Hello Flight-Report readers!
I know you all love Ryanair reports (sarcasm alert), so I have another one for you here :-) It was a flight back from Bristol to Warsaw, flying back for little holidays in Poland. I usually try not to fly Ryanair from Bristol and I rather fly from Heathrow with BA or LO instead. This ticket was however so cheap that I couldn't resist (15 GBP + 10 GBP for hand luggage).
Flight number FR4135
Route Bristol - Warsaw Modlin
Flight date 5th June 2021 2055-0020 (actual 2105-0015)
Scheduled flight time 2:25 (actual 2:10)
Aircraft model Boeing 737-800 (Sky interior)
Aircraft registration SP-RKG (operated by BUZZ)
Seating configuration Y189
Aircraft age (at the time of flight) 3.3 years
Seat number 17F
Departure gate 8 (walking gate)
Arrival gate walking gate at WMI
Load factor (approx.) 50%
Flight price 25 GBP (ticket + hand luggage)
Ryanair, as always, assigned me a middle seat at the back… However, one of my friends just gave me a method to get the seat that you want free of charge. I'll see the next time if it works.
My journey, as usually, starts in central Bristol, with beautiful weather - it actually got a bit more cloudy towards the evening.
I caught the bus A1 from the city centre towards the Airport. The journey takes around 40 mins. My bus driver was very rude and unhelpful which actually is quite rare in the UK. I thought - "It's gonna be a nightmare journey with Ryanair tonight… It's just started" - It won't be that bad after all, as you'll see.
The bus was super empty. More or less 4 people on board.
I arrived at the airport way to early, but I wanted to have some extra time just in case. Instead of going into the terminal, I spent some time outside, on the fresh air. Bristol Airport is really nice outside, with lots of trees makes a good impression.
And actually it made a very good impression to me from the inside too, this time! It seemed as if it was renovated in a few places, including the check in area and the toilets. It was also well-organised and not busy at all, whilst we were the last flight to depart that day.
Every airline has its dedicated, branded check in area, which I find great as an avgeek. I didn't need to use the Ryanair one, since I was only flying with hand luggage. The check in area is quite spacious with high ceilings. Can you see how empty it was?
Though we were the last flight on Saturday, the schedule for Sunday looked quite busy (see the FIDS)… well, busy for COVID. Lots of holiday-destination flights, even though all the people coming from these places will need to go into self-isolation.
Unfortunately, as the airport was about to close that evening with us being the only and last flight - only 1 cafe (SOHO cafe) was open. No other shops/cafes were available to passengers, so I grabbed a small snack from there. Now, on the other hand, I was super positively surprised with a little terrace overviewing the tarmac, which I haven't seen before at BRS. It reminds me a bit of the one at Funchal… On a sunny warm day it's be a nice place to eat your takeaway lunch.
Meanwhile, our airplane arrived from Warsaw Modlin (FR4136) and with a load of 35 pax it was very quickly disembarked. By this time, our pre-boarding has already been finished. At BRS, the pre-boarding proceeds in 2 queues (priority and non-priority) and people are directed into two sides of a pretty small room. But it was fine with our today's load - 97 pax.
Passengers from the priority side are asked to go outside and board the aircraft first, when it's ready. I was the 3rd passenger to board that day. Boarding proceeded only via front doors, since BRS ground staff didn't provide steps to the rear steps (info from the crew). Thang god Ryanair brings their own steps haha.
On board… a very positive surprise! Fresh Boeing sky interior, Ryanair's new seats and a very honestly warm welcome from the purser. I must say, I also appreciate that Ryanair is one of the only European carriers that always plays Boarding music.
I however proceeded towards the back and at the exit rows, I was greeted by another flight attendant, Konstancja, who was very very nice (I ended up writing a compliment for her!). I asked her whether I could take one of the exit row seats as all of them were empty in the system. She said a sure yes. We had a little aviation chat whilst the other passengers were boarding. It turned out she has been working in aviation for 25 years - first in LOT, then in Small Planet and now in Ryanair/Buzz (Polish subsidiary).
I must say, the new Ryanair interior makes such a big difference, comparing to the old one (which makes me want to throw up…), pardon for the expression. Even though the seats still don't recline and aren't the most comfortable and best padded I've seen, they're still more comfortable than the old ones and also seem to have a slightly better legroom.
But my seat ended up to be in row 17, which meant I didn't need to worry about the legroom at all. I also had 3 seats to myself. Oh yeah! Boarding continued for the next 10 minutes, and we were pretty much ready for departure before our scheduled time.
The modern Boeing PSUs were present with personal air vents above the seats. I also like the little yellow line with Ryanair logo on the overhead bins. It's subtle but nice. And I would be fine with yellow colour just there, anything more is already too much… (but still better in the newer airplanes than in the ones with the old Ryanair interior).
Just another quick look at the seat back. Whilst it's not visually appealing, I think from the safety perspective it's a good idea to put the safety card on the eye level in the seat back. On the other hand, I hate it that Ryanair doesn't have any seat pockets… I mean, it's fine when you have 3 seats for your own but if the flight is busier, then it's just a nightmare.
And here is the legroom in row 17. Pretty good I think. I was just surprised to see the tray tables in the armrests as in most other aircrafts I've flown on, they're in the seat back even in the exit row. We pushed back from the gate on time and after a short taxi to RWY 27, from which we departed shortly after our scheduled time.
We had a westerly departure and then sharp turn to the right, over the city of Portishead, where my two good friends live. the climb was quick and relatively smooth, as was the whole flight actually.
For the departure, the colour of the lights in the cabin was changed. I must say, the adjustable LED lighting is probably one of the Sky Interior feature that I like the most.
After departure, there was a usual pandemic Ryanair announcement that the seatbelt sigh will be switched on for the duration of the flight, however it is allowed to go to the toilet - without queuing. Whilst I can understand that, it's just a bit strange because it's hard to judge when, after departure, it is already safe to stand up and also same applies to when turbulence occurs.
On this occasion, I will also say, that the crew on my flight, unlike the one I had in December, was nice and kind, had a decently good standard of English (the crew was Polish) and seemed professional two - they were also, on average, a bit older than the crew on my previous Ryanair flight.
Around 25 mins into the flight, Buy on Board service started. Since it was the 6th flight of SP-RKG that day, the crew informed that the only sandwich left was a ham and cheese panini, but other sweet and savoury snacks were still available. I went for the sandwich…
…and oh my god it was the worst sandwich I've ever eaten. The quality and taste were terrible, cheapest possible ham. At least it was warm - and as you'll see later I didn't regret I took it, otherwise I'd be starving.
As you'll be aware from my previous reports, after the meal it was time for "tour the toilette". The lavatories on Ryanair 737s are quite small, yet bigger than the 320 SpaceFlex toilets. It was unfortunately dirty too, because it survived 5 previous flights without professional cleaning… but soap, toilet paper and paper towels were at least still there haha. And the lights were working! (unlike my previous flight with Ryanair)
A little look at the not-so-busy cabin, as I was going back to my seat. Yet another colour of the LED lights. The purser, as you can see, was doing the duty free service - and I could see she was very engaged and was having nice interactions with passengers. Throughout the flight she also passed through the cabin multiple times and asked individual passengers (including me) if everything was alright etc. It was so nice of her! Literally, a business class experience lol.
The rest of the flight was rather uneventful, with just slight turbulence from time to time. Since Ryanair does not offer any form of entertainment, no WiFi, no streaming, no power outlets, not even a magazine, I read my own book from Yuval Noah Harari - "21 lessons for the 21st century" - a very well-written, thought-provoking book and definitely worth reading even though not everyone would probably agree with Harari's statements presented there.
Our landing into Warsaw Modlin that night was quite quick with a straight approach, and surprisingly smooth for Ryanair! I was only "disappointed" Ryanair does not play the on-time jingle anymore…
We taxied to our stand and with the doors open quickly we were ready to disembark from both the front and the back. But with myself seated in the very middle of the airplane, I left the airplane as the last passenger (and we were also the last plane to arrive that evening).
Whilst disembarking, I left via rear doors and once again said thank you to Miss Konstancja and also assured her I will write her a compliment. She said it was a real pleasure having such a nice passenger on board which of course made me smile :-)
Our parking position was within a short walking distance from the immigration point. Warsaw Modlin airport does not operate buses, all gates are, what I call walking gates. But… the waiting time for immigration was long because they had to take quarantine details for every passenger.
For arrival from NON-SCHENGEN countries into Poland quarantine rules (as of 16th June) are as follows. You don't take a test pre-departure. Instead, you arrive in Poland, where the border control puts you into quarantine. Then, you can either take the quarantine or take an antigen test within 48 hours and a negative test exempts you from the quarantine.
And Warsaw Modlin has a testing point that operates 24/7 but there was only one testing position open. And with 97 pax, I waited over 2.5 hours to have my test done. That's why I'm glad I had the sandwich on the airplane, of course all places to buy food at the airport were already closed. To make things even worse, the swab was conducted in such a shallow manner, that even if I had the infection, they wouldn't have detected anything… it wast just to make money. Anyway, I left the airport after 3am and was back home at around 4am - it was already getting bright outside. I felt as if I've done a long haul ;-)
What I thought will be a nightmare flight, turned out to quite frankly be my best Ryanair flight ever. Mainly thanks to the gorgeous crew but also the new cabin makes a difference comparing to the old Ryanair's interiors. Bristol airport was, as I said, a very positive surprise too! I just wish the arrival procedure was a bit quicker, because I arrived at home totally exhausted, and it was just a 2-hour flight.