On Thursday we flew from Manchester to Santorini, and I am not sure what I was expecting but it really was…effin brilliant! I have flown from a very young age and am lucky enough to fly at least 4-5 times a year (no I am not rich…I am a travel agent…every job has to have it perks…right?!) and I have never in my thirty something years of my life walked through departures, checked in and been cleared through security in 10 minutes…more time for a cheeky fry up and a few vinos before the flight! I swear that the airport is the only time it is socially acceptable to knock a few drinks back at any time of the day….and I am all for it 😉
For some strange reason (yes I may have watched the Visit Turkey advert a few too many times…it’s VERY over the top and also a little bit creepy) but I thought we would be met by cyborgs taking your temperature and no human interaction at all…but it was basically the same with a few extra safety precautions and of cause…the dreaded face mask…which may I add I have been wearing now for 4 hours and I can already feel the volcanos (AKA huge spots) erupting on my chin. I do love to moan about the mandatory face masks and I know they aren’t ideal but if it keeps others and myself safe and means that I can travel…I’ll take a few horrendous yellow heads any day over the dreaded RONA. I also find when I am wearing my face mask I tend to talk to myself more, does anyone else do this?…It’s either lack of oxygen or I’ve began to go mad (most probably the latter) Does anyone else do this…please tell me that I am not the only person who has completely lost the plot (and their memory…what is that even about?!) in the last few months??!!
Once we had stuffed our faces and consumed a Pinot Grigio (or 2) we headed to the duty free where I sprayed myself with every free sample going (this is after all an airport tradition) then grabbed a standard boots meal deal (again other standard airport tradition) and headed to the boarding gate smelling like a whores handbag and making everyone choke on what felt like a ten mile walk to the boarding gate!
Boarding was nice and easy and was done in order of the rows that our seats were assigned. We always have to prebook extra legroom thanks to my 6ft 6 husband (AKA the grumpy photographer) so we were one of the first to board so again as were in the middle of the plane and no queuing which is always a billy bonus!
Once onboard, facemasks are mandatory which was what we expected and with the exemption of a few billy bellends who kept taking their masks off (which resulted in numerous tannoy calls from the cabin crew…who by the way were fab…and I have to say I was very impressed by EasyJet…Stavros give your crew a pay rise!) everyone else was looking out for one another and I felt extremely safe and comfortable…the numerous amount of Pinot Grigios and Chenin Blancs (which may just be my new favourite) may of helped, but all in all the entire airport and flight experience was great and apart from the masks….was exactly the same as pre Covid which was a pleasant surprise!
Upon arrival in Santorini the cabin crew announced how disembarkation would work, and that was from both the front and back of the aircraft in row order. You also couldn’t stand up until the row infront of you had collected their bags from the overhead lockers and had started to move to exit the plane. I am going to be honest, when I heard this I thought it would take so much time as we were in the middle of the plane so were going to be the last ones off, but it was actually quicker and so much less stressful than the usual rushing to unbuckle the seatbelts, scrapping over who can get to their bags first and shoulder barging and clambering to be one of the first to get off the plane (why do people even do this…knobs!). Within 5 minutes everyone was safely off the plane and onto the buses to take us all to the terminal.
As we were last to disembark the aircraft we were towards the very back of the que at passport control and yes…I did a little huff at this point, I am SO impatient. I could see two men in full PPE (and also kind of looking like the shit doctor from the Simpsons who harvests your body organs…you know what I mean!) so was ready for a huge cotton bud to be stuck up my nostrils and down the back of my throat for testing…but they were just having a nice little chat with each other and I didn’t see anyone getting swabbed for Rona.
After my initial inner tantrum about being at the back of the que, we were through passport control within 15 minutes, collected our bag (it was ready and waiting for us which has to be the first time ever!) and on our way to the resort all within 30-40 minutes of landing, which Rory was happy with as it meant he didn’t have to wait any longer for his first Gyros of the trip 😉
All in all the experience of flying during the pandemic was amazing and we both felt very safe and well looked after. If anyone is worrying about travelling, please don’t be as it really was easy and quicker and more organised than ever before…which is always a billy bonus!
Life is far too short not to take the trip, so shove your mask on, wash your hands and get on that bloody plane…I promise you it is worth it!!