Simon Calder

Simon Calder’s career in travel started at Gatwick Airport, where he cleaned aircraft for Laker Airways and later worked as a security officer. He became The Independent’s Travel Correspondent in 1994, and is known as “the Man Who Pays His Way” because he does not accept free travel facilities. He writes across the Independent titles, as well as for the Evening Standard.

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Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 takes off from Schiphol airport near Amsterdam

Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Travellers can change or cancel flights without fee, says airline

But applications have to be made before next Thursday

Simon Calder: Lakes & Mountains ... and passport confusion

The man who pays his way
The once-daily British Airways flight to Kiev took off as scheduled

Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash: Carrier's London flights carry on, using alternative routes

Confusion had earlier surrounded British Airways once-daily flight to Kiev, which will go ahead as scheduled

Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 takes off from Schiphol airport near Amsterdam

Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash: Loss of the two Boeing 777 planes are 'unlikely to be linked'

Today's crash of a flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur is likely to be confirmed quickly

A diagram of the seat proposals from the Airbus patent application

Short-haul squeeze: Airbus proposes moped-style seats to boost 'no frills' capacity

Patent asserts that design should boost an aircraft’s capacity by one-third

Early Heathrow flights were operating normally

Airport checks: Delays hit start of summer getaway amid security confusion

Four out of the first 10 easyJet and British Airways departures from Gatwick were delayed by up to an hour

Many anxious travellers who had learned of tougher checks have been turning up very early for their flights

Uncharged electronic devices Q&A: How UK airport security changes to smartphones and tablets will affect you

British Airways and Virgin Atlantic urge everyone to take precautions against batteries running down

A San Francisco baggage screener inspects an electronics device, as the Department for Transport issued new guidelines for all US-bound flights

US Homeland Security crackdown adds to cabin baggage confusion for transatlantic flight passengers

British Airways initially warned that travellers with non-functioning devices would be barred from the plane

Sign language: Shenfield station’s puzzling board

Simon Calder: A question of travel to Essex and beyond

The man who pays his way
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Day In a Page

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked