Day trip to Palma de Mallorca with Ryanair, Iberia Express, British Airways

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sn26567
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Day trip to Palma de Mallorca with Ryanair, Iberia Express, British Airways

Post by sn26567 »

1. Introduction

I had not been to Palma de Mallorca for 44 years. Last time was in 1972, with a DC-8 of now defunct BIAS (Belgian International Air Services). It was about time to visit the island again. No airline operates two daily services to PMI, I had thus to select different airlines: outbound with Ryanair, inbound via LHR with Iberia Express and British Airways.

Let's go!

2. Brussels - Palma de Mallorca with Ryanair

Flight: Ryanair FR2915
Date : 24/02/2016
Aircraft: Boeing 737-800 EI-EFG
From-To: Brussels - Palma de Mallorca (BRU-PMI)
Seat: 31A
Scheduled/Effective Time of Departure: 07:15/07:14 (GMT+1)
Scheduled/Effective Time of Arrival:09:25/09:19 (GMT+1)
Scheduled/Effective Duration of the flight: 2 hr 10 min/2 hr 05 min


Departure from gate A34. Usual walk to the plane in a brisk early morning cold temperature.
FR 2915 to Palma de Mallorca
FR 2915 to Palma de Mallorca
Not enough room to write Palma de Mallorca in full?
Not enough room to write Palma de Mallorca in full?
Our Boeing 737-800 is EI-EFG
Our Boeing 737-800 is EI-EFG
Welcome on top of the stairs by a stewardess with a new uniform, sporting a bright yellow raincoat
Welcome on top of the stairs by a stewardess with a new uniform, sporting a bright yellow raincoat
The full moon was about to set under the tail of  the plane
The full moon was about to set under the tail of the plane
Friendly welcome greeting in French by a stewardess clad in the new bright yellow raincoat. In seat 31A, I had no neighbours in my row. The rest of the plane was pretty full (about 97-98%). On-time departure and take-off from the usual 25R!
Gaining altitude above the Atomium
Gaining altitude above the Atomium
As I did not have breakfast at home before leaving, I ordered a bottle of orange and passion fruit juice, a delicious Lavazza coffee, a hot chocolate croissant and a bar of Kellogg's cereal.
Breakfast: orange and passion fruit juice, Lavazza coffee, chocolate croissant
Breakfast: orange and passion fruit juice, Lavazza coffee, chocolate croissant
Not much to see outside: after the sunrise, the landscape was hidden below clouds almost until Mallorca.

On-time landing on 24R in PMI, and taxi to gate D84, next to an Iberia Express A320.
Arriving at gate in Palma de Mallorca, next to an Iberia Express A320
Arriving at gate in Palma de Mallorca, next to an Iberia Express A320
Our plane at gate in the morning sunshine of Palma
Our plane at gate in the morning sunshine of Palma
Itinerary FR2715
Itinerary FR2715
2016-02-24 FR2915.jpg (144.63 KiB) Viewed 2199 times
Nice flight indeed (except for the somewhat cramped feeling alleviated by the fact that the row was empty), for a mere 15€, seat reservation included.

3. Palma de Mallorca - London Heathrow with Iberia Express

After a nice visit in sunny Palma (easily reachable by quarterly buses for 3€), I headed back to the airport, which is quite modern and has nothing to do with the one I visited in 1972.
Back to Palma Airport
Back to Palma Airport
Flight: Iberia Express I2 3614, codeshared with IB and BA
Date : 24/02/2016
Aircraft: Airbus A320 EC-JFG
From-To: Palma de Mallorca - London Heathrow (PMI-LHR)
Seat: 6F
Scheduled/Effective Time of Departure: 13:40/13:35 (GMT+1)
Scheduled/Effective Time of Arrival: 15:25/15:01 (GMT)
Scheduled/Effective Duration of the flight: 2 hr 45 min/2 hr 26 min


Leaving Schengen meant a passport control installed in the middle of the D gates. Further to gate D99, the last one!
Iberia Express flight to London: I2 3614
Iberia Express flight to London: I2 3614
Our A320 is EC-JFG in old livery
Our A320 is EC-JFG in old livery
Boarding...
Boarding...
Boarding...
Boarding...
Free WiFi on board, but only for flight entertainment...
Free WiFi on board, but only for flight entertainment...
Early departure from the same runway 24R.

I was wondering why Iberia has two low-cost airlines: Iberia Express and Vueling. Vueling is the real low-cost, because Express still has a business class (8 seats, middle seat free, spacious legroom), which means that the economy seats are compressed to leave only 28 inches between rows: a world record (together with Spirit Airlines in the US). It seems that 4 of the 20 Iberia Express aircraft have been retrofitted with slim seats, which actually increases the leg room, but it was unfortunately not the case for my flight.
Take-off over the sunny beaches of Mallorca
Take-off over the sunny beaches of Mallorca
Over the Pyrenees
Over the Pyrenees
Aperitif: white Rioja wine and roasted almonds
Aperitif: white Rioja wine and roasted almonds
While enjoying the wine, I could enjoy the superb scenery and use the WiFi on my phone to watch news, movies and entertainment. The WiFi here serves as IFE, nothing else, and only for those having a computer, a tablet or a smartphone.

Very early arrival in London, with beautiful views of the City.
Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace
Landing on 27R and taxi to Terminal 5 (British Airways and oneworld), C gates.
Good flight, but way too little legroom.
Itinerary I2 3614
Itinerary I2 3614
2016-02-24 IB3614.jpg (123.57 KiB) Viewed 2199 times
4. London Heathrow Terminal 5

In fact, Terminal 5 is composed of three different buildings: A gates, B gates and C gates. Between them, an automatic subway. My connecting flight to Brussels, 3 hours later, departed from the A gates, thus, subway for me. Very frequent, fully automatic.

The A gates are a gigantic shopping mall.I settled at a Starbucks, and later reloaded my phone at one of the numerous charging stations.

And then, ahead to gate A15 for the last part of the trip.

5. London Heathrow - Brussels with British Airways

Flight: British Airways BA 404
Date : 24/02/2016
Aircraft: Airbus A321 G-EUXK
From-To: London Heathrow - Brussels (LHR-BRU)
Seat: 10A
Scheduled/Effective Time of Departure: 18:30/18:39 (GMT)
Scheduled/Effective Time of Arrival: 20:40/20:47 (GMT+1)
Scheduled/Effective Duration of the flight: 1 hr 10 min/1 hr 08 min

My connecting flight to Brussels
My connecting flight to Brussels
... operated by Airbus A321 G-EUXK
... operated by Airbus A321 G-EUXK
Boarding by seat rows? Nope! And it took a long time...
Boarding by seat rows? Nope! And it took a long time...
Lots of people on this flight. With a 100% load factor and an A321 instead of the usual A320, boarding took ages and the plane thus departed late from runway 27R.

No less than 6 senior cabin crew (and when I say "senior", it is exactly that!). But excellent and fast service: a drink and a couple of cookies for everyone in a very short time.

Landing in Brussels on the usual 25L. And taxi to gate B25, next to the ANA787.
Arrival at the gate in Brussels next to ANA's Boeing 787 Dreamliner
Arrival at the gate in Brussels next to ANA's Boeing 787 Dreamliner
Itinerary BA404
Itinerary BA404
Short, but excellent flight, just a little late.
André
ex Sabena #26567

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Comet
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Re: Day trip to Palma de Mallorca with Ryanair, Iberia Express, British Airways

Post by Comet »

Great report and nice photos! Interesting to hear about the arrangement at Terminal Five with the gates, that gives me a better idea what to expect when I use that terminal in September.
Sabena and Sobelair - gone but never forgotten.
Louise

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Re: Day trip to Palma de Mallorca with Ryanair, Iberia Express, British Airways

Post by TheFlyingSultan »

Hi André,

Thanks for the report! As already mentioned elsewhere, we seemed to have missed it other by an hour; I was on the 6:25 SN service to GVA that day.
Great that you were able to sample 3 different combo’s that day. Ryanair is well... Ryanair :) I think they do good on the catering side though, prices and variety is ok and indeed coffee and tea are tasty and plenty!

I’ve heard good things about Iberia Express too, apart from the legroom which seems to be even worse than with Vueling! Iberia has been light years behind when it comes to modern IFE in their planes but here they are really ahead of the game with their wifi service - even if it’s only for their own entertainment and not for general use.

British Airways and T5, don’t know really. I’ve never been a great fan of UK airports, they make transitting so complicated and time-consuming! I’d rather transit via FRA or AMS although also those airports have their negatives. And a full plane, no surprise there!

Thanks,
TheFlyingSultan
In thrust we trust.

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sn26567
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Re: Day trip to Palma de Mallorca with Ryanair, Iberia Express, British Airways

Post by sn26567 »

Comet wrote:Great report and nice photos! Interesting to hear about the arrangement at Terminal Five with the gates, that gives me a better idea what to expect when I use that terminal in September.
Thanks Louise. If you don't change terminals between flights, T5 is OK and quite easy to use. It's of course a gigantic shopping mall, but I passed that part :). Easy spotting as well, but you only see BA planes :(
TheFlyingSultan wrote:Hi André,
Hi Flying Sultan (or high-flying Sultan? :) )
TheFlyingSultan wrote:Thanks for the report! As already mentioned elsewhere, we seemed to have missed it other by an hour; I was on the 6:25 SN service to GVA that day.
Indeed, pity we missed each other. I will be on the SN service to Geneva next Monday at 09:30 (with an LX ticket: coming back the same day via ZRH). An opportunity to compare our experiences?
TheFlyingSultan wrote:Great that you were able to sample 3 different combo’s that day. Ryanair is well... Ryanair :) I think they do good on the catering side though, prices and variety is ok and indeed coffee and tea are tasty and plenty!
I never miss the Lavazza coffee of Ryanair: the best airline coffee, IMHO.
TheFlyingSultan wrote:I’ve heard good things about Iberia Express too, apart from the legroom which seems to be even worse than with Vueling! Iberia has been light years behind when it comes to modern IFE in their planes but here they are really ahead of the game with their wifi service - even if it’s only for their own entertainment and not for general use.
I mentioned in my report that they are retrofitting their A320s with slim seats for more legroom. They must have heard the many complaints (and I also complained in a questionnaire I got after my trip). But service was nice and their wine was really good. I also enjoyed the free WiFi for reading the latest news and following the flight on my phone. Iberia Express is on the right path to improve itself.
TheFlyingSultan wrote:British Airways and T5, don’t know really. I’ve never been a great fan of UK airports, they make transitting so complicated and time-consuming! I’d rather transit via FRA or AMS although also those airports have their negatives. And a full plane, no surprise there!
LHR is bad for transit if you have to change terminals, but within T5 it was rather straightforward. Although I had to go through the baggage and body screening again (and that was really done with modern equipment: full body-screening in a cabin).

Waiting for your next report now. Mine will be next week: the Swiss experience!
André
ex Sabena #26567

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Re: Day trip to Palma de Mallorca with Ryanair, Iberia Express, British Airways

Post by Comet »

sn26567 wrote:
Comet wrote:Great report and nice photos! Interesting to hear about the arrangement at Terminal Five with the gates, that gives me a better idea what to expect when I use that terminal in September.
Thanks Louise. If you don't change terminals between flights, T5 is OK and quite easy to use. It's of course a gigantic shopping mall, but I passed that part :). Easy spotting as well, but you only see BA planes :(
Thankfully we're not changing terminals at LHR, last time we did that - landed at T1 and then had to dash to T4 - it was a real pain. I don't really have much interest in airport shops, they are way overpriced and there's only so much you can carry onto the aircraft anyway. As long as the viewing is good that's the main thing for me :-) I am still waiting to bag my first proper view of an A380!
Sabena and Sobelair - gone but never forgotten.
Louise

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