Something To Declare: Car rental/Euro fights/Pisa

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The Independent Travel

Bargain of the week: Car rental by the hour

You don't always have to hire a car for a minimum of 24 hours; the "Hertz 369" offer, available in many European locations through, allows you to rent for three, six or nine hours – with one-ways an affordable option.

From a range of test bookings, it appears that the deal seems aimed squarely at people who are seeking an airport-to-resort option.

From Malaga to Marbella, for example, the three-hour quote for a small car is €35 (£27); even when fuel is added, this is less than half the cost of a taxi. The amount of free mileage available is 100, 200 and 300 miles.

The nine-hour option is available only for rentals between 6pm and 9am; a test booking from Manchester airport to Aberdeen in a Ford Mondeo is quoted at £87. These rates include the drop-off fee.

Warning of the week: Falling off the map

Some places are getting harder to reach. As The Independent Traveller has reported, 100 new UK-Europe air links are opening this summer. But a number of links have disappeared, for widely differing reasons.

British Airways has axed five destinations from Gatwick. To Nice and Prague, the airline could not compete profitably with the lower cost base of easyJet. Note that BA has maintained links to both cities from Heathrow and, indeed, is adding Nice to its London City network.

Reykjavik and Split were relatively new routes for BA from Gatwick, but failed to perform as the airline had expected; it hopes its valuable aircraft and slots can be more profitably deployed to Antalya in Turkey and Poznan in Poland. Aberdeen to Gatwick has disappeared from the flight schedules because the "Bermuda 2" agreement has been abandoned. This treaty forced flights between London and Texas to operate from Gatwick airport, not Heathrow. As the oil capital of Scotland, Aberdeen had a link to Gatwick to feed flights to Houston and Dallas. But under the new "open-skies" regime, BA has moved the Texan services to Heathrow and business travellers are expected to desert Gatwick. Accordingly, Aberdeen and Sussex are no longer connected.

Air France has dropped a number of its services from Heathrow to Charles de Gaulle in Paris in order to use the slots for transatlantic flights, while KLM, has done the same to Amsterdam.

BMI, the second-largest airline at Heathrow is enhancing frequencies to a number of destinations, but the lovely Senegalese capital, Dakar, falls off the map.

Destination of the week: Pisa

Next Tuesday, 15 April, new flights begin to this city's Galileo Galilei airport from both Bournemouth and Edinburgh airports on Ryanair (0871 246 000;

Pisa airport is within walking distance of the city centre – and also has direct bus and rail links to Florence.