Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

News & Advice

Open Jaw: Air competition,the lost Costa and tree-skiing

Where readers write back

BA's owner, IAG, bids to buy BMI

Simon Calder says if we don't like the demise of BMI and we can't afford BA, we can always choose easyJet. But we can't. Take the route from London to Dublin. BA have abandoned it, and easyJet won't compete with Ryanair. I am not prepared to fly Ryanair, but often (this Christmas for example) they are the dearest anyway. That leaves BMI and Aer Lingus – which, although the cheapest, is itself ripe for takeover. So if Aer Lingus was taken over by Ryanair and BMI by BA, choice would go and price will rise.

This proposed takeover is outrageous and anyone who has a stake in airline competition should do all they can to fight it.

Michael Dempsey

Costa Brava: the coast that keeps it surreal

Ah memories... Flying there and back in a tubby little Viking propellor aircraft, along Pyrenean valleys instead of high above them. Riding for hours on zig-zag clifftop roads. Nearly drowning when my water jeep deflated at sea... and much more. A lovely part of Spain.

David Jefferis

The town of L'Escala is a lovely place to stay in the area – just 30 minutes south of Figueres, and the old town is still a working fishing village. The last time we stayed we flew to Perpignan and then drove our hire car over the border to Spain. It's a shorter and cheaper route than going via Barcelona.

Terry Barnes

Self-drive to ski resorts?

Very unsure where the prices on airport transfers from Geneva to Morzine come from. We live in Morzine and work with lots of local airport transfer companies and we know that their prices are significantly less than the €300-€400 quoted for a family of four. Morzine is one of the closest ski resorts to Geneva airport, which makes transfer prices very reasonable.

"Yodel Magazine"

Traveller's guide to the Maldives

I've been to the Maldives a couple of times and can strongly recommend it, but I much prefer the more natural and unspoilt islands. Unfortunately many of the ultra-expensive "luxury" resorts – with their infinity pools, spas, nightclubs and gourmet restaurants – are just too synthetic.


Currently on Athuruga island in the Maldives on holiday. Make sure you go to an island with a house reef. You'll get the best snorkelling there. Otherwise you might as well go to Tenerife.


Stephen Wood goes tree-skiing

Serre Chevalier in south east France has loads of tree-skiing. Here, it's mostly larch that grows further apart than pine, making it a much more enjoyable and less hairy and experience.

"Raoul P"

Tourism may be biggest loser of Olympics

I agree about the exorbitant price-tag associated with hosting the Olympics, though international events like this definitely do something for the improvement of overall security and infrastructure in countries like South Africa, Brazil, and even China.

Yvette Yong

Of course other tourists will avoid London – why pay three times the price?

Steven Quas, Hamburg

Reeling in the years

You assert that, after 1961, the next year that stays the same when you turn it upside-down is 8008. But what about the years 6009, 6119 and 6699?

Raymond Harris, London