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# Monday, April 28, 2008

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

posted on Monday, April 28, 2008 7:10:25 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Sunday, April 27, 2008

blogoftheweek_thumbThis weeks travel blog of the week is The Edmeads Family Adventures. The blogs charts the adventures of a family of four as they travel around the world on a year long trip. The unusual thing about this blog is that the family includes two young children of 4 and 7 years old.

Thailand_A__08__17_The blog starts off showing the preparations for the journey including the vaccinations before  they set off and all the items they need to pack to take with them. One of the Thailand_A___120408more recent posts sees the family visiting the Similan Islands in Thailand. A protected national park the islands have a wealth of interesting wildlife including turtles. The family slept in a camouflaged tent on the beach for the night (pictured left) and the next day were lucky enough to go swimming with turtles, much to the delight of the children.

This blog has many more interesting posts, illustrated with great pictures and is certainly proof that travelling the world with kids is not only possible but also an enjoyable experience for all.

posted on Sunday, April 27, 2008 11:10:56 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    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)  #    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)  #    Trackback
# Friday, April 18, 2008
Figures released by the Civil Aviation Authority have shown that passengers that use Heathrow airport suffer longer delays that at any other British airport. The figures also showed that flights left on average 21 minutes late. In contrast Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris experiences average delays of just 15 minutes despite the fact they operate more flights.

posted on Friday, April 18, 2008 6:55:48 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# 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)  #    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)  #    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)  #    Trackback
# Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Eurostar has reported a 21% increase in passengers in the first three months of the year. 2.17 million customers travelled between London, Paris and Brussels during this period, an increase of 21.3% on the same period in 2007. The companys commercial director has put the increases down to shorter journey times and more customers from around Britain now that the service has moved to St Pancras.

posted on Tuesday, April 15, 2008 5:41:14 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# 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)  #    Trackback
Workers at a Royal Mail sorting office in Norfolk had to leave the premises when a suspicious package was spotted. 60 staff were evacuated after the security alert and a bomb disposal squad was called in. Staff have now returned to work and an investigation is under way. The incident may cause some minor delays to deliveries in the area.

posted on Monday, April 14, 2008 5:55:29 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Friday, April 11, 2008
BA has delayed moving its long haul flights to Terminal 5 until June. It was due to switch most of its long flights to the terminal  the 30th of April but problems with the baggage handling system will now mean a delay. BA has not given a date when they expect to move the flights to the new terminal.

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

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

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

posted on Monday, April 7, 2008 1:57:31 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Sunday, April 6, 2008

blogoftheweek_thumb This weeks travel blog of the week is The blog is written by Steven Kazuo Nakano and charts his travels over the last couple of years. After selling off all of his stuff including his prized car back in 2005 Steve has already been to Argentina, Chile, Egypt, Israel, Peru and Venezuela, just to name a few places. The most recent entries find him in India where he purchases a motor bike in order to see more of the country. Steve talks about the complexities of dealing with the local police and paperwork issues and the fact that the best way to deal with them is just not to stop at the checkpoints.

bed bugs monkiesOne of the more humorous posts from his time in India also mentions what Steve describes as "the number two worst room I stayed in". Whilst this is not surprising, after reading the post you probably like me will be left wondering what the worst room he has stayed in was like, perhaps Steve can enlighten us here? Firstly he says the room was very close to a pig sty which gave it a beautiful spring smell, but the wildlife inside the room was slightly more irritating. One thing is for sure his post will certainly have you scratching as you read about the population of bed bugs he shared the room with. You can see what he calls his first nights catch pictured left. He says of the room and the number of bedbugs:
"I have stayed in places before where I have seen a few, but not a major infestation like this. At the joining of the wall to the ceiling was thousands of little droppings where they pooped. After the first night I finally realized where they were coming from and could see them sticking their heads out of the cracks waiting for me to go to sleep" and he resorts to staying awake most of the night as the bugs come out to feed. It sounds lovely. On a more cheerful note he also posts this cute picture of a family of monkeys . ahhh.

posted on Sunday, April 6, 2008 7:04:31 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
PC2Paper has increased its UK prices this weekend to reflect the recent increases in postage prices from Royal Mail. The increases mean that a UK letter will now cost 56p to send via first class mail and 49p to send second class. Prices for letters sent to overseas destinations from our UK based printing station have also increased accordingly.

posted on Sunday, April 6, 2008 1:58:01 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
Just when it was looking like things were getting better at Terminal 5 there have been yet more problems. Once again the baggage handling system has caused more problems and the recent snow in the UK has added to these problems. More than 60 flights have been cancelled as a result and passengers are advised to check the BA website before travelling.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

posted on Tuesday, April 1, 2008 3:54:14 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback