The Anonymous Widower

London To Novara

I flew from between London City and Milan Linate airports and then it was a coach and train to Novara.

These are the various legs of my journey.

Home To London City Airport

I took the following route.

It took just fifty minutes.

It is my closest airport.

London City Airport to Milan Linate Airport

I flew with British Airways Cityflyer.

  • The Airport was busy and there were delays at security.
  • We left a few minutes late.
  • The plane was an Embraer 190 SR.
  • I had a default aisle seat, but the guy in the window seat didn’t come, so I had room to spread about.
  • Some got a free snack, but they had no gluten-free, so BA gave me an extra water from Thirsty Planet.

I took these pictures during the flight.

The flight was more expensive than easyJet or Ruanair, but more refined and not as expensive as British Airways from Heathrow.

It was a route, I’d use again.

Milan Linate Airport To Milan Centrale Station

This was a five euro transfer in a coach from the airport to Milan Centrale station.

As I’d bought the ticket for the bus from a guy by the baggage reclaim, it was a painless business.

Wikipedia says this about Milan Central station.

Milano Centrale has high speed connections to Turin in the west, Venice via Verona in the east and on the north-south mainline to Bologna, Rome, Naples and Salerno. The Simplon and Gotthard railway lines connect Milano Centrale to Bern and Geneva via Domodossola and Zürich via Chiasso in Switzerland.

The station is also an important stop on the Milan Metro.

Looking up on Loco2.com, it would appear that most major cities in Italy have an hourly direct service to and from Milan Central.

Many are high speed trains, like the French TGV, which are called Freciarossa.

My journey between aiirport and station took forty minutes.

Unless I need a specific train, I rarely buy a ticket until I get to the station in Italy.

You can either go straight on to your destination on the next train, or dump your luggage in the left luggage lockers and take a couple of stops on the Metro to the cathedral to have a quick look at Milan.

Milan Centrale Station To Novara Station

To get to Novara station, I used the hourly express commuter service, that goes to Turin.

Note.

  1. The hour’s journey took about an hour and cost me five and a half euros.
  2. My train ran to the timetable.
  3. Usually, you can board a train about fifteen minutes before it leaves.
  4. The Italians paint a lot of rails white. It keeps them cool!

I arrived in Novara about five hours after I took off from London City Airport, so the total journey time coul;d have been under seven hours.

 

May 29, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Did Heathrow Back Down?

This article on the BBC is entitled New Elizabeth Line to serve Heathrow’s Terminal 5

A few months ago Heathrow was wanting to charge Crossrail an extortionate price for access to Heathrow and it was also holding out from allowing Crossrail to reach Terminal Five.

They tried all legal means to get Crossrail to cough up for the access to Heathrow, but no court found in their favour. And that includes the most important court of all; the Court of Public Opinion. Many, and Londoners in particular, look upon Heathrow Airports as a greedy bully and perhaps Heathrow decided this was a fight they couldn’t win.

So their only bargaining chip left was Terminal Five and perhaps British Airways had a quiet word.

Passengers complaining about being ripped off by Heathrow Express wouldn’t complain to Heathrow, but to British Airways.

July 4, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 3 Comments

Changing Sides

There is an interesting article in The Sunday Times today, entitled Boris Retreats In Fight Against Third Runway.

Boris is apparently saying he won’t oppose a third runway at Heathrow, so if anything he’s being consistent in changing horses, just as he did with Michael Gove.

But perhaps more surprisingly, Willie Walsh, the Chief Executive of IAG, who own BA, is quoted as calling Heathrow a fantasy project, which has been gold-plated and inflated by the owners to maximise their returns, at the expense of the airlines.

The paper also says that Gatwick will build a new runway anyway.

The latter is confirmed in this article on the Sky News web site, which is entitled Gatwick Airport to plan new runway even if Heathrow wins.

Elsewhere in The Sunday Times, there is a story about lawyers preparing their knives and forks for an expensaive dinner on all the arguments.

On top of all this of course, Londoners generally avoid Heathrow, as they prefer to do business with any Airport that treats passengers how they prefer to be treated.

This article on Get West London is entitled Bookmaker installs Gatwick as clear favourite over Heathrow in battle for new runway.

Could we be seeing something unique in the world of airports? A city with two major two-runway airports!

It will be interesting to see if the smart money is being put into commercial property like hotels and offices at Farringdon, where Crossrail and Thameslink cross.

I think that as passengers are much more flexible these days and even eighty-year-olds know how to work the Internet to their advantage, I think that if the Government makes the sensible choice and chooses Gatwick, we’ll see a marketing war, between the two airports, led by innovative airlines.

The major winners could be the passengers.

 

October 9, 2016 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 4 Comments

BA Goes For Landfill Power

Imagine flying in an airliner, that is powered by landfill.

It sounds far-fetched, but according to this report in the Guardian, it could happen. Here’s the introduction.

A delayed project to supply British Airways with jet fuel from converted waste is a step closer after it was announced a location has been found for the GreenSky fuel plant, in Thurrock, Essex.

The GreenSky project will see BA commit to buy all 50,000 tonnes of jet fuel produced at the processing facility for at least 11 years. The plant, operated by Solena Fuels, is to be built by 2017 on the site of the former Coryton oil refinery, creating 150 permanent jobs.

I believe that the key to energy shortages and global warming is technology and that this type of development is something that we should and probably will see more of.

April 16, 2014 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

An Amazing Interview

Victoria Derbyshire on BBC Radio 5 Live interviewed Bill Hagan, who is a retired British Airways pilot this morning about an incident that happened on BA Flight 2069 on the way to Kenya on the 29th December, 2000.

It is an amazing interview and it should be listened to, by anyone, who’s ever flown. You can here it here on this page. Just look for Bill Hagan and 17th March 2014.

March 17, 2014 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

How To Do The Snow Delay PR

On the BBC London News, they’ve just had a spokeswoman from South Eastern Trains, apologising for all the delays last night and saying that although some got home late, they all did get home.

They may not be perfect, but at least they had the decency to face the press, which can’t be said for British Airways, who seem to be intent on committing suicide.

January 19, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

British Airways Tries To Commit Suicide

I’m sitting here listening to the radio at one in the morning, as the drama at Heathrow unfolds.

So no-one has been killed and it’s only the usual chaos caused by rather heavy snow and cold weather, that happens about one in four hundred days or so at Heathrow.

These things happen and you have to have a plan for recovery when it does.

In this instance, the following statements have been made on BBC Radio 5 Live, by professional journalists acting on behalf of their listeners and those stuck at Heathrow.

1. Passengers after being stuck on a plane for several hours are finding, the Help Desk has closed.

2. The phone-in Help Desk has also closed.

3. The staff in Terminal 5 have gone home.

4. Baggage is stuck on the plane.

5. Passengers are being given no help to get a hotel.

6. Stephen Nolan was also trying to get British Airways on the phone to his radio program before it closed at one in the morning.  He failed.

The only excuse, British Airways and Heathrow have is that the weather is unprecedented and they can’t get any more staff to the airport.

But where are just a few staff at Heathrow working through a plan to at least sort out the more pressing problems?

It would appear that British Airways and Heathrow, didn’t have any plans to handle such an extreme situation.

So if this weather was unforeseen, why wasn’t their trouble at Gatwick, Stansted, Birmingham and Manchester.  There was a couple of problems at Belfast City and Bristol airports involving low-cost airlines, but nothing on the same proportionate scale.

In fact the problems at Heathrow seem to be centred only on British Airways Terminal 5, with the runways and the other terminals seemingly working without major trouble.

I would argue that all airports and airlines must have disaster plans, after all they are very vulnerable from incidents like a blocked runway or perhaps a strike in a critical area like baggage handling or air traffic control.

Admittedly, there has also been a lot of trouble on the roads. But nothing on the scale of the problems at Terminal 5.

The trains have been affected too, but they generally made the sensible decision to run a reduced timetable and asked people to think twice before travelling. Buzz Aldrin arrived safely in Scotland in good spirits as reported here, although the train might have been thirty minutes late.  But then that is minor compared to the problems at Heathrow.

Sometimes I think, I’ve made two sensible decisions since my stroke; to not drive and not to fly long haul. There are millions of places worth seeing within the UK, Ireland and the nearer parts of Europe.

I just can’t see any point in having all the hassle of a boring long-haul flight!

January 19, 2013 Posted by | News, Transport | , , , | 2 Comments