Thursday, March 29, 2007

From Venice back to Gatwick - March 2007

Day 5: Back to the UK through Marco Polo Airport

> Previous day: pottering around Venice

Once more I took the ATVO bus between Piazzale Roma and Marco Polo Airport. I noticed that I was the only passenger to receive the driver's assistance with getting a suitcase onboard (and again the other end to take it out of the luggage hold).

Once more I appreciated the calm atmosphere in the departure lounge – so different from budget flights where everyone is desperately queueing for ages. I was a bit miffed with Marco Polo Airport, though. I had been told cheerfully the day before (by a Venetian) that Venetians are a sly lot, and when I was told at the BA desk that they'd 'run out' of regulation see-through bags, and was directed to a newsagent where I had to pay 30 cents I was sure it was a racket. (During my visit, incidentally, the headlines in Venice were all about a car-parking 'racket' – yes, the English word – in Venice. Oh, and bedbugs in hotels.) I've since heard of someone encountering the same plastic-bag problem at Bristol Airport – though I'm not sure that proves it's not a racket. Since it's airport security who insist we use the bags for our liquids, it seems only fair that they should provide them. At Stansted I've always been handed them (free) at the check-in desk or at the security barrier.

The BA plane (female pilot) was fairly empty. Once again I relished the free food and drink, stretched my legs out in the space provided and felt no nostalgia for those crowded Ryanair planes. There were fabulous views of the alps (so many of them...). I sat sucking boiled honey sweets that I'd bought from a monastery shop in Florence and listing all the great things I could do once based at my new Venetian flat.

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