My first posting after a few years of lurking, many thanks to you all for providing such detailed and interesting posts. You will realise from below that I’ve been around for quite a while. I wish forums like this had existed years back, then I had to rely on a good mate who liked flying as much as me and we would travel together on holiday in our twenties before we were both married. Destinations chosen by the aircraft and airlines available of course. My wife isn’t interested in flying and tolerates my interest! I still see my pal and we enjoy aircraft minutiae as much now as we used to then.
I do not fly so much now, but I’m a long timer av geek, the kid who delighted in a spotters guide and experienced few, if any, security checks at airports. I’m of the era of having flown Caravelles, Vanguards, Comets, Viscounts, Britannias, VC10, DC8, 9 and 10s, BAC 1-11, B 707, 720, 727, 737,747,757 and 767s, IL62 and TU104s and Tristar, not forgetting the Trident. A few F27 and a DC3 too. And most of the Airbus aircraft too.
I’ve flown many airlines over the decades mostly from LHR and my local airport LGW which is about 10 km from home. I can sit in my living room and see aircraft on final approach into Gatwick and occasionally they fly overhead after take off, close enough to identify the airline. Being at nearly any airport would provide a host of various aircraft, far more than now.
The times when everything was included from catering to seat selection and baggage. However the advent of competition has lowered airfares considerably and made flying more affordable. Now I concentrate on UK and European flights, mostly; Norwegian, EasyJet and Flybe as well as Loganair. [My days of long haul travel are over. Insurance premiums are Sky high due to health issues outside Western Europe for me now (cancer and heart by pass), so travel whilst you can!] Then it was multi sector flights eg. Gatwick- Shannon- Gander- Montreal on a Transglobe Britannia. Or South African 747 Heathrow- Las Palmas- Salisbury (Harare) - Johannesburg. And even an Air India 707 (originating at JFK) Heathrow - Paris Orly- Frankfurt - Beirut- Bombay (as it was then). And return Calcutta (as it was) - Delhi - Tehran- Moscow - Heathrow. I loved every minute of those flights. The most amazing though was Aeroflot - LHR - CPH - LED on a TU104 back in the days of true communist USSR and then flying MOW- TYO (Haneda) on an IL62 in 1970 long before possibly most of you were born!
I’ve flown with long lost Airlines such as British Eagle, British United, BEA, British Caledonian (my favourite of all time) Court Line, Britannia, Dan Air, East African Airways, Indian Airlines, PSA, World Airways, Pan Am, Eastern (original US), Monarch, Aviaco, Spantax, as well as many still in existence today.
Here’s a report of a recent flight from EDI to LSI on a Loganair Saab 340. Our outbound flight from Edinburgh to Sumburgh was on a Saab 2000 (my first time). That was an excellent experience as was this one detailed in my trip report.
Major apologies though - I’m not sure how to download photos to accompany this report!
My wife and daughter and I had enjoyed a holiday on the beautiful Shetland islands. Last year we went to the Orkney Islands and from Kirkwall (KOI) I flew the famed Papa Westray to Westray on the world’s shortest scheduled flight with Loganair. We took off at 16.40 and landed at 16.41. Magnificent, and it then took 20 minutes back to KOI. Eight passengers including locals who knew the pilot by first name and had their weekly shop in carriers bags with them! No safety demo, just asked by the pilot if we had fastened our seat belts and off we went.
At the end of May we arrived at Sumburgh two hours before departure and dropped our bags. We’d already checked in on line a few days before and the boarding passes were emailed to us.
The departure lounge was adequate for our needs, a cafe and a small shop. Landside was a cafe and a charity book stall, car hire and seating. One baggage reclaim belt. We’d left the hire car with the doors unlocked and the keys behind the sun visor in the car park as requested. All very simple and effective, and reflects the laid back but efficient friendly way of life on Shetland.
There were flights going to Glasgow, Aberdeen, Kirkwall and the only international departure to Bergen as well as our own to Edinburgh. Going through security was amazing. It was nothing like I’d experienced before. Friendly staff prepared to have a joke with you and asking if we’d had a nice time during our visit. But nothing was compromised. Full body search on my daughter as she’d forgotten to take her mobile phone out of her pocket. We were all really impressed by them.
Our flight was due at 11.00 and the inbound flight had arrived early. At 10.35 we were called for boarding. We walked across the airfield to our Saab 340 and sixteen of us took our seats. The captain thanked us for being at the airport early and told us we’d be taking off early as a result. We were airborne at 10.46.
Loganair provides a complimentary service of a drink and a snack. That was much appreciated and the coffee was very good. On our outbound flight on the Saab 2000 I had a savoury snack of cheesy biscuits but this time chose a Tunnocks Caramel biscuit bar, it being known as a Scottish delicacy!
We appreciated the inclusive luggage allowance of 20 kgs too. It takes away all the hassle of Pre booking paid baggage and having seats allocated free of charge was great too. We could choose our seats at online check in. The whole ethos of the airline is so very civilised. It was an absolute pleasure being on this flight.
There was so much leg room as well. 32 inches was great, similar to the Saab 2000 which had padded leather seats. The 340 seats were Recarro fixed ones but were more than adequate for the hour’s flight. Each of the headrests were adorned with various tartan covers which added individuality and was a nice touch.
Upon landing at EDI we were at a remote stand at the end of the domestic pier. Next to us was a Stobart Air ATR boarding to Dublin operating for Aer Lingus and an EasyJet 319 going to Jersey, the first I’d seen close up operating under Austrian registration. Bags were quickly dispatched and we left the airport for our onward stay in Edinburgh. Our subsequent journey south in the UK was by train and that was good too.
I thanked the captain and the flight attendant for a flight which reminded me of how flying used to be. If you want a scheduled flight providing reminisces of how flying used to be try the Sumburgh - LSI to EDI or GLA routes with Loganair.
Apologies for absence of pictures and my ramblings.... put it down to my old age! Thanks for reading.