“ The Reus Airport (IATA: REU, ICAO: LERS) is located by the beaches of Costa Daurada, equidistant in relation to the towns of Constantí and Reus and approximately 7.5 km from the city of Tarragona, in Catalonia, Spain. „
i urgently needed to print off my boarding pass, i came across a internet cafe in Reus, at Av. Juame 1, 18/3, Reus, 43205, the guy in the place helped me collate my ducuments and was extremely helpful, great place and open 7 days of the week.
Reus is now a base for Ryanair and its success as an airport is all linked to the Irish company.
Reus is a sleepy airport not far from Salou, a large city by the sear about 80 kilometres away from Barcelona. There was a small airport in Reus and the local authorities contacted Ryanair who began flying tourists there. This created enough passenger volume to set up some facilities, like car rental companies and basic facilities for travellers, and now the airport is flexing its muscles and competing with the airport in Barcelona and trying to take away some flow from it.
I went to Reus twice and came back from it only once (I flew back from Girona on the other occasion)
It is a very small airport and you cannot get lost. To me the main benefit is the fact that each time I booked, flights were extremely cheap.
It also depends on where you want to go, though. Surely if you wish further north of Barcelona, Girona is a better option.
If you do not have your own transport, Reus is pretty basic, but you can take a taxi and go to Salou, from where you can take trains to Barcelona or Tarragona
Anyone whos flown Ryan Air to the north of Spain might have encountered this charming little shack of an airport at some point. If you have not been for a while and I mean more than about 9 months you may be in for a little, yet pleasant, surprise.
Advertised as Reus/Salou Airport, it is an ideal stop for anyone wanting to spend time at the Costa Daurada (Costa Dorada) in the Tarragona region as the airport itself is only about 8km (5 miles or thereabouts) from Salou. An airport bus leaves from arrivals a few times a day (not Sundays) and you can book and pay for either a single trip into Salou or a return where the bus will then pick you up from your hotel on the day of departure. But be aware that there are only a few trips a day and you have to make sure that you will be at the airport in time for your flight.
If you are heading for Barcelona, and Ryan Air do advertise it as close to the Catalan capital, you will have to either hire a car or take one of the coaches that commute between Barcelona and Reus Airport as you will still have 100km (approx 70 miles) ahead of you.
Last year I managed to fly into Reus Airport twice, the first time in May and again in early October. I always spend my birthday abroad and with a fare of 1p each way plus tax Ryan Air provided me with the perfect excuse to dash off to Salou and spend time at Universals Port Aventura Park once again. After all, I had missed the opening of the new ride at the park in May by only a few days.
Most people who arrived at Reus before late summer will have had the same experience. Deplaning will be followed by a short walk to the rather old and shabby looking terminal building, passport control, small and crowded baggage reclaim area and then out into the hall that also doubles as the departure area with check-in desks at the other end. A few more steps and you are outside and soaking up the Spanish sunshine. Checking in for the return to the UK would have been in the same building as arrivals, a tiny, cramped waiting area with barely a shop or café area. You were glad to get out of the building and onto the plane in double quick time.
Well, that was then, this is now.
Much to my surprise, in October, the walk to the arrivals area and passport control seemed a lot longer than I remembered and for a good reason. Reus Airport has undergone expansion and modernisation.
Instead of one large hall housing arrivals and departures they now have two separate areas.
The arrivals hall is a new building and the walk to it is longer than before, not much but it is next to the old building. You go through passport control and into the luggage reclaim area. I admit, I never had to wait so cant pass comment how long it takes on average for the luggage to arrive from the plane. I only ever travel with hand luggage to Reus, only stay a few days and dont need that much in a hot country.
Outside the Arrival Hall you will find taxi ranks and they are more than happy to take you and your luggage anywhere you like to go. A single taxi trip into Salou is a flat rate of between 20 and 25 (approx £15-£20) and even if you do not speak the language, the taxi driver will show you the list of hotels and point at the price next to yours.
The local bus service to Salou (calling at most hotels) is a lot cheaper if you travel on your own but remember, you have to wait your turn and sometimes the bus can take a long time to get to your hotel. Price for a single journey is 5.30 but be aware that the busses only leave a few times a day but it looks like they synchronise with the main flight arrivals so chances are there is a bus waiting to take you into either Reus, Salou or even Barcelona. A return fare is just under 10 but you have to book the return trip/time when you board the bus and pay. They do have a very tight schedule and you might not arrive at the airport until about an hour before take-off. If you dont mind cutting it close then I suggest you take the bus. Personally, I may take the bus into Salou but always a taxi back to the airport.
The old combination hall of arrivals and departures is now reserved solely for departure. Not only that, they have a new annexe for checking in. Shame they didnt put a sign up when I was last year as a lot of passengers still walked into the old hall and started queuing at the old check in desks.
The new check in area has at least 6 desks and Ryan Air uses two for their flight check in. After checking in you can then return to the departure hall. In the front area there is a shop where you can buy newspapers and magazines as well as drinks and snacks. There are chairs for you to sit and wait if you do not want to go straight into the departure lounge.
The old arrivals area is now customs and passport control. You go through into the departure lounge after all your carry on luggage is checked. When I was there last I had to take off my belt from my trousers and have it go though the x-ray machine. But I am used to it, I have to do the same in Germany every time I fly from there.
Inside the departure lounge, which is now large than before due to the arrivals area being in a different building, there are plenty of chairs for you to sit on. There is a new café and snack area with tables but you may as well get your drinks and food and sit anywhere.
I normally buy coffees at the airport and I cannot actually complain too much about the quality. It is certainly drinkable but if you are more interested in beer and wine, it is certainly on sale, too, together with other soft drinks and bottled water. I last bought a coffee and bottle of water and paid just under 5.00 (approx £3.00) but airports are always expensive and it helps to bring your own food and drinks if you do not want to spend money.
Next to the café is a small duty free shop. There is not a lot to buy and most of the items like cigarettes are not actually duty free at all due to the EU regulations. But you can buy cigarettes at Spanish shop prices. It pays to check the prices though, I found that the airport is more expensive than the tobacco shops in Salou.
The departure lounge has a number of toilets and from what I could see, they were very clean and tidy. Its just when a large number of people descend on them all at once that they can get a little messy but staff are on hand and clean them regularly.
But unfortunately there is still a big scramble when the flight is called and it seems that nobody listens and everyone just jumps up and runs to the doors to get to the plane first. After all, on a Ryan Air plane the first people on board are the ones who can pick the best seats.
All in all, there is still a lot that can be done here to make the airport more attractive but it has to be seen in perspective. What we have here is a small regional airport that serves a particular area of Spain, the Tarragona region and with Ryan Air, also Barcelona. But it is still a small local airport. It never intended to be more than that.
What you have to remember is that you are not travelling to and from Heathrow or Gatwick, you are using an airport where there are maybe 10 or so planes arrive and depart daily. They are certainly doing their best to get the passengers in and out of the airport and planes as quick and safe as possible. I do not think that security is compromised at any stage.
I have heard people complain that the staff are rude and ignorant and dont speak English. Well, it would be nice if everyone in the world spoke English but its not the case. The staff at Reus Airport try their best and most of them do speak at least some English. But remember, you are in Spain, you are not in an English speaking country. Not only that, you are in the Catalan region where the first language is actually Catalan and not Spanish so most people already speak two languages before they even get to English. I never had problems with anyone at the airport. And it helps a lot if you speak a few words of their language, or at least try to. It can open many doors that appeared locked before.
Before I went for the first time I had some apprehension as I had read some of the reviews posted on dooyoo and Ciao but I shouldnt have worried. I knew I was travelling to a quaint little airport where I could not expect the service a large airport would offer.
But then again, Luton airport started off not much different and look at it now, its become one of the bigger airports. I remember years ago when I first used Luton and I was shocked how tiny and old fashioned it was. I travel to Paderborn Airport in Germany and that was tiny and still is.
As long as you are prepared to accept that you wont get all of your creature comforts in a small airport and accept it for what it is then you will not be disappointed.
After all, I paid 1 penny per flight plus tax to Reus with Ryan Air and I will be the last person complaining.
I cannot say anything about smoking in the airport at the moment. When I was last there it was before the strict anti smoking laws came into effect and a large part of the airport was a smoking area. Having said that, half of the departure area was already no smoking and mainly the café section allowed smoking. There might be even stricter rules now than there were before. I cannot actually confirm or deny a complete no smoking airport but will certainly update when I find out next time I go.
Reus is the second-string airport to Spain's second city Barcelona, a sort of Luton airport if you will, only without a name-check in an advert. Reus is actually in the middle of nowhere, about one hour's drive south of the Catalonian capital in the heart of the Costa Dorada. Where as most holidaymakers tend to use the main airport in Barcelona for travelling to north-east Spain, my holiday allowed me to sample the delights (ahem) of Reus. Reus tends to be used more for people wanting to holiday in Salou, and other resorts in Tarragona rather than those heading for the big city. Unlike the busy Barcelona airport, (the one where you'll end up if you fly with EasyJet's cheap return package), Reus is much less busy, and where a plane spotter can finish a full flask of minestrone soup without having so much seen a jet in the air. In terms of numbers, 3000 flights and 630,000 passengers are annually handled at Reus. The fact that there are only 9 or 10 flights a day to and from Reus gives you an indication of its minuteness. My flights to Reus was from Manchester airport via Britannia Airways, and took a fraction under two hours. The flight was my first ever time on a plane (yes, I had gone 20 years without sampling the delights of airline food...), and after the experience of miles of moving walkways and acres of shops in Manchester, I was somewhat surprised to see the plane land on a strip of grass that resembled a big school playing field rather than an airport. After landing and entering the airport building, we were required to flash our passports, before receiving a customary nod from the 'checker' (although I got the distinct feeling that even the most blasé terrorist would have also received a tired 'Si' before being allowed to move through...). There was then the fun trying to get our baggage (we had been delayed by 3 hours on the flight and it was 11pm Spanish time by that point). Aft
er about 25 minutes, the baggage started to come through a conveyor belt. The only problem was that on a flight of 300 odd people, the conveyor belt only had room for about 12 bags before everyone's swimshorts, bikinis and lilos disappeared around the back. It reminded me of the 'Generation Game', and of Bruce Forsyth's chin whilst the TV studio audience yelped in delight as an oversize novelty teddy bear appeared into view. So much so, that when I was transported back to the real world, I glimpsed my suitcase slip round the back at the last minute. Whilst lots of angry Mum's and Dad's tried to scramble for their cases ("get back from there Thomas, it's dangerous!" they would say, before snatching their holdalls from the fast-moving conveyor belt with the finesse of a hippopotamus on ice), I sat back and waited for mine to come around the block. And oh how I waited... After I finally manage to track down my bags (and my tour rep), it was off to go and enjoy a fantastic holiday in the sun, and forget about the trauma of airport... Just under 7 days later, I returned to the airport. Browner and a lot poorer, we were told there was going to be another delay on the return flight (not the airport's fault at all, mind). So we sat in the waiting area after checking in. This was clean and was relatively spacious, although there was a lack of entertainment for children and adults alike, and the shopping area consisted of a tiny gift shop selling overpriced imported fudge. Luckily for us, we had no queue for our check-in desk, which was a good thing as I didn't start fudge-shopping out of boredom. However, the other flight leaving at roughly the same time had a horrendous backlog that took about an hour to clear - not exactly what you want to be doing on the last day of your holiday. I got the feeling that they were just a little bit understaffed... The main duty-free area was
in the departure lounge, but it wasn't overly impressive. Although it was as cheap as you may expect, there wasn't the range of choice that you had in Manchester duty-free. Perhaps the most perturbing thing about the airport was the complete lack of security. Upon boarding the plane, a flash of a ticket was all that was needed, and my passport remained firmly in my pocket. This was a complete contrast to the security-tight Manchester, which had passport checking points in at least 3 points. Manchester airport also checked our passports upon our return... Although there was the requisite scanning of both yourself and your hand luggage on the way back, it felt rushed and not very thorough. I think that this just goes to highlight the inconsistencies in airline security. Although I never at any point felt less than safe (I'm not sure a chartered flight back to Blighty from Tarragona was ever going to be a number one terrorist target), the principle remains that it would have been extremely straightforward to have smuggled anything on board. It actually turns out that I had a lighter in my hand luggage (which I only discovered on my return), which was a prohibited item according to the airport rules. If they didn?t spot that, what else would they have missed? Although I didn't have a directly bad experience at the airport, (i.e. no lost luggage or massive delays), the laxness of the security was really surprising. Although my airport experience is extremely limited, I've come to the conclusion that either UK airports must be extremely cautious, or this particular airport lacked adequate measures to prevent any major safety issues from arising. However, there are some positives about Reus. There were taxis in plentiful supply outside, and although this was to be expected as most holidaymakers were in package holidays with pre-arranged transport, it would be a welcome relief for the independent travel
ler. Also, the car park is barely a 30 second walk from the airport terminal, so there isn't a couple of miles to navigate before you find your lift... North-East Spain itself is a fantastic holiday destination, and I wouldn't hesitate to go back there, even if it would include having to use that airport (after all, the standard of the airport you fly into is only a tiny part of a holiday...). However, if I do go back to Reus again, I'll be careful to block out any memory of Bruce Forsyth whilst I'm trying to find with my baggage on the carousel...