Since Air UK was taken over by the Dutch national airline and rebranded KLMuk, it has borne the brunt of new competition from no-frills airlines. Almost every route on which it flies from its home base of Stansted faces competition from BA's offshoot, Go, based at the same airport, or Debonair and easyJet from nearby Luton.
KLMuk has responded by cutting fares to no-frills levels, while still offering frills such as free snacks and drinks. Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Jersey, Manchester, Newcastle, Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Paris cost pounds 48 return, while Rome and Milan are pounds 79. You may book direct with KLMuk on 0990 074 074 or - unlike most no-frills airlines - through a travel agent. Best of all, the offer is valid until the end of September. The catch? No travel on Fridays or Sundays, and you must stay away for two nights.
Bargain of the week 2: Paris or Amsterdam for pounds 10
After our story last week on London to Dublin for pounds 9.99, Eurolines (0990 143 219) has extended its silly-deal strategy to include Paris and Amsterdam by coach for a tenner (each way). You must book a fortnight in advance and complete travel by 28 March.
A likely story: "Prices include tax and new UK Passenger Service Charge" - Debonair advertisement
The prices are good: Barcelona, Madrid, Rome or Munich for pounds 99, through the Luton-based low-fare airline (0541 500 300). But the assertion about the "new UK Passenger Service Charge" is tosh. To reiterate the story we have been monitoring closely for several weeks: there is no new charge.
British airlines are pretending that there is, but in fact it is simply one of the existing payments made by airlines to airports. Neither have the airports increased their fees to airlines, but carriers are pretending that they have. It will be interesting to see if the Chancellor notes how easily the airlines seem to have got away with back-door fare increases, and decides to raise more revenue by increasing Air Passenger Duty in the Budget on 9 March.
Trouble spots: How to survive an avalanche
Defensive action is difficult, but advice from the International Mountain Rescue Handbook (Constable, pounds 18.99) may help to save your life:
1. Plunge an ice axe into the undersurface, to keep you near the top of the slide.
2. Shout; others may hear or see you.
3. Run to the side, or jump up-slope above the fracture.
4. If the avalanche includes a hard slab, try to stay on top.
5. Get rid of rucksacks, skis etc.
6. Try to roll out of the debris.
7. Swimming motions sometimes help, sometimes not. Keep a hand over your nose and mouth, to help you to breathe.
8. As the avalanche slows, you may be able to get some purchase on the debris. Make a desperate effort at least to get a hand through the surface.Reuse content