News: DVT court ruling

Lawyers representing the families of victims of blood clots on long-haul flights say they may take their case to the European Courts following a landmark ruling by the House of Lords. The Lords found that travellers who suffer deep vein thrombosis (DVT) on long-haul flights cannotsue the airline. The ruling was made against eight families of DVT victims who had sought legal approval to claim compensation from the airline industry. They had argued that factors such as cramped seats played a major role in DVT. Families had asked the Lords to overturn an Appeal Court ruling that having the condition cannot be considered an accident.

STANSTED RAIL LINK

Train link boost

Train services between Stansted airport and London's Liverpool Street station have increased, with trains running every 15 minutes in each direction. The move brings the Stansted Express into line with Heathrow and Gatwick rail services. It follows last week's announcement by BAA of its proposal for a second runway to be built at Stansted by 2013, which will increase capacity at the airport. The first trains depart Liverpool Street station at 4.30am Friday to Monday and at 4.55am the rest of the week. For details, visit stanstedexpress.com.

MEDICAL INSURANCE

Healthcare catch

Up to seven million people planning to take a European holiday this Christmas could be caught out by the expiry of the E111, the card that has provided free or reduced-cost healthcare cover within the European Union, according to the Post Office travel service. From 1 January 2006, the E111 is replaced by a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which provides healthcare cover in 27 countries in the European Economic Area and Switzerland. The EHIC is free and application forms are available from the Post Office or at www.dh.gov.uk/travellers.

ENVIRONMENT

Volunteer work

A working holiday that involves watching elephants overnight from tree huts is being offered by Earthwatch, the international environmental charity. In Sri Lanka, Earthwatch needs volunteers to conduct human-elephant and human-leopard conflict surveys in the Himbiliyakade forest reserves. The scheme is one of 25 projects Earthwatch will launch in 2006. The charity is also seeking volunteers to snorkel in Thailand in a project to monitor damage to coral reefs. Prices start at £995, which includes accommodation, training and food but excludes international flights. For more information, visit earthwatch.org.

HOTEL WEBSITE

Cotswolds online

The Cotswolds, traditional home of houses built fromhoney-coloured limestone, is the subject of a new website, cotswoldsfinest hotels.com. Designed to appeal to the weekend-break market, it offers information on boutiques, luxury hotels, restaurants with rooms, contemporary cuisine and design-led décor. Establishments featured include Calcot Manor, near Tetbury; Lords of the Manor in Upper Slaughter and Thornbury Castle, a former residence of Henry VIII.

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