Another flight - another story. Yesterday I found myself amongst the crowds fleeing from the UK to other places in Europe. I had a scheduled flight for 21st December with KLM (LHR-AMS-WAW), however due to uncertainties regarding travelling to/from tier 4 (London) and later also due to cessation of flights between Holland and the UK, I was forced to take my "favourite" (sarcasm alert) airline directly from Bristol to Warsaw-Modlin. Read on to find out if Ryanair was any better this time!
Flight number FR4135
Route Bristol - Warsaw Modlin
Flight date 20th December 2020
Scheduled flight time 2:25 (actual 2:04)
Aircraft model Boeing 737-800 (Sky Interior)
Aircraft registration SP-RKH (operated by BUZZ)
Seating configuration Y189
Aircraft age (at the time of flight) 4.3 years
Seat number 2F (first row)
Departure gate 11
Bristol waved me off with some nice sunny weather and temperature of about 12 degrees. Nice.
I took the bus A2 to the airport which took unusually long that day, 50 mins or so… Can you spot my suitcases by the way? :)
Bristol Airport looks quite pretty from the outside (much better than inside). There are a lot of trees and green areas around which make it pleasant. It reminds me of Pisa Airport a bit. There was one entrance available. No temperature screening, document check etc. at the entrance - everything working pretty much as normal.
Ryanair check-in was only a bit busy this afternoon. There were 2 counters open "F2F" but most of people were directed to the self bag check-in (including me). The automatic bag drop system worked poorly (displayed 2 errors whilst I was trying to check my bag in) and also had multiple language issues - it automatically switched to Polish when I scanned my boarding pass.
One more curiosity of Ryanair - at check-in, I asked one lady if I can drop my hand luggage so as to avoid delaying the aircraft (because I knew it'll be quite full). She said - yes - for 25 pounds… Ok thanks for help XD
Bristol Airport was quite empty, yet not deserted that afternoon. A few shops and only 2-3 restaurants open. I grabbed a croissant and water from Starbucks, ate my lunch and then proceeded to gate 11 as soon as it was displayed (at 2pm) because I used to hear from many people that Bristol Airport requires lots of walking. (Spoiler alert: it's true - it requires more walking than LHR T5!)
By the time our plane landed, the pre-boarding into a stuffed room with no social distancing has already been nearly finished. The real boarding started quite early and I was one of the first on board. I boarded through the front door using the (in)famous Ryanair own stairs :)
The aircraft was quite new, and was equipped with the "new" Ryanair seats and Boeing Sky Interior - which both make a big difference in terms of passenger comfort! Since I booked the Flexi Plus fare, I was allowed to reserve seats in the first row. I picked 2F, which I think is the best seat in the entire airplane. Moreover, I had like 15 or so free seats around me. Lovely!
Ohh, one more comment - I quite like the design of the front bulkheads in Ryanair, where they have different "holiday" photos on different airplanes. I think, it matches their company's philosophy quite well.
A very short taxi towards runway 27. As you can see, not too many aircrafts on the apron, and even less "in use" - a few easyJets, a Ryanair and a TUI 787.
We started rolling at 3pm, so departed on time. A very smooth and picturesque departure from Bristol, I have to say - and also in a lovely weather.
After takeoff, we made a U-turn just before the Bristol Channel, then flew over the city of Bristol made our way through the thin layer of clouds, to finally be on our way to Warsaw. Btw. can you spot "us" and the rainbow in the last pic?
And en route to Warsaw… leaving Bristol and Sun behind.
At this point, I'd like to mention a few words about the cabin and seats. As I already mentioned, the Sky Interior is an amazing feature and indeed the cabin feels modern and spacious, much better than Ryanair's older cabins (and less yellow as well…). The seats are reasonably comfortable in terms of cushion/padding and width but none of the seats featured a pocket (but anyway, they are, again, better than the "old" generation Ryanair seats). The legroom in row 2DEF is honestly nothing to complain about but 2ABC didn't seem to bad at all either.
Now to cleanliness - the cabin was filthy, let's face it. From the carpet, through windows, air vents, seats (crumbles and other stuff could be found on them), to toilets… Not a great job at all here.
In terms of on-board service, the usual offering from offering in times of COVID. Only the catalogues were missing to be fair. Otherwise - Getaway cafe, Scratch cards and Duty free - all present. It was nice to see how the crew played around and had fun with the inflight BoB service - after all, everyone knows how Ryanair works :)
I brought my own snacks, including the Lindt chocolates and later inflight I bought the San Pellegrino Orange for 2.50 Euros. A bit expensive in my opinion.
One more word about the crew, they were all in their twenties and except for the purser, Kuba, very average in terms of service. Kuba was really friendly and even had a quick chat with me later in the flight. I liked how he tried to bring some Christmas atmosphere on board by wearing a Santa hat. I need to, however, express my discontent about the crew's English level. I'm sorry to say that, but they were barely able to say simple sentences in English, let alone if we had found ourselves in an emergency situation. This should not happen in an airline that is governed by European standards.
Entertainment - none. No TVs, no WiFi, no power sockets, no magazine. But I had my own book, watched "Suits" on Netflix and of course enjoyed the sunset outside the window. I also found a bit of time to fill in my flight list - this was flight #101 (so the second hundred has officially begun!).
And as the Sun started to set, the crew started to set the mood lighting to different colours. I have to say, it's one of my favourite features of the Sky Interior! I guess, my favourite colour is the blue one in the first photo. Do you have your favourite?
Just before we started our descent into Modlin, it was time for a quick trip to the toilet:
1) I noticed it was smaller than the front toilet on e.g. the A320neo from BA that I flew on in September,
2) It was absolutely so dirty and smelly that made me think when was the last time it was actually properly cleaned,
3) The light wasn't working properly and didn't work at first when I closed the door.
One more remark, "due to COVID" on Ryanair, the "fasten seatbelt signs" are switched on during the whole flight and in theory you must ask the crew every time you want to stand up from your seat, including toilet. Kuba, the purser, however told me, it's not a problem if I want to stand up more - especially that there was no-one seated close to me, really…
The rest of flight was pretty uneventful, a bit of light turbulence over Holland and Germany but nothing too scary. Approach into Warsaw-Modlin was through heavy clouds and fog, so good job for a relatively smooth landing, 15 mins before our scheduled arrival time.
Such a straight approach into Modlin this evening :)
Oh my God! The deplaning was the most hectic and disorganised I've seen in COVID times so far… People started to stand up when the plane was still moving, they were bumping into each other, rubbing shoulders… I thought I'd leave first since I was seated in the first row - but no way! No-one wanted to let me through.
One positive, is that they played some Christmas music during deplaning which created cool vibes.
The immigration procedure was very disorganised as well. Since there was not enough space, we had to wait outside before we got into the terminal building, and trust me, it was freezing cold (1 degrees)! No-one kept distance (well… I tried at least). A good thing is that you can now use the eGates here at WMI. The luggage was already waiting for me when I passed immigration.
After all, I am really happy to be writing that already from home, as flights between PL and UK shut today (21st December) at midnight.
Hopefully the report wasn't too long, if you have any comments or questions, feel free to post them. I'll be happy to answer!
I just thought, it's also a good moment to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. Greetings from Poland! And since I am a Biochemistry student, there's a "molecular Christmas tree" for you - credits to one of my Professors at the University of Bristol.
Thanks for coming along
I think, the best conclusion would be that I'm happy to be back home. Ryanair still remains my least favourite airline but sometimes I just can't avoid them. Both Bristol and Modlin airports could be better, in my opinion - in terms of Modlin - especially immigration efficiency should be improved.