Travel
 

A tour of Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands

Melissa Shales: Flying is hard enough when you're fat. Don't make it any worse

My progress round the world isn't fast – it's stately, slightly creaky, preceded by a bosom fit for a galleon. I could sit in a corner, wring my hands and weep into a lettuce leaf and obsess about calorie-counting or I could do my best to ignore the disadvantages of being fat, 50s and arthritic and go round the world.

Passengers hit out over airport delays

Disgruntled passengers at Manchester Airport today complained of a lack of information as they tried to reach their destinations in the wake of severe weather.

Air France-KLM pulls out of Czech deal

Air France-KLM has pulled out of the bidding for state-owned Czech Airlines (CSA), blaming the economic downturn.

James Halstead: Sir Richard's baby is a lot different to her rivals

So Virgin Atlantic managed to double pre-tax profits to £68m, having carried 5.7 million passengers in the year to February and generated revenues of £2.6bn. It says so on the press release so it must be true. In contrast, last week British Airways announced a full-year pre-tax loss of £401m and Air France-KLM recorded a loss of €814m (£714m) for the year to March.

Winter wonder: Michigan's small-scale slopes provide the perfect starting point for ski novices

Glancing at the icy speedometer as we barrelled along the narrow trail, I was astonished to see it creeping towards 50mph. Just minutes earlier, struggling to get to grips with this two-man snowmobile, 20mph had seemed absurdly fast. But then everything about this trip to the alternative winter wonderland of northern Michigan had proved pretty easy to master and, for a bunch of winter novices such as the five of us, wonderfully family-friendly.

Questions of cash: 'We were stranded. Why won't Flybe refund our costs?'

Q. Last August, we went on holiday to Sark, flying to Guernsey with Flybe. Severe weather conditions caused our ferry from Sark to Guernsey to be cancelled, making us miss our return flight to Manchester. We were insured through Flybe, and we told the airline in the morning that our family of five could not fly, and that we were stranded on Sark without accommodation. Flybe's adviser was most helpful and reassured us not to worry, that our insurance would cover us since a Force 9 storm was not our fault and that, for a small administration fee, he could transfer us on to another direct flight later that evening or on the following day.

BA in talks with Qantas to create global super-airline

British Airways (BA) is in talks with Qantas, the Australian flag-carrier, about a merger that could help create one of the next generation of global super-airlines.

Air France-KLM warns on profits as air travel numbers fall

Air France-KLM, Europe's largest airline, issued a profits warning yesterday against a backdrop of figuresshowing the first monthly decline in worldwide air travel since 2003.

Questions of Cash: I want a refund for these unfair overdraft charges

Q. Credit card fraud led to me receiving a £2,000 American Express bill. AmEx told me to cancel my direct debit with my bank, Alliance & Leicester, to avoid this payment being processed. I tried to cancel using A&L's online service and thought I had done this when I entered a "cancel" instruction – but it turned out that this just cancelled the cancellation request. This led to the direct debit being processed. When I realised, I phoned A&L and it approved a new overdraft limit to avoid triggering unauthorised overdraft charges. But A&L imposed charges anyway. It says it will not consider refunding these until the court cases on unfair bank charges are settled, arguing it has a waiver from the Financial Services Authority covering all bank charges regarded by customers as unfair. But my complaint is nothing to do with charges covered by these cases. LC, Cheltenham.

Commandos grab 'terror suspects' on plane

German commandos grabbed two terrorist suspects from an airliner just before it was due to leave Cologne today.

Confessions of an air steward too shocking for ailing Alitalia

Broken toilets, missing meals in first class, partitions held together with sticky tape, uniforms with gaping holes: these are just some of the delights awaiting passengers and crew on Alitalia, according to an insider's blog written by a steward on the near-bankrupt Italian airline.

Airlines pay price for creating 'flying is cheap' image

The aviation industry is guilty of creating the impression that "flying is cheap" and will pay the price as rocketing oil prices in the coming months force no-frills carriers out of business, the joint head of the world's biggest airline has said.

The Man Who Pays His Way: Air France's new tradition - devour thy neighbour

Venice fell off the flight map from London, at least from Alitalia's point of view, a decade ago: the Italian airline was losing a fortune on flights to the city's Marco Polo airport. Alitalia also scrapped Pisa and Naples. Now, its only UK flights link Heathrow with Milan and Rome. But so precious are the slots at Britain's busiest airport that the portfolio of permissions to take off and land at Heathrow could be worth up to half a billion pounds. Which is rather more than anyone is prepared to pay for the entire Italian airline. Air France, which is the only serious bidder, values Alitalia at just €138m (£107m). This shows what a shocking state this sub-prime carrier is in.

The Man Who Pays His Way: Why international understanding can be a matter of life or death

Flying became even safer this week; or at least it should have. Thirty-one years ago, the worst accident in the history of civil aviation took place at Los Rodeos airport in northern Tenerife. A bomb attack at Las Palmas, on Gran Canaria, had caused a number of aircraft to divert to Tenerife. Among them were Boeing 747s belonging to KLM and Pan Am. Fog sharply reduced visibility. The pilot of the Dutch plane was keen to get his passengers away, but a mix-up between him, the Pan Am captain and the air-traffic controller meant that he took off while the Pan Am jet was on the runway. All the KLM passengers and crew died, along with most of those on board the American aircraft; in total, 583 perished.

Exploring the lost world of Venezuela

Drawn by tales of prehistoric beasts and hoards of gold, Ben Fogle ventures into the misty heights of Venezuela's table-top mountains – and discovers a world like no other
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Day In a Page

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'