Air Southwest !! Was it their fault?
Air Southwest operate internal flights from Plymouth, Newquay, Bristol and Leeds Bradford. They also have flights to Manchester, Newcastle, Dublin, Cork, Jersey, London, Glasgow and Chambury. The flight my partner and I caught last week-end was the WOW480 flight from Bristol to Leeds Bradford.
WOW is was not !
~~~~~The reason for using this Airline ~~~~~
I have travelled to Leeds on several occassions but via road not air. However, after the rises in car hire and petrol, and just being 2 of us travelling, it was decided that flying from our local airport would be a cheaper and quicker option.
I had booked our flights several months ago and was quite happy that it had cost a total of £193.00 for a return journey.
The outward flight on saturday was due to leave Bristol at 8.30 am and arrive in Leeds/Bradford for 9.35am.
The return journey would leave Leeds at 19.10 and arrive in Bristol for 20.20.
Brilliant, I thought not only plenty of time to get checked into the Travelodge at Leeds, have a nice lunch but also time to see family and friends before heading to Elland Road for the Kaiser Chiefs gig.
There aren't any other airlines that travel from Bristol to Leeds direct at the times we need.
We arrived at Bristol International at 7.20 so plenty of time to check in before take off. The queue wasn't exceptionally long (8 people infront of us) but then there was 10 mins to go before official check in began. 7.30 staff appeared. 7.35 only one member of staff trying to check people in. 7.50 the queue still the same! News form the passengers at front of line - computers down and the poor young girl was try to check everyone in manually. 8.00am some-one has the good sense to send another member of staff to help. 8.10 YES WE ARE THROUGH!!
On entering the departure lounge we immediately look at info screens for details on which gate we would be leaving from and the time. Nothing - The flight number was there with a message "Info shortly".
Anyway, time to visit the lav's & grab a coffee (still a bit early for breakkie for me, not for big guts who stuffs 2 cheeseburgers & fries from the Burger King food outlet)
By 8.30 we are both still looking at the "info shortly" message, wondering whether to hit the duty free shops or stay put for more info.
compromise - newspaper for him, 'New' mag for her.
Eventually, 8.55, we were asked to make our way to gate 3 where we could board. The staff here were friendly enough but gave us the impression we were keeping them up, long night dear?! After boarding the bus we were soon whisked across to our small plane.
The Plane ( the plane - for those of who old enough to remember the vertically challenged guy on the Island)
Our flying machine consisted of 48 seats, 24 in pairs on each side of the aisle. The small windows were ok if you were fortunity enough to sit next to one. I was just happy to be on the craft and settled into my seat (although not with my partner - because of manual check in seats were not allocated so it was first come first serve)
I wasn't that bothered because we would be taking off any minute now. I don't believe it, the captain's sheepish voice is now explaining that due to air - traffic congestion above we wouldn't be taking off until 10am!!!! So much for flying being quicker. An hour flight apparantly, 10.05 and we on the plane, on the runway, on a stand still.
I had to laugh though - reading my stars from my recently purchased New mag, it said "It's true, you're trapped. You have soaring ideals, adventurous plans and worthy ambitions, but you're stuck in a rut"
During the wait I had chance to look through the reading material left by the airline.
1) Sick bag - blue (small too)
2) Company mag - Enjoy Southwest Spring 2008 £2.95 - mainly full of adverts for places alot nicer than where I was. Good article on Hadleigh Barrett. And oh yes, Air Southwest offer Vintage Car Hire from their Newquay port. How , about getting one here to drive us to Leeds.
3) Menu - overpriced drinks and snacks. - hot drinks £1.50 alcohol 3.00 - £3 for a sml plastic glass of Chardonnay- ( They obviously haven't read my reviews on the Saturday Red or Mellowood Chardonnay. Cheddars & pringles £1. Breakfast in a box £2.50
OH YES and last but not least ;
4) Safety on Board instructions - Why the title? The information give in beautiful coloured pictures and points were about crash landings. Landings would like to be taking off before we worry about landing.
The seats were a fairly good size and considerably comfortable. Even though we had been sitting for some time, I wasn't experiencing back-ache or knee pains that I sometimes do after long periods of sitting.
There was not masses amount of leg room but enough to stretch abit if needed. However, I'm 5ft 5" whereas my partner is nearly 6ft so he did find the leg room a little more restricting.
We did eventually take off and had a fairly good flight, with a complimentary drink - non alcoholic- Landing safetly (hence the reason I can write this review) in Leeds Bradford at 11.20am.
The staff were apologetic and it wasn't their fault. Like my partner said those red lights always cause tailbacks.
However, on our return journey, we did experience more delays and grumpier staff. One in particulary who snapped so loudly down the phone ( Quote - No I can't we have no staff) I thought the whole of the departure lounge were going to run for cover.
Yes, even with the delays, flying up was cheaper, quicker and much easier than driving, we all know this. I would suggest that if flying with Air Southwest, you do prepare yourself for not arriving on time and encountering some tired staff.
(many passengers flying onto plymouth were told they would have to get off at Newquay where buses would take them onto their final destinations)
Also Published on Ciao
Thanks for reading. x hev
I have travelled using this airline four or five times a year for about two years now.
I find this airline excellent value for money, and you pretty much get what you pay for. The aeroplanes are quite small and very basic, but as the majority of their flights last no more than about an hour it really isnt a problem.
The staff are friendly and efficient, should you have any problems or requests. Upon take off they promptly come round the aircraft with refreshments and although the choice isnt vast, they provide everything you need for your short flight.
I have only twice experienced a delay with this airline, and even these delays were not of a great time.
All in all, this airline is excellent value for money and i have never had any major problems with this airline. I would highly recommend it as alternative to trains etc..
I've so far traveled on this airline on a number of occasions. The majority of my routes are from Manchester to Plymouth (Via Bristol) and vice versa. They are usually delayed coming in to busy hubs like Manchester, however, this is expectable due to their small size and relatively low importance (as opposed to bigger airlines traveling internationally). I have never been delayed more than 45 minutes though, and when I am delayed at all, the staff and ground crew are very helpful in providing information. The airplanes themselves are very spacious (Lots of height, oddly) and have good and comfortable seating. The planes are quite small though, but this doesn't really matter as they are only usually flying nationally (And to Jersey). All of their aircraft have extremely noisy props though, and it really is quite an attack on the ears when taking off. You can see the luggage handlers on the plane before you get off though, and because of the small cargo holds, the luggage is usually treated with a bit more respect.
When flying from Plymouth, the check in is fine, and going through security is also good. I like going through small airports as you get a much more personal touch from the ground crew and the stewards/esses. The only reason for the plane to be late is a delay at another airport, or sometimes dodgy weather. I really like flying with them and do it frequently. I honestly think the reviewer before me should at least try them again on a different occasion.
well what can i say about this airline. i recently booked a flight with them from bristol to manchester after the long wait at checkin ad security the flightr was delayed for about 2 hours we then got on plane took off and landed back at bristol due to a mechanical fault then that was a complete farse as they didnot have clue after 3 hours we were told that there was gonna be taxis then andonther hour later they were delayed. there was no apology or any reps for the airline easyjet staff were dealing with us which was rubbish how does this airline make any money.