Hello and welcome to what is my first ever report on Flight Report! I'd been planning to make one for quite a while, however I simply didn't have the time to do so. Enjoy!
Around Feburary 2016, my mother and I had been planning to make a trip… somewhere. We didn't really have much of a clue. We had looked up London for quire a while but eventually it didn't turn out to be due to the high prices of the flights. Eventually, out of boredom, I decided to look up what were the cheapest flights avaliable on Google Flights… and I found some really cheap flights to Mallorca with eDreams.
There was a problem. The first leg, at 4 pm, was with Air Berlin.
A few years ago Air Berlin had opened up a hub in Palma de Mallorca, intending to operate a Spain-wide shuttle service for those going to the rest of Europe, including Germany. This was a huge failure, and at the beginning of April 2016, the last shuttle services to Asturies and Bilbao were discontinued.
Needless I was a bit worried that the route would be discontinued before my trip due to low numbers, luckily this was not the case as the pictures below will show.
A LONG BUS RIDE
We left our apartment around 8 o'clock (my mom likes getting way early to flights, just in case things go wrong) towards the train station, bound for San Sebastian's new bus station which had been inaugurated just a mere month ago at that time.
The bus station, while rough on the edges in some parts, was much more nicer than the former bus station in the city centre, a glorified bus shelter. It featured a cafeteria, a newsstand and various ticket offices, all which were formerly seperate places at the old bus station. It also featured restrooms, however they were in really poor conditions and lacked air fresheners. Yikes!
We catched our bus to the airport at around 10 am, thus beginning our uneventful trip to Mallorca…
…or so we thought.
Turns out, right around the time our bus departed the city, a truck had crashed into a barrier at the half-way point of the bus route. What was supposed to be a hour-long hop turned into a SIX-hour long ordeal, and as such, we eventually arrived at 3 pm in Loiu, just as our flight's check-in had opened. Some people sadly lost their flights to Germany w/ Lufthansa, much earlier than ours, and they weren't able to get a later flight or even one the next day.
Once we arrived at the airport, we got even more bad news, as our flight had been delayed for at least two hours. Given that there wasn't much else to do until then we went past security, and grabbed a bite. I had a chicken fillet with french fries, while my mother and sister had stir-fried veggies. They were… not very good, as well as overpriced.
After lunch, we waited around the airport, and I decided to take a couple pictures of the planes parked around:
I later found out, via a TV airing local news in the middle of the flightside area, that flights from France were being delayed or even canceled due to a ATC controller strike. I'm not quite sure how, but apparently our flight was also being affected by the strike, hench the delay.
Finally, we proceeded to boarding at 5 pm, just a few minutes earlier than we were supposed to leave. Todays flight was operated by HB-IOR, a 6-year-old Airbus a320 owned by Air Berlin's Swiss subsidary, Belair. (Apologies for not being able to show the whole plane!)
Right next to us was a Lufthansa A320-200, D-AIZA, bound for Munich (IIRC).
I arrived at my seat, 25A, and noticed right off the bat that my seat's base was broken off. Not a good way to start a flight, thank God it was only one hour long though!
Legroom was nothing too spectacular:
IOR eventually departed Bilbao at about 5:25 pm, an hour later than we were supposed to:
The flight was completely full, which makes me wonder if the low fares had been the shuttle's death-kneel:
Some minutes into the flight, we received something completely unexpected from a LCC carrier: meal service! Provided by a absolutely kind and hilarious Portuguese flight attendant:
I got a KitKat (seen in the right side of the image) and a can of Coke, terrible combination that canceled each other out, obviously enough. The pizza-flavoured crackers were from my mother, who despite not wanting anything got one nevertheless, along with her coffee. It was really good, tasted a lot like an actual pizza!
The plane also featured TV screens, however these played nothing but commercials during the whole trip (aside from the safety video, which was played entirely in German w/ English subtitles).
After 45 minutes of flight we started descending into PMI. It was completely uneventful, and we reached our gate at PMI at around 6:30 pm. From there we had to cross the whole terminal, as unlike other airports in Spain, Palma lacks a arrivals area that begins right at the gate, like in Barajas.
We eventually arrived to our immaculate and recently renovated hotel, the Joan Miro Museum, at 7 pm, starting a whole week of fun on the German province of Mallorca the biggest Balearic isle.
Our hotel room.
And finally, a beautiful sunset on our way to Soller:
Coming soon, our return leg with Vueling!
Bilbao - BIO
Palma De Mallorca - PMI
Overall, despite all the faults on the way, it was a pleasant flight, but the poor shape of the seating, not to mention awful legroom, made for an uncomfortable flight despite it being only an hour. Definitely don't see myself flying with AB in the future.
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