Flying and all it's perks
I wrote that with a little bit of sarcasm, see my earlier post. On the flip side of that post I honestly don't mind flying, its quick, I don't have to drive, I get to nap, watch a movie and possibly eat. Can't ask for anything more than that.
Well maybe you can and below is a mini review of the airlines and the airports we flew in and out of for our trip to Barcelona.
As previously mentioned we purchased a cheap ticket via TAP Portugal to Barcelona from Boston. We chose Boston vs New York because...I don't even know, I honestly think it was because I wanted to try TAP. Add on the cost to get to Boston and the luggage fee's it would have been "easier" and maybe $50 more to fly out of Atlanta. In essence next time I will think harder on that deal and weigh out the end dollars slightly more. Now I will say we purchased the cheap tickets in November of last year so we certainly had plenty of time to save up for the additional expenses. For some this is a good thing, you are spreading the cost of your trip over months while also getting the "big" items out of the way.
Our trip from ATL to BOS was uneventful, we flew Southwest. We didn't pay to be in A group but I did log on and check in exactly 24hrs before our flight. We got to BOS with time to spare and that turned out not to be a great thing as TAP only opens their check in three hours, possibly less, before the flight takes off. Budget flying at it's best. So we and about 30 others stood in queue til they came. We had purchased seat selection for an additional $30 each. Mainly for my convenience and because I knew that since our initial tickets were so cheap we would automatically be dumped in the middle seats. I'm to sexy for middle seats. Yep too sexy.
BOS security is pretty easy to navigate, except for Amber it seems. She was searched leaving Atlanta, leaving Boston..hell every stop. She is an over packer and her purse looked like it could be hiding the secrets of Jesus's resting place.
Once on board TAP, the seats were a decent size I didn't feel squeezed in, the seat belt fit and no extender was needed and the movies were free and plentiful. They also offered free headphones, blankets and pillows. Honestly not a bad flight. I can't recall what I watched but I do know that when I attempted to work on my laptop and the person in front of me leaned back that became an exercise in futility. The food was airplane food although we did order the vegan alternative for Amber and she was pleasantly surprised by the taste of. Mine was chicken something or other, nothing special.
Portugal - Customs was 2hrs. Standing in line being moved like cattle. Very dehumanizing and unnecessary. Do better Lisbon, do better. I've put this city on my will not fly into again anytime soon.
Our second leg into Barcelona was non-eventful. Quick three hours that I spent most of sleep or attempting to sleep. A smaller TAP plane but seats again were fine and no seat belt extension was needed. Plus size folks TAP is all right with me.
Rating: A no issues with SW as always.
Rating: B+ Honestly TAP would have been an A if they had someone in the airport to take the luggage 4hrs prior to the flight and or/conveyed that they only accept luggage at this point/time. And their website is clunky and not user friendly. Move into the year 2015 please.
Our flight back was on LEVEL Airlines, a budget airline that offers non stop flights from Barcelona/Paris to a few select cities. Our non-stop flight was eight hours which I had no problem with and was actually quite pleased about. Layovers suck. The trade off is that similar to WOW, Spirit and a other budget airlines, everything costs. You are only purchasing the seat and air. Recycled air. We didn't purchase the meal plan, that was offered for an additional $35 dollars er person. Not trying to be funny but airplane food is only decent when it's included in the price of the ticket, not as an add on. Added bonus were the free movies. I think they do this to keep the natives from getting restless. Eight hours is a long time in a metal can.
Seat wise it was decent, not super great and additional inch or two wouldn't have been bad. Other than that the eight hours passed relatively quick due to the free movies and music, I watched at least three. I've come to realize that I only watch movies on a plane. Weird. Anyway, we brought food on board and only purchased a drink or two. Other than that, everything was good. I would easily fly them again. Almost forgot the boarding process was a hot mess and cheap. We stood in line, to stand in line, to get on a bus, to get to the plane. It was cold and wet but hey...we boarded AND we took off on time. That's all you can expect sometimes for less than $75 dollars.
Rating - B- Mainly due to the confusion on boarding.
Our last stop was BOS back to ATL, on this route we used Jetblue. Unfortunately the plane was delayed leaving out of ATL and we sat in the airport for FIVE hours waiting on our flight to arrive before we could leave. Props to Jetblue, they kept everyone informed, gave snacks and drinks along with a credit on our next flight with them. No complaints. Life happens when traveling. Honestly no one bitched or moaned, we just sat. Seats are nice, big and free movies again. I did need a seat belt extender on this flight surprisingly.
Rating - B
So that's our flight journey. Always remember that if you are flying a budget airline, you will get budget service. Don't expect what you didn't pay for, they owe you nothing.