Bmi BHD-LHR-BHD

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19 years 9 months

Posts: 4,213

BD083 23/5/5 Belfast City BHD/EGAC to London Heathrow LHR/EGLL Aircraft: bmi Airbus A321-200 G-MIDH Seat: 22B STD 0855 ATD 0900 STA 1020 ATA 1000 approx. I was quite excited about this flight as it was my first, of a few, trips with bmi this year and the last time i travelled with anything other than a low-cost airline was in October 2001 on the same route with BA. Ive always hear good reports about bmi so was looking forward to a very good return trip with them. The Driver picked us up at 0750 and since there is only 4 roads between us and the City Airport, it look us all of 8 minutes to get there and we were in the Gold Card queue for checkin at 8am on the dot! Checkin was smooth and very quick (kind of feel sorry for the bulk of the A321 who were in economy queue - all well) but since the redeye flight was full the second flight had an overfill of business passengers so the voucher to upgrade me wasnt usable! Quite dissapointed but she gave me an emergency exit row with increased leg room (well she said it did...) and a window view (er mmm again she said it did...). Anyway we went through security in a fast track kind of queue and by 0810 we were sitting down in the very nice Gold Card Business Lounge at Belfast. Very nice views of the apron from it but all there was to be seen was our Airbus A321 up against the airbridge. There was selections of all different types of food people usually eat for breakfast from what must have been most continants as well any amounts of juices, soft drinks, sweets, lots of choclate covered buns etc. Even Alcohol - at 8am in the morning i decided against this choice! After reading my way through some newspapers (they also had magazines on most hobbies such as trains and boats but no Aviation publications!!) we were called for boarding so we walked back into the main business lounge where the Airbridge for Business Class Boarding is. It was a nice yet overcast day and there was a Aer Arann ATR42 on stand along with the white Shorts 360 that ops the IOM flights as well as an Emerald ATP (v. strange given shorts was already there for the IOM flight). I was told to board down the stairs at the back exit since I was in economy so i left my dad boarding via the airbridge and down i went to go outside to the back doors of MIDM. I never realsed how tall the A321 sits off the ground and it seems massive compared to a 737 of easyJet! I took my seat in 22B which was a emergency exit (no noticable extra leg room) seat and it did have a window view of a small circle about 3 inches in diameter out of the door which was a seat width away!! Plus i had asked for the other side of the asile but lukily i didnt get it as it was the cabin crew beside you with no window views at all. A BA Pilot was across the isle from me who i expect was a long haul fleet pilot as the only BA service from BHD is to Manchester so surly he would have dead-headed on that if he flies the Dash 8 out of Belfast City! Anyway we pushed back to face runway 22 and the cabin crew went through there safety demo being led by a video from the drop down screens. I was very impressed with it especially as its in 3D and is not boring to watch!! I was engrossed in the video and usually i would look away to watch us taxi but when i looked away out the window we were on the runway! A very very smooth taxi indeed as i didnt even notice we were moving!! We lined up and the PF must have used TOGA as it was an amazingly powerfull take off with our full flight only using about half of the runway (which is minimum size for an Airbus A321 i believe)! After a quick climb and noice abatment procedures we were up at the cruise altitude with the engines not being able to be heard for the most part in the cabin! This along with the panini and drinks made the flight almost perfect (perfect would have been to be upfront with my dad!!) The Cabin crew were exceptionally friendly to all the passengers, more than any other scheduled or charter airline ive flown! They were always asking if we needed anything else etc and couldnt fault them one bit!! The female ones wernt bad looking either.... After what seemed like a very steep initial decent (it felt like going down a steep hill at 40mph!) we were making lots of right hand turns to get into Heathrow (given we needed to go left for 27R which we used, i assume we were held at BNN or somewhere nearby in a right hand hold as we didnt turn left once!! Cabin Crew were notified of us landing in 10 minutes and after we had passed through the turbulance of the cloud over the north of london we were making yet more right turns over London for our landing on 27R. Once we had hit the tarmac we seemed to shudder alot (on both flights) during reverst thurst and went from side to side a bit (i assume max auto brakes). Then after vacting to the right we took the long tour of LHR around the airport to our stand of 102 in the cul-de-sac where all bar one or two bmi flights part for UK departures it seems. After disembarking via the front door and airbridge we walked through arrivals with the Director of Public Prosocution from NI to the Heathrow Express (who we had met apon disembarking from our flight) and we caught the 10:35 train from LHR to Paddington arriving in Paddington at 10:47!! There is alot of aviation related news MarkL and i got up to but not going to disclose until October ish sorry!! BD092 24/5/5 London Heathrow LHR/EGLL to Belfast City BHD/EGAC Aircraft: bmi Airbus A321-200 G-MIDM Seat: 16F STD 1940 ATD 1905 approx. STA 2055 ATA 2115 After a very very productive trip to London we headed at around 1530 via taxi to Paddington where we missed the train 1615 by 20seconds!! Luckily as its ever 15minutes another Heathrow Express Train arrived within 5 minutes and we took seats in the cabin next to First Class. At 1630 our train made its way out of the station and the Heathrow Express TV came on. It was BBC News 24 (the presenter said welcome to BBC News 24 on the Heathrow Express). This left me wondering for rest of the journey as to how they are beaming it onto the train since it is a deadicated service just for those trains. At 1644 we arrived at the Terminals 1,2,3 Stop on the Train and made our way up to arrivals where we went straight to checkin for our flight (even given there were 2 Belfast flights before ours we could check-in!!). The posh english 2X year old on checkin told us there was no room in the Business Cabin and therefore couldnt upgrade me. (more on that later) In a dissapointed mood we then went down to the security were they pondered over my briefcase (with SLR camera inside with lens not attached) and about 15 minutes after checkin we were in the bmi gold card lounge which was absolutly massive compared to the Belfast one (not surprisingly given its for all flights and belfast is just one!). We had a long wait as it was 1730 by the time we were settled in the lounge so whilst snacking on cheese and crackers, crisps and flowing supplies of Pepsi I watch Neighbours (hate to miss it always watch it - sad isnt it) and then the 6 O'clock news before becoming completly bored afterwards and watching the out the window until we my dad said to go down to the gate as nothing left to do in the lounge which by complete coincidence was the same time that the PA came on to annouce the boarding of our flight! Now at BHD we had taken less than 5 minutes to walk to the gate but at LHR we had to double back on ourselves which then took us through to another long corridor (i hasent to add the same one we used to enter business lounge) which then led to the open area of the gate. If bmi didnt keep the door locked we could have at the gate within 3 minutes as they have a door at the other end or normal business lounge that people could use! Once thing i picked up on was that we were only asked to see our ID at checkin. I could have given me boarding pass to anyone else who could have then got on that plane as no one else checked ID. I thought Heathrow was supposed to be very very secure? Anyway we boarded again but this time Economy are allowed to use the Airbridge to board. So everyone had taken there seats i was a little bit pi$$ed off as the business cabin was 15 rows deep yet only 10 passengers and absolutly tons of space! If i ever get checked in by that guy again... On both trips i was surprised how much leg room bmi give you and it was enough for me to keep my legs together and im a tall person so usually have to part them. At least this time i had a window view but i did find the Airbus A321 to have low windows maybe a little bit more so than the 737 so it was hard for me to see out with hurting my neck. We did a funny push back which involved us pushing rear first towards the taxiway and then doing a 180 to face forward towards the taxiway when i saw the previous A321 on the stand beside pushing back without this (there was enough space between us and the end of the cul-de-sac to do a normal push back IMO as a A320 did it with absolutly tons of space left whilst i was sitting in the Gold Lounge. Anyway we started to taxi (noticable this time) and we joined the queue for take off from Runway 27R. Before us was a JAL and an ANA 747 (with Togoso Japan or something on both of them) as well as a BA 744, 2 BA 777s a B767, Lufthansa A321, Iberia A320 and then us! (not in that order mind). Following a slower thrust than take off at BHD we were shortly into the cloudless sky over Heathrow and i had a nice view of T5 (all i saw was some sort of terminal and lots and lots of conrete but they havent moved water treatment bit yet???). The climb this time was more shallow than last time (i assume to due spacing and general LHR area conjestion) and they did go back to Clb thrust settings rather quickly which made the engines noise quickly decrease to the alarm of the American Tourist group behind me! Anyway once near cruise altitude the cabin crew started their serving of the cabin. I was in first row of economy so was first and choose Chicken and Tomato and Pepsi from the selection of Chicken and Tomato and Spicy Vegtables. Any other possible drinks and quantities could be had with the guy beside me choosing to take red wine and pepsi with his! Anyone who knows me can tell you i dont like chicken in sandwiches but this was georgous! The cabin crew were older on this flight but one hell of alot friendler than the outbound which was the best id seen before this flight! They couldnt have been over backwards more for the needs of the passengers and you couldnt fault them at any stage!! Shortly afterwards we could see the IOM through small breaks on the cloud (v. overcast over here) and we then started to make turns over to Stranraer for our approach to Runway 22 at BHD (usually 350 at RINGA then one over Larne direction you are turned back onto the slope). Given bad tail winds we were 20minutes behind but had made up time only to loose it as we were 6th for landing at BHD. Cabin crew were notified very late for landing but took their seats before the annoucment was given (no 10minutes to land notice). Just as we were on short finals, the water look soo calm it seemed solid but it also looked like we were too low and we did touch down on the numbers!! I did notice some good potential spotting locations i hadent seen before which I will investigate as they are right beside the runway! Full reverse was applied and just as like at LHR we were shook about a bit with it but soon we vacated at Alpha 2 onto Alpha for the taxi onto Stand 4 where we started to disembark the aircraft. I waited until the end to speak to the Captain and the Cabin Crew let me go ahead in and i got some good photos for the final bit of my Simulator. I told him that since we are only just round the corner from BHD any bmi pilots can use the sim if they are overnighting (both were english pilots i think) and said it would be good near their 6 month offical sim ride to do a bit of praticising so hopefully ill have the bmi a32X fleet pilots in the sim in the near future (god i wished they still let jumpseat rides). All in all no places to fault bmi (apart from the guy at LHR checkin but i assume that is a handling agent?) Flight Times etc 9/10 (delay but i didnt mind) Service onboard 10/10 Food 10/10 Comfort 10/10 Total: 97.5% All in all a brilliant airline and looking forward to my trip on them again in just under 3 months time this time on the outbound ill def. be in business as its a saturday morning at 0625 and ive been told reliably it is hardly ever full as no one wants to get up at 0500 on a Saturday morning!!
Original post
Profile picture for user Mark L

Member for

16 years 6 months

Posts: 4,209

Great report Andrew, was nice seeing you again. Shame I couldnt get to LHR, but it was hardly a wasted trip :D
Profile picture for user T5

Member for

19 years 9 months

Posts: 6,503

Excellent report. I really love the longer posts. :) I flew on G-MIDM last Summer from Heathrow to Glasgow.

Member for

15 years 3 months

Posts: 679

Excellent report, looking forward to my bmi Embraer 145 flight in a weeks time! At LHR the ATC really like the aircraft to vacate as early as possible so that is probably why you had really harsh braking. Regards Flex 35
Profile picture for user bmi-star

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15 years 7 months

Posts: 4,255

Excellent report Andrew, good to hear yet another satisfied customer with bmi! :D Will all change in a few moths im sure :D Good to hear all went well in London too ;) :D
Profile picture for user LBARULES

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16 years 5 months

Posts: 9,401

Superb report, sounds like you had two fantastic flights :)
Profile picture for user David2386

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15 years 3 months

Posts: 598

Good report, will have to think about a trip to LHR now with them :D

Member for

14 years 11 months

Posts: 1,887

Great report there

Member for

14 years 7 months

Posts: 169

Great report, Andrew. I also travelled on "Delta Hotel" as BD120 to Heathrow yesterday.
Profile picture for user Airline owner

Member for

16 years

Posts: 5,019

Great report there :)