The joy of the Birmingham Airport building site, at 6am in the morning.
Doughnuts on the Mound 4
In this feeble excuse for a day out to Dublin:
- Cheap flights, Cheap flights, Could have gone by sea…
- The joy of Birmingham Airport at 6 am in the morning
- FR661 Birmingham Airport to Dublin Airport
- The Wonder of Dublin T1 Arrivals
- Doughnuts, Friends and Plane Spotting – Airplane Art Extra
- Back to Dublin Airport Terminal 1 – Retail, Retail, Everywhere…
- FR666 Dublin Airport to Birmingham Airport
- To the buses. Wait… buses?
- It’s about friends
Off to Eldmon International. The Joy of Birmingham Airport at 5:30 in the morning.
Oh, I love a 5 a.m. wake-up call, especially when the trains are on strike. No, nothing pleases me more.
After briefly checking if there were trains (and to my shock, there were), it was time to haul ass to the airport. Whilst the first train had been cancelled, others appeared to be running.
And that’s where our friendly neighbourhood Uber comes into play. A chatty driver helps, even if I was running on around 5 hours of sleep.
Arriving at New Street Station, I bailed out and headed through the barriers and down to Platform 1 – where an Avanti Super Voyager was waiting to depart. With only a couple of minutes on the clock, I boarded the train.
Birmingham New Street
A rare enough sight at New Street… the lack of people (well, except on a full strike day).
The Super Voyager had been through a refurbishment, so the classic red and blue interior had been swapped out with Avantis colours inside.
Sadly, this is a SuperVoyager, which is the equivalent of a mobile Faraday cage in the train carriage.
I, therefore, hopped onto the train wi-fi and logged in to check in for the flight – as well as check the seating.
I double-checked everything, including the seating requirements (because I wanted a window seat, and ideally, peace and quiet) as well as the Ryanair Luggage requirements (ensuring I strictly held onto the one small bag per person rule). It also helped that I was using a rucksack that day.
With the train making good time, I bailed out at Birmingham International Train Station. As it was still the early hours, the barriers were open and I proceeded to the Air Train connection to the airport.
And yes, it’s free at the point of use. Imagine that, certain US and British Airports.
Being dropped off at the airport station, I ran straight into the building works that Birmingham Airport is going through. It seems the airport is expanding the security area as they prepare to install CT-style scanners.
Scaffold steps. Delightful.
However, they’ve taken the chance to do a lot of demolition work at the same time, requiring ups and downs to get to the security zone.
Sigh. They just love to make you work.
It’s a building site…
Security took around 20 minutes to clear, with the usual fun and games that Birmingham airport security was playing. All the fun of bags being rescanned and so on.
With that done, I headed out of the security area and straight into Duty-Free – as that’s one of the profit drivers of this airport.
The other profit driver seems to be the number of chain stores that have branches in the airport
I headed to the one store I needed liquid from – Starbucks. Yes, I have low standards in Coffee. But having to deal with the bucket and spade crowd, along with the early start, black caffeine liquid was needed.
At least I could pay on Starbucks Rewards – one thing to be thankful for.
At that point, it was a matter of waiting, as I wasn’t sure which gate I would be going from. Suffice it to say, I raised my eyebrow when I found we would be departing from Gate 56 – on the “International Pier”, rather than the usual home of Ryanair in the old Euroterminal.
I arrived at the gate, and there was a queue from heck waiting.
I took my time queuing up – with hand baggage only, I wasn’t in a rush for overhead bin space.
The inbound plane
CRY HAVOC AND LET SLIP THE DOGS OF WAR.
It seems a lot of people had the same idea, going with a “small bag only”, with people picked out for their bags to be sized – including one person who insisted their bag would fit in the sizer – when it was smashed in by force.
I was ushered through as the person who was trying to jam their bag was facing excess fees. With a beep of my boarding pass and a look at my passport, I was let through to the steps.
Or, Yes. It’s yellow.
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