Calle Lanzarote

Posts Tagged ‘flights’

Too much luggage?

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

Do you know how much luggage you can take on a flight to Lanzarote?  In particular, how much hand luggage?

Different airlines allow different amounts of luggage in the hold, but the rules on hand luggage can vary depending on which direction you are flying!

Iberia, for example, allows 10kg of hand luggage according to their website, although German regulations only allow 8kg.  Theoretically you can therefore bring back 2kg more of luggage from Lanzarote than you can take with you.

Another complication can be that not every airline follows the IATA recommendations on the dimensions of hand luggage, Lufthansa being one example – and in Frankfurt, Lufthansa provide the check-in facilities for SpanAir.

When I first flew to Lanzarote in September 2001, there were understandably very strict restrictions on what you could take onto the aircraft (although you could buy a manicure set from the on-board duty free trolley!) and I took just the bare minimum with me, putting everything else into my suitcase.  This caused it to have more than the allowed 20kg, but I pointed out at the check-in desk in Frankfurt that in return I had less than 1kg of hand luggage and so I did not have to pay any extra.

Returning with a couple of new books and souvenirs, I had even more kilos in that suitcase.  But again, with very little hand luggage this was not a problem.

Travelling as a family group can also be an interested experience at the check-in desk, but generally in Frankfurt the family will be considered as a single entity.  Thus a family of 3 can check-in a total of 60kg of luggage, as long as none of them on their own are over 30kg.

Of course, things do not always have to go so well, as the passengers on a flight to Frankfurt found out last week.  Due to the wind conditions in Arrecife, the pilot of a 757-300 had 80 suitcases off-loaded to reduce the weight of the aircraft before taking off.

I guess that it is one of the hazards of bringing home souvenirs from Lanzarote – lava is heavy!

Booking flights can be complicated

Friday, February 20th, 2009

I have been booking flights to Lanzarote recently, and it was not an easy thing to do.

Firstly, of course, I have to explain that I want flights from Frankfurt am Main in Germany, so my search was concentrated on German sites.  I am also booking several months in advance.  It is amazing what price difference there is at the moment, and what sort of strange options I was being offered.

As is often the case, flights during the school holidays tend to be more expensive than during term time.  I started by looking at, which offered me a selection of flights ranging from 290EUR to 1478EUR per person.

Flights with Iberia tended to be the cheapest, and I have flown with them on previous trips, only to disappointed with the on-board serivce.  Normally flying with them means changing planes in Madrid.  This time I was being offered flights that would take me to Madrid, then on to Las Palmas, and finally a short hop with Binter Canarias to Arrecife.  A few days later, the same search did not show this option, but instead a wait of 14 hours (overnight) in Madrid.

The most expensive option was with KLM (codesharing with Air Europa), changing in Madrid and Amsterdam!

So I decided to search online for alternatives.  After going through various search engines and travel agents, only to discover that even direct flights with charter airlines were not going make much difference to the price, I finally settled for an offer from SpanAir – booked directly via their website.  I flew with them last year to Madrid, and although the crews did not speak much English on board, the rest of the onboard service was better.  Plus, the price was good and the times were approximately what were were looking for.  There was also the additional bonus of changing planes in Terminal 2 in Madrid, thus avoiding the long walk and underground ride between Terminals 4 and 4S.

I booked the flights and was ready to pay for them online with my credit card, as I had done previously and would expect to do on other booking sites.  But no!  At the last stage of the booking, I had to fill out a form with my credit card details and fax it to a Spanish number.  Then I either had to call the SpanAir call centre (in Spain) to confirm them or go in person to a SpanAir agent in Germany within 24 hours.  And this was Saturday night at 11pm.

As I didn’t really want to have to find an agent on Sunday morning – probably at Frankfurt airport – I decided to call the call centre (yes, at 11pm on a Saturday night).  For such international calls I usually use Skype, but Skype would not let me call the number.  So I had to resort to using a normal land line – something I had not done for international calls for a long time.

I told the agent in my best Spanish why I was calling, and she answered in good English!  The whole call lasted only a few minutes, and by the end of it I had my eTickets in my Inbox!

I have to admit to being a little bit annoyed, that I wasn’t told in advance that I was going to have to do this.  But I have to admit that the call centre agent was efficient.  Actually, I think she spoke better English than a  lot of the cabin crews!

How do you fly?

Saturday, November 17th, 2007

This article from Radio Megawelle reminded me of something that I forgot to mention in my Iberia article.

Why do people take direct flights to Lanzarote? Most seem to think that a direct flight is more convenient, even cheaper. I prefer to fly via Madrid for the following reasons:

– often, as stated in the article, the normal flights are slightly cheaper
– the departure time is usually more convenient in Frankfurt
– the luggage and hand-luggage allowances are sometimes bigger
– the queues in Arrecife for the return flight are much shorter

Of course, a direct flight is quicker and you spend less time in the aeroplane as a result. But the first time I flew out I had another reason for going via Madrid – I was just plain curious to see somewhere in Spain that was new to me – even if it was the airport!

How do you fly to Lanzarote?

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