No announcement yet.

To Glasgow and Back with BMIBaby

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • To Glasgow and Back with BMIBaby

    Whenever I have to travel long distance with work, the only place I ever end up is Glasgow. This was no exception, after returning from Haugesund the week before I had to travel to Glasgow to complete an urgent installation. Why Glasgow again I wondered, but at least it was a flight (albeit the third time in a year I’d taken the morning baby flight up to Glasgow).

    As I was there for a couple of days this time, I decided to take my camera and make a trip report out of it. I take this flight so frequently and it does get boring, but thought I could cheer it up a bit by doing a trip report.

    I arrived at East Midlands Airport at 5.30am, parking in the short stay parking. I walked across to the departure hall, and was shocked at the scene before me. Usually at this time the airport is relatively quiet, with a short queue for security but nothing more. This morning the queue stretched from security, the entire length of the airport, the perimeter of the check in hall and looping back on itself like a snail shell. I eventually found the end of the queue, and we all did the conga in slow motion, shuffling slowly towards security. Most of the passengers were holding boarding passes for charter flights heading off to the Mediterranean, no sign of the recession here then!

    The queue moved slowly but steadily, and it took us around an hour to reach the front of the line. I took my laptop out and went through security, and pondered whether I would have time to get my usual full English breakfast from the cafe. By this time it was nearing 6.30am, and with the flight leaving at 7am it would soon begin boarding. I decided to hold off and grab something hot on the plane.

    The Glasgow flight leaves from the far end of the new pier, today being no exception. The gate was called and I made my way along the pier at around 6.45am. As usual they were already boarding, and I simply showed my boarding pass and headed out to the waiting 737.

    Date: Monday 29 June 2009
    From: East Midlands Airport
    To: Glasgow Intl
    Airline: bmibaby
    Flight: WW5821
    Aircraft: Boeing 737-300 G-TOYI “Geordie Baby”
    Seat: 19A
    STD/ATD: 07:05/07:10
    STA/ATA: 08:15/07:58
    Block Time: 0:48

    I boarded through the front stairs and made my way to my selected seat, 19A. The flight had the usual mix of characters on, there was a competition swimmer and her coach opposite us, most of the flight were businessmen and women attending meetings in Glasgow, with the obligatory Rolls Royce employees (every time I take this flight there are quite a few of them). Then there was me, IT engineer, sitting with my camera probably looking rather sad. Ah well.
    The captain came on to welcome us on board, flight time today around about 50 minutes. Traffic is heavy in Glasgow this morning so we may have a slight delay approaching the airport, but we should still be on time.

    It was a miserable morning today, but I was looking forward to breaking through the cloud layer and seeing some sunshine.
    We began our taxi out to runway 27, behind an easyJet A319 off to somewhere sunnier.

    We lined up and got on our way.

    As usual, we followed the Trent 1 November departure, out towards Melbourne, Derbyshire, a right turn to take us over Derby airfield with a view of Derby on the right hand side.

    No such views today though, the cloud was far too solid to get any view at all.

    The crew came around selling breakfast, I took a ham and cheese Panini and a cup of coffee, with a Yorkie too it was classed as a meal deal and cost just short of £5.

    Crew were pleasant as always on these flights, flying BMIBaby is usually a pleasure and it is the crews that make it so. The captain came on to announce we were now at our cruising altitude of 24,000ft, just to the north of Manchester. The delays they had forecast had cleared and we should be in a good few minutes early.

    The cloud started to clear a little as we went further north, opening up over the Lake District.

    Shortly after this I heard the engines throttle back and we started our descent. Approaching Glasgow is always nice, you fly over some beautiful scenery on the approach. Today it was cloudy in the Glasgow area, although not foggy like it had been back at EMA.

    It became apparent that for a change we were coming in on runway 05 rather than 23, a nice change for me as it’s the first time I’ve done this approach.

    We touched down smoothly and were welcomed to Glasgow by the flight attendant.

    We taxied in and pulled onto stand seven minutes early.

    I deplaned and headed through the airport, to grab a taxi into the centre. The M8 was surprisingly clear today (school holidays according to the driver) and by 8.45 I was at the customer site on St Vincent Street, Charing Cross.

    I completed my day’s work and headed for my hotel, the Premier Inn Charing Cross. It was a nice enough hotel, not quite as nice as the usual Premier Inns I stay at, which are usually small affairs next to a Beefeater or similar. This however was a huge tower block which was fading a little inside, the room was tiny and had a view across the road to an office.

    The following day I had finished on site quite early and decided to go for a walk around Glasgow City Centre. Despite regularly going to Glasgow I’d never actually been into the centre for a walk around. I took a wander down into town and walked round taking a few photos to pass the time.

    One of my colleagues was also in the Glasgow area today and was flying back to Luton on easyJet just before my flight down to EMA. He called me to say he was on his way to the airport after his next meeting and we arranged to meet at the airport. I took the airport bus back to the airport (trying to save the company a bit of money over an extortionate £25 taxi fare), and called my colleague who was still stuck in a meeting.

    I took a wander round to the Loganair hangar to take a few photos. The airport was pretty quiet today and I took a couple of photos of a FlyBE Twin Otter sat on the ramp.

    I started to wander back round to the terminal, planning on getting a bite to eat. However I stumbled across a nice looking greasy spoon cafe next to the taxi park, and decided to pop in for a burger and chips and a can of Coke. I love these places – if ever you’re looking for a bite to eat while driving, pop off the motorway and find a nice little greasy spoon. The food is cheap, freshly cooked and nice, very filling, and you can always have a nice chat and a laugh with the owners and the lorry drivers frequenting the place, or in this case taxi drivers! This must have saved me a fortune compared to the food in the terminal.

    I finished my food and headed round to the terminal to wait for my colleague, who turned up shortly after.

    We went through to the second terminal for him to check in for his easyJet flight, after which we had to go back to the main terminal. Seemed a little pointless really but this terminal will be closing soon anyway.

    We went to Wetherspoons and sat with a pint having a chat about work amongst other things. I checked my emails and we then went to browse a few shops. We went through security where I had my toiletries taken off me as I didn’t have them in a clear bag. Doh! We then went our separate ways as he was going from a different pier to me.

    I went down to the end of the pier and took a few more photos. Wandering down every shop was playing AC/DC music. Somebody with taste I thought, not giving it a second thought.

    I took a couple of photos at the end of the pier:

    The second photo I later found out was the aforementioned AC/DC arriving in Glasgow for a gig that evening at Hampden Park. That would explain the music throughout the terminal then!

    The skies looked very humid and bumpy this afternoon, I was looking forward to a bumpy flight. I watched my colleague’s easyJet A319 taxi out and take off, I took a couple of photos that didn’t come out too well.

    After about half an hour I watched a BMIBaby 737 come in, and followed it to the gate. I headed down to the gate where the gate area had stacked up.

    There was a bit of a delay to our flight for some unexplained reason, but it wasn’t long before the boarding announcement was made and we made our way along a windowed corridor to the boarding gate.

    Date: Tuesday 30 June 2009
    From: Glasgow Intl
    To: East Midlands Airport
    Airline: bmibaby
    Flight: WW5824
    Aircraft: Boeing 737-300 G-TOYM “Groovy Baby”
    Seat: 19A
    STD/ATD: 18:30/19:04
    STA/ATA: 19:35/19:51
    Block Time: 0:47

    I took my seat in 19A and we were welcomed onboard by the captain. He apologised for the delay which was caused by problems earlier that morning and they had been trying to catch up throughout the day, and weren’t quite there yet. However we should only have a 15-20 minute delay back into East Midlands.

    We began our taxi out to runway 05 for our departure back to East Midlands.

    It was indeed a very hazy, humid evening, but surprisingly smooth. We soon got above the hazy cloud and headed south back towards England.

    About 10 minutes into the flight we saw a massive storm which we had in site for the entire flight, slowly passing it.

    The captain came on to advise of us our progress. He said we were at FL290 heading south, overhead the Manchester area. He said for those of us on the left hand side of the aircraft we had a lovely view of a classic cumulonimbus cloud overhead the Middlesborough area. He said underneath that is a massive thunderstorm currently causing huge delays to traffic in and out of Newcastle and Teesside. I took a few photos – and it was definitely the largest CB cloud
    I’ve seen in the UK, on a par with some I’ve seen in southeast Asia.

    We continued south towards East Midlands, before commencing our descent. We soon heard “Cabin crew ten minutes to landing”, and the crew swept through
    ensuring all our seat backs were up and collecting all rubbish.

    Our approach took us south from the Trent VOR, across Ilkeston and across Nottingham.

    Eastwood, Derbyshire. Morrisons at the top.

    M1 Junction 26, with the A610 crossing left to right

    M1 Junction 26, with Nuthall Island visible to the right of the shot

    Old and New Basford, Nottingham.

    Nottingham City Centre – this is the roundabout at the top of Maid Marian Way, Cornerhouse is in the top right hand corner

    Nottingham City Centre, looking out towards Arnold with Carlton on the right.

    Colwick Racecourse at the bottom, with the River Trent below and Carlton to the top

    National Watersports Centre in the middle, Colwick Racecourse to the left

    The above series of shots are within maybe 60 seconds of each other – it always amazes me when on approach to EMA how close everything is from this altitude!
    We turned onto final approach over the A46 as usual for a 27 arrival, then commenced final approach.

    The A60, just south of Costock, the big flat field with the building just under the back of the wing’s second spar of the wing is Costock Helicopters.

    Back end of East Leake

    Sutton Bonington, with the University of Nottingham’s campus at the bottom

    Fields between East Leake and Kegworth

    A6 south of Kegworth, heading for Loughborough

    Crossing the M1 on short final

    Touchdown on runway 27

    We came off the runway at Mike, and taxied back to the main apron where the other occupants included the usual mix of Ryanair and BMIBaby 737s, and easyJet A319s.

    We deplaned and walked across the apron, and within 10 minutes of getting off the plane I was in the car heading home up the M1.