For me and my friend and regular travel companion Jordi, it’s sort of a tradition to visit London at least once a year. If you don’t count a LHR transfer in December, it had been a year, and we went looking for some fares. The one airport we both hadn’t visited yet was LTN. However I wanted to try the LGW based 734 for a while now. Same for the relatively new E70 service to LCY.
Jordi decided to join me on the LCY inbound, but chose to fly back on HV to RTM. Our paths would separate at LGW. I found that booking 2 separate tickets was cheaper then one, so I traveled on 2 tickets that day. Our flight into LCY would leave at 0720. Seeing that I live only about 20 minutes from AMS, Jordi stayed over at my place, and we left for AMS at 0600 the next day.
Having already checked in, we proceeded trough the passport control, and headed to the terrible D concourse at AMS. This is a dark, old, and cramped concourse, with individual gate security. I hate it. Getting to the gate there was a line of people waiting for the checks, as the security staff wasn’t screening anyone yet. I talked to my co-workers at the gate, and found out that there would be around 40 people on today’s flight.
BA8450 operated by BA Cityflyer
ERJ-170-100ST first time on type
Photo © Lasse Kaila
It was my second ride on BA Cityflyer, having flown the G-BZAU (Avrojet) a year back, and my second ride on an Embraer, with the ERJ-140 (N846AE) in my log. However I was excited to try a plane of the E-jet series!
Yankee-Delta at the gate
We headed down the gate and were welcomed by 2 male flight attendants. The purser had an extremely angry look on his face. The younger flight attendant seemed nice. I took my seat in the back. The legroom was decent, however the headrest was too short, and stopped halfway up my neck. It was quite uncomfortable when leaning back. Luckily the seat next to me remained empty.
View with the LHR flight getting ready as well
As it was a no nonsense flight, with a lot of business people, everyone got seated in seconds. Doors were closed and we pushed back 2 minutes early. We were lucky to have RW24 in use so taxi would only take about 3 more minutes.
The PX-BXM, I flew her on CDG-AMS
The takeoff was nothing special, however we rocketed away during the climb.
Climbing over the clouds
As soon as we hit FL100, the service started. Choice of sandwiches were either cheese, or cottage cheese. And I hate cheese. When I asked the flight attendant he went trough the trolley and found one bacon-tomato sandwich, probably leftover from yesterday’s flight. That really made my day! It was pretty good and not dry at all.
After this the drink service started, I got some OJ and a coffee, the latter was your typical airline coffee.
The purser still had an extremely angry look on his face. It was almost scary! The captain informed us “good people” that we would have a slow descent into LCY, because of busy airspace over London. However he hoped to arrive somewhat early. He wasn’t lying as the way down took ages and we hardly descended at all. Going trough some cloud layers it got a little bumpy
Floating down, very slowly!
Slowing down for finals!
Tight turn on the stand!
One of the pleasures of LCY is the short taxi time, and we were on blocks 5 minutes early. The ramp was filled with all kinds or regional's. Luxair, Cityline, Cityjet, Cityflyer (such original names, those three) We disembarked via the rear stairs and headed into the terminal
Tail section of the Yankee-Delta
Romeo-Echo, out of MUC!
Inside the terminal we cleared immigrations and got to the small luggage claim area. One of the bags was stuck on the belt, resulting in a big pile-up of about 20 bags, it was hilarious to see the other pax trying to get their bag out of the pile. We headed to the DLR station and bought a 3 zone day-pass for the public transport in London. We got on the DLR and got off at Bank station, taking the Northern line to London Bridge. Hay’s galleria is a usual coffee spot for us, and I love what they did with that area, looks real nice. I didn’t bother to take any pictures, because by know I know how London looks haha!
I’d been wanting to visit the Imperial War Museum for quite a while, but we never got around to do it. We got on the Northern line again to Elephant and Castle, and headed to the IWM. It’s kinda small but they have a nice collection, well worth a visit.
Mark V tank
Nose section of an Avro Lancaster
The Sopwith Camel
Part of the airplane collection
North American P-51D Mustang
After visiting the museum we once again got on the Northern line to Angel station. It had been 3 years since we we’re there, and we wanted to ride the longest escalator in London again. After that some more sightseeing around London. At 1530 it was time to head to Victoria station. I had found a real bargain on Southern Railways to LGW, but the ticket was only valid on the 1617 train. After picking up the tickets, (somehow I got 5 tickets, with only 2 actually valid for travel) we got some fish and chips at a bar near the station.
The train ride took about 30 minutes, and arriving at LGW, we met with Jordan (Pawsleykat) and had some drinks in the North terminal. My flight would be leaving at 1840, but Jordi’s flight (leaving in the old South terminal) would leave about 2 hours later. Around 1800 I said goodbye to Jordan and Jordi, and within 3 minutes, I had cleared security and was in the airside area. Looking at the screens I found out that my flight had been delayed to 1905. However no gate was shown. From a previous visit to LGW I remembered that the gate is only shown after there is staff present, and in this case it didn’t show until the scheduled time of departure. I inquired about the gate at a BA info desk, and I also asked the lady what the registration of the plane would be;
“Why would you wanna know that?”
-“Oh, you know, I’m one of those plane spotters!”
“Oh, you’re one of THEM!” She said laughing. She informed my the registration was going to be the Charlie-Yankee, a 737-400 as I hoped for!
BA 777 with titles saying “Keeping the flag flying” –or something
The gate area was high up, and it didn’t make for any good pictures of the plane
I like the ring around the radome!
As boarding started, we had to walk down a ramp to the jetbridge, it made for a better photo opportunity.
737-436 first time on type
Photo © Jenny Coffey
I usually choose seats behind the wing, but for a change I got one up front this time. The legroom was very generous, probably because this row is sometimes used as business class. I even had a small table on the armrest.
I must say the interior looked very worn. The seat was comfy, but the adjustable headrest was just hanging by 2 elastic bands. The cabin divider looked like it would fall apart any moment, with all kinds of hinges and hooks. It might look better if they would have a curtain! In the aisle carpet, 2 tracks of the years of trolley use were visible, I thought that was kinda funny. The seat next to my remained empty
We pushed back, 20-something minutes late.
After a short taxi between a lot of EZY traffic, we made it to the active and headed back to AMS!
The service started, and while the crew was nice, I must say the offering was very, very poor. Even worse then KLM. All we got was a bag of assorted peanuts/almonds and a drink!
The nuclear plant, I see this one almost every time I’m on a UK trip
Air contractors ATR-72, possibly heading to AMS
Windmill park near the Dutch shoreline
During the decent I spotted a KLM 733 flying below us, and as I feared we would be getting the dreaded RW18R
Remote tower at RW18 the Satellite, the above mentioned KL 733 visible
The Firefly, used for fire fighting training
The PH-BXM, I flew her on CDG-AMS. Wait what? Déjà vu!
Sunset and Schiphol twr
We got to the stand 30 minutes late. I disembarked, leaving the Charlie-Yankee behind. Within 10 minutes I got on the bus, which I unknowingly shared with Airbuseric, and 30 minutes after disembarking I was back home. The following morning I had to work at 0600, and I saw the Charlie-Yankee leaving after her night stop. Funny to think the plane had more time to rest then me!
BA / Cityflyer
My first time on BA mainline, and second time on Cityflyer. I must say that Cityflyer is decent, comparable to say LH service. The BA mainline was disappointing, the crew was fine but the offerings very poor, at least KLM gives you cookies! The ticket prices were decent though.
First time on the Ejet, I liked it! It felt much more spacious then the nearest competitor, the CRJ series. Though I like the CRJ pretty good, the Ejet definitely had a more mainline-jet feeling to it. Not noisy at all. I just didn’t really like the seats.
What can I say? It was a pleasure to score a new subtype of the 737 series. I didn’t think it was noisy, though I was seated near the engine. The interior could sure use a make over but you can’t blame that on the airplane. A fine bird to fly on.
My fifth time to London, and probably not the last one. I really like the city! Though I should get myself to some other cites in the UK. So far I’ve only been to London, Cambridge, and Leeds. It was a good trip, and I got to add 2 new plane types, and a new airline to my list!
Thanks for reading, any comments are always welcome!