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# Friday, May 6, 2011

A series of tube strikes have been announced by the Rail Maritime and Transport union. They are planning six days of action over a two week period later this month and in June. Drivers will walk out for between 9 and 24 hours from Monday 16th May to Friday 20th May and again from Monday 13th June to Friday 17th June. The move follows a 2-1 vote in favour of industrial action by RMT members in protest at the dismissal of two drivers Eamon Lynch and Arwyn Thomas. If it goes ahead it is likely to cause widespread disruption which could affect millions of customers.

posted on Friday, May 6, 2011 4:47:46 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Thursday, January 6, 2011

Many commuters will have found they are paying a lot more for their train ticket this week as prices have gone up across the network. Prices have gone up an average of 6% but on some routes such as those run by Southeastern commuters have seen increases of as much as 12%. This article has a useful map showing the increases across the rail network so you can see how your journey has been affected.

posted on Thursday, January 6, 2011 10:38:13 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Friday, November 12, 2010

Very high winds in many parts of the UK last night, caused the cancellation of a number of air services that Royal Mail uses to transport mail to and from some parts of the country. Air services in and out of airports in Belfast, Exeter, Newcastle, Stansted, East Midlands and the Isle of Man were subject to some disruption. As a result of the disruption and other weather related transport issues, there is likely to be some impact to mail travelling between the more distant parts of the country due for delivery today. All mail received by PC2Paper will still be processed as normal but customers should expect delivery to take longer in some areas.

posted on Friday, November 12, 2010 12:06:43 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Monday, September 6, 2010

Thousands of London Underground workers are due to walk out tonight in the first of a series of strikes. The strike will begin with two 24 hour walkout starting at 1700 and 2100 today. The action is taking place as part of a protest against plans to scrap 800 jobs in ticket offices. Maintenance and engineering staff will walk out at 1700 BST with drivers, signallers and station staff following suit at 2100 BST. During a strike a skeleton staff will be left to man services with the level of service depending on how many managers are able to stand in. Disruption is expected from late afternoon today and is likely to continue for most of Tuesday. Further strike action is planned for the coming months. People travelling tonight might want to check out the following link for some alternative transport options.

posted on Monday, September 6, 2010 3:58:06 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Thursday, August 26, 2010

London Underground workers are to stage a series of strikes over planned job losses. Members of the Rail Maritime and Transport union and the Transport Salaried Staffs Association will walk out for 24 hours from 5pm on the 6th of September. More strike action is also planned for the 3rd of October, 2nd of November and 28th of November. The move comes in protest over plans to cuts 800 jobs among station staff. They are likely to cause widespread disruption and could cost the economy millions of pounds.

posted on Thursday, August 26, 2010 3:34:03 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Thursday, August 19, 2010

If this article is correct rail fares could be set to rise by 10%. The news comes after the publication of July's inflation data. Under current rules train operators are allowed to raise fares by one percent more than the retail prices index (RPI). This stood at 4.8% last month suggesting that fare increases of 5.8% are likely in 2011. Passenger groups, however, are warning that the government is likely to change these rules which would allow companies to raise prices by significantly more. This could in effect mean they could raise some fares by as much as 5% over RPI a rise of nearly 10% in total. Passenger groups point out that passengers in Britain already pay some of the highest fares in Europe. They are calling train operators to show restraint in price rises especially as wage rises are currently lagging behind inflation meaning many customers could struggle to find the extra money for their morning commute.

posted on Thursday, August 19, 2010 6:45:41 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A 48 hour tube strike will go ahead at 7pm tonight after an effort to get a court injunction to stop it failed. The High Court today refused to grant an injunction to prevent the stoppage. The planned walkout is due to a dispute over pay, jobs and conditions. The strike is likely to affect the Northern Piccadilly and Jubilee lines. Despite the strike London Underground hopes to run a full service in London.

posted on Wednesday, June 23, 2010 4:30:21 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Friday, May 14, 2010

According to this article the recent change in government will mean that plans for a new runway at Heathrow will be scrapped. It looked at though the new runway would have gone ahead under the Labour government with Gordon Brown saying it was needed for economic reasons. Councils, residents and green groups has all opposed the expansion and it seems the new coalition government agrees with them. It has cancelled the plans for the new runway as part of a joint Conservative Liberal Democrat policy agreement. The new government has also said it will refuse any plans for new runways at Gatwick and Stansted. It is not yet clear whether there will be alternative plans to increase the capacity of Britain's airports but the Conservatives are thought be considering the option of a high speed rail link to and from Heathrow.

posted on Friday, May 14, 2010 11:46:13 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Thursday, April 15, 2010

Passengers flying with Ryanair over the summer holidays will find they are paying a little more for their bags as the airline raises its fees. They will now be charged £20 for every bag they check in, an increase of £5. The fee will apply to all booking made for travel during July and August and the fee will reduce to £15 again from September. In addition to this the airline has recently announced that it will charge customers to use the toilet. All onboard toilets will now become operated and passengers will need to pay £1 or one Euro for the privilege of using them. The airline is also cutting the number of toilets available on its flights meaning there will now only be one toilet per plane of 189 passengers.

posted on Thursday, April 15, 2010 11:47:08 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Thursday, March 18, 2010

British Airways' chief executive is in last minute talks to try and avert planned strike action due to take place this weekend. British Airways and the Unite union have been in several hours of talks today to try and resolve a dispute over cost cuts. If the talks fail cabin crew are planning a series of stoppages starting on Saturday. BA are expecting to be able to fly around 65% of its customers this weekend during the strike action with a total of 1,100 flights out of the 1,950 scheduled being cancelled. Cabin crew are also planning another four day walkout starting on the 27th of March.

posted on Thursday, March 18, 2010 4:06:04 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Monday, December 21, 2009

Eurostar services have been subject to severe delays and cancellation over the past few days. On Friday five trains carrying passengers broke down. This incident has led to Eurostar cancelling all its services due to difficulties caused by the cold weather. It is thought the problem is caused by hot air in the tunnel melting snow which has accumulated under the trains causing the water to drip into the operating systems. All trains were cancelled yesterday and today Eurostar closed its shuttle car service to new arrivals whilst it works to clear the backlog. It is hoped that a limited service will be resumed by Tuesday and Eurostar have said "We will do our best to get everybody home by Christmas." The firm hopes to run two thirds of a normal service on Tuesday with more services planned on Wednesday and Thursday. The company has asked passengers who had planned to travel over the next few days to change their booking if possible and passengers without booking are being advised that they will not be able to buy a ticket.

posted on Monday, December 21, 2009 3:30:17 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Thursday, December 17, 2009

British Airways have won a court battle which will prevent planned strikes going ahead over the Christmas period. Mrs Justice Cox granted a High Court injunction and refused United permission to appeal although the union can apply directly to the Court of Appeal. Mrs Justice Cox said "A strike of this kind over the twelve days of Christmas is fundamentally more damaging to BA and the wider public than a strike taking place at almost any other time of the year." BA said of the decision "We are delighted for our customers that the threat of a Christmas strike has been lifted by the court.

posted on Thursday, December 17, 2009 8:32:23 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Tuesday, December 15, 2009

British Airways staff have voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action over job cuts and changes to staff contracts. The action is due to start on the 22nd of December and run until the 2nd of January and is expected to cause chaos for passengers over the Christmas period. Many customers who have booked their tickets as far back as September are now likely to be left without flights this Christmas as seats on other airlines are unlikely to available at such short notice.

posted on Tuesday, December 15, 2009 11:11:00 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Thursday, December 10, 2009

Travellers using Manchester Airport can expect a first class service at least where the toilets are concerned. The airport has won this years Loo of the Year Award with the lavatories being given a five star rating. A team of 300 toilet attendants keep the airports toilets in pristine condition making them some of the cleanest in the UK and with around 20 million passengers using the airport a year they certainly have their work cut out maintaining the high standards.

posted on Thursday, December 10, 2009 5:35:37 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Monday, August 17, 2009

Ryanair have announced that they will launch 14 new routes from Leeds-Bradford airport. The airline will offer 63 weekly flights starting from March next year. Destinations will include popular summer holiday destinations such as Ibiza, Malaga and Malta. Flights to Palma, Limoges, Montpellier, Nantes, Carcassonne, Pisa, Venice, Krakow, Faro, Knock and Murcia will also be introduced. The new routes will create and additional 1,000 jobs and increase the airlines annual passenger traffic to over million people.

posted on Monday, August 17, 2009 11:29:13 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Friday, July 31, 2009

British Airways will scrap all meals except breakfast on its short-flights. Passengers on flights after 10am will no longer have the option to have food but they will still be able to buy drinks and snacks. Those flying before 10am will still be served breakfast. The Measure will start next week and is likely to save as much as £22m a year. The airline is also considering other cost cutting measures such as removing chocolates and Jacobs crackers from first class passengers, taking away hot towels from those in Club class and axing complimentary gas of pretzels in economy.

posted on Friday, July 31, 2009 10:30:06 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Tuesday, June 30, 2009

According to this article airlines lost 42 million items of passengers luggage in just one year. The figures from Which? Holiday indicate that a growing number of bags are being delayed lost or damaged. Most incidents occur when bags are being transferred from one aircraft to another according to SITA a company that specialises in IT solution for the aviation industry. Problems also arise when the the airport code is misread on the luggage tags. The report also found that budget airlines Ryanair and Jet2 paid out the lowest amount of compensation to people affected with Ryanair often limiting payouts to £15 and Jet2 refusing to reimburse people for claims under £30. With passenger numbers expected to reach 2.75 billion by 2011 experts predict the number of mishandled bags could soon  reach the 50 million a year mark.

posted on Tuesday, June 30, 2009 10:13:04 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Thursday, June 4, 2009

Ryanair has recently revealed that it made a £145.9m loss in the year to March. The loss was partly caused by a 59% rise in its fuel bill. The loss compares with a profit of £336.8m in the previous year. Despite the loss the Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary has said that he hopes to see a recovery in the current year as fuel costs are expected to be lower. Following the news Ryanair shares fell by 6%.

posted on Thursday, June 4, 2009 10:15:26 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Thousands of tube workers are due to strike in two separate disputes over pay and proposed job losses. The vote by members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) will mean that workers will begin a 48 hour strike on the 9th of June starting at 1859. The strike is likely to bring most of the tube network to a standstill. RMT members voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action with 2,810 and 488 against. The strike comes as a five year pay deal offered by London Underground has been rejected as unacceptable. The RMT is also opposed to TFL's planned efficiency savings package which the union has said will lead to redundancies.

posted on Tuesday, June 2, 2009 11:31:03 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Friday, May 15, 2009

In their latest move to cut costs Ryanair are scrapping their airport check-in. Customers will now have to check-in online at a cost of £5 and print their tickets out themselves. If they should forget to take their tickets to the airport they will be charged £40 at the airport. Passengers who have baggage will need to use the "bag drop" service as the airline starts to phase out its check-in desks.

posted on Friday, May 15, 2009 10:35:49 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Wednesday, May 13, 2009

article-1180751-04E71C51000005DC-610_634x325 245 passengers were left stranded after a Boeing 747 jet sucked a baggage container into its engine. The plane was preparing for take off when the driver of a luggage cart took his vehicle too close. The vacuum created by the engine sucked the empty cart into the planes engine where it became stuck just as the plane was about the take off. No one was injured and passengers were put on alternative flights.

posted on Wednesday, May 13, 2009 2:59:54 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Friday, May 1, 2009

This is interesting, its an new airline due to launch in the US which will cater exclusively for pets. The airline named Pet Airways claims to be the first designed specifically for the transportation of pets. All the animals will travel in the main cabin and owners are not allowed on board. The airline aims to make air travel much less stressful for pets and offers an alternative to conventional airlines where pets are treated as baggage and have to travel in the cargo area. The seats inside the plane have been removed to make way for pet carriers. Pets or pawsengers as they have been dubbed can be booked in online and then checked in at the Pet lounge at the airport. Pet attendants give the animals a toilet break before take off and monitor them throughout the flight promising that they will never be left alone. The airline has scheduled its first flight for cats and dogs for 14 July and will serve five US cities - New York, Washington DC, Chicago, Denver and Los Angeles.

posted on Friday, May 1, 2009 8:41:04 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Wednesday, April 29, 2009

According to this article Ryanair are considering charging a fat tax for overweight passengers. The idea comes as a result of a competition on the companies website that gave customers the chance to win free flights by coming up with ideas to save the company money. Around 100,000 passengers took part in the competition and around 30,000 of those voted for a fee for overweight passengers. As a result Ryanair is now seriously considering implemented the idea. Other ideas included a charge for toilet paper with Mr O'Leary's face on it and the option to pay to use a smoking cubicle. It is not clear whether either of these ideas will be implemented.

posted on Wednesday, April 29, 2009 9:38:57 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Friday, April 24, 2009

Rail fares are to rise by up to 11% next month with those customers who book in advance paying the highest increases. National Express East Coast is putting up its prices for the second time in five months. In January it raised unregulated fares by 7.4% and the further increase will mean an extra 11% on some advance purchase tickets. The First Great Western, East Midlands Train, First Capital Connect and CrossCountry companies are also increasing some fares. All of the rises are on unregulated fares which does not include season tickets. The prices of these must be decided linked to the retail price index. It is likely that train companies will not be allowed to increase these regulated fares next year so instead it appears they are increasing the costs of their unregulated fares. The move means that some fares will have jumped 16% in just five months.

posted on Friday, April 24, 2009 12:54:27 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Saturday, April 18, 2009

This article suggests that United Airlines may bump obese passengers on overbooked flights. The airline received more than 700 complaints last year regarding overweight passengers. At a time when two thirds of Americans are considered overweight the airline may target customers that are too big to fit into their seats. Under the new rules a passenger who is too large for their seat will be moved to two empty seats at no extra charge. However, if no seats are available as is often the case on overbooked flights the passenger will have to pay to upgrade to a larger business class seat or will be bumped off the flight and will have to pay for two seats on the next available departure. The airline has adopted the policy because it has received so many complaints from passengers who felt cramped by oversized seat mates.

posted on Saturday, April 18, 2009 11:32:52 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Friday, April 17, 2009

article-1168292-04565DAE000005DC-767_468x331 According to this article the local postman could soon be delivering the mail in a new egg shaped buggy. The vehicle which has a top speed of just 25mph is being trialled in two areas in Oxford and Essex. If the trial proves successful the vehicles could replace the current fleet of diesel Vauxhall vans. The electric vehicles whilst slower than the diesel alternative are more environmentally friendly and could potentially be used on town deliveries although the lack of speed is likely to mean they are unsuitable for rural routes. I find the idea interesting but I do wonder how it would work in practice when postman are under pressure to complete their rounds in a set amount of time, surely a slower means of transport will mean that all of these time limits will need to be revised.

posted on Friday, April 17, 2009 9:19:22 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Monday, March 30, 2009

Two tube trains almost collided during the rush hour last Friday. The Piccadilly and District line trains almost collided between Ealing Common and Ealing Broadway at around 6pm last Friday evening. The driver of the District line train which had stopped after going through a red signal was given permission to move on when a Piccadilly line train crossed the track immediately in front of it. A signalman has been relived of his duties following the incident and an investigation has now been launched to find out what went wrong.

posted on Monday, March 30, 2009 8:09:33 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Government has leant its support to plans for high speed trains connecting London and the North. Under the plans a high speed train service with trains that can reach speeds of 225 mph would run between London and the North. The network could link London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds and if it goes ahead would open in 2007 with construction starting in 2015. The trains would carry up to 800 passengers and would depart every 4 minutes. It would mean that journey times would be cut greatly with a journey from London to Birmingham taking as little as 30 minutes.

posted on Thursday, March 26, 2009 1:54:39 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Thursday, March 19, 2009

The number of passengers at British airports has fallen for the first time in 17 years according to the Civil Aviation Authority. Around 4.6 million fewer passengers flew in and out of the UK in 2008 than in 2007 with the decline being particularly sharp towards the end of the year. The last time numbers were so low was in 1991. The bad news for the airlines is that the decline is expected to continue during 2009.

posted on Thursday, March 19, 2009 2:26:19 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Recently airlines have been introducing charges for things that customers have previously taking for granted, like checking in bags on in flight meals. It appears Ryanair may go one step further and start charging customer to use the toilet. According to this article Ryanair are considering charging customers £1 to use the toilet on their flights. The article suggests that they are looking at the possibility of installing a coin slot on the lavatory door, this just seems another good reason to avoid Ryanair.

posted on Tuesday, March 3, 2009 2:06:29 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Wednesday, February 25, 2009

article-1155022-03A9F6F3000005DC-789_468x286 A plane carrying 135 passengers has crashed and broken into three pieces at an Amsterdam airport. The Turkish Airlines 737 broke into three pieces as it hit the ground near the runway as its attempted to land at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport this morning. Officials from the airline has initially said that no one had been killed but it later emerged that 9 people are dead and at least 50 are injured. As yet it is not known what caused the crash.

posted on Wednesday, February 25, 2009 2:45:18 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Friday, February 20, 2009

It's a sad day for those who like a bit of peace and quiet on their flight, as Ryanair start offering an in-flight mobile service. The service will initially be installed on 20 aircraft and will allow six people to make calls at a time. Calls will cost between £1.50 and £3 a minutes and text about 40p. The Chief Executive of Ryanair has dismissed suggestions that passengers who want a quiet flight might find the service annoying and if it is successful, the equipment could be fitted to the entire fleet within 18 months. Personally I would find this very annoying and this gives me a reason not to fly Ryanair.

posted on Friday, February 20, 2009 5:46:13 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Wednesday, February 11, 2009

British Airways has suffered its worst winter ever as more passengers choose to fly economy rather than pay for the more expensive business class or first class tickets. They are currently losing up to £3 million a day, that's about £20 million per week. BA has traditionally relied on its premium and much more lucrative business flyers who are the key to the their profitability. However, as recession hits it appears people are simply not prepared to pay for them. I wonder whether it might make sense for BA to reduce the cost of the business class service to a more affordable level in the hope that more people will be tempted to upgrade. I would certainly be happy to pay a little more for the extra room but think the prices for business class are currently over inflated.

posted on Wednesday, February 11, 2009 10:05:16 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Tuesday, February 10, 2009

British Airways have said that they are considering a pay freeze for its staff. The new comes as the group reported a £70 million loss in the first nine months of the financial year. They are also looking at possible redundancies and have started talks with unions over pay and productivity. BA has warned that it expects to report a full year loss of around £150 million after taking into account the slump in Sterling.

posted on Tuesday, February 10, 2009 1:05:44 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Friday, February 6, 2009

Passengers aboard a flight from Moscow stopped the flight over fears that the pilot was drunk. Shortly before take off the passengers were concerned by the pilots slurred comments and complained to flight attendants. Their concerns were ignored and airline staff threatened to expel the passengers for making trouble. As the situation spread Aeroflot representatives were called in to try and calm the passengers with one announcing it "not such a big deal". The pilot did nothing to allay the passengers fears when he appeared from the cockpit unsteady on his feet with bloodshot eyes and eventually the airline gave in to demands of the passengers and has the pilots replaced. The flight eventually took off three hours late but with a sober pilot at the controls. The pilot told the newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda that he had been celebrating his 54th birthday with friends the night before the flight on December 28, but said that he not been drinking.

posted on Friday, February 6, 2009 10:34:25 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Wednesday, February 4, 2009

This article suggests that choosing a window seat on a plane could be fatal. Research has shown that people sitting by the window face double the risk of deep vein thrombosis, a condition which can cause blot clots. The risk is even more pronounced for those passengers who are obese, they are six times more likely to develop a blockage if they choose a window seat. It is not clear why the risk is greater for passengers who choose a window seat but one theory is that passengers find it easier to fall asleep by a window and it is already known that sleeping for several hours at a time on a long flight raises the chance of a blot clot. It might also be that passengers near the window experience more cramped conditions that those who choose an aisle seat. Preventative methods such as drinking water were found to have little difference to the study. It's not all bad news, if you can afford to fly business class then you are 30 per cent less likely to develop the condition.

posted on Wednesday, February 4, 2009 1:35:01 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Councils opposing Heathrow expansion have prepared a blueprint showing how the airport could also become a rail hub. The coalition of 22 local authorities have launched plans for a new rail network around the airport that could serve large areas of London and south east England. If it went ahead it would allow 40 trains an hours to pass through the airport, the equivalent of one train for every plane. The proposed rail network could offer connections to 150 stations within a 25 mile radius and has the potential to take 1 million cars of the road every year.

posted on Tuesday, February 3, 2009 2:44:01 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Thursday, January 29, 2009

Boris Johnson has unveiled plans for a new airport in the Thames Estuary that have been nicknamed Heathrow on Sea by some. Under the plans a new airport would be built on two Thames islands as an alternative to expanding the current airport at Heathrow. The airport would cost around £40 billion to build and initial reports have suggested it would serve Britain better than the planned Heathrow expansion. If it were to go ahead it could be built in eight years. The airport would be split in two with four runways split across two separate islands in the mouth of the Thames. Passengers would shuttle between the islands using a tunnel below the riverbed. Underwater turbines built into the ducts running through the island would generate nearly all of the airports electricity by harnessing the tides. The two terminals would then be served by a road and rail links and connected to Crossrail and the Channel tunnel rail link taking passengers into central London in around 35 minutes. Flights would take off and land over water and so would cause little disturbance to nearby towns.

posted on Thursday, January 29, 2009 2:15:39 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Friday, January 23, 2009

Ryanair have been unsuccessful in a bid for rival airline Aer Lingus.The Irish government have formally rejected Ryanair's bid saying that its bid of 748 million Euros greatly undervalues the airline. It also raised concerns that competition would suffer if the deal went ahead. Ryanair will now need to decide whether or not to make an improved offer.

posted on Friday, January 23, 2009 3:13:05 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The new runway that has been proposed for Heathrow could be ready by 2015, five years earlier than previously expected. The government is looking to rush the planning process through as quickly as possible to try and prevent opponents from blocking the expansion. Ministers have asked BA to submit a planning application as soon as possible to try and get the runway completed by 2015. The new Infrastructure Planning Commission which is due to be appointed this year is likely to make the final decision on the expansion of the airport rather than the current practice where a planning inspector makes a recommendation to ministers. This is expected to make the planning process much shorter. The Conservative party have already said that if they win the next election they will scrap plans for the new runway. However, blocking the plans will become much more difficult once the planning process is under way.

posted on Wednesday, January 21, 2009 11:11:37 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Monday, January 19, 2009

After a long consultation the government has finally given the go ahead for a third runway at Heathrow. This is despite widespread opposition against the plans by environmental campaigners and residents. The government, however, has bowed to pressure from business groups and  unions who believe a third runway is necessary for economic growth. Under the plans a sixth terminal will also be built and there will be investment is public transport including a high speed rail link. Under the plans however, the entire village of Sipson containing 700 homes will be demolished. Plans will be put into place to try and limit noise and emissions but it many residents who already live under the flight patch are likely to have a plane fly over their house as much as once every 90 seconds.

posted on Monday, January 19, 2009 12:04:48 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Friday, January 16, 2009

The crash landing of a plane into the Hudson river has been called a miracle after every one of the 155 passengers survived. The plane crashed having only been in the air for four minutes after it was hit by a flock of geese shortly after take off. The pilot Chesley B Sullenberger managed to bring the plane down in the water of the Hudson and has been called a hero for managing to avoid crash landing in the city. He has been commended for his bravery and skill in handling the situation. All the passengers were later rescued safely with some suffering from minor cuts and injuries and some from hyperthermia.

posted on Friday, January 16, 2009 4:01:50 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback

It appears more people are opting to travel by Eurostar with the service seeing record ticket sales last year. The service saw a rise of 10.9% in ticket sales and carried 10.3% more passengers which amounts to 9.1 million passengers in total. The figures could have been even higher if if wasn't for a fire in the tunnel which caused disruption last September. Eurostar is optimistic about further future growth and expects more passengers now that the railways new base is at St Pancras International, making the service more accessible to the rest of the UK.

posted on Friday, January 16, 2009 3:31:08 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Train passengers should be able to use their Oyster cards on most of the London rail network by the end of 2009. Currently the Oyster card can be used on London Overground, the London underground, buses, trams and the Docklands Light Railway. However, many suburban rail firms do not yet accept the pay as you go card. The London Mayor Boris Johnson has said that an agreement with most rail companies is near. The one exception appears to be South West Trains which currently has no plans to allow customers to use the Oyster card on its service.

posted on Tuesday, January 13, 2009 1:52:45 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Thursday, January 8, 2009

Blackpool Airport have introduced a £10 flyers fee. All customers over the age of 16 will pay the fee when departing the airport. The money raised will be put towards a £2m investment project that will upgrade the runways and passenger facilities in an effort to attract new airlines. Passengers will pay the fee at a ticket machine in the main airport and proof of payment will be required to pass through the airport and into the departure lounge.

posted on Thursday, January 8, 2009 2:16:33 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Wednesday, January 7, 2009

BAA have failed to meet the governments pollution targets at Heathrow despite initiatives to try and cut down on hazardous emissions. The findings mean that it likely the airport will also breach tougher European Union limits which are due to brought in next year. Data from a air pollution detector near the perimeter fence found the annual mean average level of nitrogen dioxide was 52 micrograms per cubed metre. The EU legal limit is 40 micrograms per cubed metre. Despite failing to meet the current targets BAA is still pushing for another runway and more flights but have said that they can increase the number of flights without breaching the EU's legal limits by 2020. The latest data raises questions about whether this is possible. The government has already said it intends to apply to the EU for additional time to meet the nitrogen dioxide targets. It hopes to comply with the targets by 2015.

posted on Wednesday, January 7, 2009 1:42:41 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Tuesday, December 16, 2008

According to this article British Airways lost nearly half a million bags this summer. One in every 53 bags went missing, a total of 444,492 bags. The figure puts BA in 25th place out of 29 airlines based on statistics on baggage delays. The figures which also show statistics for punctuality show that BA flights were also at least 15 minutes late taking off or landing. On delayed baggage BA fared worse that rivals Air France and Lufthansa but better than KLM and BMI who were the worst performer overall. Virgin Atlantic were among the best performing airlines.

posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 11:05:55 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Ryanair have launched a new bid for rival airline Aer Lingus. Ryanair already owns nearly 30% of Aer Lingus following an earlier failed takeover attempt. They have offered to pay 1.40 Euros a share for the remaining shares. Ryanair made its first take over bid in October 2006 but this was opposed by the company and rejected by the shareholders. However, the deputy chief executive of Ryanair has said that the aviation industry has changed immeasurably since 2006. In order to be successful Ryanair will need the support of the Irish government which currently owns 25% of Aer Lingus and which has previously rejected Ryanairs offers.

posted on Wednesday, December 3, 2008 2:44:22 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Saturday, November 29, 2008

This article suggests that airlines could soon introduce charges for seats with extra legroom such as those location by the emergency exits. The prediction comes after Singapore Airlines introduced the policy earlier this month. Air France and Virgin Atlantic have also already introduced charges for these seats. Travel experts have predicted that customers will have to pay around £75 for a return ticket to enjoy that luxury of stretching their legs and that the charges are likely to become common place across most airlines. Air France currently charges £42 (50 Euros) each way on flights to the US and intends to widen the policy to all of its long haul flights. Singapore Airlines charges £32 per sector on all of its long haul flights and is looking at introducing charges for other seat categories in the future. It all looks like bad news for those of us with long legs, it appears if you want to avoid cramp on the flight, you will need to pay for it.

posted on Saturday, November 29, 2008 1:10:31 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Friday, November 21, 2008

Train fares will rise in the new year with some tickets going up by nearly double the rate of inflation. Regulated fares including season tickets are due to increase by an average of 6% from the 2nd of January 2009 with unregulated tickets including leisure and advance fares rising 7% on average with some rising as much as 11%. The train companies have said that the revenue will be reinvested but the watchdog Passenger Focus have said that some rises are unjustified.

posted on Friday, November 21, 2008 1:47:44 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Virgin Atlantic have said that they are planning a bid for Gatwick airport in conjunction with other parties. Gatwick airport has recently been put up for sale by the current owner BAA. Virgin is talking to a group of interested parties about a bid for the airport which is valued by analysts at around £2.5bn. Australian company Macquarie, Germany's Fraport, and the owners of Manchester airport are among the firms thought to be interested in buying the airport.

posted on Wednesday, November 19, 2008 4:27:20 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Trading standards officers have been handed out leaflets at airports to warms passengers holiday makers about bogus holiday clubs. The scams involve fake Spanish holiday clubs with the tourists being lured by a tout handed out scratch cards and claiming they have won a prize. The cards are often a ruse to lure unsuspecting tourists to a high cost sales pitch. They are then persuaded to sign up for a fake holiday club that can cost thousands of ponds in membership fees. The OFT said "In most cases, consumers find they have bought little more than access to an internet booking service offering the same service they could get at a travel agent for free". Victims of the scam have lost an average of £3,030 each.

posted on Wednesday, November 12, 2008 3:22:25 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Friday, November 7, 2008

The City of Derry airport has spent more than £19 million on safety work. The money was used to extend the airport's runway with the demolition of 17 homes in nearby Donnybrewer. The British and Irish governments paid £14m towards the work with the remaining £5m being paid for by Derry City Council.

posted on Friday, November 7, 2008 6:17:27 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Thursday, November 6, 2008

BAA has announced a £230m funding package for the Crossrail project. The scheme which will cost a total of £16bn will connect Maidenhead in Berkshire to Shenfield in Essex via Heathrow and central London. The project which received the parliamentary go ahead in July is expected to start running its first trains in 2017. The new rail route will provide four fast trains an hour Heathrow and will run direct services from Heathrow airport though central London, the City and Canary Wharf. It will also mean creating new stations Paddington, Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon, Liverpool Street, Whitechapel and the Isle of Dogs. The 74-mile route (118.5km) will be underground for 26 miles (41.5km) and allow for stops at 38 stations.

posted on Thursday, November 6, 2008 2:29:20 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Profits at Ryanair have fallen 47% in the first half of the financial year. The fall has been put down to a doubling in the price of fuel. Although oil prices have since fallen Ryanair still expects to make a loss within the last six months of the financial year. Despite the fall in profits customer numbers have continued to grow with numbers being up 19% between April and September. Chief Executive Mr O'Leary has said that if oil prices remain below $80 a barrel that profits will recover.

posted on Wednesday, November 5, 2008 11:11:39 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The budget airline Ryanair will offer flights to the US for just eight pounds under a new scheme. The airline will buy planes from struggling rivals as part of a plan to beat the recession. Under the plans Ryanair will buy an additional 50 aircraft in an effort to try and undercut more expensive rivals. The cheap flights are likely to be available by the end of the year and will be available for those who book early. Airport taxes will be payable on top of the ticket price. Flights are expected to be available from Stanstead and Dublin to New York, Florida, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Boston.

posted on Tuesday, November 4, 2008 4:09:52 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The budget airline Sterling has collapsed because of financial problems. Two flights to Billund in Denmark were scrapped at Gatwick airport as well as three to Copenhagen and one to Stockholm. The carrier has warned people that have booked direct through the website that they will not get a refund. Around 500 to 700 passengers are thought to be affected. Those who have booked by credit card have been told to contact their credit card company.

posted on Wednesday, October 29, 2008 1:55:58 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Thursday, October 23, 2008

An airline pilot has been arrested at Heathrow airport on suspicion of being drunk. The United Airlines pilot was scheduled to fly to San Francisco but was led off the plane after a breath test. It is thought that the police had been tipped off by a member of the ground staff who suspected the pilot had been drinking before the flight. The man has been released on bail  and asked to return to Heathrow police station on January 16 pending further enquiries.

posted on Thursday, October 23, 2008 9:18:41 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Wednesday, October 22, 2008

New plans could mean that George Best Belfast City Airport will have an extra 3,000 scheduled flights. The plans would mean that an additional 0.5m passengers would be able to use the airport every year. The airport will also be subject to tighter regulations on noise and activity levels. Local residents groups have reacted angrily to the plans for more flights.

posted on Wednesday, October 22, 2008 8:47:53 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Tuesday, October 21, 2008

British Airways and Virgin will cut their fuel charges in response to falling oil prices. The charges will be cut by up to £13 for most passengers as the airlines pass the reductions onto their customers. Whist the charges will be cut in their two cheapest classes those who fly in classes above Virgin's premium economy and BA's World Traveller Plus will not see a reduction.

posted on Tuesday, October 21, 2008 2:54:57 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Monday, October 20, 2008

The Spanish airline LTE International has suspended operations because of serious financial difficulties. LTE stopped taking bookings last Thursday after it announced it could not cover costs for the next few days. The company said that several thousand passengers had been affected by the cancellation of flights. Some customers were also stranded in Spain. LTE currently run flights from Spain to the UK, Italy and Saudi Arabia. They employ 300 staff and have a fleet of seven Airbus 320s. The company has said that it will refund the cost of stranded customers flights but that it is unable to provide alternative transport. It has also said that around 3500 LTE passengers had their charter flights from Tenerife to Europe cancelled and that tour operators are legally obliged to find these passengers an alternative carrier.

posted on Monday, October 20, 2008 12:30:34 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Thursday, October 16, 2008

This article suggests that rail passengers are likely to see above inflation fare rises coupled with more overcrowding. Despite fares rising by as much as 20 per cent last year, overcrowding increased on may routes. Passengers on routes into London are likely to see increased overcrowding at peak times until plans to increase capacity can be carried out.

posted on Thursday, October 16, 2008 12:52:24 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A man who attempted to hijack a Turkish Airlines plane was overpowered by fellow passengers. The man had claimed to have a bomb but he was quickly subdued by other passengers. No explosives were discovered on the man who was reportedly drunk. He was taken off the plane and arrested by Russian police. No one was injured in the incident.

posted on Wednesday, October 15, 2008 11:47:26 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Friday, October 10, 2008

Thousands of bus workers will stage a 24 hour strike over pay starting today. Staff at First, Metroline and Metrobus will walkout in a move that is expected to cause widespread disruption. Unite has called the strike in support of a campaign for a single pay rate of £30,000 per week for drivers. The rate currently varies among the 18 bus companies by up to £6,000. The dispute may escalate as Unite is currently balloting workers in other bus companies for industrial action later this month.

posted on Friday, October 10, 2008 8:23:20 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Thursday, October 9, 2008

Easyjet has been flying more passengers despite the economic downturn. Passenger numbers rose 22% between September 2007 and last month. Easyjet have also said that their planes are fuller than last year with aircraft being 86.9% full in September, 2% higher than the same month in 2007. Although the firm has been hit by high oil prices and is facing an increase of £185m to its annual fuel bill, the company is hoping to offset around 50% of the oil price by carrying more customers.

posted on Thursday, October 9, 2008 2:28:09 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Wednesday, October 8, 2008

BA has revealed a 5% drop in passenger numbers in just one month as passengers start to feel the effects of the economic situation. The number of passengers flying with BA dropped by 5.6% last month with 160,000 fewer flying than usual. 2.9 million passengers flew with BA last month compared to 2.96 million in September 2007. BA have said that bookings for future flights are being affected by anxiety in the financial markets and the uncertain economic outlook.

posted on Wednesday, October 8, 2008 2:20:49 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Friday, October 3, 2008

According to this article if you are caught driving in France without a reflective jacket and a warning triangle you could face a fine. The equipment which is not a legal requirement in the UK must be carried in the vehicle under French law. People who do not have it will have to pay a fine of between £70 and £110 whilst the cost of purchasing the kit can be as little as £29.99. The French authorities have been accused of specifically targeting UK registered cars because many UK drivers are unaware of the requirement. Under French law vehicles must have at least one reflective jacket for the driver although many French families carry a jecket for each member of the family.

posted on Friday, October 3, 2008 4:56:12 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Monday, September 29, 2008
If you are looking for something a bit special when deciding on a holiday destination then you might want to have a look at Only Exclusive Travel. They are a UK based travel agent that specialises in luxury holidays. They specialise in travel to unusual and exotic destinations and offer among other things safaris and golf holidays. One of the hotels they offer is Le Saint Geran Mauritius, a hotel which is set in 60 acres of tropical garden and offers a 9-hole golf course.  If that’s not enough then guests also have the advantage of complimentary access to the nearby 18-hole championship lle aux Cerfs Golf Course.  Other hotels in Mauritius include the Le Touessrok Mauritius where you can Stay 14 nights and only pay for 7 and get complimentary half board.  Prices start at around £2300 per person.

Only Exclusive Travel also offers what they call experiences. These are holidays which are tailor made to your needs. You can combine a number of destinations resorts or countries to create your perfect holiday whether it is a safari or a wine tasting break. These breaks are obviously not for the budget traveller but are a great idea for special occasions such as weddings, honeymoons and anniversaries. For those thinking of booking  a honeymoon break they offer is a honeymoon gift service. With this you can select your honeymoon and pay a 10% deposit. Then you send the contact details to your friends and family who can contribute towards the rest of the honeymoon.

posted on Monday, September 29, 2008 12:35:51 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Friday, September 26, 2008

Boris Johnson has lent his support to plans to close Heathrow and build a new airport in the Thames estuary. If the idea were to go ahead it could mean a new four runway airport in the Thames estuary that could run 24 hours a day because it would not be subject to noise pollution rules which govern Heathrow flight times. The advantage would be that instead of landing and taking off over residential areas planes would fly over the North Sea causing minimal disruption compared to Heathrow. The airport would be connected to the high speed Channel tunnel rail link and would be only 35 minutes away from central London. If it were to go ahead Heathrow could be turned into a business park or used to create more housing for the area.

posted on Friday, September 26, 2008 11:01:27 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Ryanair will offer discounts on seats selling £5 million for just £5 each. The move is an attempt to boost demand as customers start to feel the effects of the credit crunch. The seats will be on sale during October and the first two weeks of November and the fee will include taxes and charges.

posted on Wednesday, September 24, 2008 11:25:48 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Tuesday, September 23, 2008

BA have suspended flights to and from Pakistan due to security fears after the bombing of a Islamabad hotel. 53 people were killed in the blast which happened at the Marriott Hotel at the weekend. No one has claimed responsability for the bomb but it thought the investigation will lead to al Qaeda and Taliban militants. British Airways have suspended its six flights a week to the country and have said "Our people at headquarters are reviewing the security situation."

posted on Tuesday, September 23, 2008 12:17:23 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Wednesday, September 17, 2008

After much speculation BAA have put Gatwick airport up for sale. The chief executive Colin Matthews said the continuing inquiry into BAA by the competition commission was a "big chunk of the motivation" in putting Gatwick up for sale. It is expecting to receive interest from state backed investors and sovereign wealth groups such as Abu Dhabi Investment Capital, the Investment Corporation of Dubai and the Kuwait Investment Authority. Manchester Airport Group and Virgin Atlantic have also confirmed an interest in Gatwick.

posted on Wednesday, September 17, 2008 5:48:54 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Plans have been unveiled for a £400m revamp of Reading station. The plans would include five new platforms, an elevated railway, a new station entrance and a new train depot. The measures would allow more trains to run through the station and reduce delays and overcrowding. Work will start in 2010 and should be completed by 2015. The plans are being displayed at a series of exhibitions in Reading Town Hall.

posted on Tuesday, September 16, 2008 9:47:07 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Monday, September 15, 2008

The collapse of XL Leisure has left around 85,000 passengers stranded abroad. The company called in the administrators after the failure of last minute talks with investment group Straumur. XL's fleet of planes have been grounded leaving 85,000 customers stranded and a further 200,000 who have made advance bookings without their holiday. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is working with other airlines and tour operators to organise flights for stranded travellers. Anyone who booked an inclusive holiday with XL or a charter flight through The Really Great Holiday Company, Kosmar Villa Holidays, Freedom Flights and Aspire Holidays will be covered by the ATOL financial protection scheme. However, customers who booked direct with XL Airways will have to pay for a flight on the CAA's organised flights or make their own way home. The CAA has recommended that anyone expecting to travel with XL should not travel to the airport.

posted on Monday, September 15, 2008 9:54:26 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback

The Cheshire based holiday firm Seguro Holidays has gone into administration. The firm runs budget package holidays to Spain, the Canaries and Portugal. People who have booked a holiday with the firm are likely to be protected by the Air Travel Organisers' Licensing System which can be used to bring stranded customers home and compensate those who have made future bookings. Around 2,400 people are currently abroad with Seguro Travel and there are 17,253 with forward bookings up until the end of summer 2009.

posted on Monday, September 15, 2008 9:52:52 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Saturday, September 13, 2008

A new rail ticketing system has been introduced which should make knowing what ticket to buy much simpler. It has two types of ticket "anytime" which as the name suggests can be used at any time, on any train and "off peak" which has restrictions on the time and date it can be used. Under the scheme tickets previously called Saver and Cheap Day returns will now be renamed as off peak.

posted on Saturday, September 13, 2008 11:48:18 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Friday, September 12, 2008

The Mayor Boris Johnson has announced that bus and underground fares in London will increase by 6% in the new year. Some fares will be cut, with the introduction of a new off peak rate which is aimed at encouraging people to travel after 09.30. There will also be a new half price travel scheme for people on income support, the elderly and war veterans. The rise in fares will go towards helping to fund projects such as Crossrail and the improvements needed for the London Olympics.

posted on Friday, September 12, 2008 9:46:59 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A train company has some up with an idea to shut off the trains engines on downhill sections of the route to save money. First Transpennine Express has said the move will save around 7% of its fuel consumption without compromising customer comfort. It works because its trains have multiple engines. They can operate on one, two or three engines but one engine can be shut down on downhill stretches allowing the train to run on just two and so save energy.

posted on Wednesday, September 10, 2008 10:50:18 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A confused Swedish woman checked herself in at Stockholm's Arlanda airport after misinterpreting instructions. The 78 year old lady checked in her suitcase and then climbed on the belt after it. She arrived in the baggage handling bay where she was rescued by surprised airport staff. The woman suffered no injuries and managed to get her flight on time. Perhaps this conveyor belt system could be a way of speeding up the check in process.

posted on Tuesday, September 9, 2008 11:41:29 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Saturday, September 6, 2008

XL Airways have become the latest carrier to announce cut backs due to rising fuel costs. The airline has announced that it will cancel all flights to the Caribbean from November. It blames rising costs and the falling popularity of those routes and will affect flights to Antigua, St Kitts and Nevis, Trinidad and Tobago, St Lucia, Barbados and Grenada. Travel operators will now have to find replacement flights for hundreds of customers who have already booked. Customers who have a flight booked from November are advised to contact their tour operator.

posted on Saturday, September 6, 2008 11:10:51 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Friday, September 5, 2008

A solar powered spy plane has set an unofficial record for the longest continuous unmanned flight. The British built planes called the Zephyr stayed in the air for 82 hours and 37 minutes. It is powered by solar panels and a rechargeable battery for flying at night. The aircraft's designers believe that in the future the aircraft will be able to fly for weeks or months at a time.

posted on Friday, September 5, 2008 12:11:17 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Thursday, September 4, 2008

Automatic number plate recognition scanners are being installed at Manchester Airport as part of increased security measures. Five of the cameras will be installed at the airport. They will be able to read around 500,000 number plates a day providing an extra level of security and allowing police to check whether there is any reason to investigate vehicles at the airport.

posted on Thursday, September 4, 2008 10:04:27 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Friday, August 29, 2008

Virgin Atlantic have seen a welcome boost in profits due to record numbers of business passengers. The airline has seen passenger numbers rise by 22% this year as they have taken the market share from BA and other rivals. Virgin has put some of the gains down to the problems that faced BA during the opening of Terminal 5. Virgin flew a total of 5.7 million passengers during the year, up 7.6% and has said it had begun the current financial year on a firm footing, with sales between April and June up 16% to £645.3m.

posted on Friday, August 29, 2008 9:27:57 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Saturday, August 23, 2008

New facial scanners are being tested at Manchester Airport. The scanners are under trial as part of government efforts to improve security and reduce passenger congestion. They can be used by adult biometric passport holders. It works by scanning passengers faces and comparing them to the photograph that is digitally stored on their passport. Passengers will be able to pass through unmanned gates to avoid queues and the scanner will check their passport has not been tampered with and that they are not on any security lists. At the next gate a facial scanner will also read their face. If they are rejected by the system they will be directed to immigration officers for further checks.

posted on Saturday, August 23, 2008 9:57:38 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Friday, August 22, 2008

Strikes by airport staff that were planned for this weekend have been called off after talks. The strikes were expected to caused widespread disruption over the bank holiday weekend as cabin staff and baggage handlers were due to walk out. Although the strikes have been called off at Gatwick and Manchester, flights at Stanstead could still be affected by a separate dispute involving security staff.

posted on Friday, August 22, 2008 12:17:07 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback

Passengers on a flight from Newcastle Airport had to leave their luggage behind at the last minute because the plane was too heavy. The 151 passengers were informed that the aircraft needed to lose weight and were given the choice of half the passengers getting off or all the passengers flying but without their luggage. At first volunteers were sought to get off but as few people were willing to leave the flight eventually left four hours later with the passengers minus their luggage. Passengers were assured their luggage would follow them but some people claim they were had to wait three days before it arrived.

posted on Friday, August 22, 2008 8:03:15 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Monday, August 18, 2008

Travellers could face chaos on the Bank Holiday weekend as staff at Gatwick and Stansted airport have voted to go on strike. Workers are set to stage a strike on Monday 25th of August and 29th of August after rejecting an offer in a pay dispute. The unite union has said that all baggage handling and check in operations will be halted at a number of airlines with the dispute likely to spread to other airports over the next few weeks because of similar disputes over pay.

posted on Monday, August 18, 2008 8:46:24 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Sunday, August 17, 2008

You would expect train travel to be getting better rather than worse but this article suggests otherwise. The article makes the claim that train journeys actually take longer today than they did 20 years ago. This is despite improvements with faster trains and track improvements. The worst area appears to be London and the South East where passengers have to allow an extra five minutes for their journey compared with 20 years ago. A spokesman for London TravelWatch said “Some increase in journey times may be justified by more passengers, thus longer stopping at stations. However, modern trains serving most London routes have better acceleration, which should offset this to some degree.” Does your journey take you longer?

posted on Sunday, August 17, 2008 11:58:26 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Friday, August 15, 2008

Ryanair will cancel thousands of bookings that are made on third party websites. The airline's boss is taking the hard line stance against websites that compare prices between different airlines but which he says charge more for flights than if they were purchased directly from Ryanair. Any passengers that book through these websites will now see their bookings cancelled. The company also believes that the so called screen scraper website are illegal and that causing disruption by cancelling booking made through them will be easier than taking them to court. Screen scraping sites currently account for 0.5% of Ryanair's bookings but this amounts to 1,000 flights a day. Ryanair has no means of contacting affected customers, this is down to the website that has taken the booking. So if you have made a booking through an external website you might want to check it is still valid before flying.

posted on Friday, August 15, 2008 10:14:48 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Thursday, August 14, 2008

South West Trains have converted one of its diesel trains to use bio-fuel in order to test an alternative power source. The train will run on a mixture of soya, rape seed and diesel. The experiment will run until the end of the year with the train operating between Exeter and Waterloo. Other rail operators are waiting to see the results with a view to implementing similar schemes if this is successful.

posted on Thursday, August 14, 2008 12:48:46 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Tuesday, August 12, 2008

It has been announced that Blackfriars station will close until 2011 to allow extensive work to be carried out. The work will include lengthening platforms, building a new entrance to the station and the redevelopment of the station. During this time the overground routes will remain open but there will be no connection to the Underground. Currently around 44,000 people use the station every day. It is expected that many of these people will have to use Farringdon Station as an alternative as people try to find alternative routes. 

posted on Tuesday, August 12, 2008 9:21:39 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Monday, August 11, 2008

The news that British Airways profits have fallen by 90% is likely to have the effect of soaring prices for customers as the airline tries to avoid going into the red. Already prices have risen by around 7%. Carriers are currently suffering more badly than during the recession that followed the terrorist attacks of 2001. During April, May and June profits at BA plunged to £37m from £298m last year, a drop of 88%.

posted on Monday, August 11, 2008 10:19:50 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Friday, August 8, 2008

British Airways will reduce the number of flights from Scotland to London with the frequency of services from Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh falling by 6%. Under the proposal dozens of flights between Aberdeen and Heathrow will be cancelled during the winter schedule which runs from October to March. BA have blamed the cuts on the doubling of fuel costs and the worst trading environment ever.

posted on Friday, August 8, 2008 9:01:12 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Thursday, August 7, 2008

British Airways will cancel one in twenty flights in order to try and lessen the impact of the economic downturn. The cut backs are likely to affect domestic, regional and European services and will mean that around 6,000 flights disappear from the winter schedule. Gatwick could lose up a fifth of its BA services with Heathrow also suffering some losses. Passengers are likely to also face rising fares and fuel surcharges.

posted on Thursday, August 7, 2008 9:35:57 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Safety officials have confirmed that an exploding oxygen cylinder was probably responsible for the hole that appeared in one of its jets during a flight. Inspectors had previously ruled out corrosion as the cause of the accident. It appears that the oxygen tank exploded through the passenger cabin floor causing the large bang and decompression of the cabin. Qantas will now inspect every cylinder on its Boeing 747 fleet in case of similar problems.

posted on Wednesday, August 6, 2008 12:13:50 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Monday, August 4, 2008

BA and Iberia are holding talks about a possible merger of the two airlines. Willie Walsh, the BA boss has said that the merger would help the airlines in the current economic environment and should allow them to reduce costs. Iberia currently employs 22,000 staff, has 198 aircraft and flies to 109 destinations. Under the merger it would operate mainly in South America and Africa, with BA focusing on the Middle and Far East. If the merger goes ahead the British Airways and the Iberia brands would both be retained.

posted on Monday, August 4, 2008 9:30:39 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Saturday, August 2, 2008

article-1039398-02188BEB00000578-563_468x391 Emirates will introduce the first in flight showers on the new superjumbo A380 Airbus. From Friday first class passengers will be able to enjoy a shower spa during the flight. They will, however, be limited to just five minutes in order to ensure that all first class passengers can enjoy the luxury. The plane carries enough water for 14 first class passengers to each have a five minute shower. The shower itself is big enough to accommodate one person so showering with a friend it not an option. First class passengers can also make use of a private suite which includes a work desk, mini bar and in flight entertainment system. It all sounds great but at a price of £4,737 its certainly not cheap.

posted on Saturday, August 2, 2008 12:24:10 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Thursday, July 24, 2008

MPs have approved a bill which will se the £16bn Crossrail scheme go ahead. The rail scheme will link Maidenhead in Berkshire to Shenfield in Essex via Heathrow. Under the scheme a number of new stations will be built. The first trains are expected to start running in 2017 and are expected to carry 78,000 passengers an hour during peak times.

posted on Thursday, July 24, 2008 8:37:57 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Monday, July 21, 2008

Qantas Airways have announced that they will cut 1,500 jobs worldwide and abandon plans to create 1,200 new jobs. The move has come as the company tries to deal with high fuel costs. The losses will include closing call centres in Tucson, Arizona and London with the loss of 99 jobs. Around 1,300 jobs will be lost in Australia with the rest overseas. The airline is also scrapping plans to increase its capacity by 8% in the 12 months to mid 2009 as they are not expecting any growth in that period.

posted on Monday, July 21, 2008 8:33:44 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Saturday, July 19, 2008

This article suggests that landing slots at Heathrow are so valuable that it can take companies years and millions of pounds to get just one aircraft into the airport. Heathrow is constrained in the number of flights that it can accommodate meaning an airline wanting to set up operations there can pay up to £30 million for take off and landing times. As a result the landing rights are sometimes more valuable than the airline themselves. The companies must continue using the slots otherwise they will lose them. This means that many airlines will continue flying even if its planes are virtually empty.

posted on Saturday, July 19, 2008 11:53:52 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Thursday, July 17, 2008

Ryanair has announced cut backs of the number of winter flights from Stanstead. It plans to reduce the number of flights by 14 per cent meaning the number of weekly flights will be cut from 1,850 to just 1,600. The plan is part of an effort to try and reduce losses and comes after a similar announcement from BA.

posted on Thursday, July 17, 2008 5:20:41 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback

BA will cut capacity on winter flights by up to 5% in an effort to avoid losses. They will reduce the amount of flights on its routes and axe some service between October and March. There will be fewer services on the least cash generative routes with no more than two out of 154 routes being axed. Many airlines are currently cutting capacity due to falling demand and high fuel prices with US carriers leading the way. There are signs that the slowing economy is starting to affect travel with BA seeing a decline of 3.7% or 87,000 fewer passengers in June.

posted on Thursday, July 17, 2008 9:06:59 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Friday, July 11, 2008

Boris Johnson has quashed the proposed rise in the London congestion charge. The former mayor Ken Livingston has planned to raise the daily charge from £8 to £25. Boris Johnson has said that the £25 charge would hit small businesses and families the hardest and this is why he is scrapping the rise. He also said that his aim is to achieve a "fairer and more effective congestion charge".

posted on Friday, July 11, 2008 10:16:38 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Wednesday, July 2, 2008

It has been announced that injured war veterans will get free travel on London transport. Boris Johnson made the announcement last week on Veterans Day. The scheme will come into effect on the 2nd of November and will benefit an estimated 2,600 war veterans living in London.

posted on Wednesday, July 2, 2008 12:04:41 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Thursday, June 26, 2008

Air travellers will soon have to pay for luggage trolleys at Luton airport. From next month the airport will introduce a £1 charge for luggage trolleys, or two euros for people who do not have any British currency. The airport expects to earn million from the coin operated trolleys which will be similar to schemes already in place at some supermarkets. The difference with the airport trolleys, however, is that users will not get their money back when they have finished using the trolley.

posted on Thursday, June 26, 2008 4:08:17 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Several airlines have increased baggage fees and fares in an effort to cut costs. The Australian airline Virgin Blue will raise ticket prices by $5 Australian dollars. United Airlines and US Airways have both announced they will charge a $15 fee for the first bag that is checked in. A number of US airlines have also increased fuel surcharges to $20 per roundtrip.

posted on Tuesday, June 17, 2008 1:23:33 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Airline bosses have warned that tickets prices are likely to become much more expensive because of rising oil prices. Passengers are likely to face a lot of new extra fees such as paying to check in luggage and paying to eat on the flight. According to John McCulloch the managing partner of Oneworld Alliance (which represents leading airlines including British Airways,Cathay Pacific, Iberia and Qantas) mainstream airlines are likely to follow Ryanair as they try to cut costs. He says this will mean that charging for meals is likely to become standard practice and that charges for bags could be introduced.

posted on Wednesday, June 4, 2008 6:12:02 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Monday, June 2, 2008

The government will investigate claims that contaminated air in planes is making pilots and passengers ill. Figures suggest that one in every 2,000 flights is polluted with engine oil but unions claim that the problem occurs much more often. Last year there were 116 contaminated flights reported to the Aviation Authority. Pilots and passengers have reported symptoms including nausea, headaches, dizziness and lethargy. The investigation will use equipment to measure the cabin air on five different types of aircraft from five different airlines to try and identify any toxins that might be in the air filters.

posted on Monday, June 2, 2008 12:27:36 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Thursday, May 29, 2008

BA have announced an increase in fuel surcharges on all tickets sold from Tuesday 3rd of June. The surcharge will increase by £3 per flight to £16 on short haul flights and increase by £15 per flight to £78 per flight on long haul flights. The increase comes at a time when the airlines are facing rising costs of jet fuel due to soaring oil prices. It is likely that other airlines will now follow suit.

posted on Thursday, May 29, 2008 6:55:51 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Thursday, May 22, 2008

American Airlines will bring in a charge for checked bags from the 15th of June. They will charge $15 for the first checked bag and already have a $25 charge for the second checked bag. It will also raise other fees for service such as reservation help and fees for oversized bags. The changes come because the airlines fuel costs have increased by nearly $3 billion since the start of the year. Other airlines such as United Airlines are also looking at whether to impose a fee on checked luggage. It seems checking in baggage free of charge might soon become a thing of the past.

posted on Thursday, May 22, 2008 5:49:44 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Friday, May 16, 2008

It has emerged that hundreds of foreign passengers have passed through Terminal 5 without proper checks. Problems at the airport have led to confusion meaning that overseas passengers have been treated as domestic arrivals and have passed through the airport without going through immigration or customs controls. In one case passengers arriving from Libya left Heathrow without having to show their passports and there are claims that six passengers from a Tripoli flight have never been found. The security breaches occurred when shuttle drivers collected passengers from overseas flights but dropped them off at a gate meant for domestic arrivals. BA has admitted there have been a small number of incidents and have said there are aware of 10 flights where passengers were taken to the wrong gates.

posted on Friday, May 16, 2008 10:05:42 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Tuesday, May 13, 2008

British Airways has announced that it will move its long haul flights to Terminal 5 on 5 June. The move will include its services to New York, Abuja, Bangalore, Beijing, Cairo, Cape Town, Lagos and Phoenix. Flights to 40 other long haul destinations will continue to operate from terminal 4 for the time being but will be moved at a later date.

posted on Tuesday, May 13, 2008 12:10:38 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Thursday, May 1, 2008

BA tickets will get more expensive because they are due to increase their fuel surcharge. Passengers on long haul routes will now pay £30 more for a return flight. The decision comes as the prices of oil continue to rise. The surcharge for short haul flights will also increase by £6 for a return flight, rising from £20 to £26. The increases will affect all tickets issued after Friday.

posted on Thursday, May 1, 2008 6:29:29 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Monday, April 28, 2008

After 40 years the Wrexham to London Marylebone train service has resumed. The service will run five times a day and will re-establish a direct link to Shropshire, Walsall and London. The train stops at ten stations between Wrexham and London. Although only 11 passengers used the service today it is hoped that demand will grow as word spreads.

posted on Monday, April 28, 2008 7:10:25 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Friday, April 18, 2008
Figures released by the Civil Aviation Authority have shown that passengers that use Heathrow airport suffer longer delays that at any other British airport. The figures also showed that flights left on average 21 minutes late. In contrast Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris experiences average delays of just 15 minutes despite the fact they operate more flights.

posted on Friday, April 18, 2008 6:55:48 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Gareth Kirkwood the director of operations and David Noyes the director of customer service are leaving BA. The airline will not comment on whether they have been fired or have resigned but BA did say "The airline is looking to appoint a chief operations officer to combine both roles.” It is not clear whether the departures are connected with the recent problems with the opening of Heathrow’s Terminal 5.

posted on Wednesday, April 16, 2008 4:26:58 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Eurostar has reported a 21% increase in passengers in the first three months of the year. 2.17 million customers travelled between London, Paris and Brussels during this period, an increase of 21.3% on the same period in 2007. The companys commercial director has put the increases down to shorter journey times and more customers from around Britain now that the service has moved to St Pancras.

posted on Tuesday, April 15, 2008 5:41:14 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Friday, April 11, 2008
BA has delayed moving its long haul flights to Terminal 5 until June. It was due to switch most of its long flights to the terminal  the 30th of April but problems with the baggage handling system will now mean a delay. BA has not given a date when they expect to move the flights to the new terminal.

posted on Friday, April 11, 2008 3:15:26 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Thursday, April 10, 2008
Thameslink will provide an additional 14,500 seats on its routes with the introduction of new energy efficient trains. The trains will run from 2012 between London St Pancras and Blackfriars and on the Midland and East Coast lines. They will also operate on other routes via London Bridge and Elephant and Castle to destinations on the Brighton lines and routes in Kent, Surrey and Sussex. The deal means that the current fleet of trains will increase by a total of 380 carriages and that another other six trains an hour will run between Blackfriars and St Pancras International.

posted on Thursday, April 10, 2008 4:12:38 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Wednesday, April 9, 2008
The budget airline Oasis which runs flights from London Gatwick to Hong Kong has applied to go into liquidation. The airline offered flights for a little as £65 each way and operated daily flights between London and Hong Kong. The airline has debts of around one billion Hong Kong dollars. Hundreds of people have been left stranded after the shut down.

posted on Wednesday, April 9, 2008 4:59:20 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Monday, April 7, 2008
The problems with the new Terminal 5 at Heathrow have left BA with losses of around £16 million so far. The costs have mainly been incurred because of the cancellation of 300 short haul flights. The problems are likely to continue and some analysts predict the losses could eventually run to as much as £150 million.

posted on Monday, April 7, 2008 1:57:31 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Sunday, April 6, 2008
Just when it was looking like things were getting better at Terminal 5 there have been yet more problems. Once again the baggage handling system has caused more problems and the recent snow in the UK has added to these problems. More than 60 flights have been cancelled as a result and passengers are advised to check the BA website before travelling.

posted on Sunday, April 6, 2008 12:27:01 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Saturday, April 5, 2008
Nearly a week after the new Terminal 5 opened at Heathrow it is finally ready to operate a full schedule of flights making it the first day of normal operation. Until today flights have been cancelled every day to take pressure off the overloaded baggage handling systems.

posted on Saturday, April 5, 2008 12:15:30 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Friday, April 4, 2008
BA has called in international couriers to help return customers bags. The airline has chartered planes from FedEx to take luggage back to the US and BA flights are also taking bags back across the Atlantic when there is spare space in the hold. Some bags have also been taken by road to Milan where they will be sorted and flown out to their owners.

posted on Friday, April 4, 2008 2:32:05 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
CrossCountry Trains will run a high speed summer service between Manchester and Newquay and Newcastle and Newquay. The service will operate on Saturdays between May and September and is aimed at encouraging holidaymakers to the county. The trains will have large luggage compartments so will be able to easily accommodate surfboards. They are likely to prove popular with the hundreds of surfers who regularly visit Cornwall.

posted on Friday, April 4, 2008 10:56:32 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Thursday, April 3, 2008
Plans to introduce fingerprinting for passengers travelling from Terminal 5 were suspended only 24 hours before they were due to open. BAA says that the measures are needed to distinguish domestic passengers from international ones but the data protection watchdog has said the plan may breach British law. Talks are now being held between the Information Commissioner and BAA which wants to bring in the checks in the future.

posted on Thursday, April 3, 2008 12:41:20 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Wednesday, April 2, 2008
There is likely to be more disruption at Terminal 5 as BA struggle to sort out the problems that hit the opening week. BA is still struggling to clear the backlog of luggage and is still cancelling some flights and there are now reports that it could take months for things to get back to normal. BA has now postponed the switch of long haul flights to the terminal which was due to happen on the 5th of April and there could also be a threat of strike action which would hit service further.

posted on Wednesday, April 2, 2008 3:45:37 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
The General Administration of Civil Aviation of China (CAAC) has plans to build 97 airports before 2020. The plan will see the number of airports in China increasing to 192 in 2010 and to 244 by 2020 meaning that most people will live within 90 minutes drive of an airport by 2020. The new airports will cost around 450 billion Yuan ($64 billion) and are being built to meet increasing demand.

posted on Wednesday, April 2, 2008 3:30:49 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Tuesday, April 1, 2008
If your flight has been delayed or cancelled you might want to have a look at this article. It has lots of useful information about what compensation you could be entitled to. For example if your flight is delayed for two hours on a journey of up to 1,500km you should be able to claim free meals and refreshments and two phones calls, whereas if you are delayed overnight you are entitled to hotel accommodation. Its definitely worth a read before you travel.

posted on Tuesday, April 1, 2008 3:54:14 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Monday, March 31, 2008
According to BA the baggage handling system at Heathrow is now working well. However there is a huge backlog of bags at the airport. BA has a team of 400 volunteers who are working to clear the backlog of around 15,000 bags which have now built up at the airport although reuniting passengers with their luggage is likely to take some time because the bags need to go through enhanced security screening This is now being done manually because BA has been unable to use the Terminal 5 baggage system to process the bags. 

posted on Monday, March 31, 2008 1:24:19 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
Several British airlines are facing increased costs which could amount to hundreds of millions of pounds after expansion plans have been set back because of problems with the new 787 Dreamliner plane. British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and First Choice Airways have ordered 97 of the planes between them making them an essential part of the UK aviation industry’s new fleet. There are likely to be delivery delays of more than a year because parts of the plane have needed to be redesigned.

posted on Monday, March 31, 2008 1:04:28 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Saturday, March 29, 2008
Terminal 5’s third day has been hit by further cancellations. More than 100 flights were cancelled on Thursday and Friday because of problems with the baggage handling system with another 54 flights cancelled today. Customers are being advised to check on the BA website for a full list of cancellations. Those who do have their flights cancelled will be able to apply for a refund or rebook.

posted on Saturday, March 29, 2008 3:20:06 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
Things didn’t get any better on the second day of operations at Terminal 5. After the initial problems with the baggage handling system on the opening day the second day saw one in five flights being cancelled. 80% of the planned 534 flights were operating with passengers now able to check in hold luggage. BA has set up an information line for T5 passengers: 0800 727800. The airline has also advised customers to check its website, for service updates.

posted on Saturday, March 29, 2008 10:39:06 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Friday, March 28, 2008
The RMT have announced a three day tube strike in a row over safety concerns. The strike will run from 1830 on 6th of April and will end on the 9th of April. The strikes will affect tube travel over a total of four days.

posted on Friday, March 28, 2008 2:29:13 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
It appeared that BAA had everything covered with the opening of the new Terminal 5 at Heathrow. After all they had spent months testing the terminal, so what could go wrong? Quite a lot it seems. On the opening day flights from the new terminal were departing with hand baggage only after luggage check in was suspended due to a processing backlog. British Airways announced that all check in was suspended until the following day. In addition 34 flights were cancelled because of baggage problems and passengers faced delays of up to four hours to reclaim their luggage. Not a good start.

posted on Friday, March 28, 2008 12:27:38 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
Members of the Rail Maritime and Transport union have voted to strike over safety concerns. The unions, which represent 7,500 station staff and drivers, have concerns about staff working alone and plans to introduce "mobile supervisors" at stations. It is expected the strike dates will be announced later today.

posted on Friday, March 28, 2008 11:05:07 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
East Midlands Trains is investing £90 million to improve the performance of its services. The money will be used to refurbish stations and its current fleet. The firm will also improve CCTV on trains and set up a new control centre in Derby to improve communications with Network Rail. They also aim to improve punctuality and have issued staff with atomic watches.

posted on Friday, March 28, 2008 10:40:24 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Thursday, March 27, 2008
Terminal 5 opened to passengers today. The opening, however, was not without its problems. Problems with the baggage handling system left many customers waiting up to two hours for their luggage. There were also long queues to get through check in and security. To add to the problems a set of escalators also broke down and there were problems for people trying to pay for parking. Lets hope this just teething problems and not the shape of things to come.

posted on Thursday, March 27, 2008 6:14:25 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
Train Drivers working for South West Trains have called off strikes which were planned for next week. A four day strike was due to take place in a disagreement over pay. The Aslef union has now reached a draft agreement with the train operator and drivers will vote on the deal next month.

posted on Thursday, March 27, 2008 4:12:28 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Easyjet has started offering flights to and from Jersey. They have replaced Thomsonfly on the Luton route and will also start offering a service from Liverpool later this year. The airline expects around 200,000 passengers to use the service in the first year.

posted on Wednesday, March 26, 2008 6:48:39 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Monday, March 24, 2008
The UK’s first car share lane has opened in West Yorkshire. The lane links the M606 from Bradford to the M62 towards Leeds. To use it vehicles must be carrying two of more people with heavy goods vehicles not being allowed to use it. It is estimated it will save a regular commuter around 30 to 40 minutes each week. However, just a few hours after it opened a single motorist in a sports car was pictured using the lane, seemingly oblivious that the scheme existed. He could now be charged a £30 penalty for the offence.

posted on Monday, March 24, 2008 2:07:33 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Saturday, March 22, 2008
easyjet have warned investors to expect lower profits as a result of the higher cost of fuel. The airline is facing a potential £45 million rise in fuel costs as a result of high oil prices. As a result of this they expect to see much lower profits than previously predicted in the second half of the year.

posted on Saturday, March 22, 2008 12:39:37 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Friday, March 21, 2008
People travelling by train this Easter are likely to face disruption as Network Rail carries out work on some of the major routes. Work is being carried out on the East Coast mainline and the West Coast mainline meaning that some routes will have less than one train every hour. More than 30 rail projects are to be carried out over the Easter holiday with work including projects such as laying track and repairing bridges.

posted on Friday, March 21, 2008 12:29:37 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Thursday, March 20, 2008
10% more traffic than usual is expected to hit Britain’s roads this weekend as people try to get away for Easter. The AA expects 6.5 million cars to use the roads over the weekend with Maundy Thursday and Easter Monday being the busiest. Traffic hotspots are likely to include the M5 south of Bristol, the M4 between London and Bristol and the M1 Nottingham to Chesterfield. In addition to the expected heavy traffic road works are still currently affecting the M1, M4, M5, M6, M11, M25, M42, M48, M55, M56, M57, M60, M62, M65, M69 and many A roads.

posted on Thursday, March 20, 2008 4:09:55 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
A new airport control tower is due to open at Norwich International Airport. The tower is part of a £400,000 upgrade and includes new weather reporting systems, radar screens and a modern communications system. It will be used by staff to guide around 54,000 flights in and out of the airport every year.

posted on Thursday, March 20, 2008 12:48:10 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Wednesday, March 19, 2008
BAA is likely to introduce a £20 fee for drivers dropping passengers off at Heathrow. The airport operator will also charge a daily parking fee of £20. The new charges would help pay for the cost of expansion as well as helping to meet pollution standards set down by the Government. If the new charging regime goes ahead it will come into force in 2015 to coincide with an increase in the number of flights.

posted on Wednesday, March 19, 2008 7:42:41 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Monday, March 17, 2008
Ryanair has increased check in charges in an effort to encourage customers to use its online services. The online fee for putting items in the planes hold has increased from £5 to £6 per bag whilst the cost of checking in luggage at the airport will be double the cost of the internet fee, going up from £10 to £12 per item. In addition to this passengers who check in at the airport will have to pay an extra £3. The increases are designed to encourage customers to travel with carry on luggage only and should help the airline cut airport and handling costs.

posted on Monday, March 17, 2008 9:48:08 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Saturday, March 15, 2008
Travellers on the East Coast Mainline will face disruption over Easter as services are hit by strike action. Services on the line have already been hit by gales which caused the track between York and Doncaster to be blocked by fallen power lines. This led to a reduced service being run between Scotland and York and Leeds and London. The planned strikes will last for five days starting next Wednesday 19th March and continuing until the morning of Easter Monday. During this time The Rail and Maritime Union members will not work any shifts. Network Rail has said that some services will still continue despite the strike action. The action is in protest to proposed job cuts at the North Yorkshire site and comes after a vote in favour on industrial action.

posted on Saturday, March 15, 2008 3:32:36 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Friday, March 14, 2008
The Queen has officially opened Terminal 5 at Heathrow today. She was accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh and addressed 800 guests, most of who have been involved in the project. The terminal will begin operating on the 27th March and will offer increased customer capacity. The terminal will be used by British Airways for international flights and journeys to and from Manchester, Newcastle, Belfast and Scottish airports.

posted on Friday, March 14, 2008 4:30:22 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Wednesday, March 12, 2008
BAA has put up airport landing fees for Heathrow and Gatwick meaning a rise in ticket prices of about £2. The Civil Aviation Authority has allowed then to increase fees to help pay for better facilities and increased security measures. Although the increases have been criticised by airlines including British Airways BAA have said that the measures do not go far enough and that he increase will not be enough to pay for £6.5bn rebuilding work at Heathrow and ageing facilities at Gatwick.

posted on Wednesday, March 12, 2008 5:03:40 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Saturday, March 8, 2008
When Heathrow’s Terminal 5 opens later this month, it will become the first airport to introduce mandatory fingerprinting for domestic passengers. All domestic passengers leaving the terminal will now be subject to biometric checks and it is expected that other UK airports will introduce fingerprinting as within the next few years. All domestic passengers who go through Terminal 5 will have four fingerprints taken, as well as being photographed when they check in. BAA says that the move is necessary to prevent criminals and terrorists bypassing border controls and that the biometric information will be destroyed after 24 hours and that it will not be passed onto the police.

posted on Saturday, March 8, 2008 12:40:42 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Monday, March 3, 2008
Network rail have been fined a record £14 million because of engineering work overruns. The fine was imposed after an investigation by the Office of Rail Regulation who also ordered Network Rail to provide a clear plan of how it intends to complete the outstanding work. Network Rail has already announced that the West Coast Main Line will face closures at Easter as work continues. The line may also have to close at some weekends because the work is running late. Engineering overruns caused disruption on the West Coast Main Line at the New Year as well as Liverpool Street Station and Shields Junction near Glasgow over the festive period.

posted on Monday, March 3, 2008 3:57:52 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Sunday, March 2, 2008

A scheme to help cut the cost of ferry journeys to and from the Western Isles has been announced by the Scottish Government. It currently costs £140 for the return car ferry from the mainland to Stornoway with local people saying this cost holds back tourism and development. The new scheme which will run as a pilot will cost £22 million to operate over three years but could see the cost of journey cut by a third. The routes chosen for the trial are Stornoway to Ullapool, the routes between Uig on Skye, Tarbert on Harris and Lochmaddy in North Uist and the routes linking Oban, South Uist, Coll Barra and Tiree.

posted on Sunday, March 2, 2008 3:30:54 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Saturday, March 1, 2008
First Great Western is in danger of losing its franchise because of poor service standards. Transport secretary Ruth Kelly has ordered FGW to buy more carriages, increase passenger compensation payments and hire more staff. If these demands are not met the franchise will be terminated. First Great Western was voted the worst service in Britain last month and has misled passengers by underreporting the number of cancellations last year. Instead of fining the franchise Ruth Kelly has instead imposed an improved package on it which includes compensation for customers affected by punctuality problems.

posted on Saturday, March 1, 2008 6:55:33 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Friday, February 29, 2008

Aberdeen Airport has been named the industry’s most improved by the Airports Council International (ACI). The title goes to the airport that has managed the biggest improvement in overall customer satisfaction. The quality survey was based on data from 200,000 questionnaires which were completed by passengers in 2007.

posted on Friday, February 29, 2008 4:08:37 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Thursday, February 28, 2008
The world’s first commercial aircraft to be powered partly by biofuel took off from Heathrow on Monday. The Virgin Atlantic 747 flew from London to Amsterdam using a 20% biofuel mix of coconut and babassu oil in on of its four fuel tanks. Sir Richard Branson said the flight was the first step towards using biofuels on commercial flights. However, climate change experts have criticised the flight as a publicity stunt. Kenneth Richter, Friends of the Earth aviation campaigner, said: "Biofuels are a major distraction in the fight against climate change.

posted on Thursday, February 28, 2008 2:22:33 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Tuesday, February 26, 2008
British Airways passengers could face severe disruption at Easter unless talks to avert strike action by pilots are successful. BA and the British Airline Pilots Association have agreed to take their dispute to a mediator after 3,000 BA pilots voted for strike action. The action could take place anytime over the next 28 days as long as pilots give at least seven days notice. If strike actions were to go ahead it could affect 100,000 BA passengers a day.

posted on Tuesday, February 26, 2008 9:09:42 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Monday, February 25, 2008
National Air Traffic Services (Nats) plans to change flights paths in and out of major UK airports to try and reduce the impact on urban regions. The proposals aim to reduce by 20% the number of people that are affected by departing aircraft flying below 4,000ft. The plans will mean a reduction in the number of flights. It will also mean that some rural areas will experience higher noise levels. Several towns including Southend, Sudbury, Hitchin, Hatfield, Princes Risborough and Royston that currently have high levels of noise should see a reduction. The plans will affect Heathrow, Stansted, Luton and London City and are the first overhaul of routes for several decades. The new routes will be brought in around spring 2009.

posted on Monday, February 25, 2008 1:32:31 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Sunday, February 24, 2008
Travellers at Heathrow were affected by a complete break down of Terminal 4’s baggage handling system on Wednesday. Economy class passengers who arrived at the terminal were told they could only take hand baggage with them meaning they either had to leave their luggage behind of miss their flights. Around 4,000 passengers were affected by the problem, with most of them decided to switch airlines or postpone their trip rather than leave their luggage behind. The problem was caused by the automatic baggage sorting system breaking down because of a software failure. It is now the 10th time the baggage handling system has broken down since last May.

posted on Sunday, February 24, 2008 12:46:39 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Saturday, February 23, 2008
An engine fault has been ruled out as the cause of the Heathrow crash a few weeks ago. The investigation also found that the engines had not been hit by a bird or a piece of ice. The news means that the investigators are still no closer to solving the mystery of why the plane came down short of the runway. There were also no signs of fuel contamination, however there were pieces of debris found in the fuel as well as unusual air bubbles in the high pressure fuel pumps. These findings are still being considered.

posted on Saturday, February 23, 2008 7:07:34 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Friday, February 22, 2008
BA and Virgin will have to pay out refunds to customers who flew long haul between 11 August 2004 and 23 March 2006 after they were found to be fixing prices. BA was fined for price fixing on fuel charges. Virgin also admitted to breaching the law but escaped a fine. The two companies will have to refund one third of the fuel surcharge which would work out to between £2 and £10 per flight.

posted on Friday, February 22, 2008 2:02:05 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Wednesday, February 20, 2008
A new system of luggage tracking has gone on trial at Heathrow. The system used radio frequency identification to tag baggage. The trial project will involve Emirates and will track around 50,000 bags each month over a six month period. It will allow staff to track bags at each stage of the process so that they know exactly where the items are and should help to cut down on lost items. Passengers that give their mobile number will also be able to receive a text message to let them know the location of their bag when they land.

posted on Wednesday, February 20, 2008 2:03:24 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Pakistan and India have agreed to double passenger flights between the countries. They will also expand the number of destinations which are served by the flights and allow more airlines to operate on the routes. There are currently 12 flights a week which link Delhi and Mumbai in India with Lahore and Karachi in Pakistan with only Indian Airlines and Pakistan International Airway operating on the routes. The new deal will mean that both countries will be able to operate up to three airlines on each route. The number of routes will also increase to include the Pakistani capital of Islamabad and the southern Indian city of Madras.

posted on Tuesday, February 19, 2008 4:39:05 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Monday, February 18, 2008
A study has found that people living in the noisiest places around airports are more likely to develop high blood pressure. The study was carried out on 600 people who live under the Heathrow flight path. It also found that noise from flights causes immediate increases in blood pressure in sleeping people. Campaigners say that the results of the study support the argument for a ban on night flights at UK airports.

posted on Monday, February 18, 2008 6:37:01 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Sunday, February 17, 2008
The EU Justice Commissioner Franco Frattini has said that visitors to the EU could face biometric border checks. He says that visitors from outside the EU could face a biometric check as part of their visa whilst those not needed a permit will be checked when they arrive. Under the system travellers from within the EU would face only random checks. He also has plans to improve border surveillance. If the new measures are approved by all EU member states they would be introduced between 2010 and 2015.

posted on Sunday, February 17, 2008 2:27:33 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Saturday, February 16, 2008
Plans to redevelop Carlisle Airport have sparked protests from climate change protesters. Stobart Air Limited wants to invest £25 million in a rebranded Carlisle Lake District Airport that will increase freight and passenger flights. The plans include the construction of a new runway, passenger terminal, air traffic control centre, hangars, office building, warehouses and car parking facilities. The current runway was built in the 1940s and can only handle a limited amount of traffic. Campaigners are unhappy about the plans attracting large passenger aircraft which they say would pose a threat to the environment.

posted on Saturday, February 16, 2008 11:55:32 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Friday, February 15, 2008
A passenger jet was struck by lightening last weekend and as a result had to abandon its flight from New York to London. It happened on Saturday night after the planes took off from Newark Liberty International Airport. Passengers heard a loud bang which was followed by a flash of white light. The plane returned to the airport and landed safely. Passengers were later switched to another aircraft because the strike had left a gash in the planes nosecone.

posted on Friday, February 15, 2008 3:16:00 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Thursday, February 14, 2008
The first steam engine to be built in 50 years to run on the UK mainline will be ready for testing in April. The train called the Tornado has been built in Darlington by hundreds of volunteers from around the UK. It has cost £3 million and has taken 18 years. The train is based on the Peppercorn A1 locomotive which was withdrawn by British Railways in the 1960’s.  The train will be used for charter journeys when it is completed.

posted on Thursday, February 14, 2008 2:18:26 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Wednesday, February 13, 2008
A passenger who was on board the plane that recently crashed landed at Heathrow will sue British Airways. Paul Strafford is taking legal action because he suffered trauma as a result of the emergency landing. He says that since the incident he has been highly anxious and unable to sleep. Personal injury lawyers have said passengers who had been traumatised by their experience could claim up to £85,000 on a "no-fault basis".

posted on Wednesday, February 13, 2008 5:12:00 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Boris Johnson has said that Heathrow is a “planning error” and that instead of expanding the airport with a third runway and a possible sixth terminal we should instead consider phasing it out. Boris Johnson is calling on the government to look at plans which would build a new airport on artificial islands on the Thames estuary. This would mean planes could take off and land without disturbing the 2 million people who currently live under the flightpath. He says that if a airport was built away from residential areas that planes would be able to fly around the clock instead of facing the restrictions that they do currently. Mark Willingale, partner of Bluebase, the architectural practice behind the Thames Reach plans, said: “It’s a terrific opportunity. You’ve got a combination of 116,000 new homes in the Thames Gateway with new roads and rails to serve them, the location is ideal for an airport. We just wish the government had the vision to see it .”

posted on Tuesday, February 12, 2008 12:14:22 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Saturday, February 9, 2008
Airbus has said that it expects passenger traffic to grow at an average of 4.9% a year. This would mean a trebling of global passenger traffic over the next twenty years. The company forecasts that 24,300 passenger and freight aircraft will be ordered between now and 2026 and expects demand to be greatest in Asia Pacific.

posted on Saturday, February 9, 2008 4:43:30 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Friday, February 8, 2008
Union leaders have announced that workers will be balloted on strike action. The Transport Salaried Staffs Association said its members will vote from 15 February to 11 March. The Rail Maritime and Transport Union has not yet set a date when its workers will vote.

posted on Friday, February 8, 2008 10:13:12 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Thursday, February 7, 2008
Manchester Airport has closed one its runways to allow maintenance work to be carried out. The airports usual traffic will use the remaining runway whilst the work is carried out. There are not expected to be any delays to flights from the airport. The second runway will reopen on 29th February.

posted on Thursday, February 7, 2008 12:39:47 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Wednesday, February 6, 2008
A new high speed train has been launched in France. The train which is called the AGV will replace the TGV. The new trains will travel at a top speed of 224mph compared to 186mph, the top speed of the TGV. This would mean that the journey on Eurostar from London to Paris would now take only 1h42 minutes compared to the current 2h15 minute journey. Eurostar whilst interested in the new train have no plans to replace its current fleet of trains for the next ten years, so those who are looking forward to getting to France in less than two hours will have a to wait quite some time.

posted on Wednesday, February 6, 2008 3:31:05 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback