Hi all. This is a short trip report of my trip home for Christmas last year. I took some pictures on my phone which for some reason I couldn't upload. Since pictures usually add so much to a report I felt it wasn't worth the effort without them. But lo and behold I was cleaning my memory card on my phone tonight and it worked so I said I may as well throw a quick report together. Since they are phone pictures the quality isn't superb but hopefully it gives an idea of the experience. Also some of them are sideways as I wasn't able to rotate them so you may have to crane your neck a little.
Anyway I moved to London to study a Masters degree in September 2011. I originally flew over on WX as I managed to get a €50 fare all in one way which was competitive with FR and EI since I had to have baggage. On the plus side, WX allow an extra 3kg in their luggage so it was a win win. Fast forward to November 2011 and I began looking into flights home for Christmas. After a troublesome Christmas in 2010 involving being stuck on non moving plane for 7 hours, the family decided on staying put at home which was more than fine by me considering I had been away for 3 months. Having used WX on the way over I thought I'd have a look at them again and managed to get a fare for approx. €110 all in return which was again competitive with EI and FR (Since I needed baggage and adding in the extra cost to get out to STN ). So using the simple WX booking process I made the reservation and began the countdown to returning home for Christmas, although not before completeing a myriad of assignments and presentations before term was over
The time came for me to leave London temporarily. Normally I would have used the tube to get to Bank and then get the DLR to get to LCY. While the DLR starts at around 530, the Central Line doesn't start till a bit later. Since it was a 7am flight and even with the shorter checkin times I booked an addison lee cab for 0545 to be sure to get to the airport on time. It cost £23. A normal cab from LCY to where i live costs about £20 so it wasn't too bad a price. With absolutely no traffic on the roads I got to LCY at 0705. I had checked in online the night before but needed to collect my boarding pass from kiosk. There are generic kiosks at the entrance to the airport and the WX bag drop/checkin desks are right beside the entrance. Not that the distance between all the desks is all that large.
I proceeded to the desk to drop off my bag. There was someone at the economy counter but an agent beckoned me to the cityplus/premium counter. I think bag drop took all of 30 seconds and I was on my way.
The cityjet checkin/bagdrop desks.
With that I went to the WH Smith across from the checkin desks to purchase the morning newspapers. There is also a pret a manger and another cafe landside. I decided to head up through security which is located upstairs from the checkin area. LCY uses those automatic scanner gates to get to security. There was hardly anyone there and I flew through (no pun intended). Door to door I had left my place, dropped my bag and gone through security in half an hour. I can see why LCY would be popular with business men. With a half an hour to wait till boarding I went to the Illy cafe to get a coffee and a croissant. While Illy coffee is one of the nicest it's certainly not the cheapest. I think the bill came to over £5 but I was groggy from the early start so it was worth it.
Post security at the Illy cafe
Looking across to the duty free
Looking down to the checkin area
Again tasty and something to read with it
LCY has free wifi so I tucked into my snack, browsed the web and did some reading. I took a look over in duty free as well. I got a ditinct feeling that some of the merchandise was aimed at people with deeper pockets than I.
Half heartedly considered getting this for my Dad
I quickly reconsidered
I then headed to the gate at 0643. It leads down into a small holding pen level with the ramp.
Into the unknown?
The boarding pass scan and ID check is done as you enter the pen. While there were a good amount of seats it was small and cramped and quite a few people had to stand while they waited to board. Boarding was called 0648 after those with small children and cityplus passengers were asked to come forward.
Type: Avro RJ85
I settled into my seat 12a. It was still dark outside and everyone was quite quiet given the early hour.
Looking out onto a quiet ramp still engulfed in darkness
Legroom was more than adequate, at least for me
There were 2 flight attendents on board. We were ready to go just before 7am. I suddenly noticed the flaps were down shortly after, the engines had been started on stand. They were so quiet I barely noticed. Whisperjet is very appropriate. We taxied up Runway 09 to turn onto Runway 27. We lined up and the engines spooled up to full power while the parking brake remained on. The Fuselage began to shake quite a bit. The brake was released a we took off really powerfully giving a great view of Canary Wharf and then the city as we made an immediate turn left. We started slalomning through London Airspace without climbing, I presume due to ATC restrictions so as not to conflict with inbound LHR traffic.
15 mins after takeoff the crew started their service. There was a complimentary drinks along with a baby croissant. I took it with a black coffee; it wasn't the best but it was free so who am I to complain. The crew then went through the cabin offering a little chocolate to everyone. A nice touch I thought.
Coffee and the Economist.
Over England as dawn tried to break
Cruising at 30000 feet
We started our descent soon after beginning crossing the Irish Sea. It was quite bumpy which wasn't ideal at that hour but it wasn't too bad.
Coming in over Dublin suburbs. It's still quite dark.
On the ground in Dublin
We touched down at 0818 and made a quick taxi to the A pier. Disembarkation was quick and there was no que at immigration (I'm still slightly miffed at the inability of DUB to treat UK flights as they should do because of the Common Travel Area). My bag was out quickly and I came out and met my Dad who took me home for a wonderful Christmas. Door to door it was just over 3hours.
Overall it was as good a flight as you can expect on such a short sector. LCY is wonderfully handy and I was amazed I could get the price I did for the flight. If you can somehow get relatively cheap fares on the route it's definitely the best way to travel to and from London. Plus you get a free snack and drink (although not the best) included in the price as well as a generous 23kg baggage allowance. During the day it is also extremely convenient and cheap to use the DLR to get there and 30 mins to spare is usually adequate.
Unfortunately fares have gone up quite dramatically on the route so I'm back to using EI from LHR. EI are grand, it's just that LHR is a bit more inconvenient for me to get to from the City travelling across London (The Express is ridiculously expensive for me, as a student, to justify using all the time ) That's the end of the report. I'm due to fly with AZ on 4 segments next week so I'll try get my hands on decent camera and attempt to make another trip report.
[Edited 2012-08-20 17:29:59]