Britannia Airways to Faro (Summer 2004)

Profile picture for user tomfellows

Member for

14 years 6 months

Posts: 1,995

This is an account of my trip with BRitannia (as it was then) from Gatwick-Faro. Wrote this ages ago but forgot to post, but that doesn't matter. BY242A Gatwick - Faro B767-200 G-BRIF Sched Dep Time - 0725 Act Dep Time 0745 Sched Arr time - 1015 Act Arr Time 1005 Nice early start for the flight, leaving my grandparents' house in Kent with my dad driving us at 3.45 on a foggy morning. Good journey to Gatwick down M25 & M23, but bit congested at the Gatwick junction, but no problems. South terminal seemed busy, particularly the Excel check in and EasyJet, but the Britannia desk was practically empty and we checked in immediately. Our tickets for the flight came inside a 'information booklet' thing, which has info on the Algarve etc.. in it - quite unusual i thought. The girl at the desk put 'HEAVY' labels on my bag as it weighed 1kg over (oops!) and then gave us our cards, us seating in row 37 i think seats CDE. I didn't know at this point that it was a 767, as i though that it would be no point in sendinga 767 down to Faro as it is hardly a long flight. I hate South Terminal at Gatwick - too busy - but i found a seating/viewing area by the Sports Bar and this gave me a view of the entire airfield, and i saw many aircraft starting up - 2 FCA 757s (G-OOOG & a new one) starting up for Faro also, Monarchs and Thomas Cooks, and usual other traffic. At around 6.15 we were called to gate 16 i think. The walkway to the main South Terminal gates at that time was under edevelopment and we had to zig-zag from one side to the other as bits were closed off. We were amongst the first to reach the gate, and to my delight G-BRIF was there - wow, my first wide-body flight! We saw an EasyJet 319 t/o before general boarding was announced - not by seat rows or anything, just everybody on. Next to us on stand 18 i think was a BY 767-300 and a MYT 320 the other side. We took our seats a couple of rows before the very back in the centre 4 seats and settled in. The cabin was ina decent condition with the tacky 'zebra' (as i call it) seat covers on. One thing i didnn't like about being in the middle was that the floor supports for the seats infront stop you putting your legs straight out, which was uncomfortable as we were sitting down for about 45 minutes before we pushed back. There were many crew on the flight, the majority preparing the galley at the back which spans the entire back. It was a full flight, as expected, and 280 or so passengers settled in. I read the paper and read about the story of MYT passengers who had a mega delay in Bodrum. Seems to be a lot of stories about MYT and big delays in newspapers. The pilot then came on and announced we were ready to go and we were taking off on the Westerly runway towards Midhurst and Southampton, before heading towards Guernsey and then towards Spain and Portugal. Julian was our cabin supervisor and we saw the safety video on the screens in the aisle, with the exits being manually pointed out by crew. The video was of low quality - on a budget it seemed - as it used computer images instead of real people, unlike the FCA video which is of high quality. During this, I had no idea we had actually started engines and taxiied - it was so quiet although the cabin was noisy with chat. We then took of on 26L into a cloudy morning with occasional turbulence as we climbed to 36000. FLight was generally smooth with occasional turbulence. Was very odd though not being able to see where we were and what we were doing out of the window. IFE was good - no film but selection of comedy including My Family and Only Fools and Horses (one where Del goes hand-gliding :) ) . We chose no meals, as did most people as the fee is quite ridiculous i think, considering that it is only a 2.5 hr flight. I just got a drink from the trolley. Decent was smooth into a sunny Faro airport and we circled over the airport before doing a bumpy landing onto the westerly runway. Very decent flight, although took an age to reach the front to disembark at the airbridge! Had great holiday on the Costa de la Luz, which is actually in Spain (we could have flow to Jerez but that was a long transfer). Highly recommended as is the only place i feel that has Spanish character still - e.g. no english cafes etc... Part 2 next (no pictures - sorry :( )
Original post
Profile picture for user tomfellows

Member for

14 years 6 months

Posts: 1,995

Return flight BY242B Faro-Gatwick G-BYAA B767-200 Sched Dep Time - 1125 Actual Dep Time 1130 Sched Arr Time - 1355 Actual Arr Time 1405 After a gr8 2 weeks in Spain, we returned back to Faro for the 242B to LGW. Check in was mega bus at Faro, as it was Thursday and that is the main day for UK charters at Faro, with many flights to UK going. We checked in late and got the same row as the way out but seats DEF. Security was slow but at least it was thorough, unlike some airports abroad (e.g. greek ones). By the time we got through, our plane was apparantly boarding, an hour before it was due to go. It must have got there well early, as when we got to the gate it was only a couple of minutes - i took a video of the apron - before we were told to board, again in no particular order. I went down the airbridge and saw at the door BJ, the guy from the 'Airline' Series - anyone remember him? He looks very similar and was quite surprised to see him still with the same airline after a good 7/8 or so years. It made my holiday! Again time dragged on as everyone boarded and then the recorded safety tape was played before the video (done with real people this time) was shown. We were told we were taking off towards the west and follwing the coast for a while before flying up the portuguese/spanishg border. Flight time was to be 2.5 hours exactly, so we had to leave bang on time to arrive ontime. We nearly left ontime, only five minutes late which wasn't bad. Again, we chose no meals and i took a Mars Bar and a coke from the trolley, which was a little overpriced i thought. I wouldn't have like the meal anyway as it was Beef something. Unfortunately though, the IFE wasn't as good as the outbound flight and the seats were just as bad as the way out. Quite uncomfortable and would hate to do long haul with them. Arrived onto 26L at Gatwick 10 minutes late after holding for a while. The passengers for the plane's next trip to Las Palmas were already on their way to the Gate as we walked past a European Aviation Charter 737-400 (yes, a 400) to the baggage area, before meeting my mum and dad and going home. I had a great summer holiday in 2004 - going to Zante (see report on this site with FCA), arriving back and then next day going to Spain. Britannia Ratings Punctuality - 7/10 Service - 7/10 Comfort - 2/10 Airport Ratings Gatwick - 5/10 Faro - 7/10 Nice to try Britannia, but next time would try to go on a 757 as i couldn't bare another 767 flight sat in the middle Regards, Tom
Profile picture for user G-CDFF

Member for

14 years 1 month

Posts: 1,289

A very good report there Tom I flew on G-BRIF quite a long time ago, in June 00 from Mahon-BHX, can't remember much about the flight. WOW, lucky you getting to see BJ. I've seen him on Airline. I saw the one the other day when he had to find that boy's brace! On my FCA flight in March I saw that old Doctor Who at LGW, my little brother says he was the 4th one as he is mad about the show.
Profile picture for user tomfellows

Member for

14 years 6 months

Posts: 1,995

He looks just as he does in airline - watched the very first episode today where he goes to Venice and Ibiza and has moaning passengers. Unfortunately when I went from Luton with easyJet the other week i didn't see any EZY characters! Never mind.