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MAN-RHO-MAN - Quite long

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  • MAN-RHO-MAN - Quite long

    Here goes for my first trip report on JP.Net:


    Airline: Thomas Cook Airlines, Boeing 757-200, G- FCLJ.

    Departure: 22:20
    Flight time: approx 4hrs

    We booked a last minute package deal to Rhodes a few weeks ago. It was to be my first experience of Thomas Cook Airlines (ex JMC). We arrived at Manchester's Terminal 1 3hours before departure and checked in. We had pre-allocated seats and i'd managed to get a window seat (34A) on the left-hands side at the rear of the aircraft. We then went to grab some food at the food court and sat down for a little spotting. I noticed G-FCLJ parked up and guessed that this would be our flight. We made our way through security. There was quite a queue as they were only running one x-ray machine. Once through we headed to the gate and tried to find somewhere cool to sit.

    Shortly after the flight was called and we headed to the gate. Suprise number 1 - there was no airbridge, so we had to walk across the tarmac to the rear doors. I was annoyed that i'd left my camera in the bottom of my bag. We then squeezed into our seats, at which point i knew that i wouldn't enjoy the flight. My knees touched the seat infront, so it was going to be uncomfortable, but the plane was clean and in decent condition.

    We departed promptly at 22:20 - keeping up the reputation for promptness, and taxyied to 24R. Once in the air the service began. Having been spoilt by Emirates at xmas, it was a bit of a shock. First came drinks, then headsets, and then an evening meal. I can't tell you what that was like as we didn't bother ordering any food - you have to pay for it and we were quite happy without. A bit suprising this as i'd alway had food before when i've travelled wth Air2000, Britannia, Caledonian, Eurocypria for charter flights. A film was played, "Chicago" i think, but i shut my eyes and tried to get some sleep. I never can, and the only proper sleep i've ever had was on a Malaysian 747, after dinner and a small bottle of red, and extra leg room seats.
    The crew were efficient, but service never really seemed to come with a smile.
    The flight was fairly smooth, and we believe the seatbelts sign was only put on at one point as some-one was caught somking in the toilets.
    Eventually aided by rapid tail winds we decended into Rhodes and made a smooth landing with no reverse-thrust. We were bussed over to the terminal and headed to get our luggage.
    This was a bit of a guessing game as there were no signs to tell us which belt our luggage was on, so masses of people would rush from belt to belt. Eventually we found our belt and our cases turnd up pretty quickly.

    We headed off for a peaceful week in the sun.

    RHO-MAN: - 757-200 G-JMCG

    It ended all too quickly, and soon enough we were at Rhodes for a 5.30am departure back to Manchester.
    Check-in was a shambles with only 2 desks in operation, but soon enough we were through to the departure lounge. We grabbed a sandwhich and headed to passport control. Everything was again on time. Armed with something to eat, we were bussed to the plane. Despite being painted only recently the paint was already peeling from the tail. My seat was exactly the same - 34A. I looked up at the screen - it wasn't working - and the a/c was showing that it has been worked hard. Again we departed on time, but the crew didn't notice that we couln't see the safeyt video, but when they worked out the screen wasn't working they didn't seem to concerned and shrugged their shoulders! (not good). I'm sure you are meant to do a manual demo if the video is no working.
    Soon we were in the sky and heading back. As the sun was rising there were some great views of the Alpes on the way back. It was a smooth flight, and i was too tired to take notice of what was going on, but a breakfast was served, again not to us or anyone else at the rear of the plane. Soon the views disappeared as all too familiar cloud appeared, and we lined up for a 24R landing. All was OK until we touched-down where we went for a bit of a skate across to each side of therun-way before things were bought under control - i doubt it was one of the flight crew's best efforts! We rolled passed familiar territory - the AVP - which was empty - it was 7.45am afterall. We pulled up again on stand, again with no airbridge. This time i made sure i had my camera and grabbed a few shots on the way to the terminal. For once the weather was warm.
    We headed through passport control, and headed to get our baggage. What a complete mess this turned out to be, as our flight wasn't listed on any of the belts, but there was a Mytravel flight from KOS bearing the same number as ours. We waited at this belt in hope. Sure enough our luggage did come through - all mixed up with the KOS flights!, but it took a while.

    Overall: Thomas Cook Airlines was OK. Full marks for time keeping, and their a/c were clean. The seating was very cramped; service was efficient but not the friedliest i've encountered (that still lies with SQ, MH and EK).

  • #2
    Nice report James, and nice to see you back, hope to catch you down MAN sometime, im trying for this Saturday ....not if this bloody bus strike keeps going!
    E-Mail Me - My Photo's - My Photographer Profile


    • #3
      Jason: that strike is effecting sales in my shop! - well i'm blaming Mainline anyway - it's probably nothing to do with them.

      I'm not off work till next monday, so no chance to get over there this weekend.

      Kevin: You've reminded me of one of the comments from the crew as we taxied onto the apron at Rhodes. Something along the line of "we wont have enough blankets for you all on your return trip.Please make sure you bring a sweater/jacket with you" - I cracked up.


      • #4
        take a couple of airliner world magazines and a book whihc is not boring. Ans some WINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
        Some people in today's society are so thick!