First Choice Airways MAN-BJV - A320!

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16 years 1 month

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Hi, Airline: First Choice Airways Flight: FCA194C Manchester – Milas Bodrum Airport Date: 5th June 2004 Aircraft: Airbus A320-200 G-OOAP Scheduled Departure Time: 15:25 Scheduled Arrival Time: 21:30 The flight was First Choice Airways flight FCA194C on Saturday 5th June from Manchester, U.K to Bodrum, Turkey onboard Airbus A320-200 - G-OOAP. Scheduled to depart at 15:25 we arrived at Manchester's Terminal 2 slightly early at 11:00. We where a bit disappointed to find we where unable to check-in until 12:00 as opposed to Thomas Cook Airlines who operate a 24h check-in service. Anyway, we checked in at 12:00 and where allocated row 3, seats A+B. Following this we passed through security control into a very busy Departure Lounge. With flights headed for as far as Jamaica, Pakistan and Philadelphia. http://www.firstchoice.co.uk/images/uploaded/air2000crew200x163.jpg Soon enough our aircraft arrived from Malaga and within just over an hour was prepared for boarding. As we where at the front on the aircraft we where called last for boarding. As we approached the front left door of the A320 we where greeted by Flight Supervisor Michelle and Cabin Crew Julie proudly presenting the new First Choice Uniform. We where directed to our seats which where of the turquoise, soft plastic variety. http://www.boeing.com/news/releases/2003/photorelease/q1/030328g.jpg Pic is a 757 but same concept The seats where quite comfortable but you had a tendency to slide out of them. There was plenty of legroom and this is coming from a tall person. The aircraft was immaculately clean. As we where settling into our seats the boarding music was filling the cabin - strange choice - a mixture of songs form Grease! The Cabin Crew Introduced themselves to us. For the flight we had two Michelle's, Julie, Charlotte and Mandy. They where all very cheerful and very friendly! Slightly behind schedule at 15:40 Michelle closed the cabin door and we where ready for pushback. That was, at least, until a company 757 headed for Faro, parked along side us and gained clearance first! Little more than five minutes later, we began to roll back and the sound of the CFM56-5 engines began to fill the cabin as they wound up and we where soon taxing towards Manchester's Runway 24L! The safety briefing was shown on the IFE screens and we where greeted by the Captain who gave us details of our flight and route. We where to cruise at FL 370 at around 500 mph. Our A320 halted at 24R as we awaited a landing Thomas Cook A320 to roll by! As we approached 24L we jumped a queue of traffic which included an Emirates A330 and waited at the holding point. We gained clearance and taxied onto 24L where the engines where cut to idle and we rolled to a stop. Almost as soon as we came to a stop the engines where spooled forwards to about 40% and began to make that familiar whining sound. As we began our take-off roll they where again spooled up to TOGA or FLX and we began to thunder past the masses of spotters and down 24L. Little more than 40 seconds later the nose came back and we rotated into Manchester's dull skies, powerfully climbing out over Altrincham. After a series of turns the engines came back to LVR CLB and we began our accent to 37000 ft. The Cabin Crew where soon released to their duties and soon enough where airing the movie preview for Starsky and Hutch. They soon commenced a scratch card sale from which I won... not much though... just a free scratch card! The sale of headphones also commenced shortly before 1 of 2 bar services. The smell of the hot meals filled the cabin as they where being cooked. As the Cabin Crew worded it ''For those who have chosen to dine with us this afternoon, we shall be serving Chicken in mushroom sauce with potato wedges and mixed vegetable, with the option of tea, coffee and orange juice''. The meal was soon served as we where watching Starsky and Hutch and was very pleasant. The desert was a very tastefully named, GU! Although very sweet I enjoyed it but I doubt my teeth will thank me in years to come! Also with the meal, was a bread roll, crackers and cheese and a pasta dish. All in all very good! Couldn't really fault it. After the meal, we sat back relaxed and enjoyed the rest of the pretty much, uneventful flight. The in-flight magazine - One, was excellent with lots of fleet information and interesting articles. The duty free selection on the back pages was also very good. Starsky and Hutch drew to a close and an episode of ''I'm a Celebrity, get me out of here!'' was shown. As we began our descent the duty free service commenced from which a bought a pen! A video on safety abroad was also shown. The ''Fasten Seat Belt'' sign was once again illuminated and we began our final descent in Bodrum. The Cabin Crew took there seats and as it was now dark the cabin lights where dimmed. The landing gear now lowered and flaps extended to Full we where on our final approach. The aiport perimeter came into sight as we descended the last few feet and made an extremely smooth touchdown on Turkish soil. Autobrakes now in action, spoilers extended and reverse thrust roaring, we decelerated speedily as we taxied of the runway and towards the terminal. The Cabin Crew said their final good byes and as did the Captain as we taxied to our stand in between a company 757-200 from Gatwick and a Vaso Airlines IL-86 from Moscow. The Cabin lights now brightly shining the sound of belts unclipped filled the cabin as the seat belt signs faded away. Soon the cabin door was opened and at just after 21.20, ahead of schedule passengers where soon exiting into a very warm Bodrum evening and joining the busses for the short journey to the terminal. I, on the other hand, had different ideas. We had asked Michelle (Cabin Supervisor) earlier in the flight if I could go up front after landing and true to her word, she welcomed me up in the flight deck as the last of the passengers disembarked. The Captain and First Officer greeted me and showed me around the instrumentation and where chatting to me about my aim in life... to become a pilot! As I explained to them, that I have never wanted to do anything else but become a pilot they became more and more intrigued. At this point my Mum was chatting away to the Cabin Crew as she has ironically applied for a position as in the cabin! Unfortunately, unless we wanted to go back to Manchester we also had to disembark. As the crew said there final farewells to us, we exited down the stairs! How would I rate FCA? Excellent crew Excellent food Excellent magazine Good IFE Good comfort Good on-time preformence 9/10 I would recommend you travel with them any day should you have the chance. Part 2 to come shortly! Please post your feedback. Thanks Thomas Cook
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Profile picture for user RIPConcorde

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15 years 7 months

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Excellent report! A great insight. :)
Profile picture for user wilag

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15 years 8 months

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Good report there, I believe that First Choice (AIR 2000) have done realy well and are beating there opersition hands down, had an excelent flight with them last year. Looks like they have over taken Britannia as the best charter oufit in the uk, good on them.

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19 years 9 months

Posts: 920

Great report - thanks. I love Air 2000, the best charter airline in the UK IMO. I was surprised you went on an A320, I would have thought the A320s would have been used at smaller airports with only 757s from Man.
Profile picture for user wilag

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15 years 8 months

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we get loads of a320/321s at man of First Choice, guess they are used for flights that dont need the 757 due to passenger volume.
Profile picture for user Thomas Cook

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16 years 1 month

Posts: 113

Hi, Thanks for your comments :) keep them coming! At the moment FCA are operating two A320 services and 1 757-200 service to BJV from MAN departing SAT, SUN and MON. From a point of them being the best charter airline, I would say they are on par with, if not a little below Thomas Cook. Thanks Thomas Cook

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15 years 8 months

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Fantastic report!!!
Profile picture for user LBARULES

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16 years 5 months

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Great report, enjoyed every minute of reading it. :)
Profile picture for user DashQ

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15 years 4 months

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Very enjoyable trip report! Thanks! :)
Profile picture for user EAL_KING

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16 years 4 months

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exellent report sounds like when i traveled with them to tunisia last year including the delay although we watched down with love 2 months befor it came out at cinema and it was crap lol look forward to your return report
Profile picture for user Thomas Cook

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16 years 1 month

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Hi, Thanks for your comments. Keep them coming! I'm just in the process of writing the return flight up. Posting it shortly! Thanks Thomas Cook

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16 years 5 months

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Very thorough and comprehensive report
Profile picture for user Bmused55

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16 years

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Brilliant report. Enjoyed it thuroughly. A question if I may; That pic of the 757 interior. Do my eyes deceive me or is that the new 777 style interior?
Profile picture for user Thomas Cook

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16 years 1 month

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Hi, Yep, it is the B777 style interior featuring Boeing's Big Bins and curved ceilings. Thanks Thomas Cook

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15 years 8 months

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Funnily enough, I missed seeing you by minutes as my flight got in at 15:52 from ALC on G-JMAA!!
Profile picture for user Thomas Cook

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16 years 1 month

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Hi, How was your flight on G-JMAA? Thanks Thomas Cook

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15 years 8 months

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Great!! We were delayed on the return (flew both ways on her), but now I have been on both 753s!!

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15 years 8 months

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Are you sure you saw a TCX 320 roll past?? I recall passing some A320 holding whilst landing!!

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15 years 3 months

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Great report mate. :p Flex 35 :D

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14 years 4 months

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Britannia are still one step ahead i think.
Profile picture for user BHXlocal

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14 years 6 months

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I think with a report like that, Brittania must have the same standard or higher to acheive that level....but thats in my opinion