From Scotland with love... Couple’s return on new Edinburgh route marks 43 years of flying to Derry

A travel-loving couple, who have flown to and from Derry for the past 43 years, were ‘delighted’ to find themselves on the first Loganair Edinburgh to City of Derry Airport flight this week.

Philip and Anne Robertson live in Southern Scotland, although Anne is originally from Derry.

The couple first flew Loganair in 1979 from the then Eglinton aerodrome to Glasgow’s Abbotsinch airport, in order to travel to the romantic Isle of Skye for their honeymoon.

The couple had initially booked a flight from Belfast, but then found out there was a late evening flight with Loganair from Derry. As their wedding was taking place in Donegal, the Derry flight was much more convenient and allowed them to spend extra time with their family and friends. However, the flight was full, but when the couple explained they were going on honeymoon, the sympathetic staff said they would do all the could to help them.

Anne and Philip Robertson pictured with a Loganair Excess Baggage Ticket and Boarding Ticket from a flight from Glasgow to City of Derry airport in 1979. Photo: George Sweeney. DER2220GS – 023

A ‘standby’ ticket was purchased for the small ‘islander’ aircraft and luckily, two seats became available.

The couple even has the original flight ticket and even their excess baggage ticket. Their excess baggage cost them just 60p.

Since then, the couple have flown numerous times into Derry from Glasgow, which is 90 miles away from where they live.

They are also frequent flyers with Loganair, so much so that they are priority customers. They were delighted then to learn a new service, much closer to their home than Glasgow airport, was to be made available from Edinburgh. After booking their tickets, Philip and Anne were amazed and excited to find out they’d be passengers on the first flight.

Anne and Philip Robertson pictured in the Everglades Hotel on Wednesday evening last. Photo: George Sweeney. DER2220GS – 021

Philip outlined how he and Anne have seen many changes in air travel over the years, not least in the types and size of the aircrafts flown then and now, together with the ‘contrasting conditions of travel past and present.’

Philip outlined how, in 1979, there was only a check in area - ‘and not even a coffee bar,’ and it was ‘so small’ compared to today’s impressive building. The fare from Derry to Glasgow was 21 pounds per passenger and all family members with the same surname were able to be booked on a domestic ticket.

Philip revealed too that it was not only luggage that was weighed before a flight, but passengers too.

Philip and Anne are planning many more trips to come.