December 16th, Falklands to Rio Gallegos
It was the same routine as yesterday but without all the problems. Up at seven, breakfast at eight and then we had to wait for the bus that would bring us to Mount Pleasant airport.
It takes an hour to get there from Stanley and that’s the easy part. The airport is small and unorganized. Passengers can’t all get into the check-in area and about half of a flight has to wait outside in the hard blowing wind. Inside it’s chaos as there are no lines and many just try to get in front. Next to the two check-in desks is an X-ray machine that immediately scans luggage and about half of the passengers have their luggage re-screened manually and have to go to a separate area.
Next is immigration where passports are stamped and the £25 ‘exit fee’ needs to be paid.
There’s only one screening machine for hand luggage and as everyone needs to remove shoes, watches, belts, keys and all things metal that too takes forever. In all it took over two hours from arriving at the airport to getting to the departure hall which does not have enough sitting space for all passengers. Because of the inefficiency at this airport we left half an hour late of which 20 minutes were made up during the flight to Rio Gallegos.
If there’s ever a “Worst airport” award it would be won by far by Mount Pleasant airport.
A 10 minute taxi ride later we arrived at our hotel. After dinner we took the opportunity to post the pictures for last week’s posts as now we had decent internet access.