Frustrated passengers wait in the departure hall of Gatwick's North Terminal on Christmas Eve

Heathrow, Gatwick and the Channel Tunnel hit fresh highs despite Christmas Eve chaos

Record numbers of passengers travelled through London’s two main airports and under the Channel last month in the great Christmas getaway.

Mark Leftly: Weather chaos shoots down Gatwick's expansion plans

Westminster Outlook The minds of politicians and business bosses work very differently. MPs are, typically, marvellously impressive at linking very disparate topics with a single thread of argument; directors believe this is disingenuous at best.

Frustrated passengers wait in the departure hall of Gatwick's North Terminal on Christmas Eve

Gatwick bosses learned of Christmas Eve flood just half an hour before

Gatwick bosses found out that a damaging Christmas Eve flood was on the way only half an hour before it happened, the airport’s chief executive revealed on Tuesday.

Howard's end: no more 'stacking' for planes

Simon Calder: Ho, ho, ho! Christmas cheer to report

The man who pays his way

Vince Cable has decided against a ban on zero- hour contracts as some workers need flexibility

Vince Cable: London 'is sucking the life out of the rest of the country'

Business secretary warns against Heathrow airport expansion

Airports Commission: New runways considered at Heathrow and Gatwick - but politicians refuse to be bound by final decision

Thames Estuary options not included at present 'because there are too many uncertainties and challenges surrounding them at this stage'

Flight path: Yes to Heathrow expansion; no to Boris Johnson’s Estuary hub

Revealed: Take-off for controversial Heathrow expansion as David Cameron faces anger of Lib Dems, London Mayor, and his own party

Two of the shortlisted options in Davies report on airports out this week favours third (and fourth?) runway

Standstill: Gatwick trains are due to be disrupted

Simon Calder: Welcome to Gatwick. Now get lost

The man who pays his way

A galaxy not so far away: the Milky Way ski area

Get me out of here - spa in Andalucia, sun in the UAE, ski in the Milky Way

Now... Christmas spa break in Andalucia

If you want to remove yourself from the Christmas chaos, there's a three-night wellness break at the Shanti Som retreat, Andalucia for £839pp. Departing on 23 December with easyJet flights from Gatwick to Malaga, it includes all meals, a guided hike and a massage. bit.ly/SpaSpain

Eurostar stake to be sold and nuclear power station to be built in new UK infrastructure spending plan

Plan includes sale of Eurostar stake and funding for a new nuclear plan

Gatwick passenger traffic rises to 20.8m in first half as chief executive calls for new runway

Gatwick numbers take off as chief executive calls for new runway

The Sussex airport posted an impressive 18.75 per cent increase in pre-tax profit to £127.3 million in the first half

Jim Armitage: A chance for Boris Island to go bang once and for all

Outlook Say what you like about Boris Johnson, his survival skills in the political jungle make fellow Old Etonian Bear Grylls look a wimp.

Sir Howard Davies: 'Additional capacity will need to be provided'

We need additional capacity': Airports chief Sir Howard Davies clears the fog (a little) over airport expansion for South East England

He confirmed to The Independent that it was possible he could propose both a second runway at Gatwick and a third runway at Heathrow

Travel agenda

From Bristol to Reykjavik, skiing in Milton Keynes, and the 90th anniversary edition of the South American Handbook

Ryanair plans passenger increase at Stansted in exchange for fee cut

Irish carrier signs ten-year deal with airport to boost passenger numbers to 20 million

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Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
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New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

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Left: An illustration of the original Jim Crowe, played by TD Rice Right: A Couple dressed as Ray and Janay Rice
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By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen

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Hand out press photograph/film still from the movie Mad Max Fury Road (Downloaded from the Warner Bro's media site/Jasin Boland/© 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
films'You have to try everything and it’s all a process of elimination, but ultimately you find your path'
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Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
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New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning

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Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

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Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch at the premiere of The Imitation Game at the BFI London Film Festival
filmsKeira Knightley tried to miss The Imitation Game premiere to watch Bake Off
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The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes