We took advantage of easyJet’s March offer to pay all UK taxes by booking a return to Edinburgh for £25 each tax free. I haven’t been for a couple of years and my wife has never been to Scotland, so it was time to have a quick weekend up the country!
From: East Midlands (EMA)
To: Edinburgh (EDI)
Aircraft: Boeing 737-300
STD: 07:10 ATD: 07:12
STA: 08:10 ATA: 08:10
We left our Nottingham home for the short drive to East Midlands at 05:00, in order to check in just before 05:30. Traffic was as light as we would expect for this time on a Saturday morning, as we drove down the M1. We arrived, and parked in the medium stay carpark which is only a short walk to the terminal building.
As we had only hand luggage it was no problem to get into the terminal, and checked in at the easyJet counter. We were numbers 20/21 for boarding, so we would be in the first 30 with a pick of the seats!!
As the shops were closed, we went straight through into Departures. There were a few people in the queue to board the early morning flights to Europe, but after security it was straight through to Domestic Departures where there were two Edinburgh flights and two Glasgow flights – one each for bmibaby and easyJet leaving within 10 minutes. Talk about competition!!
We were called for boarding at 06:50, and were surpirsed that they didn’t call the aircraft by groups as they normally do! We had to get on the bus as the aircraft was parked on a remote stand. On arrival at the aircraft, I noticed it was an ex BA/Go aircraft, G-IGOG. We boarded through the rear doors, and sat in 18A/18B, right behind the wing!!
The aircraft was quickly secured, and the Australian captain Ted Burns welcomed us aboard. As we boarded, the chief stewardess asked us all to “put any children, pets or other unwanted items in the overhead lockers”. A nice bit of humour considering it was only 7am!!
We taxyed to runway 27 and were number three to depart after the two bmibabys. We climbed out to the north over Derby, towards the Peak District and reached our cruising altitude of FL240
overhead Sheffield. The crew came around with the “easyKiosk” selling food/drink. Looking out of the window we saw clear skies, with the vapour trail visible just behind the engine, we flew alongside another aircraft’s vapour trail at the same altitude which looked beautiful in the sunrise!
The captain then announced we were beginning our descent into Edinburgh, and would be landing towards the West – great news as this approach gives a great view of Edinburgh/the Firth of Forth as we approach!! We flew over mountains/valleys in the south of Scotland, and could then see our first sign of civilisation in Scotland – a small town south of Edinburgh!
I saw the bmibaby EMA-EDI flight on approach in front of us, and we began our final approach into sunny Edinburgh just behind him. We saw the whole of Edinburgh, the castle, and the Forth Bridge before We landed onto runway 24 exactly on time. We taxyed in past BA 757s/ATRs, EI 146s, and WW 737s, before parking on a remote stand on the east side of the airfield. We deplaned for the short walk to the terminal in a very sunny, but extremely cold Edinburgh!
It was only a short bus ride into Edinburgh, where we arrived for 9.00, to look around the shops, visit the historic parts of this beautiful city (although we weren’t willing to pay GBP9.50 EACH to visit Edinburgh Castle – very extortionate – but you can get right outside the castle for superb views of the city!!)
From: Edinburgh (EDI)
To: East Midlands (EMA)
Aircraft: Boeing 737-300
STD: 20:55 ATD: 20:45
STA: 21:55 ATA: 21:35
We spent the morning in the hotel relaxing in the spa, before heading off to the airport to do some shopping!!
We arrived at the airport at about 12.30, and had to wait until 18.55 to check in, as the easyJet staff were not willing to check anybody in a minute before the opening time – surprising as they normally complain about latecomers, but earlybirds are turned away!
I looked at the gate agent’s screen to see if it had any info about the aircraft, and discovered it was to be 737-300 G-EZYC, one of the oldest aircraft in the fleet.
We hung around the departure lounge until our aircraft arrived at 20:35, and sure enough it was YC.
We boarded via steps again, and took our seats in row 9, seats A and B. The captain was again the Australian Ted Burns, who advised that we were to leave early as everyone was on board,
and we would have a departure from runway 06. We climbed out into darkness, and turned to the north over the Firth of Forth, towards the west and then south just before Glasgow to begin our flight south. We reached our cruising altitude of FL270, and flew over Leeds/Bradford, where Capt. Burns announced we were making good progress and would be landing 20 minutes early at 20.35.
We approached runway 09 over Derby, and got a good view of BMI’s HQ, Donington Hall, well lit up in the evening sky. Landing was smooth and surprisingly used reverse thrust, even though this is supposed to be prohibited after 21.30??
Taxi was quick, off at S and taxyed into a stand next to the UPS hangar.
We were then told to wait while the ground agents Servisair made their way to the aircraft.
A few minutes later, the chief steward announced that they were sorry, but that Circusair (Servisair) were on there way to direct us to the terminal. Finally, we deplaned and within five minutes were in the car on the way back home. Ahh the delights of domestic flights into EMA with no checked baggage!!
Overall, a very good experience that reclaims my bad experiences following the last disaster of a flight to AMS with them! The experience made better by the good humour of the crews, and the punctual flights!