The Eastern Airways website experience is a terrible one and not to be trusted! Inverness - Manchester1x passenger £1142 x passengers £427reason by their own admittion their website is not 'live' and doesnt offer the best fares all the time.I have now also been charged £15 for cancelling as it did let me run two transactions concurrently at the £114 rate right up until the part you enter your payment details and it tells you the rate isnt available. Reservations dont care, or want to do anything to help.How can you put your life in their hands if they cant even run a reliable website!
I recently needed to get back to East Midlands airport from Aberdeen. I'd flown into Edinburgh BMI Baby, stayed overnight and trained and then hired a car and driven to Aberdeen. I couldn't get over how difficult it was to get a flight from Aberdeen. I could fly to Birmingham from there but exactly clever when I'd left my car at East Mids.
However, I came across Eastern Airways purely by chance by Googling Aberdeen to East Midlands flights. I typed in all the information and nearly fell off my chair when the price came up £195. Christ on a Bike were my first thoughts. Anyway, I wasn't paying so made the booking and duly flew home from Aberdeen.
Eastern Airways are a small airline that have about 30 or so planes in their fleet. The one I flew home on was a jet stream seating about 29 people.
I always arrive at Airports early and like to get luggage rid of asap so I arrived at 5pm to be on the 7pm flight. I was able to check in straight away and was asked which seat I would like. The check in was great, really speedy and efficient and the lady on the desk was really very polite which seems to be a complete rarity these days. She told me to make my way down to the Eastern Airways lounge which at Aberdeen is located at Gate 10.
I decided to have a drink in the bar first and browse which at Aberdeen airport takes about 5 minutes as theres not much to browse around. Feeling refreshed after my pint I wondered along to the lounge past people with screaming kids (there'd been a flight delayed) and although have nothing against kids I'd had a hellish couple of days travelling and training and I just wanted some peace and quiet.
Entering the lounge the calmness of it washed over me. With free tea, coffee, biscuits and soft drinks it's a very nice lounge to sit in and wait for your flight. You still get all the flight announcements and there's a screen with the flights on so you can still check.
Boarding was OK however, Eastern Airways now operate a Valet hand luggage system where you leave your hand luggage on a cart for it to be stowed in the hold. I had a company laptop and because of the regs at the minute no handbag so all my stuff was in the bag. Made to leave it at the Valet I was a bit concerned but when I boarded the plane the lady said I could go back and fetch it which was nice (also company policy is for laptops not to go in the hold under any circumstances) and I stowed it under the seat in front of me. I had a double seat all to myself as the plane was only about half full.
The flight was smooth and I actually enjoyed it - one of the smoothest take off and landing ever experienced and this flight was the 30th this year. After take off the announcement came over that there would be refreshments (actually the flight attendant had come round earlier with a bowl of sweets - yes a bowl - for take off) and snacks. Great I thought as I had about a fiver on me and was starving. I was pleasantly surprised to see that they were all free including Champagne.
It wasn't just one glass either, the attendant kept coming over and topping me up (maybe that's why the landing was so smooth) and asking if I needed anything else.
Once off the plane I entered the airport terminal to find my suitcase already on the carousel! Never ever ever happens except at Edinburgh airport but that's only because the walk through the terminal is so long. I was literally off the plane and out of the airport within 10 minutes.
To be honest I really couldn't fault the service of the airline. It was of the very highest standard and made such a change to be travelling in that way. I felt really taken care of and more than a little tiddly when I arrived home to my now husband to be. Even had to leave the car at the airport and take a taxi home!
At some airports you can actually go through security faster and from what I remember reading the company magazine this includes Birmingham airport and the bigger ones.
Only downfall is price and I feel for what you get it's expensive. If I was paying then I wouldn't fly and I would drive but I would definitely fly Eastern Airways again if the company are paying!
I had to get to Newcastle last week to pick up a car to drive back to London. Rail prices were not much cheaper and probably even allowing for checking in at London City Airport, would have been slower.
Eastern Airways checkin was easy, we boarded quickly and left ontime. Service on board was a complimentary drink and a small snack. The flight attendant was professional while still being friendly.
We landed on time and the whole thing was painless from beginning to end.
The website is very easy to navigate as well..
I used to travel up North to see my mum via British Airways from Southampton to Newcastle. However, a few months ago, I was informed that British Airways had ceased to operate the route Southampton to Aberdeen (via Newcastle) and that Eastern Airways had taken the route over. It was by sheer chance that I was informed of this new dcision. Our business travel agent (at work) came to see me and I had asked what had happened to the internal flight Southampton to Newcastle. He informed me that Eastern Airways had taken this over. At no point had I seen an advert from either British Airways or Eastern Airways( EA) advertising this fact. When I found the internet site I did not think it was as explicit as the BA site. When I eventually spoke to one of the Eastern Airways operatives, I was astonished to find the cost of the flight would be £218! This was the "cheap, no frills" cost! I used to pay £99.50 with BA (always booking at least 8 weeks in advance). The EA rep said that I would have to pay that price if I wanted to fly to Newcastle. I was so frustrated at the rise in flight prices that I wrote several emails to Eastern Airways asking why their prices were so high. I like to fly up to Newcastle because it gives me an extra half day (each way) totalling an extra one day to be with my mum. If I get the train/coach up then I spend one full day travelling up and another full day travelling back! After several weeks, I received an email stating that they had introduced several fare stages and I would need to be quick to book the cheap flight. I managed to get a flight for £149.60. The flight was OK. On my return, I got into Newcastle Airport in plenty of time for check-in but EA really doesn't open until about 50 minutes before take off. I have just booked another flight and got the same price £149.60. It just makes me mad that I have to pay this cost for an internal flight and cheap package holidays/fl
ights can be obtained for a similar price for Europe! I feel I have to pay this price (the other fare stages are very much higher priced) because it allows me to have quality time with my mum and this means a lot to me. In Decembr 2003, I went up North to see my mum who has recently had a heart attack. Again, I travelled by air with Eastern Airways. On 4 December, waiting at Southampton Airport departure lounge we were told that we may be delayed by two hours because of bad weather. We were all quite annoyed and one guy, in particular, was mad as he was flying on to Aberdeen and then going by helicopter to the rigs. He was so annoyed. As it happened we boarded the plane about 10 minutes later and had quite a good flight. I duly arrived at Newcastle and went my merry way to Sunderland to see mum for a week. On 10 December I was due to catch the 14.00 flight from Newcastle to Southampton. As usually happens when I travel up North, I always have lots more baggage to bring back with me, especially December time - Christmas presents for everyone (and also my bargains - so much cheaper up north). I duly checked in two pieces of luggage and kept a smaller piece as hand luggage. We waited at the departure gate, and waited, and waited and waited. The time was now nearly 15.00 - narly one hour late - everyone starting to get irritable. Announcement was made that the flight was cancelled due to bad weather in the south. Oh my god, I thought, how was I to get back home - I had to be at work the very next day. We were told that there was a flight due to leave for Birmingham and we could collect our luggage, go to Customer Services, change our tickets and then from Birmingham a coach would be provided to take us to Southampton Airport. There were lots of grumbles but I decided this was my best option. Raced to baggage section, found my main piece of luggage and kept looking for the second bag. No second bag arrived. Couldn't wait
any longer - had to go to get ticket for Birmingham or I would be stuck at Newcastle. Told Eastern Airways lady about bag but had no time to fill in forms (she also said my missing bag would be sent to Birmingham and that I should check for it) - had to run up to departure - run down corridor - run back to original departure gate and get that damned flight to Birmingham. Just made it! This "run" made me realise that I am no spring chicken any more, I can tell you! Flight took about 40 minutes and was quite turbulent so could understand why the southern flights were being cancelled. Duly arrived at Birmingham Airport and picked up my luggage (missing luggage still not arrived) and dashed to British Airways Customer Service desk (as duly instructed). BA lady in a bit of a pickle! She had had instructions from Eastern Airways (Newcastle) to organise a coach for 12, then they cancelled that and said it was for 4 and 11 of us turned up! She had to organise a minibus for us and we had to hang around the airport for about 45 minutes. I duly filled in missing baggage report at BA counter (they were going to fax it to Eastern Airways), telephoned hubby as to the situation again (telephoned him at Newcastle also), telephoned mum to tell her what had happened. Eventually minibus arrived and we were on our way (I sat down with sheer relief). Minibus driver put on a film but the screen was so small I couldn't see it or hear it. But I didn't care. I was on my home. Duly arrived at Southampton Airport where hubby was waiting for me. Got home at 9pm instead of 4pm so was 5 hours late. On reflection, I think I was lucky - I could have been stranded in Newcastle - couldn't really go back to mum's - it costs £30 each way for taxi fares! Next day (11th) got phone call from Eastern Airways to say my baggage had been found and they were putting it on a flight to Southampton. About 7pm got a phone call from Southampto
n Airport asking if they could deliver it that evening. Of course, I said. I was so pleased it had been found as it contained presents given to me by my mum for my daughter. On reflection, Eastern Airways do not have any control over the weather (they really would be God if they had wouldn't they?) and the weather in Dorset/Hampshire on 10th was really bad. Driving to Poole from Southampton - well, it was like driving through thick pea soup! So I guess they did handle the situation OK even though it was a big rush to catch that Birmingham flight. I was annoyed that my bag was lost as I was fretting because I knew there were presents from my mum in it. However, they did return my bag so I am grateful for that. Hopefully, I don't have to repeat the experience but hey, the joys of travelling!!!