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-   -   Uncle T flies LoCo - and survives. (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trip-reports/1981260-uncle-t-flies-loco-survives.html)

T8191 Aug 2, 19 5:38 am

Uncle T flies LoCo - and survives.
 
Those who follow my meanderings will be aware that we never fly Economy … it’s Business Class or we don’t go! :) However, we were long overdue to visit family in Yorkshire, which we know is somewhere north of Watford, and at this time of year a minor airline (i.e. not BA or AA) operates a route from JER to LBA (aka Leeds/Bradford international). Thus, with some considerable trepidation, we booked seats with Jet2 (LS) for the trip. Post-trip, it was clear that there were some interesting [and indeed positive] differences from our usual BA short-haul journeys … this inspired me to compile a modest Trip Report.

Mods: I know this should really go to the TR Forum, but perhaps you would indulge me with a few days here before removing it?

The LS booking website was suitably complicated, with some sort of ‘Special Offer’ discount for seat selection, hold luggage and an in-flight meal. One case would suffice for the trip, and we managed to reserve Exit row seats, where the B737 has just a pair of seats (Row 12) by the over-wing escape hatch - no being squeezed in the middle of 3, thank you! Having ground through the collection of tick-boxes, the discount didn’t appear on the payment page. :( It later became clear that the offer required all 3 boxes to be ticked, and as we had declined their ‘Meal Deal’ we ended up paying £5 each for not having to eat it! :D

With that bit of admin out of the way, and with £312 transferred into their corporate pocket, we felt it was a slightly better deal than the BA option of £745 to do JER-LGW/LHR-LBA!

At least our E-ticket said it would be a Fantastic trip. :D

https://cimg0.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...e2480e27f7.png

We just hoped there wouldn’t be a repeat of the IRROPs we experienced in 2013, but then that was a Winter trip. And Yorkshire weather in Summer is lovely, of course.
https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trip...ack-south.html

✔︎ The first surprise came in an e-mail from Jet2 saying On-Line Check In was now open … 28 days before departure, and also covering the return leg! How convenient!

✔︎ The next surprise came when we checked in and printed our boarding passes. Unlike BA, it was just a couple of clicks to generate both our boarding passes for both sectors. Excellent arrangement!

✔︎ All the details were neatly formatted on to one sheet on A4, with printed ’fold lines’ to reduce the size to a handy, pocket-sized, A6 booklet, showing all the information you should need. Boarding details were also included … Group B, Front Steps. Another positive tick for LS!

https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...e2c872111d.jpg


25 July 2019
LS176, B733, JER-LBA, 1500-1615, Seats 12 B/C


We briefly enjoyed the Public seating on the upper floor of Departures, muttering about the lack of champagne in the Lounge but appreciating the airfield view. We were pleased to see our strange-coloured aircraft arrive, conveniently at Gate 2.

https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...0f6d939f11.jpg

Proceeding thence, we were passport-checked at the Gate … does BA do that on the run to LGW? I can’t remember! And so we joined the throng standing in the waiting room until, with no word about “Group A”, or indeed “Group B”, we were all released on to the apron for boarding.

The first novelty on board was the elasticated retaining nets in the overhead lockers.

https://cimg5.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...0e1bf91e2b.jpg

The seating was perhaps a bit spartan, but the exit row (12 D/F pictured) did at least provide a small sense of ‘personal space’. And the leg-room certainly seemed more generous than BA’s s/h offer, even for this 6-footer. All perfectly acceptable for a 1h15m sector.

https://cimg7.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...fa58e45ef6.jpg

https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...dbf952801e.jpg

After the safety brief, I did have to ask the CC for a bit of extra explanation about the operation of the emergency exit, as the label on the seat-back in front of me was so minute as to be almost unreadable! The Safety Card wasn’t much clearer either. (PS: Tray table deployed for photo purposes only, and stowed immediately afterwards!)

https://cimg6.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...20ba4cf72.jpeg


✔︎ Oh, another tick for LS … our personable CC [all female] were noticeably smarter in both dress and general appearance than the typical BA s/h crew.

And so we flew to LBA, landed and parked … to be bussed to “International Arrivals” :D

A slight mix-up about Reclaim belts led to us being directed elsewhere, where our case duly arrived after a modest delay.

…………………..

30 July 2019
LS175, B733, LBA-JER, 1215-1330, Seats 12 B/C


A slight element of nervousness accompanied the return sector. Many readers will be aware of the extreme weather/precipitation which affected the area, and led to flooding. Additionally, the forecast was suggesting crosswinds for the landing in Jersey … I suspect over 40 kts x-wind component is outside 737 limits.

ITV Weather Report, 30 july >>> https://www.itv.com/news/2019-07-30/...thunderstorms/

Anyway, safely delivered to LBA by a family member, we negotiated the walk from the free 1-hour parking zone and past the VERY expensive “other parking zones” to Departures. The Airport’s Departures info on their website tells you which Zone to use for bag-drop, and thus we headed to Zone B.

We were perhaps fortunate that our flight was during a 'slack' period at LBA, with few other flights around this time. Looking at their schedules, it would be a different story at other times of the day.

Self-check is the order of the day, and with a bit of assistance from a Jet2 ground agent our case was duly tagged. Then to the bag-drop itself … quick and easy. It was only later that we realised we hadn’t been given the sticky receipt!

Security was efficient and painless, and once airside we negotiated the inevitable winding path through World Duty Free to find somewhere to sit. And we discovered the Smoking Zone … a ghastly little area (near Gate 7, tucked away behind “The Beer House”). Entrance fee £1 at a turnstile, which didn’t re-lock so we only paid for one! And the Exit door seemed broken too, as someone came in that way! :D

https://cimg8.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...c89e80d8d6.jpg

https://cimg1.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...1131e99acf.jpg

Boarding call for Gate 2, to which we wandered. And loitered in some nearby seating before the Gate actually opened. And then loitered some more Gate-side. And then we were released towards the stairs down to the ramp area … where we were held again. And then to the road-side, where we were held again! :) And finally to the front steps, as #7/8 in the queue, so actually boarding was eventually quick and easy.

✘ This aircraft not so clean, with lots of highly visible crumbs on the floor.

Safety briefing studiously ignored by the pax near us, who carried on reading their books/magazines. Oh, that does annoy me! And of course the woman in 13D had to be told to stow her large handbag in the overhead, despite the large seat-back stickers in front of her nose saying the floor area must be kept clear!

I mentioned weather earlier. Despite the sunshine, as we were taxying out I noticed a lightning flash a few miles away. We are escaping Yorkshire just in time, and as noted there followed torrential rain and hail over large swathes of Yorkshire and the general region. The family had the rain, we escaped for a smooth flight above the clouds to Jersey.

✘ “Twenty minutes to landing - doesn’t time fly!”. Oh, press another button for a chirpy pre-recorded advert or message. At this point, Jet2 insists that ALL electronic devices are turned off … yes, even our Kindles in ‘airplane mode’. Perhaps their B733s are more sensitive than BA’s A319/320 fleet?

✘ The CC then disappeared, with 13D having her large handbag on the floor again. Cabin NOT secure! OH mentioned this to the CC after landing.

The eventual landing did require some robust action on final approach, but the ‘firm’ landing was right on the touchdown zone markings and the aircraft made the short turn-off and proceeded to dock at Gate 12, close to Reclaim. The bags joined us there some 10 minutes later … they had a long journey around the entire spine of the terminal.

…………..

And that was it … not too bad at all. Apart from missing out on the benefits of BA status (Lounge access and in-flight rations) the actual journey was perfectly comfortable, convenient and cheap. My overall feeling was that in many respects it was better than BA in Economy.

Sadly, for us, LS only operate the route during the holiday season … but then we don’t really want to do Yorkshire in winter again. ;)

Physci Aug 2, 19 5:49 am

Good TR as always Uncle T. Just surprised that as a dedicated member of BAEC FT you didn't take an indirect route to stick to OneWorld for TPs (eg JER-LGW-DUB-LBA)! :p

BobServant Aug 2, 19 5:52 am

Great TR.

If timings for a direct EasyJet or Jet2.com work out, we are perfectly happy on either for a 2h 30 flight. There’s more to life than Tier Points, sometimes!

BlueThroughCrimp Aug 2, 19 5:57 am

Parents and sister's family have flown Jet2 a few times and rated them.
And barcodes contain the data you've deleted from the boarding pass ;)

krispy84 Aug 2, 19 5:59 am

Glad you survived Uncle T.

As much as I like my status and CE perks, I find it difficult to ignore a cheap and convenient direct flight on a LCC.

gingerlucy Aug 2, 19 6:01 am


Originally Posted by T8191 (Post 31370161)

✘ “Twenty minutes to landing”. At this point, Jet2 insists that ALL electronic devices are turned off … yes, even our Kindles in ‘airplane mode’. Perhaps their B733s are more sensitive than BA’s A319/320 fleet?

My friend who lives in Amsterdam and is from Yorkshire flies Jet2 AMS-LBA often, and alas this is standard operating practice for them. He complains to us about it a lot as on that flight there's barely any time when you are allowed to use a Kindle and can't understand why this should be the case.

Apart from that, he has no complaints and from reading your report I feel bad that I've been suggesting he checks out the BA cheapest flights tool to come via London instead (he does usually do both places on his visits with a train between the two so doesn't mind which, but had thought BA would be prohibitively expensive so hadn't checked). Notwithstanding the price perhaps he is doing just as well sticking to J2!

greg5 Aug 2, 19 6:07 am

I had to double-check when you mentioned that it was a 733! That a/c you flew was over 30 years old! :eek:

T8191 Aug 2, 19 6:11 am


Originally Posted by BlueThroughCrimp (Post 31370217)
Parents and sister's family have flown Jet2 a few times and rated them.
And barcodes contain the data you've deleted from the boarding pass ;)

Ooops ... amended. Thank you!

T8191 Aug 2, 19 6:13 am


Originally Posted by Physci (Post 31370185)
Good TR as always Uncle T. Just surprised that as a dedicated member of BAEC FT you didn't take an indirect route to stick to OneWorld for TPs (eg JER-LGW-DUB-LBA)! :p

In 2013 we did take a scenic route for TPs, but this year we're flush! :D


Originally Posted by BobServant (Post 31370201)
Great TR.
If timings for a direct EasyJet or Jet2.com work out, we are perfectly happy on either for a 2h 30 flight. There’s more to life than Tier Points, sometimes!

Rubbish! :D

BlueThroughCrimp Aug 2, 19 6:28 am


Originally Posted by greg5 (Post 31370246)
I had to double-check when you mentioned that it was a 733! That a/c you flew was over 30 years old! :eek:

A similar age to the aircraft my relatives flew on.
The thing is, from what my relatives were saying they don't look their age, and are in decent shape inside.

rapidex Aug 2, 19 6:59 am

Good report Uncle T. Does this mean we have to wait longer for one of your fantastic Malta/SA/USA reports?

BobServant Aug 2, 19 7:00 am


Originally Posted by T8191 (Post 31370262)
In 2013 we did take a scenic route for TPs, but this year we're flush! :D

Rubbish! :D

When you’re comfortably over 1,500 but never going to hit 2,500 the excess is worthless.

T8191 Aug 2, 19 7:14 am


Originally Posted by rapidex (Post 31370394)
Good report Uncle T. Does this mean we have to wait longer for one of your fantastic Malta/SA/USA reports?

Patience, Sir!

IAD Sep
MLA Oct
CPT Nov ... with QR via DOH!

:D :cool: #DYKWIA

rapidex Aug 2, 19 8:09 am


Originally Posted by T8191 (Post 31370456)
Patience, Sir!

IAD Sep
MLA Oct
CPT Nov ... with QR via DOH!

:D :cool: #DYKWIA

Wonderful. I will get the popcorn in anticipation^

Never Stansted Aug 2, 19 8:15 am

LS are an excellent airline. Used to have an accidentally lucrative frequent flier programme but sadly long since gone...


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