MON3348/9 BHX - MAH - BHX Monarch Airlines

Profile picture for user Adam Leach

Member for

15 years 5 months

Posts: 14

Below is my first ever trip report, I hope you enjoy it! Flight 1 July 2nd 2004 MON3348 BHX - MAH (Birmingham - Mahon, Menorca) Airbus A321-231 G-OZBH Dep - 1550 Actual Dep - 1624 (estimated) Arr - 1905 Actual arr - 1920 I love going away on holiday and the excitement on it, even more so when I get to fly with Monarch on an Airbus too!! So, when I woke up on the Friday morning, I made sure I had everything, bags were packed, inflight entertainment was set and I was a ready to go. We were to get a lift to the airport with the grandparents around 1230, so the morning seemed to drag on a little.. but that didn't deter me from making sure I was all set. Of course, when we did get out the door I screamed "STOP!". I'd forgot my wallet, and that's something you don't want to do ;) Once we arrived at the airport around 1315 in preperation for the check-in we wasn't at all surprised to find that the drop off points were packed and the 3 check-in desks were also packed! After around 20 minutes of waiting, we eventually checked in and were given seats 21A, B and C. I love this row, it's great for pictures, filming and watching all the flap action ;) Now that the worst bit is over, I hurried the 3 of us off to the balcony by the EuroHob so we could watch the Emirates 777 getting prepared for its departure to Dubai, aftersome standing around we all agreed to go and take a look around some shops and enjoy BHX a little, I stopped in BHX to get me Airliner World of course! We then took a walk down to the Aviation Experience, it's free entry to those that have a Boarding Card, so that's even better. There are hundreds of die-cast models of planes to buy, from little easyJet A319s to humongous Boeing 747's, the prices were great and of course, I had to get me a Monarch A321-200! At just £12.95 I thought it was a bargain! Before we knew it, 1530 was approaching so we decided to go and walk into the departure lounge and sit around for the flight. After a few minutes of waiting we were called up to Gate 55 to board our brand new Airbus A321-231! http://www.airliners.net/open.file/556608/M/ I love the new Monarch livery on their A321's, it just looks.. right. We got through the Boarding gate, and then had to go and sit in the boarding lounge, by the aircraft whilst the other rows joined us. After around a 5-10 minute wait we started to board the aircraft. The aircraft was extremely clean inside and out, the cabin crew all had a smile on their face (botox works great!) and were greeting everyone. It seemed to be a long walk but we eventually got to Row 21 and took our seats. I looked out of the window and noticed I could get some great flaps and wingtip shots! Once everyone had boarded and was seated, the doors were shut and we were pushed back for our taxi to Runway 33. The cabin crew were great and extremely helpful! We started to push back and the Cabin Cew began their safety demonstration - we all know how they go ;). A pretty normal and uneventful taxi to Runway 33 began, once arrived at the runway we held short for a couple of minutes to allow a landing BA BAe 146 to land, once over the threshold we taxied onto the runway and the engines roared up.. away we went. We thundered down the runway and I was actually pushed back into my seat, the feeling overwhelmed me! After 30 seconds maybe we rotated and continued our climb to FL350, I felt the gear go up - I love sitting in Row 21! The flaps were retracted and the cabin crew were "released". They came around with the drinks service and headphones for the inflight entertainment. The entertainment was of course comedy, they had some Will & Grace and The Office was scheduled also, but we didn't get to watch that because of "Entertainment Today" or something, I could of fell asleep watching that program. An hour into the flight they came around with our food for the flight, I was delighted to find it was Chicken Breast in a leek sauce accompanied by some vegetables and potato! We had a nice square of chocolate and lemon cheesecake too. The meal itself was fantastic - but then again, I do adore plane food! The flight was quite uneventful, and we started our descent into Menorca just around the southern coast of France. The descent seemed to take a while on this flight, not sure why but it did. I could eventually see the island! We crossed over the Northern city of the Island (Cuitadella) at about 5000ft and continued to descend, we were to land on runway 1 so we flew over the Mediterranean and then came onto base leg with the airport, before I knew it we did a sharp 90 degree turn and were on finals. Flaps were retracted to Flap 2, then 3 and then full and the gear was lowered. The approach into Menorca is fantastic, the blue sea, the beach and then the island! We passed over some small villages.. whether they're big enough to be called a village or not is a different story, but then we passed through 100, 50, 40, 30, 20, 10 and touch down! The captain touched down quite hard (it's always better to know you're on the ground in my opinion anyway), the autobrakes kicked in, speed brakes popped up and back went the reverse thrust. I was slammed into the back of my seat as I felt the aircraft come to a slow down on the runway. We turned off to the right and taxied to Gate 9. Usually, you have to take a 30 second bus trip to the arrivals area however, today we walked to the area considering it wasn't that busy. Once in the terminal we went down lots of steps and arrived in passport control, I showed the security guard the cover of my EU UK Passport, he didn't check the picture though ;). He nodded me in and we took a walk down to the baggage belts, we had to wait quite some time to get our baggage but it's all good fun. Once our baggage arrived we walked through the terminal, out the door, picked up our car and drove to the villa. All in all, a perfect, stress free flight. Friday July 9th Maó Aeroport We drove around the airport a little trying to find some good spotting points, and boy there are some FANTASTIC spotting points. We got inside the approach lights, stood on a wall and took some pictures of arriving aircraft including AeBal(Aerolineas Balears) Spainair B717's, Monarch A300s, First Choice A320s, some light props, BY757's and some Iberia MD's. It's a great airport to spot at, you can get extremely close, legally and have a fun day in the sun. We drove around to each side of the runway and got some take off and landing shots! Flight 2 Friday 16th July 2004 MON3349 MAH - BHX (Mahon - Menorca) Airbus A321-231 G-OZBE Dep - 2005 Actual Dep - 2025 (estimated) Arr - 2120 Actual arr - 2129 We wanted to get to the airport a few minutes before check-in opened to avoid all the coaches arriving full of passengers, so we arrived around 1745. Because some of the airport is actually built under the ground (arrivals) there isn't an easy way to get to departures, so you have to park up and use the big lift. Of course, the lift wasn't working and there was only 1 lift inside which could accomodate 3 people at any one time. You imagine the queue of almost 225 people. Me and my sister decided to leave dad and go with the hand luggage to get in the check-in queue. Oh my god, the departures check in area is packed. The queue's went up to the entrance door, the terminal itself is quite big with around 20-30 check-in desks. 3 for the Monarch flight to Birmingham. I knew from this point we were going to have an eventful flight. We were standing behind a family of 4 that had 5 suitcases and 1 child suitcase. Between the 4 of them they're allowed 80kgs of baggage. Well, they had a whopping 117kgs of baggage, they weren't impressed the slightest when they were told the fine ;) We managed to check in and were assigned Row 19A, B and C. I don't mind sitting on the wing, it's better for videoing ;) á mon avis. By now it's 1830 and tension is high. We then had to go and stand in ANOTHER queue for the "security" checks, we didn't get out of that queue until 1905, by now I realize its only 30 minutes until we start to board. We went straight to gate 9 and sat down in the designated area. The flight before us was a Britannia 757 going to London Gatwick, the flight was meant to leave at 1845 however they were waiting for 2 passengers to turn up "Mr and Mrs Smith" they carried on calling them until 1920, it took the airport staff to then realize they weren't married and had very different last names - when they called them they arrived straight away. It's hard to distinguish who'd you say were to blame. Could it be the airport staff for not getting the names right? Or perhaps the people that failed to turn up for boarding on time. After a short wait boarding opened around 1945 and we got onto the coaches to be driven to our G-OZBE Monarch A321-231 http://www.airliners.net/open.file/494830/M/. I noticed 3 other Monarch A321s at the airport also, G-OZBH http://www.airliners.net/open.file/609672/M/ and G-OZBI http://www.airliners.net/open.file/618608/M/ . We parked up along side the aircraft and took a slow walk up the ladders into the aircraft. We were the last to get on so I naturally asked a lady member of the cabin crew as to whether I could get a visit to the flight deck, unfortuanately she turned me down because of the short turn around however, she informed the pilots and said she'd do what she can. We soon enough pushed back and were heading for the runway, this time we were to take off from runway 23 at Mahon so we'd get some great shots of the coast! Once arrived at the runway we soon thundered down it without a stop, this time we used a Flap 2 take off and it didn't feel like you were pushed into the back of your seat as much.. strange. Once in the air the cabin crew were once again released and they came around with drinks, scratch cards and head sets. We rented some headsets, unfortuanately the inflight entertainment was absoloutely rubbish right up to the English Channel. It was mostly sport reviews, we then at the end got to watch some of 'Dead Ringers'. I was looking forward to the inflight meal again of course, today it was Roast Chicken with gravy, stuffing, roast potatoes, carrots and runner beans. A little chocolate square, spa water, chocolate orange cheesecake and a salad. The meal itself was extremely nice and just filled a little hole. It was great to watch the sunset at 36,000ft. During the flight, of course during the meal service the seat belt signs turned on because we were to experience some heavy turbelence. Excellent! However, it was a few light shakes and we turned sharply to the left for a while before returning back onto course. At this point alot of the cabin was quiet, well, apart from the screaming baby. We started our descent over the channel and the seatbelt signs came back on, it was extremely cloudy and dark over the UK - nothing like returning home ;). We saw our home town come up on the map above us, however the landing fees are too high at our street! We got into Birmingham around 2130 and taxied to Gate 55. However, we weren't allowed to disembark, instead police cars turned up and police came on board.. at this point people were starting to look worried (you can always tell who's bringing cigarrettes and booze back!) After sitting in the cabin for 10-20 minutes we were eventually allowed to deboard, however I asked a member of the cabin crew whether I could still visit the deck, she told me to talk to the Head Steward. So I went and spoke to him, he got the first officer and I was surprised to be greeted by "Ah hello, we've been expecting you!". The first officer asked me to sit in row 1 whilst the engineers finished up. I questioned him on what the hold up was. Apparently, there were some high rate and abusive passengers on board - typical! I then listened in to an interesting conversation between the engineers, whilst we were waiting a Britannia 767 was pushed back from stand and everything seemed fine, the next minute ground staff start running after the pushback car telling him to stop and return to the stand - apparently a door wasn't shut securely on the outside of the plane, I couldn't hear what exactly. Before I knew it the first office re-appeared and called me in. The captain and the f/o introduced themselves and asked me abit about myself. I told them the life story of course and they gave me some tips, and told me how they became pilots - it all helps! The first officer took the route I have chosen and actually lives and was trained near by myself. They told me abit about the aircraft and the flight. I asked him about the turbelence earlier, apparently there was a storm 2000ft above us that was extremely intense, red on the radar so they had to go a little off route. But it wasn't anything to worry about. Unfortuantely, I couldn't film or take pictures in the flight deck, but that wasn't a problem. We spoke for around 10 minutes before I was pulled away because they were closing passport control up. We went through quickly, and were just intime to pick up our suitcase and leave the airport. All in all I commend Monarch Airlines and would recommend that you fly with them if given the chance. The crew were extremely helpful and curteous they ensured you were comfortable and were always happy. The flights were only minor 20-30 minute delays which are never a problem really. I hope you enjoyed the report, once I get my pictures developed onto disk i'll be sure to post them!
Original post
Profile picture for user LBARULES

Member for

16 years 5 months

Posts: 9,401

One hell of a report Mate, superb :)
Profile picture for user RIPConcorde

Member for

15 years 7 months

Posts: 3,124

Excellent report, and I look forward to the pics :)

Member for

15 years 8 months

Posts: 1,098

Awesome report mate!! I too have been on G-OZBE last October to Alicante!!
Profile picture for user Mark L

Member for

16 years 6 months

Posts: 4,209

Well done Mr Leach, v good report ;)
Profile picture for user captainben

Member for

15 years 8 months

Posts: 929

Here Here, superb report mate!

Member for

15 years 4 months

Posts: 334

Excellent report; I need to improve the detail of mine to compete. I have flown on Monarch 4 times(B757 LGW-MAH-LGW in 1987 and A300 LGW-ACE-LGW in 1996) and always had great flights/service.

Member for

15 years 4 months

Posts: 841

Superb attention to detail! Excellent :)
Profile picture for user Duesseldwarf

Member for

19 years 9 months

Posts: 748

Fantastic report! Glad you enjoyed us. ;)