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MAN-BRU for Christmas Beer! (SNBA)

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  • Comet
    Belgian Beer Expert
    • Jan 2000
    • 2138

    MAN-BRU for Christmas Beer! (SNBA)

    Last week we made our annual winter-beer buying trip to Brussels. Unlike the trip last November, we were flying from Manchester. We booked a night in Bewleys Hotel near the airport and spent Monday spotting while there was sufficient daylight.

    On the 14th November we had an early start, as we had to catch a train at 07:04 from Scarborough to Manchester Airport, the train was due into Manchester at 09:47, which gave us plenty of time to spot after checking into Bewleys. We had booked Bewleys online, and had been given a reservation number only, no vouchers to give to reception. I do not like this idea at all, and our worst fears were about to be realised when the receptionist told us that there was no record of our reservation in the system! That was the first and last time we reserve that hotel via its own website! I dread to think what would happen if this had been a flight. They managed to find us a room, but if they had been full I don't know where we would have stayed. The rest of the stay in Bewleys was uneventful and pleasant, as I do like that hotel and its very handy location.

    On the 15th November, after breakfast and checking out of Bewleys, we headed across to terminal 3 to check in. The check in is manned by British Airways and also handles all their European flights as well as SNBA and Finnair. We were given seats 8A and 8C, and it was nice to see BRU going onto our solitary checked in suitcase.

    After check in we went straight through into the departure area, as that is good for spotting aircraft you cannot see from the cafe, and the morning is a good time to see US heavies which I have had few opportunities to photograph. The American Airlines services to Boston and New York were being prepared,s o I took photos of both aircraft in the early morning sun (it was a sunny cold day, better than the previous day!)


    The American Airlines 757 parked at its gate. I believe this may have been the Boston aircraft.


    A close up of the 757's nice nose.


    A different view of the 757.


    The American 767, believed destined for New York.


    A closer view of the aircraft.

    British Airways also had a 767 service to new York being prepared, this is the only intercontinental BA service from an airport outside London.


    The BA 767 in the early morning sun.

    Naturally there were smaller aircraft around too. Notably British Airways Dash 8s and ERJs.


    A World Tail Dash 8 from the departure lounge.


    This little ERJ145 was destined for Madrid.
    2009 - the first year without any flights, the first year I lost a holiday, the first and last year I book the bloody Eurostar
    Louise
  • Comet
    Belgian Beer Expert
    • Jan 2000
    • 2138

    #2
    Another first for me was the Sun Air Dornier 328 which operates the BA franchise service to Billund in Denmark.


    The 328 of Sun Air. Not the best photo of this aircraft but I had to grab the opportunity while it was there.

    We had a drink in Bar 08, which has a better range of food, and prices, than the overpriced and frankly crap Lancaster Brasserie where we had eaten the previous day. When we had eaten in the Lancaster back in June the food had been superb, but this time it was gross.

    At 09:57, the moment we were waiting for arrived. Flight SN2173 from Brussels, operated by BAe 146 OO-DJH, arrived and taxied to gate 50.




    Views of OO-DJH at the gate.

    We waited impatiently for the boarding call, which came at 10:14. We made our way along the airbridge and into the aircraft, where we were greeted by the female purser, with another stewardess at the back (don't SNBA have stewards on the RJs, I have only been on one RJ which had a steward on!)

    We saw someone in our seat, and the air almost turned blue because there is no way I was going to lose my seat on a flight to BRU! I won't repeat what I almost said, but the person moved and we got to our seat. There was not enough room in the overhead bin to even put a coat, so i had to keep my coat on for the duration of the flight on this very warm aircraft. All the underwing seats had this problem.

    I had my favoured back engine view.


    The view.

    Alongside us was a Finnair aircraft being prepared for Helsinki.


    The Finnair aircraft from OO-DJH.

    We were pushed back at 10:26, and the stewardess handed out the inflight magazine.



    tmurphy took a photo of our aircraft as it taxied for take off. To see his superb photo, click on the link and scroll down http://forum.keypublishing.co.uk/showthread.php?t=50574

    We taxied to the runway, and the pilot announced that we had immediate take off clearance as there was nothing waiting to land or take off in front of us! This was the first time this has happened since we flew from London City, and we taxied quickly to the end of the runway. As soon as we reached the runway end, the engines roared to life and we hurtled forwards. At 10:35 we became airborne, and flight SN2174, coded with British Airways and American Airlines, was given an expected flight time of 55 minutes.


    Just after take off from MAN. Nice and clear and bright weather!
    2009 - the first year without any flights, the first year I lost a holiday, the first and last year I book the bloody Eurostar
    Louise

    Comment

    • Comet
      Belgian Beer Expert
      • Jan 2000
      • 2138

      #3
      It was nice and clear when we took off, but as we climbed the cloud increased and thickened as we flew further from Manchester.


      The cloud along the way.

      Shortly into the flight, the food boxes were handed out. Mine contained an apple tart and a carton of water. The apple tart was quite pleasant, with large chunks of apple.


      The snack. This was nicely complimented by the yellow and green label Neuhaus chocolates handed dout shortly after!

      As we neared Belgium, the Captain announced that it was raining in Brussels, and the cloud was now very thick, as we were descending into more cloud.


      As we finally descended below the cloud level, we caught our first glimpse of beloved Belgium.

      The gear lowered at 12:31, and, at 12:33, we made a smooth touch down on runway 25L.

      It was great to be back again, and we taxied to the A terminal (gate A47). As this was a GB flight, and GB is not a Schengen country, we were bussed to the B terminal for passport formalities and to collect our luggage (which appeared very quickly thanks to the efficient ground crews).

      We had a meal in Brussels Cafe, and also our first drink of Vieux Temps beer.



      I could get used to this!

      The flight had been very good, with a pleasant and professional crew.
      2009 - the first year without any flights, the first year I lost a holiday, the first and last year I book the bloody Eurostar
      Louise

      Comment

      • Grey Area
        Punter
        • Apr 2004
        • 12157

        #4
        Some very interesting pictures there, Louise. Especially the last one....

        BTW, the AA 767 was bound for Chicago and not New York. AA don't serve New York from MAN.
        You can't fool owls.

        Comment

        • wozza
          Chelsea Fan
          • Sep 2005
          • 1089

          #5
          Great, love the pics, will there be a return trip report?

          Comment

          • Comet
            Belgian Beer Expert
            • Jan 2000
            • 2138

            #6
            Thanks for the comments Grey Area and Wozza. I must be getting mixed up with BA with the JFK service, there were so many announcements for US flights going off, and now I remember that the BA is coded with AA. I was looking at the screens near the gates to see where the AA planes were going but they did not show anything so I could only guess. (And the Vieux Temps is very good beer )

            Yes Wozza - there will be a return trip report. I am getting the photos prepared but it might be a few days before it is posted because I start a new job soon and I have to go away for training on Tuesday, so that will delay things a bit. Keep watching this space
            2009 - the first year without any flights, the first year I lost a holiday, the first and last year I book the bloody Eurostar
            Louise

            Comment

            • G-CDFF
              Senior Member
              • Sep 2005
              • 1294

              #7
              Excellent report and pictures Louise!!

              Comment

              • Future Pilot
                Rank 5 Registered User
                • Jul 2003
                • 3469

                #8
                Very good read and the pics are a nice addition
                sigpic
                May 09
                NW781 - LHR-DTW - B767-400
                NW427 - DTW-DCA - A319-100
                NW205 - DCA-MSP - B757-200
                NW104 - MSP-LHR - A330-200

                Comment

                • tomfellows
                  Rank 5 Registered User
                  • Mar 2005
                  • 2001

                  #9
                  thoroughly enjoyable read there. Lovely selection of pictures also.
                  Tom
                  My Jetphotos album

                  Comment

                  • Comet
                    Belgian Beer Expert
                    • Jan 2000
                    • 2138

                    #10
                    Thanks for the comments everyone
                    2009 - the first year without any flights, the first year I lost a holiday, the first and last year I book the bloody Eurostar
                    Louise

                    Comment

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