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Trip Reports Forum | MAN - FUE - MAN with TCX
G-DAJC Seat: 1C
Take off: 14:41
My only previous experience of a 767 was way back in 2000 going to America with Air 2000, which was absolutely horrendous. However, I trusted TCX more as I have flown with them several times before (usually on a 757 of some description, bar one flight on a 330). We were among the first to check in for our flight, having arrived at the airport just before 11:30, so we were able to check in as soon as our flight opened, and we got really lucky with our seat allocation, getting extra legroom seats at the very front of the aircraft. Boarding was very swift, with 2 doors in operation for boarding the aircraft - we boarded through the front left hand door and we quickly in our seats, waiting for everyone else to board. The flight was very full, I'd estimate a load of about 95%, which on a 763 means a lot of people, as it seats more than any other type in the fleet. The cabin crew had some seriously problems in lowering the front door, and required an engineer to come and help them pull it down and secure it, before they commenced a manual safety demonstration as we pushed back from our gate (gate 27 I think it was). A long taxi followed, as obviously at the time we were departing, 23L was shut, so we had to taxi down past pier B and terminal 3 before waiting at the end of the runway for an aircraft to land before lining up on 23R. We were waiting for a fair while before we finally left - we had a fairly long take off roll, lifting off just prior to the viewing park and heading out towards the west. We reached our cruising altitude fairly promptly - 35,000ft according to the screens which were showing a map and some information about our speed, altitude and expected time of arrival.
One advantage of being at the front of the aircraft is that we got first pick of the snacks, and I took full advantage of an offer of 2 packs of Maltesers for £4, and proceeded to make my way through the first bad very quickly! The meal came next, which was 'Hunters Chicken' which wasn't particularly bad, the chicken was quite nice. I left all the little side bits that came with the meal, though I do like the little placemats that they come with, something they inherited from My Travel (we also had it once on Monarch when we went to Portugal). After that, the crew disappeared for a while, though I could hear them gossiping in the galley, where one crew member remained throughout the flight without doing any services or speaking to any customers, which I thought was very poor. They eventually came through with a duty free service which I didn't get anything from. The camera opn the underside of the aircraft was switched on after the film had finished which was interesting, but it was turned off again as soon as we started our descent into Fuerteventura, which was fairly rapid and we were soon coming up the coast over Caleta de Fuste (where we would be staying) and touched down a few minutes ahead of schedule (which they boasted about in the post-landing message from the cabin manager). We were the only plane on the ground, and we parked at the far end of the terminal at gate 9 (which is a double airbridge, though only one was in use on this occasion), where we soon disembarked, to find our baggage was already coming through on the conveyor belt. We went through passport control and our bags were there waiting for us, and we headed out for our holiday.
G-TCCA Seat: 20A
Take off: 20:13
Being in Caleta de Fuste, you do see everything that comes into the airport as it lies directly underneath the flight path to the airport, and they are quite low at this stage making them all identifiable. I'd seen the Saturday 763 from MAN come in, and checked online to see that it was G-TCCA that came in, and I was secretly hoping that this would appear again for my flight home on Tuesday. When I checked again on Tuesday, and seen that DAJC had done the morning flight to Palma (as TCCA had done the previous week), I knew that TCCA would be our flight home. We checked in bang on schedule, and got away without paying excess luggage, despite being 4kgs overweight! Security in FUE is a very smooth operation, and we were very soon in the departure lounge, which has a big wall of glass through which you can see the movements, though this being a Tuesday, there were hardly any (mainly Islas Airways and Binter Canarias planes on a Tuesday). Our aircraft touched down early, at just after 18:35 and pulled up at the same gate we parked up at the previous week, though the double airbridge was working this time. Boarding was called just after 19:20, just as the TCX flight from Gatwick touched down (which was on an A320, considerably smaller than our monster!). My first impressions of TCCA were that it was very very dark because some of the lights were not working, which made it somewhat chaotic as people couldn't see where they were meant to go. When I sat down, I noticed that the camera on the underside of the aircraft was switched on, and was hoping that it would remain on for take off. Boarding finished at about 19:50, but then the APU failed and we had to wait for a GPU to pump some cool air into the aircraft, and one of the aircraft's engines was started in order to allow this process to take place. This was done and we pushed back 5 minutes ahead of schedule with the camera still switched on, which had been noted by many of the passengers on board (the load this time was 100%, not one empty seat on the aircraft). We taxiied down to the runway with the camera on which raised my hopes that it'd be turned on for take off, and soon we reached the end of the runway, where we turned onto the runway and commenced a rolling take off. Seeing take off the on board camera was amazing, I'd never seen anything like it, and judging by the facial reactions of everyone else in my cabin, they loved seeing it as we rolled down the runway and then lifted off. For the nervous flyers, such as my mum, that actually made them enjoy the take off much more than they would otherwise. Another thing about the camera is that you can see the curvature of the earth which is amazing. As we took off, we headed inland which meant the beautiful sunset was on the camera and it looked amazing. It was kept on until it was getting dark when they put on the film for the flight, which was 17 Again, starring the monumentally irritating Zac Efron, so I gave that a miss. The cabin service was the same as the outbound flight with the meal this time being 'Chilli Beef with rice' which looked gross, so I left it! The cabin crew on this flight back were a lot friendlier than the outbound crew and were much quicker to answer queries. At that moment, the person in front of me reclined their seat which was a bad moment, as I'm not little (I'm 6ft 3in), and the seat pitch was not great, so my knees were sticking into her back, but we reached a compromise where her reclined seat wasn't hitting my knees.
The rest of the journey was quiet until the descent when the captain declared that we would be using the secondary runway as the other one was closed. I thought this was unusual at this time of night, but assumed we would use 05R which is normally used as a landing runway. However, as we got lower and we begun to see the lights of Manchester, I soon realised we'd be touching down on 23L which was very unusual. The undercarriage was lowered and I recognised the lights as being those seen on approaches to 23R, so I knew then it'd be 23L we'd be using, and sure enough, we passed over the main road higher than usual, and I saw the lights coming from the terminal passing by as we got lower, and saw the lights in the AVP illuminating the Avro and Concorde, shortly before the runway came into view. The landing was quite rough, and the braking was harsh with reverse thrust used to slow us down, though I failed to see the need for such harsh braking as by the time we had slowed down, we had loads of space left on the runway, which we taxied down to the turnaround point, where a Monarch flight was waiting to head back down in the opposite direction. We turned around and followed the Monarch flight (from Almeria) back to the terminal, which was a very lengthy taxi from the end of 23L. We eventually pulled onto gate 23 bang on 00:30 and were soon disembarked. We encountered an enormous queue at immigration caused by the simulaneous arrival on stand of the Almeria Monarch flight and our flight (and 2 Monarch flights soon followed us in). Baggage took an age to come through, but when it did, we were soon on our way home.
Apologies for no photos - I don't own a camera atm!
Good report BTW!
Only ever experienced- and heard of external cameras on Emirates. But the more cameras on more airlines can only be a good thing.
Think I may have tried the 'Beef though!!!!
Good report. Nice one.
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