flybmi.com to close
Last updated: Friday 28 September 2012
By 28 October 2012 the transition of bmi International flights to British Airways flights will be complete, and the www.flybmi.com website will be closing.
A quick history by RyanairGuru (From airliners.net travel poll)
BMI was founded in 1938 as Air Schools Ltd.
It has been renamed: Derby Aviation in 1948, Derby Airways in 1959, British Midland Airways in 1964, BMI British Midland in 2001, BMI Airways Ltd in 2003.
74 years of flying history now gone
Like Phillip (OA260) did earlier this year:
British Midland International-A History A Tribute. (by OA260 Apr 12 2012 in Trip Reports)
here is my tribute to this great airline.
I wanted to empty my DC account, but was intimidated by the BD network, until i realized they used to service Ethiopia. The departure time was far to be attractive, however no other destination could fit my available short calendar.
I did not carry the best camera thus the pictures quality is altered. Also bear with me because with the time some details might not be so obvious.
I tried to check-in on line but after a couple of failed tries i gave up and decided to do it like the old way.
A Lada taxi (Do Ethiopians use any other type of car than this) dropped me off 3 h prior the flight. The terminal of ADD is simply beautiful and shows a real modern feeling from outside. I now share travellers' point of view stating that NBO is still the third world.
The queue for pre security checks snaked outside the terminal building due to the numerous overnight ET long haul flights but moved steadily.
When my turn came to check in on the J counter the welcoming agent was given the passport and the booking number. After 5 minutes he asked me for the e-ticket number. I remained perplex for few seconds as never being requested that information in any other BMI flights, before trying to look for it in one my printed document.
Since i could not retrieve it, he told me to stay aside while he would deal with the rest of the passengers.
Luckily on the first sector to Jordan, 3 passengers checked in and he called me back afterwards to finalize the process. 10 minutes or so later, puzzled of the amount time spent to issue a basic BP, i questioned him about the issue.
Embarrassed, he replied that the booking does not exist. I was stunned and worried
he stated that the e-ticket number could not appear somehow thus resulting of the non validity of the ticket.
A similar situation lived in Zambia on a domestic flight, came to my mind, when a Mama who wanted to change her tickets, was shouting at the reservation agent because of her 3 tickets were not displayed in the system. At that time i thought it was sketch, and found the whole scene quiet hilarious! (also because i got a ticket thanks to her misfortune)
Well on that day, it was less funny and more annoying.
Of course the agent was told that i've never been asked for a e-ticket number, neither recalled that BMI ever emailed me any at all time. Of course he saw the booking number, the seat selection and confirmation email, nevertheless no boarding pass could be printed whatsoever.
He called the station manager, who did not succeed either and we all headed towards his office to show all the proof in my possession in the computer.
He scrutinized carefully and admitted that indeed something went wrong somewhere and finally apologized.
In a meantime, he also tried to contact the DC center in the UK, outside the working hours resulting on those propositions:
- Waiting overnight here in Addis, until the very first minutes of the DC center opening or
- Purchasing a new ticket, in economy at usd 699. (on a top of the usd 110 previously paid for the taxes and surcharges)
I opted for the later due to my commitments the day after and above all because no accommodation nor meal were given.
The station manager gave me his business card and a print out summing up of all the passenger datas (don't know the official name of this document) and mentioning the errors of the system.
Before heading back to the check-in desk again, by compassion he "upgraded" me to business class. For the useless information: this was my very first time being suggested freely a higher class on a long haul flight.
I lost plenty time and the mood shaded on writing and taking pictures for the report. The second check in was a breeze same goes to the immigration procedure
The air side area very bright and did not contained many travellers. With 25 spare minutes i payed a quick visit to the lounge used for ET and Star Carrier, Upon entering one of the passengers asked the receptionists where would be the gate of the BMI flight, they took a paper list and checked the screen and answered him at gate quiet far from here. I was deeply concerned as the station manager clearly indicated me another gate number closer. It turned out to be exact what the SM said.
On itself the terminal 2 lounge was okay, but some hot dishes cold and dry seemed placed here for age, i did not dare tasting any of those. Just a quick juice to refresh the insane moment lived now part of the past.
No boarding announcement was made at the lounge, the screen just show the message to set off to the conveniently located gate in front of the lounge.
Photo © Luiscarlosvieira
Photo © Mark Kwiatkowski
Photo © Ferenc Hamori
Photo © Stewart Andrew
Photo © Richard Janura
Photo © Spencer Wilmot
The welcome was perfect with a smile from a female senior pursuer with light German accent and " a glad to see you here" indeed me too i was glad to see them now
Once settled down into the comfortable seat a flight attendant suggested a welcoming drink, it was late but i chose a glass of bubbly just for the try – surely not Laurent Perrier – but a good taste and refreshing because the heat in Ethiopia could still be perceived.
She then came to distributed the headphones, the amenity kit and to collect the glass. There were three passengers in J cabin.
On time we 've been pushed back and take off quickly, once cruising the crew offered a choice of two breakfasts (one sweet option) to eat. The omelette sandwich sounded much better.
After a crazy evening, the Voyager Magazine would venetually help to select a musical channel and having a forty winks. I've initially thought that it was a headphone issue, that have been replaced immediately, or a seat IFE unit problem as one could frequently meet anytime, but unfortunately the last desperate reboot proved that the sound of the music channel refused to work. The flight attendant, so sorry, has been forgiven so quickly due to my tiredness. So with no choice i've sticked to the Planehunter's most favorite show broadcast on most of overseas/international trips: The route map.
Concerning the seat, i liked it, comfortable enough, few days ago i flew from IST to KGL in J on their 738 and believe me or not, BD seat had a much better recline, a good width a PTV (not fully working though), and some nice leather colors.
Trashes were collected quickly and the cabin crew enjoyed a now – ex fifth freedom route – peacefully. One of them read a book on that seat.
Before dawn, we landed on time in Jordan and nobody got off, apart from the cabin crew. One of the passenger discussed most of the lay over with the crew, about, if i've understood properly, the employees' future . One could see that crew member answered with a mixed feeling of passion and sadness.