Lowcost vs legacy around the Mediterranean
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It all began on a rainy day three weeks ago, when i was bored and browsed through some flight. Suddenly I found a Ryanair fare inclusive priority boarding for only 10€ to BGY
, so I started to look for some intresting options from BGY
. Firstly I was interested in a Blueair flight to Bucharest, but from there my onwards options were too limited to squeeze everything in one day. So in the end I settled down for the AZ
flight to FCO
, which is operated by AZ
Express and their Embraer 170. It cost some 40€, which is still not too bad for an hour flight.
, I had a lot of options, but as I wanted to arrive again later that day in HHN
, I had to find a flight to a destination, where FR
also flies too. So I found a Vueling flight to AGP
, which is also a new destination for me, so I booked that for 50€, for a 2h20 flight not too bad. From AGP
I booked to 20.55 flight to HHN
for a reasonable 28€.
So lets now come to the day of travel.
flight to BGY
in the morning departes at 6.35 in HHN
, so that means for me to get up at three and drive about 90mins to the airport. After a comfortable drive on the autobahn I arrived at HHN
at about 5.15 Am.
The queue at the security was luckily not too long and so I was airside in a rush.
The boarding for the flight started at about 6 Am and as I had a priority boarding pass I was allowed to walk to the plane second.
So I made my way across the apron to my plane.
The cargo apron:
6.35-7.50 ( scheduled )
6.33-7.22 ( actual )
Load: ~ 80%
Boarding was very fast and efficent this morning and luckily only one other passenger settled down in my exit row so I had a nice empty seat next to me, which is always good. I can't understand many passengers, as they book priority and then just sit down in one of the normal rows in the front, but well let them do it.
The boarding was soon finished, and we made our way to the runway which took about 5 mins with no other plane before us.
After the liftoff we made our way into the foggy german sky, but as there is always good weather above the clouds, we were soon with some sun, which always gives me some power after a night with only a little sleep. The flight itself was uneventful, just a normal FR
flight with all the procedures as selling scratchcards or overprices snacks.
After about 40 mins in the air we already started our decent into BGY
, which is quite an interesting one as the fly some steep curves to get through the alps to the airport.
At 7.22 we touched down on the runway and some 5mins afterwards we parked at a stand.
Transit in BGY:
A funny fact about BGY
is that they have 5 finger gates, but none of them were used, all the LCC planes parked on the apron and did bussing their passengers to the planes. Is bussing really cheaper ?
As I had plenty of time in BGY
, my first stop was a little coffee bar, where I hade an italian coffee with milk and some pastry, which together cost only 2,50€, a price you wouldn't find on a german airport.
After that, I walked a bit around, also to a shopping centre which is located right next to the airport.
An reminder of HLX:
Some 90 minutes prior to the scheduled take-off time, I headed to security, where the queue was quite long, but I was through within some 10 min. The airside area in BGY
impressed me, because the landside area is dark and not that modern, but the airside was all new, with nice bright colours and a lot of glass, it reminded me of LUX
, as they used nearly the same wood panneling.
Airside, I sat down in a corner, close to my gate, where I had a nice view of the apron and runway.
There were some interesting airlines in this morning, such as Belle Air from Tirana, and two BlueAir flights, one of them operated by Aurela.
Aegean to Rhodos:
Who does this bird belong to? :
Aurela taking off:
But the leader in BGY
is definately FR
Soon my bird arrived from FCO
and boarding started again about 15mins after landing.
Luckily the E170 parked far away on the apron, so we used a bus to get there, always appreciated.
Next to us parked an all white MD80, I have no idea who operated this bird.
So now it was time to board.
11.10 – 12.20 ( scheduled )
11:31 – 12.19 ( actual )
Load: ~ 85%
Boarding was soon finished, and interestingly there were many AZ
crews on this flight as passengers, heading to FCO
. I picked a seat in the back, 19A, because the chances there are way higher to get a empty seat next to you and I was right. After a short taxi to the runway we took off.
The cockpit door was opened until we reached cruising altitude, never seen that before.
Soon the inflight service started, and I opted for a coke and some coconut cookies, which tasted nice.
Later into the flight, the guy sitting in 19F started to talk to me, and we found out that we're both members of A.net, he is Tobbry and also doing a daytrip to Italy. What a nice surprise. He would have meet Markus ( or Flieger67 ) in MMX
this day, but he already booked this trip.
Soon the decent into FCO
started and after a flighttime of 50min, we touched down in sunny Rome.
After a quick taxi we arrived at Terminal 1 in Fiumicino.
Transit in FCO:
Tobbry and me spent the transit together and headed to a spot, not too far from both of departure gates, he was taking an Ezy flight to MXP
. There we settled down and had a nice talk about aviation and previous and upcoming trips. As the connection time of mine was only about 90 minutes, we far too soon had to say goodbye, but I'm sure we will meet on some other trip again.
When I arrived at the gate for my VY flight to AGP
, there were already many many people and the area was packed, mostly with students, they must have had an excursion to Rome.
The boarding started about 10 minutes late, but no problem with that as I'm not in a hurry.
14.10-16.50 ( scheduled )
14.33-16.48 ( actual )
Load: ~ 90%
While entering the plane I was hit by a hot air wave, for some reason the air conditioning was not turned on until we start taxiing. Many passengers started complaining about that, but nobody really had success.
TAP next to us:
Even the flight was so full, I again got an empty seat next to me which was very good as the legroom here is really tight. The cockpit did a welcome speech, but the english one had such a strong spanish accent, I hardly unterstood anything but well, I dont really neeed it.
While taxiing to the runway for departure, we had to let a E195 of Air Dolomiti to overtake us, but then it was our turn, and we were in the air, heading to Spain.
The route was mainly over the Mediterranean sea and then over the mainland of spain, going into AGP
from the north.
Anyone knows which airport this is? :
Tight leg room:
The flight was quite uneventful, but the views of islands in the sea was enjoying and made the time fly by very fast. About 15 minutes prior to landing, the decent started and after a flying time of 2h15 we touched down in sunny AGP
and soon afterwards we were on stand.
Transit in AGP:
Firstly I wanted to head to the downtown of Malaga, but as there were massive delays in the trainsystem that day, I just stayed at the airport, which is a nice one with a lot of seating possibilities and space.
I had some coffee and just enjoyed watching planes. The most interesting service in AGP
must be the helicopter shuttle to Ceuta, a spanish city within the african continent.
is mainly used by holiday airlines and LCC such as FR
Another Vueling bird:
BA A319 to LGW in the background:
Deserted arrival and baggage claim:
Soon enough my flight started boarding, and as I had again a priority boarding pass, I just skipped the queue and boarded the FR
bird to HHN
20.55-23.50 ( scheduled )
21.09-23.55( actual )
Load: ~ 99% only 2 seats free
Seat: 16F (exitrow)
For such a long flight on FR
, I hurried and picked an exitrow seat, again 16F.
The fligh turned out to be very full, and it seemed as everyone on boarded has a handluggage suitcase, and soon enought the crew got problems to store them. In the end all overhead lockers were full, and there were still about 10 cases left, so they put them in a corner in the front galley.
The crew on this flight was the nicest, I had so far on FR
, they talked personnaly to many passengers and apologized for the baggage problem. The cockpit crew up front did a very detailed welcome speech and anounced the route very good: AGP
next to us:
While taxiing to the runway I spotted a AY
757, but the light was so poor I couldnt get it into a picture.
The flight itself was again a normal FR
one, with all the things they sell onboard. I just turned on my iPod and relaxed until the landing in HHN
after about 2h45 of flight time.
After landing I made my way through HHN
to the carpark and after another 90min drive I was at home.
The winner of the day was the AZ
flight, the seats on the E-Jets are comfortable and the service was fine for the length of flight. Special thanks again to Tobias, with who I had a nice conversation.
The Vueling flight was exactly as I expected it, tight seatpitch and BoB, but for the price of 50€ for such a long sector, one can't complain.
The two FR
sectors were fine, they brought me from A to B ontime and that is all I expect from them .
Upcoming next week: LUX
on a small and a big bird.
I hope you enjoyed reading it. Comments are always very appreciated.
Thank you a lot