Extinction Rebellion climate change protesters are planning to shut down Heathrow airport on Friday as millions prepare to travel for Easter weekend. Messages sent via a Whatsapp group inform members the movement will be turning its attention to the aviation industry next, following five days of disruption in the capital. It goes on: “Many of you have expressed a desire to disrupt Heathrow – and so we wanted to share this action with you.
When it comes to accommodation, Tokyo delivers everything from ultra-luxury to traditional inns, arty hangouts and places where the front desk is staffed by robotic dinosaurs. Japan’s pricey capital even has budget options. Occupying the top floors of a skyscraper in the Otemachi business district – not far from Tokyo Station – the Aman Tokyo could fall into many “best” categories.
A beach at Calais, France. Ticket sales are up 52% across the 13 ferry routes to Europe. Photograph: Pascal Rossignol/Reuters Ferry services to Europe have reported a ticket sales rise of more than 50% as holidaymakers book summer breaks after Brexit was delayed. Holidaymakers had been warned of potential difficulties travelling to the continent, especially by car and ferry, in the event of a no-deal Brexit. The decision to put Britain’s date of departure from the European Union back from 29 March to at least the end of May, and possibly 31 October, has unleashed a wave of ticket sales. Bookings on the Dover-Calais route have increased 55% on last year over the past seven days. Overall, there has been a 52% uplift in ticket sales across the 13 ferry routes between the UK and other European countries. Direct Ferries, which sells tickets across Channel ferry routes and operators, said there had been triple-digit percentage growth in bookings on some longer channel crossings, such as those linking the south of England with Brittany and Spain. “It’s been clear that customers have been holding back at the beginning of the year and the formal confirmation of the delay has opened the bow doors,” said Niall Walsh of Direct Ferries. “It’s evident that Brexit concerns and uncertainty have weighed on holidaymakers’ decisions. Now that the deadline has been put back, families have begun to plan and book in earnest.” In the week before the extension, bookings on some channel routes fell 20% year on year. Walsh said that in early 2019 there had been a significant rise in the number of short visits, believed to be panic shopping trips ahead of the original Brexit date of 29 March. Wine warehouses in Calais reported huge increases in shopper numbers and sales in the two months prior to the original deadline. The route to Dover had been the focus of no-deal fears, with Highways England having been expected to turn much of the M20 approaching Channel ports into a holding pen for queueing lorries. The Operation Brock emergency works were lifted last week, although a long steel barrier that was installed remains in place in case of future need. The government had warned drivers to pack spare food, fuel and water in the event of a disorderly Brexit, with delays anticipated due to new customs requirements. While the European commission and the UK confirmed that flights would still operate in the event of no-deal, there was confusion around insurance requirements for drivers holidaying abroad, as well as the need to buy international driving permits from post offices should Britain have exited the EU.
Why, asks Carol L, do all the flights this summer to the Canary Islands or Greece either leave the UK or arrive back at antisocial times? “I was looking for a holiday in September 2019 in the Canaries or Halkidiki,” she says. “All the return flight times seem to be landing in the UK after midnight.
It’s been a parade ground for the Prussians and a wartime factory for the Luftwaffe, yet for many, Berlin’s Tempelhof Airport remains a symbol of freedom. Just three years after the fall of the Third Reich, the Nazi-built airport became the focal point of the first major clash of the Cold War, prompting the Berlin Airlift – the largest and most daring humanitarian relief operation in history. Today, Tempelhof Airport is one of Europe’s largest listed buildings.
British travellers heading to Europe for Easter will not encounter Brexit-related issues. All the indications are that it will be the busiest Easter on record for the top airports: Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, Stansted, Luton and Edinburgh.
Three passengers fled onto the wing of an aircraft in Russia after they saw flames coming from the engine of the Boeing 737. The trio of travellers claimed cabin crew did not give any instructions and ignored the panic of passengers who had seen the fire through the windows, according to local media. The incident occurred when the Utair jet was taxiing on the tarmac at Moscow’s Vnukovo airport, preparing to take off for Makhachkala in the south west of Russia, next to the Caspian Sea.
With superb weather forecast for much of the UK over Easter, pressure on the transport network is likely to be intense. The traditional Easter closures for major engineering work will have the biggest effect on travellers on the West Coast main line. It connects Scotland, the Lake District, North Wales, Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham with London Euston.
The opening of Crossrail could be delayed for another two years as the transport project is thrown into a new crisis. The opening of the new line, which will run east to west through central London, could now be 2021, three years later than originally projected. Europe’s largest infrastructure project, called the Elizabeth Line when services start, was due to open in December 2018.
A major travel company has been misinforming customers about the visa rules for China, costing them hundreds of pounds and many hours of hassle. The process for obtaining a Chinese visa involves a mandatory visit to a visa centre in London, Manchester, Edinburgh or Belfast, to be photographed and fingerprinted as well as a fee upwards of £150. British visitors must arrive direct from a country outside China (which in this context includes Hong Kong) and depart direct to a different country.
The major Indian airline Jet Airways has suspended all operations after failing to secure emergency funding from its lenders. The last Jet flight will operate today. In a statement, Jet said that it hadn’t managed to secure the emergency funding for “critical services” such as fuel to keep the airline flying.
If there’s a feeling of “always the bridesmaid, never the bride” about Wroclaw (pronounced “Vrotswaffe”), there’s also a sense that this is slowly fading. Continually overshadowed by capital Warsaw and weekend break darling Krakow, the city, technically Poland’s fourth largest after Lodz (not counting its huge student population), has quietly been coming into its own. High-profile gigs like being crowned 2016 European Capital of Culture and hosting the 2017 World Games (the cooler alternative to the Olympics) have attracted new investment, while the young population who flock here to study add a welcome, youthful vibe.
The historic Star Ferry crossing Hong Kong harbour. Photograph: BirdImages/GettySome public transport rides – like the Star Ferry in Hong Kong, the number 28 tram in Lisbon or many a mountain train journey – are famous for their views or the historic neighbourhoods they pass through. This week we want to hear about your favourite public transport journey, whether it be on a tram, bus, train (but no sleepers), ferry or cable car (no ski lifts).Tell us about the stunning scenery or famous sites you get to see along the way, plus brief details of where to get on and off, and a website if possible.Send us your tips by filling in the form below, with as much detail as you can (including prices, etc) in around 100 words. We are sorry, but for legal reasons, you must be a UK resident to enter this competition.Photographs are welcome if they are high-quality and you are happy to share, but it is the text that our judges will consider. If you do send photographs please ensure you are the copyright holder.The best tips will appear on the Guardian Travel website and may also appear in print in Guardian Travel. The winner, chosen by Tom Hall of Lonely Planet, will receive a £200 hotel voucher from UK.hotels.com.If you’re having trouble using the form, click here. Read terms of service here.Read the terms and conditionsCloses Tuesday 23 April 2019, 10am BSTIf you’re having trouble using the form, click here. Read terms of service here.
A passenger on a Lufthansa flight has died. The unnamed passenger passed away during an 11-hour flight from Frankfurt, Germany, to Houston in Texas. George Bush Intercontinental Airport staff took a call about the passenger’s death at around 1.30pm on Tuesday 18 April, a Houston Airports spokesperson told KTRK-TV.
As the Easter travel rush gets under way, thousands of passengers planning to fly between Portugal and the UK face disruption because of a strike by fuel tanker drivers. Members of the newly formed Sindicato Nacional de Motoristas de Matérias Perigosas (SNMMP, the National Union of Dangerous Goods Drivers) are taking action in a dispute about workers’ rights. Demand for fuel is rising as Easter approaches, which is traditionally a time when lots of Portuguese are on the move, as well as holidaymakers from Britain and beyond converging on the country.
A woman was detained by police after throwing six coins at a plane to “pray for a safe flight”. Flight GS6681 had to wait while staff searched the tarmac for the six one jiao coins to ensure none of them had been thrown into the engine, Tianjin Airlines said in a statement on Chinese social media platform Weibo. It’s far from the first time a flight has been delayed by coin tossing, a common “good luck” ritual in China.
Climate-change protesters have once again brought traffic in London to a standstill by blocking key junctions in the capital – telling hundreds of thousands of commuters that the disruption to their journeys is “a side effect” to the campaign. The group is calling for greenhouse gas emissions to be reduced to zero by 2025. Extinction Rebellion says that plant and animal species are disappearing at a rate of 200 per day.
As tributes to the cathedral pour in from around the world, Air France has pledged free flights to those involved in the reconstruction of Notre Dame. In a statement, airline group Air France-KLM called the cathedral a “symbol of French history, well known throughout the world”. “All Air France and Air France-KLM teams around the world have been deeply affected and saddened since hearing the news on Monday evening,” the statement added.
The three “domes” housed a jungle, a desert…and Charleston. Decades on I’ve made Britain my home, but Charleston’s appeal has endured, and the lure of exotic dishes like okra soup, oyster roasts and the “Charleston nasty” (yes, really) has snagged another breed of culinary voyagers. Uniquely for an American city, Charleston is as walkable as Cambridge or Bath (although its horse-drawn carriages are popular too).
Travellers to and from Portugal are being warned that their flights may be disrupted. A nationwide strike involving drivers of hazardous-goods vehicles has led to fuel shortages at Lisbon, Porto and Faro airports. Lisbon, the busiest airport in Portugal, is warning travellers: “Due to a national strike, [the] aircraft fuel supply was interrupted, so there might be changes to your flight.
British Airways has launched what it calls “a streamlined compensation process” to help passengers claim for delayed and cancelled flights. Under the European legislation known as EU261, travellers are entitled to cash compensation for long delays or cancellations that are within the airlines’ control. The airline wants to encourage passengers not to go through claims-handling companies.
The world’s largest commercial aircraft has started regular flights to Glasgow. The Airbus A380 will fly twice a day, on a route operated by Emirates, between Glasgow and Dubai from Tuesday 16 April for six months. Glasgow Airport has invested more than £8m in readying the airport – Scotland’s second-busiest after Edinburgh – for the Superjumbo, including introducing a triple airbridge.
Norwegian Air has told its female staff that they must carry a doctor’s note at all times if they want to wear flat shoes. Women are required to have a doctor’s note at all times and update it every six months if they want to wear flat shoes. “It is almost comical that we face these issues in 2019,” Ingrid Hodnebo, a women’s spokesperson for the country’s Socialist Left Party, told Norwegian newspaper VG.
Visitors to San Francisco could soon be charged up to $10 (£8) to drive down the city’s famous Lombard Street. The move is to reduce congestion on the road, which winds its way down a steep, verdant hill via eight hairpin bends. It has become a huge tourist attraction.