La Rochelle Departures
The airport is located approximately 2.5km northwest of central La Rochelle, and is an airport which serves the towns in the Charente-Maritime department of France. It is also known as the Laleu Airport, or even as the Ile de Ré Airport, as the island of Ile de Ré is found just west of La Rochelle, and this is the closest airport for its residents. The airport is also recognised by its official code of LRH. La Rochelle departures are offered to a variety of local and international destinations, by several airline companies, and the airport terminal is well equipped for the needs of departing passengers. There are also a few forms of transport available in order to reach a departure flight.
La Rochelle is found in western France, along the Bay of Biscay, and although not a very large airport, it is the busiest in the region, and its traffic is expected to easily double by the year 2015. It is one of the France airports with the highest traffic evolutions. In 2010, the airport handled approximately 190,000 passengers, which was a significant increase from the previous year’s 168,000 passengers. Overall, 2007 was the airport’s busiest year, with a total of 220,577 passengers. The city of La Rochelle is also the region’s capital, and a popular place for tourists, due to its lovely ‘Old Harbour’ and well-preserved old town area. It also has a few museums of interest. Departing passengers have a good selection of destinations from which to choose and a variety of airline companies serve the airport.
Flights from La Rochelle are offered to the domestic locations of Lyon and Paris-Orly, by the airline companies of Air France (operated by Airlinair) and Airlinair (operated by Chalair Aviation). La Rochelle is an international airport as well, and flights are offered to many destinations in the United Kingdom, such as Bristol, London-Gatwick, Southampton, Manchester, Edinburgh, Leeds/Bradford and London-Stansted. There are also flights to Dublin, Brussels South-Charleroi and Porto, which is a new line which was recently opened by Ryanair. The airline companies which fly to these destinations, besides Ryanair, are EasyJet, Flybe and Jet2.com. They are also mainly seasonal flights, while the flights to local destinations are available year-round.
If you have your own vehicle, driving to La Rochelle Airport is relatively simple, as main roads lead from all directions into the city, and a single highway runs past the airport. This road is the N237, and it provides access from all areas of La Rochelle city, as it is also the ‘ring’ road of the city. Passengers can easily drive from the island as well, as a bridge crosses to the mainland just west of the airport. From the north, from areas such as Nantes and Cholet, motorists will take the A83 or A87 south, and from Bordeaux in south, the A10 provides access to La Rochelle. From Niort, which is about 58km from the airport, the N11 can be used. Motorists will find plenty of parking spaces at the airport, and may stay for a few minutes, hours or even for much longer periods of time. The parking rates of the airport are quite reasonable. For passengers who prefer public transport, buses depart about every half an hour from Place de Verdun in the city, and taxis are available from all locations. Taxis are however, more expensive than the bus services.
Regardless of your chosen form of transport, always try to arrive at La Rochelle Airport in good time for your departure flight, and with time to spare before the check-in desks close. Time will also be required to pass through the security control area before entering the secure boarding lounge. For international flights, check-in starts two hours before take-off, and for domestic flights, check-in starts an hour before take-off. Check-in closes for Airlinair fifteen minutes before take-off, and for Ryanair, Easyjet, Flybe and Jet2.com, forty minutes before take-off. For flights with certain airline companies, passengers may check-in online, which saves time standing in queues at the check-in desks in the terminal. ‘Web check-in’ is actually compulsory for all Ryanair flights at La Rochelle. Jet2.com and Easyjet are the other two airline carriers which offer the possibility of checking-in online.
In general, it is cheaper to fly with no checked baggage, but if you do need to carry baggage in the hold, ensure that it is clearly marked with your name, surname and address. Remember to find out from your airline company what their luggage allowances are, in terms of size and weight, as exceeding these limits will result in excess baggage charges. Dangerous items may not be carried in hold luggage, such as explosives, ammunition and inflammable liquids, and passengers are forbidden to carry luggage aboard for anyone that they do not know. Never leave your baggage unattended either. For all La Rochelle departure flights, one item of hand luggage may be taken into the cabin. The item should be able to fit in the luggage rack or under the seat. The new regulations surrounding the carrying of liquid substances in hand luggage are applicable to flights from La Rochelle as well. Passenger may however, purchase any quantity of liquids from the duty-free store, and carry any quantity of baby food needed for the duration of the flight.
Facilities at the airport include a bar/restaurant, the duty-free store, public telephones, a mail box, tourist and general information desks and car hire services. The terminal is fully equipped to welcome disabled passengers as well, and there are specially reserved parking spaces for persons with reduced mobility, located nearby the terminal entrance. All further details are available from the information desk of the airport, and live La Rochelle departures can be viewed online.
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