Interview: what is it like to fly into Alicante, Spain in July 2020?

Today, we interviewed Wayne from Essex who flew in to Alicante today with Ryanair from London Stansted. He provided an interesting insight into what it’s like to fly into Alicante and as one of the first to fly over since the FCO announced that holiday makers can fly to Spain and there not being a quarantine on arrival to the U.K., there were understandable a lot of questions that people had.

His interview provided some great inside knowledge and allows people to make an informed decision on whether they’re ready to holiday yet or not.

Whilst live, we were asked to write this up into an article that you could look back on and perhaps help more people find out what flying is like during July 2020. These answers were all filmed live and you can watch the interview on YouTube below:

We interview a tourist in Benidorm

Can you tell us what it was like to land today in Alicante?

It was so easy, I landed about twenty five minutes early. From getting off the plane to getting to the carousel to get your bags, I was ten minutes. I’ll be honest with you, I was the first seat on the plane so I was quicker getting off the plane. Within ten minutes, if you didn’t have a bag to collect off the carousel, I would’ve been outside within twelve minutes.

Did you have to do the new QR code form?

This is the thing, on the plane they were going to do this. Obviously I’d already done mine online so I had my QR code. About half an hour before landing, I said to one of the stewardesses “excuse me have you got the form please that I need to fill out?”, she said “hold on a second let me speak to my supervisor as we should have, but we have none on board today”. They had them yesterday and another flight that had come from London and another from Bristol had them, but the flight I was on didn’t. I saw them when I got to the carousel, had to go through to give the QR Code. They had forms available there [at Alicante airport] but it’s taking an extra 10-15 minutes to fill it out. You’ve gotta find your address [and accommodation details in Spain] which is why it’s a lot quicker to do it online with the QR code than it is to do it at the airport. If you can do it on the plane, yeah, you’ve got the time but they had none on board.

Did you take a transfer? If so, what was it like?

I got a taxi from the airport rather than a transfer. It was an English taxi driver which charged £50 which is as cheap as you’ll get it for. Normally they’re about £55-£60. Without booking you can expect about 90€ to just flag a taxi.

Did you have to fill in a passenger locator form as well?

No, all you’ve got to do is the new form that started from July 1st (Wayne got this form after reading my blog about the new compulsory form that started) the one that you posted, you click on that new one online and then you can print it when done. When they gave out the forms I didn’t actually see them (as Wayne had done his online) that’s why I was trying to get one on the plane and then I could’ve asked more questions because the original one I had from last week which I filled out just in case as well is still in my bag! Do it online, I understand a lot of people don’t have the internet or a printer, you can still do it on arrival (at the moment) but it’s gonna take extra time. I was waiting 3 or 4 minutes for my bag so it was in and out.

What was the occupancy like on the plane?

I would say definitely 50%, I booked seat number 1 and paid a bit extra. There was nobody in the middle seat, I looked down the plane and all the way along on both sides and every row that people were in it was all 2’s or 1’s. Everybody had to wear a mask the entire time. And as you land in the airport you have to keep the mask on.

Was there any temperature checks or Covid tests at departures?

No, only at arrivals.

Can you still take luggage on the aircraft?

Yep, overhead and small bags under the chair still not a problem.

What about food and drink? Can you still buy refreshments on board?

Yes, I had a Heineken on the plane but you cannot use cash. It has to be paid on card or Apple Pay.

Can you still use the toilets on board?

Yes, what they ask you to do is above where you’re sitting where you have the air con press that if you need a drink or the bathroom and they will come and attend to you. You then ask if you can go to the toilet. I went twice no problem.

Was it random checking at the airport for visual and temperature checks or did you all have them?

It was random checking. If you’re a group, some of you will get stopped all solo travellers got stopped.

Was your flight price good and did you book it after the government announced changes to Covid?

I should’ve booked it last week when it was £70 return and because I booked seat number one that was an extra £28, I added luggage which I should’ve done when I first booked but I did it after which was £50 one way and £35 the other. It ended up being £370. Last week the flight would’ve been £70 without luggage.

Were the shops open at the airport?

In stansted, as July 4th and bars can open but even still no bars were open, no food places, no drinking places. But duty free was open. But places like W H Smiths were all open.

What was hotel check in like?

I’m staying at an apartment. It was straightforward. There’s lots of forms to fill out now, I’ve got a two bedroom apartment and due to Covid there’s only one towel per person (for the duration of the stay but Wayne has access to a washing machine and brought some of his own over) and the air con which I’ve got fans and said I don’t want it was £25 extra to have it cleaned when you leave plus £5 extra per day, I’ve said I’ll see what it’s like tonight without it and I’ll leave it. They won’t even give us extra toilet roll etc. She said it’s the law for apartments at the moment. She said she can’t give me extra bits and pieces as I’m self catering. They’re charging extra for the cleaning.

Was special assistance still running?

I saw people with wheelchairs still having special assistance.

Are beer prices more expensive than before?

I’m on my second pint, the first spanish bar I stopped in which was 1,50€ and where I am now is still 1€ a pint.

Anything else you want to add about your experience?

With the thermal checks, whilst I was waiting at the carousel I saw them call a few people aside every so often. Everyone as they’re walking through goes through a thermal imaging camera, you stand there for a few seconds and I also got pulled. So after my QR check I had to stand and they took my temperature, but as I say, it was all quick. If I didn’t have a bag I’d have been outside even quicker.

 

A huge thank you again to Wayne for providing such invaluable information explaining what lots of us have been thinking about.

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Hola! I'm Lauren ("Loh - run") — A twenty-something, engaged, English girl living on the Costa Blanca, obsessed with travel, love and elephants.

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