That time has come round again for the month business trip to Northern Ireland, thought I would share some thoughts with my regular readers while I sit in airport lounges. Flight was at 07:50 so planned to leave 50 minutes later than the usual 5:15 but I woke up early and left the house just after 05:35.
Traffic at Luton was light and I was quickly able to park up and get the bus to the main building.
Priority lane tickets have gone up by a massive 33% to £4, but I still think worth the money. This trip I have decided to do without Easyjet’s speedy boarding, which if like me you can get to the gate quickly is not really of much value.
I grabbed and espresso and a pain au raisin from Pret a Manger, and settled down at a table waiting for the flight to be called. They have changed the flight information displays you now get a carrier logo and expected gate opening time which allows you to plan your coffee and/or comfort breaks.
We were allocated gate 11 which is the furthest gate from the lounge, which for me is good I have long legs and can walk fast so usually manage to get near the front of the queue, today was no exception 5th. Not many speedie boarders today less than 10.
When I travel I like to check in as much as I can on the social networking app is becoming more popular recently. It works like this, you use an app on your phone to check in to venues based on those in proximity to your phone. If you check in more often than another user to a venue you become the mayor and can sometimes get discounts at a venue. It has not really caught on in that sense in the UK yet. Badges are also awarded for visiting types of venue or events, for example “the great outdoor” “jet setter” wino etc etc.
We boarded the plane at 07:30, I chose a seat one row from the back on the right hand window, and I had the whole row to myself, my decision to dump speedy boarding was justified. According to my good friend Rory the back of the plane is where most survivors of plane crashes come from, with speedy boarding I tended to go for the front row where there was extra leg room, so dumping the extra charge might just save my life one day!
I managed to grab back a few mayorships while waiting, W H Smiths, and Gate 18, I also lined up the Baggage reclaim by checking in, and tomorrow I should nail it with a second check in two days.
The plane departed a few minutes ahead of schedule, the trip along the runway was a bit wavy while the pilot/computers struggled against the wind to keep on the straight and narrow. One airborne things settled down and we were up above the clouds in the sun.
My usual way to while the time away on the flight is to attempt the advanced Sudoku puzzle in The Independent before the plane lands which I managed about one time in every three. Today went to form I got right down to about 10 squares unsolved and made a mistake! One of the things I find frustrating about Sudoku is that once a mistake has got into the grid it is nigh on impossible to work back to where it all went wrong.
The pilot announced our descent into Belfast and that we would be on stand almost 20 minutes early, that is always good news, but very loud when you are sat in the row near the speaker, which they insist on having at the highest volume.
Peugeot 106 was the weapon provided to me by Avis, the friendly car rental company, after being in a queue of two people. Was soon on the road to the office, and got there before 10:00 the traffic was pretty quiet.
Spent most of the day in meetings, and help colleagues with things whilst I was on site, and left work just before 18:00 to go to the Seago Hotel.
I had a quick shower and headed down for some food. The selection is pretty good, and the service is super fast and very friendly. I went for the Seafood medley but substituted the boiled potatoes for chips I’m afraid. I soon polished the meal off then headed back to my room for an early night, to make up for the early start.