LCY-LBA-LHR bmi

Profile picture for user Mark L

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16 years 6 months

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Leeds is one of my top university choices and so I decided to go up and visit one of their open days. I managed to convince my parents flying was far cheaper, and so they stumped up the cost of the tickets :D After trekking half way across London due to a signal failure on the Jubilee line, I finally got to Canary Wharf. I had to wait about 20 minutes for the shuttle bus which cost £3.50 single to get me to London City. Once there I joined a very long Lufthansa/bmi/Star Alliance queue. The queue didnt move for over 20 minutes, with the same family of 3 at the desk all that time. After about 50 minutes of waiting I finally got to the front of the queue, and checked in within 10 seconds :rolleyes: Most of the day LCY is deathly quiet, except at about 0800 and 1800 when the rush hour hits. I was there at 0800, and it was clear that the infrastructure could not handle any more than this number of passengers. After going up the escalator to go through security the queue built up rather dangerously towards the top of the escaltor resulting in people being trapped on top of the stairs. Three armed policeman put their firearms skills to the test for a while, by directing people away from the escalator, to form a new queue alongside a different area :p After passing through security there was a good view of the runway and the parking stands, however there was no time for photos as the flight had already been called, and I passed through into the holding are for Gate 2B. There were only 10 other people on the flight, and I was the only one not wearing a suit! We got taken down some stairs, and then onto a bus, which drove us down the length of the terminal. We passed up close: 2 Swiss RJs 1 Swiss Saab 2000 2 Cityjet 146s about 6 VLM Fokker 50s 1 Lufthansa RJ85 1 Cirrus D328 Our aircraft, ATR42 G-DRFC painted in the special Manchester-Carribean scheme, was parked on some kind of an unoffical remote stand. We had to wait for a short while for a recently arrived Luxair ERJ 135 to be pushed back into the remote stand area next to our ATR! We borded very quickly, and annoyingly despite there being only 10 of us, everyone had someone sitting next to them, with loads of spare seats! The cabin crew gave the safety briefing very promptly, and we taxiied out a little early, holding first for a VLM Fokker 50, and then backtracking the runway, before vacating onto the new holding area, out over the dock. We waited for a Lufthansa RJ85 to depart and a Cityjet 146 to arrive, and behind us was Shell's Falcon 50 departing back to Rotterdam. Take Off power was applied and we were airborne within a couple of seconds, and almost instantly into the clouds. After about 5 minutes breakfast was served, which consisted of a Danish Pastry and a cup of tea. Interestingly I got the exact same product as the business class passengers, including a newspaper and a hot towel. There wasnt any segregation between business and economy pax either. We cruised at 18000ft, and were soon on our descent. We landed on runway 32 at Leeds uneventfully, and parked up between bmi ERJ 145 G-RJXI and Brittannia 757 G-BYAU. Disembarkation was swift, and we were in the arrivals hall before we knew it! Pictures are looking out in the cruise, and also of the interesting safety card. I wasnt expecting them to make a bmi one especially for it as the lease is rather short. Note bmi regional, operated by Highland Airways a division of Air Atlantique, and also the registratrion included on the card too!
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Original post
Profile picture for user Mark L

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16 years 6 months

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After an interesting and enjoyable day in Leeds, I returned to the airport. The bus was £2 return, amazing considering it takes well over 30 minutes! I checked in abut an hour and a half before departure and got card number 53. On confirmation that the aircraft was indeed a Fokker 100 I had an interesting chat with the check in Lady, who told me it was the final one left in the fleet, and that it would be leaving imminently, so I was very lucky to get on it! The only window seat available was on the left and at the very back, which I accepted as better than an aisle seat. Security was very quick, and I proceeded through to a very busy airside. MD80 TF-JXA was parked up on the stand immediatly in front of me, operating for Jet2 I guess. There were no seats available downstairs, but upstairs was deathly quiet and I waited there. There was no good viewing areas, the best one I found was looking out over the side taxiway, with the runway visible in the distance. I managed to shoot a few pictures of TF-JXA departing, but the quality is very poor, partly because of the distance and partly because of the light. After about an hour I watched G-BXWE arrive from LHR, and taxi to my right, about half an hour later and we were boarding through Gate 7. I had row 22 so was allowed on first, however at the gate I was apprehended by one of the staff. My boarding card had been marked, although I hadnt realised, and I was asked if I wouldnt mind surredering my seat to a mother and child who wanted it. I was told that they couldnt upgrade me to business (damn!) but they could give me the emergency exit row with more legroom. I gracefully accepted, disapointed that I now had an aisle seat. However as I was first one, I sidled up to the window seat instead, and the gentleman that was supposed to sitting there didnt mind when I asked him fi it was alright, thankfully! The flight was fairly full, and we taxiied out to 32 again, backtracking, before departing, again quite briskly. We climbed out over the city, and soon dinner was being served, a surprisingly filling Ham and Egg sandwhich and a can of lemonade. Once again it was over all to quickly, and we were descending into Heathrow. We had departed 28 at City in the morning, and so I had got myself a right hand seat so as to be able to finally see London as we arrived onto 27L in the evening. However as with every single one of my other flights into Heathrow, we landed on 09L :mad: After frustratingly straining to see as much as possible on landing, we vacated briskly and taxxied to T1. Overall a nice set of flights from bmi, however I was far more pleased about getting the interesting aircraft types! Exam results permitting I will be going to uni in Leeds from this september, so all things being well this route will be one I will be using quite regularly, and hopefully the LCY route will perform a bit better in the future enabling me to try the ERJ135!
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Profile picture for user bmi-star

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15 years 7 months

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Good report Mark!
Profile picture for user Future Pilot

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16 years 2 months

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Very enjoyable read Mark :D

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14 years 11 months

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Great trip report
Profile picture for user LBARULES

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16 years 5 months

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Great report Mark - its always the same at LBA, everyone packs in downstairs whereas the upstairs is always dead! Thats where I always head to. Love the shots of TF-JXA, might go up tomorrow to see it :), though its operating for Jet2 all summer so I will probably be sick of it very shortly! EDIT - Forgot to say, with you going to uni in Leeds, and me very probably going to the college on site at LBA, I imagine we can meet up at LBA more than once, and I can show you the best spots? ;)
Profile picture for user Mark L

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16 years 6 months

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Indeed we can Tom especially with buses at £2 return! Costs me £17 return from here to LHR and I go every month!
Profile picture for user LBARULES

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16 years 5 months

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Hehe - before the buses at the top of my street stopped, I could get to LBA for £1.20 return, and that also over 30 minute journey!
Profile picture for user Mark L

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16 years 6 months

Posts: 4,209

One thing I didnt mention was the age of the ATR. Despite it being only the 6th ATR ever built inside it was very comfortable, and had clearly had a recent refit. The only noticable problem was sitting at the hold at LCY. I was right next to the engine, and when stationary the wind was blowing exhaust fumes towards the cabin. The smell was very bad indeed, and it was quite a relief to get moving!
Profile picture for user captainben

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15 years 8 months

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Superb report Mark, it costs me 55p for my bus fare to the airport and thats a 10 - 15 minute ride!
Profile picture for user BigJet

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15 years 7 months

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Very good report :)
Profile picture for user Airline owner

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16 years

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Very good read there.