Date: 15 May 2016.
From: London City Airport.
To: Basel Airport.
Flight time: 1 hour and 25 minutes.
Seat: 5F, window on the twin seat, right side of the aircraft.
I spend the Sunday afternoon in the West End shopping. Eventually though, I run out of steam. So I settle down for some tea and scones with clotted cream at the Revive Café (I mean, it’s been like two hours at least since I had the grand thali…) and then at 17h00 I capitulate and head back to the airport. I am so exhausted!
GETTING TO THE AIRPORT
Transport: London Underground and DLR.
Journey time: Roughly one hour.
Departs from: Marble Arch.
Arrives: London City Airport.
Cost: GBP3.10 for a one way ticket.
From Marble Arch I catch a Central Line train heading east. At Bank I alight and then I go up a few stairs, down a lot of stairs, turn right then left then right again until eventually I am on the platform for the DLR to the airport. For London City Airport you need to hop on a train bound for Woolwich (which, incidentally, is where my grandad was from).
Location: Ground floor.
Facilities: Only check-in at the counter is possible.
Counters: Multipurpose counters for a variety of different airlines.
Skywork does not have an app and does not provide web check-in either. The self-service machines at London City Airport display a note at the bottom of the screen explicitly informing Skywork passengers that they need to check-in at the desk. Which is not necessarily a bad thing. There are huge screens running the full length of the wall behind the check-in counters. On them, you can see a film of aircraft movements at London City. It is not live or anything like that, but it is still very cool.
As we already found out day before yesterday, boys and girls, there is no lounge in London City. Fortunately though, there do not appear to be any technical glitches today either so the crowds are manageable. There still are a lot of people around, but at least I easily find a place to sit. Eventually though, I get bored. So I find myself a spot by the window for my favourite pastime – watching planes moving about.
Boarding starts with a delay of thirty minutes. Apparently, the inbound flight was late due to a technical problem the aircraft experienced before it left Bern to come to London. In total, there are fourteen passengers on the flight, so boarding is quickly completed.
Configuration: 1 + 2.
Facilities: Reading lamp and air vent.
The cabin of the Dornier Do 328 is very attractive and comfortable. There are 31 seats in total, which means that the flight is not quite half full this evening with only 14 passengers. The overhead bins seem more spacious than those on the Saab 2000 for example, if I had to guess, and the cabin height is also slightly better and allows me to stand more or less fully upright at 184 cm. The single seats on the left are slightly misaligned with the twin seats on the opposite of the cabin, which somehow gives the impression of more privacy and room. Legroom is good, both for slouching down to have a nap or to stretch your legs.
Service is by one Swiss-German speaking flight attendant in her late forties, if I had to guess. She is not necessarily overly friendly, a bit frumpy but she gives a very professional impression. Announcements are made in German and in English.
- Linzertorte (right in the picture) or Biberli (left in the picture).
- Sparkling water.
Skywork has a limited selection of complimentary soft drinks, tea and coffee. In addition, there is also a small snack – either a Linzertorte or a Biberli – on offer. Especially the Biberli is a typically Swiss specialty made from Lebkuchen and filled with marzipan.
The flight’s routing is normally London City – Basel – Bern. However, tonight the journey will be ending in Basel for all passengers. Due to our delay leaving London, it is gone 22h30 by the time we touch down. As a result, the aircraft will not be able to continue to the Swiss capital before the night curfew comes into effect at 23h00. I have to say, in Switzerland the Bernese have a reputation of being totally laid back and never in a hurry. And this evening they really do their reputation justice. All of them are very calm and stoic as they disembark. If that had happened to me, I think I would have gone ballistic!
It is coming up to 22h45 so most of the evening’s flights have already landed. So finding a seat on the bus line 50 to the main railway stations is easy for a change! It is nice to be back come.