I was one of the lucky ones this weekend to experience the effects of the "critical" threat level by the British government this weekend. Out of all the weekends to travel, my trip to Costa Blanca, specifically El Campello and Benidorm Spain was a very painful experience. But once I was there, it was all sun, beaches, drinking, and partying.
First off, the critical threat level resulted in the restriction of any hand luggage on any flights out of any UK airport. This resulted in checking in everything you had except for a wallet and your passport in a transparent bag! This sucked because I usually don't check anything in on these weekend getaways. You couldn't even bring a book!
It took over an hour to check in and the security check involved a guy looking through your transparent plastic bag! Anyone that didn't follow the restrictions were turned away and return complying to the restrictions. (I'm not sure what they did with the things they couldn't bring!) We did see some people try to sneak some stuff in, only to be caught with the security frisk later on.
We eventually make it to the Madrid airport, which in my past experience in Spain, has been very bad. (Last time I was there I had to run to the gate with a very heavy bag!) It was deja vu all over again. Since the flight from London departed late, we were late for our connection. It was a 23 min walk to the gate and flashbacks to my last visit haunted me! This time though, all I was carrying a transparent bag!
Of course once we find a screen displaying the flight status information, it ended up being delayed for 5 hours! Oh what fun it is to stay at an airport only carrying a plastic bag with my passport and wallet!
We eventually make it the Alicante Airport and waited patiently for our luggage. We waited and waited... and guess what.. it never came! I can't even begin to describe how much that sucked waiting and waiting.. only to finally admit that my backpack wouldn't be taking a ride around the conveyer belt.
After traveling for almost 12 hours with only a plastic transparent bag, the journey ends with having our luggage lost! Bad luck I tell ya! But an interesting experience nonetheless. We end up getting our luggage a couple of hours before we had to leave to go home. =(