In the early afternoon on Sunday, Gatwick airport arrivals level was a scene of frantic activity, as hundreds of holidaymakers who had been skiing during the second week of the Easter school holidays headed for home. How come? They were dropped there by a fleet of coaches provided by tour operators to get their guests back to Blighty in the continued absence of flights.
I and my family were on one such coach, provided by Courchevel/Val d’Isère chalet specialist Le Ski. We had left Courchevel at midnight. It had been a pretty unpleasant night for those of us with legs longer than the French norm, but we were all relieved to be on our way home, and any aches faded quickly once the sun rose over Champagne and the distance to Calais dropped below 300km. We arrived at Calais shortly before noon, the Channel was like a millpond, the sun continued to shine, and we were back at Gatwick only a couple of hours later than planned. Well done, Le Ski.
The much bigger band of holidaymakers who had travelled with the TUI operations (Crystal, Thomson, First Choice, Flexiski) are also reported to have been bussed back by early Monday morning – over 2,500 people in all.
And what about everyone else? I invite those who have or have not got back home to briefly tell their stories here.