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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project