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2013 round up
Dec 30th, 2013 by elisa

It’s nearing the end of 2013, so it’s time for our annual round up of travel news and features covered in this blog over the year.

January is normally the time when you start to examine your finances after the Christmas splurge, and this year was no different for the travel news. A Sunday Times report that found customers were seriously losing out on foreign currency exchange rates when purchasing their travel money at airports.  We also looked at the financial benefits of flying to an airport further from your destination and driving the rest of the way. Meanwhile, Spain was voted the best value destination for 2013, and Eve told us why she thought Spain was a great winter destination.

However, it was all about Greece in February! With its award-winning beaches and Thomas Cook trend survey that revealed a huge increase in bookings during the month. The month ended with a warning to check your travel insurance small print, as many travellers were reported to have fallen foul of clauses in their insurance, which meant they wouldn’t get a pay out on claims.

In March, a woman successfully smuggled a dog onto a plane; we looked at the biosphere reserve that is Menorca; and BA started selling tickets for flights on its ‘red carpet route’ to Los Angeles in its new super jumbo A380. Easyjet installed new, lighter, seats on its aircraft in an attempt to save on fuel and CO2 emissions. Bitter weather threatened to blight travellers’ Easter holidays, but this didn’t stop Peter Rabbit visiting children at Heathrow.

The bizarre law in Florida that all British Citizens must carry an International Driving Permit in the state was repealed in April. Samoa Air launched its controversial pay by weight flights and we looked at the facts about turbulence.

Easyjet began testing its volcanic ash cloud detection technology in May. We found that trillions of air miles are going to waste; and there was the slightly disturbing report of a flight being diverted because the pilot got locked out of the cockpit. There was good news for Harry Potter fans going on holiday in Florida, as the Universal Orlando Resort and Warner Bros. Entertainment announced the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter-Diagon Alley “environment”.

A US ban on using a laptop during take off on flights was lifted in June.

Tenerife enjoyed at 14% rise in arrivals from the UK in July. It was also discovered that many English families were flying from Scottish airports to save up to £500 on their holiday travel costs. It may have been one of the hottest summers we’ve had in years, but this didn’t stop large numbers of Brits leaving for even sunnier holiday destinations in the last weekend of July. We gave advice on how to avoid common pick pocketing scams as the Foreign Office issued a warning about pick pockets in Switzerland.

As August enjoyed more of the heatwave, Ryanair had a drop in flight bookings; it also took legal action against an unfavourable Dispatches programme “Ryanair: Secrets from the Cockpit”.

Etihad Airways launched its “flying nanny” service to look after passengers’ children in September. Helly Kitty planes took to the skies with Taiwan’s EVA Air, and a computer glitch in US Airways system sold $0 flights on its website. Spain enjoyed record visitor numbers over the summer, proving the predictions earlier in the year.

In October, Manchester was announced to be the UK’s first Airport City; and Ryanair announced that it would work on a better customer service.

It was all about the measure of happiness for travel in November, and BA introduced interactive billboards to remind people of the magic of flying.

The Northern Lights in Norway topped Brits’ “must see” list in December. Britain also endured wide-spread bad weather with winds of up to 140mph battering parts of the country, and flooding hitting others.

That’s the round up for 2013, make sure to follow this blog for more travel news and articles in 2014, and book your holiday villas at a wide range of destinations on Villaseek.

New Easyjet flights to Reykjavik from Manchester and Edinburgh
Oct 5th, 2012 by elisa

Beautiful Reykjavik picture by Flickr user glennharper

Beautiful Reykjavik picture by Flickr user glennharper

 

 

Iceland is gaining in popularity as a holiday and business destination. Easyjet is capitalising on this repute by launching two new routes to Reykjavik from Manchester and Edinburgh in March 2013.

Twice weekly flights will leave Edinburgh on Mondays and Thursdays and Manchester on Thursdays and Sundays.

Paul Simmons, UK Director at Easyjet, said: “We’re delighted to be expanding our flights from the UK to Reykjavik in response to the route’s growing popularity.”

Earlier this year, the airline started flights to the Icelandic capital from London Luton, and will increase the frequency of these from three to four flights per week.

 

 

2011 Round up
Jan 3rd, 2012 by elisa

Happy New Year to all our readers! Before we move on to this year’s news, here’s a round up of some of the biggest stories we covered on this blog in 2011, it certainly was an eventful year!

January started with the troubled BMI threatening to withdraw its Heathrow – Glasgow route after passenger charges at Heathrow were raised (this was confirmed a month later). Ryanair returned to Manchester with four new routes. And the political troubles in Egypt disrupted flights.

Spiraling conflict in Egypt caused complete cancellation of routes to popular holiday destinations in February. Meanwhile, Which? launched a super complaint on airline card fee charges,the cost of Qantas’ engine troubles were revealed, and airlines flying from the UK finally started to show clearer air fares.

March brought faster flight times under a deal signed by traffic controllers. But by far the biggest news of the month was the huge tsunami which hit Japan and led to re-routing of flights to avoid possible radiation risk, and advice to leave Tokyo.

A Skyscanner survey found Spain back in favour for British holidaymakers in April.

In May Belfast Airport started to charge for going for a cigarette break, and the ongoing battle between Unite and British Airways was finally settled!

More natural disasters happened in June with violent aftershocks in Christchurch, New Zealand and volcanic eruptions in Chile.

The News of the World phone-hacking scandal broke in July with airlines withdrawing their advertisements as a result.

In August research revealed the use of smartphones were ruining people’s holidays.

The Rugby World Cup was held in New Zealand in September, where Wales’ hopes were dashed.

The first biofuel passenger flight took place in October, however green campaigners claimed it wasn’t as environmentally friendly as everyone thought.

Europe announced a ban on body scanners at airports in November, but the UK decided to go against the decision.

Finally, December saw 150mph winds hit parts of Scotland, which is where we are now at the start of 2012 as tremendous winds continue to batter the UK once more.

 

So, what travel news is in store for 2012? Keep up to date here!

 

Brits head abroad for festive period
Dec 14th, 2011 by elisa

New Year and Christmas is proving to be an even more popular time for holidaymakers to leave the UK in search of a different festive experience. According to ABTA, it estimates that 4.25 million Brits will be travelling away during this period compared to just under 4 million last year.

Peak travel days are expected to be 22nd and 23rd December so holidaymakers can touch down and settle in just before Christmas day.

Types of holidays vary greatly, some opt for warmer climates such as the Canary Islands, Dominican Republic and Cuba, whereas others want a Christmas snow at ski locations.

Paris, Reykjavik, Rome, Dublin and New York are popular New Year’s Eve destinations for a party vibe.

Mark Tanzer ABTA chief executive said: “With all the doom and gloom of the economy it looks like people are keen to escape for a break, whether they are visiting friends and family or looking to enjoy winter sun or guaranteed snow.”

Check out lots of foreign holiday lets at the Villaseek website to get your perfect festive getaway sorted.

 

Icelandic volcano eruption imminent
Dec 5th, 2011 by elisa

Katla picture taken by Flickr user leszekwasilewski

Katla picture taken by Flickr user leszekwasilewski

 

The Icelandic volcano, Katla, could be set to have its most powerful eruption in nearly a century, according an expert.

It has been monitored since a disturbance back in July, and with it’s 6.2 mile crater, an eruption could cause severe flooding if it melts the glaciers above it, the BBC has reported.

Ford Cochran, National Geographic expert on Iceland said: “This difficulty is very apparent when you compare the last two eruptions in Iceland – Eyjafjallajokull in 2010 and Grimsvotn in 2011.

“Eyjafjallajokull, which brought air traffic to a halt across Europe, was a relatively small eruption, but the unusual chemistry of the magma, the long duration and the weather pattern during the eruption made it very disruptive. ”

“There have been more than 500 tremors in and around the caldera of Katla just in the last month, which suggests the motion of magma. And that certainly suggests an eruption may be imminent.”

Iceland is unique in that it straddles two tectonic plates. The last Katla eruption in 1918 caused a huge glacier meltdown, sweeping icebergs into the ocean, producing huge amounts of water.

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