Better off in Spain

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Email
June 20

I went back to the UK going into Gatwick as Easyjet does not go into Southend at the moment. I have not been to see family or friends for three years now so it was going to be catching up and spending quality time with them. We are lucky we have Facetime and Zoom but it is not the same as a cuddle and a cuppa.

I had a very early flight and have to say, I was surprised so few people were around Alicante, but the officials kept moving us forward through passport control etc to keep the flow moving and it worked.

For the first time I had to travel by train and tubes because my sister and brother-in-law were not well enough to pick me up. So off I went to the Gatwick Express, they were doing up the train station.

Well by the time I actually got to the platform, I realized that luckily I had the right ticket for the Express, otherwise if I had purchased the wrong one, it can’t be used and I would have been fined.

I got to Victoria, and I needed another ticket to get across London to Liverpool Street. There was no-one to ask, no officials, just computers, you can’t use cash it had to be debit/credit card.

Finally I worked out what to do. I got to Liverpool Street, went to the ticket office. There were two officials there, I asked for a ticket she said “No use the machine, credit cards only.”

I actually looked at her and I wanted to say “Do you want a job?”

I had a number of places I went to all by public transport to see family and friends, and every time I felt it was lacking in service.

Many years ago I travelled into London every day to work. It seems the service is now worse, and so expensive.

My flight was due to leave Friday but on Wednesday I received notification the flight was cancelled, so I wasted an evening looking for a flight.

I ended up paying over the top for a one-way flight leaving a day earlier, but there were no other flights, all full. I arrived at Gatwick, flight delayed. I finally got home 02.15 Friday morning.

I have just arrived back in Spain, and I am overjoyed to be home. We moan about the country we chose to live in but we do have quality of life.

H. Ward

Email
June 20

Dear sir,

I recently paid a flying visit to the UK (literally), there and back within the same day.

I have only admiration for Alicante airport, which was smart, modern, and so clean. All workers seemed to be doing their jobs very efficiently, I sailed past security and the e-gates with no problem, the flight taking off on time.

It all went to pot on arriving at Gatwick, the plane had to wait for 25 minutes for someone to escort the plane 30 metres to a ‘finger’. South terminal was drabby and in need of a makeover, the toilets blocks were old and looked in need of renovation. On departing later that afternoon from North terminal, again I found a terminal in need of renovation. Also you had to pay anything and everything with a credit card.

There seemed to be a lot of airport staff hanging around doing nothing.

In spite of boarding on time we were stuck on the runway in a queue for 50 minutes as the runway was closed to take-offs due to a visual ‘inspection’.

In all I was so glad to be back home in Spain

Alexandra Blair

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