September 2020: Return to the Skies

You might well think that my successful North of England jaunt would have satsfied my travel addiction for a few weeks to come, but you’d be wrong. With a successful road trip under my belt, I couldn’t wait to move on to the next step and take to the air again. This coincided with a period when my Bristol-based friend and fellow-travel addict Bruce reported that he was climbing the walls with ‘cabin fever’. The way ahead was clear, and we arranged a triangular trip to visit two of our favourite cities – Berlin and London – from our respective bases.

1-Sep: Barely recognisable EDI, and EDI-TXL

It felt downright weird being in my local airport for the first time in nearly six months. I couldn’t even remember when I had last run up such a lengthy period of being grounded! After negotiating a brand new one-way system to access the terminal, I had plenty of time to observe many of the changes that had taken place, and to get used to the quite extraordinary shrinkage in the numbers of passengers. I travelled directly to Berlin on the easyJet service to the city’s Tegel airport. This had a near-normal version of the airline’s buy-on-board service.

5-Sep: Farewell to TXL, and on to London

A few days later, we both flew out of Berlin Tegel for the final time, bound for London Heathrow on British Airways. Nearly a decade late, Berlin Brandenburg would finally open its doors on 31 October 2020, and Tegel was due to operate its last commercial flight on 8 November. Thanks for twenty-odd years of memories, TXL, incuding an Air Berlin flight to New York!

The normal BA short-haul Economy buy-on-board service (featuring food by Marks & Spencer) had been withdrawn and replaced by a free ‘Covid-19’ product of a packet of crisps, a Walker’s biscuit and small bottle of water, delivered in a plastic bag and supplemented by a round of cold soft drinks. Little did we realise that the contract with M&S was about to be terminated, and that any return to buy-on-board would be with a new supplier!