Bargain of the week: business fares cut on Eurostar same-day returns
How can business travellers avoid the £298 standard-class rail fare for a day trip from London to Paris or Brussels? Until now, some of the solutions practised by executives travelling to the French or Belgian capital have included illicitly transferring tickets to colleagues or booking "back to back" tickets to give the illusion of having stayed away a Saturday night. But this week the fare structure has been improved in the business traveller's favour, with a £59 day return available on any day of the week from Eurostar (08705 186 186, www.eurostar.com). The conditions for this ticket may not suit everyone. You have to commit to specific trains at least three weeks in advance.
A more flexible alternative is the new £199 return ticket, available a day ahead of travel in return for surrendering some flexibility.
One further enhancement for business travellers is to take place in the coming months: a return to 10-minute check in, which was abandoned by Eurostar after September 11, 2001. But it will not apply to executives travelling on £59 fares.
Destination of the week: across America, via Boston
The greatest American aviation success story of the 21st-century is jetBlue (right), (www.jetBlue.com), which combines low fares with high quality. The airline's base is at New York's Kennedy airport, arguably still the worst in the world, and the jetBlue terminal is inconveniently located for many UK travellers on inbound flights. But from early next year, the airline is to launch flights from the far more user-friendly Logan airport in Boston. From 7 January 2004, jetBlue will offer links from Boston to Denver, Orlando and Tampa, with fares that are currently on offer at below $100 (£65) each way. The airline will also serve Fort Lauderdale, which at present has no direct links from the UK.
Warning of the week: Ukraine
"Foreigners offer lucrative targets and you should be vigilant," says the Foreign Office in a new warning this week. "You should keep valuables and cash out of sight, especially in crowded areas and tourist spots, where pickpockets and bag snatchers operate. You should also beware of accepting drinks in bars from casual acquaintances, which could be spiked." Travelling by train can also be fraught: "If you take the overnight train you should if possible travel accompanied and, you should secure your compartment from the inside by tying the door closed with wire or cord."