Transport Mutterings

For the last couple of years, I’ve been travelling to Wales at Christmas by plane. I used to go by train, but after one too many overcrowded CrossCountry journey, I switched to the quicker, more comfortable and cheaper flights by FlyBe.

So, this week, I started looking into dates and times. And found that FlyBe were not listing any flights later than October, which is a bit odd, as you can usually book quite a few months ahead. So I filled in the enquiry form on the website, and got a quick response to the effect that sorry and all that, but we’re not going to Cardiff from Newcastle any more. This was not a Good Thing at all. The prospect of a six-hour train journey involving a train that would more than likely be overcrowded, with no guarantee of a reserved seat did not appeal at all.

I did a bit of web searching, and found one site that helpfully suggested a route that would work:

  1. Fly from Newcastle to Belfast
  2. Wait around two hours for the next plane
  3. Fly from Belfast to Edinburgh
  4. Wait about six hours for the next plane
  5. Fly from Edinburgh to Cardiff

This would not only have taken a ludicrous amount of time, it would also have cost a lot. I suppose I could have looked into going to Edinburgh and flying from there, but that would involve a train journey and then onward travel to the airport, making the overall time of travel several hours longer.

But then my colleague Aaron[1] found what I’d missed. Eastern Airways have direct flights from Newcastle to Cardiff, and indeed Cardiff to Newcastle. They turned out to be about £50 more expensive than FlyBe were last time, but that was acceptable.

And so I’ve booked my trip. :bouncy:

The plane will be somewhat smaller than the ones FlyBe use – a 29 seater Jetstream 41[2]. So that’ll be a slightly different experience.

[1] Hi Aaron :wave:
[2] Don’t look, Twisty!!

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