Something to Declare: British Airways sale; Norwegian krone; Sri Lanka

Bargain of the week: Sub-Club

The latest British Airways sale, which lasts until midnight GMT on 27 January, has plenty of good deals - notably Heathrow to Mumbai for £329 return, a reflection of both the terrorist attacks in November and the increase in competition: Kingfisher Airlines starts flying tomorrow from Heathrow to India's greatest city. But the real novelty is the low extra cost for upgrading to BA's World Traveller Plus - the carrier's premium economy cabin, or "Sub Club", as The Independent Traveller has christened it. While not in the same league as BA's Club World, it offers more leg- and elbow-room, plus enhanced catering and power points for laptops. Previously the premium tended to be at least £150 in each direction.

On the Mumbai service, for travel in early February, the extra cost is £130 each way - or £1 for every four minutes of flight time for the privilege of more comfort. This rate is mirrored on the slightly shorter New York run, where an upgrade costs £110 each way, pushing the basic £259 return up to £479 return.

Virgin Atlantic's Premium Economy on the same route comes in £2 cheaper. For Virgin's longest route, from Heathrow to Sydney, the lowest fare for February appears to be £1,626 return in Premium Economy, compared with £985 in the most basic class. The premium of £320 each way works out at £1 for every five minutes spent in the air.

Warning of the week: Sri Lanka

Just before Christmas, the US State Department stepped up its warnings for Sri Lanka, citing the string of suicide bombings, anti-personnel bomb blasts and grenade attacks that have taken place in the Indian Ocean island over the past year.

The American authorities strongly advise against "using public transportation in Sri Lanka, as civilian buses and trains have increasingly been the targets of terrorist bomb attacks in recent months". US government personnel working in Sri Lanka are banned from using these forms of transport. To see the complete warning, visit

"Fatal attacks have become more frequent, in Colombo and throughout Sri Lanka," says the Foreign Office, "including places frequented by expatriate and foreign travellers. Further attacks may occur at any time. There is an increasing risk of British nationals being caught up in an attack."

The UK government also warns "You should avoid wearing or carrying clothing or goods which are military or camouflaged in appearance". You can view the full advice at

Destination of the week: Linz

Prospective visitors to Austria's new European Capital of Culture may be deterred by its being the home town - and favourite city - of Adolf Hitler. Yet it is one of Austria's hidden gems, not least because of the magnificent Hauptplatz (formerly known as Franz-Josephs-Platz and, later, Adolf-Hitler-Platz), flanked by pastel-painted Baroque buildings.

The city is also hoping to emerge from the long cultural shadows cast by Salzburg and Vienna, playing on Linz's position between them and astride the Danube - and its most notable musical son: Anton Bruckner. He played the organ at the Altes Dom, the old cathedral, and at the Stadtspfarrkirche.

Linz no longer has direct flights from the UK - these were abandoned some years ago by Ryanair - but remains easy to reach, thanks to the wide range of links to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart airport in Salzburg. Trolleybuses run direct from here to Salzburg's main station, from where trains take around 80 minutes to reach Linz.

For more information on this culture capital, visit; for the other European Capital of Culture, Vilnius, see our 48 Hours report, at

Currency of the week: Norwegian krone

As the pound plumbed new depths this week against the euro, it also reached commensurately low rates against several other European currencies - such as the Polish zloty and Czech koruna, which tend to shadow the euro assiduously. But Scandinavian currencies behave differently; their dependence on commodities, and on earnings in dollars, means they are relatively weak.

The Norwegian krone has paralleled the pound remarkably closely over the past year; in January 2008, you would have got just over 10 kroner for £1, and the same still applies.

Given that the pound has weakened by more than one third against the euro, and by even more against the Swiss franc, Norway looks relatively good value - especially for skiing holidays this winter, given the excellent range of flights to Oslo (pictured) that provide access to the resorts of Lillehammer and Geilo.

sportWWE latest including Sting vs Triple H, Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns and The Undertaker vs Bray Wyatt
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    SFL Group: Video Project Manager

    £24,000 pa, plus benefits: SFL Group: Looking for a hard-working and self-moti...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel Reservations Assistant - French Speaking

    £16000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding travel c...

    Recruitment Genius: Duty Manager - World-Famous London Museum

    £24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Do you have a strong record of ...

    Recruitment Genius: Personal Assistant

    £24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will have demonstrable unde...

    Day In a Page

    No postcode? No vote

    Floating voters

    How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

    By Reason of Insanity

    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
    Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

    Power dressing is back

    But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
    Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

    Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

    Caves were re-opened to the public
    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

    Vince Cable interview

    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
    Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
    Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

    The only direction Zayn could go

    We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
    Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

    Spells like teen spirit

    A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
    Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
    Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

    Licence to offend in the land of the free

    Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
    From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

    From farm to fork in Cornwall

    One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
    Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

    Robert Parker interview

    The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor