• Boeing replaces senior executive in charge of 737 Max after two fatal crashes
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    The Independent

    Boeing replaces senior executive in charge of 737 Max after two fatal crashes

    Boeing has replaced the senior executive in charge of the doomed 737 Max plane.The aircraft manufacturer has replaced president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Kevin McAllister, who was in charge of the Boeing 737 Max programme.

  • Disabled activist ‘humiliated’ at airport after security demand she take off her trousers
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    The Independent

    Disabled activist ‘humiliated’ at airport after security demand she take off her trousers

    A group of disabled activists were “insulted and humiliated” at Kolkata airport in India, after one woman was told to take off her trousers and another was told she could not fly unaccompanied.Prominent campaigners Kuhu Das, a polio survivor, and Jeeja Ghosh, who has cerebral palsy, were travelling to New Delhi for a United Nations conference on disability, along with fellow activists Ratnaboli Ray and Shampa Sengupta.

  • Thomas Cook refunds delayed for hundreds of thousands of travellers
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    The Independent

    Thomas Cook refunds delayed for hundreds of thousands of travellers

    One month after the collapse of Thomas Cook, hundreds of thousands of grounded travellers face waiting another six weeks for refunds for their cancelled holidays.Around 800,000 people who had packages booked with the failed travel giant are due refunds under the Atol scheme, administered by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

  • Air New Zealand to abandon London route in favour of New York
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    The Independent

    Air New Zealand to abandon London route in favour of New York

    After 38 years linking London with Auckland via Los Angeles, Air New Zealand is to end its only route to and from Europe – and, at the same time, launch a non-stop from its hub to New York.The New Zealand flag carrier began flying from Gatwick via Los Angeles and Tahiti to Auckland in 1982. The airline later made the US-New Zealand sector nonstop, and moved its operations to Heathrow in 1994.

  • Thomas Cook auditors condemned by MPs after travel firm’s collapse
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    The Independent

    Thomas Cook auditors condemned by MPs after travel firm’s collapse

    One month after the final departure of Thomas Cook flights, the auditors who signed off the travel firm's accounts have admitted that £1.1bn “goodwill” was overstated.PwC, which audited Thomas Cook’s accounts from 2007 to 2016, and EY, which took over the role until the firm collapsed in September 2019, were summoned by the Business Select Committee.

  • ‘No sex please, we’re meditating’: peace and positivity on a weekend retreat
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    The Guardian

    ‘No sex please, we’re meditating’: peace and positivity on a weekend retreat

    At a country house in West Sussex, meditation, yoga and detox come together for a weekend of mindfulness that expands your ‘protective bubble’. The taxi driver appraises me with suspicion when I tell him my destination. “But you’ve not got a yoga mat,” he says. Having never been on a meditation retreat before, I was self-conscious of criss-crossing busy train stations with a yoga mat strapped to my back, so I’d concealed it inside a Sainsbury’s bag for life. I point it out now to the driver, and he offers a wry smile as he takes me to the place where, for the next four days, I’m to be immersed in an intensive period of “me time”. I’ve never done this before, so have no idea what to expect. Long-term health conditions can be interesting in all sorts of unexpected ways. You learn about your levels of resilience, and the efforts you are prepared to take to get better. I’ve been struggling with low physical energy for almost a decade, my mitochondrial cells malfunctioning after successive flu viruses never quite left my body. Doctors didn’t know what to recommend – these cells aren’t easily “fixed” – and so suggested what they suggest to anyone who presents mysteriously: eat better, sleep well. Do yoga, learn to meditate. I’ve spent the last five years dipping in and out of meditation – apps, YouTube, Ruby Wax’s focus on mindfulness through books and interviews – but it was vedic meditation (a close cousin of transcendental, which uses a silent mantra or sound repeated over and over) I kept returning to. I liked it but always let it slip. I knew that to establish a habit I would need to immerse myself, under in-person instruction. And so here I am, near Arundel in West Sussex, at a large, rambling country house with lush gardens, on a weekend vedic retreat run by Beeja. Its strapline suggests: Meditation for Everyone and its founder, Will Williams, has been teaching vedic meditation for more than five years. After a stint in the music business, and falling ill, he recovered through meditation – and began to teach what he had learned. He runs introductory courses in London. Will is a convincing communicator: Hoxton-bearded and smiley, dressed not in robes but in Edwin jeans, conspicuously one of us. There are 15 in attendance, eight women, seven men, ranging from 24 to 70. We’re a cosmopolitan bunch: there’s a Saudi, a Lebanese, one from Guadalupe, another from South Korea. Two from Essex. Some, like me, have medical issues, others are struggling with anxiety, depression and such pronounced social media addiction that handing over phones upon arrival proves problematic. I’m to share a dorm for four but – mercifully – there’s just two of us this weekend. After an introductory dinner of nut loaf, Will’s co-instructor, Niamh Keane, reminds us of the house rules: up at 6.45am, in bed by 10.30pm; respect one another’s confidentiality. No sex and no “solo sex”, as Niamh puts it, just unbroken serenity and purity of mind. We’re detoxing, so can have neither caffeine nor alcohol. No breakfast either, a fact that horrifies us all initially but becomes curiously unimportant by day two. On a meditation retreat I find you meditate, and do precious little else. Beeja’s version comprises a succession of “rounding” exercises: 15 minutes of yoga, five minutes of alternate nostril breathing, 20 of meditation, and 10 of the flat-on-your-back yoga pose, shavasana. We’re all given an individual secret mantra to repeat silently (though who’s to say we don’t have the same one?!). For three days. At first, most of us choose to do our exercises communally, in the living room, but increasingly we drift off in pursuit of solitude. I thought I’d struggle, because meditating at home is difficult, but here, with no distractions, I slide into it as if it were a hot bath. Hours pass, then hours more. Respite comes in the evenings, after simple vegetarian food (rice and dhal, Thai soup), when Will sits, Buddha-like, with us at his feet while he shares his vedic-derived wisdom. He’s a practitioner of many years and is so convinced of his discipline’s ability to heal the world that he can tend towards the over-prescriptive. He condemns most diets in favour of an ayurvedic-approved one, and proffers opinion on antidepressants, climate change, and Trump voters. He tells us that the introduction of 5G will kill off the insect world, that we should never cross our legs, and how we must avoid eating onions because the skin contains properties that promote selfishness. Much of what he says is fascinating, plenty else sails far above our heads. He asks how our sessions are going and when I tell him that during one of mine my hands began to levitate and my fingers grew like intertwining tree branches, as if I were morphing into a Hans Christian Andersen fairytale, he beams with pleasure and says: “You’ve shifted some serious energy there, fella.” The more we meditate, the more our protective bubble expands. When we come to leave, Niamh implores we take care upon re-entering the world outside, as we will be newly hypersensitive to light, noise, other people. “Be gentle with yourselves,” she advises. The trip back home is complicated by the usual travel chaos – delays, overcrowding – but we endure it without any obvious adverse effect on our hitherto delicate dispositions. But then meditation affects different people differently and any long-term benefits may only announce themselves over time. What I know right now is that I’ve never had a weekend quite like it, never been so still, or rested, never spent so much time with myself, or by myself. It wasn’t quite bliss, but I did attain something conspicuously rare in a life otherwise filled with such perpetual distraction: peace. . Four-day, three-night weekend retreats cost from £594 for a twin room, £534 for a dorm room, and include food, drink and instruction; six-monthly payment options available, beejameditation.com Nick Duerden’s memoir, Get Well Soon: Adventures in Alternative Healthcare, is out now (Bloomsbury, £12.99). To buy a copy for £11.43 visit The Guardian bookshop Looking for a holiday with a difference? Browse Guardian Holidays to see a range of fantastic trips

  • Sharm el Sheikh: Egyptian ambassador says flight ban has been ‘damaging’
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    The Independent

    Sharm el Sheikh: Egyptian ambassador says flight ban has been ‘damaging’

    Four years after the ban on direct flights from Britain to Egypt’s premier holiday resort was imposed, the UK government now says air links can resume.In his first interview since the announcement, the Egyptian ambassador to London told The Independent: “It has been damaging.”

  • Flights to Chile disrupted after state of emergency declared
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    The Independent

    Flights to Chile disrupted after state of emergency declared

    Hundreds of flights to and from Chile are being delayed or cancelled after a state of emergency was first declared on 18 October.According to updated advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), the state of emergency, originally only applying to Santiago, is expected to last 15 days, following civil unrest around metro stations. Demonstrations first began on Monday after a 4 per cent hike in public transport fares was announced.

  • 10 reasons to visit Goa, India’s capital of coastal cool
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    The Independent

    10 reasons to visit Goa, India’s capital of coastal cool

    The Independent’s hotel recommendations are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and book, but we never allow this to affect our coverage.Craving some winter sun? There’s never been a better time to check out Goa (aka India’s capital of coastal cool), thanks to a spate of recent hotel openings and Virgin Atlantic’s relaunched London to Mumbai flights, which take to the skies at the end of October 2019.

  • Falklands Islands ‘getting full’ with tourism surge
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    The Independent

    Falklands Islands ‘getting full’ with tourism surge

    The tourism season is beginning in the Falkland Islands, with another record southern summer expected.The British possession in the South Atlantic has reported record numbers for its 2018-2019 season, with almost 2,000 overseas land-based visitors staying at least one night.

  • Why were UK flights to Sharm el Sheikh banned and when will flights resume?
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    The Independent

    Why were UK flights to Sharm el Sheikh banned and when will flights resume?

    The ban on UK airlines flying to Egypt’s premier resort, Sharm el Sheikh, has finally been lifted – four years after flights were banned.These are the key questions and answers.

  • UK flights to Sharm el Sheikh to resume four years after ban
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    The Independent

    UK flights to Sharm el Sheikh to resume four years after ban

    The government has announced that UK airlines will be allowed to fly to Egypt’s premier resort, Sharm el Sheikh, four years after flights were banned.The prohibition was imposed following the crash of a Metrojet Airbus A320 in the Sinai desert shortly after take-off from Sharm el Sheikh, on 31 October 2015.

  • JetBlue employee caught swapping cheap domestic flights for expensive international services for free
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    The Independent

    JetBlue employee caught swapping cheap domestic flights for expensive international services for free

    An airline employee has pleaded guilty to fraud after swapping cheap domestic flights for more expensive international ones for friends and family.Tiffany Jenkins, 31, used her position as a JetBlue gate agent to convert hundreds of flights, inputting a special code into the reservation database to change destinations for people she was acquainted with at no extra charge.

  • Tell us about your favourite undiscovered places in England
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    The Guardian

    Tell us about your favourite undiscovered places in England

    We would like to hear your stories and see your photos of your best places in England that may not be well known. Lonely Planet has named England the world’s second tourist destination in 2020. The guide book firm’s entry for England said: “Brexit uncertainties have dominated the headlines in recent years but one constant amid all the confusion has been the timeless treasures that England is famous for: the historic castles and cathedrals, the quaint villages and rolling countryside, and of course, the seaside.” It also noted that “ new sections of the England Coast Path are continuing to open, making it easier for people to explore the country’s coastline”. We’d like to find out about places that are off the tourist trail. So where is your favourite undiscovered place in England? How to get in touch How did you come across it and what does it mean to you? Tell us in no more than 200 words about it in the form below. We would also love to see your photos. We will feature a selection of your submissions. If you’re having trouble using the form, click here. Read terms of service here.

  • Bag explodes while being loaded onto flight at Chicago airport
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    The Independent

    Bag explodes while being loaded onto flight at Chicago airport

    A bag exploded while being loaded onto a flight at Chicago’s Midway International Airport.The incident is believed to have been caused by a mobile phone battery or charger, according to local police.

  • Heathrow Express: Britain’s most expensive railway slashes fares
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    The Independent

    Heathrow Express: Britain’s most expensive railway slashes fares

    Britain’s most expensive railway is slashing fares ahead of the opening of Crossrail.The Heathrow Express runs from London Paddington to terminals 2 and 3 at Britain’s busiest airport in 15 minutes, with an extra six minutes to terminal 5.

  • Lonely Planet best places to travel 2020: The full list from Bhutan to Salzburg
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    The Independent

    Lonely Planet best places to travel 2020: The full list from Bhutan to Salzburg

    Bhutan, the landlocked Himalayan nation, has topped Lonely Planet’s list of best places to travel in 2020.It was followed by England, North Macedonia, Aruba and eSwatini.

  • England named second best destination to visit in 2020 by Lonely Planet
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    The Independent

    England named second best destination to visit in 2020 by Lonely Planet

    England has been named one of the hottest countries to visit next year in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2020 list.The travel publisher has revealed its top picks of countries, cities, regions and best-value destinations that it thinks are set to shine bright in the year ahead.

  • Transatlantic flight forced to make emergency landing after chemical spillage
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    The Independent

    Transatlantic flight forced to make emergency landing after chemical spillage

    A transatlantic flight had to divert to Ireland when crew members were reportedly left unconscious due to spilled cleaning fluid mid-flight.American Airlines flight 729, which was flying from London Heathrow to Philadelphia, had to make an emergency landing in Dublin due to the smell from a “spilled cleaning solution” in the plane galley.

  • Christmas travel disruption: Millions of rail passengers face chaos during holidays
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    The Independent

    Christmas travel disruption: Millions of rail passengers face chaos during holidays

    Millions of rail passengers face disruption to journeys across Britain over Christmas and New Year as a result of engineering work.Many travellers to and from the capitals of England, Wales and Scotland will be adversely affected.

  • Flight forced to divert due to ‘suspicious’ mobile phone
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    The Independent

    Flight forced to divert due to ‘suspicious’ mobile phone

    An Air France flight had to divert to Shannon after a “suspicious” mobile phone was found onboard.Flight AF136 was two hours into the scheduled service from Paris to Chicago when the pilot informed air traffic controllers that they thought it best to land in west Ireland “for security reasons”.

  • Rome’s horse-drawn carriages labelled ‘animal abuse’ after video shows horse falling in the street
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    The Independent

    Rome’s horse-drawn carriages labelled ‘animal abuse’ after video shows horse falling in the street

    Animal rights activists are calling for a complete ban on horse-drawn carriages in Rome after a video emerged of a horse that had collapsed in the street.The animal had slipped on a manhole cover, according to reports, but the carriage driver saw no need to seek medical attention.

  • Climate-change campaigners deplore Qantas nonstop New York-Sydney flight
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    The Independent

    Climate-change campaigners deplore Qantas nonstop New York-Sydney flight

    The first-ever flight from New York to Sydney has been strongly criticised by climate-change campaigners.At the weekend, Qantas flew a Boeing 787 Dreamliner over 10,000 miles between the biggest cities in the US and Australia.

  • Compensate Northern passengers using old Pacer trains, say politicians
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    The Independent

    Compensate Northern passengers using old Pacer trains, say politicians

    Passengers forced to use outdated Northern Rail Pacer trains should benefit from reduced fares, politicians have argued in a letter to the train operator.Northern Rail, a subsidiary of Arriva, has said that a “small number” of Pacers will remain in service into 2020. The trains were originally due to be withdrawn this year.

  • Justin Trudeau’s Ottawa: See Canada's capital through the eyes of its PM
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    The Independent

    Justin Trudeau’s Ottawa: See Canada's capital through the eyes of its PM

    The Independent’s hotel recommendations are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and book, but we never allow this to affect our coverage.Want to wolf down a cookie with Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau’s face on it? Of course you do. The candy red, maple leaf-shaped shortbread, iced with a hockey-rink white “Canada” across its stem, is on sale at French-style boulangerie Le Moulin de Provence in the belly of the city’s Byward Market. Tasty? Yes. Moreish? That too. But also an opportunistic take on the bakery’s “Obama cookie”, so-named because the former US president once bought two (one for himself, the other for family) when visiting Canada’s capital in 2009.