Three months ago I bought a round trip flight with easyJet to attend the annual spotter event at Madeira Airport on 15 October.
Photos by: Catarina Madureira
Aircraft: OE-LQC, Airbus A319-111 with 9.7 years old
Last week, Hurricane Leslie was expected to reach the Archipelago of Madeira on Saturday, the DAY that I had my flight. On that Friday, TAP Air Portugal canceled its Saturday flights to the region and Easyjet canceled its afternoon flight. My flight was the only one remaining between the islands and the mainland.
We arrived at the airport, passed security, and boarded our aircraft without problems. Madeira was an experiencing high wind, low visibility and a bit of rain, but it was still within the landing limits.
At 07:20h (10 minutes after scheduled time), we departed from Lisbon Airport. The journey went smoothly, without any turbulence. After an hour of travel, we began to descend for landing. Then, the Captain informed us that the weather in Madeira was deteriorating. It would not be possible to land or diverge to Porto Santo since the situation was too bad, so we returned to Lisbon, where we landed at 09:40h.
The Captain and Crew informed us that, after we the disembarked, easyJet would explain refund options, including indemnification, hotel accommodations, or another flight. EasyJet gave hotels to those that asked for it and meal vouchers for restaurants at the airport. My main problem was that EasyJet only had flights to Madeira on 17 October, so I had to search another way to attend the event.
TAP Air Portugal only had tickets at €590 one way to Madeira, which is an absurd price. Azores Airlines would possibly have tickets with stopovers in the Azores. I went to Azores’ desk, and they offered a flight at 06:30 to Ponta Delgada the next day, which would connect to a 09:05 flight to Madeira that would arrive at 11:40 a.m. for €200. I booked a seat on the flight.
Return Flight Details
Aircraft: OE-LQX, Airbus A319-111 (with 10.1 years old)
After a long day of spotting inside and outside Madeira, it was time to go home again. The flight was almost full (less than 10 free seats), so, while waiting in line, the airline offered free checked bags and gave priority boarding as a bonus. The aircraft was already closed when the Captain informed us that we had to wait about 10/15 minutes due to high traffic in Lisbon.
All the flight was good. There was no turbulence. The crew was really nice and even invited me to visit the cockpit while we waited for departure clearance.
Image from Airline Ratings