Examining the new at AIX18 – Did I mention I hate suitcases?
In this… calamity.
- Other airports exist other than Heathrow
- Did I mention I hate suitcases? Off to Birmingham Airport
- FlyBe BE7109 Birmingham to Hamburg
- Into Hamburg
- The IBIS Budget St Pauli
- Aircraft Interiors Expo – A look back at the coverage
- The Crystal Cabin Awards 2018
- Back to Hamburg Airport
- FlyBe BE7110 Hamburg to Birmingham
- Home James
- Innovation is key. Also being prepared
Did I mention I hate suitcases? (Off to Birmingham Airport)
With not an early start to hand, I gathered my belongings that I needed for the next few days, and shoved them into the suitcase. When I actually tried to pull the handle on the suitcase – I’ll be blunt – it felt like something was catching.
Something was playing at the back of my mind at that point. I’m not sure what, but I dropped in the battered and bruised Etines 30ltr rucksack (which is cabin approved) in the suitcase… just in case.
Well – you never know.
I ubered over from the flat to New Street station, and purchased a single ticket to Birmingham Airport.
Now, for those of you who think “Birmingham New Street to Birmingham Airport – that’s easy with a single stop on an express train and must be an easy ticket to buy”… I beg you to reconsider.
If you’re not remotely familiar with the rail network locally in Birmingham – how are you meant to select the right fare from a vending machine? In the end – as I knew the timetable, I selected a Virgin Train ticket for £3.10.
With a ticket in hand, I headed for the gate line, and cleared the barriers. Descending into the depths of Mordor Hauptbahnhof, the train was running a few minutes late.
Par for course.
The Virgin Trains service turned up, and I found a perch for the 10 minute ride to the airport. Not that anyone could work out where to sit – mainly as the reservation system wasn’t working that day, confusing passengers left, right and centre.
Whilst I had a few minutes, I tried Virgin Trains on-board entertainment system… and got bored quickly. Additionally, the internet prices are.. not value priced.
As it’s a short ride to Birmingham Airport, I was in and out of the train before I knew it.
From there – it was a case of heading upstairs to the exit gate line, and clearing that.
After exiting the train at Birmingham International, I over to the AirRail link, and hopped aboard for the ride to the main terminal. To think many years ago it was a MagLev system… it’s been long replaced with a cable car pulley system that’s infinitely more reliable.
Arriving into the main terminal, I saw chaos in the terminal – with the main security area entrance being relocated. Again.
What is this… the 2nd time in 5 years?
Ignoring that chaos, I headed to the Flybe Check-in at the old Eurohub… or T2.. or as Birmingham Airport prefers to call it “Door A”.
I got my boarding pass printed there, with my hand luggage queried. With that satisfied by the FlyBe staff, I headed up to main security (which some people don’t realise can be access from the Door A entrance as well as the main mess of the Door B/C entrance.
My stuff went in and came out of the scanners nice and fast, and I pulled the handle on my bag a bit too hard.
The next thing I felt was a snap – the bag handle had brought the farm
Trust me, you do NOT want to know the words that were coming out of my mouth at that point.
With the bag partially serviceable… I needed a drink of some sort. Sadly, since I was sans lounge access I headed over to Costa Coffee for an iced drink.
Because by deity, I needed it after dealing with this bag.
With the iced coffee cooling me off, and me pondering my next luggage type move, a call went out for boarding from Gate 1A at Birmingham Airport for the Flybe flight. With haste – I headed downstairs to the Gate (a bus gate) to run into the queue from heck.
Eventually, we were let onto a bus, and had a 15 minute wait before the bus was allowed to depart.
Oh Birmingham Airport.
At least I could read a sign how to be safe.
After a short ride around the airport, we were deposited by a FlyBe Dash8-Q400. Once the go ahead was given we were allowed to board from the front and rear entrances.
It was at this point that the handle broke off completely from the bag. If I was using swear words earlier when the right hand part of the handle broke – the words were getting worse at that point.
With the handle of the suitcase gone, I carried the bag onto the plane.
Did I mention I hate suitcases?
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