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Trip Report (Part1) MAN-LGW-JER

Trip Report (Part1) MAN-LGW-JER

Old Mar 1, 11, 3:12 am
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Trip Report (Part1) MAN-LGW-JER

Nothing overly exciting but a change from the usual flights in CW and First

Flights:
BA2903 Man-LGW 26th Feb 2011 08:30
BA8037 LGW-Jer 26th Feb 2011 11:55

Decided to do a tier point run from Manchester to Jersey and back to help me on my way to silver.
Whilst not the cheapest one ever as I'm not being based in the London area, it would allow me to gain some points from hotel stays as well as BA miles, tier points and the opportunity to try a bit of domestic travel for a change.

Set out around Friday lunchtime from home to Manchester Airport. Caught the train which was on time and this cost me 8.60 for a single ticket in standard class. It worked out a good 20-30 cheaper than first so I wasn't passing up that sort of price. A quick trip to Boots for a 3.79 meal deal got me a drink, sandwich and snack for the journey.
Despite being half term, the train was less full than anticpiated which was nice. That changed however once we reached S....horpe and Doncaster which resulted in people standing in the aisles all the way to Manchester Picadilly.
Uneventful journey otherwise. Usual refreshment trolley wheeled round once after Doncaster which is an hour into the nearly 3 hour journey. They do nothing catering wise anywhere east of Doncaster.

Does seem strange to me the way the train pulls into Manchester Picadilly, sits there a few minutes and then goes back out partly along the same route it came in on to go to the airport.

Reached the airport on time and easy enough to find the exit by using the escalator up to the ticket office. Plenty of signs telling you where the Radisson hotel and terminals 1-3 are (up one or two floors).

I decided to exit the station through the main doors to the outside and turn right after consulting Google Maps. Shortly came upon World Way which told me my map was upside down and I was going in completely the wrong direction so I had to walk back again. Crossed the road from the train station which gives you a lovely view of a Virgin Atlantic 747 (English Rose). Crossed the car park near the petrol station and could see the Hilton, Bewleys and behind that, my hotel, the Crowne Plaza.
Made my way towards them only to discover a main road and fencing all along the other side so you couldn't cross over and to to them. Wandered around aimlessly for a while until I decided to head towards Terminal 1. This was a good decision as there were pavement markings leading to Terminal 1 and 3 and also a path that headed in the direction of the hotels. Crossed a road that led from the terminal 3 multi-story car park, around the corner and another busy road to cross. 100m or later, I'm strolling across the Crowne Plaza car park - piece of cake when you know where it is and how to get there! You also need to know that cars aren't required to ever use their indicators when turning at Manchester Airport - didn't see one indicate at any junction, roundabout etc.
Could have paid 3 or so for a taxi or even called the hotel for the shuttle bus, but the "5 minute" walk I'd read about seemed nothing really.

No problems checking in to my club room that I got for an advance rate of 61 (card not charged until checkout). Not a massive room by any standards, but big enough for just me for the night.
Toiletry wise, 2 different sized bars of soap and some body lotion were supplied.

Photo Of Room


Minibar (needs cleaned inside)


Kettle inside a drawer with the safe below


Bathroom


Had a look around the hotel and checked out the gym (need to sign a waiver before you can use this in case you sue for an injury).

Gym


Also tried out the club lounge. This is accessed via the business centre by using your room key. 6-8pm is "happy hour" where you can get free beer. Other times, soft drinks, tea, coffee, Walkers Shortbread and some fruit are available to help yourself to. Few newspapers and magazines as well. Apparently a complimentary continental breakfast from 6:30am yet I saw no-one in the lounge at that time.

Manchester Airport Crowne Plaza Club Lounge


Decided in the evening not to to eat at the hotel and to check out Terminal 3. Walked over there in less than 5 minutes and found eateries consisted of a coffee shop and a slightly overpriced Spar shop. Then made my way to Terminal 1 and that was even worse.
It then seemed a good idea to pop into Manchester so I took the purple lit enclosed walkway to the station which takes about 5 minutes. Bought an off-peak single to Picadilly for 3.60 (something like 8.00 for a return!)
15 minutes later, I'm in the Sainsbury Local an the station buying some bread and cheese etc.
Then decided to buy a return ticket and the machine tells me I can get a ticket for between 6:30-9:30pm for 1.80 return! Far better than the price I paid earlier. No idea how things work ticket wise.
10 minute wait for a slow train from platform 12 and then it's easy getting from the station to the hotel now I know how. No ticket check at all on the train or at either station so could have saved 1.80!

Checked out the following morning around 6:50am for my 8:30am flight to Gatwick. Had seen the BA check-in desks the night before on the upper floor so knew where to go. Decided to check my bag all the way to Jersey as I didn't want to be lugging it around all the time. Check-in staff just oozed enthusiasm and there's no sarcasm there whatsoever! Provided with two boarding passes for the Man-LGW and LGW-JER legs.
Took my bag over to a bag drop area and off it went.
Then made my way to departures where the usual security screening occurred. Belt off, metal out of your pockets etc. Still managed to set off the detector and got frisked. Saw the body scanners and beats me what the fuss is.

Made my way into the departure area and had a look at Tumi and Briggs & Riley luggage in the "Rolling Luggage" shop. Personally would prefer to buy luggage prior to already checking your existing luggage in.
Had a look around at the Duty Free shop and one or two of the cafe bar places which is pretty much all there is airside. Didn't really want to pay around 8 for breakfast so had a look around for the BA lounge. Noticed a sign at the bottom of a staircase so made my way upstairs to the BA Terraces desk. Wasn't 100% sure if my domestic ticket feeeding a CE flight for let me in so I asked the woman at the desk and was told "yes". Did take my camera out for a photo and she told me that you weren't allowed to take photos. Didn't stop me inside though.

Went into the lounge and the was one other person in there. Had a look around at the choice of cereals, pastries, Walker's shortbread, fruit juices, tea, coffee, hot chocolate, fruit and the select of alcohol (know a few people who would have drunk the lot even at 7am!). Quite a nice slection of spirts to be honest. Some bottles of water , white wine and Baileys chilling nicely and an assortment of Schweppes mixers etc to choose from.











Shower Cubicle


Had some toast, Special K, a hot chocolate with shortbread and some fruit juice. Would have taken some with me but I had no bag to casually drop them into

Nice view of the runway from the lounge and a few small planes landed. Could see my plane at the gate.
By 8am, a dozen people tops must have been in the lounge.
Nice also being able to look down on the possibly American school party and others buying breakfast at one of the eateries.

Boarding was simple enough and rather akin to catching the LCY-JFK flight the way you walk out the door, turn left along the tarmac and up the steps onto the plane.

BA Plane - not 100% sure if it was the one I went on!


Welcomed by the cabin crew and took my seat along with the possibly 35 others who were on board. Whole row to myself which was nice. Plenty of legroom and the seats, although like a rock at first, soon became more comfortable.

5ft7 and plenty of space for my legs


Around 35 people on board so plenty of empty seats

Last edited by xenole; Mar 1, 11 at 4:21 am
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Old Mar 1, 11, 3:13 am
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Cloudy and partly raining during the flight but nicer down in that there London or at least somewhere South of it.



Breakfast was served 10-15 minutes after take-off and this consisted of a hot panini containing a layer of scrambled egg, half a sausage and some tomato relish. It wasn't too bad and I managed to burn the top of my mouth due to how hot it was.








The plane couldn't access the stand it was supposed to go to (we arrived early and a plane was still there) so we parked at an international stand, 6, and had to wait until the speedy ground crews decided to pop over with steps (Captain said pretty much this).

Taxiing at LGW.....4 Virgin Atlantic 747s at the South Terminal (3 in shot)



Then we were bussed alongside a building, turned around and drove back along the opposite side - may have been quicker driving the few metres to the right if it wasn't for a one way system.
Up some stairs to a queue for international departures. Got to the front of the queue and was told I had to go back downstairs. 3 miles of walking later down corridors, up and down stairs etc, I ended in in arrivals or the main entry area.
Then had to take the escalator up a floor and then a second one up to the zone D check-in area for BA.
Since I already had my next boarding pass from Manchester check-in, I went over to security. Choice of normal or fast track and neither were moving anywhere near the definition of fast.
Took a good 15-20 minutes before I handed over my boarding pass and had to look at the camera for a photo. Then to the next queue for the metal detectors. Naturally, they went off and I got frisked for the second time today. Shame you can't opt to get frisked by the nice looking brunette rather than a man

Had a quick look at the shops and found a sign saying "lounges" near the escalators going up to the food area just after the duty free shop (why people pay the prices there beats me i.e Toberlones were 3.99 each or 3 for 10. 2 in Asda at present). Frosted glass doors with "CIP" on them led me to the elevators which I used for the one floor climb (easier to use the stairs and a lot quicker). Had a choice of turning right for the first lounge or left for the Terraces lounge. Decided left as a refusal was certain had I turned right
Quick boarding pass scan and into the lounge.

It's bigger than the Manchester one and it's pretty much an "L" shape. Lots of chairs and tables and probably a good 50-100 people in there. Food was the same as Manchester what with toast, pastries, shortbread and cereals. Similar selection of drinks although there was some sort of fruit bar? Did see people going up to it with bowls but didn't wander over to it.
Business / computer area down the far end from the entrance.
Had more toast, biscuits, juice and some beer. Did see a few women asking for champagne and there were possibly one or two choices.
Steady flow of people through the hour and a half or so I was in there.
Good having free wi-fi as well with the rather obvious password.

Kept an eye on the board and made my way down to gate 55d shortly before departure. Loads of people sitting around and 2 desk agents manning the desks. Around 10 minutes before the departure time an annoucement was made for Gold, Silver and CE ticket holders to board at their leisure. Shortly afterwards, everyone else must have been called.
Got myself 5F from OCLI and had to row to myself again. The ABC row was also empty although a BA pilot took the window seat prior to take-off and spent his time using his Kindle throughout the flight.
Few minutes delay whilst some pushchairs were loaded and then the queue for take-off behind other BA and Easyjet planes.

South coast - possibly Southampton as Fratton Park in Portsmouth isn't that close to the sea?



Shortly after the seabelt signs went off, the cabin crew came around with a meal. Saw the noodles and thought "hot meal" but it turned out to be cold. The slightly salted meat was nice although had to try and pick the noodles out from in amongst the salad.
Requested some champagne and a chilled bottle of Pommery was prompted delivered.




Must have been little more than half way through the meal when the captain announced "cabin crew 5 minutes to landing". Barely had drunk half the bottle (one glass) so quickly rushed through everything before the tray was taken away. Must have helped there only being a few people (8?) in CE during the 35-40 minute flight.
Only saw one CE seat that had the middle seat narrowed and all were unoccipied.
The back was fairly full and I would say a god 80-100 people on board.
Surprising how many people are going to Jersey on a Saturday lunchtime.

Nice views of the island during approach.


Video of landing (reasonably big and some shaky camera work)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNCXM8fUm7Q

Plane was exited orderly by row and the usual "thanks" to and from the crew.
Quick walk down the stairs, along the tarmac and into the terminal. Few corridors to traverse until I reached the baggage reclaim area.



The plane



Couple of minutes to wait here until the siren went off and the belt started up. Suprisingly, my bag was the third one out and I picked it up and just walked across the room to the exit without a hitch (had it been later, may have got stuck behind the other 80-100 people all possibly waiting for taxis). Through the hallway and the taxi rank was directly in front of me. No bus (1.60 to Liberation Square in St. Helier) that I could see so grabbed a taxi and had a pleasant 15 minute journey to the Radisson in St. Helier. Cost me 12.20 for the taxi fare, which when I went to pay it, I discovered the 20 note I had had in my pocket had fallen out somewhere (probably with all the "phone in, phone out" I'd been doing as I keep it in my left trouser pocket). Luckily had enough to cover it.

No problem checking in to my first floor room complete with a view of the car park (was only going to be there for the night and therefore wasn't bothered by a sea view / Elizabeth Castle that I could see by walking outside into the less than gentle breeze, and it would be dark soon so what would I see?
Usual room what with a bed; desk and chair; tv with Sky Sports etc; mini bar with 2 bottles of water costing 2.50 each (could be filled on request); safe; ironing board; few toiletries which are not really anything to write home about.
Menu prices were slightly less than in the Edinburgh Radisson. ONLY 12.95 for a 6oz burger and french fries (+3.50 tray charge). Costs around 20 for a cheeseburger and fries in Edinburgh. Might be the lower tax rate?

Front of hotel


Room


Bathroom


Radisson in left hand corner from the marina



Spent the day wandering around St. Helier and was surprised to hear only 2 people speaking French. Although most of the street signs are written in French, everyone was speaking English with no noticable continental accents.
Usual shops like Thorntons, BHS, HMV there and a few different ones like Voisons and Molton Brown.

Liberation Square


Very clean and not that touristy. Did expect loads of tacky arcades, chip shops and gift shops like Cleethorpes, Skegness and suchlike but nothing like that.
Nice having a pizza hut, gym, swimming pool and cinema within 200m of the hotel. Also a popular KFC that had a queue snaking out the door.
Quite a few pubs in the town (or is it city?) centre, odd kebab shop and a few restaurants

(Hmm....not sure why a couple of images are the wrong way round. They're defintely upright on my pc. Do need some resizing? Not sure about the forbidden Virgin Atlantic pics either)

Last edited by xenole; Mar 1, 11 at 5:31 am
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Old Mar 1, 11, 3:51 am
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Doing similar today, currently sat in a fairly quiet MAN lounge before heading to Gatters and then AMS.

The Radisson at Jersey is quite nice, iv stayed twice. Food is fairly expensive as you said

cs
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Old Mar 1, 11, 3:54 am
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Nice report but you might want to do a small amount of image resizing

Even at 1680x1050 some scrolling is required.
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Old Mar 1, 11, 4:20 am
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Well done ... you picked one of the very few sunny days we've had in JER since Christmas!!

Spent the day wandering around St. Helier and was surprised to hear only 2 people speaking French. Although most of the street signs are written in French, everyone was speaking English with no noticable continental accents.
Virtually all road/street names are in French. However, we all speak normal English*



* Except for the 7% or the population who are Portugese/Madeiran and the 1% who are Polish
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Old Mar 1, 11, 7:19 am
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Originally Posted by xenole View Post
Saw the body scanners and beats me what the fuss is.
Something to do with X-rays being harmful and causing cancer, I hear.
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Old Mar 1, 11, 10:11 am
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So, what points/miles did you get for this trip?...nice report, makes a change from reading TR's about SFO, Far east etc
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Old Mar 13, 11, 12:38 pm
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Great report, xenole ^

I've moved this over to accompany part 2 of your trip in the Trip Reports forum.
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Old Mar 14, 11, 6:31 am
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Originally Posted by mike&co View Post
So, what points/miles did you get for this trip?...nice report, makes a change from reading TR's about SFO, Far east etc
MAN-LGW (Domestic) 10TP + 500 miles
LGW-JER (CE) 40TP + 500 miles + 250 miles cabin bonus
JER-LGW (CE) 40TP + 500 miles + 250 miles cabin bonus
LGW-MAN (Domestic) 10TP + 500 miles

So 100 tier points and 2500 miles for around 260 + expenses.

Nowhwere near as good as some of the US runs, but it's a start and Jersey seems to be a nice place. Got my 4 required BA flights from that as well.
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