Friday, 2 November 2012
It was last week, courtesy of Easyjet...
When our flight from London Gatwick was about to land at Barcelona-El Prat, the pilot went on air to say that the runway where we were expecting to land had been temporarily closed and that, in view of the fact that we only had fuel for 20 more minutes of flight, we were diverting to Reus airport, 100 miles south of Barcelona, in order to refuel.
And so we did. The interesting part is that we then were to fly from Reus to Barcelona. I had flown short flights in general aviation aircraft before, but this is ceertainly the shortest distance I have flown in a commercial jet aircraft: it took about 15 minutes for the Easyjet A319 to cover the 100 miles that separate Reus and Barcelona airports...
Some curiosities from this experience:
-Upon arrival I noticed that our flight appeared twice on Barcelona airports flight information displays in the arrivals area and both with the same flight number: one for the original one from Gatwick and another one listed as coming from Reus.
-We could enjoy the safety instructions demonstration twice (even if no one exited the aircraft). I know this is standard practice but I found ita bit surreal.
-We were at Reus for longer than expected because the flight plan had to be provided to the pilots in paper and it seems there was no one ready to print it out at that time of the night at Reus airport (which is quite a small airport that gets only a handful of Ryanair flights at this time of the year). I guess this situation will not be hapenning a few years from now, when everyone is using iPads (I ignore if some regulations will need to change to adapt to the new paperless reality too).
This was my shortest commercial flight so far, but might not be the last, I know there are some scheduled flights out there that are even shorter than this, in the Caribbean and also in places like the Orkney Islands, that hold the record to the shortest regular commercial flight in the World!