The number of travellers using public transport to get to key London airports has fallen between 2012 and 2016, according to a new report. The data, from transport consumer group London TravelWatch, shows that more people now either drive or get a taxi to catch a flight from Heathrow, Gatwick and Luton airports. The report, Way to go: Improving public transport access to London’s airports, shows that the share of passengers using public transport to get to Heathrow, Gatwick and Luton airports has fallen from 41 per cent, 44 per cent and 33 per cent respectively in 2012 to 39.1 per cent, 43.6 per cent and 31.4 per cent respectively four years later.
In case you haven’t noticed, it is a fairly horrible time to be a budget airline. The final discovery as I trawled through the details of the deal: Virgin Atlantic has been a “bona-fide potential offeror” for Flybe for a couple of months.
Special snow-busting trains will be deployed across the UK in a bid to minimise disruption for travellers during the cold weather. Arctic temperatures are set to sweep the country this weekend, which usually means widespread transport chaos. Network Rail will operate a winter fleet, complete with trains fitted with snowploughs able to clear eight inches of snow, as well as hot air blowers, steam jets, brushes, scrapers and anti-freeze to clear snow and ice from the train tracks.
The most important festival in the Chinese cultural calendar means that in mainland China alone, a mind-boggling three billion trips are made in the planet’s largest annual human migration. Here are eight (a lucky number seen everywhere at New Year) places to experience and celebrate the arrival of the year of the pig in true local style. There are few better places to welcome in Chinese New Year than Hong Kong.
You may not know Louisville, Kentucky. Two years after his death, the heavyweight boxer and humanitarian is to be celebrated through the name of the local Louisville Muhammad Ali International airport. Almost every US airport seems to be named after someone, though usually a local worthy like the 1930s New York police chief Fiorello La Guardia rather than a global statesman like John F Kennedy.
A passenger jumped from the 11th floor of the world’s largest cruise ship in an attempt to go viral on Instagram. American Nick Naydev, 27, jumped 30 metres from the 1,120-foot-long Royal Caribbean ship while friends filmed the stunt. The Symphony of the Seas ship was docked in Nassau, Bahamas, at the time.
Europe’s biggest budget airline has warned investors that its profits will be around €100m (£88m) lower than expected for the financial year that ends in March 2019. Ryanair operates a “price passive/load factor active” strategy, which means it will cut fares to whatever level is necessary to fill its planes – currently at a load factor of around 95 per cent. It has been selling seats from the UK for as little as £9.99, which means it takes an instant loss as it is required to pay £13 in air passenger duty.
Skellig Michael would need to cut visitor numbers by a third to meet Unesco recommendations, according to new figures. The monastic island 12km off the west coast of the Republic of Ireland attracted 16,792 tourists in 2018 – 5,692 more than the 11,000 advised by the world heritage organisation. Unesco has listed Skellig Michael as a World Heritage Site since 1996, but the heritage arm of the United Nations has strict stipulations if destinations want to hang onto their status.
A passenger flying from Russia from Bangkok had to be restrained with tape and belts when he refused to stop drinking. The man, flying on S7 flight 582 to the Russian city of Novosibirsk, had to be restrained by fellow passengers when the cabin crew were unable to subdue the 26-year-old. Later in the flight, a cabin crew member noticed him drinking alcohol and asked him to stop, the airline said.
Most passengers say that the worst part of the airport experience is the security checkpoint, in which travellers are temporarily transformed from valued customers to suspected international terrorists. The technology for “walk-through security scanning” developed by Cardiff University is derived from astronomy detection. In an airport context, hidden cameras using one-millimetre wavelength technology are installed to examine passengers from a range of angles.
Millions of British motorists have been warned that they will need a “Green Card” to drive in the EU in the event of a no-deal Brexit. The Association of British Insurers (ABI) today said that holidaymakers and businesses would need to organise the extra insurance documentation a month before taking their vehicle into Europe, if the UK crashes out of the EU on 29 March without a deal. The trade body also advised that drivers crossing from Northern Ireland into the Republic of Ireland would be required to carry this Green Card.
A Ryanair flight received a different kind of inflight entertainment when a passenger decided to serenade his fellow travellers. James Hazlett, a professional event singer from Drumkeerin in Ireland, stood up and sang a soulful, three-minute long rendition of John Legend’s "All Of Me" over the tannoy during the flight to Paris-Beauvais airport. “Stepping out of the comfort zone up in the sky for 2019 – Uzi my new flight attendant bestie didn’t think I’d go through with it,” Hazlett wrote in a Facebook post to accompany the video.
Wizz Air is urging its British customers to check whether their passports will still be valid for European travel after 29 March, when the UK leaves the EU. “We want you to have a smooth journey, so please check if your UK passport is still valid for Europe after 29 March 2019. Users need to input information such as date of travel, date of birth, destination and passport expiry date.
A Taiwanese woman walking awkwardly through a customs checkpoint was discovered with 24 gerbils strapped to her legs. The traveller, who had been visiting mainland China, was caught with the rodents at customs on the island of Kinmen, which is administered by Taiwan. According to the Taiwan East Coast Guard, officials noticed the woman had an ”abnormal proportion”, and was pulled aside for questioning.
Not everyone appreciates Tampa’s hip side, or even notices it. Because although Tampa ticks pretty much all the boxes for a cool city break – walkable neighbourhoods, engrossing museums, a dynamic food scene, and tucked-away bars – it’s all geared towards those who live and work there, rather than trying to attract tourists. Norwegian launched direct flights from London Gatwick to Tampa in October 2018, opening up the city for a short break, as the starting point for a road trip down the Gulf Coast, or – if you like – as a base for exploring those aforementioned theme parks.
As the terrorist attack on a hotel and business complex continues in the Riverside area of Nairobi, the British High Commission in the Kenyan capital is closed for routine business “while we respond to the incident,” according to the Foreign Office. The updated Foreign Office travel advice states: “Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Kenya.” Specifically, it warns of “a heightened threat of terrorist attacks in Nairobi and the coast and resort areas of Mombasa and Malindi, and northern border counties”. The Foreign Office advises against all but essential travel to a large swathe in the east of the country, including everywhere within 60km of the Somali border.
After the government’s unprecedented defeat over the EU withdrawal agreement, this is what we know from official sources about life for British travellers to the European Union from 30 March onwards. British passports will continue to be valid from 30 March 2019 until their expiry date, but will cease to have any power as European Union travel documents. “You’ll be considered a third country national,” says the Home Office.
Until I went to Chicago I mistakenly believed that nobody loved pizza more than me. During university, I worked at pizzerias not because I needed cash but because it gave me easy access to my favourite food fix. Take Steve Dolinsky, former food reporter and founder of Pizza City USA tours.
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, America’s busiest, had to warn passengers to allow three hours to get through security earlier this week, amid the US government’s longest ever shutdown. “ATL is experiencing longer than usual wait times during peak travel,” it tweeted on 14 January. The hold-up was prompted by the government shutdown, now in its 26th day, during which government employees aren’t paid.
The hospitality scene has thankfully developed since my student days at the University of Cambridge. The brainchild of a group of Cambridge graduates, the all-encompassing but unassuming boutique hotel is comprised of 44 sleekly decorated rooms, two popular restaurants, a full-service gym and Elemis spa, and one heck of a view from its seventh floor roof terrace, conveniently packaged into two buildings in the city’s buzzing Quayside area.
Ryanair passengers disrupted because of the M11 closure this morning will be able to get on the next available flight, the airline confirmed this morning. The motorway, which links London and Cambridge, was shut in both directions this morning following an accident near junction eight – the exit for Stansted Airport. Stansted Airport said this morning that travellers should allow extra time when travelling to and from the airport and use an alternative route if possible.