‘I had a wonderful time – the day I flew to Lidl...’
of England was a picture; still verdant beneath the autumn sun, still clinging to its greenery. “Lift the nose and aim for Dover,” he added, pointing to port. And so I did.
People pay ready money for such experiences, but this flight – on a private plane to Calais, of all places – cost just £28; plus another £28 to come back (which you definitely want to do when visiting Calais).
I’d booked through the nascent lift-sharing platform, Wingly, which lets pilots advertise spare seats on their planes. Pilots and passengers must be approved by Wingly before taking to the skies and the former can’t legally profit from the service – they can only split fuel costs and landing fees – hence the low prices.
The Paris-based start-up has some 7,500 pilots and 100,000 passengers on its books across Europe. Most journeys advertised on the site are pleasure flights or unscheduled round trips and all are weather dependent. Destinations vary – from Barcelona to the Hebrides – as do departure points.