So on Sunday, I had the pleasure of flying out to Southern Spain for a short break. Since the closest airport is Gibraltar, we sought out flights to GIB. The cheapest/most convenient were Monarch at just £47 each, not bad for a fare only booked 10 days in advance.
I don’t have any pics of BHX unfortunately, as we were in a rush due to a long security line. What I will say though is that the staff at the check in desk were very helpful. Monarch don’t offer the option of obtaining boarding passes on your mobile, which was a little disappointing. Other than the long security line, BHX was a decent experience this time around.
Scheduled departure time - 1640L
Actual departure time - 1658L
Scheduled arrival time - 2040L
Actual arrival time - 2024L
Scheduled flight time - 3 hours
Actual flight time - 2 hours 25 minutes
Flight no. - ZB446
Seat no. - 29A
We boarded amongst the last - which was probably better due to the number of passengers onboard. This was also done on time, which was surprising because the aircraft was late arriving from it’s previous flight. We were greeted by a friendly FA who checked our boarding passes. To my surprise, I found a recline button on the side of the armrest and to be honest, recline was quite generous for a holiday airline.
However, I couldn’t say the same for the legroom on here. Standard seats are just £7, while Extra Legroom seats are £16 at the time of booking or £20 after booking. I’m about 6ft tall, but chose not to do EL seats to save money, but this was a bit of a mistake as legroom was a little tight. Seats were leather, which was a slight consolation, as well as the fact that we’d be making up 35 minutes on the fight time roughly.
Soon after boarding, the Captain came over the PA and said that we’d be departing runway 33, making a right turn down towards London, another slight right turn, bypassng France on our left, before passing over Madrid and then starting our descent into GIB.
The inflight service was good, the FAs were really friendly which was a pleasant change. The inflight shopping offered a good selection of items, which also included food and drink. I had a bacon panini with a lemonade. I didn’t bother taking a picture of this because you can imagine what that looks like…😂
We started the descent 25 minutes before landing, which gave me the opportunity to take some good pictures of Central Spain.
Landing at GIB is quite unique. The runway there is only 5,500ft long and the largest aircraft that has regular scheduled services is an A320 so the braking action is quick to say the least. The runway also sticks out into the sea, making it seem as if you’re landing in water, similar to Saint Maarten and Skiathos.
You can check out the landing I filmed here: https://youtu.be/6GZwufpTI_I
Apologies for the bumpiness on touchdown, it was hard keeping the camera still!
We backtaxied the runway in order to park, where we could see the famous Winston Churchill Avenue which runs across the runway itself. (This can be seen in the video)
We landed about 15 minutes early, and disembarked 5 minutes early. Good considering we took off 20 minutes late from BHX. After disembarking I took another couple of pictures, including out aircraft G-OZBY.
Immigration and baggage arrival were very swift - took only 10 minutes in total. The terminal itself is very clean and recently underwent a renovation a couple of years ago. GIB only has 1 baggage belt due to the lack of aircraft using it.
Overall I was very satisfied with the experience, I wouldn’t hesitate to use ZB again. They offer decent value for money and everyone was nice during the trip, which was good indeed. What I would say though is that if you plan to fly with them and you’re relatively tall, invest in a better seat. Apart from that I couldn’t really fault it.