An Australian family were left terrified when their son was reported missing, only for it to transpire that he had stolen the family credit card and travelled alone to Bali. As reported in 9 News, 12-year-old Drew* had a heated argument with his parents. The boy took a train to Sydney airport and was able to check in at the self-service stations and get through security before waiting to board a flight to Perth, from where he caught a connecting flight to Denpasar in Bali.
Getting close to dolphins and whales has been popular with tourists for decades, but in recent years the pursuit has been mired in controversy, thanks to concerns over the animals’ welfare and living conditions. Virgin Holidays has announced plans to invest $300,000 (£210,150) in conjunction with the non-profit National Aquarium in Baltimore to create the first dolphin sanctuary in America. The development will see seven captive dolphins moved from an indoor dolphinarium to a larger, outdoor setting with hopes that the move will inspire more natural environments for dolphins in tourism.
British holidaymakers are returning to Egypt and Turkey in droves this year, according to the Thomas Cook Holiday Report 2018. The giant tour operator has sold 89 per cent more holidays to Egypt than at the same point in 2017, while 84 per cent more travellers have booked for Turkey than last year. The increase in numbers to Egypt means visitor numbers to the Red Sea are now close to where they were for Thomas Cook in 2015.
Strikes by French rail and aviation staff are wrecking the plans of millions of passengers hoping to travel to, from or within France on the first two days of the working week. Workers at Air France and SNCF (French Railways) are engaged in separate long-running disputes. SNCF, which is losing the equivalent of £5,000 per minute, says change is essential.
Before the auction had even reached a dozen lots, it was clear that Heathrow Terminal 1 was more loved than weary passengers and staff might imagine. Britain's biggest airport was making money for old rope. Auctioneer Adam Alexander declared lot 11 – a short length of red velvet rope used for cordoning off a VIP area, together with two posts – sold for £900, more than a return air ticket to New Zealand.
The tragedy this week in the US, when an uncontained engine failure on a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 led to the death of a passenger, was a stark reminder of vulnerability when six miles above the surface of the earth. Until 17 April 2018, Southwest was unrivalled as the safest airline in the world, at least on the measure I believe is the most significant: the number of people flown without a single passenger fatality.
Ten miles into my cycle across Louisiana, I roll to a stop alongside a field of golden corn. When I WhatsApp a friend an image of the crumbling structure he replies: “Don’t go near that building.” But while the setting might resemble the backdrop of an eighties horror film, Louisiana’s rural charm has already won me over. Perhaps oddly for America, land of the driver, growing numbers are exploring the state by bike.
Think eating in Paris is expensive? The Hood Paris is a young, hip café where they do both food and coffee really well. The food menu was created by Khanh-Ly Hyunh, a talented French-Vietnamese chef who won MasterChef France in 2015, and the coffee is excellent.
The largest plane ever built – backed by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and his company Vulcan Aerospace – is set to take full flight for the first time within months. Known as Stratolaunch, the huge aircraft is so big that it requires two cockpits and six jet engines to take off. The aircraft also has a wingspan of 385 feet, over a hundred more than the average football pitch.
Once upon a time in West Norwood, way back in the late 20th century, I ate a hash cake that froze my brain for 24 hours. Some 20 years after the infamous “West Norwood White Out” I am about to break that promise. Marijuana was legalised in California in November 2016, with anyone over the age of 21 able to walk into an LA dispensary and buy weed since January 2018, and I am about to eat my first cannabis-infused meal.
The words “marathon” and “holiday” in the same breath might sound like an oxymoron but pairing a running race with a long weekend away is a win-win scenario: the promise of a short break is strong incentive to get running in the first place, and having a few days off after the event is a great way to celebrate completing a tough physical challenge. When he resolved to start running marathons, we also discovered this whole new way of going on holiday. With the first hints of spring appearing, now is the perfect time to lace up and start planning a marathon mini-break.
A strike on the main transport network covering the London Marathon area has been called off just hours before it was due to start. Staff working for KeolisAmey Docklands (KAD), which operates the Docklands Light Railway (DLR), had planned to stop work at 4am on Friday for four days. The dispute is over working practices and outsourcing of some roles.
A strike on the main transport network covering the London Marathon area will jeopardise travel plans for runners, spectators and residents, and make life difficult for passengers using London City Airport. Alternatively, they can take the Jubilee Line Tube to North Greenwich and take the Emirate Air Line cable car – which is operating from 9am to 6.30pm free of charge because of the strike. Staff working for KeolisAmey Docklands (KAD), which operates the Docklands Light Railway (DLR), are stopping work at 4am on Friday for four days.
Scan the station departure screens for a glimpse of a faraway place, and plan for the day you will forsake your usual train and make your escape. To help with that task, I enlisted three leading railway experts, and conducted some research of my own starting at Elephant & Castle in south London. For most of the day, the departure screens are short on joyful travel inspiration: “Sevenoaks via Catford”, “Sutton via Wimbledon” and “Luton” is the usual chorus.
All across France, Austria, Switzerland and Italy, holidaymakers were greeted by tantalising white pistes from January onwards, with some of the best conditions of the last five years. The ski area is open full-time until 6 May this year, but will continue to open on weekends for the rest of the month – 12 and 13, 19 and 20, and 26 and 37 May. It’s lift-linked to the next-door resort of Zermatt in Switzerland, which has glacier skiing up to a whopping 3,899m.
With an emerging street art scene, incredible food, mountain views and a rich history, Quito is fast becoming South America’s coolest capital. Wander the colourful streets of La Floresta, a boho neighbourhood in the centre of the city, with local expat and tour guide Emerson, founder of Quito Street Tours. Situated 2,050m high in the Andean Foothills and flanked by six volcanoes, Quito has one of the most impressive locations of any city in the world.
The recent Southwest Airlines tragedy that claimed the life of a woman who was sucked through an aircraft window also showed up a worrying lack of knowledge about basic safety procedures. An image shared online by Marty Martinez, a passenger on board flight 1380 from New York to Dallas, shows him and his fellow passengers wearing oxygen masks, which dropped down after one of the jet’s engines blew.
To most, the not-so-humble bidet is associated with penthouse suites, the ingenuity of French plumbing and, of course, Crocodile Dundee. Zodiac Aerospace, a French company, revealed its new design, the Revolution Premium Bidet, at the convention this month. The company also posted details of the product on Twitter, revealing that the device can be fitted to a Revolution Toilet and includes an auto-sanitise feature.
This previously war-torn city suffered the longest siege in modern history during the 1990s conflict, but today there's much more to Sarajevo than battle scars. Nearly 25 years on, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina is undergoing a radical transformation and boasts modern glass shopping centres, boutique hotels and a magical old town that feels like you’ve travelled through time. An afternoon spent strolling Turkish-style alleys and boulevards dotted with Austro-Hungarian pastel facades is reason enough to spend a weekend in Sarajevo.
The next generation of cramped airline seat could soon hit runways. Italian seating company Avio Interiors unveiled its Skyrider 2.0, which “allows an ultra-high density in the aircraft cabin”, at this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg. The design has a reduced pitch, meaning passengers are in a more upright position, rather than sitting as normal.
Theio Tragi (Holy Goat), a short walk from the ruins of the Acropolis and the foundations of western democracy, is Athens’ first “anarchists’ restaurant”. “Everyone, from the pot washer to the chefs and waiters is all on the same salary here,” explains Marko Marmatakis – one of three chefs cooking up haute cuisine for us tonight. Having met as punks in Exarcheia – the area in which riots, demonstrations and molotov cocktails are seen regularly and well documented by the Greek media – the founders bonded over a communal distaste for authority.
As around 40,000 passengers on Air France find their flights cancelled because of strikes, a new ruling at the European Court of Justice could mean they are entitled to hundreds of euros in compensation. The court was asked to rule in a case concerning TUIfly, the German airline belonging to the giant TUI travel company. It was regarded as a wildcat strike in protest at restructuring plans at the airline.
At Bjórböðin, Iceland’s first beer spa, you can do just that. Bjórböðin opened its doors last year and is part of Bruggsmidjan Kaldi, which was Iceland’s first microbrewery when it opened in 2006. It’s perched on the edge of the Eyjafjörður fjord in the area of Árskógssandur, about a half hour drive from the city of Akureyri in northern Iceland.
Within hours of the emergency landing of a Southwest jet at Philadelphia, and the news that one passenger had died after a catastrophic engine failure, flight number 1380 had disappeared from the airline’s schedules. From today on, the 10.30am departure from New York’s La Guardia airport to Dallas Love Field is known as flight 8881. Something else changed after the mid-air tragedy in which Jennifer Riordan was killed: Southwest Airlines lost the finest unblemished safety record in aviation.
Etihad, the beleaguered Middle East airline, is ditching a number of routes next winter as it tries to tackle huge losses. Liz Bryan, from London, planned a holiday of a lifetime to see her daughter in Western Australia. Through Flight Centre, she paid nearly £3,000 for a business class flight with Etihad from Heathrow via Abu Dhabi to Perth and back.