definitely not posh with black hat ! its a photo of me with my husband in a taverna with a blue flowery dress (weed?) try Diane jones leicester. Ive got dark hair (curtesy of hairdresser) so has husband Hope your planes on time
Aha, gotcha. No posh hat, but a very posh necklace! How do you get through security with that on? We’re inn Departures at Skiathos where the security is far more frantic than last time. The only thing I didn’t take off was my glasses and still I got bleeped. I asked the man if the nice little blonde one could check me out, but no luck. Turned out the machine discovered a packet of Fisherman’s Friends which I had forgotten were in my knee pocket. Our plane is on time so far (the one coming out for us).
JSI airport has revised its security checks at Departures. It was absolutely frantic with a zillion police or security or whatever rushing us through to prevent those delays and moans we all have come to love. Take everything off and out, hat, watch I don't wear a belt (not with my non-existent waistline!), laptop, iPad, iPhone, everything going through the scanner at a hectic speed, Come forward, come on, come on. And it flaming well bleeped me - I felt near naked and it bleeped me! I asked if the nice little blonde could pat me down and they refused. So what was it? It was half a packet of Fisherman's Friends I had forgotten were in the knee pocket of my trousers! Back in UK they'd have sent me back through the thing that X-Rays my bits, but not at JSI - having found the offending sweeties, they let me pass.
Why, oh why don't they get one of the tour reps to make those flight announcements? Honestly, with the best will in the world, the Greek pronunciation of some details leaves me completely in the dark as to what they want. And there was one of those - y'know, calling for Mrs unintelligible, Mr unintelligible, Unintelligible and Unintelligible travelling to somewhere to go to gate "wirge" immediately where the aircraft is ready to depart. Repeated after 10 seconds by someone with an equally indecipherable accent on the important details. Despite repeats for what seemed like halfg an hour, we still had no idea of the names, but they had reduced just to Mrs .... and Mr ... Unbelievably they actually appeared, were recognised by the waiting hordes and cheered, jeered and applauded the whole length of departures to Gate 3! I've never known any late comers held that long.
Departures continues to be as inhospitable as ever, with an extra twist that they managed to get three queues going to the gates at once, with queues crossing each other in the middle. This sort of chaos really knocks a holiday on the head.
Flight arrived pretty much on time to join a crowded apron (I'm told that the new operators have extebnded the apron, but have not yet applied for a licence to hold more than three aircraft on it!!! So a Thomas Cook landed, but waited a VERY long time at the entrance for another to pull out onto the runway. We left just half an hour behind schedule but the pilot was unable to make up much time.
Disaster struck. I had, as normal, booked and paid for selected seats. I always choose a window seat just forward of the wing. Doing it with the seating plan turns out n ot showing where the actual windows are and my choice this time was row 16, the only seat in the plane which didn't have a window at all - they do come often with two bits of window, which is fair enough, but this one didn't. So I spent three and a half hours stuck with my face 8 inches from a blank reclined seat back and unable to sea if anything was going past outside above, alongside or below. Nightmare. I have now graven in stone on the inside of my skull never ever to book row 16 again!±
Birmingham airport added a new twist to its already deplorable arrivals procedure. This time, the captain said we'll have a short taxi to the terminal - a ruse to fool us into thinking all was well, but actually it wasn't too bad and we got there quite soon after touchdown. And the caterpillar thing wouldn't come out to us. Everybody stood up and battled in the aisle getting hand baggage down onto everybody else's ankles, but the caterpillar never moved. We honestly must have been quarter of an hour struggling to stay upright in between seats until at last the wretched thing plugged us in and we could start fighting each other to get out of our seat and away. It's bad enough boarding in only the front door, when they at least let only half the passengers go at it in turns, but getting off is a complete scrum. Is there no way of having two caterpillars, one at each end?
And so to passport control half an hour after landing! That's the place where the new e-passports don't get a reaction, so the queue crocodile stretches twistingly back and forth for hundreds of yards. Back in July, we managed to use the ordinary gates with real people looking at our passports, so we bypassed the crocodile which was slowly finding its way through the building. But this time they had only two choices - epassports via the crocodile and foreigners to the real people. I mean, I know we're British so we do very good queueing, but this was ridiculous.
But it did mean that the bags were coming off the plane onto the carousel by the time we'd done the walk to the baggage reclaim. I grabbed my case quite soon, but Vera's was just disappearing back into the innards of Birmingham airport as I spotted it on the other side. Took ages to come round again! By which time, something had incedented at customs. No idea what, but there was a huge stationary queue to enter the green lane. After another age, off we went.
Now I use the Meet and Greet parking service, so no messing with long term carparks, just drive up, hand over the keys and fly away. Same convenience coming back. So the van was ours within five minutes of trundling the cases over there, called in by some language which I've never previously encountered. That doesn't matter, except that a few hundred yards after we pulled away, I became aware that the van stank of something - I guessed either far eastern well matured takeaway, or well matured clothing. Awful. It didn't help that they had disconnected my dashcam and switched off my satnav setting. But worst of all, I discovered that they had reset my speedo trip meter. I use that to monitor my fuel consumption and reset it every time I fill up. So I suspect the van has been driven other than merely to and from their parking facility. Satnav, dashcam and trip meter bypassed to avoid me noticing. Grrr.
So it was cold and raining when we got back, but we had a lovely holiday and already looking forward to next year.
What an end to your holiday! I hope your van wasn't used for any nefarious shenanigans! Don't suppose there is any way you can find out? I have enjoyed your posts yet again and glad that your bad leg did not stop your enjoyment. I hope that we will soon get an update that it is finally healing.
Phew Dennis, I'm breathless just reading that! I can't imagine what it was like experiencing that. I once suspected that my car had been used whilst I was away so I now take a photograph of my mileage when I leave the car. Thanks for all your reports. Bob
Dennis, have you looked at East Mids as an alternative to Birmingham or is it just too far East for where you are coming from? Its not perfect by any means but that Birmingam set up sounds a nightmare.
Great feedback I've enjoyed logging on for a daily 'fix' but what a way to end a holiday. Dennis I do believe you thought I was a tad silly for driving all the way to Gatwick; bypassing the convenience of both Stansted and Luton. One of the reasons is the hotel we park at............we arrive, park and hand the key over. I was a bit concerned they asked for my key but was told it was because "they might need to move the car but it's very unlikely" We've used the same hotel 4 times and my car has always been exactly where I left it. Apart from the house our car is the most expensive purchase we've made; as it probably is with most people, so an extra 60 miles to Gatwick is worth it just for the peace-of-mind.
Thanks for all your updates. Forum was playing up so I’m late at checking in today. Not liking the sound of how or why your van might have been used 🤔 Anyway, wishing you ‘ & Vera well. Hope you have no set backs with your recovery. Here’s to next year 🥂😎
We are going from birmingham next year, and the parking prices have risen so much, we are using a taxi £90 return, cheaper than parking, and will be dropped near the door at quick drop off. my friend had a bad experience at stanstead this year the meet and great couldnt find her car. I never use them. We live 30 mins from east mids airport if dennis wants to go from there he could leave his van here and i could drop him off! I think hes already booked Birmingham again though.
Our parking for September was £63.45. On top of that, 220 miles round trip (allowing nothing for car park shenanigins!!) at 10p a mile, £22, total £86. But I don't think we'd get a taxi for that distance so cheaply.
We ARE indeed, already booked via Birmingham for 2018 twice. I have considered the question of booking into a hotel for the night before - I've never truly looked into it, but I've heard you get free parking for your holiday - sounds a bit too good to be true and I don't know how much the hotel costs. Anybody have any info on that?
To digress, does anybody know anything about No win No fee lawyers? It has crossed my mind to consider setting one of them onto the guy who clobbered me, with a view to compensation for not working for at least 12 weeks, more likely 4 months - a few grand would make up for that. However, I don't imagine it would be an easy job for them, nor cheap either. And I have a feeling that if they do win, not only does their fee come out of the winnings BUT that if the winnings are less than the fee, I am contracted to pay the balance of their fee.
My daughter and family regularly use Meet and Greet at Manchester Airport... whilst they were away in August, reports were in the news/on facebook of horror stories where cars or keys were stolen, cars parked in muddy fields/public woody areas, covered in tree sap or mud..... keys left in carrier bags in open spaces for workers to collect. I thought, oh theirs is ok, only use *official* meet and greet?.... Well, what a palaver when they arrived home, a taxi had to come for them to take them home, as their keys had been stolen?? Son in law had to be taken back to the car park area (he was expecting secured/cctv/patrolled area, which they paid for),,,, no, it was in a scruffy wooded area absolutely filthy and sounds like lucky it was even there! 2 year old Range Rover so it sounds like maybe targeted to steal?... It has been a shock to them indeed and wont use this so called service again, all new key codes have had to be done, luckily his employers have done it, but an ongoing situation re claiming off the shoddy meet and greet firm...
My husband used to work at East mids airport, he parked on the staff carpark which is on the end of the runway near the furthest away carpark. Most of the time half empty as alot of the near by business's shut down. However august sept nearly full, and we noticed same cars parked for 14 days same space, meet and greet were parking cars there. Advertised as secure cctv etc. No barriers no cameras, no security patrols, anyone could take one if they knew how, and there were some high end cars there. I only park at airport carparks now where you keep the keys. At manchester recommend the multi storey opposite the doors, you can walk to in minutes,under cover usefull for winter holidays, and if you book early can usually get a good deal. This year went from Heathrow,paid £120 for a hotel for the night before (crowne plaza) and 15 days parking you keep your keys park where you want on hotel car park. the shuttle bus to the doors of terminal 5 runs every 15 mins hassle free, it was cheaper than paying for parking at the airport and you dont have to worry about M25 traffic jams on the day of the flight. Theres a couple of hotels close to Birmingham terminal Dennis Novotel and Ibis but you cant park onsite still have to use the carparks, but would save you getting up early.I think theres a hotel abit further out with a transfer bus Brittania ? parking at the hotel. Google hotel and parking Birm airport. Then check hotels own websites cheaper to book direct than use booking sites i find
We flew from Gatwick earlier this year, booked into a farmhouse b&b very close to the airport, the cost was £70 a night this included 2 weeks car parking, and an excellent continental breakfast, plus owner gives you a lift to the terminal on departure. Had to get a taxi back to collect car on our return,but that only cost £10. We used to use meet and greet at Manchester, but service and condition of car on our return has made us rethink. We now use multi-storey,it's a similar cost to meet and greet,but gives you security of having your keys in your pocket.