We have quietly started another visit in Portugal. I left on Sunday evening as I needed to be in London to work Monday-Thursday. The rest of the family flew out on Wednesday night. Unfortunately there are only a few connecting flights from London to Lisbon. That meant that the family arrived at about 8am yesterday and had to spend the day at Heathrow until 3:30pm when our flight left for Lisbon. They at least did have the comfort of the BA lounge to use.
I got to the airport just before 2pm and joined them in the lounge. The flight left on time and we landed on time. In between we met the grumpiest gate guy I have ever met. He was arguing with most of the passengers about their carry on baggage and when we gave our boarding passes he started to insist that we had to check our bags in. Not only does the BA policy permit us to take the bags on board (and believe me I know what the policy is), we actually had business class seats for the flight. I pointed this out and he said ‘it doesn’t matter what class you’re flying’ … blood starting to boil. After a relatively heated exchange him insisting Michael put his bag into the ‘test the size of your bag thingy’ we finally got on the plane.
Needless to say I mentioned the exchange to the chief cabin controller and she handled it extremely well. She reported it herself through her channels and gave me a form to complete so I could give the details first hand. And to top it her service was really good and at the end of the flight she came over and gave us a bag of drinks including two bottles of champagne. Chloe had told her (while waiting to use the toilet) that we still had a 2.5 hour drive to the Algarve and so she said the drinks were for the trip and the champagne for when we got there. While I have the propensity to complain for poor service, I am equally happy to acknowledge excellent service and because of my regular BA traveling I have a way I can acknowledge any staff member and so I made sure I got her name and will do precisely that. She was extremely good.
We were the first people in the passport line and the bags come off relatively quickly (including the important golf clubs). We had to rent two cars (because of the luggage situation) and even that went relatively quickly (by Portugal standards). We got upgraded from what we booked. The guy at the counter tried to sell me an upgrade for Euro20 per day for a Mercedes but I declined. I know they do it when they don’t have the car you booked so if you decline then they have to give it to you for nothing. Which is exactly what happened. I got a BMW station wagon and Helen has a B-class Mercedes. Neither of us is complaining and it made it relatively comfortable to drive down.
One stop on route to buy a snack for dinner (crisps and chocolate). We arrived at the house at about 9:35pm. It is not particularly warm here at the moment (was about 14 degrees C when we arrived) so the house is a little cold as well and we haven’t managed to get all the aircons on heating yet. At least our bedroom one is working properly.
No food in the house and as it is Easter Friday we are hoping we find at least one grocery store open this morning. They are meant to open at 8am (and it is now 8:05am) so hoping for the best!