# Wednesday, October 31, 2018

We get a lot of requests to cancel letters, most of our letter cancellation requests are usually due to the user discovering they made a typo or may have typed in the address of the recipient incorrectly.

We appreciate that we are all human and make mistakes, so we have introduced some new functionality onto our site. The ability to request the cancellation of a letter from your PC2Paper account instead of having to raise a support ticket.

PLEASE NOTE: It is not always possible to cancel a letter that has been submitted on our site and we ask because of this, that users make use of our preview functionality to ensure the letter is correct.

Step 1

To request cancel a letter you may have sent in error navigate to the "Waiting to be sent" folder from the "My Letters" section of the site. You will discover a new drop down menu here called "Actions". From this menu select "cancel letter"

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Step 2

You will now be presented with a dialogue that warns you it is not always possible to cancel letters especially during work hours when they may have already hit our print queue.

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Hit "Request cancellation" and you will receive a message confirming your request has been received.

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Step 3

Now that you have requested a letter cancellation, you will see the following displayed next to your letter. You can now leave the site if you wish.

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If it is possible to cancel your letter, you will receive an email sent to the email address on your account, or if you are on the website you will see the following message pop up. The message is showing you that your letter has now been cancelled. You can click the "Refresh my view" button and the "OK" button next to the Letter cancellation message to acknowledge you have read it. Your letter will then be moved to your "Saved" folder when you can edit it to send again. The cost of your letter will also be refunded back to your PC2Paper account.

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posted on Wednesday, October 31, 2018 9:30:00 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, September 12, 2011

Some areas of the UK have been experiencing high winds and flooding caused by the tail end of Hurricane Katia. According to this article transport links and power companies in Scotland and northern are facing disruption. The hurricane has already caused today's stage of the Tour of Britain cycle race which would have place between Kendall and Blackpool to be cancelled. The M6 has been closed at the Thelwall viaduct in Cheshire due to high winds and drivers have been advised to use the M61 instead. Central and southern Scotland, North Yorkshire and Cumbria are on amber alert and advised to be prepared. it is not yet clear whether mail deliveries will be affected in the local area.

posted on Monday, September 12, 2011 1:42:19 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, December 1, 2010

We are currently unable to guarantee delivery times for letters due to the fact that we are currently experiencing extremely bad snow causing disruption to both our business collections and deliveries in the UK. We will still pass mail into the postal system as soon as we are able to do so but customer should expect delays to all mail.

posted on Wednesday, December 1, 2010 9:44:06 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Londoners are expected to face travel disruption later today when the third in a series of tube strikes goes ahead. The 24 hours stoppage begins at 7pm today (Tuesday) evening and will last 24 hours. Services are not expected to return to normal until Thursday morning. The strike is due to a protest over plans to cut 800 jobs at ticket offices, a move that unions say will compromise safety and security.

posted on Tuesday, November 2, 2010 1:00:53 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, August 12, 2010

According to this article a quarter of the UK's Blue Flag beaches are failing to monitor daily sewage contamination. The anti-pollution group Surfers against Sewage have revealed that a quarter of British Blue Flag beaches could be contaminated with sewage from overflows. The information comes from freedom of information requests to local authorities and beach operators. If correct this could mean that thousands of bather might unknowingly have been exposed to raw sewage whilst believing they are swimming in clean water. 131 British beaches have been awarded the Blue Flag status which is only granted if beach operators meet more than 30 strict criteria. The SAS research, however, shows that 35 of the 131 beaches do not meet criterion 28 of the Blue Flag code which require operators to inform the public during and after emergency pollution events such as sewage discharge. The beaches that have no system in place to monitor daily sewage pollution and warn people are listed below.

Cornwall: Polzeath, Gyllyngvase, Carbis bay, Challaborough

Devon: Woolacombe, Bigbury on sea

Isle of Wight: Ventnor, Shanklin, Sandown

Kent: Joss Bay, Margate main, Westgate West bay, Botany bay, Ramsgate main

Suffolk: Lowestoft south, Cromer

Lincolnshire: Cleethorpes central

Yorkshire: Filey, North Bay beach, Whitby west cliff

County Durham: Whitburn north

Wales: Prestatyn central, Llanddona, Fairbourne, Abersoch, Aberporth, Llangrannog, Newagle, Langland, Rest bay

Scotland: Fife West Sands, Elie Ruby bay, Coldingham

Northern Ireland: Coleraine Castle rock, Portrush west, Whiterock west

posted on Thursday, August 12, 2010 10:38:58 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, December 18, 2009

Please note the last christmas posting dates have already passed.

Because of adverse weather conditions in the UK we cannot confirm if any letters or cards sent now will arrive in time for Christmas

posted on Friday, December 18, 2009 12:50:31 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, May 20, 2009

According to this article many UK resorts are charging higher prices for breaks during the summer holidays. Research has shown that UK resorts put a premium on breaks taking during school holidays with families paying up to 65% more at these times. Whilst foreign resorts also increase prices at these time by as much as 25 to 40%, UK resorts impose higher increases. In the research carried out by Abbey Credit Cards a family of four would pay £560 to stay at Butlins from July 13 to the 20th but this would increase to £921 for a week in August. A holiday at Centerparcs would increase from £1,000 in July to £1,450 in August, a rise of 45%. In comparison a self catering in holiday in the Malaga region of Spain would cost £614 for flights and accommodation during mid-July but goes up to £644 for a week in the middle of August. It seems families wanting a cheaper holiday might be better off going abroad.

posted on Wednesday, May 20, 2009 1:24:28 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, April 27, 2009

The cost of sending a text message when on holiday could fall after the EU has agreed to a cap on charges. An EU ruling will see the cost of making a call abroad fall by up to 60% and the price of sending texts will come down from an average of 25p to just under 10p. Mobile companies will be forced to cut their prices from the 1st of July in time for the summer holidays. There will also be new controls on charges to surf the internet and download videos from your phone.

posted on Monday, April 27, 2009 8:06:28 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, March 4, 2009

This article highlights what have been named as Britain's 10 worst hotels in a poll of travellers. The poll was carried out by the travellers website TripAdvisor.com It allows visitors to rank hotels giving them stars on a scale of one to five with the worst receiving one star and the best five stars. Seven out the top worst hotels are in London with the Cromwell Crown in Earls Court in central London topping the list.

The worst 10 hotels are:

1. Cromwell Crown, London

2. Corbigoes Hotel, London

3. Nanford Guest House, Oxford

4. Cosmopolitan Hotel, Brighton

5. Eden Plaza Hotel, London

6. Hanover Hotel, London

7. Rose Court Hotel, London

8. Imperial Hotel, Manchester

9. Gresham Hotel Bloomsbury, London

10. Park Hotel, London

posted on Wednesday, March 4, 2009 12:46:15 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, February 26, 2009

A new station has recently opened in Corby to provide a direct service into London for the first time in 43 years. Corby has not had a station since the 1990's and the new station has been eagerly awaited. The station has cost £17 million to build and should be running one train per hour into London, however due to a shortage of rolling stock there are not currently enough trains to operate the station to full capacity. This means that until more trains can be found there will only be one service per day from the new station. To run to full capacity the operator East Midlands Trains needs three trains but it currently only has one. It is hoping to have an hourly service up and running by April.

posted on Thursday, February 26, 2009 5:14:42 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, February 9, 2009

Two of the leading British holiday camp operators have announced thousands of new jobs in what could be a revival of the British holiday camp. The multi million pound investment comes as travel experts predict holiday makers will stay in Britain this summer because of the recession and the high value of the Euro. During the 1960's when British holiday camps were at their most popular they attracted around more than a million visitors a week. Pontin's have announced a £50 million investment in its six seaside holiday camps, this will include hiring 2,000 new staff over the new three years. Butlins will also invest £20 million in a new hotel at Bognor Regis and will also hire more staff for the summer. The moves come after they experienced a 15% increase in booking so far this year. At between £414 and £800 a family of four can enjoy a week's holiday in a family chalet during August.

posted on Monday, February 9, 2009 10:41:43 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Travelodge will open 22 new hotels before Christmas. The hotel chain is benefiting from the credit crunch as people seek lower cost accommodation. Travelodge will spend £125m on the new hotels which are part of its plans to increase its number to 1,000 hotels by 2020. The move will create 450 jobs. Travelodge already has 339 hotels in the UK and 11 overseas.

posted on Wednesday, October 29, 2008 4:08:08 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, October 19, 2008
lightloadtowel

blogoftheweek_thumbThis weeks Travel Blog of the Week is TravelGearBlog. The blog as the name suggests is  concerned with stuff you might need when you are travelling and it contains useful reviews of various travel related products. One of the more recent reviews looks at lightload towels pictured right. These are pocket sized that expand when you get them wet. They come in a dish towel size and a full beach towel size and are super absorbent, quick drying and biodegradable. According to the article they also roll up smaller than a regular towel even after you have used it. They sound like a great space saving idea and at just $6.95 won't break the bank, they get a 10 out 10 rating from TravelGearBlog so its certainly something I will be packing for my next trip.

A product that gets a slightly lower rating scoring only 5 out of 10 is TravelSmith's Disposable Briefs. According to the review the briefs are made out of lightweight cotton and look and feel like regular briefs. The only difference is that they are biodegradable so you can wear and wash them a few times and then simply throw them out with very little environmental impact. The initial reaction of the reviewer is that the product is a little unnecessary but upon further consideration they reach the conclusion that the product could be useful on a backpacking trip when saving space is a concern. They also have the advantage that you can dispose of them before you fly home leaving more space for an extra souvenir. Apparently the same company also makes disposable socks.

steripen Another product that receives a very good review is the SteriPEN Traveler Handheld Water Purifier. This device is a pocket sized travel ready UV powered water purifier. It works by submerging the mini UV flashlight in water for 45 to 60 seconds. Any viruses and bacteria living in the water are then killed, in fact it kills 99.9999% of bacteria. The reviewer points out that the device has the advantage of being quicker and easier the using a pump filter and without the aftertaste of iodine pills. The only drawback seems to be that the device is battery powered but you can purchase a solar charger accessory separately.

These are just a few products highlighted on this blog but it has a wealth of information on a variety of products and is well worth checking out before purchasing any travel gear for your next trip.

posted on Sunday, October 19, 2008 7:29:56 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, August 28, 2008

This article suggests that many British beaches are being contaminated by sewage. The problem is down to the wet summer putting increased pressure on water treatment systems meaning millions of litres of toxic waste are being pumped into the sea. According to the article two thirds of the 488 bathing beaches in England and Wales suffered increases in peak sewage pollution last month. The worst affected beaches are also some of the most popular with Totland Bay, Camber Sands and Watergate Bay being affected. In some cases blue flag beaches which should guarantee that no industrial or sewage waste affects the area have also been contaminated. One example is Porthtowan a blue flag beach in Cornwall where cotton buds and sanitary towels have been found. The Environment Agency has found that at 310 testing sites peak levels of bacteria found in faeces were higher in the first three week of July than in the same period in 2006.

posted on Thursday, August 28, 2008 8:35:37 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, August 9, 2008

Visitors to Kew Gardens can now take advantage of a hi-tech tour guide. The device is a handheld computer that uses a global positioning system to pinpoint where the user is. It then automatically tells them about the plants and trees that they are walking past and shows information on the colour screen. It costs £4.95 a day to rent and is able to show video, text and pictures as well as having games for children.

posted on Saturday, August 9, 2008 11:39:29 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, August 5, 2008

This week's travel blog of the week is Family on Bikes.

It is the story of a family of four's quest to cycle from Alaska to Argentina using one tandem and two single bikes. The families aim is to break a Guinness World record for the "Youngest Person to Cycle the Pan-American Highway" and a quest to bring the world to young children in classrooms as part of a non-profit organization called Reach the World. Reach the World has been linking travelling educators with classrooms across the globe since 1998.

I have been on a lot of cycling holidays in the past but never one that involved using a tandem with a "bicycle trailer" attached to the back. What I find fascinating is the tandem actually takes three people! Shouldn't it be called a "tridem"?

posted on Tuesday, August 5, 2008 10:33:56 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, August 1, 2008

Ryanair have abandoned plans to raise ticket prices and will instead cut them by 5%. The news comes as the company admitted the sales outlook has worsened since June. They fear that customers are more likely to turned away by costlier flights. The cuts come at a time when Ryanair is experiencing an 85% plunge in profits in the first quarter and a 15% drop in its share price.

posted on Friday, August 1, 2008 9:39:55 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, July 31, 2008

The governments of Britain and Ireland have proposed the first formal border checks for more than 80 years. A Home Office paper will propose substantial changes to the passport free zone called the Common Travel Area. The identity checks would involve a full passport inspection with airlines and ferry operators facing fines if they carry passengers who do not have the appropriate documents.

posted on Thursday, July 31, 2008 9:25:18 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Safety engineers looking at the Qantas plane which developed a hole during flight have ruled out corrosion. Other possible causes might include accidental external damage to the plane on the ground, or something inside the plane which had not been properly secured moving around during the flight. Investigators are still looking at the incident to determine what caused the hole.

posted on Wednesday, July 30, 2008 9:40:14 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, July 29, 2008

If you are heading to the Mediterranean this summer you might want to watch out for jellyfish. Some areas are experiencing problems with the mauve stinger jellyfish. There have been reports of tourists being stung in the stretch of coast between Nice and Cannes and the problem is also affecting the Cote d'Azur, the west coast of Italy, Sardinia and parts of Spain. The sting of the mauve stinger jellyfish can cause severe burns and in some cases can cause scarring to the victim. So if you see them, its best to stay out of the water.

posted on Tuesday, July 29, 2008 8:03:49 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, July 25, 2008

A firm of engineers have unveiled a plan that would enable passengers to take a high speed train from Heathrow directly to the continent. The scheme would involve extending the high speed rail link from St Pancras to Heathrow. If the scheme were to go ahead it would cost around £4.5 billion and could be completed by 2019.

posted on Friday, July 25, 2008 7:27:26 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, July 22, 2008

This article suggests that an increasing number of British families are now taking their summer holiday in the UK. The main factors influencing their decision seems to be that they are trying to save money and also avoid delays and problems at the UK's airports. Whilst people still appear to be booking short haul holidays to places like France, Malta and the Canaries customers seem to be steering clear of long haul destinations.

posted on Tuesday, July 22, 2008 9:09:01 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, July 15, 2008

When booking a holiday you might want to check the small print to see what is says about fuel surcharges. This article highlights a case where a couple were hit with a surcharge of £892 a few months before they were due to set off on a cruise holiday. In their case the extra charge was simply too much to afford and they had no choice but to cancel the holiday. Unfortunately because the charges amounted to £8 less than 10% of the total holiday cost they were not entitled to a refund of the £900 deposit they had paid for the £9,000 holiday.

posted on Tuesday, July 15, 2008 9:23:10 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, July 3, 2008

Exeter International Airport has unveiled expansion plans. Under the plans the airport would expand to include more destinations and would make improvements to taxiways. The plans could increase on site jobs from 1,400 to 3,550 by 2030 with the local economic contribution rising from £105m to £264m over the same period. However, Friends of the Earth have said that plans to increase annual passengers number at the airport are bad for the environment and that any economic benefit would be outweighed by the effects on climate change. The plan is open for consultation for three months.

posted on Thursday, July 3, 2008 11:19:59 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, July 1, 2008

If you don't fancy dragging heavy bags around when you travel then you might be interested in this new suitcase. It has an "anti gravity" system that distributes the weight over the wheels making the case feel lighter. The system can make pulling 30kg of baggage seem like just 3kg. The case does have a flaw, however. It weighs 10.kg when empty which is quite a lot more than the average suitcase. With strict baggage restrictions at airports this could be a disadvantage and mean you have to pack a lot less luggage. At £700 its also quite expensive.

posted on Tuesday, July 1, 2008 4:01:34 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, June 29, 2008

We apologise for missing last month's travel blog of the week, we have all been very busy with upgrades to the PC2Paper website. This week's travel blog of the week is the rather unusually named Hedgehogs Without Borders. The blog covers Jessica and Tim's 18 month "round-the-world adventure" to places such as Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Spain, England, Turkey, Greece, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos....

An article I found interesting was their visit to the ancient Inca city of Machu Picchu its usually on top of every adventurers list when visiting Peru. What I liked about their visit was they also decided to scale Wayna Picchu the mountain peak you usually see in the back ground when pictures are taken of Machu Picchu. On top of this peak is an ancient complex of Incan guardhouses which leads to a spectacular view below of the Sacred Valley.

posted on Sunday, June 29, 2008 11:52:19 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Network Rail are looking at plans for five new high speed lines. If they go ahead the new lines would be on some of the busiest routes including Chiltern, East Coast, East Coast, Great Western and Midland Main Line. Consultants will be appointed to look into building these new lines and they will produce a report of their findings next summer.

posted on Wednesday, June 25, 2008 3:47:41 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, June 15, 2008

blogoftheweek_thumb This weeks travel blog of the week is the official blog of the Romow travel directory. The blog has lots of useful tips for travellers. One post entitled how to make the most of your family vacation suggests stocking up at home for some of your vacation needs as its often cheaper. Packing plenty of sunscreen, batteries and first aid supplies will mean you don't need to pay over inflated prices at the airport and in the resort. The post also suggests travelling off season which can save you as much as 50% off high season prices and also enjoy your destination without crowds of other tourists. It also recommends doing your research and comparing prices on car rental and accommodation before booking and looking out for bundle deals which can often offer large discounts.

Another post looks at travel safety and security. It includes advice such as wearing a money belt to protect your paperwork and your travellers checks and also recommends making copies of all of your important documents before you go and storing them separately from the originals. There is plenty of other useful advice on this blog from tips on what to pack to advice on getting the most of your railway journey. Its well worth a look for any traveller.

posted on Sunday, June 15, 2008 6:06:40 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, June 14, 2008

This is interesting and if it works could help a holiday makers. Its a patch impregnated with toxins which could stop you suffering from stomach upsets. It has been found to be 75% effective against diarrhoea attacks caused by E.coli and people that wear the patch also recover more quickly. It has been estimated that over 27 million travellers suffer from E.coli related bugs every year so this could soon become an essential item to pack in your suitcase.

posted on Saturday, June 14, 2008 1:48:58 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, June 3, 2008

This week's travel blog of the week is Coomers Family World Adventures. The blog is about a family of three Shawn, Shawn and Jasmine who set about a two year trip around the world. Amongst their destinations are Australia, Belize & Honduras, Canada, Fiji, Guatemala, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand and the USA.

One interesting article is entitled "Have We Died and Gone To Hell?" Which explains the families trip through the Australian outback and suffering the severe heat which was so intense they had to cancel a trip and spend most of the time indoors with an air conditioning unit. Shawn mentions that in the brief time they were outside even the animals stayed out of sight in the shade.

posted on Tuesday, June 3, 2008 11:00:33 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, May 23, 2008

Last summers storm has meant that bathing water at beaches across the UK is more polluted. As a result the number of beaches with excellent water quality has fallen by 10% on last year. 779 beaches were tested, with 443 getting a good rating compared with 495 last year. The tests were carried out between May and September last year coinciding with the wettest British summer on record. The society has said that heavy rain would have washed sewage and animal waste into the rivers and the sea making the waters more polluted than normal. The tests also found that the number of beaches failing to meet the minimum standard has tripled from 17 to 53. If you want to find out how a beach scored before swimming you can see the results here.

posted on Friday, May 23, 2008 4:43:37 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, May 21, 2008

If you are planning on using your credit or debit card when you go on holiday abroad then you might want to check how much your bank charges. That's the message from some financial experts who warn that many holidaymaker's are charged much more than they expect for using their card abroad. Many banks have increased their fees for using cards abroad in the past year. These increases mean that if you withdraw £100 from a cash machine abroad you could be charged as much as £4.95 whereas spending £100 on a credit card will incur a charge of up to £3. Whilst the charges may seem relativity small if you unaware of them it can soon add up so the message is to check how much your bank charges before you go away.

posted on Wednesday, May 21, 2008 8:11:52 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, May 20, 2008

blogoftheweek This weeks travel blogs of the week is The World Is Not Flat.

Usually when we choose a travel blog we like to make sure it has been updated regularly to ensure its current. On this occasion we have chosen a travel blog that is "frozen in time". The main purpose of The World Is Not Flat was to record the 2 years travels of Lee and Sachi LeFever. At the end of their travels they catalogued their experiences into Favourite Overall Countries, Favourite Experiences, Not So Favourite and Favourite Cities.

The blog is vast and covers travels through places such as Japan, New Zealand, China, Russia, Thailand and Portugal with a wealth of photos and articles of their experiences. From scamming tax drivers to how to deal with street hawkers in India.

posted on Tuesday, May 20, 2008 11:56:18 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, May 13, 2008

blogoftheweek This weeks travel blog of the week is Sixintheworld, covering the travels of a family of six's year long trips around the world. The reason they decided to do the trip was to build family relationships and teach their kids that they have the power to make a difference in the world through good deeds along the way.

The site is well laid out featuring items such as the family's Itinery, Non Profit deeds and Photo collections. The family is so famous for their travels they have even been featured in national newspapers

posted on Tuesday, May 13, 2008 11:49:16 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, April 24, 2008
It appears that you can’t always rely on your Sat Nav. One mini bus driver following directions from his sat nav system managed to end up in the river. He was on his way to collect a fare in King’s Lynn when the sat nav directed him into the River Nar. Trusting the device, the cab driver kept going until he couldn’t go any further.

posted on Thursday, April 24, 2008 2:17:36 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, April 20, 2008

blogoftheweek_thumbThis weeks travel blog of the week is The Perrin Post written by Wendy Perrin. This blog is particularly useful because it deals with several issues that have been in the news recently, such as what to do when your flight is delayed or when you are stranded at the airport. 

One useful post entitled top ten things to do when you are stranded at an airport has useful advice on how to amuse children if your flight is delayed. It includes suggestions such as using cots and blankets to make a fort and building towers out of packs of Starburst Fruit Chews. Another useful post includes advice on what you are entitled to if you are bumped from your flight and another post has ten ways to keep your children occupied on a plane without toys. It includes games such as "what shape is that cloud" and a "find the city" game which you can play using the air route map, as well as other advice to buy a drink for the other passengers within earshot. Its all very useful and should make travelling with children a little bit easier.

posted on Sunday, April 20, 2008 1:59:11 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, April 17, 2008
Some travel insurance policies will no longer offer cover for baggage that is lost at Terminal 5. Direct Line and Churchill have decided to exclude baggage loss and delays from any new insurance policies. Policies that have already been brought will not be affected so any customers with annual cover would still be entitled to a pay out. Many other insurers including including Norwich Union, Saga and direct travel cover provider InsureandGo are still offering cover.

posted on Thursday, April 17, 2008 2:23:40 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Lonely Planet has denied recent claims by one of its authors that he made up large sections of content. The writer Thomas Kohnstamm has claimed that he sold drugs to supplement his income, made up content and didn’t even visit one of the countries he wrote about. He claims that he plagiarized work from other publications and accepted gifts whilst working on researching the guide. There have also been claims that some authors do not check facts or review hotels and restaurants in person, because they are not paid enough to do so. The claims are made in Thomas Kohnstamm’s book entitled Do Travel Writers Go to Hell? which is published this month. Lonely Planet stands by the integrity and reliability of its books and says “His claims are not an accurate reflection on our authors, who are enthusiastic, hard working and take immense pride in their jobs. This is just one guy making these allegations.”

posted on Wednesday, April 16, 2008 4:37:54 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, April 14, 2008

blogoftheweek This weeks travel blog of the week is Claire takes on the world, an amusing and feature rich blog of Claire's worldly travels.

What I enjoyed about Claire's blog is that out of the many blogs I have seen Claire had actually been to the Amazon. After 8 months in South America she had finally arranged a 3 day trip to the Amazon where they attempted to cross a river sitting on a wooden raft. While half way through the water Claire yelled to her clairefriend "Jenny, where's your camera?"

Jenny replied "Claire, it's not the time for pictures!" and then suddenly realised when checking her money belt that her camera and mp3 player were covered in water!

When they finally reached the Amazon, of which Claire likens to looking like a forest in Ireland, Jenny referred to the experience as "We're getting to meet the entire cast of A Bugs Life today".

You can read the rest of Claire's adventures here

posted on Monday, April 14, 2008 11:23:01 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Thomas Cook has brought the luxury travel firm Elegant Resorts from its shareholders Geoff Moss and Barbara Catchpole. The company carried more then 20,000 last year and its assets are worth around £22.3 million. Thomas Cook plans to run it as a standalone business and will keep the company’s current management team.

posted on Tuesday, April 8, 2008 10:16:44 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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, www.ba.com for service updates.

posted on Saturday, March 29, 2008 10:39:06 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

blogoftheweek Today's Travel Blog of the week is Boedus Travel, its one of my favourite types of travel blogs - one with a lot of pictures. One of my favourite articles on this blog is that depicting a photo album of Yemen, it has some amazing pictures of this beautiful country and its people.

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Another article in a similar vain is Ethiopia Photo Raid an article where the author prefers to show his experience of this African country in photos and like the Yemen article the photos are truly stunning.

african-landscape

posted on Monday, March 17, 2008 12:25:27 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, March 9, 2008

 

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This weeks Travel Blog of the Week  is The Brel Chronicles written by Brendan and Mel (Brel). The blog charts their travels over a 10 month period and although it is still relatively new with the first post in January of this year, it already contains a number of interesting articles.

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I have always loved monkeys so was interested to see their pictures from Costa Rica where they have come across Howler Monkeys, Capuchin M2249010677_2da90d99c1_monkeys and Squirrel Monkeys all of which are really really cute. Much of the couples time in Costa Rica was also spent stalking the local bird population with Mel spotting an impressive 75 bird species including toucans, trogons, kingfishers and parrots.

They have also set up a foundation that is designed to try and give something back to the communities they visit. It is called The Brel Drop in the Ocean Foundation and the idea is that they will select a cause in each country that they visit and try offer what help they can, whether it is donating money or some of their time by volunteering on a local project. So far they have helped address the problem of stray cats in Placencia by helping  to reduce the population with a neutering program. They also have plans to contribute to an organisation that provides monkey bridges to help Titi monkeys avoid being electrocuted by electric wires. This blog is certainly off to a promising start despite being only three months old, I am looking forward to reading more of this great content over the coming months.

posted on Sunday, March 9, 2008 5:21:33 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, March 5, 2008
If you are planning on taking a holiday in the Mediterranean this summer you might want to be cautious when you visit the beach. This article suggests that large numbers of jellyfish are likely to be washed ashore this summer. Scientists studying the mauve stinger have noticed massive numbers of the jellyfish in deeper waters off the Costa Brava which are likely to be washed ashore with the summer tides. Although this jellyfish does sting, it does not seriously harm people.

posted on Wednesday, March 5, 2008 1:22:11 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, March 2, 2008

blogoftheweekThis weeks Travel Blog of the Week  is Location Independent Living. Ever grown tired of the usual rat race? Working 9 to 5, five days a week to earn a salary to pay off your mortgage and eventually retire on a good enough pension and live the good life? Well this blog was started by people who didn't want to live that sort of life, they wanted to live a good life now and from anywhere in the world.  So they sold all of their worldly possessions to travel the world and set up a location-independent business. This blog is here to help anyone else who wants to live this kind of live, it is also quick to add the caveat "without being a millionaire". To me this ensures people do not mistake this site as a get rich quick scheme but as a new way of living.

lipAn article I found interesting had the rather humorous title "How To Travel The World Working With Your Other Half And Not Split Up (Or Kill Each Other)". It covers the challenges facing couples who choose a Location Independent Lifestyle. One example it gives is the insecurity you might feel not being in your home town or close to friends to talk to instead of having to talk to your partner all the time. One solution it gives is to make new friends and to make use of online social networks to talk with friends.

posted on Sunday, March 2, 2008 11:42:00 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback

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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, February 21, 2008
Satnav devices have been blamed for directing articulated lorries down small country lanes which then leads to damage to bridges. The problem was highlighted after rail chiefs found three of the most hit rail bridges were within a one mile radius in the same town. The three bridges in Grantham in Lincolnshire have been struck 62 times between them in the last year. The number of collisions nationally has also risen from 885 10 years ago to 1,340 today. A spokesman said: "It's a rising problem and satnavs are playing a greater role. They are great tools but they are no substitute for common sense and following the rules of the road." The problem is put down to the fact that when people are using a satnav device they rely on it blindly and do not question whether a bridge is high enough. Apparently drivers are no longer able to read the danger low bridge signs.

posted on Thursday, February 21, 2008 3:35:46 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, February 18, 2008

blogoftheweek This weeks travel blog of the week is China Travel. The blog covers the travels of Tom Carter who has spent 2 years backpacking in China. Focusing more on the the things you probably wouldn't see if you went on a packaged holiday.

One of the most amusing articles on the blog is titled Chinese Youth Hostels. As a veteran backpacker, hostels are essential for Tom. He quite comically recalls an extended stay in a laid back hostel in Chengdu over 7 days. Encountering several Australians, Europeans and Americans who had also got pulled into the laid back life style of the hostel. Tom likens the hostel environment to that of a Reality TV Series 'Backpackers Behaving Badly', his stay is filled with occurrences of dorm mates arriving back drunk passing out in the early hours of the morning after going out partying each night.

posted on Monday, February 18, 2008 10:55:53 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
Thomas Cook have acquired a hotel booking website. Hotels4U who are based in Egham in Surrey was set up in 2003. The website supplies accommodation to the British travel industry and acts as an online booking agent. Thomas Cook have paid £21.8 million for the company.

posted on Friday, February 15, 2008 3:14:31 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, February 11, 2008
Ryanair has been ordered to pay £5,000 to a group of men they wrongly identified as terrorists. The group of black musicians were on their way to London from a festival in Sardinia when a fellow passenger thought their behaviour was suspicious. The passenger saw the men laughing and joking in the departure lounge but became suspicious when he saw them sitting separately on the plane. Two families had refused to fly if the men remained on the plane, promoting the Captain to remove them. The men were removed by armed police carrying guns. Despite the fact they were then given the all clear at security the Captain would not let the men back on the plane because the other passengers were anxious. The group of men were stranded in Sardinia overnight as a result of the incident and missed spending New Year’s Eve with their families.

posted on Monday, February 11, 2008 1:26:33 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, February 10, 2008

blogoftheweek_thumb This weeks travel blog of the week is Riding the Spine. The blog charts the progress of Jacob, Goat and Sean and their three year trip cycling the Continental Divide. They began their trip in July 2006 and are currently in Nicaragua. One of my favourite articles charts an incident where Sean has a run in with the local police. Whilst looking for a place to camp for the night, he had ended up on private property and venturing out for some groceries Sean came across the landlord who called the police. Three policeman quickly arrived armed with automatic rifles and after searching him they proceeded to ask lots of questions. Sean tried to make the Spanish speaking officer understand that he gone out to get some groceries but feared the worse when they ordered him into the police car. The police then proceeded to drive him to the grocery store before helping him pick out the groceries and even feeling each piece of fruit to check for ripeness. They then drove him back to the campsite.

Another article from their time in Mexico highlights the abundance of scorpions. Jacob describes finding scorpions under his mattress every night before being stung by one. He was left with a painful and numb arm and still had a numb finger several days later. These are just a few articles from this blog but there is a wealth of interesting stories here.

posted on Sunday, February 10, 2008 9:55:32 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, February 7, 2008
BA has become the latest sponsor of the 2012 Olympics paying around £40 million for marketing rights. They will also fly British athletes to this years Beijing Olympics and the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver. Other major sponsors of the Olympics include Lloyds TSB, EDF and Adidas.

posted on Thursday, February 7, 2008 12:41:14 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
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)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
It is likely that tube workers will stage a series of strikes. The two main unions have given London Underground 48 hours to agree to a list of nine demands. If they do not aggress staff will be balloted today. The demands cover a number of issues and it is unlikely that an agreement will be met. One of the issues includes a ban on agency workers and sub contractor working on underground lines. If they go ahead the strikes will take place next month.

posted on Thursday, February 7, 2008 12:37:57 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] 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)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Ryanair have said that profits could fall by around 50% next year. The warning has come as a result of higher oil prices combined with poor consumer demand and the weaker pound. Shares in the company fell by more than 10% after the warning. Despite the warning Michael O’Leary the Ryanair boss said the company had managed a "creditable performance in very adverse market conditions", and said he still expects profits for the current year to be ahead by around 17.5% to €470m”.

posted on Tuesday, February 5, 2008 6:40:01 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, February 4, 2008
A group of suspected Islamist suicide bombers have been arrested at Gatwick airport. The six men, who were all from Pakistan were arrested 10 days ago and held under anti-terrorism laws. They had flown in from Barcelona and were arrested after a tip off from the Spanish intelligence services after the discovery of a suspected Al-Qaeda cell in the city. The six men were questioned before being held over night and then being escorted onto a flight back to Pakistan.

posted on Monday, February 4, 2008 4:34:32 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

blogoftheweek This weeks travel blog of the week is Nate and Shelly's RTW Trip, a married couples blog of their travelling experiences around the world.

The blog covers Nate and Shelly's travels to Argentina, France, Guyana, Italy, Peru and Uruguay and is filled with interesting stories and photo's of their travels. One article I found interesting was their trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina where they visited Recoleta Cemetery which is also the resting place of Eva Peron.

I found Nate's 3 points on "what we throw away" in Argentina quite amusing. He says that garbage is collected every day in the city and can be quite a dangerous excise as bin men run down the street next to the truck throwing rubbish into the truck narrowly avoiding pedestrians. Recycling appears to be done by enterprising locals sifting through the rubbish you put out before the bin men collect it. Avoiding dog mess is another issue when walking through the streets as it is never cleared up and requires one eye constantly focused on the ground.

posted on Monday, February 4, 2008 12:40:18 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, February 2, 2008
British Airways are likely to deliver record profits this year, in the first nine months of the financial year they have reported a 35% rise in earnings. This is despite rising fuel costs and a fall in economy class bookings during January. BA has recently announced a business class only service that will fly from London’s city airport to New York. They have also not ruled out making a take over bid for BMI which would give them control of 50% of Heathrow’s slots.

posted on Saturday, February 2, 2008 1:30:21 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, January 30, 2008
If you want to fly naked then you are in luck. A German travel agent has started a charter flight for passengers who prefer to fly as nature intended (unfortunately wings are not included). The German company OssiUrlaub has decided to launch naturist flights because naturist holidays are particularly popular in Germany. The flight will initially fly from the city of Erfurt to the Baltic island of Usedom returning on the same day. All passengers will travel naked but they will only be allowed to undress once they board the flight, although cabin crew will remain clothed for security reasons.

posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2008 8:27:00 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, January 25, 2008
Ryanair have increased the cost of checking in luggage at the airport from £10 to £12 per item. They have also increased the online fee for placing luggage in the planes hold from £5 to £6 and passengers who check in online will now have to pay £3 rather than £2. Ryanair are trying to encourage their passengers to travel with carry on luggage only, to try and cut airport and handling costs.

posted on Friday, January 25, 2008 5:19:38 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, January 24, 2008
Britain’s worst performing train company, First Great Western has announced it will double the amount of compensation it gives to passengers affected by delays and disruption. The company carries around 60,000 people a day on its routes which link London, Berkshire, Oxfordshire and the West Country. The increased amount of compensation comes because FGW have recognised their customers are not receiving the service they deserve. Under the move season ticket holders will effectively receive their compensation when they renew their season ticket, as they will only pay last years prices. Up to 10 to 20% of the season ticket value will be refunded meaning a customer with a standard class season ticket from Bristol to Paddington will get £867 in compensation. Weekly season ticket holders and day ticket holders will also be able to claim compensation if there are significant delays to their journeys.

posted on Thursday, January 24, 2008 4:05:55 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, January 23, 2008
British Airways pilots will vote on whether to strike over the airlines plans to launch a subsidiary business. The British Pilots Association (Balpa) believes that the launch of OpenSkies will mean a two tier system of quality. The union also believes that the launch which will offer luxury flights from continental Europe to America at lower operating costs than BA will lead to pay and conditions being challenged. Balpa say that the new company will have weaker safety standards and that pilots would be required to take further courses to transfer to BA. BA however, claims that safety standards would be the same across both airlines and that OpenSkies will not be detrimental to BA pilots.

posted on Wednesday, January 23, 2008 3:57:01 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Despite the crash landing at Heathrow a few days ago aviation experts still regard the Boeing 777 as one of the world’s safest jets. There are currently 667 of the jets in service carrying millions of passengers every year. To date there has only been one fatality involving a 777, in September 2001. This was caused by a hose leading to the aircraft becoming detached and an aircraft refueller being engulfed in flames. It is still not clear what caused the most recent incident.

posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2008 5:39:59 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, January 21, 2008
British train passengers are now paying the most expensive rail fares in Europe according to new research from the Liberal Democrats. In fact British train passengers are charged up to 14 times more than passengers on the Continent. £10 would take a British passenger 27 miles compared with 58 miles in France and 383 miles in Latvia. The situation is likely to get worse with more fare increases planned for the future. As prices continue to rise I think a lot of people will return to the often cheaper option of using their own car, at least that way you know you will get a seat.

posted on Monday, January 21, 2008 5:45:28 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

blogoftheweek This weeks PC2Paper travel blog of the week is Conor's Mildly Thrilling Tales. Its author Conor Grennan travel stories, have been featured in well known travel publications such as Traveler's Tales and  Lonely Planet. He is also the founder of the non-profit organisation Next Generation Nepal, setup to to reunite trafficked and conflict-displaced children with their families. Conor lives in Nepal where he started a home for trafficked children.cg-and-anga

Conor's blog focuses a lot on the great work he does helping these children in Nepal. My favourite article was "Searching for families in Nuwakot" a fascinating story on how Conor managed to find the parents of 17 out of 18 children on a trip through the mountains. How he went on the trip on a beaten up bus and was encouraged to try a local fruit which ended up giving him food poisoning. If that wasn't enough he was unable to sleep on the bumpy bus journey, the buses suspension so bad he had to sit on a fleece to protect his hind quarters. At times he and the other passengers had to get out of the bus to help guide it along steep cliff ledges. But in the end it was all worth it when they got to their destination finding the parents of these children. read the full article >>

posted on Monday, January 21, 2008 12:04:42 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, January 18, 2008
The manager of the City of Derry Airport has been removed from his post. He will return to work at the airport as an air traffic controller. He was demoted after an investigation into a four closure of the airport last May. The closure was due to a number of safety concerns including poor runway drainage and a lack of a bird control plan. A report later showed a number of shortfall in safety procedure which led to Seamus Devine being removed from his post.

posted on Friday, January 18, 2008 11:22:29 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, January 17, 2008
An international passenger plane crash landed at Heathrow Airport today. The plane took the runway too low on its approach before crashing just short of it. All 136 passengers were evacuated down the emergency chutes. There are reports that four people have suffered minor injuries as a result of the crash. The knock on effect is that the south runway has been closed and many flights from the airport have been delayed with some flights being diverted to Stansted and Luton.

posted on Thursday, January 17, 2008 3:25:28 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
A planned strike by rail guards at First Great Western has been suspended. Guards had planned to strike for 48 hours from the 20th of January. However, talks between the company and the union have now resumed and the RMT have said that progress has been made. Negotiations are to continue on a number of other issues but there are hopes that the dispute can now be resolved.

posted on Thursday, January 17, 2008 2:41:16 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, January 15, 2008
A new iris recognition system for staff is being introduced at Manchester Airport. The system will be used to tighten up staff access to restricted zones and will be rolled out across all three of the airports terminal service yards. The system will be separate from the iris checking technology used by passengers and makes Manchester Airport the first UK airport to use the system for staff access.

posted on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 4:12:48 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, January 14, 2008
Hundreds of guards at first Great Western are to stage a 48 hour rail strike starting on the 20th of January. The RMT have said that relations with the company have broken down over issues such as managers driving and guarding trains. First Great Western has said that they will ask the union to keep talking to try and avert the strikes.

posted on Monday, January 14, 2008 1:35:32 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, January 12, 2008
Loganair has announced that it will offer 50,000 permanent low cost fares on its key routes between the Scottish mainland and the islands. It will also introduce an extra weekday return flight on four routes including Kirkwall to Aberdeen, Shetland to Aberdeen, Stornoway to Glasgow and Islay to Glasgow. The discounted fares are offered under the government’s Air Discount scheme which provides 40% on flights to islands and parts of the highlands. Discounts are cuurently available to residents of Orkney, Shetland, the Western Isles, Islay, Jura, Caithness and north west Sutherland.

posted on Saturday, January 12, 2008 7:40:58 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, January 10, 2008
Birmingham International Airport has submitted a planning application to extend its runway. The application would see the runway extended 405m towards Bickenhill and Hampton-in-Arden. The airport hopes that the extension of the runway will be able to accommodate larger aircraft and allow it operate more long haul routes.

posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 12:13:16 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, January 9, 2008
British Airways passengers are likely to see fuel charges on longhaul flights top the £100 mark for the first time. The rises come as the airline struggles with rising oil costs. The rise follows an increase in November which saw the fuel surcharge on a longhaul ticket rise from £76 to £96. A family of four would now have to pay £464 in fuel charges on a return trip to Hong Kong.

posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2008 12:27:11 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Air passengers could face chaos because of confusion over plans to relax baggage security rules. As of yesterday ministers are allowing airlines at some airports to allow passengers to carry two pieces of hand luggage. However, other airports have not been given permission to relax the security rule. This article has a useful guide listing the main airlines and their current baggage allowances as well as airports that do allow two bags. It all seems a little complicated at the moment but its worth checking out the list before you fly.

posted on Tuesday, January 8, 2008 7:02:40 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, January 7, 2008
With the rising cost of rail fares you might be better off calling a taxi and sharing the cost with some of your fellow passengers that’s according to this report. The report says that a standard single from Euston to Birmingham New Street now costs £61.50 whereas Rosebery minicabs will take four passengers at a cost of £140, a saving of £26.50 per person.

posted on Monday, January 7, 2008 7:12:45 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, January 5, 2008

blogoftheweek Happy New Year! We apologise for not having a travel blog last week, but the staff at PC2Paper had a well earned break for a week over new year. Our first Travel Blog of the week for 2008 is The Cranky Flier, a blog focused mainly around (you guessed it!) airline travel.

The blogs author goes by the name of Brett and calls himself "an airline dork" who has had and obsession with the airline industry since he was a boy and became a travel agent by the age of 12!

Brett's blog gives anyone interested in particular airlines or airports a good overview of past problems and things to expect, quite useful if you are booking flights in an area you have never been before. A rather useful aspect is if you are booking flights with an airline that might be nearing bankruptcy.

posted on Saturday, January 5, 2008 8:57:33 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, January 2, 2008
New Year price increases will mean that the cost of some rail tickets will rise by nearly 15%. This is despite the fact that many services have problems with chronic overcrowding and punctuality. One of the biggest increases is on the Southeastern Railway's weekly season ticket from Hayes, Kent, to London, which will rise by 14.5%, from £24.80 to £28.50.

posted on Wednesday, January 2, 2008 9:05:30 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
The Unite and PCS unions have cancelled the planned one day stoppage that would have closed seven UK airports. The strike was called off after BAA managers agreed to negotiate any changes that are made to the firm’s final salary pension scheme. Two further strikes could also be called off if a deal is reached by union representatives in a meeting planned for Thursday.

posted on Wednesday, January 2, 2008 3:19:24 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, December 28, 2007
Talks aimed at stopping industrial action by airport staff have failed. Seven of Britain’s airports will now be closed by industrial action next month. The first 24 hour walkout will take place on January 7th with more strikes taking place on January 14th and January 17th. Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Southampton, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen will be affected. If the strikes go ahead the airports will close because they will involve crucial workers such as firefighters, maintenance workers and security staff.

posted on Friday, December 28, 2007 6:31:00 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, December 27, 2007
Around 40,000 customers of Travelscope have been told that their holiday bookings can no longer be honoured after the company went into administration. All customers will get a refund but many who were due to depart in the next few weeks are angry that they have not been given time to make other arrangements.

posted on Thursday, December 27, 2007 6:25:54 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, December 23, 2007
Union members at BAA have voted for strike action in a dispute over changes to pension rights. The Unite union has called for 24 hour strikes starting at 06.00 on 7 and 14 of January and a 48 hour strike starting at 06.00 on the 17th of January. The strikes will take place at seven of the UK’s airports including Heathrow, Gatwick and Edinburgh and are expected to affect around 1.3 million passengers.

posted on Sunday, December 23, 2007 1:49:19 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
Work has begun on a new transport system for Heathrow Airport. The system will include a Personal Rapid Transit System with low energy battery produced vehicles. Initially there will be 18 of the driverless guided vehicles which will take people from the new Terminal Five to the business car park. The system will be on trial before it is rolled out across the rest of the airport.

posted on Sunday, December 23, 2007 12:08:30 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, December 21, 2007
If you were hoping to get tickets for next years Isle of Wight festival you are likely to be disappointed. The tickets which went on sale last week have now completely sold out. Around 50,000 tickets have been sold for the show. The show last threes days and will include acts such as The Police, the Sex Pistols and the Kaiser Chiefs.

posted on Friday, December 21, 2007 4:53:09 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, December 13, 2007
A committee has recommended that airlines should be forced to increase the amount of leg room on board passenger jets. The study was carried out by the Lords committee on science and technology which accused the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) of ignoring its own research that suggested the amount of leg room should be increased.  CAA research found that for a passenger to adopt a safe brace position they needed a minimum distance between seats of 35ins instead of the current 26ins. The lack of leg room on planes also leads to deep vein thrombosis which can cause fatal blood clots, although this is more common on long flights.

posted on Thursday, December 13, 2007 10:34:00 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, December 11, 2007
National Express is to launch a new online train booking website. The service will allow customers to automatically find the lowest train fares for any rail services in the UK and is expected to challenge thetrainline.com which already has a similar service.

posted on Tuesday, December 11, 2007 7:17:37 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Figures released by the Department for Transport show that there has been a rise in the number of flights that are polluted with contaminated air. This year there were 72 recorded cases in the first six months of the year, compared to 109 cases for the whole of 2006. Scientists have estimated that 200,000 passengers a year are exposed to air contaminated with fuel vapours. The worst record is with the Boeing 757 which had 43 cases.

posted on Tuesday, December 4, 2007 4:44:23 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

blogoftheweek This Weeks Travel Blog is India Travel Blog by Arun a blog dedicated to his travels around India in his spare time. What makes things interesting is the brilliant photos he has taken of all the places he has been with his Canon EOS 350D.

An article I found of particular interest was "An eventful trip to Melukote", all  about a two day trip to the temple town of Melukote, a place hardly touched by the passage of time. Because the town is so old and untouched there is generally no place to stay so it is usually visited as a day trip from Bangalore. However Arun was able to stay for 2 days by accepting the hospitality of one of the kind locals who allowed them to stay and fed them! Melokote is described as quiet, pleasant and easygoing  where most of the inhabitants are friendly and mainly priests. It has some breath taking views of temples that just have to be seen, to find out more you can read the rest of the article here.

posted on Tuesday, December 4, 2007 12:48:17 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, November 30, 2007
A passenger was thrown off a plane because she refused to move her toy crocodile. The metre long toy crocodile was blocking an emergency exit. Ryanair staff asked her to move it but she refused. The flight from Rome to Milan eventually took off but without the woman and her crocodile.

posted on Friday, November 30, 2007 5:17:08 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Airport workers in Paphos, Cyprus walked out last weekend over what they called “degrading security checks”. The strike lasted two hours and stranded around 1,000 passengers in Paphos.

posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 11:39:04 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, November 26, 2007
BAA staff at Gatwick and Heathrow are to be balloted on a strike within the next few weeks. The proposed strike action is in protest at a plan to stop new staff joining the final salary pension scheme from 1 December. A strike would see BAA airports closed from 27 December which would lead to chaos during the New Year travel period.

posted on Monday, November 26, 2007 1:30:47 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, November 24, 2007
Further to my earlier post on BA flying empty planes on some routes, it appears the airlines are likely to face a crackdown on this practice. The Treasury and the Department for Transport are considering levying new environmental taxes on airlines that continue to fly empty planes. BA has already admitted to flying at least one empty plane a day across the Atlantic because of a shortage of cabin crews.

posted on Saturday, November 24, 2007 1:00:11 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, November 23, 2007
I read this article the other day that suggests the government is likely to approve a new runway at Heathrow. If it does go ahead it will mean an increase in the volume of flights from 480,000 to 720,000 by 2020 with the number of passengers rising from 60 million a year to 100 million. Whilst this might be good news for the Britain’s economy it is certainly bad new for the residents who currently live around Heathrow Airport, many of whom already have to put up with unacceptable levels of noise. A consultation will take place to look at the environmental issue and specifically air quality and noise. Despite the fact that this expansion will affect around 50 towns and villages around the airport, I suspect the quality of life of ordinary people is likely to be ignored.

posted on Friday, November 23, 2007 11:53:12 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, November 22, 2007
If you have ever had your luggage lost at the airport this article might not come as a surprise. An enquiry has been mounted at Stansted Airport to investigate the extent of thefts from passenger’s luggage. 22 baggage handlers were arrested between December 2006 and July 2007 in connection with baggage theft after a whistleblower alerted the BBC to the extent of the problem. Police officers concealed hidden cameras around the airport and baggage handlers were caught hiding jewellery, watched and i-pods inside their steel toe-capped boot so they could get them out past security scanners.

posted on Thursday, November 22, 2007 10:54:57 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Under new measures announced by Gordon Brown, rail passengers could face having their baggage screened. He aims to bring in measures such as vehicle exclusion zones and blast resistant buildings in order to improve security at railway stations, airport terminals and other sensitive locations. Baggage screening is also likely to be brought in at large railway stations.

posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 11:24:07 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, November 20, 2007
British Airways have been flying empty planes on some routes because they have no cabin crew to staff them. In the last two weeks empty planes have flown between Britain, Canada and the US. BA said the practice is extremely rare and only occurs when there is no cabin crew available for the flights. He also said that it is better to fly empty planes one way if the return leg is full rather than the cancel both legs. In a time when the phrase carbon footprint is being used daily, flying empty planes seems ridiculous.

posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2007 10:21:43 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, November 18, 2007
Baggage rules are likely to be eased from January 2008 as the one bag rule for hand luggage is likely to be relaxed. Airports will need to show that their security procedures meet government standards. Once they have done this, passengers will then be able to take more than one bag into the cabin. Restrictions on carrying liquids are likely to stay in place. There will also be limits on the size of hand luggage. The dimensions of hand luggage must not exceed 56cm x 45cm x 25cm (22in x 17.7in x 9.8in approx), including wheels, handles and side pockets.

posted on Sunday, November 18, 2007 12:21:40 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, November 17, 2007
A study carried out by the European Commission has found that around 200 European airline websites are misleading. The main problems are that they fail to show all the taxes and charges when advertising their prices. The Commission has not named any of the airlines involved in the study, in order to give them time to improve their services. However, if they do not improve it could force misleading websites to close.

posted on Saturday, November 17, 2007 1:45:13 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, November 16, 2007
The Eurostar service has now stopped running out of Waterloo International and now leaves from St Pancras. The first service from St Pancras left at 1103 GMT on Wednesday and arrived in Paris just over two hours later at 1317 GMT. The new route has cut journey times to Paris by around 20 minutes making the average journey take around two hours and fifteen minutes.

posted on Friday, November 16, 2007 10:23:42 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, November 15, 2007
There is likely to be disruption to Air Lingus flights next Tuesday and Friday as staff are due to strike. The trade union said that new employment contracts meant staff would be forced to work more hours for less money. If the strike goes ahead it will affect Air Lingus ground staff.

posted on Thursday, November 15, 2007 1:32:18 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, November 14, 2007
British Airways customers will see another rise in the cost of their tickets after BA raised it fuel surcharges for the third time this year. The rise is due to record oil prices meaning oil is currently at around $100 a barrel. Fuel surcharges for short-haul flights will increase from £4 to £20 and on flights longer than nine hours the charge will increase from £30 to £116. Long haul flights of less than nine hours, will also increase from £20 to £96.

posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2007 1:41:57 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Some Australian health experts have suggested that obese airline passengers should start paying a fat tax to cover the cost of transporting their excess weight. The tax would be determined in the same way as excess baggage with customers paying per extra kilo. The calls to introduce the tax come as obesity rates and fuel prices have recently seen a huge rise in Australia. The new proposals are controversial with many people saying it discriminates against people with weight problems.

posted on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 3:26:02 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, November 5, 2007
Ryanair have been given a fifth ultimatum for breaching advertising standards for the fifth time this year. The airline has been accused of misleading the public and undermining advertising rules vu overcharging Ryanair passengers who book with them rather than with the carrier direct.

posted on Monday, November 5, 2007 2:28:48 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, November 4, 2007
Air South West has announced it will double the number of destinations it flies to. They currently operate from Plymouth Airport flying to Gatwick, Manchester, Leeds Bradford and Bristol and Jersey. From next April this list will be extended to include Newcastle, Glasgow, Dublin and Cork. Flights to Chambery in France will start the following December.
posted on Sunday, November 4, 2007 2:30:14 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, November 3, 2007
Ryanair has started new services from George Best City Airport. The airline will now operate flights to London Stansted, Liverpool, the East Midlands and Glasgow and Prestwick. They expect to carry around 200,000 passengers on these new routes every year.

posted on Saturday, November 3, 2007 1:14:14 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, November 1, 2007
British Airways have stopped flights between Britain and Zimbabwe. The final flight landed on Sunday. BA has stopped the service because they say it has become uneconomic.

posted on Thursday, November 1, 2007 2:03:26 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Easyjet has recently brought GB Airways for £103.5m. GB Airways currently operate services under the British Airways brand to Southern Europe and North Africa. They currently operate a total of 39 routes from Gatwick, Manchester and Heathrow and have a fleet of 15 Airbus aircraft.

posted on Wednesday, October 31, 2007 11:10:21 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, October 30, 2007

You may soon need to use your passport to travel to Ireland. Irish officials have been asked to work on ending an agreement that currently allows free movement between Britain and Ireland. There are reports that an electronic border problem will be put in place by 2009 although the home office has said it has no immediate plans for a change. The system would help in the tracking of terrorist suspects, criminals and illegal immigrants.

posted on Tuesday, October 30, 2007 1:11:34 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, October 29, 2007

The Airbus A380 superjumbo completed its first flight last week. The flight had 471 passengers on board and flew from Singapore to Australia. The passengers had bid for the tickets on eBay with the proceeds going to charity. The planes includes double beds and 23 inch flatscreen TVs. It sounds great.

posted on Monday, October 29, 2007 9:52:49 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, October 28, 2007
Pelni

blogoftheweek_thumb This week's travel blog of the week is Travel-Junkie.com written by Boris Glumpler. One post that I found interesting is about travelling on a Pelni boat in Indonesia. The experience doesn't sound very pleasant with 50 people sleeping in one room for four days with poor food and smelly toilets and showers. He does, however, point out that travelling on the boat is very cheap and also safe and gives some useful tips on how to survive the experience.

 Dragon

One tip that he gives is to remember to take a large sheet with you that you can use for sleeping and also to wrap yourself in. He also says you should take your own cutlery unless you want to eat with your hands.

 

Other interesting articles include this picture of a Komodo dragon and a list of his top ten dive spots in South East Asia including what you are likely to see there.

posted on Sunday, October 28, 2007 6:30:07 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, October 26, 2007
British Airways are to ban surfboards on its flights from the 6th of November. They say that the large size and handling problems means it can no longer carry items such as surfboards, hand gliders, javelins, canoes and pole vaults. Members of the Newquay based British Surfing Association whose who often use the Gatwick to Newquay flight have reacted angrily to the announcement.

posted on Friday, October 26, 2007 11:51:32 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Statistics have revealed that one in three flights that departs from London is late. This is compared to New York and Dubai in which more than half of flights land on time. The delays are blamed on congestion, security clampdowns and the time it takes to get passengers through the terminal to departure lounges. It will be interesting to see if these figures improve with the opening of terminal five.

posted on Wednesday, October 24, 2007 4:32:56 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, October 18, 2007
Singapore Airlines has unveiled a new fleet of superjumbos. The new Airbus A380 planes will allow customers to relax in their own double bed. They will have 471 seats split between economy, business class and a class beyond first. The first beyond seats will include a suite with a 22 inch flatscreen TV, linen by Givenchy and upholstery by the makers of seats for Ferrari and Maserati. The suites are likely to cost around £3,500 for a return flight so are not cheap.

posted on Thursday, October 18, 2007 2:39:17 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, October 17, 2007
An inquiry has been launched after two planes collided at Heathrow airport. The planes were both taxiing the runway when one of the planes clipped the wing of the other. No one was hurt in the incident but the passengers were evacuated as a safety precaution.

posted on Wednesday, October 17, 2007 4:31:16 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, October 14, 2007

blogoftheweek_thumb This week's travel blog of the week is Travel Babel written by Claire Walter from Colorado. One of her most recent articles talks about what services are included when you stay at a hotel. Claire mentions her stay at the Midland Hotel in Manchester and the fact that internet access was not included in the price. She ended up having to pay £15 for 24 hours of high speed internet access which amounted to around $30 dollars taking into account the exchange rate. Personally I always look at hotels that include internet access in the price, as I have found you do tend to pay extortionate rates especially when travelling abroad, and internet access is often essential when travelling on business.

Another interesting article highlights a luggage lock that uses words instead of numbers. This is something I would find really useful as I can never remember pin numbers and like Claire tend to be better at words than numbers. Called the WordLock, they are available in a range of different colours to co-ordinate with your bags and use a simple 4 letter word rather than numbers. What a good idea!


posted on Sunday, October 14, 2007 10:21:44 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, September 28, 2007
Russia has recently unveiled a new passenger jet which they hope will be a big seller in the commercial aircraft market. The aircraft has 110 seats and has been developed by Sukhoi in conjunction with Boeing. The plane is due to undergo test flights later this year but there are hopes that they will soon be able to make six planes a month for foreign airlines. If the plane is a success it could help Russia in moving away from its current reliance on income form oil and gas.

posted on Friday, September 28, 2007 10:18:23 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, September 27, 2007
British Airways has just placed an order for £4.1bn of new planes. They have ordered 12 Airbus A380 superjumbos and 24 Boeing 787s. The new planes will be greener and quieter than current models as well as being more fuel efficient. This order will replace half of BA’s existing long haul fleet. They are likely to be delivered between 2010 and 2014.

posted on Thursday, September 27, 2007 2:46:26 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Heathrow Airport will test Terminal 5 prior to opening it. They have recruited around 15,000 volunteers to ensure the terminal runs well. The volunteers receive a free lunch and a goody bag for their help. They will go through mock security and baggage procedures to try and help cut down on delays when the terminal opens for business. During the first four weeks of testing groups of 30 to 100 people will test the facilities, rising to groups of up to 2,250 people just before opening which should test the facilities as though they were operating live. It will be interesting to see if the testing does make the new terminal more efficient.

posted on Tuesday, September 25, 2007 2:39:16 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback