My ride to the UK:
This was my free flight back to the UK after finishing my summer season with the MyTravel group on the Costa Blanca. As I live in Spain, I was debating whether to use this flight but as I got a good deal on my return flight, I decided to go home for a couple of days and surprise my family.
As this was a company flight, I had to do a transfer and take holidaymakers back down to the airport with me on a coach. Once at the airport, I had to find the guy who runs the airport for MyTravel/Thomas Cook and collect my ticket from him, but he had no booking reference for me, so I filled in most of my ticket myself. I took myself back upstairs and stood in the queue for about half an hour to check in. When I was at the front of the queue, one of my colleagues advised me that he had blocked an emergency exit seat, which I was well chuffed about as they are an extra 30 euros each. I was allocated 11D, and hoped no-one else would be sitting next to me, so I would have an nice quiet flight, especially as I wasn't feeling too well. How wrong could I be.
Boarding was quick, with the aircraft on remote stand and having to be bussed over half way across the airport. We boarded at gate 1B, but the a/c was parked near gates 7-8, so I cant understand why we were so far away, but never mind, at least the a/c was there. Another one of my colleagues was going home so she was sitting behind me and had extra leg room seat too so we started chatting. A couple who I picked up on my transfer boarded the aircraft and asked me if I was in the correct seat, to which I replied yes I was. A member of the cabin crew came and asked us what was happening. The couple said that they had paid for extra leg room seats and were given 11C and 12C, but the woman had her arm in a sling. The cabin crew explained that the check in staff had done this as a person with an arm in a sling cannot be seated in an emergency exit seat in case hey need to help in an emergency, so the woman decided to take her sling off (as if removing the sling is going to make a difference), and as she was sorting out that problem, a couple of men who also had extra leg room seats ad been separated. The cabin crew asked if I would sit in 11B for take off and landing, so the two men could sit together and when the seat belt signs have been switched off, would I move to 12C so the couple could sit together. As the passengers knew I was staff, I could hardly say no, so reluctantly, I moved. I got a free drink for my trouble though, so I wasn't complaining too much. My colleague received a free drink too, even though she didn't move seat. The seats on this aircraft were lovely and comfy with plenty of room, even for me and were navy leather and looked very smart.
Eventually, the doors were closed and we were rolling to the end of the runway for a smooth westerly take off in the sunshine. Once in the air and the seatbelt signs were switched off, and the woman behind me was up and out of her seat like a whippet to change seats with me, and the ironic thing is, she never spoke to her husband throughout the flight, she was turned in her seat to talk to the couple I was sitting next to. As you can imagine I was not happy, but I just got on with it. The drinks service came round so I got a nice hot drink to warm me up and to sooth my sore throat. Not too long after, lunch was served. Today's meal was mince pie with vegetables and chocolate pudding with the usual bread roll, crackers and cheese. Followed by a lovely cup of tea. Service was friendly and prompt.
Then a family from hell started a mini-riot. Whilst at check-in, a Scouse family of about 12 people were shouting a lot and screaming at their kids, in fact, they screamed so loud at one point, the whole airport went silent for a couple of seconds. After the meal trash had been collected, the kids started to play up and were climbing on their seats, then the most disgusting happened, the kids started to spit at each other. The mother started screaming at them, and this continued throughout the remainder of the flight. It's the likes of these families that give British holidaymakers a bad name. Somehow I managed to fall asleep for about 20 minutes and even had a little fit as I had the dream where you are about to fall off a pavement (something to do with your blood pressure being too low), I felt like a right plum. I thought I best not go back to sleep just in case it happens again or even worse, I start to dribble, lol.
Not too long after that we began out descent into Manchester, and the sky darkened. Time to remove my sunglasses from my head as I had a sneaky suspicion I wouldn't need them for my time in the UK. Once again I moved seats for landing, and it seemed to take a long time to see land, not that it was worth seeing as it was a little bit on the wet side. We had a bit of turbulence just before we were about to land and I thought we were going to have a bumpy landing, but as ever MYT delivered a very smooth landing into the UK and bang on time at 12:15pm. We seemed to taxi to stand for ages and as usual, passengers had to be warmed about loosening their seat belts before the signs had been switched off. On arrival, disembarking was swift, but my luggage wasn't. My case was one of the last on the luggage belt, and was wet. As I had three bottles of spirits inside, I thought they had smashed. So the first thing I did was to check. Luckily they were all intact and it was the great British weather that had made them wet. So off I went to the Station, for my coach journey to Sunderland which look 6 hours.
As you will know with the 'merge' of MyTravel and Thomas Cook, all MYT aircraft have been given their slots to go into the paint factory to be repainted into Thomas Cook colour scheme and the airline with no longer exist as of May 2008. This was my first flight on an A321, which I absolutely loved, and probably my last flight on MyTravel Airways. I would like to thank all of the MyTravel Airways Crew for a fantastic job they have done over the years and wish you all the best if you are going over to Thomas Cook or other airlines or even if you took redundancy. MYT have been one of the best charter airlines and have a brilliant repu tation for punctuality and service. Let's hope our charm rubs off onto TCX.