There was little to report from the other three over in Stansted Airport, but Bev was enjoying being pushed about and thought after her two meals in the JD Wetherspoon outlet that she’d have a Pret to wash it all down.
Whilst Bev was being treated like a celebrity, I’d completed my visit to the White Horse in Luton and I’ve written about that separately.
I didn’t realise that the bastion of journalism that is the Sunday Express has left Luton. Or, perhaps their sign just fell off.
It’s about a 40 minute walk to the airport from the town centre, but I managed to get lost and ended up meandering randomly around, although at least that means I saw more Luton streets than I could ever want to ever again. The reason that I mention this is that I walked by Luton Airport Parkway railway station and they’re near to opening the Luton DART, which has been in testing before passengers can use it from 10 March 2023. Some people have been more fortunate, King Charles III got to have a little ride on the DART last December.
There’s currently a shuttle bus to the airport from the railway station, or it’s around a 15 minute walk. I must admit to being quite astounded that they’re planning to charge £4.90 for this three minute journey on the DART and I can’t quite imagine many more expensive railway journeys for the distance travelled. The costs of construction are ludicrous, it was meant to cost £225 million and has gone soaring over £300 million already and judging by the local newspapers there are some slightly annoyed residents wondering where this money has gone. In the future, any ticket to Luton Airport Parkway will now include the cost of using the DART, but this raises the odd situation that I paid only £2.90 for my ticket from London St Pancras to Luton last week and so they’ll have to charge a fair chunk more for passengers who aren’t going as far (the parkway station is before Luton if travelling from London).
Anyway, I doubt I’ll ever use the DART as it seems completely unaffordable and as I won’t have any luggage, children or other things slowing me down, I’d rather just walk for 15 minutes. Maybe if Bev flies from Luton the matter might be different though.
After getting only slightly lost en route, the promised uplands of London Luton Airport appeared on the horizon. It’s a functional airport, but it struggles to cope with the number of passengers that it’s getting and it’s not really a sufficiently large terminal. To be fair, they want to change matters by expanding the current terminal and building an entirely new one as well. That would see an increase in passenger numbers from 18 million a year which they currently get to a new limit of 32 million. They’re already the fifth largest airport in the UK by passenger numbers and if they want to increase they’ll have to build that new terminal.
Inspired by Bev, I used my coffee subscription and charged my devices at the landside outlet of Pret. And, yes, I am getting onto writing about Lisbon very soon now. The screens were showing that my Wizz Air flight was going to be on time and just as I getting ready to go through security I heard that the others had landed in Lisbon. Leaving them just with one problem, they needed to find Bev a stick.