April 2018 Fare Finder: Summer Holiday Preview

Your Guide To The Best Value Air fares For The Month Ahead!

We all know that finding and booking flights to your favourite destinations without breaking the bank isn’t easy, so here is a guide that gives you the opportunity to take advantage of the best value air fares. This months edition is going to be a bit different; we’re going to be looking ahead at some of the best deals for the UK Summer School Holidays. Why? Because we know that getting the best price during the most expensive time of the year isn’t easy.

This month Fare Finder has been published a little differently to previous editions. We are listing our top picks by airline and not destination. Giving you more choice than ever before!



JET2:

Part of Jet2’s advertising campaign for this summer has been flights offered at £49. So it’s reassuring to see that you can still find these flights (and even cheaper ones) for August. For anyone who has never flown with TripAdvisor’s Most Loved UK Airline, you definitely need to. With an extensive route network and award winning customer service, what are you waiting for? Give them a try!

The following flights cover some of Spain’s untapped charms. Sitting on the Southern coast are Almeria and Murica. Together they offer an alternative to the more popular resorts of Costa Blanca and  the Costa del Sol. Along with Menorca, lying out in the Mediterranean Sea, Jet2’s offering of cheap flights offers travelers the opportunity to experience the culture and comfort of these Spanish delights.

  • Birmingham – Almeria, August 26th, £39 per person!
  • Edinburgh – Murcia, August 7th, £49 per person!
  • Manchester – Menorca, August 23rd, £50 per person.
  • Book you Jet2 flights here or for the cheapest options here.
Jet2 also offer a generous 22kgs baggage allowance for a reasonable price!
Primera Air:

Much of the focus for Primera’s flight offerings has been on their Transatlantic routes. The airline is also keen to expand their European operations, with the launch of short haul routes being flown on Boeing 737-800 aircraft. Flying to popular summer sun destinations, it appears that they are looking to challenge its competitors and establish themselves in an already crowded market.

Being based out of Birmingham and London Stansted, they will be battling it out with the likes of Jet2 and TUI. Destinations such as Malaga, Alicante and Crete are popular with British holidaymakers, so it is no surprise that Primera has identified them as their first destinations. With no explanation needed for these resorts, its time to see their flight prices!

  • London Stansted – Malaga, August 28th, £40 per person.
  • London Stansted – Alicante, August 29th, £35 per person.
  • Birmingham – Chania, August 20th, £62 per person.
  • Book Primera Air flights here or again for cheaper options here.
British airways:

When most people think of the nation’s flag carrier, they don’t automatically associate them with flying to your normal bucket and spade destinations. However, the reality is far from it. Gatwick plays host to the majority of it’s European holiday destinations, giving travelers the opportunity to experience first class hospitality at economy prices.

BA fly to arguably the hottest holiday destination in recent years, Majorca. Much loved for it’s easy going atmosphere, low prices and stunning beaches, it’s no wonder families flock here year on year. For people looking for something very different why not try Nice? This gem of a city found in the south of France flawlessly combines it’s world renowned appeal along with its traditional feel.

  • London Gatwick – Nice, August 30th, £35 per person.
  • London Gatwick – Ibiza, August 4th, £44 per person.
  • London Heathrow – Palma, August 31st, £48 per person.
  • Book your BA flights here! or over at SkyScanner where we found excellent deals.
Even British Airways fly the night Ibiza. It’s one of the only flights where the party truly does start as soon as you step on board!
Flybe:

Europe’s largest regional airline often incorporates summer sun destinations alongside its regular flying program. This gives people living in regional parts of the UK, the ease of flying abroad without having to drive for hours to reach their nearest major airport. Operating the majority of their European sun routes on Embraer ERJ aircraft, the Jungle Jet offers comfort with it’s 2-2 seating configuration.

Flybe fly from 26 UK Airports to all over Europe

Not always seen as a first choice airline when it comes to flying the family away for their holidays, Flybe offers destinations that are off the beaten track such as Corsica. Popular with hikers who are ken to experience it’s national parks or couples looking to unwind for a week, the island offers something for everyone. For people perhaps looking to stay within the UK and hope that we have something more than a weeks worth of sunshine, the airline offers flights to Newquay. Popular with surfers or families on a budget, Cornwall could be host to your next getaway.

  • Southampton – Corsica, August 26th, £45 per person.
  • Doncaster Sheffield – Palma, August 20th, £45 per person.
  • Birmingham – Newquay, August 19th, £30 per person.
  • Book your flights here!


Want to find flight bargains for yourself? We recommend using SkyScanner and Momondo for the best deals.

In next months fare finder:

We’ll look ahead at the best flights for the May Bank Holidays!

March 2018 Fare Finder: Cheap Easter Getaways

YOUR GUIDE TO THE BEST VALUE AIRFARES FOR THE MONTH AHEAD!

We all know that finding and booking flights to your favourite destinations without breaking the bank isn’t easy, so here is a guide that gives you the opportunity to take advantage of the best value air fares. At the end of this month schools across the UK will be breaking up for the Easter Holidays, so we’ve put together some of the best value airfares to jet you away from this horrible British weather! We advise that you book flights through Momondo this month to get the best airfares.

benidorm, spain:

This much loved Spanish sun and sea destination makes is the first destination to our list. Popular all year round with both families and couples alike; the Costa Blanca is calling for you to come and experience it’s golden sandy beaches and famous nightlife!

The closest airport to Benidorm is Alicante-Elche, which is just a 40 minute drive south. This airport is served all year round by a number of airlines, one of these being easyJet. Taking off from London Gatwick on March 27th for 8 nights, a return ticket will cost only £81 per person. With prices as low as these, it’s no wonder that EasyJet are becoming a regular feature on Fare Finder! These flights can be booked most cheaply through Momondo but also SkyScanner.

Benidorm’s famous Levante Beach
algarve, portugal:

The Algarve is world renowned for it’s beaches. That being said, at this time of the year, it may be a little chilly to go swimming in your trunks! The coastal city of Albufeira offers an alternative to braving the temperatures of the Atlantic Ocean. With it’s bustling waterfront promenade and marina where you can watch fishermen return with their latest catches, days can be well spent exploring the city and the surrounding areas. When the sun goes down, be sure to head to the old town to sample local delicacies and the freshly caught fish dishes.

Budget carrier Ryanair are offering a return Bournemouth to Faro flight ticket for £70 per person. Your 7 night stay would see you departing on March 25th, giving you ample opportunity to experiences this gem of a city. With recent changes to their baggage policy, be sure to check Ryanair’s website to avoid any surprises at the gate!

When flying into Faro, be sure to keep an eye out for this stored Boeing 727!
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES:

Wanting a city that has guaranteed heat and world class shopping? Look no further than Abu Dhabi. The capital city of the UAE has it’s skyline dominated by luxury apartment buildings and hotels. Travelers will be able to visit the world famous Formula One track, Yas Marina Circuit and unleash their inner boy racer at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi based Etihad Airways fly from Edinburgh using a two class Airbus A330 aircraft for the 7 hour 30 minute flight to the Gulf. A return economy ticket seeing you leave on March 29th will cost only £550 per person, which for a last minute long haul deal, isn’t bad at all! Follow the link to the Etihad’s website to book.

The stunning skyline of Abu Dhabi
Amsterdam, netherlands:

This city has it all. It’s immersed in culture, it’s picturesque meaning that no Instagram filter will be needed on your uploads, it has a vibrant night life AND the best thing is, it’s only an hours flight away! With attractions ranging from the Anne Frank House to the Van Gough museum, your days sightseeing will be busy and fast paced. On the evening, why not take a trip to the IceBar where everything (yes even the glasses) are made from ice!

Flybe operate hundreds of flights a week from the UK to Amsterdam, giving bookers the choice of which airport and time suits them. We’ve picked out flights from Manchester on March 27th for a short 2 night stay for only £90 return. However, as mentioned a wide range of choices mean that you can find a deal that suits you. Momondo should do the trick and get you the best deals but be sure to check out Flybe’s website too.



in next months fare finder:

We look ahead to the August school holidays to give you a head start on planning your summer getaway.

London Southend: Simply Easier



During December of last year, I had the pleasure of passing through London Southend and receiving a tour of the airport’s fantastic facilities. The airport bases everything it does around the simple but effective slogan: ‘simply easier’. The strapline couldn’t be more apt. 

Although the airport in its current form is a new entrant to the aviation scene, Southend Airport has a deep rooted history. It originated as an airfield, in World War I and the airport was officially opened as a municipal airport on 18 September 1935. However, World War II reared its head and the airport was requisitioned by the Government’s Air Ministry – being referred to as RAF Rochford. Fast forward six decades, to 2008, and the airport was bought by the Stobart Group for £21 million. This is where the transformation began to form the best and fastest growing airport in the British capital.  Between 2008 and 2012, the airport underwent a game-changing transformation. As the replacement control tower began to operate, passenger flights returned in March 2011. In 2012, the runway extension was opened – allowing flights to destinations further afield like Lanzarote – an on-site railway station and, ultimately, the new airport terminal was opened by the Transport Secretary in February 2012.

Flybe & EasyJet are the largest clients at the airport.

To understand why Southend Airport is the Which? Best Ranked UK Airport for 4 years in a row, we have to look at its history. Whilst London Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester and others have grown rapidly – they have experienced growing pains. After cobbling together new terminal buildings, all of which are now running at full capacity, most major British airports are bursting at the seams. But not Southend. London Southend was designed in 2008 – with the future in mind. It is built around the customer’s needs and conveniences. On the ground floor, you’ll find a land-side café, along with car hire desks and a handful of check-in desks. You then ascend the escalators and reach the security area. No signage is needed, because the process is so simple.

Southend has a rather ambitious target for it’s security checks. Their promise to you; pass through security in under 4 minutes. This is a pledge to customers Gatwick & Heathrow could only dream of. Sure enough, I was through security in not 4, but 2 minutes. As you exit security, you are presented with an airy mezzanine level, looking down on the departure lounge.

The departure lounge at Southend is strategically located next to the departure gates, with the passenger in mind

As if the LSA experience wasn’t relaxing enough, there is also the option to kick back in the SkyLife lounge.  While they don’t offer hot food, if you have a long layover the lounge can’t be beaten for a calm atmosphere and a feeling of exclusivity. The gates are located around the main departure lounge area. Whilst it is small, space has been found for all the necessities of modern travel. The obligatory airport WHSmith shop is present and so is a Duty Free section. The stylishly designed Bourgee (which I’m told is a favourite among TOWIE “stars”!) offers an inventive change from the usual airport eatery.

The swish Bourgee set-up!

Next to this is the Lakers Bar & Restaurant – inspired by the famous aviation entrepreneur Sir Freddie Laker, whose Southend Airport connections go back to the 50s and 60s, with operators like Channel Air Bridge, when the airport was the third busiest in the UK. In tribute to Sir Freddie, you’ll find the walls of Lakers lined with images that recall the golden age of flight.

LSA’s biggest asset, though, is the on-site railway station. It is located literally steps from the airport terminal and offers up to eight trains per hour to central London. Liverpool Street is 53 minutes away – and you could reach East London in Stratford in just 44 minutes! From here, you can connect onto the vast TfL network (including Overground & Underground) and step off in central London. Anecdotally, I’ve heard people say “Southend Airport is in Essex – not London”. Firstly, none of the major London airports – apart from London City – are actually in London. Secondly, catching the Tube from Heathrow to Paddington takes as long as the transit from Southend. It is clear that this railway station essentially allowed Southend to call itself a London airport. When I spoke to the Marketing Manager about Southend’s status as a “London Airport”, the railway connection was the first thing he mentioned. The train has certainly been instrumental in Southend’s success.



This year, Southend will welcome even more growth. After launching connections to Manchester, Dublin & Glasgow in October, Flybe will offer a new connection to the Belgian city of Antwerp from March. The new flights to Manchester & Dublin were crucial in allowing the population of the South East to avoid London altogether, instead flying from Southend and connecting to long haul flights from Dublin (using US Border Pre-Clearance) and Manchester. EasyJet will base another aircraft, launching flights to Bordeaux, Prague, Dubrovnik & Pula, and only today three new routes were announced with Air Malta. As London’s capacity crisis only grows, I hope London Southend can realise its potential with even more growth, while keeping it’s gold standard in customer service. I would have no hesitation about recommending Southend to anyone who is exasperated with the chaos of major airports.

Southend continues to attract new airlines, with it’s top-rated customer service

Southend Airport is also experiencing unprecedented growth; it is now considered to be the capital’s fastest growing airport. Flybe, operated by Stobart Air, and easyJet, already cover 34 popular domestic and European destinations including Amsterdam, Groningen, Prague, Budapest, Cologne, Tenerife, Lanzarote and Ibiza – all from London’s most punctual and most customer-friendly airport. However, in the announcement of a new partnership, Southend will offer it’s passengers access to three Mediterranean destinations. Air Malta will launch three destinations from London Southend, beginning this summer.

A new partnership will allow Southend to grow even more.

Specifically, they will operate:

  • Twice-weekly from Southend to Cagliari (Sardinia)
  • Twice-weekly from Southend to Catania (Sicily)
  • Three-weekly from Southend to Valetta (Europe’s 2018 Capital of Culture) on the island of Malta

The flights are already bookable on Air Malta’s website and start from just £35. Dr Charles Mangion, chairman of Air Malta believes these flights will not only benefit British travellers, but also Maltese, Sicilian and Sardinian tourists visiting London. Glyn Jones, the CEO of London Southend,  looks forward to providing an excellent service for it’s new customers. Ultimately, this is a big occasion for London Southend. They are benefitting from the endless capacity crisis amongst London’s larger airports and providing a real alternative – expanding their route portfolio.

 

Flybe Dash-8 Flight Review

Introduction: A new feel for Flybe

Having tried Stobart Air’s regional product, I was keen to sample Flybe’s UK domestic service, under their new philosophy of “Close To You”.  The strapline has several interesting facets. Principally, it revolves around connecting people across Britain, reflecting the extent of Flybe’s strong presence in airports across the regions – meaning they are quite literally ‘close to you’ wherever you are in the UK. However, the new brand is also designed to reflect Flybe’s personable and friendly service and reinforcing previous campaigns such as “One Stop to the World” – connecting seamlessly through metropolitan air hubs such as London or Manchester, from your local airport. So, are Flybe’s plethora of domestic air-links the most convenient, friendly and seamless way to traverse the British Isles?


The Journey: Manchester-Southampton

Transiting from ‘The Station’ at Manchester couldn’t be easier – it was my first time using the train to get to the airport – and it really couldn’t be beaten. With train services from Crewe, Wilmslow, Manchester, Newcastle, Blackpool, Edinburgh, Leeds, York and more – it is also quite convenient. From the main station complex, it takes about 8 minutes to walk through the Skyline to Terminal 3 – even quicker to the other two terminals Although Terminal 3 is often claustrophobic, at less peak times, it’s compact nature makes it pleasant. Unfortunately, for an airport the size of Manchester, the facilities in what was once the domestic terminal, aren’t up to scratch but its encouraging to see that – even in the midst of the redevelopment programme at Terminal 2 – MAG is still making changes for the better at the opposite end from the airport.  My flight was to be operated by G-JECZ; a 10 year-old Bombardier Dash-8 Q400, which had been painted in the revised purple livery just days before.

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All UK domestic flights board from a ground-floor area, and was done in an organised manner. It is astounding how quickly boarding and disembarkation can be carried out with smaller turboprop aircraft, compared to a Boeing 737, for example.

Flybe’s fleet mainly comprises of Dash-8 aircraft, with 56 forming the backbone of their operations. They are configured with one-class, in a 2-2 setup, with the capacity to seat 78 passengers. The cockpit is positioned on a raised-level, with all the modern digital systems you’d expect.

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One immediate difference I noticed between the ATR flights I’d flown on in 2017, and the Bombardier Dash-8, was the width of the cabin. The ATR has a cabin-width of 2.57m, with a minimum seat width of an extremely comfortable 18.6″. On the contrary, the Dash-8 was 0.8m narrower and had a seat width of only 17.3″. Thankfully, Flybe opted for a generous configuration with only 78 seats, meaning what the seats lacked in width, was made up for in legroom. We departed from Manchester’s 23R at around 12:15 and set course for Southampton.



Emma – one of the cabin crew members – was extremely friendly. She personifies Flybe’s campaign to “establish a warm, friendly presence in the faceless hustle and bustle of the aviation industry”. The crew can make a massive difference to how you perceive a flight – especially one as short as this one. She couldn’t have been more accommodating to any of the passengers and I was really lucky to have had such engaging and warm crew on my flight.

The onboard service centres around Flybe’s Café Air onboard bistro service. For a domestic flight, there was a range of snacks and beverages available and its clear to see that Flybe have been more adventurous rather than the stereotypical low-cost airline offering – and that’s something I can really appreciate. At just before 1pm, we touched down in Southampton, 5 minutes ahead of schedule. In January 2017, Flybe topped an OAG punctuality league table – being named the most punctual airline in the UK and coming 6th on a worldwide basis. At least anecdotally, I can clearly see why – both of my flights arrived ahead of schedule and my return journey even departed before our slot!

At the heart of Flybe’s new strapline is people’s desire to fly from their local airport – which offers ease and relaxation. Having travelled through London Southend last year, Southampton Airport drew many similarities. It is clear that they are designed with the passenger in mind from the outset. Landside, the airport felt airy and modern, yet compact – offering a small seating area, check-in desks and a Costa Coffee, centred around the entrance to security. When I passed through the security checks, I was the only passenger doing so and I found myself moving from landside to airside in around 2 minutes – an experience major airports could only dream of offering their customers. Despite its size, all the facilities are readily available to passengers; duty free shopping, WHSmith, an ‘Olive Tree’ Restaurant and yet another Costa Coffee, around which six gates are positioned in a right-angle.

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The experience was infinitely more relaxing, quiet and seamless than many other airports – giving you the sense that flying can be done without the hustle and bustle of our major hubs, which are bursting at the seams in an in-escapable capacity crisis. Its very easy to see why more and more passengers are choosing to make use of their local airport, contributing to the local economy and making flights like Flybe’s (that connect every corner of the UK) more viable every day. Therefore, I applaud Flybe for recognising this in their new campaign.

The Conclusion: Flybe is the way forward

In conclusion, Flybe lives up to all its straplines. It is faster, better value and more relaxing than road or rail and it is ‘closer to you’ in almost every aspect. For most people, Flybe may simply be a means of getting around the nation but many of the benefits of flying go unnoticed. From the warm crew, to the fast journey times and local airports – Flybe is definitely the way forward.


Train VS Plane: Manchester-Southampton

Manchester Piccadilly-Southampton Central by Train – 4hr14mins

Manchester Piccadilly-Southampton Central by Plane – 1hr52mins (approx. 2hrs)

Piccadilly-Manchester Airport-Southampton Airport-Southampton

15mins               45mins               45mins                           7mins

E-Jet Express: Flybe E195 London-Dublin Review

Entering a crowded market is never an easy task – the London to Dublin route has over 50 flights every day, all with carriers already established on the route. In fact, 4.5 million passengers travelled between the British & Irish capitals in 2015, making it the busiest air route in Europe. But in October, Flybe launched services from London Southend – offering a completely different proposition to carriers already in the market. With a three-daily frequency, flying from Southend with Flybe is more relaxing, comfortable and convenient for a whole host of people living in Southeast England and London. So is this the best way to cross the water to Ireland?

The departure lounge at Southend is strategically located next to the departure gates, with the passenger in mind

At around 14:00, the gate was called for my flight to Dublin. The six gates at London Southend Airport form a horseshoe shape around the departure lounge, meaning my departure gate was literally steps away.

My aircraft was the sole Embraer E195 operating for Stobart Air – G-FBEF – which they received in November, and dated back to 2007. Despite being 10 years old, the aircraft’s exterior is aesthetically pleasing and modern, and that doesn’t change when you step onboard. The cabin is configured in a single-class configuration, offering 118 Economy Class seats. The purpose of the Embraer 195 is to straddle the boundaries between a regional and a mainline market – offering better economics to regional carriers who want a regional aircraft. This makes the E195 the perfect aircraft for Stobart Air to expand its route portfolio with, and to launch a trunk route such as London-Dublin.

With jovial crew member Donantinou on hand to greet passengers, my initial impressions of the cabin were positive. The seats had lots of padding, making them very comfortable and easy to relax in – rather than more modern slim- line alternatives. The entrance to the aircraft was spacious and the cabin had a very airy feel – with extremely large eye-level windows (up to 30% larger than most other aircraft) to let in lots of natural light. Although the seats were provided lots of comfort, with ample legroom for the short hop across the Irish sea, they had a low seat back with no headrest. This is a minor point, but one to consider, as one may want to take a travel pillow with them for extra comfort.

The E-195 seats 118 passengers, in a single class configuration

The benefit of a 2-2 configuration is not to be underestimated. The “Double-Bubble” fuselage concept is a shape derived from overlapping two ovals to form a four-abreast cross section. The widest point of the upper oval is at the passenger’s elbow level, maximising personal space and allowing for wider seats and aisles than larger aircraft. The lower oval is widest in the baggage and cargo hold which boosting space for your luggage. With no dreaded middle seat, easy access to onboard facilities such as overhead lockers, and lots of headroom – this concept makes the Embraer a winner with passengers and superior to many mainline cabin standards. This configuration is also highly beneficial for companies too, with fast boarding and deplaning, allowing for quick turnaround times.

Flybe uses the same ‘Café Air’ onboard refreshment service on all flights, but included some hot food options on this route – something that wasn’t available on my ATR flight from Manchester.  Prices were not unreasonable for short-haul low cost flying.

Deboarding G-FBEF in Dublin

The crew – Gerry, Sharon & Donantinou – were very pleasant throughout, and I spoke to Donantinou several times during the flight. He kindly let me stay onboard after disembarkation to take some pictures of the empty cabin and he shared his thoughts with me about his career and enjoying his work aboard the Embraer.

Our routing took us north of the M25, over the Cotswolds and the valleys of Southern Wales before making the trip over the Irish sea. We arrived into Dublin ahead of schedule, at 15:45 and I visited the cockpit – which sports fly-by-wire technology.

Conclusion

This flight had a more personable feel to those mainline and ultra low-cost carrier flights, all to familiar on UK-Dublin sectors. It proved to be more relaxing, quick, easy and comfortable than any other flights I’ve taken – from the punctuality, to the relaxing cabin and ease of London Southend airport. If you are looking to fly from London to Dublin in an effortless and calm manner, look no further from Flybe’s express across the water.


Flybe ATR-72 Flight Review Manchester-London

100 new routes are launched with the ATR every year. Flybe’s foray into the UK domestic market from London Southend is a prime example of how marginal routes can be made viable by the ATR – with new routes to Glasgow, Manchester and also across the channel to Continental Europe, promoting and increasing connectivity to secondary and tertiary markets, boosting local economies. Due to its versatility, these efficient turboprops are operated by over 200 airlines and depart every 8 seconds! Stobart Air has taken advantage of the ATR’s positives, whose fleet comprises mainly of turboprop aircraft, three of which are operated by Flybe. Whilst I’d experienced the aircraft back in August with Aer Lingus’ Regional division, I was intrigued to see how Flybe was changing the dynamic of the UK domestic market with their new flights from Manchester to London Southend. Since Flybe’s rebrand in 2014, when the now iconic purple livery was introduced, they have used the ‘faster than road or rail’ slogan for their domestic services, so is Flybe actually the best way to travel across Britain?

As most of Flybe’s flights don’t use jet bridges, boarding began from the ground floor gates at Manchester Terminal 3 approximately half an hour before departure. After a warm welcome from Patrick, Elizabeth helped the passengers find their allocated seats and I settled in. EI-FMJ, my ride for the day, surprised me with the modernity of the cabin. At just two years old, it again proved the stereotype that all turboprop aircraft are old and uncomfortable completely wrong.

The ATR offers a modern, airy cabin, in a 2-2 configuration.

The seats were slim line, and upholstered with black leather. Every row had ample legroom – I was able to stretch my legs out straight in front of me – which offered unparalleled comfort for such a short journey, compared to a train or coach.  Personal overhead panels were also available, with reading lights, fresh air nozzles and a call button, which were surrounded by ambient blue mood lighting. The cabin was configured in a one-class configuration, in a 2-2 setup, seating 70 people.

Flybe’s ATR seats 70 passengers comfortably.

We departed just after our schedule departure time of 08:25am, breaking through the thick layer of cloud to reveal a beautiful sunrise view. This reminded me how much I love flying.

Departing Manchester, passengers were treated to a fabulous view – something you don’t find on a train.

Shortly after departure, Patrick and Elizabeth began the onboard service. This is provided by Flybe’s ‘Café Air’ buy on board scheme, and offers a wide range of refreshments. Tapas, sweet treats, porridge and meal deals were all available – in addition to the usual tea and coffee options. Prices were reasonable, but much better value than food from motorway services for example. The flight from then on was extremely relaxing and I engaged in some conversation with the cabin crew, who shared my excitement about taking the new E-Jet flight from Southend-Dublin later that day, and said they’d be working the flight to Rennes in France next before travelling back to cloudy Manchester.

CONCLUSION: Is Flybe the best option for travelling domestically?

It may not surprise you that I’m a huge fan of flying, but when travelling domestically in the UK, Flybe really is convenient.

Flying is both more convenient, relaxing and enjoyable – especially with Stobart Air.

They offer a relaxing but fast experience, always with a friendly face – with the added benefit of a swift airport process in London Southend – 5 minutes from plane to train – and a transit of only 53 minutes directly into Liverpool Street. What’s more, Flybe offers much better value than their larger competitors such as British Airways on many domestic sectors with fares from just £29.99 one way (incl taxes and charges) and numerous frequencies, with three flights every weekday.


Disclaimer: This trip was provided by Flybe, on behalf of Stobart Air.


  • Flybe ATR-72 Manchester-London
  • Southend Airport ‘SkyLife’ Lounge Review
  • Flybe Embraer E195 London-Dublin
  • Southend Airport: Simply Easier
  • Aer Lingus Flagship Dublin Lounge Review
  • Aer Lingus Airbus A320 Dublin-Manchester