Flew from Exeter to Newcastle (for leisure) but my journey started in Bath. I would normally take the Easyjet flight from Bristol but the schedule wasn’t convenient. Alternatives were train from Bristol with CrossCountry, FlyBE from Southampton or BA from Heathrow. In the end, the Exeter fare of £56 o/w was the most competitive.
ARRIVING AT AIRPORT
I caught the 0857 train from Bath which is one of two trains a day that go direct to Exeter from Bath (fare £10.50, first class). Managed to make a very tight connection at Exeter St Davids to catch the bus to Exeter Airport. Arrived at airport at 1050 for a 1215 departure so that worked out well.
I had checked in on-line and only had hand baggage. I was about to go through Departures when I noticed a sign saying you had to register at Information if you wanted to use the Executive Lounge which I did having a Priority Pass. You need to do this in order to get the PIN to open the door as there is no staff in the lounge. Security was slow and I didn’t enter the lounge until 1115.
Lounge is basic and is probably not worth it unless you only have a short time to wait or need to do a lot of work. Food & drink selection is ordinary and there is no view of interest from the lounge. I needed to send some emails but the wifi wasn’t working. On exiting the lounge, I realised it was next to an upstairs bar in the Departures area which in some ways was better than the lounge as it had views.
Flight was called on time and boarding was quick.
The flight was half full. I hadn’t paid to choose my seat and had been allocated a window seat which I don’t like on the Q400 due to the curvature of the fuselage down by the feet which I find limiting. However, no-one else sat next to me and I was able to move to the aisle seat. We departed on time and on reaching cruising height, I decided to continue working on my emails on my laptop. This is unusual for me as I normally find in economy that there is not enough room to push the screen back far enough in order to see it given my height (I am over 6 feet). But I find the Q400 seats have just enough leg room to enable me to do that. Service was efficient and I bought a soft drink and sandwich for £5. Sandwich was reasonably tasty.
We arrived at Newcastle 20 minutes ahead of our scheduled time. I strongly suspect FlyBE are padding their timetables here and this is probably a normal occurrence.
Overall a simple but efficient flight and a journey that I would do again.