Hello A.netters welcome to my first Trip Report I truly hope you enjoy. All feedback is very welcome even if it’s negative and any tips for what I should improve on for future trip reports, Sorry there are no photos for the HEL – ICN leg , I’ll explain later in the report.
This will be my 5th trip to Korea since July 2008, for reasons which I shall come to shortly, But first we need to travel back in time to November 2007, when I went travelling through the Baltics with my Yankee friend who asked me to go just 3 weeks before hand and as I needed to take some paid holiday before Christmas I thought why not and off I went for my first actual travel experience it was such a joy, freedom at it’s best, though Warsaw in November is a big no no. I’m sorry to say, made me quite depressed.. Anyhoo I was struck by that expensive bug, the Travel Bug.. Dun! Dun! Dun!.
Now we need to fast forward to Christmas Eve 2007, after a hard days work and getting home at roughly 9PM after some traditional Christmas Eve beer tasting, I turned the ol’ desktop and decided to check my e-mails and I found quite few messages from my Korean penpals and one thing led to another and I decided I wanted to travel somewhere far far away and Korea was an interesting and curious option and having never been to Asia I thought why not? : ) and I looked for prices to Seoul, Did the usual checking of many airline websites, ebookers, and Expedia, and despite AY having cheap as chips fares it didn’t interest me at the time so I decided on EK still cheapish flight cost £412(inc. tax)..So in July ’08 off I went to Korea for supposedly 2 weeks, I met a local lady after a few days and we got on too well : ) So I then decided to extend my stay for nearly 2 months so after that was over it was time to go home, After I got home I got back on the net and booked flights to come back for late October that time with AY with an amazing price of £366 : )..And since then I have flown with SU (they misplaced my luggage to and from ICN) and AF-KE codeshare (flew AF to ICN and KE from ICN, and kindly they rerouted me straight to LHR instead of via CDG despite being on a el cheapo non refundable ticket, which turned into a big mistake as I then had to wait around LHR T4 for around 6 hours to wait for my coach yay..)
Since the flight was from MAN, I decided to drive up to my sisters home in North Wales (I live in South Wales) as she lives very close to Chester which is right by the M56 which goes by MAN
I had a sleepless night or morning before the flight rather, as I was annoyed at this dripping sound from outside, it wasn’t that loud just annoying like a mozzy so I was awake all night, by 4am I decided to watch An Idiot Abroad on my netbook : ).
My sisters boyfriend drove me to MAN but I forgot to tell him part of the M56 was closed due to dismantling of some bridge which they had been working on for some time, oops, So we had to follow diverted signs, but the roads were extremely quiet on this Sunday morning and it only added an extra 10-15 minutes to the driving time (He really sticks to the limit).. I was dropped off at the drop off zone at T1 where I had planned to take photos of T2? With the airlines lined up in a row, however I had gone through security before I remembered about it.. .
Now this check in was the first time I’ve been slightly annoyed (I’ve flown AF so I know what check in is like with them so I won’t get into detail at this time.) there were 3 AY desks, but only one had a person at the desk which was the baggage drop off, there were 3 people together in front of me being seen to and they had a total of 10 pieces of check in luggage between them. I had stood there patiently for over 15 minutes when I glanced at the man sitting behind the Monarch desk who was just staring at me smiling , he had been there the whole time, but only then he decided to ask me if I wanted to check in there as the other 2 computers at the AY desks were down.. Why Thank You!.
This was the only time I’ve experienced this kind of security screening, I walked straight through, as there were no queues at security, I did the usual removal of netbook from backpack, got out my wallet, took of my belt, of course you know the drill and I was told to walk through some doors, next thing I know I’m collecting my items from the belt, I didn’t actually notice I went through a security scanner, I asked them about it and they assured me I walked through a scanner, they even had me going through the doors again with my belt and wallet in my pocket to prove I did go through. ; )
Alot of people like myself for some reason get nervous when going through scanners, I always hold my breath when going through them like it's going to make a difference haha.
Those who knows what T1 at MAN is like after security will know how awful it is as you have to walk through a large duty free shopping area to get to any of the gates, I'm glad the place wasn’t too crowded, as there were mainly single aisle planes at the gates, had the usual people with I’m leaving a cold climate for a hotter climate for a week or two look about them. I took quite a few photos fillers so please enjoy, I quite enjoyed seeing an DL 767 with pink engines and tail fin thought it was pretty cool.
And a little story to share with you, Whilst chillaxing at a bar close to my gate I was watching some rugby league (not that I like rugby) and spotted a woman put in quite a few british pounds I imagine anyway in a slot machine, well she didn’t win any thing and she looked so cheesed off with it, so I decided to have a go to show her how it’s done and I put in £1 and a few taps here and there and I won £10, And when I walked away from the machine the woman who was on it before me and the guy she was with just looked at me in disgust, and I did the ol' Cristiano Ronaldo wink to them
After that fun time I had, I decided to head to my head despite having plenty of time to spare, I enjoy watching fat business class passengers struggling to get up from their seats near the gate . I wish I filmed these 2 fat guys trying to get up at the same time, they even held on to each other for support haha
Some filler pics.
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SQ off to Munich then Singapore
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Etihad to AUH
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This reminds me of when me and my Korean girlfriend flew CWL-CDG in May, and she seen a poster for Thomas Cook and she turned to ask me if he was a good chef
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Empty in this area, everyone was around the bars/restaurants.
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Tail of my plane.
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LUFTHANSA!. I can't help shouting it in my head whenever I read it
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I don't like Manchester United but I like the poster, I couldn't take a photo of the whole poster due to alot teenagers covering most of it.
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Flight # 1.
MAN – HEL
Seat No. 15F.
E190 (Reg. OH-LKE)
Boarding Started at around 10am, but the departure had slight delay due to restrictions over Swedish airspace which resulted in the late departure. but boarding was smooth, .I was first sat by an attractive older Swedish lady but she moved seats so her friend/relative sat next to me and she had quite a bad smell about her, couldn’t quite make out what the smell was, I mean it smelled like a mix of body odour, alcohol and cigarettes.. : (
Nothing specially happened on this short flight, no turbulence nothing not a zip, I like turbulence, But I never get any on my flights to ICN!
Business class had their snack/drinks served within the hour, and took quite a long time to serve 3 people, took roughly an hour, then it was our turn, I wasn’t expecting anything spectacular however I got quite a tasty bread roll with a mystery meat, cheese and tomato, and some warm OJ to go with it lovely!, But that sandwhich or whatever it was would come back to bite me in the backside. Despite late departure we arrived early so all good, As on approach into HEL I started to get a little headache, then my stomach wasn't feeling too good , I just wanted the plane to land, but the descent just took so long.
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Knee shot, what else
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Back of head shot.
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Friend or foe?
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Nice colour contrast.
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Dodgy sandwhich and warm OJ lovely.
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First time to see the new terminal however nothing special, I prefer what it was like before It was changed, So as I just said I was feeling quite ill on at the end of the flight and I wasn‘t getting any better, so I was sat close to the restrooms incase anything bad was going to happen for most of my time there, I bought myself a bottle of water but couldn’t drink it as I just made me feel sick, I didn’t feel hungry and the thought of food made me want to throw up, I tried taking my mind of things by watching an episode of The Pacific but it didn’t help, but soon enough I headed to the gate to see what was happening, Now I done something funny which I’ve never done before, and it wasn’t really my fault, Let me first say there was a flight boarding to NRT, really close to my flight to ICN, and the queue from that flight was going past the gate for ICN, however I was standing not far from that queue, now here comes the funny part, As I was standing there I glanced around behind me and seen a lot of Asians standing there, probably Japanese, anyway after a few more minutes one woman tapped me on the shoulder to move forward at that point I realised, I started a queue when I wasn’t really a queue, I just laughed despite feeling quite sick, so I moved away a couple of yards to the side, And then what do you think happened next? YES I started ANOTHER queue for that same flight despite not being near it!, So I then thought that I must be the queue master , But then I actually failed when I attempted to make a queue for the ICN flight, as they were crowded en-masse around the gate in like a half circle, and every few moments or so you could see the half circle get closer and closer to the desks, it was quite funny.
Only this photo taken at HEL
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Boarding/Departure (sorry no pics)
Flight # 2
HEL – ICN.
Seat No. 45J
A330-300 (reg Unknown)
Boarding was somewhat smooth, however when I enteered the cabin, I was hit by a smell I didn’t recognise and that seems to make my illness get worse as the flight was to progress, I'm actually glad I chose an aisle seat as I'm getting to prefer them over window seats!,
I was sat on the seat waiting for the arrival of my window seat mate, who turned out to be a Rusky from St. Petersburg, he worked for Hyundai and was going for a week long meeting yikes! But before he told me all that he started a not so polite conversation with me before putting his bag into the locker.
Russian: (as soon as he comes to the seat) Why are you on this flight?
Me: Erm, because I'm going to Seoul
Russian: (After a minute or two whilst messing around with his luggage) Move!.........Please!.
Me: Sure thing hun.! .
Russian: (just stares at me )
And as soon as he sat down he switched his laptop on and started to watch some movie, then he switched off for take off, then back on again, a few moments after take off.. A little advice if you are going on a long haul flight, please try and have a shower before the flight and use some anti-persprint or/and deodrant/ perfume as it will help the people around you, thank you..: )..
Drinks service started over an hour later, I asked for an OJ, but it was horribly warm AGAIN, seriously, AY is the only airline I’ve flown with who keep serving warm OJ. about 20 minutes later meal service started, Option was that all important yet difficult question.. Chicken or Pasta, I picked the chicken, I just looked at it and smelt it and well I was in the Restroom faster than Usain Bolt in the 100m.. I was in there for around 25 minutes , first time I’ve been sick on a flight EVER!, and this lasted for the whole of nearly 9 hours, so I didn’t eat drink sleep at all during the flight, when I closed my eyes I just felt like I was spinning so I had to keep them open, I tried watching some movies/tv shows on IFE but I just couldn't focus on it one bit. Now enough about me, The flight attendants on my side were ok, A Finnish FA and a Korean FA , seemed at distance at times, the Finnish FA creeped me out somewhat as she had this big jaw line but small head, now if you seen it you’d query if it was a he or she. They spent alot of time speaking to their off duty colleagues who were in the 4 emergency exit row seats,, there was one great FA though, she worked on the opposite aisle and she was an older FA maybe 50’s she was quite attractive and attended me a few times throughout the flight and offered me some tablets, which didn’t help me, I feel bad about this because she told me her name but I’ve completely forgot about it, However I did fill in a form praising/thanking her work I did write her name down on that so I think that is complimenting enough : )..
My illness lasted for a another day whilst in Seoul, But I was soon stuffing my face with delicious Korean food in no time hehe : )
The photos on this Trip Report were taken with a Nikon D40 DSLR, it was my girlfriends who left it at my house, and for this exact reason :P.
My next flight will be to ICN once more and I'm going to go with either Etihad or Qatar Airways, and I'll take more photos and possibly shorten the trip report :P (I actually deleted alot of sentenced from this TR.)