Lourdes Tarbes Departures
Lourdes is an important gateway to the Hautes-Pyrenees department of France and is one of the smaller airports of the country. It is situated approximately halfway between Lourdes and Tarbes, and its official name is therefore the Tarbes-Lourdes-Pyrenees Airport, with the airport code of LDE. Lourdes departures are offered by several airline companies, some of which offer scheduled flights and others that are charter airline carriers, flying to and from the airport in the busier seasons. Departing passengers have a wide variety of useful facilities at their disposal, and should find the airport’s operations to be friendly and efficient. Public transport is also available.
In French, the airport is referred to as the Aéroport de Tarbes-Lourdes-Pyrenees, and it is found approximately 9km, or 6 miles south-southwest of Tarbes, as well as about 10km north of Lourdes. The airport is in the small town of Ossun, and very nearby the areas of Juillan, Louey, Lanne and Azereix. These towns and cities are at the foot of the Pyrenees mountains, and the airport is therefore important for visitors who come to enjoy the wonderful skiing slopes and other winter-related activities every year.
Passengers departing from Lourdes can arrive in their own vehicles, as there is an adequate parking area outside of the terminal building (which is also free of charge), and main roads lead from all directions to the airport. The airport’s access road is the N21, and another large motorway nearby is the A64. The N21 provides access from Lourdes and Tarbes, as well as from areas further north of the airport, such as Auch and Agen, while the A64 travels east from coastal cities such as Bayonne and Biarritz. It passes Pau, and links to the N21 at Tarbes. The A64 is also followed from the east, from Toulouse, Carbonne, Villeneuve-de-Rivière and Lannemezan.
Although parking is available free of charge, passengers on Lourdes Airport departure flights can choose to travel by public transport, or to arrange a taxi or private transfer to the airport. The public bus Line no. 2 is available from many of the nearby towns and cities, such as Lourdes, Tarbes, Argelés-Gazost, Luz Saint-Sauveur and Barèges, and they are a very cost-efficient and comfortable way to travel. They also provide access from the railway stations in Lourdes and Tarbes, as there is no train station at the airport. Taxis can be called to collect passengers from all nearby locations, and are perhaps a quicker way to reach the airport, or a private transfer can be booked in advance for transport to the airport. Some hotels may also offer free shuttles to and from the airport.
The scheduled Lourdes departure flights include trips to Paris three times a day, to Brussels, Manchester, Milan and London-Stansted twice a week and to Rome four times a week, throughout the year. The airline companies which fly to these destinations include Air France operated by Brit Air, Jetairfly, Meridiana Fly, Ryanair, Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium and TNT Airways. Ryanair is a very popular low-cost airline carrier, that has considerably increased passenger traffic at many of the smaller airports in Europe. There are also many charter flights available from Lourdes, and in total, there are about 50 destinations in 15 countries which are served by direct departure flights. In 2010, 436,379 passengers passed through the airport, and the majority of its traffic is international. The airport’s busiest year was 2008, with 678,897 passengers.
The terminal building of Lourdes Airport covers an area of 15,000 square meters, and has two levels. There are sixteen check-in desks and three baggage reclaim carousels. For departing passengers, the majority of facilities are found on the upper level of the terminal, and there are restaurants and bars available, as well as a duty-free store for purchases before boarding. Check-in is compulsory prior to boarding the aircraft, and all passengers must have their proof of identity on hand. Other documents may also be required, depending on the destination of the flight, such as a passport, visa and vaccination certificate, without which boarding and admission to the arrival country may be denied. Passengers may check-in directly at the desks in the departure hall, or at the self-service terminals for Air France flights. For domestic, European and international flights, the check-in desks will close forty minutes prior to the airline’s departure, however, the check-in times may vary between the different airline companies. Details for your flight can be found on the back of your airline ticket. Keep in mind, even for domestic flights, persons with reduced mobility and unaccompanied minors will need to check-in before forty minutes prior to take-off.
Try to ensure that your hold luggage does not exceed the maximum weight and size allowances of your airline company, otherwise, an excess baggage charge may be applicable. A baggage’s ‘weight allowance’ will depend on the airline company, the destination to which you are flying and in which class you have reserved a seat. All hold luggage must also be clearly marked with your name, surname and address. Hand luggage may be taken on board as well, but should comply with all regulations, including the new rules surrounding the carrying of liquids on aircraft.
Further facilities for all passengers include a newsagent/tobacconist, meeting rooms for business travellers, a VIP lounge, ATMs, general information areas and a mailbox. The terminal is accessible for disabled passengers, with thirty reserved parking spaces, suitable toilet facilities, lowered desks and payphones, and ramps and lifts to all levels of the building. Live Lourdes departure schedules can be found on various online websites.
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