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The long awaited trip with friends : Quite Long. Part I

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  • The long awaited trip with friends : Quite Long. Part I

    Well hey again people.
    I told you all that me, James and Kev were planning to go on a trip. In the end we decided against going to Austrailia,Fiji etc, and ended up going to spotters paradise. Saint Martin !!!
    As i had to go to work in the US, James' flight arrived on Sunday early morning. He waited untill Kev's flight arrived in from Manchester, then they waited, waited, and waited for my flight to arrive. My AA flight had been delayed for an unusual period of time in JFK, and we were arriving late. Eventually i landed, and we headed off to the Radisson Edwardian at LHR for a bit of R&R.
    I searched for some flights, at VERY last minute. Then i found some cheapish flights. We agreed on them, and then planned our return journey.We decided that we would race from St Martin to London on the way home. Me vs James and Kevin.
    Heres the trip !!

    Airline - Flybe
    Route - Southampton to Paris CDG
    Scheduled Departure - 07:15 (07:17 actual)
    Scheduled Arrival - 09:25 (09:31 actual)
    Seat - 6A
    Aircraft - Dash 8
    Class - All Economy

    At 05:00 that Morning we got on a 111 Bus from Heathrow into Hampton Court. We then got on the first train of the day from Hampton Court to Waterloo. From there we got on the first train of the day from Waterloo to Southampton Airport Parkway. All the times matched PERFECTLY. At check-in there were queues for check-in, and the self-service machines were occupied. But suprisingly the queue went down really quickly. We got our seats and headed off. Security was easy. We then settled at our gate and waited. Boarding was very quick, out flight was very empty. There were two people who had special assistance and they were boarded first, the two flight attendants both acting as extended hand rails for them as they tried to climb the stairs. We were then boarded, and the crew directed us to our seats. The dash 8 felt very cramped, but this was made up by the very comfy leather seats and generous legroom. James sat in 6C and kevin in 6B.
    The normal safety demo, then a noisy engine start up. We pushed back, and taxied to the runway, and made a powerful take-off. The dash8 sounds like a car speeding up, as it increases its throttle, it sounds nothing like a normal plane. I watched the gear slide up into the wings, and then i flicked through "Flybe Uncovered". The Buy-on-board service is relatively cheap compared to the likes of Monarch,Ryanair,Easy Jet etc. We got a meal deal. 3 Sandwhiches, 3 drinks and 3 chocolate bars for 12. I got a southern fried chicken wrap, a J20 and a kit kat it was really tasty !!
    As we buzzed through the clouds the crew continued to serve food and drinks to the rest of the cabin. When they had finished i got talking to the male member of the crew, as the other female attendant was helping someone walk to the toilet (Which is kinda funny but very good service).
    This crew had a long day ahead of them !
    Southampton - Paris CDG - Jersey - London Gatwick - Newquay
    They were based in Exeter.
    Not long after, the crew came around with a Duty free service. They didnt push a trolley along, they told people who wanted to buy stuff to press the crew call button and they will serve them. As my usual self i wanted to buy something for the sake of it, just to say i had. So i purchased the "Calvin Klein Deluxe Travel Coffret" which cost 24.
    James followed me and purchased "Diesel | Only the Brave"
    Kev wanted something, but who too much of a retard to have any cash on him, so i let him borrow some money, and he bought DKNY Men | New York.
    So here we are, about to land in Paris, with cologne we didnt even want, and that there was a chance we would have to throw away at security.
    The Female flight attendant then came up to us and asked us
    "Are you staying in Paris or are you connecting"
    "We are connecting"
    "OK what is the flight number and where to?"
    "Flight 3510 to St Maarten"
    "Ok thank you"

    We found this odd, she didnt seem like she wanted to chat, she seemed really serious, but then this happened.
    "Ok your flight will be running 25 minutes late, you should head through flight connections"
    then she walked off
    Never thought she would have done that
    I found this amazing. James didnt really mind much, and kev was freaking sleeping. I stared out of the window and watched the world pass and thought of our tight connection time.
    We had started a gradual descent and we lined up for touchdown. The wheels slid back out of the wing, locked into place, and then burnt some rubber on the french runway. Touchdown was quite hard, and i watched the wheels bounce of the ground at one point.No thrust reversing. We then taxied, an taxied some more, until we parked up next to a Company Embraer 190 (which was off to Southampton). The crew opened the door/stairs and we disembarked. They wished us a good and safe journey as we left.

    We ran through flight connections, and ran to our next gate.

    Overall for BE
    Crew - 10/10 - Amazing
    Food - 10/10 - Cheap and tasty
    PTV - N/A
    Seats - 10/10 - Comfy with lots of legroom for a small plane
    Punctuality - 10/10

    Next flight....

    Airline - Air France
    Route - Paris CDG to Saint Martin
    Scheduled Departure - 10:45 (11:40 actual)
    Scheduled Arrival - 13:30 (14:53 actual)
    Aircraft -Airbus A340-300
    Seat - 38A
    Class - Voyageur (Economy)

    We had to get from terminal 1 to terminal 2C in a very short amount of time. When we got there, we were worried our bags might not have made it. We walked onto the plane and just got a
    "We have been waiting a long time for you, your seats are down there, right"
    What ever happened to Welcome on board !?
    It wasnt our fault.
    I raced James to my seat, and YES i got the window, Kev trotted on behind and settle for the middle row of seats. Our flight was empty considering the size of the plane, about 70% full. The seats were comfortable. I fell asleep almost straight after the safety demo. When i woke i flicked through the PTV. Air france's entertainment is very easy to navigate but the selection is by far not the best. I ended up watching a few episodes of Friends, NCIS, CSI:New York, The Sopranos. I watched alot of episodes untill i first saw the crew after take-off !
    The first meal, or even drink service didnt come for a while, probably about an hour and a half. We were served a hot breakfast , which consisted of :
    2 Sausage Links
    Mini Potatoes
    Bread Roll
    Fruit bowl
    with a drink of your choice, i got Coffee.
    The breakfast was tasty but the coffee cold and bitter.

    No way would this fill me up until the pre-arrival snack !
    I watched some more TV and slept a little more, then i looked at the moving map and saw we were not even close to St Martin, so i pressed my crew call button and waited for someone to come. And i waited, and waited until eventually a girl that looked about 12, came up to me and asked
    "Yes sir, what can i do for you?"
    (In French)
    I gave her an odd look, and then she repeated it in English
    I felt very ignorant for this, as i didnt actually mean to give her an odd look, i was trying to think back to my Year 7 french classes !
    "Is there any chance i can get something to eat?"
    "Ummm let me check"
    Then i waited a little longer, then she came back with a croissant filled with ham and cheese. It was tasty and it did me until later.
    As Kevin had gone to explore the cabin, and James was at the back flirting (well at least he was trying) with the flight attendants, i decided to join Kevin in a little wonder. I went to the galley just in front of my seat, went for a wizz, got a drink and just started blankly at the door for a long time. I must have been there for 2 minutes, just staring, and staring at the door 3L. The crew and other passengers must have thought i was some sort of "T*****ist" as they kept looking at me odd, which i dont blame them for. I eventually left my trance, did a weird little 360 spin..tripped over nothing, fall, grab onto the galley tables for my balance, and watch as nearly all the f/a's in that galley and all the passengers waiting, laugh at me
    I stood for a few seconds, and then started laughing with them.
    Then i headed back to my seat, feeling very embarrased, and in pain, when i smashed my funny bone on the wall next to the toilet door. I then went back to my PTV and continued to flick through some programs. Then the pre-arrival snack was served, 2 hours before we reached St Martin. A Raisin and Cinnamon pastry and Pitta filled Cheese. It was tasty, and a larger snack than i expected. The pastry was especially good. I got a Cup of Tea with this.
    We started our descent not long after the meal was cleared away. We made a long right turn , which i thought was wierd approaching st martin, we for some reason seemed to be circling st martin. I saw through the window when we levelled out, st martin down not far from us, then we made a long descending left turn and levelled out just in time for touchdown. I saw more than one flash from a camera as we flew over maho beach
    We used the entire runway. We then did a U-Turn, powered up quite high then stopped suddenly. We Made a VERY slow right turn, and then powered up some more, very high again, then stopped suddenly again.
    We then made a left turn and powered up high AGAIN, then suddenly stopped AGAIN, made a slow right turn, then ever so slowly crept up towards the jetway. We waited 15 minutes before the first passengers disembarked. I thought the taxiing of this plane was wierd
    We were part of the last group to leave. I said bye to the crew and we headed to collect, or what we hoped our bags would be.
    We waited, and waited, and thought the worst, our bags are still in Paris, or on their way to Jersey. Then, the last 3 bags to come through, our 3. I would have thought since ours were last on, they would be first off.
    On my bag handle i had to tags
    But SXM was circled and CDG had a X next to it.

    Overall for AF:
    Crew - 8/10 - Not seen much
    Seats - 10/10 - Very Comfy
    PTV - 7/10 - Easy to navigate, not much stuff to do
    Meals - 9/10 - First meal not satisfying, mid flight snack good same as pre arrival snack.
    Punctuality - 8/10

    Overall i will give AF a 8.5/10

    Well i will post the next bit of the trip as soon as i can
    thanks for reading
    hope you enjoyed !

  • #2
    HAHA wow, you make me sound like such an asshole in this report !

    And i was not flirting with the crew, i was just talking to 'em !!!

    Good report anyway

    When you posting the "Race" back, because it didnt turn out to be a race did it ! Instead we just flew back together. Ar Tard !!!

    Oh yeah and the diesel i bought on Flybe, i left it in the FREAKING hotel !
    :-) Life is like a Journey,Travel it well. United Airlines :smile:


    • #3
      Originally posted by United.AirlinesLover View Post
      As Kevin had gone to explore the cabin, and James was at the back flirting (well at least he was trying) with the flight attendants
      i take it you didnt pull then

      looks like you lot had fun