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Punchestown festival for a score each way… or £40 return, for those not in racing lingo land it’s a sure winner…and no apologies for the forthcoming horsey puns….


Mate dropped me and my two pals off at the airport. Paid my pal the £1 for the pleasure of getting dropped off so I can avail myself of EDI’s facilities. Wonder why Ladbrokes or Paddy Power doesn’t charge you an admittance fee into their betting shops!

Co-incidentally I have noticed more and more people using the Hilton car park as a drop off/pick up point. How long before traffic chaos ensues & the rozzers close this loophole.

5 minutes later, we meet our Bookie mate, already enjoying his first pint, who had booked the £40 flights and had the foresight to print off our boarding passes. With a holiday thirst off we marched off to security. New at Edinburgh is the boarding pass scanners and the army of arm waving Tic Tac staff impersonating security staff to explain how they work. Fortunately it’s not the busiest I’ve seen and we’re soon at the x-ray area. Pleb mate curiously asks why there were queue jumpers.

In the short time it took me to explain the fast track format, all of us had been x-rayed, including our very own Victor Meldrew, who was humorously rebuked by our security chap. To look back and chuckle as the privileged fast track few now outnumbered the plebs.

Paid to gallop through queue, 12+ people waiting
Pleb queue -6. Hilarious as the suited and booted ponder lifting the rope and jumping out the fast track.

Triple “B” time. Starting with BEER. There is nothing finer in life then ordering 4 pints of beer at 7.25am, and watch as equal looks of envy and disgust drench you from the business traveller fraternity. Enjoy your Latte Mr. Businessman!!!

My smugness resorts to horror as we finally get our pints at 7.35 and look to the board to see if they have posted our gate. ”We’ll need to drink up rapid” I exclaim, as I notice our flight is flashing.

At a fast canter we cover the 2 furlongs to Gate 1A only to discover a queue longer than that for the loos at Glastonbury. 15 minutes later (7.55) we actually start to board. We trot on board in an orderly fashion, that a dressage horse would have been proud of.

Once on board the aircraft, I notice that Ryanscare have ingeniously devised a way to reserve their pre-book seating (rows 1 & 2, Emergency Exit rows & back 2 rows)

Simply photocopy A4 paper and tape to headrest. Ahhhhh so Ryantacky!! I also noticed that nobody actually sat in those seats which included the Emergency Exit rows.

And it’s good to see the aircraft is clean, tidy and is garishly blue and yellow welcoming. Although, my mate is confused by the lack of seat pockets, which I find actually gives you just a bit more leg room!

Before departure the crew go through their normal routine and we leave on-time at 8.10am. Hot food order from the “Getaway Café “is also taken whilst we taxi.

What a great marketing ploy is the launch of their “Getaway Café”. Less clever is the choice for our 2nd B’s BREAKFAST: Spaghetti BOLOGNAISE—Chicken Nuggets— MeatBALL sub— and almost forgot, emmmm a BREAKFAST BAP, although they only had a limited few of these on board.

No food for me, I’m needing a cup of caffeine riddled black coffee to see me last, what will be a long hard day of drinking and gambling and more drinking.
£2.60 for the coffee, but you do get the cup free apparently. Let’s get this bird up in the air!

Once airborne it’s “No thanks” to both the Scratch card run & also to the smokeless cigarette run. Now for my wakey wakey coffee.

The American women in the row in front, I assume must be suffering from jetlag as she opts for a meal from the Iceland “drunken-ping” menu. Then causes ME chaos as she attempts to pay with a US credit card.

Cart service comes to a halt in front of me as the 2 Cabin Crew deal with the un-chipped Visa card. ”Can you pay by Euro’s or Sterling?”…NO… ”Do you have another CC? ”Yes , but it’s not chipped either, American cards aren’t chipped…Our 2 intrepid Trolley Jockey’s then attempt to process card no.2 see above paragraph for result!

I can smell the coffee, it’s that close, however these particular BEANS are as well still being attached to their mother plant on the slopes of some Nicaraguan hill!

Eventually they resort to plan Z, and manually fill out an old school CC slip. 10 minutes after our cashless Yankee queen suggested this race course of action and one short head away from the male member of staff becoming a Gelding.

£2.60 lighter and with a free cup filled with black coffee, I’m all right Jack attitude to all those seated behind that didn’t get the opportunity to pleasure in the contents of the trolley, I can now, with coffee in hand, sit back, relax and enjoy the final approach.

With a bump and the William Overture Fanfare we arrive ahead of schedule just before 9.

After what seems like an eternity to taxi to the terminal we arrive, and wait for steps to arrive and wait. ”Boarding through the front and rear please.” Like blinkered horses our fellow passengers buck and bronco into position for the off. Must be a handicap race because the people at the back of the aircraft have a delayed start due to late arrival of the steps. Like any thoroughbred I choose my moment and manage to disembark from the front whilst my fellow stragglers still await the arrival of the aft stairs. See you in the “Angels Share”

Set your expectations low, and you won’t be disappointed. Go back to the start of my ramblings and re-check the fare.

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