Hello fellow ANutters!
So, recently I got a nice bonus from my place of work
When I told my fiancé, she asked me, whilst looking at me expectantly, “what are you going to buy with your money?”
Well obviously, a ticket on Volotea’s inaugural scheduled UK flight of course
(FYI 90% of the bonus went into the wedding fund – I’m not that selfish
The flight was scheduled to fly from PMI
as flight number V7 3934 and also gives me the chance to fly the very rare Boeing 717. Well... very rare here in Europe at least.
At a price of just £23 I snapped up a ticket instantly! Then realised oh crap... I have to actually get to PMI
. Oh crap... that’s near Magaluf. Oh crap... it’s a bank holiday weekend and the start of the school holidays!
Hoping that all of the Magaluf partygoers would look no further than Ryanair for their travel arrangements, I booked a flight out of LGW
on Monarch Airlines, and a room at the Gatwick Central Travelodge and I was good to go!
My morning started at 04:30 when my alarm when off – I like to set my alarm very early as I find it impossible to get out of bed straight away. Inadvertently, I turned the alarm off, instead of setting it to snooze..... A while later, I awoke from my sleep and suddenly remembered where I was and sat bolt upright
It was light outside. Oh my god! I’ve missed my flight! I looked at my phone – which told me the time was 0535
That was a close call.
I hurried onto the shuttle bus to the South Terminal where I went straight through to security, which was much more pleasant than my last security experience at LBA
. Although having a prostate exam using a rusty nail would also have been more pleasant....
Thank goodness I checked in online
As mentioned earlier, it was the bank holiday weekend and the start of the school holidays, so LGW
was uncomfortably busy this morning.
Nevertheless – I managed to find a spot to sit and watch the movements outside.
LCCs and leisure carriers in attendence – including this grubby U2 A320
Thomson Dreamliner just arrived from Orlando
The only Enter Air aircraft that I’ve ever spotted... seen at LPA, TLS and now LGW
G-VGAL. Also just arrived from Orlando
Soon, our gate was announced and I made my way over to gate 92 which is a bus gate, meaning I still haven’t boarded an aircraft via a jetbridge in 2016!
As the agent scanned my boarding pass, a red light appeared. Sorry sir, you have been moved to seat 3D
Urgh – I paid extra money to pick my window seat! At least I’m still in the extra legroom seats I suppose....
We embarked on our long drive over to the remote stands on the other side of the North Terminal – which meant having to listen to the usual snide passenger comments such as “where are we driving to, bloody Heathrow?” and “I don’t see why they can’t have just parked the plane closer to the terminal. This is such poor service”
Airline: Monarch Airlines
Flight Number: ZB220
Aircraft: Airbus A321
Delivered to Monarch in 2013. Delivered new to Royal Jordanian in June 2006
Seat: 5F changed to 3D
Oh dear. I accidentally span the thing round on the top of the camera and took a black and white photo. Really brings out the orange in that woman’s suitcase though!
People boarding via the rear door as well
Should be a clear day! Pity I won’t be able to see out
I settled into my seat and took in my surroundings.
Being the bank holiday and the start of the school holidays, our A321 was full to the brim this morning, with many excited children running round. I thought it would be best not to take a cabin shot with so many protective parents on board. But here is a token leg room shot:
Very roomy Excuse the pink folder its... errr.... not mine
I was very impressed with the state of the aircraft. G-ZBAG was absolutely spotless this morning, both on the outside and in the cabin. It was as if she had just rolled out of the factory at Hamburg!
Sneaky cockpit shot
As we were parked at the remote stands, we had a short taxi to the end of runway 08R, and after a short queue, we took off towards the east.
Once we were airborne I perused the on board menu, just out of interest. All of a sudden, I came over all hungry and I made a decision to order the English breakfast, which was £6. I pressed the call button and was greeted with a very cheerful flight attendant who took my order.
I reached for my wallet and she chirped “oh no that’s ok, I’ll come back and you can pay later. I’ll go and prepare your meal now sir”
The hot food was cooked on order and took about 10 minutes to arrive.
After a short while, the flight attendant returned.
“Here you go sir”
I was handed a napkin and cutlery.
On closer inspection, I found that hiding underneath these items was a small tray of food
....Well that isn’t very much
I thought to myself “I could probably count those baked beans”. So I did. And there were 29 of them!
I must admit the sausage was lovely, and the half a rasher of bacon was also very nice, if a bit thin, but the tiny portion of scrambled egg was bland and tasteless. There were 6 tiny button mushrooms which tasted ok and the beans were also average and a bit overdone.
All in all, this wasn’t very impressive, and the free breakfast offered on BA
CityFlyer out of LCY
was much better and much more substantial.
There was nothing left to do now, but sit back and relax
The children sat in the first row were in the queue for the toilet, when the captain appeared for a toilet break. “Do you want to have a quick 5 second peek in the cockpit?”
He held the door open for the kids to peer in, and then said to the parents “if you stay seated when we get to the gate I’ll let them go in if you want”
I thought this was very good from the man in charge!
After this I paid a visit to the toilet myself (but no one gave me a peek inside the cockpit
), where the tap didn’t work so I had to wipe the soap off my hands with toilet roll, which was quite disgusting and made my hands feel funny
I returned to my seat and decided to have a flick through the in flight magazine, which had some nice articles on Monarch holiday destinations including Rome, Lisbon, Majorca and Dubrovnik.
A very interesting interview with Julie Philpott, the head of Monarch’s Boeing 737 MAX introduction
Soon our descent was announced and we made a rather bumpy approach into PMI
, with a fairly hefty touch down onto 24L.
It looked like a very interesting approach over the island from the limited view I had from my aisle seat. I’m also pretty sure that I got a glimpse of a derelict DC-8 parked on the right hand side of the runway
As I was sat at the front, I was one of the first people off the aircraft for a change. I walked past the family in row one where the mum was saying “if you sit still nicely, the pilot will show you round the cockpit”. I was sat nicely for the whole flight, but I don’t get an offer to look round the cockpit
I did consider hanging around, but thought I had better get up the jetbridge and out of the way as an angry mob of holidaymakers were gathering in the aisle.
Best picture I could get. G-ZBAG peering out from behind the jetbridge
I also realised that the FA
never asked me to pay for my breakfast. Oh well, It’s not as if it was worth the £6.
I was surprised to see this Romanian F100!
After clearing security, I caught the bus over to Can Pastilla (on the advice of debonair
) for some lunch. Where I decided that ice cream was the best option.
On bus number 21
The harbour and beach area
After an ice cream, a short walk along the front, and a large amount of will power to not indulge in a massive paella, it was time to head back to the airport.
I’m not a fan of these kinds of holiday destinations, and even though the weather was pleasant, the beaches were packed, and there were idiots everywhere. The mountains that could be seen from the plane looked like a much better option for a holiday destination, but each to their own!
I made my way back to PMI
to find many many tanned Germans.
The Air Berlin check in area
I made my way through security, which was surprisingly swift given how busy the check-in hall was, and then went to have an explore.
I didn’t realise that China Eastern fly to PMI....
As I was very early (as per usual), I managed to explore the whole airport, which was very busy. Thankfully, the A gates were much quieter.
After finding a snack and a drink, I went to find my gate and settled down next to the window to watch the movements, and pray that a Volotea A319 wouldn’t appear instead of the expected 717
Southampto. That sounds promising
A brand new Eurowings A320, only 11 days old at the time
A little Saab from Switzerland
Air Nostrum Bombardier CRJ-200 still in Sol Linhas Aereas colours
After watching countless AB
flights take off, I spied a pretty Boeing 717 lumbering along the taxiway.
Aircraft: Boeing 717
Flight Number: V73934
Delivered to Volotea in 2014. Delivered new to Midwest Airlines in 2003
Boarding was soon announced, and I made my way over to the check in desk. It was at this point that I realised how empty the gate area was, with only a handful of people waiting. I handed my boarding pass to the agent and again it beeped red. Oh great, have I been moved again?!
The agent said “I’m very sorry sir; I’m not sure why that’s happened. Have a nice flight”
Consider it done!
I walked down the stairs to board yet another bus.
Once the bus was fully loaded I counted 21 passengers on today’s flight. A quick calculation gives a load factor of 16.8% - my emptiest ever flight!
A good view of the T tail as the bus pulled up
With the very light load, boarding was completed in hardly any time at all.
My seat – again I had paid a little bit extra for the extra legroom. Also note the broken window shade which kept falling down. I had to wedge it up with a bit of paper to stop it from falling down
Good legroom – helped also by the lack of seat back pocket – even if it did feel very LCC
Hellooooooo. Anybody there?!
The cabin looked very smart with a nice colour scheme and a good variety of headrest covers.
No safety card today
Everything was going really well at this point, so I thought I had better put things back to normal by having an embarrassing moment.
In going to take a picture of the forward cabin, I inadvertently took a picture of the flight attendant as she stepped into the aisle. She then stomped over and very indiscreetly ordered me to delete the picture.
A while later, while the flight attendants were busy at the rear of the cabin I managed to take a less embarrassing picture
Looking forward without an FA in the way
Soon, the engines rumbled to life and we began our taxi to the runway.
Ryanair in special Boeing livery
The mother of our 717 – a stored MD-80 in the distance
Waiting for an Air Europa 737 to depart
A Canadian registered Smartwings 737 on lease from Sunwing. Some nice split scimitars as well
Turning onto the active runway
Goodbye PMI. Thank you for your hospitality
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