PlaneHunter
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Monarch Hot Meal, E195 & More: PMI-ALC-MAN-MUC

Sun Jul 04, 2010 12:53 pm

Hot Meal & More: PMI-ALC-MAN-MUC on
Air Europa E195, Monarch A321 & easyJet A320


Picture by Satchmo


Intro
Part 2 of my latest trip report series will give an impression of Air Europa's Embraer 195, Monarch Airlines' Airbus A321 and easyJet's Airbus A320. These aircraft were used on our return trip from Palma de Mallorca to Munich via Alicante and Manchester. If you have missed part 1 you simply need to click here:
Premium Meal & Palma Spotting: MUC-PMI, DE 757-300


Background
In late November 2009 Condor was offering one-way flights from Munich to Palma for 69 Euro, available in spring 2010. My friend Satchmo hadn't flown on the 757-300 yet so he asked me whether I would be interested in a spotting tour in late April. I had already flown on NWA's 757-300, but I liked the idea of getting on that rare type again. However, I also wanted to add at least one new airline or one new type, so we started searching for interesting return trip options. We tried to find a flight on a UK holiday carrier from Palma to London, Manchester or elsewhere, but either fares were too high or flight times weren't favorable. So I started checking flights from mainland Spain and finally found a Monarch Airlines A321 flight from Alicante to Manchester for 79 Euro. We quickly booked that flight and added connecting flights on Air Europa (Palma-Alicante, Embraer 195) for 31 Euro and easyJet (Manchester-Munich, A320) for 36 Euro. The final itinerary included one new airline (Monarch) and one new type (E195) for me.





Sunday, 25 April 2010
Palma de Mallorca (PMI) - Alicante (ALC)
Air Europa UX4017
07:05-08:00 (08:05-08:54)
Flying time: 00:37 (hrs)
Economy Class, Seat 30A

Embraer 195
EC-KXD (MSN 19000244)
Delivered in 03/2009


1st flight on EC-KXD
1st Embraer 195 flight
5th E-Jet flight



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Photo © Rafael Nunes
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Photo © Biel Gomila



More than an hour prior to departure we left the hotel and were surprised by thick fog - we almost missed the right motorway exit on the way to the airport. After returning the rental car we went straight to the gate - I had already printed the boarding passes at home because Air Europa allows to check in up to 48 hours prior to departure for domestic flights from selected airports. Parked at the gate was EC-KXD, one of seven Embraer 195 in the fleet, delivered in March 2003:



We didn't see any more fog while waiting in the gate area and boarding was started on time. The plane is equipped with comfortable leather seats:





Legroom is generous as usual on the E-Jets:



The fog was returning during boarding, becoming thicker and thicker. Parked next to us was sister ship EC-KRJ, wearing a special "color scheme":



Nothing happened for a while after boarding had been completed and some minutes after the scheduled departure time the captain came on the speakers with bad news: "There are some delays due to low visibility", he explained and promised to keep us updated about the situation. Fortunately, our Monarch flight wouldn't depart earlier than 12:10, so we weren't concerned at all.
Ten minutes later the captain made another announcement and expressed his disbelief that ground radar wasn't available. "It's incredible", he commented. "Only one aircraft is allowed to move at a time." We were really surprised about these news. I'm still wondering whether the airport is not equipped with ground radar or whether the system was out of order. Well, it was totally uncertain at that point of time when we would be able to depart and we simply had to wait. A group of teenagers started to move around in the cabin and they were loudly chatting - so I was really hoping the fog would disappear soon. It took about 30 minutes until the situation was really getting better:



We were pushed back almost one hour late and started taxiing behind a follow-me-car. The group of teenagers started clapping and cheering once we were moving. Hello MD-90:



Finally EC-KXD entered runway 24R and started an amazingly powerful takeoff run:



The fog layer over the airport turned out to be very thin:







Here's what Satchmo saw from his seat on the opposite side where he had moved to during the waiting time on the ground: Palma de Mallorca...

Picture by Satchmo


Picture by Satchmo


...the TUI cruise ship Mein Schiff...

Picture by Satchmo


...as well as Santa Ponca (on the bottom right) and Port d'Andratx (top left):

Picture by Satchmo


Cabin shot - load factor was in the 70-80 percent range:



Due to the short flying time neither drinks nor snacks were offered for sale. Cloudy skies over mainland Spain:



Final approach over numerous warehouses:



We touched down after a flying time of 37 minutes...



...and taxied to a gate next to Jetairfly 737-500 OO-JAT:






Sunday, 25 April 2010
Alicante (ALC) - Manchester (MAN)
Monarch Airlines ZB683
12:10-13:55 (12:16-13:47)
Flying time: 02:21 (hrs)
Economy Class, Seat 36F

Airbus A321-231
G-OZBU (MSN 3575)
First delivered to easyJet as G-TTII in 07/2008


1st flight on G-OZBU
5th A321-200 flight
8th A321 flight
91st airline



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Photo © Javier Bravo Muñoz
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Photo © Stefan Sjogren - Stockholm Arlanda Photography



After disembarking we immediately went to the check-in hall - and we weren't amused to find long queues behind two Monarch Airlines counters. We hadn't wanted to spend 9 Euro per person for a seat reservation, so we hoped for the best. However, we soon found out that people were also checking in for an earlier Monarch flight. After a waiting time of some 25 minutes it was our turn and we were glad to hear that window seats in the back were still available. More than two hours prior to departure we went to the gate area and enjoyed spotting through large windows. easyJet and - surprisingly - Norwegian were dominating the scene. I logged 23 new registrations and Satchmo was also able to add some nice shots to his collection.

Norwegian 737-800 LN-NOT with "Eurovision" markings:

Picture by Satchmo


Norwegian 737-800 LN-NOL, the 6000th Boeing 737:

Picture by Satchmo


SAS Norge 737-800 LN-RRL in Star Alliance colors:

Picture by Satchmo


And this is G-OZBU, one of 16 A321-200s in the Monarch fleet - once ordered by GB Airways, delivered to easyJet as G-TTII in July 2008 and transferred to the current operator in February 2009:

Picture by Satchmo


We were glad that the plane had been parked at a remote stand, so we could take numerous pictures during boarding:





Picture by Satchmo


Picture by Satchmo


A friendly flight attendant welcomed us on board and we took our seats in row 36. British holiday carriers have become famous for tight seating, but we were pleasantly surprised: The leather seats were comfortable...



...and legroom was absolutely sufficient. I didn't feel cramped at all:



Despite the lack of TV screens IFE boxes were installed under the middle seats. At least they didn't take away lots of space:


I'm really wondering whether this was a standard configuration considering that the plane had been intended for GB Airways. Probably some British members can clear things up?

Even though the flight was packed (load factor in the 90-95 percent range), the aisle seat in our row remained empty. We left the gate slightly late and took off rather unspectacularly from runway 10:





40 minutes later we were cruising over the Pyrenees:



Monarch Airlines doesn't offer any drinks and snacks free of charge. Shortly after booking in fall we had decided to pre-order a hot meal for 8 Euro, so we were curious to find out how it would be like. However, before heating up our meals, the flight attendants passed through the cabin to sell all kinds of stuff to the other passengers. Many of them bought drinks, so we didn't get our meals earlier than about one hour after takeoff.

"Enjoy" it said on the packaging...



...and the food - shepherd's pie with vegetables and apple cake - didn't look bad at first sight:


However, the positive impression didn't last very long. The vegetables and the potato crust were ok, but the sauce and the minced meat, which contained gristle, tasted terrible. I only ate a few bites and quickly switched to the vegetables, the (average) bread roll and the (decent) apple cake. Finally we also got an (average) tea. Was it worth it? Definitely not, the main course tasted worse than the worst prepared supermarket meal I have ever eaten. Now it seems Monarch doesn't serve shepherd's pie any longer. On the carrier's website you can only order a hot breakfast as well as a chicken meal and a vegetarian meal. Good decision!

It was not easy to make a good cabin shot because passengers were moving through or hanging around in the aisle most of the time:

Picture by Satchmo


The weather had been nice during the whole flight, but thick rain clouds were waiting for us on approach to Manchester:




We touched down at runway 23R after a flying time of 2 hours and 21 minutes and taxied to a gate at Terminal 1.




Sunday, 25 April 2010
Manchester (MAN) - Munich (MUC)
easyJet EZY1887
18:05-21:05 (18:20-21:17)
Flying time: 01:40 (hrs)
Economy Class, Seat 29D (free seating)

Airbus A320-214
G-EZTM (MSN 4014)
Delivered in 08/2009


1st flight on G-EZTM
31st A320-200 flight
32nd A320 flight



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Photo © Didier JH Goursolas
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Photo © OlivierG



After disembarking we went straight to the top level of the Terminal 1 parking garage. However, it started raining after an hour and we continued to Terminal 3 where we had to wait until the opening of the easyJet check-in counters. Unfortunately, easyJet had temporarily suspended its online check-in during the volcanic ash chaos and not yet reinstated it. So we had to use the check-in facilities at the airport. As soon as we had received our boarding passes we went to the gate area, but traffic was quite low in the late afternoon. Nevertheless, I still managed to collect 33 new registrations during the layover at MAN. Two of the most interesting visitors were Aurela 757-200 LY-SKJ and 737-300 LY-SKW:

Picture by Satchmo


Finally our plane arrived - it was G-EZTM, one of 24 A320-200s in the fleet, delivered in August 2009:

Picture by Satchmo


Boarding was slightly delayed at first and once we had been allowed to proceed to the plane, the passenger crowd got stuck again in the stairway. Some minutes later we were finally allowed to walk to the aircraft.



Picture by Satchmo






A friendly flight attendant welcomed us on board and we decided to sit down in row 29 (free seating). The seats were hard...



...and legroom was barely sufficient:


Satchmo took the window seat, I blocked the row by taking the aisle seat, hoping that the flight wouldn't be full. Well, it was packed (load factor in the 80-90 percent range), but several seats around us remained empty. After doors had been closed, we could stretch out. However, a few minutes later doors were disarmed again and a mechanic stepped on board. We weren't amused about that and were wondering what had gone wrong. After the mechanic had left an announcement was made, informing us that it hadn't been possible to fix a problem with the oven. Hence hot food items wouldn't be available on the flight.

We left the gate 15 minutes behind schedule and took off from runway 23L. Some clouds around us looked quite threatening, but our climb-out remained mostly smooth:

Picture by Satchmo


Picture by Satchmo


Since I was a bit hungry I had a look at the buy-on-board offerings. There are many options to choose from - too bad that the hot snacks were not available. So I decided to try a ham and cheese sandwich for 4,50 Euro and ordered a can of Orangina (33cl) for 2 Euro. The latter wasn't available, so I ordered a ginger ale (25cl) for 1,50 Euro:


The sandwich wasn't cheap, but it was fresh and tasted very good. I would definitely try other snacks, too.

Even though I'm not a fan of easyJet's cabin design, it's still looks much better than Ryanair's:

Picture by Satchmo


Bright orange wingtip fence and a dark blue sky:

Picture by Satchmo


Beautiful scenery during sunset:

Picture by Satchmo

We finally touched down after a flying time of 1 hour and 40 minutes and taxied at a Terminal 1 remote parking position next to three easyJet A319s which had arrived from Edinburgh, London Gatwick and London Stansted.



Conclusion
Flying Air Europa on the short PMI-ALC route was enjoyable even despite the delay. Due to the high seating comfort spending twice as much time as planned on the Embraer 195 wasn't a problem at all. The captain kept us updated about the situation, so I have no reason to complain about anything.

Seating comfort on Monarch Airlines was decent, too, but it's not clear whether the plane had been in standard configuration. Unlike certain German holiday carriers, Monarch didn't offer any kind of in-flight entertainment and didn't serve free drinks and snacks. The pre-ordered hot meal was simply disappointing - good to see shepherd's pie is no longer available. At least flight attendants were friendly and motivated, but it doesn't change the overall picture: Monarch Airlines doesn't offer a much better product than an average low-cost carrier.

In contrast to Monarch Airlines, easyJet impressed me with tasty buy-on-board food. Flight attendants were friendly, too. However, seating comfort was limited. The slight delay and the interrupted boarding process were just a minor issues, at least they tried to fix the faulty oven.

After the trip I could add one new airline, one new type and four new registrations to my flight log. In addition I also collected 123 new registrations which is not bad at all. The next trip with two new carriers and one new type was on schedule less than ten days later...report to follow.


Best Regards,
PlaneHunter



P.S.: Just in case you missed them - other more or less recent reports:
Premium Meal & Palma Spotting: MUC-PMI, DE 757-300
The Dead Slow Transfer: PEK-MUC On Air China A332
Cancellation Brings Joy: HKG-PEK on Dragonair A330
A380 Cacophony, 777 Star Livery: DXB-SIN-HKG on SQ
The Next 5* Carrier? MUC-MCT-DXB, Oman Air A330
Turkey For 1.5 Hrs: Daytrip To AYT On Sky Airlines
CO Scores Again: ATL-IAH-EWR-FRA On ERJ, 752 & 764
Riding The Ultra Long-Haul Twin: Delta 777-200LR
Pacific Coast Jaunt: 3 Carriers, E120, E140 & Fog
The Ultimate 737: LHR-IAH-PDX On CO 777 & 739ER
Bye Bye, Hell! TRD-OSL-TXL-NUE - DY/AB/HE DH4
My Trip To Hell: NUE-CPH-OSL-TRD On Cimber & SAS
SFO-YUL-FRA: Map- & Sleepless On Air Canada's 77W
Sin City Gloss & Virgin America's Chic First Class
Seat Dilemma & Canyon Glamour: FRA To LAX, AC 763
On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330
Goodbye, Red Tails! DC-9-40/50 & Chicago Tour
Champagne & World Of Coke: Air France A340 To ATL
"Mission A380": Disappointing Legs On BA/BD/EI
Delights Of Doha, 773 & 77W: DOH-DXB-LHR On EK
A380 Really a Step Forward? LHR-DXB-DOH On EK
Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744
Taiwan Trio: TransAsia, UNI Air And The Taipei 101
"The Wings Of Taiwan": EVA Air A332, 744 Combi
SHA-SZX, Shanghai 757: Delayed By The Military
PEK-SHA, China Eastern A330 & Shanghai At Night
Striking Newcomer: Berlin-Beijing On Hainan A330


[Edited 2010-07-04 06:45:39]
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
akhmad
Posts: 2492
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2005 2:20 pm

RE: Monarch Hot Meal, E195 & More: PMI-ALC-MAN-MUC

Sun Jul 04, 2010 5:30 pm

Hi PH,

Nice conclusion to your PMI trip. Good to know you had got to fly the E195 for the first time. I just have to get on board of these Embraers!  

Regarding booking with Monarch, I assume you did not get any call from the airline like fellow FlyingFinn76 to be told that only UK residents were eligible for the flights.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Here's what Satchmo saw from his seat on the opposite side where he had moved to during the waiting time on the ground: Palma de Mallorca...

What a weather contrast. It reminds me of the experience of a fellow A.netter (I think Airbuseric) while leaving Barcelona.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
and legroom was absolutely sufficient. I didn't feel cramped at all:

What a surprise. What do you think the seat pitch might have been? 31 inch?

Thanks for sharing.

Cheers,
Suryo
Friends forever
 
PlaneHunter
Topic Author
Posts: 6512
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 3:17 am

RE: Monarch Hot Meal, E195 & More: PMI-ALC-MAN-MUC

Sun Jul 04, 2010 5:42 pm

Quoting akhmad (Reply 1):
Nice conclusion to your PMI trip. Good to know you had got to fly the E195 for the first time. I just have to get on board of these Embraers!

Hi Suryo, thanks for your feedback. Getting on these E-Jets becomes easier every day, they are in great demand.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 1):
Regarding booking with Monarch, I assume you did not get any call from the airline like fellow FlyingFinn76 to be told that only UK residents were eligible for the flights.

No, we didn't face any problems. But as far as I remember he had trouble with Thomas Cook.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 1):
What a surprise. What do you think the seat pitch might have been? 31 inch?

That's hard to say, I guess at least 30.


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
Contact Air
Posts: 1143
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2001 4:13 am

RE: Monarch Hot Meal, E195 & More: PMI-ALC-MAN-MUC

Sun Jul 04, 2010 5:43 pm

Hi PH,

Great report and - as usually - great pictures taken by you and Satchmo.

Fog is something I wouldn't have expected at PMI, but obviously I have been there only with good weather. Good to hear that you still didn't have any problems to make your connection to your Monarch flight.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The final itinerary included one new airline (Monarch) and one new type (E195) for me.

Sounds like a successful trip.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
next to three easyJet A319s which had arrived from Edinburgh, London Gatwick and London Stansted.

Interesting - I didn't know that they have become so big at MUC.

Regards
Christoph
 
FLIEGER67
Posts: 5195
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2003 4:43 am

RE: Monarch Hot Meal, E195 & More: PMI-ALC-MAN-MUC

Sun Jul 04, 2010 6:03 pm

Hi, PH,

thats the perfect sunday afternoon read, after spending most of the day on the horse race track with a
couple of clients.

Nice pictures, that fog at PMI looks terrible, for sure not the standard weather situation there.
Really interesting to follow you´re UX Embraer impression, also on schedule here BCN-PMI in September.
And also good to know the real flighttime between PMI and ALC, twice on schedule also in September.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
EC-KXD, one of seven Embraer 195 in the fleet, delivered in March 2003:

Now, that´s a pretty oldfashioned E-Jet  

Looking for the next stories now.

Greetings,
Markus (FLIEGER67)
Tripreporter.net
 
PlaneHunter
Topic Author
Posts: 6512
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 3:17 am

RE: Monarch Hot Meal, E195 & More: PMI-ALC-MAN-MUC

Sun Jul 04, 2010 6:12 pm

Quoting Contact Air (Reply 3):
Great report and - as usually - great pictures taken by you and Satchmo.

Hi Christoph, thanks a lot for your feedback!

Quoting Contact Air (Reply 3):
Fog is something I wouldn't have expected at PMI, but obviously I have been there only with good weather.

We were very surprised about that, too.

Quoting Contact Air (Reply 3):
Sounds like a successful trip.

No doubts about that.

Quoting Contact Air (Reply 3):
Interesting - I didn't know that they have become so big at MUC.

Yes, just too bad they don't fly to GVA any more.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 4):
thats the perfect sunday afternoon read, after spending most of the day on the horse race track with a
couple of clients.

Hi Markus, nice to hear, thanks for your reply.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 4):
Nice pictures, that fog at PMI looks terrible, for sure not the standard weather situation there.

Yes, one wouldn't expect such a weather there in late April.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 4):
Really interesting to follow you´re UX Embraer impression, also on schedule here BCN-PMI in September.
And also good to know the real flighttime between PMI and ALC, twice on schedule also in September.

Sounds interesting, the UX E-Jet is a good choice.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 4):
Now, that´s a pretty oldfashioned E-Jet

Yes, isn't it?   Of course it should read 2009 instead of 2003, like pointed out in the data section.


PH

[Edited 2010-07-04 11:41:59]
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
User avatar
OA260
Posts: 20983
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 8:50 pm

RE: Monarch Hot Meal, E195 & More: PMI-ALC-MAN-MUC

Sun Jul 04, 2010 8:16 pm

Great report , Nice to see a Monarch one wish we saw more. I like the seats.

Nice pics as usual.

Philip
 
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airbuseric
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RE: Monarch Hot Meal, E195 & More: PMI-ALC-MAN-MUC

Sun Jul 04, 2010 9:20 pm

Hi PH,

good report. And an interesting routing. Congrats with the E195. Fantastic machines. I'm flying on one again in a few hours, done quite a lot on these lately.
Monarch seems quite ok. I was thinking to fly them, maybe the A300 or A330 within Europe. Schedules are sometimes difficult to combine it seems, and now also my own schedule is quite full   Something to do for 2011.
Easyjet does the job fine it seems also here. Never had big problems with their seatpitch, but never flew the A320. It the pitch on these A320 slightly less then on the A319?
btw, compliments for the good pics, I really like the radiation fog over PMI. Real tricky stuff, we had similar weather this morning in AMS, and takeoffs were even not allowed for a while. Also, for landing aircraft,runway will not be insight on their decision moment and crew will abort approach then. Some good sunshine will do the work, and as soon as this fog moves in, it dissappears also again!

Eric
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
 
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NZ107
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RE: Monarch Hot Meal, E195 & More: PMI-ALC-MAN-MUC

Mon Jul 05, 2010 2:38 am

Hi PH,

Another great report to finish off this mini series. Interesting perspective from these carriers. Pictures were great too and it's cool how you can see both sides of the aircraft! That's something that'd be fun when flying into ZQN.. Compare photos of landing down the galley.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
More than an hour prior to departure we left the hotel and were surprised by thick fog - we almost missed the right motorway exit on the way to the airport.

That sounds pretty bad! At least it didn't seem to disrupt your plans very much.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
We hadn't wanted to spend 9 Euro per person for a seat reservation, so we hoped for the best. However, we soon found out that people were also checking in for an earlier Monarch flight. After a waiting time of some 25 minutes it was our turn and we were glad to hear that window seats in the back were still available.

25 minutes isn't bad for saving 18 Euros. And nice that you got window seats in the back!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The leather seats were comfortable...

Look very nice, especially that headrest.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
However, the positive impression didn't last very long. The vegetables and the potato crust were ok, but the sauce and the minced meat, which contained gristle, tasted terrible. I only ate a few bites and quickly switched to the vegetables, the (average) bread roll and the (decent) apple cake. Finally we also got an (average) tea.

Ugh, yes it does look good but sounds awful.


Interesting to see the air bridge standing at the back while L1 is served by stairs!

The sandwich onboard U2 doesn't look too bad! Although I don't have a clue about what good prices for things are in Europe!

Thanks again, looking forward to your next TR.

Cheers,
Nicholas
It's all about the destination AND the journey.
 
PlaneHunter
Topic Author
Posts: 6512
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 3:17 am

RE: Monarch Hot Meal, E195 & More: PMI-ALC-MAN-MUC

Mon Jul 05, 2010 5:45 am

Quoting oa260 (Reply 6):
Great report , Nice to see a Monarch one wish we saw more. I like the seats.

Nice pics as usual.

Hi Phil, thanks for your feedback! I agree about Monarch, would be nice to see an A300 or A330 report.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 7):
good report. And an interesting routing. Congrats with the E195. Fantastic machines. I'm flying on one again in a few hours, done quite a lot on these lately.

Thanks, Eric! The E-Jets are indeed great machines - I like them even more now after that amazing take-off on UX.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 7):
Monarch seems quite ok. I was thinking to fly them, maybe the A300 or A330 within Europe. Schedules are sometimes difficult to combine it seems, and now also my own schedule is quite full Something to do for 2011.

I was trying to find a widebody flight from a Spanish airport during trip planning, but didn't find a single one.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 7):
Easyjet does the job fine it seems also here. Never had big problems with their seatpitch, but never flew the A320. It the pitch on these A320 slightly less then on the A319?

I have never been on EZY's A319, I guess pitch is the same.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 8):
Another great report to finish off this mini series. Interesting perspective from these carriers. Pictures were great too and it's cool how you can see both sides of the aircraft!

Hi Nicholas, many thanks for your reply, good to hear you liked it.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 8):
That's something that'd be fun when flying into ZQN.. Compare photos of landing down the galley.

Should I ever fly down to NZ I guess it won't be easy to make a decision about domestic flights...it seems there are too many amazing destinations!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 8):
25 minutes isn't bad for saving 18 Euros. And nice that you got window seats in the back!

Yes, we were lucky to get these seats.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 8):
Ugh, yes it does look good but sounds awful.

It says a lot about an airline meal when I refuse to eat more than a few bites...  
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 8):
The sandwich onboard U2 doesn't look too bad! Although I don't have a clue about what good prices for things are in Europe!

4,50 Euro for a sandwich is ok - if it tastes good.


PH

[Edited 2010-07-04 22:46:43]
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
User avatar
NZ107
Posts: 4946
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RE: Monarch Hot Meal, E195 & More: PMI-ALC-MAN-MUC

Mon Jul 05, 2010 6:05 am

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 9):
Should I ever fly down to NZ I guess it won't be easy to make a decision about domestic flights...it seems there are too many amazing destinations!

1. ZQN, no contest there. Please don't come all the way to NZ and not try out a landing into ZQN!
2. Maybe a try out on say the CV580, AKL-NPE? Well being my next TR, you might like the idea of seeing that   There aren't many airports that are overly interesting down here.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 9):
It says a lot about an airline meal when I refuse to eat more than a few bites...

Indeed, sounds like I'd be doing the same even if I paid so much for it.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 9):
4,50 Euro for a sandwich is ok - if it tastes good.

Converting it into NZD = $9 which can buy quite a lot down here! I guess I'll have to save up a lot before even thinking about travelling to Europe!


Cheers,
Nicholas
It's all about the destination AND the journey.
 
FlyingFinn76
Posts: 1698
Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2009 12:10 pm

RE: Monarch Hot Meal, E195 & More: PMI-ALC-MAN-MUC

Mon Jul 05, 2010 6:06 am

Hi PH,

A nice one on your return trip from Mallorca. Great variety of carriers and plane types as well - will be flying my first E195 with UX in August.

That fog sure looks quite bad, glad you made it out without too long a delay.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
British holiday carriers have become famous for tight seating, but we were pleasantly surprised: The leather seats were comfortable...

Interesting, I flew AGP-MAN on Monarch A321 G-OZBP last year and it featured completely different seats - old, shabby and dirty cloth ones with horrible seat pitch. Looks like the GB Airways seats are indeed different. Consider yourself lucky.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The weather had been nice during the whole flight, but thick rain clouds were waiting for us on approach to Manchester:

Well, it's the UK, so what do you expect?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The sandwich wasn't cheap, but it was fresh and tasted very good. I would definitely try other snacks, too.

I too find the Ezy food offerings to be rather good and definitely far better than what one gets on Ryanair!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
at a Terminal 1 remote parking position next to three easyJet A319s which had arrived from Edinburgh, London Gatwick and London Stansted.

Impressive, I had no idea they were up to so many destinations from MUC!
 
PlaneHunter
Topic Author
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RE: Monarch Hot Meal, E195 & More: PMI-ALC-MAN-MUC

Mon Jul 05, 2010 7:03 am

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 10):
1. ZQN, no contest there. Please don't come all the way to NZ and not try out a landing into ZQN!

Ok, thanks for the advice. However only ANZ and Jetstar fly down there from AKL, right?

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 10):
2. Maybe a try out on say the CV580, AKL-NPE? Well being my next TR, you might like the idea of seeing that There aren't many airports that are overly interesting down here.

I'm not sure, I'll wait for your report!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 10):
Converting it into NZD = $9 which can buy quite a lot down here! I guess I'll have to save up a lot before even thinking about travelling to Europe!

Do you know how much Jetstar and Pacific Blue charge for a sandwich?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 11):
A nice one on your return trip from Mallorca. Great variety of carriers and plane types as well - will be flying my first E195 with UX in August.

Hi FlyingFinn, thanks a lot for your reply!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 11):

Interesting, I flew AGP-MAN on Monarch A321 G-OZBP last year and it featured completely different seats - old, shabby and dirty cloth ones with horrible seat pitch. Looks like the GB Airways seats are indeed different. Consider yourself lucky.

Yes, I remember you weren't very impressed by Monarch. Would be nice if the seats on G-OZBU were the new standard...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 11):
Well, it's the UK, so what do you expect?

You are right...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 11):
Impressive, I had no idea they were up to so many destinations from MUC!

EDI and MAN aren't served daily yet as far as I know.


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
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NZ107
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RE: Monarch Hot Meal, E195 & More: PMI-ALC-MAN-MUC

Mon Jul 05, 2010 8:20 am

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 12):
Ok, thanks for the advice. However only ANZ and Jetstar fly down there from AKL, right?

Pacific Blue also fly there but only so far on weekends for some strange reason. I think they're waiting for their technology to go through first before expanding as they've seen what impacts the delays can have on such a small fleet.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 12):
Do you know how much Jetstar and Pacific Blue charge for a sandwich?

DJ Sandwiches are only available on Australian domestic and international flights, not domestic in New Zealand. Only a very small selection is available for domestic NZ and it's quite pitiful. Though it is A$6.50 for a sandwich on DJ if you were flying within Australia or trans Tasman. JQ goes nearly the same way as DJ. A small menu with not much on it apart from nearly all the drinks.. The airport could even be cheaper in some cases.
It's all about the destination AND the journey.
 
767747
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RE: Monarch Hot Meal, E195 & More: PMI-ALC-MAN-MUC

Mon Jul 05, 2010 8:54 pm

Planehunter,

Thanks for your latest report! Good pictures from your trip; I amazed by the fog! I grew up near NYC and sometimes it was so foggy that flights at Westchester Airport (HPN) were cancelled!

I've never really gotten an impression on how Monarch is as an airline; thanks for sharing good insight into what it is like to fly with them.

Looking forward to your next report!

767747
I love to fly!
 
DunaA320
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RE: Monarch Hot Meal, E195 & More: PMI-ALC-MAN-MUC

Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:16 pm

Hi PH

Nice report and thanks for posting. Nice to see a report from MON, I'm not sure if there are any others?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I'm really wondering whether this was a standard configuration considering that the plane had been intended for GB Airways. Probably some British members can clear things up?

I flew this aircraft when it was at easyJet. It had the same seating back then when it was just 6 weeks old. It is/was the standard BA/GB airways interior, although if I remember rightly, there were none of the convertable seats up front. Im surprised MON haven't updated it with their high density charter seating seen on the rest of their fleet.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Monarch didn't offer any kind of in-flight entertainment

I find this surprising, being a charter airline. All the charter airlines I have flown have had some kind of entertainment on the drop down IFE screens. When I flew this a/c with EZY they showed the moving map and it was advertised that on longer flights Films/TV would be shown.

Matt
 
FlyKev
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RE: Monarch Hot Meal, E195 & More: PMI-ALC-MAN-MUC

Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:44 pm

As always, an interesting report with really good photos.
Its a shame the meal didn't taste nice; what with it looking quite good from your photo and costing a fair amount.

I look forward to your next trip report.

Kev.
The white zone is for immediate loading and unloading of passengers only
 
ronerone
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RE: Monarch Hot Meal, E195 & More: PMI-ALC-MAN-MUC

Tue Jul 06, 2010 4:49 pm

Hi PH!

Nice to see you on the hunt for aircraft again! Another excellent TR from you, and an enjoyable read for us!  

Out of the three airlines, i was mostly interested in Monarch (tho Air Europa's E-Jets looked enticing too). There is something about their old fashioned tail design that really draws my attention.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Ten minutes later the captain made another announcement and expressed his disbelief that ground radar wasn't available. "It's incredible", he commented. "Only one aircraft is allowed to move at a time." We were really surprised about these news. I'm still wondering whether the airport is not equipped with ground radar or whether the system was out of order.



Very strange. I have never experienced something like this before.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The fog layer over the airport turned out to be very thin:



Beautiful picture!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The leather seats were comfortable...



Very nice looking seats! I think the yellow over the black makes it look quite striking   ..

I was also surprised at the rather decent legroom of the Monarch seats. This is a First Class Suite compared to other holiday airlines!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I'm really wondering whether this was a standard configuration considering that the plane had been intended for GB Airways. Probably some British members can clear things up?



Perhaps for future plans? .. Or worse, maybe these seats are pre-used (if there is such a thing on planes)?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
However, the positive impression didn't last very long. The vegetables and the potato crust were ok, but the sauce and the minced meat, which contained gristle, tasted terrible.



Too bad because shepherds pie is amazing! Though, it did look very tasty!


Thanks a lot for sharing! Looking forward to the next installment!

Cheers,
Roni
Fly Roni. Aviation Journeys. Photos. Videos.
 
BZNPilot
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RE: Monarch Hot Meal, E195 & More: PMI-ALC-MAN-MUC

Wed Jul 07, 2010 1:15 am

Hi PH,

Several nice reports from you lately, thanks for sharing. Great pics, too. Amazing how thin that fog layer was--totally socked in earlier on the ground but clear just a few hundred feet above! I really liked that simple pic of EasyJet's bright orange wingtip fence with the blue sky contrasting in the background.

BZNPilot
 
The777Man
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RE: Monarch Hot Meal, E195 & More: PMI-ALC-MAN-MUC

Wed Jul 07, 2010 6:42 pm

Hi PH!

Very nice reprort with fantastic pictures! Nice to see that Air Europa has decent legroom on the E195s; their 738s look very cramped. Monarch seems to be very good for being a charter carrier. EasyJet seems lightyears ahead of Ryanair.

The777Man
Boeing 777s flown: UA, TG, KE, BA, CX, NH, JD, JL, CZ, SQ, EK, NG, CO, AF, SV, KU, DL, AA, MH, OZ, CA, MS, SU, LY, RG, PE, AZ, KL, VN, PK, EY, NZ, AM, BR, AC, DT, UU, OS, AI, 9W, KQ, QR, VA, JJ, ET, TK, PR, BG, T5, CI, MU and LX.. Further to fly.. LH 777
 
reifel
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RE: Monarch Hot Meal, E195 & More: PMI-ALC-MAN-MUC

Wed Jul 07, 2010 9:00 pm

Hi and thanks for sharing. I once flew UX the other way round from ALC to PMI. Actually I initially booked Condor from FRA to PMI, but they changed their schedule and since it didn't fitted they rebooked me on my request to Air Berlin from FRA to ALC connecting to UX from ALC to PMI. This was back when paper tickets were issued, and I got a paper ticket on AB stock for both flights.

In Alicante you can even leave to "flight connections" after your arrival, however the transfer desk is unstaffed and no UX staff at the gate. In the end I had to leave to security area (which other than in many airports is "officially" not possible in ALC) and check in in the hall for the connecting flight.
 
jamies80085
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RE: Monarch Hot Meal, E195 & More: PMI-ALC-MAN-MUC

Thu Jul 08, 2010 9:26 pm

quite interesting about your views on monarch. as an airline, they're great. I flew them to ibiza last year from MAN. o/b was an A320, with the old style cloth seats which i found very comfy. on the i/b was this aircraft G-OZBU, and i found the seats very uncomfortable. the flight was at night, at 3am, and the seats are awful to sleep in, i much prefer the old style seats.

Jamie
Cross my heart and hope to fly, f**k right off into the middle of the sky... that would be my ecstasy
 
AI151
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RE: Monarch Hot Meal, E195 & More: PMI-ALC-MAN-MUC

Thu Jul 08, 2010 9:50 pm

Hi PH, nice TR and again some great pictures by Satchmo.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The fog was returning during boarding, becoming thicker and thicker. Parked next to us was sister ship EC-KRJ, wearing a special "color scheme"

Quite amazing how quickly the fog appeared and then disappeared.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I'm still wondering whether the airport is not equipped with ground radar or whether the system was out of order. Well, it was totally uncertain at that point of time when we would be able to depart and we simply had to wait.

You would think that they would have the ground radar by now especially since the infamous 1977 accident on the island of Tenerife!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
However, a few minutes later doors were disarmed again and a mechanic stepped on board. We weren't amused about that and were wondering what had gone wrong. After the mechanic had left an announcement was made, informing us that it hadn't been possible to fix a problem with the oven. Hence hot food items wouldn't be available on the flight.

Just be glad it was only the oven and not something bigger that would have cancelled you're flight.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
In contrast to Monarch Airlines, easyJet impressed me with tasty buy-on-board food.

Their on board food is nice however quite pricey compared to other LCC's.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
In addition I also collected 123 new registrations which is not bad at all.

Not bad for a trip away!

Sandeep (AI151)
Modern Vision. Timeless Traditions...
 
vandenheuvel
Posts: 479
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RE: Monarch Hot Meal, E195 & More: PMI-ALC-MAN-MUC

Sat Jul 10, 2010 12:14 pm

Planehunter, finally your return trip.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The plane is equipped with comfortable leather seats:

Indeed, this looks very good on UX.

Your further flights look nice too. Great report.
 
lukeyboy95
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RE: Monarch Hot Meal, E195 & More: PMI-ALC-MAN-MUC

Sat Jul 10, 2010 12:39 pm

Hi PH.

May I just say that you have by far the most beautifully 'fonted' Trip Reports on the website. The effort you go to regarding styles of font and color really helps to enhance the report.

Obviously it is complimented in this case - as usual - by superb content about 3 of the major holiday flight players in Europe. If I had my choice of the three I would still choose Easyjet as I still find navigation of their webpage one of the easiest (pun intended) in the industry. It makes sniffing out the promotion fares really great and is a real asset to the company.

Monarch - hmm. I have only ever had trouble on their websites and I think this has alot to do with the charted/ scheduled crossover. Their meal was disappointing too. Really when your paying extra you would expect something of good standard. Although I had an awful experience with them - other TR's seem to identify AirAsia as having very simple, cheap and tasty inflight meals for budget carriers.

Overall a superbly written and very neat ( may I say German efficiency!) report.

Rgds

Luke
Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
 
David_itl
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RE: Monarch Hot Meal, E195 & More: PMI-ALC-MAN-MUC

Sat Jul 10, 2010 8:59 pm

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Satchmo took the window seat, I blocked the row by taking the aisle seat, hoping that the flight wouldn't be full. Well, it was packed (load factor in the 80-90 percent range),

Yet we have had LH come out and say that their MAN-MUC serviice is enyoing large growth despite U2 operating alongside them.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 11):
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The weather had been nice during the whole flight, but thick rain clouds were waiting for us on approach to Manchester:

Well, it's the UK, so what do you expect?

We've got a hosepipe ban in force at the moment in Northwest England!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 12):
EDI and MAN aren't served daily yet as far as I know.

MAN is going daily from the winter timetable - it's currently daily except Saturday.
 
gkirk
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RE: Monarch Hot Meal, E195 & More: PMI-ALC-MAN-MUC

Sun Jul 11, 2010 11:02 am

Quoting david_itl (Reply 25):
MAN is going daily from the winter timetable - it's currently daily except Saturday.

And EDI-MUC is already daily  
When you hear the noise of the Tartan Army Boys, we'll be coming down the road!
 
PlaneHunter
Topic Author
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RE: Monarch Hot Meal, E195 & More: PMI-ALC-MAN-MUC

Tue Jul 27, 2010 9:13 am

Quoting 767747 (Reply 14):
Thanks for your latest report! Good pictures from your trip; I amazed by the fog!
Quoting 767747 (Reply 14):
I've never really gotten an impression on how Monarch is as an airline; thanks for sharing good insight into what it is like to fly with them.

Hi Matthew, thanks for your feedback!

Quoting DunaA320 (Reply 15):
Nice report and thanks for posting. Nice to see a report from MON, I'm not sure if there are any others?

Thanks, Matt! I only know about one other MON report - definitely a rare carrier here.

Quoting DunaA320 (Reply 15):
I flew this aircraft when it was at easyJet. It had the same seating back then when it was just 6 weeks old. It is/was the standard BA/GB airways interior, although if I remember rightly, there were none of the convertable seats up front.

Interesting to hear.

Quoting flykev (Reply 16):
As always, an interesting report with really good photos.

Thanks for your reply, Kev.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 17):
Nice to see you on the hunt for aircraft again! Another excellent TR from you, and an enjoyable read for us!

Hi Roni, thanks a lot for your feedback, always highly appreciated.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 17):
I was also surprised at the rather decent legroom of the Monarch seats. This is a First Class Suite compared to other holiday airlines!

Yes, I have flown on numerous carrier which offered much less legroom.

Quoting BZNPilot (Reply 18):
Several nice reports from you lately, thanks for sharing. Great pics, too.

Thanks, BZNPilot.

Quoting BZNPilot (Reply 18):
I really liked that simple pic of EasyJet's bright orange wingtip fence with the blue sky contrasting in the background.

Yes, I can only agree.

Quoting the777man (Reply 19):
Very nice reprort with fantastic pictures!

Hi Lars, thanks a lot for your feedback!

Quoting the777man (Reply 19):
EasyJet seems lightyears ahead of Ryanair.

No doubts about that. I try hard to avoid FR, but wouldn't hesitate to fly EZY again.

Quoting jamies80085 (Reply 21):
o/b was an A320, with the old style cloth seats which i found very comfy. on the i/b was this aircraft G-OZBU, and i found the seats very uncomfortable. the flight was at night, at 3am, and the seats are awful to sleep in, i much prefer the old style seats.

Hi Jamie, good to read about your experience.

Quoting AI151 (Reply 22):
Hi PH, nice TR and again some great pictures by Satchmo.

Many thanks, Sandeep!

Quoting AI151 (Reply 22):
You would think that they would have the ground radar by now especially since the infamous 1977 accident on the island of Tenerife!

Exactly my thoughts!

Quoting vandenheuvel (Reply 23):
Your further flights look nice too. Great report.

Thanks a lot, Tim!

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 24):
May I just say that you have by far the most beautifully 'fonted' Trip Reports on the website. The effort you go to regarding styles of font and color really helps to enhance the report.
Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 24):
Overall a superbly written and very neat ( may I say German efficiency!) report.

Hi Luke, many thanks for your kind words! I'll have a look at your latest report very soon.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 24):
If I had my choice of the three I would still choose Easyjet as I still find navigation of their webpage one of the easiest (pun intended) in the industry. It makes sniffing out the promotion fares really great and is a real asset to the company.

Yes, the website is great, never had a problem there.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 24):
Monarch - hmm. I have only ever had trouble on their websites and I think this has alot to do with the charted/ scheduled crossover. Their meal was disappointing too. Really when your paying extra you would expect something of good standard. Although I had an awful experience with them - other TR's seem to identify AirAsia as having very simple, cheap and tasty inflight meals for budget carriers.

I can only agree, many airlines could learn from AirAsia.

Quoting david_itl (Reply 25):
MAN is going daily from the winter timetable - it's currently daily except Saturday.
Quoting david_itl (Reply 25):
And EDI-MUC is already daily

Thanks for these updates!


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
abrelosojos
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RE: Monarch Hot Meal, E195 & More: PMI-ALC-MAN-MUC

Wed Aug 04, 2010 2:45 am

PH,

How did I skip this gem of a report?! Thanks for sharing your experience. I was most fascinated by Monarch's offerings as I had never seen their scheduled ops before. Sad that the food was so bad ... and, serving it after 1,5 hours is not cool!

Saludos,
A.
Live, and let live.
 
02hilliert
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RE: Monarch Hot Meal, E195 & More: PMI-ALC-MAN-MUC

Wed Aug 04, 2010 7:59 am

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Seating comfort on Monarch Airlines was decent, too, but it's not clear whether the plane had been in standard configuration. Unlike certain German holiday carriers, Monarch didn't offer any kind of in-flight entertainment and didn't serve free drinks and snacks. The pre-ordered hot meal was simply disappointing - good to see shepherd's pie is no longer available. At least flight attendants were friendly and motivated, but it doesn't change the overall picture: Monarch Airlines doesn't offer a much better product than an average low-cost carrier.

Hi, thanks for the Monarch trip report.

G-OZBT & G-OZBU are configured slightly differently from some of the other A321s in the fleet, but are due to be reconfigured in the near future. The seat pitch however will remain unchanged, so you have flown in a standard Monarch seat row. I'm glad you found these comfortable.

As for your comments on the food, my previous hot meal experiences on ZB flights have been very good, so I think you must have got a bad day, sorry about that.

It's very common for people to be impressed by Monarch cabin crew, they are amongst the best in the sky.

In-flight entertainment is not offered on ZB flights to/from mainland Spain and the Balearics, but you would have had a movie if flying a longer route - Canary Islands / Cyprus / Turkey.

Hope you give Monarch another try, maybe grab yourself an A300 flight before they all go!
Next Up: Back to the US - Charlotte & Kansas City
 
shamrock321
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RE: Monarch Hot Meal, E195 & More: PMI-ALC-MAN-MUC

Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:39 am

Ahhh finally, Ive been wanting to read this report for a while now and finally got round to it today. Very nice read and good pictures espeically the ones of the take off from MAN, really nasty looking clouds.
 
PlaneHunter
Topic Author
Posts: 6512
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RE: Monarch Hot Meal, E195 & More: PMI-ALC-MAN-MUC

Sat Aug 07, 2010 12:38 pm

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 28):
How did I skip this gem of a report?! Thanks for sharing your experience.

Hi Alex, good to hear you liked it.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 28):
Sad that the food was so bad ... and, serving it after 1,5 hours is not cool!

Yes, bad food, served too late.

Quoting 02hilliert (Reply 29):
G-OZBT & G-OZBU are configured slightly differently from some of the other A321s in the fleet, but are due to be reconfigured in the near future. The seat pitch however will remain unchanged, so you have flown in a standard Monarch seat row. I'm glad you found these comfortable.

Thanks a lot for providing interesting insights on ZB.

Quoting 02hilliert (Reply 29):
Hope you give Monarch another try, maybe grab yourself an A300 flight before they all go!

Getting their A300 would be nice indeed.

Quoting shamrock321 (Reply 30):
Ahhh finally, Ive been wanting to read this report for a while now and finally got round to it today. Very nice read and good pictures espeically the ones of the take off from MAN, really nasty looking clouds.

Hi Shamrock, nice to hear you enjoyed it.


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!

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