This report is about my journey to the a.net meet at CWL and onboard the Aer Lingus A333 to DUB. And also my return home back to LHR with bmi
My journey to Cardiff would take me by train from my local station on the London Waterloo-Reading line to Reading, where I would connect onto the First Great Western High Speed Train service to Cardiff Central.
I arrived at the station at 6.55, 5 minutes before my train to Reading was due to depart, as you can see nobody in their right mind would be up this early on a Saturday morning!
My train arrived on time at 7.00am, the journey to reading took about 30 minutes.
My train arriving
The red seats on the train were a bit much on the eye this early in the morning!
I arrived at Reading and had about half an hour to spare untill my train to Cardiff was due to depart, the 08.11 service from London Paddington to Swansea, so I went and grabbed a Coffee to wake me up a bit.
High Speed Train, same as my one to Cardiff
My train arrived in good time and left exactly ontime. The journet to Cardiff took 1 hour and 40 minutes from Reading. The train stopped at Swindon, Bristol Parkway, Newport and, finally at Cardiff for me, then continued on to Swansea.
Little did I know, at the time Matt (Swiftski) and Chris (forgotten your username) were onboard too, they took advantage of the £10 1st class upgrade and were sitting a couple of carriages behind me, looking back, I should have done the same! Still standard was good enough!
"Safety information is available at your seat in case of an emergency, please familirise yourself with the procedures" Safety cards on a train???!!!
It was announced that a "Travelling Chef" was onboard the train, ok so not quite sure if thats any different to normal, anyways I decided to get myself a Sausage bloomer for £3.50, it was very filling.
Sausage Bloomer... in a sub roll
The rest of the journey was pretty uneventful, apart from a few rowdy Irish fans off to Cardiff for the Rugby and the slightly crazy Buffet attendant who was making slightly rude and patronising announcements about remembering to show your first class ticket if you want to purchase food and drink. (As you get 3 free items when travelling in First class, I think)
At 10.50 I arrived into Cardiff Central and I made my way out to the front of the Station to where the Bus Station is. I waited 10 minutes for the X91 bus to the CWL, the journey took just under half an hour.
When I arrived at CWL I made my way to the Holiday Inn to meet Tom (TupolevTU154), Jordan (Pawlesykat) and Trent (ClassicLover) who had all stayed over the night before and had a great view of the apron from their room. After alot of joking around and banter about Jordan "travelling light" we made the short walk from the hotel down to the terminal building.
The terminal itself was very tiny! Inside we made our way over to the 4 Aer Lingus desks to check in. We had all checked in online the night before but had not printed boarding passes, due to no access to printers. This caused a few set backs for the staff "Well you should have printed it out you know" or the "Im just going to phone someone in the office" and "It all went fine yesterday" but in the end they managed to print us all boarding passes.
We then went over to the "Big bmibaby map" as it aparently was, to wait for some of the other guys to show up.
When we had all showed up we headed upstairs to security, which took about 10 minutes to clear. After we had all cleared, we headed to the bar, when we saw our aircraft, EI-JFK had just arrived from DUB. Just as we were about to order our drinks, they announced our flight was ready for boarding. No pre flight drinks then!
We got to our gate and had to wait for about another 15 minutes before we all boarded. There must have been about 70 people im guessing on the flight today.
Aircraft: Airbus A330-300 (1st flight on A330)
Reg: EI-JFK St. Colmcille
Seat: 37A and various others thoughout the flight
Scheduled Departure Time: 12:45
Actual Departure Time: 13:35
Scheduled Arrival Time: 13:45
Actual Arrival Time: 14.15
Photo © Diego Ruiz de Vargas - Iberian Spotters
Photo © Alexandru Magurean
EI-JFK was delivered to Aer Lingus on 11/07/1995
After making ourselves comfortable, the captain introduced himself and told us about todays flight time and routing and also what the weather was like in DUB. He also mentioned the reason for the slight delay on arrival into CWL.
We finally pushed back at about 13.25 and were in the air 10 minutes later.
Some photos from CWL
Jet2 757 with winglets! on a Rugby charter?
Another Jet2 757
2 BA 747s Stored?
The takeoff was powerful to say the least, well with the aircraft not even half full and no baggage it was to be expected!
I was actually quite surprised the cabin crew did a full service due to the short lenght of todays flight. After the seatbelt sign was finally switched off, we basically had the run of the aircraft as there was hardly anyone onboard! I then made my way up to the Premier cabin where most of the a.nutters were seated for some photos and some more banter, oh and not forgetting to collect my goodie bag (Thanks to Bramble, you absolute LEGEND for this!!!!!) Not more than 5 minutes later we had started our decent into DUB This flight was no way long enough!
Sitting in 1C... I turfed Jordan out
Middle cabin section
By now we had been asked to return to our seats and prepare for landing, I decided to move to 15K
Pier E under construction
We landed on Runway 28 14.15
DUB wouldn't be DUB without the token FR shot
Welcome to Dublin
We then waited for all the passengers to leave the aircraft and we all gathered in the Premier cabin for a group photo.
The crew on todays flight were great, espically Bramble, thanks again for the goodies!
After the photocall we left the aircraft, with Tom leaving his passport in the seat pocket
As he wasn't allowed to board the aircraft, one of the airport workers had to go and find it, luckily they found it! Then we made our way out to arrivals, where most of us said our goodbyes!
I then went outside the terminal with Tom, Jordan and Trent to say goodbye to them as I was flying back to home to LHR in a few hours time.
Back inside the terminal building I went upstairs to the bmi area to collect my boarding pass, as I had checked in the night before and couldnt print it. The check in area was very congested, one flight in particular was a MON to LPA which only had 2 desks open and they were queuing right in the way of everyone trying to pass. The girl on the bmi desk sorted my boarding pass out for me no problem, so I then went upstairs to grab something to eat, i went for HUGE sandwich from Lily O'Brians that I couldnt actually finish!
I then went downstairs to pass through security and head to the B pier, as my BD flight was departing from gate B21.
I obviously did a bit of spotting whilst I was waiting and inbetween watching the Rugby.
EI-JFK that brought us into DUB earlier on
BD 320 G-MIDR and LS 733 G-CELX
EI-JFK pushing back for departure to JFK, how approriate
FR 738 EI-DHN
A new one for me, Kathargo Airlines 733 TS-IEC inbound from Monastir
Freshly delivered AF 777F F-GUOB
At 16.30 my BD flight back to LHR arrived, todays flight was operated by an A319 G-DBCB
At 17.15 boarding was announced, with priority for Passengers with young children or those needing assistance
Aircraft: Airbus A319
Reg: G-DBCB (4th flight on A319 and 1st on this aircraft)
Scheduled Departure Time: 17:40
Actual Departure Time: 17:45
Scheduled Arrival Time: 19:10
Actual Arrival Time: 18.45
Photo © Alastair T. Gardiner - WorldAirImages
Photo © Colin Hines
Photo © Michael Brazier
Photo © Gregory Bajor
G-DBCB was delivered to bmi on 23/04/2004
As I boarded I was greeted by a very friendly member of the crew, who checked my boarding pass and told me "just down the back on your left, sir"
The middle seat remained free, which seems to happen to me alot.
I found the seats on this A319 very comfortable, it felt like there was a little bit more legroom compared to the EI A330. I noticed the seat backs were not as high as on some other aircraft and that the tray table was higher up too.
Please do not remove from aircraft..... Jordan
Legroom was good, Im 5ft 11" ^^
Our pilot tonight seemed like a friendly chap over the tannoy, giving plenty of information about the flight time and weather, he also promised Rugby updates throughout the flight and "anyone who doesn't want to know them... tough! Block your ears!"
We pushed back at 17.35 and after a short taxi to runway 28 we were in the air at 17.45
Nice bit of cloud surfing
Leaving DUB behind once more
Once in the air the crew started the inflight service, this was very slow, They started at row 4 (1st row of economy) and it took half an hour for them to reach me in row 18. I think a lot of people were buying food/drink. By the time I got my Beer, the seatbelt sign had already been switched on for decent!
The captain stayed true to his word on the rugby scores, with updates every 10 minutes or so with an odd bit of commentry, I think he fancied himself as a bit of a commentator!
Starting our decent into LHR
We were placed in one of the stacks over North London before starting our approach into LHR, we were lucky enough to only do one lap!
The Emirates Stadium, home to Arsenal FC
Shortly after I flew over White Hart Lane where my team, Chelsea were playing, they lost to Tottenham
At 18:45 we landed 20 minutes ahead of schedule on 27R. We exited the runway by T3, next to a SQ A380
Sorry about the crap pic
Whilst taxiing to stand, the captain came on the PA to update us on the rugby again, he told us Ireland were now winning and to get to a TV screen in the terminal as it was a "cracking game"
By 18.50 we were parked up at T1 gate 84, next to a BA 757. I understand BA 757 flights are now at T3 but are they using T1 stands? Also I noticed that some of the jetbridges have been removed from this pier, you can see just by the 757!
All in all a good flight by bmi. Friendly and happy crew and a good service, not to mention arriving 20 minutes ahead of schedule!
After being one of the last off, I made my way through to arrivals to find a virtually empty T1! Last time I was here was a year ago, just before the BA move to T5 and all I can say is... it looks so minimalist! Big, wide open spaces... and lots of white!
I then made my way down to the Heathrow Express station to catch the train to T5 as I was catching the bus back to my friends house from here.
Heathrow Central Station
Terminal 5 Heathrow Express station
After arriving at T5 I made my way up to ground level to wait for the bus to my friends house, as a few of us were going out for curry.
All in all, it was a fantastic day out! Was great to meet some of the members at CWL!
Hope you enjoyed reading my report.