British Airways new direct summer flights from London Gatwick to Limoges

Limoges Airport, (Bellegarde), situated in the Limousin region bordering on the Charente, has come a long way in the last 10 years, graduating from small temporary buildings for a terminal to an ultra modern airport with all facilities.

It has become the airport destination of choice for many English travellers wanting to explore the Charente, Limousine, Haute Vienne, Deux-Sevres and the Loire Valley. Flights inward from the UK already cover most of the big cities, Birmingham, Liverpool, and East Midland. Southampton, Edinburgh and, of course London Stansted but one important area of the UK south east was missing.

Despite the wealth of flight options we had available, we still had one little niggle. Limoges, (its original name is Bellegarde), airport, being the closest airport to Moulin du Fontcourt which is our home and business. It was frustrating not being able to get flights to Gatwick Airport in Sussex.

London Gatwick was, for us, our most used UK airport and many of our family and friends in the UK live in the area. A common problem for many South East UK Brits. We desperately needed a white ‘airline’ knight to fly in to Limoges and take us to Gatwick Airport.

‘White Knight’ British Airways steps in to fill the South East Home Counties gap.

In May 2017 British Airways started a new summer service from London Gatwick to Limoges. HOORAY!

Now friends and family as well as business owners from Surry, Suffolk and Kent can step onto our national airline at Gatwick airport and step off at one of the most convenient and easy travel destinations in France- Limoges.

Sounds, and is, great news.  Looking splendid in red, white and blue livery you can now fly our very own British Airways aircraft providing flights to/from Limoges-London Gatwick from May to mid-September. This new flight is ‘Fab’ news for Brits who enjoy holidaying in France and want to travel further than just crossing the Channel to Normandy or Brittany.

If that is not the bee’s knees of travel providers, then throwing in additional flight services from Limoges to New York, Jamaica, Amsterdam and many others exotic places beside we were absolutely ‘flown’ away with the all the options BA offer.

We ‘test fly’ the new service.

 We had to try the service out!  A Grandson’s wedding in the UK meant we had an ideal opportunity to use the new service. It was slightly dearer than a certain Irish budget airline but, for an August booking, it was still competitive. We did not measure the seats but they did feel comfortable and better spaced out than on other budget airline flights. The staffs on board were very attentive and helpful.

Generous free baggage allowances

We were pleased to find out that BA’s free generous hand baggage allowance of 23kg (51lb), as it made it possible for us not to check luggage in the hold. It does have size restrictions, well, so do most other airlines, but these are more generous than many others. A cabin bag of 56 x 45 x 25 cm’s, (22 x 18 x 10inches), and yes, it does have to fit into a baggage gauge!  Plus, a handbag/laptop bag of 23kg/51lb up to 40 x 30 x 15cm (16x 12 x 16 inches).

If you join B.A’s Executive Club or become a One World Member you can get even higher allowances. This may be very interesting for regular travellers although there is a fee for becoming a member. Only downside was that the airline cabin staff were having some difficulty managing the full customer service due to the shortness of the flight.

Overall though, it was efficient, pleasant flight and, characteristically, all on time.

Looking back

With this new British Airways service we are now incredibly lucky in our region to have fantastic transport links to the South West of France. Mind you, historically it has been like that for a few thousand years when the Romans chose our town, Chasseneuil sur Bonnieure, as one of their most important crossing points across France, building roads as they went. Some of the remains of those Roman roads here are still visible today.

We can only look back 15 years, as far as our own transport links are concerned. Originally, it was a long journey by car with a mixture of dual carriageways and small- town routes and finding your way through the cities en route. It was fun, exciting and frustratingly slow. Getting lost en route was almost an expectation. There were a number of coach companies taking people across to the continent but we only ever tried that once before saying-never again.

You could go by train. First you had to cross the Channel by ferry and connect to the available French services then, probably, reconnect with the faster train services depending on how far you were travelling. If you had deep pockets you could fly but routes and destinations were limited as well as been expensive.

What a difference travel in France is today! New national routes and toll roads whisk car travellers down to us in South West France in hours avoiding, if you wish, getting stuck behind tractors in towns and hamlets and bypassing the Cities and the inevitable chaotic of city traffic.

Want to go by train now? Start in London or Kent, lie back and get off at our main line station in Angouleme just twenty minutes from us. Even our home town of Chasseneuil sur Bonnieure has its own SNCF railway station which connects with Angouleme, Bordeaux, La Rochelle or South to Limoges and onwards to Paris and the UK.

The Budget Airline Revolution

For us the biggest change is the airline routes on is offered by the budget airlines at incredibly low fares. We have travelled from France to England by air for fares as low as £2 and £5. In conjunction with the air revolution many new provincial airports have opened to receive these new services. Now, if we decide to fly we are blessed with 4 airports within easy reach of Moulin du Fontcourt chambres d’hôtes, the shortest just 55 minutes away. They are Limoges, Poitiers. Bordeaux and Bergerac.

Thank you, British Airways, for providing this new service which now fills the gap between London’s Gatwick Airport to France’s Limoges and coming to our rescue. We suspect you will become very popular in our corner of beautiful France for a long while to come.


 

Photo: by Konstantin von Wedelstaedt – http://www.airliners.net/photo/British-Airways/Airbus-A380-841/2423314/L/, GFDL 1.2, Link