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bmi BD752 MAN-LAS in 'the business' w/ pics

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  • bmi BD752 MAN-LAS in 'the business' w/ pics

    Having just completed a fantastic weekend getaway to Manchester/Leeds this weekend, I thought I would post a trip report of the return leg on BD751 from Manchester to Las Vegas in 'the business.' There won't be a trip report from the LAS-MAN leg, as I was too busy enjoying bmi's wonderful inflight service and trying to catch a few zzz's on the overnight flight; my apologies for that.

    After a great evening's stay in the Radisson SAS Manchester Airport (highly recommended), I made the 5 minute walk from the hotel to bmi's checkin at T1, arriving at around 8am for the 9:35 departure to Vegas. The checkin queues for both economy and business were nearly empty, as most people had checked in for the flight already. I was given my boarding pass, and proceeded through bmi's 'Fast Lane' security where, again, I was the only one in line. Time from the hotel to arriving inside the secure zone at T1 was approximately 20 minutes.

    Having had my fill of airline lounges recently, and actually preferring the view from the atrium at the center of T1, I proceeded there and waited about 40 minutes doing a bit of plane spotting before heading down to gate 29, which I assumed was our gate as the other two A330s at T1 didn't have the jetways attached.

    As of 30 minutes before departure time, bmi were still having difficulty getting the gate information to show up on the departure information boards throughout the terminal, so the ground staff commenced boarding the 4 of us who had actually made it to the right gate.

    Arriving onboard, I was the only person in the C cabin for about 15 minutes, which thankfully gave me the opportunity to get some decent shots of the accomodations with no interference, other than from the onboard service leader who wanted to make sure that I wasn't taking photos 'for the press."

    Here's a photo of the 24 seat business class cabin on bmi:

    [photoid=455293]

    I was offered a pre-flight champagne, but given the early hour, and the fact that I'd had two hours' sleep the night before, opted for a rum and coke instead. It was very strong -- a sign of good things to come on a longhaul flight, I've found.

    Whatever problems bmi were having with their gate information screens were soon sorted, as the flight began general boarding and the door closed only 5 minutes after scheduled departure time. Good on bmi for boarding a nearly-full A330 in less than 25 minutes!

    We pushed off the gate, started 'em up, and after a quick taxi out to runway 24L and a momentarily wait for an Alitalia MD-80 to takeoff, began our takeoff roll and were airborne at 9:58am for Las Vegas, with seat 4J conveniently still unoccupied. What a difference it makes on longhaul when you can use the seat next to you as a work/storage area!

    Upon getting airborne, I covered up with bmi's very heavy and soft business blanket, and settled in.

    An interesting note about bmi's business seat:

    On the LAS-MAN leg, I discovered that the legrest when in motorized mode barely raises off the floor, 1-2 inches at most. I asked a hostie if bmi had received any complaints about this, and she said that she hadn't personally, but offered to show me a 'secret' that she wasn't supposed to tell anyone.

    There are two hat switches inside the armrest along with the tray table, at the back end of the slot, that engage the manual override on all of bmi's business seats. The top switch controls the legrest, while the bottom controls the seatback. Using these switches, I would estimate that I was able to achive approximately 5 additional seat recline, and an extraordinary amount of additional swing in the legrest, to the point that the legrest was nearly horizontal, and made sleeping on my side very comfortable.

    Below are two comparison shots of the seat with standard legrest/recline (top) and in 'manual' mode (bottom):

    [photoid=455292]


    Cheers to the hostie who gave me this suggestion (I won't mention her name here), as it made an absolute world of difference in the comfort of the seat!

    About an hour into the flight, orders were taken for brunch, the menu which contained the following:

    brunch:

    - creamy muesli with honey, yogurt and fresh fruit
    - hot Scottish pancakes filled with fresh mango and pineapple and maple syrup
    - coddled egg with bread and butter soldiers
    - selection of fresh fruit

    traditional mixed grill:

    - freshly poached smoked Scottish haddock on kedgeree risotto with soft poached egg
    - smoked salmon, cream cheese and asparagus bagel
    - warm mushroom and tomato cheese on toast with rocket

    dessert:

    - creamy hot fudge tart
    - warm pecan pie with ice cream
    - baked black cherry cheesecake
    - freshly ground coff
    - After Eight chocolates
    I opted for the pancakes and fruit plate, and took bmi up on their offer of a glass of champagne at long last as well. Photos of the presentation (minus the lovely croissant, which I had already devoured), are below:




    On a totally unrelated topic, the Spongebob movie was one of the most entertaining films I've seen on a flight in a long, long time!

    After brunch, I settled back for a bit of computer work, and a couple hours' sleep, waking as we were about 400nm from Edmonton, Alberta. Afternoon tea was offered, consisting of the following:

    - smoked salmon on brown
    - cucumber and cream cheese on white
    - warm mini egg and bacon tart
    - chocolate brownie
    - lemon tart
    - mini plain scone
    - mini sultana scone
    - strawberry preserve
    - Cornish clotted cream
    - fresh strawberries
    The presentation of tea, and the quality of the food was, I must say, the best I've ever experienced on an airline flight, including several international flights in F. Absolutely outstanding! A photo of afternoon tea is below:



    During and after afternoon tea, I took in "Blazing Saddles," recommended to me by a coworker and definitely worth a watch!

    By this time, we were just an hour outside Las Vegas, cruising just southeast of Salt Lake City, Utah. Despite a slightly late takeoff, we touched down on runway 25L at McCarran Airport nearly 45 minutes ahead of schedule at 12:07pm local time. Immigration and customs was an absolute breeze, and having not checked a bag, I was in my car headed home some 20 minutes after touchdown, arriving home right at 30 minutes after our wheels touched down.

    To sum this longwinded report up, I had always wanted to try 'the business' on bmi, and I came away extremely impressed. The service and ammenities were, it saddens me to a degree to say, far above and beyond anything I've experienced on United, Northwest, and Delta in business. Both flights were early by some 45 minutes, the staff was very attentive and friendly, and the meals were just out of this world. Highly recommended!
    Trump is an idiot!
    Vote Democrats!!

  • #2
    Great Report Looks like better food than I had on my AA flight to Hawaii How do you like the A330? My dad flew on it from DTW to FRA and loved it. I really want to try one.
    You've got to try to find what's right before your eyes-Finger Eleven


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    • #3
      Awesome report Chris! Glad you enjoyed the service bmi offer on their long haul product. It is a real shame this service you have experienced will disappear throughout the summer on the MAN-IAD route and be replaced by an Icelandair 757; huge shame considering IAD is a key business destination.

      Its good to know the LAS loads are quite full, it still puzzles me why they are dropping the service from 3X weekly to 2X weekly as this route is now one of the busiest bmi have on their long haul operations along with the Caribbean routes.

      I hope to experience the impeccable service in 'the business' on a long haul route in the very near future, might give MAN-ORD a try .
      E-Mail Me - My Photo's - My Photographer Profile

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      • #4
        ahh business, the way to fly ....
        Chris, nice report
        im hope you enjoyed your flight back and forth !!
        how much did you paid for the trip?
        what was the movie options ??

        Originally posted by bapilot2b
        Its good to know the LAS loads are quite full, it still puzzles me why they are dropping the service from 3X weekly to 2X weekly as this route is now one of the busiest bmi have on their long haul operations along with the Caribbean routes.
        thats weird, havnt they just started that route like a few months ago if not a half year ago, ?? 3x to 2x ..?wierd !
        Inactive from May 1 2009.

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        • #5
          Glad you had a safe trip back Mr Kilroy. Hope you enjoyed the service i had to offer you when showing you around my University town of Leeds, Great food, copious amounts of alcahol and a good time were had. I had a great time and would be more than happy to welcome you back anytime. Glad BMI reached your high standards.
          Last edited by BA747-436; 2005-04-19, 14:34.

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          • #6
            Great Report!



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            • #8
              Great Report! I've always wanted to fly a widebody Airbus.
              - The baby will be back -

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              • #9
                Great TR, Chris. I am surprisingly impressed by BMI's business class aesthetic feel. Looks most comfortable and soothing.

                Gotta love Spongebob!!

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                • #10
                  Thanks for the nice comments guys!

                  It is true that the flight has gone from 3x weekly to 2x, but I think that once the summer season ends, it's scheduled to go back to 3x. I rode next to a bmi A330 Captain's wife on the trip over, and she said that while the route started off slowly, the flights now are booked out several months in advance, and bmi is very pleased!

                  These flights are hugely convenient for me, for both pleasure and work. I really can't think of any better option than 'the business' nonstop out of here, and their fares are VERY competitive.

                  The ticket ran me around US$1900, and bmi are currently offering 'the business' rtn from Vegas for $1750 the foreseeable future (booked in J of course; C will run you $8000+!).

                  On a sidenote, it has amazed me the number of discounted business (J, Z) fares showing up for North America - Europe this year! I did UA LAS-SFO-LHR rtn earlier this year for under $1000, bmi for $1900, and snagged a Continental fare later this year LAS-IAH-CDG in BusinessFirst for around $1500. Keep in mind that these are all typically $6000+ rtn markets!

                  Oh well, I like it!
                  Trump is an idiot!
                  Vote Democrats!!

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                  • #11
                    nice report
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