One of my photos


April 26th, 2012 · Posted by Skuds in Life/Work · 3 Comments · Life, Work

Wednesday was a bit of a long day. I found myself booked on a one-day course that was

  1. 100% mandatory
  2. In Glasgow

And I decided to do it as a day trip. My four colleagues went up Tuesday afternoon, but I figured that since I live right next to the airport it was feasible to do it all in one day. It was, but it made for one long day.The shame of it is that I had never been to Scotland. Newcastle was the closest I ever got to the border. It always bugged me a bit that I had done a fair bit of globe-trotting in the past, visiting or passing through some pretty far-flung places but never set foot in Scotland. I can’t say that any more, but on the other hand I can’t exactly say I have seen much of it.

To make matters worse, I went by EasyJet both ways. They really have sucked all the joy out of flying haven’t they? I know that draconian (and possibly futile and pointless) security measures contribute to the misery, but EasyJet have certainly done their bit.

Arriving at Glasgow I took a taxi and was treated to a potted history of Paisley and had pointed out to me where Alex Ferguson was raised, where Billy Connolly used to work and where Robert the Bruce’s daughter fell off her horse. Really. I was also told about every ex-landmark we passed which had been earmarked at sometime as a site for Tesco. At least I got to see a little bit of the locality I suppose – though I suspect the meter was wired up to charge not only by the mile but also by the word. It would explain the size of the fare.

I had allowed a little bit of leeway in the schedule in case of small delays, but we actually took off a little early and made good time so I didn’t have to rush and arrived onsite just a few minutes after my colleagues. I may have been tired from the early start and the uncomfortable flight but at least I wasn’t hungover. They had all enjoyed a night on the town and the dubious delights of a haggis pakora at a local curry house.

The course details had 5pm as a finish time so I had decided not to risk booking the 6:30pm flight back just in case and went for the next one – 7:55pm. It turned out that the course finished early and we could have made that one after all as we told each other at regular intervals during our long loiter at the airport. To make it worse the flight back was a little late and I ended up back home at about 10pm.

So it was do-able, but I’m not sure I would want to do it again. It may be an internal flight, but I have to remember that Glasgow is further away from here than Brussels, Amsterdam or Dusseldorf. It is twice as far from home as Paris – a bit ironic because I could never do Paris as a day trip. Partly because of the time difference but also because you can’t fly there from Gatwick so and up going by train.

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3 Comments so far ↓

  • Peter

    I’ve always found Easyjet to be very good. Their planes are all nice recent airbuses (try an old BA 737 with the tiny seat in the middle of three for a comparison). And not been on Ryanair, but don’t think that they are the best from what I’ve heard. Not a big fan of the scrum to get on though. When I commuted to Schipol, which I did for a year, I used to pay a couple of quid (on expenses) for speedy boarding, which works well at LGW, but not very well as Schipol.
    Must say that I’ve never taken a domestic flight, though, and that may be different.

    • Skuds

      The unseemly scrum to get on is a large part of the irritation, and the it causes various others.

      In the past you could relax and chill out. Sit reading right until your seat was called. Now there is no relaxation at the gate as everybody queues right away. If you are with somebody else and want to sit with them you have to join in and queue too, perhaps for half an hour.

      When you do get on the plane everything is cramped because everybody tries to avoid paying for hold baggage. If you do get on last because you didn’t want to queue there is not even room to put a coat in the lockers. Everybody has bags designed to be as big as possible but still be allowed on with them.

      Here’s a clue – if it needs a handle and wheels its not bloody hand luggage!

      In the old days I would often check in my bag, even if it was small enough for the cabin, just so I could be unencumbered. The few minutes wait for it was a small price to pay – but as a matter of principle I’m not paying Easyjet for that.

      What catering there is clogs the aisles up for longer because instead of just bunging it to everybody as a default, everything is a monetary transaction that takes time.

      What is not Easyjet’s fault is that half the passengers have laptops. You don’t want to be next to somebody who insists on having a 17″ Vaio on the fold-down tray!

      Glad it wasn’t all like this when I was doing 2 or 3 overseas trips a month.

  • Peter

    Well I agree with all of that!