Easyjet to Barcelona (May 2005)

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19 years 9 months

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6th May 2005 – NCL – BCN – Easyjet Boeing 737-700 G-EZKB This wasn’t just my first time with Easyjet, but amazingly my first flight with a budget airline. After years of mixing chartered and scheduled services, this was my first chance to see if the colour Orange lived up to it’s billing and to see if the no frills service levels were as good or as bad as many people had reported. This was a stag weekend with the boys; and the lads, whilst knowing I enjoy travel and accepting I remember quirky facts about civil aircraft; none of them really knew that I was the aviation nut that I am. As a result, when we arrived at the airport, I tempered my usual tirade of window watching, runway spying etc. in favour of “boys chatter”. One the lads looked out onto the apron however and asked if that was a Boeing 737 or an Airbus (because he could never tell the difference); I delighted in reeling off the differences, the first point being the wing tips on the Airbus models (etc…). Five minutes later the BA flight from Heathrow arrived and it happened to be one of the original A320s without the wingtips (a very rare sight), at which point my mate, happy in his new found knowledge, declared the aircraft was a 737. When I told him it wasn’t (and why), he immediately gave up and claimed I didn’t have a clue what I was talking about. We kept the conversation aircraft free after that. Free seating was also a new concept to me, but the priority boarding by letter onto our 73G made the likely frantic task a little more simple. I wangled myself a window seat and was happily on board KB 15 minutes before scheduled departure. G-EZKB is one of the latest of the 73Gs delivered to Easyjet; it arrived it 2003 I believe. Inside, the plane was clean, tidy and didn’t appear to be over cramped. The flight was going to be around 95% full by my reckoning so only a handful of empty seats were on show. After the usual safety brief, the Captain told us the flight should be smooth, that our flying time was two hours and that the weather in Barcelona was warm, dry and sunny – no better words to hear when you’re off on your holidays. We soon got under way and departed on the SW runway, routed over the Pennines, down the western coast of the U.K, over London, then out over the Channel and into France. The service for a no-frills airline was impeccable. I couldn’t fault it. The cabin crew enjoyed themselves and had good banter with the passengers. The lead purser announced that the flight would take approximately 2 hours, 1 minute and 23 seconds (which raised a smile) and the tone was set from there. Later in the flight, one of the crew announced that it was someone’s birthday on board and promptly had the entire cabin singing “happy birthday”. You don’t get that with BA! What the girls and boys in orange did was substitute comfort for fun and entertainment and for a flight that lasted two hours, I had no complaints. We crossed the snow capped Pyrenees and started out descent into Barcelona. The flight had been perfectly smooth as promised and at no time did we have to buckle up for mid flight turbulence. Our approach into Barcelona took us out over the wonderfully blue Mediterranean and we landed effortlessly approximately 30 minutes ahead of schedule. The crew then announced our early arrival advising us to bank the 30 minute credit and use it against any future Easyjet delay – the wry smile returned. 8th May 2005 – BCN – NCL – Easyjet Boeing 737-700 G-EZJY Barcelona airport is a mess quite frankly. I don’t necessarily mean the terminal and the facilities (though I have seen better) but the maze of runways, taxiways and parking stands. There is so much work going on there that it takes about 15 minutes to arrive at a stand after touching down, or to get to the end of the runway for departure. I read somewhere recently that some pilots had voiced concern about operations at BCN and were worried about safety issues there – how true these rumours were I don’t know, but there is no doubt that movements out there resemble a form of chaos. Our flight home was delayed an hour. The credit from the first leg would come in handy after all. I’d heard from Mrs Pembo that the weather at home was awful with heavy hail and thunderstorms, so I presumed this was the reason and nervously contemplated landing back at Newcastle in such conditions. The boarding on the way back didn’t quite go as smoothly and in effect there was a free for all. Nothing too onerous, but still a bit of a pain. Our aircraft on the way home was the marginally older 737-700 G-EZJY. Again the plane looked in perfect condition, though inside was slightly less tidy. The captain told us the delay was due to a sick crew member which delayed the outbound flight and promptly got us under way. When the crew gave their safety brief (and presumably remembering an element of the humour from before), my mate leaned over and said “Would you feel as safe in an emergency with these attendants as you would a Virgin attendant for example?” Now there was a question. Of course, I would feel perfectly safe; I found the crew to be excellent and it goes without saying that they would have had all the required training. But it begs the question that when you see people in a less conventional uniform, joking and laughing with the passengers, does that give some passengers the view that the crew are less than professional? Certainly, the thought crossed my mate’s mind, justified or not. Our return flight was thankfully as uneventful as the outbound. The captain did warn us of thunderstorms in the U.K. but we managed to avoid them. Two and a half hours later, we arrived safe and sound to a cool and damp Newcastle. A fantastic weekend - and my view of Easyjet; I’d definitely fly with them again!
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Profile picture for user Future Pilot

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A very enjoyable Pembo :)
Profile picture for user LBARULES

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16 years 5 months

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Another excellent report Pembo, sounded like two cracking flights.
Profile picture for user BHXlocal

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Great read Pembo, as ever :)

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An enjoyable read