Countries, Europe, Flying

Holidos and don’ts – know your airport

Now, it would be silly to suggesr an airport is as familiar as a train or bus station while it is considerably more complicated.

But knowing your airport can take the stress out of your holiday: start badly and it’ll set your break off wrongly.

And as I begin a new journey from a new (old) airport here in Edinburgh my first thought is that this does save the legs.

An old fave, Turkish Airport, at Edinburgh Airport

Anybody who has been through Dublin Airport ( knows the long hike to your airplane.

It almost feels like you are taking the strain off the plane by walking halfway to your holiday destination yourself.

So leave yourself plenty of time. while it’s easy to mix up your Ryanairs and Aer Linguses.


So don’t leave yourself having to sprint between terminals: Ryanair ( Terminal 1 and Aer Lingus (

Apply this logic too to even bigger airports where it might involve buses between terminals, or even trains.

And ALWAYS read the small print on your information… you may be flying with an auxiliary airline from Munich to Athens.

And the main airline where you are is in another terminal in the airport.

Yes, guilty, and I am forever grateful and still terrified of the Lufthansa ( reservations manager I had to break the news to… My Greek odyssey.


Holidos and don’ts – Christmas luggage

I’m among the hundreds of people waiting at arrivals at Dublin Airport.

Mine’s is Daddy’s Little Girl, on her way home from Edinburgh.

Now Santy is here, there are well-wishers with Welcome balloons and I dare say a choir will appear any minute now.

Have you a giftie for me? Santy at Dublin Airport

And I’m looking at the trolleys of suitcases.

Nothing different there. Only I’m wondering what’s in them.

Not that I’m weird or anything. I’m just thinking that many of them will be packed with presents.

Oh, but that long walk

Which makes me think… why?

OK, there might be that Christmas gift you can only get in that country you’re coming from.

Although you can buy most things over the internet now.

And have it delivered to the family home or a relative to pick up.

Or even tell them what you want them to buy and recompense them when you see them.

Because packing your bags with gifts only means that you have less room for your own stuff.

And if you’re only home for a couple of days and can get away without taking a suitcase at all…

Because rucksacks hold more than you think and then you can always get your clothes washed at home.

Or better still change your wardrobe with some new clothes in the Boxing Day sales.

And then you won’t have to go to the carousel.

And you know what I think of carousels…

Having had to wait a day for my undelivered luggage to be sent to my address. I wasn’t alone.

The smaller the airport, of course, the smaller the carousel and the ANR Robinson International Airport in Tobago is definitely my size.

It even has reminders of home.

Here are a few reminders of some precious memories from that trip… Ready, steady, goat… in Tobago, Give us this Day – Sunday School, Tobago and I should cocoa – Christmas in Tobago.


This being Christmas Eve’s Eve this will probably be my last airport visit of the year.

Although I live in hope!

So a big thank you to all the airports that have hosted me this year, particularly my second home, Dublin Airport…

And while it’s probably too late for you to heed my advice, remember that the best gift you can bring is…


Unless you can persuade Rihanna to visit… A kiss from Rihanna.


Holidos and don’ts – my airport manifesto

I’m back in Munich Airport on Sunday… I feel I never left.

My luggage didn’t.

Well, maybe not didn’t, but certainly a good day after I got back to Ireland.

Hey ho, that I can handle, there were after all seven of us in the same boat if I can mix my metaphors.

I feel my misadventures in Munich Airport have prepared me for whatever pitfalls may yet befall me on Sunday.

Boy in the bubble: At Dublin Airport

But there will always be some I’ll repeat or have yet to encounter.

And so I have prepared a manifesto for airports and airlines everywhere.

But remember we can be proud of our big four on this island of Ireland,, and

While Donegal Airport was voted the most scenic airport in the world for the second year running by PrivateFly, a private jet booking service…


But here’s where we can get better,

Subsidiaries of airlines

Check, check and check again. Photo by on

1: Don’t be shy. Shout your name on the booking and not just on the small print.

It will save confusion when you ask at the airport and you get directed to the headline airline.

And you find that the two airlines go to the same destination 15 minutes apart.

And the only way to make your destination is if you are Usain Bolt and the train connection to the other gate is on time.

Because I can’t always depend on Dani being on the customers service desk to get me on the next flight

Open up more check-in desks

That’s right… every desk filled. Photo by Jopwell on

2: Why is there always one unmanned (or unwomanned)?

And one clueless, selfish bloke is shoring up one of the two desks when you’ve only got 15 minutes.

To find your gate, in a foreign airport, with primarily Greek lettering signage.

Airport taxis

Phew, made it. Photo by JÉSHOOTS on

3. Make sure your taxi doesn’t turn up late.

To your hotel when you’ve only got 45 minutes to get to the airport.

OK, that’s not the airport’s fault.

Provide segways

Good for an airport: In Malta

4. Or at least fast and slow walking lanes.

I swear the walkway when you land in Dublin to customs gets longer every time I come through.

See Nos 1 and 3.

Provide some phone points

I’ve found one: An airport plug-in.

5. So that when it all goes Pete Tong you can charge your phone to get on the app…

To rearrange your flight, or, yes it’s old-fashioned but… phone your wife for a confidence booster.

In fact this is Nos 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11.

12: Leave a book of Greek poetry

It’s all Greek to me

For those of us who took Ancient Greek at school!

Like they did at Kythera airport in the Attica region from where we visited Aphrodite’s birthplace

Turk that

13: Turkish Airlines Business Lounge

On the right track: Istanbul Airport

You can improve on perfection.

Turkish Airlines’ business lounge in the new Istanbul airport, an ideal hub, though I’d say you’d be tempted to stay in Turkey’s biggest city.

That is if you ever leave the airport with its golf simulator, grand prix games track, banquets of food and drink and cinema.

And much, much more.

I also had the privilege of being shown around TA’s headquarters.

And shown all that goes on behind the scenes… Wham bam, thank you Hamam.

And remember every Friday is Flyday Friday… avert a Greek tragedy.

The best of course: Turkish Airlines Business :Lounge in Istanbul