Yesterday’s journey to Vilnius from Edinburgh via Copenhagen really was like rolling back the clock 20 years.
For several years during the 1990s it was a monthly commute to spend a week working in Vilnius. Then – as yesterday – it was usually with SAS all the way. Then – as yesterday – their balance of price/convenience was usually the best option.
In the 90s we could get a business class roundtrip midweek with SAS for about £600, as compared with over £1,000 in economy class from the likes of British Airways. SAS had a special deal to encourage business passengers onto their new network of routes around the former Soviet states. You could get a cheaper deal – maybe – £300 return – with an APEX fare (remember those) but it would mean staying away until Sunday and booking 14 days in advance.
Those were the days…
My flight this time cost me £190 round trip and that includes a 23kg checked in bag. Yes, I’m staying over the weekend and yes I booked 2 months in advance, and yes any changes to the ticket would cost a small fortune, but it is a holiday trip and not for work.
In addition to the nostalgia about flying SAS for the trip, and the brief stopover in Copenhagen, the arrival at Vilnius Airport and drive into the city brought back many memories. The airport has been improved and modernised almost out of all recognition since the first time I passed through it in 1993. But, it is still the distinctive Soviet built terminal I know so well.
It is really good to be back.
ⓒ iain taylor, 2018