THE FLIGHT: This was Flybe's inaugural flight BE1870 from Birmingham Airport to Reykjavik, Iceland, departing 21.30 and arriving at 23.20 local time. The service was originally scheduled only for a summer season but is now confirmed to continue throughout the year due to its popularity.
THE CHECK-IN: I had checked in online and with only hand baggage I had no need to visit the Flybe check-in desk. Birmingham Airport was relatively quiet as it was a Sunday evening and the queues at security were very short. I was therefore through into departures in less than 30 minutes after getting off the train. I wasn’t sure how busy the flight would be for an inaugural, but it appeared to be a popular destination judging by the number of passengers.
THE SEAT: I had an allocated seat towards the front of the aircraft and was invited to board once those further back had done so. My window seat was comfortable and the cabin crew and captain were evidently looking forward to the new service.
THE SERVICE: The flight departed right on time and arrived in Reykjavik (in broad daylight, this being summer!) ten minutes ahead of schedule. Shortly after take-off the cabin crew came through the aircraft selling a good range of inflight hot and cold snacks and drinks.
THE VERDICT: A pleasant flight experience with a good on-board service. Flying from Birmingham was a first for me and I was pleasantly surprised with the experience. As Flybe's inaugural flight on this route we were met with great arcs of water shot over the aircraft as we taxied towards the gate, followed by Champagne and nibbles after disembarking – it's just a shame you don't get the same treatment on all flights.
THE DETAILS: Flybe flies from Birmingham to Reykjavik three times a week – on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays – until September 7th. Starting from October 28th it will operate a twice-weekly service on the route, with flights on Tuesdays and Thursdays departing Birmingham at 11.00 and arriving in Reykjavik at 13.50 local time. A Saturday service will be added from November 1st. Lead-in fares start from £49.99 one-way. see: www.www.flybe.com.
Reviewed by David Clare (2014)