Posted by: travelrat | April 13, 2015

The Flight Out

Little Foxes_copy

Crawley: 12th March 2015


We started the trip here, in a pleasant corner of Surrey at a hotel called ‘The Little Foxes’ near Gatwick Airport. We selected this one because we had an early start, and, for a very modest fee,  they would look after our car while we were away.


In fact, the hotel itself – pleasant as it is – seems to be situated in the midst of a vast car park. So, there’s not much to do around here except to walk around said car park. Walking down the road is not advised, because it’s rather busy, and there’s no footway.


However, it probably wasn’t a good idea to start the trip proper on Friday 13th! The short flight to Paris, by EasyJet, went fairly well, and the XL Airways flight to Guadeloupe took off only half an hour late. But, it wasn’t the most pleasant flight I’ve ever been on. XL Airways is essentially a budget line, most of which are alright for short European hops, but doesn’t really provide the level of comfort you’d expect on a transatlantic flight.


It’s like comparing a National Express coach with the bus I’d ride into town; I certainly wouldn’t like to ride to Edinburgh in the latter. However, the main attraction of this package was the extremely low price; it would seem Flights and Packages, the operators, picked the least expensive deals they could find.


The meal provided wasn’t the best ever, either. Just pasta in a herby tomato sauce, that I could have whipped up myself for less than a pound.


When we arrived at Guadeloupe, the wheels really came off. The Costa Fortuna was sailing that night, and passengers for that had been told to put labels with the ship’s name on their suitcases , so their luggage could be identified, and sent directly to the ship. But, they took everything with a Costa label.


So, we had to wait in the bus for nearly an hour for everyone to be reunited with their luggage, and the bus to get on its way. But, when we reached the airport exit, we found the barrier down, and the security guy gone home for the night … but soon, the Costa rep summoned a few friends, and dealt with it by the application of a little ‘brute force and ignorance’!


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