Manchester - Cancun (BY - June 2005)

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19 years 9 months

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Manchester – Cancun (BY422A – G-OBYJ – June 2005) I was about to embark on my 4th trip to Cancun in 5 years and I awoke with the same enthusiasm and excitement about the journey that lay ahead. We arrived at MAN T2 in good time and spent a good couple of hours looking out over the tarmac and visiting the duty free shops. Parked on the furthest air-bridge in T2 was G-OBYJ, the 763 that would be home for the next few hours. We boarded BY422A in good time and everyone was seated comfortable some 15 minutes before scheduled departure. The aircraft, the newest of the 767s operated by BY, looked untidy and worn. The seats were stained and old and lacked the seat back entertainment offered by most of BY’s rivals nowadays. This was to be expected I guess, but it goes to show how things change from when I perceived BY to be at the top of the UK charter market. As the airfield was busy, we didn’t actually get to the end of the runway until half an hour after scheduled departure. Fortunately, our flight time was reduced by unusual tail winds (for westbound flights) to a straight 9 hours, so despite the slight delay, we would still arrive early in Cancun. We took off on the North West (I think) runway and routed out over Ireland and over the Atlantic. The typical trans-atlantic route then saw us next see land over Canada before dipping South 400m east of North East America, flying then over Miami, Cuba, the Gulf of Mexico and into Cancun. Despite the shorter flight time, 9 hours is a long time in a charter 767 with no seat back entertainment. The sound quality on the video (Ocean’s Twelve) was so poor you could hardly hear it and I’d listened to better music on airline radio channels. In flight meals were of a typical standard and the on board service was at the high levels I’d come to expect from BY. I did note that I had to pay for headphones this year, something that I’m sure always used to be free with BY. The flight itself was faultless. The only requirement to buckle up was during take off and landing with hardly a murmur of turbulence in between. The captain regularly kept us informed of our whereabouts and quirky facts, something I never get tired of hearing. After descending through bits and pieces of fluffy low cloud, we landed peacefully in a very hot Cancun, around 45 minutes ahead of schedule. Cancun - Manchester (BY422B – G-OBYI – June 2005) Cancun airport hasn’t changed in the two years since I last visited. It enthusiastically attempts to modernise and equip itself with all the mod cons but fails miserably. The apparent out of proportion security checks are also frustrating and of a nature that I’ve only ever experienced in Mexico. Our return aircraft was G-OBYI, a 763 that I last travelled with on this vary route two years earlier. Again, the interior was in a poor condition and really in need of a re-fit. We departed Cancun around 15 minutes late with a flight time of just over 9 hours which should get us back into Manchester on time at 6.40am. We took off on the South Easterly runway, took a left and headed up the eastern seaboard of the U.S. Heavy rain and thunderstorms made for a choppy couple of hours with seat belts on. Mrs Pembo had to grab my arm in a couple of really bouncy areas, but to be honest, we’d experienced worse. Again the entertainment was poor and the sound quality hardly bearable. Nightfall just about came and went and our red eye came to end in a rather damp and cold Manchester bang on time. In summary, BY isn’t compatible long haul anymore. I would much rather fly with MYT, FCA or TCX who offer much better in flight entertainment on either newer or newly refurbished aircraft. The service was as good as ever however, it is just the state of the planes that is letting them down. My next trip.......... My next flight is in two weeks, a business trip with work, when I’ll be flying to Bergen in Norway, via Amsterdam from MME with KLM. I’ll be feeding out on a F50, mainlining on a 737 before feeding back on a F100.
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Profile picture for user LBARULES

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16 years 5 months

Posts: 9,401

Superb report as ever Pembo, Im amazed that the only a/c BY arent upgrading are the 763s, seems stupid. You have some very inyteresting flights lined up shortly!

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19 years 9 months

Posts: 920

Its great Tom. Really looking forward to the work US trip in September. I'm spending one night in Houston before taking an internal flight with Continental to Boston for a conference. The internal flight is over 4 hours; just shows how big the U.S is. I'm also expecting to be in Rio de Janiero in August, though this has still be confirmed. :)
Profile picture for user T5

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19 years 9 months

Posts: 6,503

Excellent report. G-OBYI was the last charter aircraft I flew on back in Summer of 2001 from the Dominican Republic (LRM) to London Gatwick. Can't remember a great deal about, but I always rated Britannia as one of the better charter airlines.

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19 years 9 months

Posts: 920

As did I, and as do I T5. I just think the 767-300s have fallen behind in the standard stakes compared to their competitors. The service with BY though was faultless.
Profile picture for user LBARULES

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16 years 5 months

Posts: 9,401

I used to love Britannia, and I still do like them, mainly for their exceptional on time performance. But I have had better flights on short haul with Thomas Cook and First Choice, MyTravel were awful when I flew with them. Still looking forward to my flights with them in August, they are a good solid very efficent airline.

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14 years 11 months

Posts: 1,887

Great report

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16 years 6 months

Posts: 319

Pembo 330- That was a great report. I look forwards to hearing your report from your next trip.

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16 years 5 months

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I enjoyed the report, any pictures to go with it??????

Member for

19 years 9 months

Posts: 920

Sorry Steve, no. :( I only bought my first digi cam in May and am just getting used to it. Someone will need to show me how to upload if I manage to get some good plane shots.