British Airways:- London Gatwick - Nice - London Gatwick

Profile picture for user tomfellows

Member for

14 years 6 months

Posts: 1,995

I decided last minute to go to Nice with my dad the week before halfterm, with the intention of going in half term week. British Airways was much cheaper than easyJet out of Gatwick (my local airport) so we booked with them for the Tuesday 31st May departure at 7am. I had already been told by expedia.co.uk that the service was to be operated by a 737-500 but on www.lhr-lgw.co.uk, some of the Tuesday morning services recently had been 737-300 or -400s. I didn;t really mind either way as long as i had a window seat. So on 31st May we arrived at the BCP car parking and got the shuttle coach to North Terminal and we arrived in the fairly busy queue at around 4.45am. We checked in shortly after and were assigned 11E and 11F, still not knowing what aircraft type. To pass the time in the lounge we took a drink each and got a newspaper and saw what else was going outside and I took a photo or two through the viewing area (for those of you familiar - between Boots and Dixons in north terminal airside). The airport was busy with lots of the BA flights going and the usual First Choice Airways Charters to Chania, Palma and Zakynthos. At 6.20, the flight was displayed as boarding at gate 58, which has its entry via a spiral ramp around a water feature and I had never been from this before so i was happy, although i wanted to go from the new Pier 6! By the time we got there, there was already a sizeable crowd there of old people in the main although businessmen were there as well (plus your typical tourists). We waited there and could see our Boeing 737-59D G-GFFD standing there being refueled. The fuselage looked very clean, but the wings looked very dirty. After a preboard, passengers in rows 10-19 were invited to board only, to avoid congestion in the narrow aisle of the Boeing. As we did that, a 777 BA from America parked up alongside at 59 and dwarfed us completely! The time now as 6.50 and I took my seat and took a couple of pictures and sorted my bag out etc.... The captain introduced himself shortly afterwards as the Club Europe passengers got on board and the doors were closed. He said we would take off on westerly runway (26L) and turn left towards Bognor. He then shut-up and we pushed back at 7.10, 10 mins. late. After engine startup, our straight back pushback finished and with a kick of thrust we started a fast taxi out to 26L. Being on the right hand side, I didn't see a lot of aircraft but I did see a Monarch A321 being pushed back from a remote stand by the ATC tower. Then the "dings" sounded for take off and the crew were told to sit down and after a delta 767 arrival, we lined up and very quickly applied power. A quick takeoff happened and we set course for the coast! The flight was uneventful and very smooth and quick, with the pilot saying ATC were good and gave us a speedy route to Nice The approach into Nice was 04L and we came over Cannes and came in for a straight in apporach. Touchdown was very smooth and ended a great flight. The flaps were very noisy though, but I think that that must have been my seating position. The brakes sounded as if they needed a bit of attention also. We parked up next to a Lufthansa 737 and disembarked for my 2 night stay. Part 2: NCE-LGW soon.... Pictures in minute
Original post
Profile picture for user BigJet

Member for

15 years 7 months

Posts: 1,670

Nice report looking forward to the pics and part 2

Member for

14 years 11 months

Posts: 1,887

Nice part one
Profile picture for user Airline owner

Member for

16 years

Posts: 5,019

Indeed a good part 1
Profile picture for user tomfellows

Member for

14 years 6 months

Posts: 1,995

Here are the first batch pictures, more to come later. - part 2 of report when i get a moment - probaly Saturday :confused:
Profile picture for user tomfellows

Member for

14 years 6 months

Posts: 1,995

here are more pics. - that pier 6 at gatwick is SO impressive.
Profile picture for user tomfellows

Member for

14 years 6 months

Posts: 1,995

last couple or so pics
Profile picture for user BHXlocal

Member for

14 years 6 months

Posts: 841

Great read and great pics

Member for

16 years 4 months

Posts: 1,089

Tom, You must have had smoke coming off your shutter finger with all those shots. Always interesting to see what people think of flying with BA. Shame you didn't get to walk over the new LGW bridge. I gather from people that have it's very impressive. I always love the views flying in and out of NCE. The groaning sound from the brakes is normal on the 737 so no need for concern, and you are right about the flaps making noise, it's very noticable in certain parts of the cabin. Looking forward to part 2. 1L.
Profile picture for user tomfellows

Member for

14 years 6 months

Posts: 1,995

Hi 1L. Hopefully I'll embark or disembark from Pier 6 when I go to Nice again from gatwick in August. It'll be a 737 as well both ways i imagine as that's all they have on mainline services at LGW. I heard the sounds mentioned above much better on the 737-500 journey than the -400 flight, but that was probably my seat position (right by the flaps and above the main wheels), where as on the way back I was on row 8 which is about 4 rows forward of the overwing emergengy exits. Do you work in the industry or something like that, e.g as cabin crew as you seem to know a lot about it all? Tom - i'll get part 2 done A.S.A.P
Profile picture for user tomfellows

Member for

14 years 6 months

Posts: 1,995

I've finally got around to do part 2. Hope you liked the pictures. BA8132 Nice - London Gatwic G-GBTA Boeing 737-400 Seat Number = 8F Sched Dep. Time - 1035 Act Dep. Time - 1115 Sched Arr. Time - 1130 Act Arr. Time - 1204 So after a lovely 2 days in the wonderful town of Nice, It was time to return back home. Check In opened at 8.35 (standard 2 hours prior to departure) but we got there extra early to be one of the first in the queue so we could get good seats. By th time we had checked in though, there was a very long queue which struck to me as being unnecessary, because there were 4 desks in operation, but only 1 for the EURO TRAVELLER (economy) class, 1 for First Class and 2 fast bag drops (which were empty). Anyway, in the Departure area itself there is not a great deal to do and I believed that our flight would be ontime as the arrivals board showed our flight as being ontime. After refreshing myself with a drink though it had changed to a 25 minute delay, as indicated by "Retard a 11h00" which = delayed to 11:00. Not too bad though. There wasn't much going on in departure bit A, so we went through to where our flight was departing from, area B, but that was even worse. It had a newsagent and a cafe and you couldn't go back into departure area A either due to security. Time dragged and by 10:25 there was no sign of the plane. I then heard a lot of noise only to discover the Aer Lingus flight had arrived from Dublin. Also departing were 2 Jet2 flights, 1 BMI to heathrow and the Dublin flight. Eventually ours turned up and seemed to take a very long time to turnaround. We boarded through gate B40 and walking down the airbridge a BA 767-300 from LHR taxied past, which was very nice to see a big plane at Nice. I saw the pilots preparing all their paperwork as we stepped onboard -TA and walked through FIRST CLASS to economy. After one of those awkward moments telling someone that they are sat in your seat, I sat down by the window and just saw the fueller drive off. The seatbelt signs then lit on as the last few of the 147 onboard stepped on. This aircraft was in reasonably decent condition but the wings again seemed to be rather dirty. The captain then introduced himself, in French and English, and explained the delay was due to dense fog at Gatwick earlier which resulted in them being sat on the ground for 50 minutes - must have been quite thick then. This was re-affirmed by my mum who was coming home on the same day as us from Alicante of GB Airways whose flight was also 15 mins. late due to fog. Back to the flight then, and the Air conditioning was switched off as we started a swift pushback and engines started - 2 first then number 1 as safety demo done. An expeditious taxi followed past the private jet apron before we held at the threshold for 04L. I thought this was rather odd at first as they never really depart from 04L, but then I saw a light in the distance and this was the Swiss A320 in the picture. That out of the way we taxied to 04R and lined up straight away. A brief wait then happened before we started the takeoff. I just love that noise that those 737s make! I was sat parallel to it as well so I had a brilliant position for noise and pictures. After takeoff we turned, as standard, to the right 100 degrees before climbing right again back over the airport. We were barely at I'd say 3000ft when the seat belt signs went off and I was quite surprised at how quickly they had gone off, but the conditions were excellent. We continued the climb up to FL340 for the journey to Gatwick. On the climb, we were served an ALL DAY DELI pack complete with slice of pizza which wasn't bad, but a funny choice on a plane. Drinks followed and the usual duty free stuff which no-one bought and then we started our steep descent into the clouds. I had no idea where abouts we were, although I was looking for a hole in the clouds to try and see my local town. Very quickly we seemed to be on finals for 26L, passing the M23 motorway and then past the car parks and then over the threshold, filming a video of the landing on my camera. An Air Transat A310, 2 Easyjet and a BA 737 were ready to take off I think. We vacated quickly and the BA 737 departed smartly before an easyJet A319 touched down. We taxied onto stand 553 (correct me if anyone knows) which was one right next to the Pier 6 thing. Engines were shut down and the pilot then requested that any passengers who had connecting services to catch should get off first, including those going to Edinburgh, which was the planes' next flight (surely they could have stayed on?!?). We all then got off and continued to baggage reclaim and ended a very good trip - so much so that I will return again in August with BA again! SCORES Punctuality: 6.5/10 :( Service: 9/10 :) Meals: 9/10 :) Comfort & Cabin Quality: 9.5/10 :D OVERALL = 85% (very good) :) I highly recommend BA over easyJet, who arent bad but the price difference between the 2 now is negligable on most routes and you get full service on BA. Hope you enjoyed Tom

Member for

16 years 4 months

Posts: 1,089

That's right Tom, I am cabin crew on the fleet shown in my signature. 1L.
Profile picture for user T5

Member for

19 years 9 months

Posts: 6,503

The air-bridge is a great new addition to the North Terminal, but I'm sure its not something for the feint-hearted! :D Great reports and pics again, well done!

Member for

16 years 4 months

Posts: 1,089

I think I mentioned this once before on the forum, but amazingly the original designs for the bridge included a glass floor! Now that would have been too much for a lot of people. 1L.
Profile picture for user tomfellows

Member for

14 years 6 months

Posts: 1,995

If they did put that in, I'd stick well clear I think! THANKS TO ALL FOR NICE FEEDBACK

Member for

14 years 11 months

Posts: 1,887

Good pics/part 2
Profile picture for user Airline owner

Member for

16 years

Posts: 5,019

Nice shots there