Trip to Shannon (report with pics)

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I'm just home tonight from a nice few days in the South West of Ireland with some buddies. We decided to go to Limerick and flew from Prestwick to Shannon on a Ryanair Boeing 737-200 (EI-CJG both ways) exactly the same one previously owned by Britannia as G-BGYK when I last flew a 732 in 1981 ! :eek: We went down to PIK on Thursday afternoon to check in for the 1700 flight. Despite getting there in time for the recommended two hour check in, we had to wait half an hour for it to open. When it did and we went back there were two massive lines waiting to check in for the Shannon flight, amongst several other massive queues for the various other Ryanair services. :( The place was mobbed, not a sight I'm used to seeing at PIK to be honest, must be the September weekend effect we decided ? PIK is due for a refurb as it's a little behind the times in terms of modern airport terminal standards, but to be honest I don't think it looks all that bad, especially when it's busy. Here are a few views from the check-in/public side of things. Note the Barcelona bound hen party in their 50's American high school uniforms... :p Most of these pics were taken on my pocket fuzzy-cam. :p
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Profile picture for user Bmused55

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nice report... but shouldn't it be in the sub forum :p
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Check-in took forever as it was so busy, we were still in the line about 5 mins before Ryanair's own 'last check-in' time with loads of travellers standing behind us. Once we got our boarding passes and cleared security, we went to the departure lounge. A large hall like area with a bar/cafe, duty free shop and toilets. The departure time of 1700 neared and at around 1645 we were called to board the plane. A short walk along the departure area corridors, handed in our boarding tickets and then out into the Ayrshire sunshine for a little stroll across the apron to our waiting 732. We decided to board by the rear steps and get a back row seat if possible? This was for two reasons, we wanted to feel that full noisy roar of the engines and also to allow us a reasonably quick exit upon landing. Little did we know the back row is considered "an emergency row" and after getting settled in we then had to get up and put our limited hand luggage and jackets in overhead bins instead of under the seats "for safety reasons".
Profile picture for user Ren Frew

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nice report... but shouldn't it be in the sub forum :p
Watch and learn my friend... ;)
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This was to be my first time on Ryanair and I wasn't expecting too much in the way of luxury, so it was interesting to get on board and view the cabin on such an elderly aircraft. The seat backs had a little Mars Bar advert woven into the fabric, the safety cards were real and not printed onto the seat in front, the snack menu was rarther interestingly placed directly above one's head and the IFE system consisted of a over-aisle TV screens that didn't actually work (lol). Not to worry this was what we'd paid for and were set to enjoy. The cabin was reasonably tidy, none of the empty crisp packets and drink bottles I'd been told to expect. Oh and Moondance.... the seat buckles didn't still say Britannia on them (lol) :D
Profile picture for user GLAsgow

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Fantastic report and grate pics to go with it!
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We were quickly underway, only a minute or two behind schedule, despite the tight turnaround, the crew driving the plane at traditional Ryanair speeds down the taxiway to runway 31 at PIK for a quick launch over the bay and out towards Ireland. A thunderous roar met our ears as every rivet and fitting shook upon application of take-off thrust, You've gotta love those scuds on take off ! ;) We made for Galloway, out across Loch Ryan (no connection) across the North Channel and down the coast over Belfast and towards our destination, I could just make out the shipyards in Belfast as we flew over head. My buddy Frankie provided the usual quality in-flight reading material... :diablo:
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Great flight review and some interesting pictures car park looked full so i see they were parking in the terminal ....lol
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Landing at Shannon was another highlight, I'd warned my friends to look out for the 732's spectacular thrust reverser effect upon touchdown, a good job as my mate Ian who hates flying at the best of times, would not have appreciated suddenly seeing the back end of the engine "fall off" upon touch down (lol) :eek: My other pal John snapped it from his side as I was busy making a little movie file of it from the port side. Once down we again taxied at breakneck speed to the terminal, I tried to snap a few planes at the cargo and maintenance areas as we hurtled along, so not the best of gear folks. Nice to see Globespan/Islandsflug's TF-ELC at the Air Atlanta maintenance hangar. There was a uniformed Islandsflug flight crew member travelling on board our flight, perhaps coming to pick up TF-ELC ?
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Very good pics and 'report'! :D
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We were soon at the terminal and off the plane (ears ringing), making our way on foot across the apron to arrivals and then out into the hire car for our short drive to Limerick. The 732 was already on it's way back to PIK as we pulled out of the car park. Nice looking gate guardian or unfortunate landing? You decide ? :D
Profile picture for user Skymonster

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nice report... but shouldn't it be in the sub forum :p
Yeah, definitely one rule for the selected few, one rule for the rest of us! :eek: :rolleyes: :dev2: :confused: :mad:
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PART TWO, COMING HOME AGAIN. After a pleasant couple of days in Limerick we drove back to Shannon this morning again in time for the two hour check-in and it was still closed. The flight was due to depart at 1530 to PIK and we were in the airport by about 1250 or so having returned the hire car to the drop off point. Shannon has quite a modern terminal and facilities compared to PIK, a lot of glass, metal and light. The ceiling of the check-in hall is shaped like a wing. :D
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Profile picture for user Ren Frew

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Yeah, definitely one rule for the selected few, one rule for the rest of us! :eek: :rolleyes: :dev2: :confused: :mad:
Watch and learn as well, you'll see when it's finished oh ye of little faith. :D ;)
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Watch and learn as well
Nah. Nice report, but can't be bothered... Life's too short and I need some sleep before more important things like the Grand Prix starts at 6AM! :D Andy
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With time to kill, I left my buddies at the rarther attractive bar, complete with retro aircraft shots on the walls, and headed to the viewing gallery on the roof. The enclosed gallery overlooks the main apron and is ok for viewing, if a bit naff for photography owing to the various vertical obstructions between you and the planes. It's also not quite as close to the action as you might think, not disimilar to Gatwick in this respect. ? Got the 10D out and took a few snaps in the rain, mainly US flights to be found as ever. I noted two Aer Lingus A340-300's, a US Airways 762, a North American 763, an Air Transat A310 and one or two other things like EUjet and Germania Fokkers... Getting out of the viewing area was fun as both lifts broke, just as my flight got called (lol). :eek:
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Nah. Nice report, but can't be bothered... Life's too short and I need some sleep before more important things like the Grand Prix starts at 6AM! :D Andy
The Shanghai Surprise? Enjoy :p
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Great report so far Allen, and excellent piccies to boot. I like the inflight shots from your outbound flight... the one that has the golden glow is superb! Thats also a nice shot of the North American 767, and the Swiss Challenger. :) Wish i had of got the chance to have flown on a 737-200 when we did the Dublin meet early this year - sadly didnt happen as you know. :( (Islandsflug 737-400! :() Oh... and since when have Aer Lingus had A340's? lol. ;) :diablo: I look forward to reading on..... :)
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Eventually got down an emergency escape staircase from the viewing area and down to the departure gate for boarding. Again as expected we were herded to the cheap end of the airport and kept waiting in a basic little room with a couple of snack vending machines in the corner. Our plane had just come in from Paris Beauvais I was told, and we sat watching it being refuelled. There was an An-124 being towed in the background at the Volga-Dnepr hangar and an old de-engined Iberia 727 which caught my eye.
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Oh... and since when have Aer Lingus had A340's? lol. ;) :diablo:
As long as I've been a crap typist. :p
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Onboard for departure I chose the starboard window seat third from the back, and we were looking forward to another noisy trip home. I hadn't noticed the neat, if a little grubby "Boeing 737" engraving in the window blind handle before so I snapped it for posterity. Another Aer Lingus A330-300 EI-ORD, bound for New York was sitting beside us as we made ready for push back. An unusual sight for me was the refuelling method used, via a pump lorry that connected itself to an underground tank and fed the plane with fuel. The truck driver came on board and got the FO to sign his clipboard, no doubt offering him a windshield bug check and a set of four complimentary wine glasses too ?(lol) :diablo: Again I tried my best to get some snaps out the window of other aircraft as we passed them...