Edinburgh, Scotland to Alicante, Spain
We are flying Ryan Air, a lower cost pay-as-you-go airline to Alicante, Spain. Want to check bags? If you pay online in advance it costs less than at the airport. Want a specific seat? Then go online and choose your seat in advance (credit card in hand) otherwise you are assigned a seat at random upon check-in. Want a soda (or any other beverage or snack)? Be prepared with cash or a chip plus pin credit card when the flight attendant comes through the aisle. Our one way fares went from $75 to $130 due to the baggage and seating choice (which also provided priority boarding), but was still less expensive than full service carriers AND the flight is direct to Alicante International Airport.
The plane is loaded based upon the way people have queued in two lines. The priority line boards first. Once we are all settled into our seats the captain comes on with an announcement. The French Air Traffic Controllers are striking today. He will push back, leave the doors open, but we have an approximate two hour delay. A groan goes through the cabin. William and I think back to our honeymoon years ago when the French Air Traffic Controllers went on strike, only we were in the old Athens airport which had only stone benches and no restaurants. In that case it turned out to be 12 hours - the airline even brought in busses to take our plane of travelers to a restaurant after we had been in the terminal for 6 hours.
But, today we a very lucky. 10 minutes later the captain asks everyone to very quickly return to their seats and make sure they seat belts are buckled. We have a short window in which we can take off if ready. 15 minutes after that we are airborne!
When we left Edinburgh the temperature was 11C (50F). It is 25C (77F) when we arrive. The landscape has changed from green hills to semi-arid low mountains and valleys. A 20 minute taxi ride, some of it skirting along the Mediterranean Sea, brings us to the flat we have rented for the next two weeks.