BHX-DUB-BHX (6th July)

Profile picture for user Future Pilot

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Outbound Flight: FR663 (BHX-DUB) B737-200 (EI-COX) STD: 08:00 ATD: 08:00 Well got up nice and early at 5:00am for my flight, the weather didn't look too great outside but I didn't let it bother me. Got to BHX at bout 6:00am when check-in should of opened which it didn't, I ventured over to the Ryanair check-in desks to find an empty desk and a family also waiting for the flight. Eventually at 6:30am a women came rushing over (obviously running late) to come check us in. By this time a large queue had formed behind me so I was quite chuffed to be second in line, after a swifty check-in made my way over to the departure lounge and now it was only about 6:40 so it was a kind of long wait till we could board. Anyway at about 7:45am it came up on the screen to make our way through Door A to Gate 65. Made me way down the steps too a couple of buses waiting to take everyon to the aircraft, at this point I realised this flight was going to be about 95% full when I was kinda hoping for a empty one :D . We started to board EI-COX and I sat down just behind the left wing, quite tatty inside but I didn't mind. I also noticed on the panel above us was an advert to win a free car with the scratch-cards that could be brought on-board. :D Pushed back and started a fast taxi to runway 33 which was odd considering we were heading for an on-time departure. We waited for a Swiss ERJ-145 to land and we took off and made a quick climb to 18000ft. I was surprised I heard that because the intercom/speakers on the 200s were awful, that was about the only thing I heard after the Captain spoke for about 20 seconds. Desended down through the cloud for an approach to runway 28 at DUB, it was quite bumpy while on finals to land but a smooth touchdown. We then taxiied to our gate where Hertz and Vodaphone were already sat, after we parked up another FR 732 pulled up on the right of us and a second FR 732 (EI-COB) pulled up on the left. Went through to the terminal and eventually met up with Andrew (Shamrock) and Matt, so began the Dublin meet on the start of an eventful and at some points very cold and wet day! Return Flight: FR672 (DUB-BHX) B737-200 (EI-COX) again! STD: 18:15 ATD: 20:30 Well after the end of a successful meet it was time to head home. After saying bye to the others (who still had another few hours to their flights) I checked in to my flight at about 16:15 with a few people already there. Made my way through to departures where the A gates were. Checked the screens and my flight was on-time and was to boarded at Gate A3 (just around the corner from where my morning flight had arrived), I thought this was odd because a flight to London LTN was also being boarded here and that was due to depart at 18:13. I thought nothing of it and proceeded to the area where my gate was. Got a hot chocolate drink and a muffin at one of the shops to kill some of the 2 hour wait I had, after finishing this I checked the screen again and it said "DELAYED : 1940"! Bloody great........... :rolleyes: So now what? contacted me dad in Birmingham to tell him not to come to pick me up so early now and more sitting around waiting for my flight but that couldn't be helped. Just had to sit there drinking more hot chocolate and chatting with other people on the BHX flight. :D At some point after this I looked at the screens again to see the status of Tom's LBA flight and Matts EDI flight, I noticed the LBA flight was delayed by about 20 mins (if I remember correctly) and the EDI flight was delayed from 20:55 till 23:00! and admittedly I did have a small chuckle about that. :diablo: :dev2: At 19:10 the time was drawing nearer but then the screen changed again "DELAYED: 20:20" followed by an annoucement "Ladies and Gentleman we would like to apologies for the delay of flight FR672 to Birmingham, the aircraft due to operate the flight is going to land here at 19:55 and boarding is expected to start at 20:10" Then came the inevitable groans of the passangers of the Birmingham flight and people contacting home again (including me) to tell them of our further delay. I just had to wait more for my departure and looking out the window I was watching all the arriving FR aircraft and wondering which one was mine. Along came Vodaphone and then my face turned to a :D this didn't last as it taxiied right past our stand for another flight. :( Then came along EI-COX and no I thought but bloody typical up it pulls to gate A3 :rolleyes: , the passangers arriving on EI-COX de-boarded and then we started to board at 20:20. It was all very push and shove with people obviously dying to get home but I managed to be one of the first on, to give some kind of feeling for the flight to be different I sat on the right-hand side of the aircraft :p ;) :D. We pushed back at 20:30 and taxiied out to runway 28 for departure, after waiting for an FR 738 to land we lined up and rolled down the runway. Our departure gave great overviews of DUB and soon enough we were back at 18000ft, the sunset and the amazing light gave a great view outside. Enroute I asked the stewardess if it would be possible to get a flightdeck visit and a picture when we land at Birmingham, she said this was not possible as pictures are not allowed of the aircraft but she would ask the Captain anyway. What a pile of sh*t! I thought and decided to wait till the end of the flight to see what the final verdict would be, after a fast desent we had a very bumpy approach and a hard touchdown on runway 33 at BHX. We taxiied back to the same gate we departed from and were parked next to an Aer Lingus A320 which looked much nicer and more comfy even from the outside than EI-COX, I must try Aer Lingus in the future. After everyone got off the aircraft I followed to the front of the cabin and asked the stewardess who then asked the Captain and of course it was perfectly fine :rolleyes: . A very friendly Captain who asked did I have a good time and that he remembers spotting in Shannon when he was younger. He also said that the 200s will all be got rid of between September and December this year so looks like if you want to fly on a 200 you got till the end of the year! Well there you go, the end of a very long day but an enjoyable one and I did like Ryanair and would fly with them again but hopefully on an 800. Thank you if you are still reading this. Gladly make any comments/point out any spelling mistakes or anything else you see out of order. Thankyou ;) :D :)
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Profile picture for user BHXlocal

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14 years 6 months

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Great report Tom! Glad to hear you had a good day :)
Profile picture for user SHAMROCK321

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Ye great report we had a great day pushing cars and everything :D
Profile picture for user LBARULES

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Excellent report Tom, surprised you didnt mention 'the oil incident' LOL. I also had a small chuckle when Matts delay came up on the screen ;), though I did feel sorry for him when I left on Hertz :D. Looking forward to seeing the photos, I started to write a report last night, but couldnt really be bothered. Will try and write one this weekend.
Profile picture for user Future Pilot

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16 years 2 months

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surprised you didnt mention 'the oil incident' LOL.
Well I wasn't going to tell.....going leave that desicion open to you on whether to tell anyone! ;) :D Thanks for all the comments everyone....glad you enjoyed it. :)
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Excellent report. Would be great to see some of the Dublin photos. I was seriously considering coming along right at the last minute. Even two or three days befoehand, Aer Lingus were still offering £50 return from Heathrow (even though the flight times were crap - very early outbound and very early inbound) but their website appeared to have a fault. The night before, the fare had lept to in excess of £200, so I passed.
Profile picture for user Future Pilot

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Thanks Michael, I may still get some of the Dublin photos on here. I really want to try Aer Lingus if I return to Dublin, as said in my report the A320 parked next to us after arriving at BHX seemed like a very comfy ride even from the outside!
Profile picture for user MANAIRPORTMAD!!

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Great report! :D

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Great report there
Profile picture for user T5

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Thanks Michael, I may still get some of the Dublin photos on here. I really want to try Aer Lingus if I return to Dublin, as said in my report the A320 parked next to us after arriving at BHX seemed like a very comfy ride even from the outside!
I'd stick with Ryanair if I were you. Aer Lingus seem to offer much the same as Ryanair in the way of its non-existent inflight service. The only difference is that Aer Lingus will burn a bigger whole in your pocket. I'm not a fan. http://forum.keypublishing.co.uk/showthread.php?t=36067
Profile picture for user Future Pilot

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Well thanks for the comments all......:D
Profile picture for user Comet

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Great report. Was COX a standard livery aircraft? I know you mentioned Hertz (still waiting to bag it) and Vodafone were also parked but FR had a few logojets and I don't know the details of the regs. Dublin is a great place for spotting.
Profile picture for user Future Pilot

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Yep COX is a standard livery aircraft, one of the cleaner 200s actually ;) A great place for spotting yes, in good weather!!!

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14 years 3 months

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I liked your report!! Very interesting. I know what you mean about the 737-200s not being as comfortable as the newer aircraft but I do wish to ride on one for the last time before they disapear from the air. At least the -800 series are gonna be around for a while.. Regards,
Profile picture for user Comet

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I remember the last standard livery FR 732 I saw, that was very grubby looking. The other year the ones I saw in DUB still looked very smart. I did prefer to see the logojets however, and it would be good if some of the newer 737s were painted up like the older ones were.

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I really enjoyed reading your report. we were in Dublin (via Aer Lingus) a couple of years ago - nice place, but Aer Lingus does have crap in flight service now. It seems to be going down the "no frills" road!!