Europe: Start voting now! To Eurovision 2018, Lisbon with Brussels Airlines, Comboios de Portugal and Ryanair
In this musical spectacular…
- Who wants to go to Eurovision?
- Where did my wallet go? Off to Birmingham Airport
- SN2038 Birmingham Airport to Brussels National Airport
- Some time at Brussels Airport
- SN3819 Brussels National Airport to Lisbon Airport with the AeroSmurf
- Into Lisbon and The Tuk Tuk Hostel
- Exploring Lisbon with a Canon 100D
- The Eurovision Song Contest
- Off to Porto with Comboios de Portugal
- Time at Porto Airport
- FR8513 Porto Airport to Birmingham Airport
- To the trains!
- Eurovision… Douze points!
Editors intro: And here we are again. From the wonders of the USA and Germany, and now more of Europe. Let’s go around Europe to Lisbon, and the wonder that is the Eurovision Song Contest. Something very different with high cost airlines, low cost airlines, some trains..
Who wants to go to Eurovision? (or Making your mind up)
I’ll admit it. I LOVE THE EUROVISION SONG CONTEST (as if you can’t tell). I love the music, the bad outfits and the political block voting.
Especially the political block voting. But in all my years – I’ve never seen it live.
It took all of 5 seconds to agree.
In terms of ticketing, this years ticketing service was a omnishambles of massive proportions. The queuing system didn’t exactly work in any sense of the word, and it was by sheer luck that one of us could get tickets for the song contest.
But amazingly – one of us did. And got the tickets for the three of us.
With a ticket in hand – comes the fun part – getting to Lisbon and back. And somewhere to stay.
And this is where the fun really began.
Pricing to Lisbon… I’ll be honest… was awful. With normal tickets in the many hundreds, and redemption tickets non-existent… I needed a new plan to get to Lisbon.
So I decided to split my journey down to multiple segments
Firstly, getting to Lisbon. With the time limits I had in-situ, I decided to depart from Birmingham Airport. This gave me two options:
- Air France to Paris CDG and Joon to Lisbon
- Brussels Airlines to Brussels National and Lisbon
As much as I wanted to fly the RoofTop bar, seat assignment costs were sky-high (and in addition… Air France was being typically… Air France – yes. More than a few strikes). I therefore plumped for Brussels Airlines, who charged £110 for the two segments. I’d also get some Loops in for the privilege (as I’ve pretty much given up on Miles and More as a Frequent flyer programme.. And these flights earn squat outside Lufthansa Group/Loops).
Getting out of Lisbon would be a lot trickier. Pretty much every plane is jammed solid out of the city – so I decided to think laterally – and would try to pick up a service at Porto instead (3 hours away by train). Whilst this is good – it also lined me up for a direct service back to Birmingham.
I’m long of the opinion that if you can play by the Ryanair rules, it isn’t that bad. And considering the way some legacy carriers are swapping to tighter non-reclining seats, the only difference most of the time is the sales patter on the plane.
I can live with that. I also have headphones, which help matters a lot.
For me, I selected a seat and the ability to carry my bags with Priority Boarding. It’d avoid any pain and no gate checking.
Well, that’s the plan.
That came in for a grand total of €51.35 (43.85 fare, 2.50 for a reserved seat and €5 for priority boarding.
Finally – hotels were… troublesome. With redemption availability near enough solid, I looked and looked. And decided to try a hostel for once as hotels were pricing stupidly.
And it took hunting this thing did. I found the Tuk Tuk Hostel.
At least I’d have my own room in the hostel – which is pretty much a requirement for me. Peace and quiet and my own place to snore is required.
Or in other words – I had made my mind up how I was going to this trip Cue the tenuous Eurovision link.
So, here’s the map. Get the comedy out.
So, some flights to Europe, some trains and time with friends.. And yes, there’s going to be a lot of good and bad Eurovision Music through this.
Welcome to Economy Class and Beyond – Your no-nonsense guide to network news, honest reviews, with in-depth coverage, unique research as well as the humour and madness as I only know how to deliver.