Sunday, June 15, 2003

Something unexpected

When flying out of Bilbao on Tuesday, I had an unusual experience, which is that the city's airport seems to feel no need to extort money from air travellers the way many airports do. Firstly, the bus to the airport was a proper airport express: non-stop from the city centre to the airport. However, the fare was just an ordinary bus fare: one euro. Normal practice with airport buses is to charge three times the fare for any other bus, but not here.

Having got to the airport and through to the gate, I discovered my flight was delayed. I did what I normally do when a flight is delayed, which is go to the bar. I ordered a beer, and was charged 1.40 euros, which is about the same as I would be charged in any other bar in Bilbao. Upon finishing the beer, I observed that the flight was still delayed, so I ordered a cup of coffee. For this I was charged 1.20 euros, again about the same as in any other bar.

Nobody ripping me off in the modern globalised way? What is this?

(Bilbao airport is in scale and operations rather like Adelaide airport. There are fairly regular flights to all the major Spanish destinations, and occasional flights to London or Paris or somewhere like that).

Update: I have also written some thoughts on the Bilbao Metro system over at Transport Blog.

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