Archive for September, 2013

Fly from Malaga – at your Own Peril!

Flying into Malaga airport in the tourist southern area of Spain isn’t a bad experience.  Well, landing is okay but you need several experiences in the airport before you know how to get out of it. 

However.  No, let me say that again…… 

HOWEVER, flying from there can be a nightmare. 

Saturday, 24th. September was meant to be a simple internal flight from south to north (we live in the north) and, as you only have to arrive an hour before your flight for internal flights, we relaxed a little and arrived ninety minutes before the flight of seven thirty p.m… 

Ryanair (before I finish, I must point out that, this time, Ryanair was not the problem!) had two queues for people checking in.  Hubby and I were about sixty and sixty one in the queue and, chatting to the English people in front of us, I found that they were on a package tour and that their holiday representative had brought them to the airport quite early for their nine thirty p.m. flight. 

Ours was for seven thirty and it was already ten past six.

 Head in gear, I went to the front of the queue and explained to the check-in lady that we may not get to the flight on time.  She said wait a little longer and, later, a separate queue might open for our airport and we could join that. 

It’s sounding good, isn’t it?  But wait ….. 

After checking in some twenty minutes later, we went to join the security queue. 

We couldn’t find the end of the queue. 

Five minutes later, we were standing behind (I should think) about two thousand people, all waiting to put hand luggage through x-ray machines. 

Again, I went to the front of the queue and explained, where I received a typically Spanish reply.  Let me describe it to you …. 

Okay, put your arms by your sides like a soldier.

Lift your lower arms to horizontal, as if carrying a tray.

Now, the final and most important move – with lower arms in that horizontal position, you must now raise your shoulders. 

Aaah!!! 

I explained that I have glaucoma (this is true and, incidentally, I was on a ‘delayed by strike action’ Ryanair flight when it happened) and that my eye drops, which must be used every night to keep my eye pressures down, were in the case.

 Shoulders up with “you’ll have to wait in the queue”. 

Several more tries and I realised that the lady didn’t care about me, my eyes, or indeed anything. 

“Where can I complain?” 

“She pointed to ‘Information’”. 

I went through the same rigmarole with the lady there. 

Shoulders lifted while she typed whatever she was typing. 

“Okay, I have a disability.” 

“You have to wait in the queue.” 

“Okay, if I miss the flight, I am going to come to you to ask you to explain that I was here well before the gates closed but the queue was horrendous.” 

Shoulders job.

“My eye drops are in my case.  If I don’t get on that plan, I’m going to ask for my case to be removed.”

(You know what I am going to say now, don’t you?)

A few more tries, might I add, all in Spanish.

At that, she did do something.  She called for a security guard who arrived on a two-wheeled scooter thingamabob.

But ha!  He asked where my husband was and that I must go and get him and he would then take us to the front of the queue.  The two ladies, each in view, looked disgustedly at the security officer and the lady at the information desk tried to argue that he shouldn’t be doing this.  With a wave of his finger, and a second request for me to get my husband, I walked along the queue, shouting my husband’s name, as glaucoma has left me with poor distance vision and I knew I wasn’t going to be able to see him.

We got through the x-ray section and had only ten minutes to sit down, before our gate opened for queuing for the flight. 

What I can’t understand is (now maybe this is Ryanair after all!), why were the check-in desks for a mixture of internal an international flights?  Our local airport in Santiago de Compostela has two separate sections in its airport, so internal flight passengers never meet international. 

Come on Malaga (and, well, maybe also Ryanair), get your act together.

The moral of this story is – fly from Malaga at your own peril!