seat in front of me, to stop me flying into the seat. Arrival time was at about 0015.
We then taxied to a gate where, everyone, tired, got up ready to de plane.
Or not. 5 minutes of standing up, and it was announced that there was another delay, and that no one was available to handle our plan (bravo BAA).
We sat back down, for about another 25, 30 minutes, when the pilot came on to announce that there was a bus on its way to pick us up. However, as it was only one bus, half the plane would have to wait.
After about 45, 50 minuets of sitting on the tarmac, we finally de planed, and was bussed quickly to the terminal. I by now was desperate for the loo, and was expecting to be creating a puddle on the floor.
Immigration was a nightmare, with several other delayed flights arriving at once. I must ask why there isnt at least one union jack at immigration, compared to the US where theres always several. It feels nice to see a little patriotism.
The immigration officer was one of the most surly people I've ever met, I greeted her with a "hello", nothing back but a blank look. hand over my passport, she looks at it, scans it and hand it back. Points to the exit.
Does a hello, thank you or good morning kill?
The final wait was an hour for a taxi, as we had missed the last train home.


The flight was fine, the crew were a little tired, but it was understandable. I was unimpressed heavily by BAA (again), who seem to have failed in realising that flights would be arriving together after you shut a runway for 15 minutes.
This was a sad end really, for what was a fun day, and had two enjoyable flights.
FR have once again impressed me, especially for what i pay, and I will be flying them again. They are no VS but they get me there and back fro a reasonable fee. these delays were somewhat beyond their control.

Thankyou for reading my long trip report, and I hope that you enjoyed reading it.
Please do leave comments, I always appreciate feedback.


[Edited 2007-07-05 01:19:16]
The white zone is for immediate loading and unloading of passengers only
Posts: 997
Joined: Sat Jun 03, 2006 6:01 am

RE: FR712/715 STN-AAR The Daytrip (lots Of Pics!) Long

Thu Jul 05, 2007 8:24 am

Nice report.

Quoting FlyKev (Thread starter):
FR have once again impressed me, especially for what i pay, and I will be flying them again.

I too have had many good flights with FR. I think there are very good for the price you pay.

Copenhagen is one of, if not my very favourit city in the world. You really have to stay there for a few days to get a real feel for the place. It is expensive but imo well worth it.

That Lego thing looks identical to one that was in the dentists I used to go to as a kid!

Andy S
Failing doesn’t make you a failure. Giving up and refusing to try again does!
Posts: 478
Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2007 6:52 pm

RE: FR712/715 STN-AAR The Daytrip (lots Of Pics!) Long

Thu Jul 05, 2007 8:11 pm

Great trip report, Aarhus looks like a nice city. Another positive report about Ryanair as well, perhaps they're not as bad as those of us that haven't flown with them seem to think? Maybe I ought to give them a go...

One minor, picky thing.... registrations of the aircraft seem to be in the wrong order?

Looking forward to reading the report on the Lubeck trip.
Next Up: Back to the US - Charlotte & Kansas City
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RE: FR712/715 STN-AAR The Daytrip (lots Of Pics!) Long

Thu Jul 05, 2007 8:43 pm

Very nice, when ddi you go?

Posts: 16083
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 6:29 pm

RE: FR712/715 STN-AAR The Daytrip (lots Of Pics!) Long

Fri Jul 06, 2007 4:47 am

Cool report.

I like the look of Arhus city.

[Edited 2007-07-05 21:48:54]
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
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RE: FR712/715 STN-AAR The Daytrip (lots Of Pics!) Long

Fri Jul 06, 2007 5:42 pm

Glad to see my delightful STN colleague's doing ok = ]
Thanks for sharing a nice well detailed report!
All the best Tom Big grin
Topic Author
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RE: FR712/715 STN-AAR The Daytrip (lots Of Pics!) Long

Sat Jul 07, 2007 1:45 am

Quoting 02hilliert (Reply 2):
One minor, picky thing.... registrations of the aircraft seem to be in the wrong order?

Yup, your right on that, my bad.

Quoting BA777 (Reply 3):
Very nice, when did you go?

3rd July.

Thanks for your replies so far, im glad you've enjoyed it.

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