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#940232 by stevebrass
16 Dec 2017, 21:38
Ground Staff
Food & Drink
Cabin Crew
Start of our trip to Florida for some winter sun . We stayed overnight at the Radisson Blu at Manchester Airport. We like not having to rush about too much before flying long haul, but given the very cold weather we were also glad not to be driving up on the morning of our flight. The Radisson is an okay place - beds are good and the rooms nice and clean. Somehow though on check in we were given the key to a room that turned out to be occupied. We were allocated another one; not sure if the occupant was an overstayer!

It's a short walk to T2 and there are trolleys at hand just outside the hotel. Bag drop was quick and easy as was security; no meaningful delay. By 9am we were in Frankie and Benny's having our breakfast. Having breakfasted we then perambulated past all the gates; no Virgin aircraft to be seen, except for a 747 parked way over yonder. By 10:30 flight and cabin crew were gathering around gate 204. At 11 the 747 was brought to the gate - Pretty Woman. I thought this a bit late for an 11:30 departure. Boarding started about 11:15. Well managed with the Upper/PE row well policed. We were in our seats by 11:30. Welcome drink offered, but no amenity pack or bottle of water on the seat.

At about noon it was announced that all passengers were on board and that the route would avoid the Atlantic due to bad weather and we would fly over Chicago then down to Orlando. Then normal stuff about awaiting an ATC slot. Then it was announced that the plane might need de-icing . Turned out it did't. Then there was a problem with one of the luggage loading belts.
Eventually we left the gate at about 12:35pm and took off at about 1pm.
The flight was uneventful. Cabin crew attentive and efficient.Cottage pie for lunch was acceptable and the afternoon tea was very nice. Can't talk about alcohol because we don't partake. We made use off the 'wander wall" which on this aircraft was a tray with snacks.
Once at the gate at Orlando we were re-united with our luggage in about 20 minutes. Immigration was breeze, although we got rejected by the automatic machines.
Stayed at the Hyatt overnight before picking up the car for the drive to Fort Myers Beach.

All in all a very acceptable experience.

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