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Flights to the UK

Barcelona is phenomenally well connected to the UK to all areas with a wide range of airlines so you have a lot of choice and can usually find deals.

Barcelona airport is extremely well connected - 30 minutes by train from the city centre with trains every half hour. The train leaves from the airport on the hour and at the half past so I'm always looking at my watch as we land knowing the timing to catch the train. Alternatively it's about 25 minutes and €25 or so by taxi.

The airport has been done up since we arrived. Terminal one is now the main terminal and requires a 10 minute bus drive from the station which makes it much less convenient than it once was - a new train line is being build.

The original terminal (now called Terminal 2) is still in operation but much much quieter, which is a pity as it was one of the best airports in Europe with lots of space and light and generally smaller queues. If you are travelling out of M5 (eg with Easyjet) once you have had your passport checked you're not supposed to go back past this point and there are no newspapers or book stores at this end of the terminal.

If you need to get to the London area there are of course flights to Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton and Stanstead. Alternatively Ryanair runs from Girona and having flown in to Girona once it was extremely easy to get the bus to Estacio Nord (about 80 minutes). It's a bit of a drag going out and it is Ryanair so we use this rarely as there are so many options from BCN itself.

It is possible to do a fly-in, fly-out in a day for an afternoon in London. You could do one of the very expensive early morning flights but the 10:50 Easyjet to Gatwick is fine - you gain an hour on the outbound phase so you arrive at lunchtime. Coming back Easyjet from Gatwick at 19:10 is the latest London departure.

We strenuously attempt to avoid Heathrow as the world's worst airport as we tend to be heading back to the west of England much of the time. As anyone who lives in the West knows, Heathrow is the the worst to get to from the West, despite being the closest major airport. Thankfully, we have plenty of other options.

The main outbound from BCN are BA and Easyjet, but there are also flights from Jet2 (to the North), BMIbaby (to the West) and Thomsonfly. I've flown to/from Gatwick, Luton, Leeds, Cardiff, Birmingham, Coventry, Bristol and there are flights to a wider range than this, so you have a lot of options should you need to travel and you'll get close to where you need to do business. The flights change all the time though.

Some airlines are playing games with restrictions on hand luggage and hold bags. We've found that occasionally the policy out from BCN is different from the policy back and as money is getting tighter for the airlines there is a sense that some, such as BMIbaby, are applying/changing the rules to suit. So for instance my hand luggage which is fine for every other airline is nearly too big for BMI and BMI had a policy of 20kg max per bag going out from Cardiff, rather than the 20kg max per person that applies everywhere else (this is important if you're travelling with children and have one large bag, rather than several smaller ones).

 


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