Going to London

We start­ed our tour ear­ly in the morn­ing on wednes­day going to Lübeck Blankensee Air­port (LBC). Wow! What an air­port! I’ve nev­er seen such a small air­port in the mid­dle of nowhere.

Airport Lübeck Blankensee (LBC)

We arrived there at about sev­en o’clock as RyanAir asks you to check-in two hours ahead of sched­ule. Well, at Lübeck you don’t real­ly have to — the main hall with the check-in desks was lit­er­al­ly desert­ed.

After a futile hour of wait­ing we could finaly check-in and pass the pas­sen­ger con­trols to get into the ful­ly RyanAir brand­ed depar­ture tent. This real­ly is a big tent, one of those you’re used to from fun fairs or street mar­kets. Filled with some alu­mini­um camp­ing chairs and tables and a small cof­fee-bar on one side it resem­bles some kind of a hol­i­day atmos­phere. There are also sev­er­al exits labeld with RyanAir’s des­ti­na­tions from Lübeck. The Stanst­ed exit is on the oth­er end af the tent seper­at­ed by cus­toms and pass­port check where sud­den­ly a large queue arose — one hour before the sched­uled take off. I’ll nev­er under­stand peo­ple que­ing up in such sit­u­a­tions instead of wait­ing a cou­ple a min­utes for a less crowd­ed moment to pass such a bot­tle neck. It was easy calculations:About an hour of time until take off, a max­i­mum of 130 pas­sen­gers to go through cus­toms. We relaxed and had a cof­fee. After that, pass­port check was vacant again.

Next up was the ugly part of fly­ing RyanAir: The call to arms! When the atten­dant showed up at the tent’s Stanst­ed exit every­one ran to that exit to get on the plane fast and to get some good seat. Well, the seats are all the same I think — so…

Flight time was from 09.20 to 09.45. Dif­fer­ent time­zones make up for very fast flights!

Head on to famous Lon­don…

Summer Tour 2004

This year’s sum­mer tour was of to Jerez de la Fron­tera in Andalu­cia, Spain. Where we were from July, 1st until July 7th.

White Villages Andalucia SpainMy friend Clau­dio had invit­ed us to his love­ly home in the city cen­tre of Jerez. So we had a great place to stay and the best local guide you could imag­ine!

Actu­al flight plans and prices led us to tak­ing a rather unusu­al route from Ham­burg to Jerez and back using RyanAir:

  • Start­ing on June, 30th from Lübeck (LBC — 60km north­east of Ham­burg) to Stanst­ed (STY — 60km north of Lon­don)
  • Doing some sight­see­ing in Lon­don and hav­ing lunch at Jamie Oliver’s famous restau­rant Fif­teen.
  • On July, 1st tak­ing the next plane from Stanst­ed (STY) to Jerez de la Fron­tera (XRY).
  • Going back from Jerez to Lübeck via Stanst­ed.

The whole adven­ture was cheap­er than tak­ing a direct flight from Ham­burg to Jerez, but beware that RyanAir has some back­draws you have to arrange with:

  • There are no seat reser­va­tions. The first 65 peo­ple who checked in are the first to run into the plane and grab them­selves a nice place, all oth­ers fol­low there­after tak­ing what’s left. So if you want to sit togeth­er with two or more peo­ple, bet­ter check in ear­ly and be fast to rush into the plane — it’s like it was back in school when you tried to get the best places inside that bus that took the whole class to wher­ev­er…
  • There is no con­nec­tion guar­an­tee and your lug­gage isn’t trans­fered to your con­nect­ing flights! That is real­ly nasty! You’ll have to plan at least three hours between two RyanAir flights for pos­si­ble delays, get­ting out of the plane, run­ning down end­less halls (that’s a Stanst­ed spe­cial), tak­ing back your lug­gage, get­ting out into the hall, check­ing-in again (usu­al­ly with large ques in front of the desks) and get­ting your­self searched for weapons and stuff again. And don’t for­get your long way back from the shop­ping-area to the gates (in Stanst­ed that’s an esti­mat­ed 12 min­utes!).

On the oth­er hand I must say, it all worked per­fect­ly well. A direct flight (HAM-XRY) was about €650 per per­son, that RyanAir jug­gle includ­ing a dou­ble-room at Stanst­ed cost about €400 for both of us — with a bit more of a has­sle.

To be con­tin­ued…