Open Jaw: 'New security rules are a failure of common sense'

Where readers write back

Flight connections

You answered a reader's question about connections between Newcastle and Calgary, and recommended taking a train rather than risking a missed connection. Passengers should book a through air ticket via Heathrow or Amsterdam to Canada; if one flight is delayed, the airline is responsible for solving the problem for you.

It is unfair to describe the cost of the rail tickets as next to nothing. You also fail to point out that a delayed flight means a missed train, requiring new rail tickets for the return leg.

People living in this region want to fly from their local airport. Each year nearly 500,000 passengers fly between here and Heathrow. We take pride in working for the economic benefit of the North East, providing as wide a range of services as possible. At the Airport Operators' Association awards, we were chosen as "Best UK Airport under 6 million passengers per annum".

Chris Sanders, Aviation Development Director, Newcastle International Airport

I fly Air France from Newcastle via Paris. I flew to Havana and they were fantastic during the aftermath of the volcanic ash cloud.

"Top Terry"

Aviation safety and security

I am happy to join your minority of people that see the ban on ink cartridges in cabin baggage as a failure of common sense. A similar failure reported in The Independent was the fall in Rolls-Royce's share prices due to one diversion and a handful of oil leaks. Leaking engines that are this new are not welcome, but for a company's value to tumble doesn't seem a rational response. How would the Comet ever have got off the ground if the same "logic" applied to the markets in the 1950s?

An aviation safety manager

The whole issue of goods on aircraft drives me nuts. Some years ago, returning business class from Milan, my wife and I had a set of cheese knives, gift wrapped in the continental way. They refused to let us carry them on to the plane and we had to stuff them into our baggage. We were then served our meals with steel cutlery and proper glasses.

Alan Learney

Northern lights

"Right now your chance of seeing the Northern Lights, otherwise known as the Aurora Borealis, is almost as good as it gets."

Rubbish. Your chance now is lower than at any time in decades, perhaps even centuries, and as we head into the new Maunder Minimum for solar activity, is likely to continue to drop.

Truly spectacular displays will undoubtedly become rarer in coming years.


I first saw the Northern Lights in Oslo in 1966. But further north the spectacle is more colourful. I remember shimmering green and red curtains one frosty night in Trondheim in 1999.


If you get the chance to see the Northern Lights, go! And I didn't find Tromso in Norway as expensive as everyone says. So worth it!


Try Ivalo in northern Finland. I went there in February – the low season – hotels were half price and virtually empty. The 200m-wide river running through Ivalo provides an excellent viewing platform for aurora watching, but take care: daytime lows are -15C, at night it's -40C. Checking the local Sami culture museum in nearby Inari makes a fascinating day trip.


Fifteen years of easyJet

The comments by Michael O'Leary [Ryanair chief executive] about "getting there on time" may be true, but the airports that Ryanair sometimes uses are almost nowhere. In my opinion it's easy to arrive "nowhere on time", as there's little competition for the runway. I'm happy to take a chance and arrive "somewhere", even if it is a bit late.