I am back today on this website with an exclusive (if not so exciting) route, aka the new Flybe service from Toulouse to Manchester, which was launched at the end of October 2016, just a few weeks before this report. As I recently moved to Toulouse and finding myself to regularly visit Northern England, this new service was very well suited to my needs! I was already familiar with Flybe's product as I flew them earlier this year, this time from CDG in Paris to the very lesser known Doncaster Sheffield airport (check my profile to have a look at this one!)
Here's a recap of the entire routing, a simple weekend roundtrip:
Toulouse Blagnac - Manchester Airport / BE3254 / E175, YOU ARE HERE
Manchester Airport - Toulouse Blagnac / BE3253 / E175, later on
My plan this time was actually to get to Liverpool, which is less than an hour away from MAN airport by train service. There's not a lot of flights from LPL to France, and I would not spend my entire week end there so there was no need to fly direct to there.
Anyway, I left my house at around 12 on Friday and took the métro to Matabiau train station, and walked from there to the bus station, where I purshased a 15 euro return ticket on the bus shuttle to the airport. That's quite expensive if you ask me, especially as there's no special tariff for the urban transport cardholders. Mind you, it is possible to reach the airport via the tram but it takes much longer from where I live.
After a journey that took a bit more than the usual 20 minutes due to traffic, I arrived at Blagnac just before 1PM. Online check-in was not available for TLS, so I went to the check in desk where the queue was non existent. A very nice attendant handed me my BP saying that the flight was early and I should head to security straight away. The BP did say boarding at 1330, almost 50 minutes before ETD, which I found quite unrealistic.
Security was packed with people and the staff was not allowing people on departing flights to get in front of the queue, and was just telling them to ask individually to every person if they could let them pass… Anyway I was out after about 15 minutes of waiting, at 1310. I officially only had 10 minutes to spare, even though the FIDS did not mention any earlier departure.
I headed to the most recent gates of the airport, the Hall D
Plane spotting is not encouraged here it seems
After passport control, I found myself in a circular boarding area, which was actually very hot because of the sun rays. Wooden panels, while bloking the view to the field, were probably designed to prevent the place from becoming an oven in the summer months. Service wise, a small shop and several dispensers were available.
Artistic blurry picture. The red sofas were quite comfortable
My BP made of real cartboard and the sticker provided for carry on luggage.
The airplane arrived on time, not early, to the gate, arriving from MAN. Today's ride was G-FBJB, which was delivered to BE in 2011.
Boarding was soon called, with a strict priority of rows, firstly the back of the plane, then all passengers. I therefore boarded among the last.
Once seated, I could get a nice view of a sistership, which operated the BE flight to Birmingham, leaving 5 minutes before ours. The two routes were launched simultaneously. We were welcomed on board and soon started our taxi for a westbound departure.
Takeoff provided a nice view on the southern Airbus facility, with the delivery centre pictured here.
A peek at BE's network, which will soon but cut off its Scottish Isles destinations as the franchise with Loganair terminates next year.
I don't usually by from the BoB menu, especially when I don't consider that I paid a low price for the flight, however having barely eaten before leaving I was starving. Here's a few pages from the menu.
I got myself one of the three snack boxes, which satisfied my hunger for a bit. I added a Ginger Ale and the whole cost me 9 euros. Not that cheap…
The pitch which is acceptable for my size (1m82). The seats don't recline, which I don't mind on regional flights. The in flight magazine did say that BE's average flight is less than 60 minutes long.
And descending over the Peak District
The inevitable Emirates A380 if you want to be considered a world class airport
Taxi was quite quick however no ground crew was here to meet us at the gate, we therefore waited door opened for about 15 minutes before being allowed to leave the plane. The captain did inform us a couple times of the situation while we were waiting. In the end I did set foot on the ground a dozen minutes late. The usual goodbye chocolate from BE was handed over at the front door.
Here she is in all its glory
Buy on board6.5
Toulouse - TLS
Manchester - MAN
Overall, a classic regional flight experience with Flybe.
Regarding the airline itself, the crew did its job and not much more, but it's true that it's hard to go the extra mile on those flights. A few more smiles would have been appreciated. The BoB offers a large range of products which is nice, but slightly overpriced to my taste. I believe EZY and FR are cheaper but I might be wrong.
Toulouse airport is quite agreeable, the only problem here was the lines at security and the unhelpful staff there.
i will se you soon for the return journey :)
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