08/02/2010

When August 1 falls on a weekend.

Sumer weekend air travel is always liable to be a problem, especially when the weekend includes the Swiss national day.


In summer, air travel on Friday nights and the weekend is always liable to include a higher risk of delays and cancellations. This summer, with August 1 falling on the Sunday, it was probably the worst weekend of the year so far: even worse than the first weekend after the schools finished.

It already began badly for people coming to Geneva from Nice or Rome on the Friday night easyJet Switzerland flights : they had the doubtful pleasure of seeing the motorway from Lyon to Geneve in the early hours of Saturday morning. This same misadventure was repeated on the Saturday evening for easyJet Switzerland passengers from Malaga and Marrakech.

On Sunday, the good news was that no flights were diverted to Lyon. The bad news was that the last easyJet Switzerland  flights to and from Malaga, Amsterdam and Paris were simply cancelled. Even the Portugese airline TAP joined the party, cancelling the flight from and to Lisbon, whilst Swiss cancelled a late flight to London City and Lufthansa a late flight to Hamburg.

Looking on the bright side, one could hope that these passengers would have been able to watch the fireworks, then have a night's sleep in a hotel, before leaving on the Monday.

Those easyJet passengers to Malaga have received special treatment: on the Monday morning easyJet UK flew in one of their UK-based aircraft to go to Malaga as an additional flight. Passengers to Paris or Amsterdam might have more problems, given that there is only one Monday easyJet flight to each of them.

Having done both, I can quite recommend a rail journey to either of these latter two destinations, if you have the time!

With luck, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays will, as usual, be much better days for air travel.

ps: this August 1 might be remembered by Versoix residents as the day when no less than 5 easyJet Switzerland aircraft flew over them in the 30 minutes after midnight. However, after the noise of the fireworks, maybe they were temporarily a bit deaf.

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