Airport Experience [Questions & Reviews)

Jerry

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Does anyone know if the airport plans to get rid of Cafe Ritazza and replace it with a different food outlet? As it seems kind of silly to me to have 2 coffee outlets. With Costa being new then maybe the Cafe Ritazza could be replaced with a Burger King or Subway type outlet?
 

Jerry

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Day trip to Berlin from Cardiff using both Flybe and KLM for the return.

Yesterday i used Cardiff to do a day trip to Berlin to do some plane spotting at Tegel airport. My flight from Cardiff was at 10.10 with Flybe on an E175. I got to the airport about 08.45 which was a bit later than i thought i would be arriving as i got stuck in traffic on the A4232 on the way to the airport. I'd already checked in online and i was hand luggage only so i was able to head straight to security but i did notice how busy in general the check in area was.
Security was pretty quick with the new machines better than the old ones and i believe making the whole thing quicker and 2 lanes being open also helped though i did notice they have now moved the redress area over to the left.
Once through security i headed straight through duty free to WH Smith to get a quick bite to eat and drink for the day ahead. I didn't use Costa or the Beer House this time. The departure area was pretty busy and i noticed a steady stream of people in and out of the lounge.

My flight boarded via Gate 1 and at least 2 people had to pay the Flybe excess baggage fee for over sized bags. We then had to wait in the corridor for 10 to 15 mins before we boarded which was slightly frustrating but boarding was quick via the front steps. Load wise the aircraft was only half full which did give me a row to myself. The flight took off on time and the flight was largely uneventful though i was able to get a good photo from the air of Bristol airport but for most of the way it was cloudy. Inflight snack was a BLT sandwich and diet coke which cost £5.60. After just under 2 hours we arrived on time at a gloomy Berlin Tegel after a good flight with a nice and friendly crew.

After about 2 and half hours of plane spotting on Tegel's observation deck (which is accessible by the entrance to Terminal D and cost 3 Euros to enter and 2 for a child) i headed to my gate A11 but had to wait for it to open for my flight. Once the gate opened i went through the security lane into the gate area, which was quite small and only had a small coffee shop style outlet. There was shops and other eateries landside but from what i saw most were coffee shop style outlets and newsagent style outlets. Tegel looks an old airport with a unique pentagon style design for the main part and the observation deck is the roof of the terminal giving brilliant views of the apron and runway.
My flight from Berlin to Amsterdam with KLM arrived about 20 minutes late and boarding did take a while as it was a full flight on the 737 800 that took us to Amsterdam with the gate area pretty crowded by then. We departed about just before 7 pm but the flight only took an hour and was a nice comfortable flight with some good sunset views and complimentary snacks and drink which is one of the things i like about flying KLM. The cabin of the aircraft also had a nice ambience to it compared to my last 737 flight with them, i'm guessing it was the Boeing sky interior.

So we eventually arrived at Amsterdam about 10 mins later than planned so i headed straight through immigration (which has the new e-gates now) to D6 which is the gate where most of the UK KLM Cityhopper flights depart from to the UK regional airports and in the non-Schengen part of D concourse. It has a coffee shop type outlet where i was able to get a quick bite to eat and by the time i finished that it was time to queue for the bus to the E175 that was taking me to Cardiff and after a 5 minute ride through the airport which i always enjoy we made it to the remote stand. After boarding and taking my seat there was a 15 minute wait for ATC clearance but luckily our taxi was short as we were departing from the closest runway and our full flight to Cardiff was able to depart. The flight was only about 55 minutes and pretty uneventful but did get a good view in parts of the lighted up cities below along our route. After the complimentary snack and drink it wasn't before long that we were landing at Cardiff Airport on runway 30 and parked on stand 9.
After disembarking via the front steps it was a quick walk to immigration which was much faster this time thanks to the 5 new e-gates and straight through to the car park which in all took about 10 minutes.

In conclusion i had a good trip, Cardiff Airport was an unstressful experience in both departing and arriving, Berlin was a bit confusing and busy but it wouldn't stop me using it again if i needed too and Amsterdam was a good experience once again.
Both Flybe and KLM on all 3 flights were good with good service and friendly staff and comfortable aircraft. Using both of them for the trip also gave me good options flight wise and meant i could start and finish at my local airport and i'd consider using the combination either way again in the future.
Price wise the Flybe flight Cardiff to Berlin cost me £29.99 with an extra £6.00 for seat selection. The return from Berlin to Cardiff via Amsterdam cost £107 with an extra £17 for seat selection.
 

TheLocalYokel

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Thanks, Jerry. A very good report that gives a feel of the day. I enjoyed reading it. You did a lot in just under 12 hours away from CWL.
 

Jerry

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Thanks, Jerry. A very good report that gives a feel of the day. I enjoyed reading it. You did a lot in just under 12 hours away from CWL.
Thanks!
Yep it was a busy day. Got plenty of footage to make some videos from the trip and photos but it will be a while until those are out so I thought I'd do a written report first.
 

Jerry

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So the last 2 weeks i've had the pleasure of using Cardiff once again firstly to travel to the US and secondly to return from Dublin so i thought i'd post a summary.
My departure was with KLM booked via Delta on the 27/6/19, the airport was the busiest i've seen it with very big queues for check in for TUI and Thomas Cook which unfortunately led to confusion and several people checking in with KLM queuing in the TCX queue and i was one of them! I do wonder if the airport would be better to switch KLM check in over to the right side next to Qatar Airways as that was empty. After dropping off my bag at check in, it was time to head through security which was very quick so it wasn't long before i was in the busy departure lounge. The recentish extension came into it's own here as without it then wouldn't have been much room for people as it was pretty busy! Boarding with KLM wasn't as quick as my previous flights due to only one agent being used to check boarding passes in the beginning and it being a full flight and the jetbridge wasn't used, it was steps as before but we did push back on time for the flight to Amsterdam and for me to catch my onward connection with Delta to Portland, Oregon which as usual was a good flight.
My return flight to Cardiff was with Flybe from Dublin on 11/7/19 and it was seemless, literally off the plane and outside in 5 minutes with no passport control due to the CTA with Ireland.
As always i found the staff from the airport and the airlines really good except maybe the check in agent at CWL for my KLM flight who didn't seem to happy that the place was so busy, though on my return flight on arrival the staff seemed happier and friendlier! I can't fault the experience i had at the airport in general and with the airlines i flew with from Cardiff, KLM and Delta and Flybe all got me to my destinations and brought me home safely and efficiently and with good service and all at decent prices as well.
Hopefully it won't be too long before i use the airport again!
cwl1.jpgcwl2.jpgcwl3.jpg#cwl4.jpgcwl5.jpg
 

TheLocalYokel

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Many thanks for the 'taster', Jerry. Looking forward to your video reports of the flights.

You mentioned the recent extension. I wonder how things were in the days when CWL was handling over 2 mppa.
 

Jerry

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Many thanks for the 'taster', Jerry. Looking forward to your video reports of the flights.

You mentioned the recent extension. I wonder how things were in the days when CWL was handling over 2 mppa.
I'm sure someone will know better than me but I believe that the departure may of been a similar size then. If I remember correctly it was reduced on size by the former owners and the current owners firstly reconfigured it as duty free wasn't a walk through and then expanded into the unused space.
 

Jerry

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As many of you will know on Thursday I did a day trip for my YouTube channel from Cardiff to Paris and back via Amsterdam with Flybe, Air France and KLM. This was the first time I've flown from Cardiff this the Flybe base closed.

The overall departures experience was good, the airport was very quiet, when I walked through check in there was only a few people there at 7am and security had 2 lanes open just for me! There was quite a few people scattered about in the departures area but not more than 50 I'd say which meant no queue at Costa for me to get my toastie!
After about an hour in which I got some not so good footage and photos of the Qatar Airways 787 de-icing and pushing back my gate was called which was gate 3 with the Flybe Dash 8 taking me to Paris arriving from Belfast. I noticed that the arriving passengers from Belfast were bussed to domestic arrivals to save them getting soaked in the rain.
Not before long we boarded our aircraft for Paris with me being lucky in getting 2 seats to myself. The flight itself was noisy but the legroom was really good and the seat the most comfortable on an aircraft I've sat on for a while!
After about an hour and 20 minutes we landed in Paris. My return back to Cardiff was with Air France and KLM via Amsterdam and I have no complaints both good flights on the A319 and E190 which I noticed had very good legroom!

Arrival at Cardiff was on stand 9 a bit early and apart from the electronic passport machines not exactly working great the arrival experience was pretty seamless and I was back in my house within an hour of stepping off KLMs aircraft!
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Chris Gronow

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I used KLM last week for a 3 day trip to Amsterdam with friends. Similar experience to you Jerry but the flight was completely full so our bags had to go in the hold. The only slight downside was what felt like a holding pen at the gate at CWL, very cramped and barely any standing room with a full flight.
 

Jerry

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Gate 4 I think it is isn't the best. My flight was full but didn't seem to struggle with luggage that I saw and boarding was pretty quick. My Air France flight though seemed a bit chaotic with hand luggage not fitting and there was quite a few bags that had to go and be checked. That was on an A319.
One thing I noticed with my Flybe flight was that several people had over sized hand luggage and they didn't charge them for it and the passengers carried it on to the flight with them. So maybe they are becoming more lack with that? Whether that has anything to do with Cardiff now not being a base I don't know as on my last flight from Cardiff with Flybe they fined several passengers.
 

Jarvo

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I took an outbound flight for the first time since covid last week and I have to say while the whole process was as smooth as always from a smaller airport the beer house left me both bitterly disappointed and angry.
My girlfriend and I ordered two breakfasts and two coffees ( the whole alcohol in the morning thing is a bit much for us!) Which was just over £30. While that's a bit pricey, it is an airport and we knew the prices before we ordered.
My girlfriend has a severe milk allergy and her breakfast was ordered with no butter for the toast and a soy latte.
I watched the guy behind the bar make my latte, looked lovely. He then used the same milk jug without rinsing it and filled it with soy milk. I immediately asked him "is that the same jug you used for the milk?" To which he replied "yeah but there was only a little bit of milk at the bottom"
I was obviously and clearly fuming at his blasé response and told him to rinse the jug as she has an allergy and it could make her very ill. He literally humphed as he washed it out, filled it with soy, before placing it under the same unwiped milk steaming nossle he used for mine which still had milk foam around the edges. At this point I called a manager over who was understandably apologetic.
What a disappointing and down right dangerous experience though and bordering on illegal. If we had ordered through the QR codes advertised on each table and I hadn't observed, my girlfriend could have been really ill all flight.
The contempt and blasé attitude when challenged though left such a sour taste.
 
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