Whatever our feelings about the UK, most British expats travel there at least a couple of times a year. Which is why I'm surprised the economic situation has forced my favourite airline Monarch to dispense with their Murcia service.
I live roughly halfway between Alicante and Murcia airports and in recent years have built quite an affinity with the more relaxed atmosphere at San Javier.
So, as someone who travels to Manchester and back several times a year, I was disappointed to receive confirmation from Monarch that they have axed their Murcia flights, for the moment at least.
A spokesman told me: ''At the moment it does not look likely that we will resume flights into Murcia, as the bulk of the passenger traffic going into that region tends to prefer flying to Alicante, to which we operate daily scheduled flights from Luton, Gatwick, Birmingham and Manchester.
''The economic situation forces us to be very forensic about the routes we operate, and the passenger loads we were seeing on the Murcia route just made it unviable at present.''
Since I refuse to be herded on to a Ryanair cattle truck from Murcia to Liverpool, it now looks as if I'm stuck with Alicante for this year at least. Complete with its long check-in queues, uncouth Benidorm package-holiday drunks, and stag and hen-party revellers.
Life just won't be the same without those traffic-free jaunts up and down the Torrevieja-San Javier stretch of the AP7, which must be the least cost-effective motorway in Spain. I reckon it also employs Europe's most under-used workforce - the toll-money collectors, who probably earn as much as they take some days.
I'm really going to miss those Murcia flights, despite its overzealous Spanish flight handlers, some of whom, unlike their Alicante counterparts, seem to have honours degrees in hand-luggage nitpicking.
I'm well aware that, strictly speaking, passengers are only allowed to take one piece of hand luggage aboard (handbag included). But while my carry-on baggage is rarely weighed at Alicante, never mind my handbag being queried, some of the Murcia jobsworths seemed intent on screwing every last centimo out of mystified commuters.
Last time I travelled Monarch to Manchester from San Javier, my hand luggage was a few grammes over the 10-kilo allowance. I offered to transfer some contents into my handbag but was promptly told I couldn't take hand luggage AND a handbag. One or the other it had to be - so I had no option but to pay nearly 20 euros to put my little case in the hold.
From there, as Alice would say, things got curiouser and curiouser. When I went to the Servisair desk to pay the baggage excess fee, the female clerk assured me I could to take a 10-kilo bag PLUS my handbag aboard. Back to the check-in desk and Señor Jobsworth insisted: ''Absolutely not - Monarch's rules are ONE bag of up to 10 kilos.''
Cue animated telephone conversation between Señor J and Servisair girl. End product, a cop-out. ''You can ask Monarch when you get back to England but it is strictly one bag only,'' insisted Señor J.
I did ask Monarch - and they confirmed the one-bag rule. Which is as clear as mud when every airport seems to operate a different policy.
Last time I flew back to Spain from Manchester, for instance, I checked in online and arrived at the airport complete with a pre-printed boarding card. Since I was travelling with only hand luggage, I was herded straight through to security with no one showing the slightest interest in how much the bag weighed.
As for the handbag slung over my shoulder, it might as well have been invisible.
Yet for all the blurring of rules, to me Monarch have the edge on other airlines patrolling the skies between the UK and the Costas.
Every regular traveller seems to have a story of being ripped off by one company or other. I won't go into details of my own experiences but let's just say that BMIbaby and Jet2.com have long since been crossed off my popularity list. (In the unlikely event that either airline cares to know why, my email address is at the end of this article). And when Ryanair started making noises about charging for using their loos in-flight, I decided they could bog off as well.
The problem this Grumpy Old Gran now has is that I am rapidly running out of options. Still, there's always the car, I suppose. Just wait till I start laying into those ferry services and French toll charges.