Hello and welcome to this trip report of my round trip from Bristol to Edinburgh with easyJet
I have previously written trip reports on here under a different name, but having come out as transgender I thought I’d start over! Last time I flew (in 2015) I pretended to be male as at the time I didn’t have the appropriate ID. I do now have a driving licence in my new name and gender (and have sent off for my passport to be changed) So this is my first time flying as an out transwoman, so part of this will feature a bit about my experience of traveling while trans.
This trip was to visit a Scottish friend of mine, with the plan to have a day in Edinburgh with me flying back the following day. I booked the flight with £35 in Nectar points and found a nice Ibis hotel just off the Royal Mile for £45.
I’ve done both a video and more traditional write up - I hope you enjoy bothBristol to Edinburgh video
. Edinburgh to Bristol Video
It was an early start and I arrived at the airport in good time. One thing that doesn’t seem to change is the mess that is the long stay car park, the signs indicated that spaces were in zones A and B - that was a bit of a lie, quite a few were too small because of bad parking! I did eventually find one by squeezing between two 4x4s. But it was in the furthest zone from the Terminal - At least it wasn’t raining! That is one complaint I have about Bristol, the shuttle bus from Long stay is only every 20 mins.
Having checked in online I went straight to security, which seemed to be being extended so there was a bit of a maze of hoardings to negotiate, I will admit to being a bit nervous so while I made sure to take my boots and coat off, get the bagged liquids out etc. I forgot to take my watch off... PING! So I was directed to the Bodyscanner and the friendly agent asked for my ID. So I pointed at the bag just coming out of the X-ray, when it got shunted into the “further examination” area. ID retrieved and a quick check of one of the highlighted areas (my watch - the other area was in my pants and I suspect that was down to me being pre SRS) and I was good to go. The further examination of my bags was down to my coat being on top of my liquids. So apologies for being that person who holds up the line!
On a serious note I must say the staff at Bristol were brilliant, they didn’t make a fuss of my trans status and worked around the limitations of the machine. I’ve heard a few horror stories from across the Pond (and in the Sandpit) and I’m lucky to be living somewhere relatively tolerant of such things.
So onto the flight, by the time I’d cleared security I had about 10 minutes to wait before the gate was called. The flight was departing from gate 9 which equates to stand 1. The boarding check was done before entering the holding pen, families with under 5s and speedy boarders had a roped off area by the window. As is usual for some reason people start queueing even though the aircraft hadn’t even arrived on stand.
The aircraft arrived shortly afterwards. It was G-EZFC, an Airbus A319 new in 2009. Unloading was completed fairly quickly and boarding was called shortly afterwards.
I took my seat in 18A, the flight was quite busy and it seemed most rows were full. As it was half term there seemed to be a lot of families traveling. Departure was to the east before turning initally to the west, before then turning north towards the Brecon VOR.
The weather was clear for the first part of the flight, with a bit of cloud over mid Wales. It cleared passing over Chester and looking down I could see the Airbus wing factory at Broughton shortly followed by the city of Liverpool and then the Lake District. In the distance I could see the grey of the Sellafield Nuclear plant, I mention that as the guy next to me was watching a documentary about the plant on his tablet!
The cloud cover returned by the time we were crossing the Scottish Borders and started descent. Looking at the track on FlightAware we did make a single lap of the hold before setting up for an arrival for runway 06. During the final approach we were popping in and out of cloudbanks before finally emerging from the cloud cover shortly before landing. Throughout the final descent the child behind me was making some very strange noises and then I heard “[Kid’s name] I’m more interested in Scotland than the mating calls of the birds”. Touchdown was fairly smooth and in the distance the three bridges that span the Firth of Forth could be glimpsed through the gloom. At this point the child behind sounded like they were trying to impersonate a bird orgasm! Poor Parents!
We taxied in to stand 3 before disembarking by stairs (even though there was an Airbridge). There was quite a walk to domestic arrivals and then I followed the signs for trams (as I couldn’t see any for the airport bus) and ended up in the wrong place altogether. I eventually found the bus and in about 30 minutes I was in the city centre to meet my friend.
Edinburgh was cold but good to look around. I will say that I don’t think the castle was worth the money for what’s there.
After checking out of the Ibis I grabbed breakfast in the Costa next door, before having a quick walk around Prince’s Street gardens hoping to get a good shot of the castle with better lighting then the previous day, but unfortunately the sun was at just the right angle to swamp any photos.
I caught the bus back to the airport and decided to get security out of the way, this time no issues at all (I remembered to take my watch off and put my liquids on top this time). I watched the activity on the apron until the flight was called from gate 9. Yet again the queue started to form as soon as the flight was called but I took a seat until a few minutes before boarding, when they started asking for volunteers to check bags, I thought it best to not be at the very back!
This flight was operated by G-EZAO - an A319 new in 2006 - Boarding was again by stairs and I stowed my bag and took my seat in 18F. (My seat choices had been to give a view of the city on arrival and of the bridges on departure - though with the east wind it was the other way around). Even though it was a busy flight I was surprised to find I had three seats to myself! (though someone did move into the aisle seat after takeoff) Pushback was a few minutes late and we then had to sit for a few minutes as the neighbouring A320 was also pushing.
All the Legroom!
After taxiing to Runway 06 and holding to allow a Hop Embraer to land (I couldn’t tell what flavour of E-jet it was from the brief glimpse I had) we took off to the east before making a 180 degree turn over the Firth of Forth. In the distance I could make out the Clyde and the city of Glasgow. Not long after the cloud returned and obscured the ground for the rest of the flight.
The weather in Bristol was horrible and wet! I couldn’t even see the winglets until a few seconds before touchdown. As seems to be typical when it’s raining at Bristol we were put on a remote stand (and looking at Flightradar it was the last flight of the day for that aircraft). For those of us in the rear disembarkation was fairly quick but the front door had jammed. They did manage to open it by the time the bus had set off for the terminal.
Again a maze of hoardings to negotiate as the airport seems to be extending international arrivals and I emerged just in time to see the Long Stay shuttle bus take off. So a nice damp walk back to the car and drive back to Exeter.