So here we go on a new airline, new aircraft type and a new route for me!
Flying to Jersey from Southampton on a Blue Island (a franchisee of Flybe) on an ATR 72-500.
This is my first time flying from Southampton to a domestic UK destination, as my previous flights have all been to/from Amsterdam on the Fokker 70.
The journey to Southampton was fairly quiet as I was leaving mid day and the journey from Christchurch (Dorset, UK) to the airport was only an hour.
Getting to Southampton around 11am (an hour & twenty minutes before my flight was due to depart) I went to security and within 3 minutes I was through to the departure lounge.
Southampton has 8 Gates all in one small area and you could easily get from upstairs COSTA to any gate in less than one minute. The airport has four stands which are not at any of the gates an a shuttle bus runs between them with ease. Which would be my method of boarding for this flight.
After getting a picture of my ATR 72-500 (G-ISLI) I went to the que of passengers getting ready to board and I got on the bus and was driven roughly 90 seconds to the ATR.
Getting off I took some pictures & film whilst I awaited the que of people ahead of me to get on.
The Blue Island ATR had one door open at the rear of the plane, and I was sat in Row 3- meaning I had to walk the entire cabin…
Sitting down in Row 3, was just ahead of the propeller allowing me to get a view of the prop but offering me some free space for scenic footage.
The plane was really heated inside as the UK was in the middle of an epic heatwave, until the engines were started- no air conditioning and it was clearly bothering the two cabin crew.
Thankfully the plane loaded up quickly (with only a good 6/7 seats remaining empty) and we made it out of SOU on schedule!
The clear summer's day allowed for some amazing views of the Southampton docks and central city as we powered out on the 35 minute flight time across the Channel and Solent.
I found that Flybe offered a smaller version of their inflight cafe on the Blue Island flights, but a snack box was on the offering!
So I bought that with a cola and it was a good thing as I could keep some of the snack items for later on in my trip. The box making a good souvenir as well!
We began our decent into Jersey as we passed over Guernsey and with in 10 minutes of our decent starting we landed in Jersey.
The airport wasn't too busy that time of day so our arrival wasn't held up and we landed, parked up and began to disembark very punctual.
Being at the front of the plane, I took the opportunity to ask for a flight deck visit. Make a comparison to the ATR 72-600 I flew back in December 2017…
Sure enough the pilots obliged and I had a quick talk with the pilot about the Blue Island fleet changes and the differences between the -500 & -600 ATR models.
Heading back through the cabin, it was odd going through a planes Cargo Area- which I pondered the thought of jumping out of if I was feeling like a smart &$$
Leaving the plane, I felt positive about flying Blue Island again to the Channel Islands as they made a good impression on this flight!
But alas- I had to fly home on mainline Flybe, to get a good comparison! But first- I had a trip to enjoy!!!
Southampton - SOU
Jersey - JER
Blue Island- Great regional airline, their Flybe franchise will defiantly give them some extra publicity and awareness for anyone not familiar with the airline! Their product was cheap & cheerful for such a route.
SOU- Brilliant as always. Sometimes you just can't knock a regional airport when you're used to the likes of LHR & LGW....
JER- Nice little airport, transport link to city is reasonably priced and frequent.
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