Something to Declare: Cuba, bmibaby, Greek phone numbers

The column that gives the global picture
Click to follow
The Independent Travel

Guantanamo Say what you like about the inflight service on Cubana – at least you won't get manacled, hooded and sedated on the Cuban national airline's new route from Stansted to Havana via Holguin, the gateway to Guantanamo.

Destination of the week: Guantanamo Say what you like about the inflight service on Cubana – at least you won't get manacled, hooded and sedated on the Cuban national airline's new route from Stansted to Havana via Holguin, the gateway to Guantanamo. When BA abandons its flights to Cuba, Cubana will be flying back in from 23 March.

From Holguin, you can visit the "revolutionary capital" of Santiago de Cuba, explore rebel battlegrounds and get close enough for comfort to the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay.

Bargain of the week: Flights with frills

Yet another no-frills airline with a preference for lower-case letters has appeared: bmibaby. Meanwhile, the with-frills carrier British European (01392 268513, www.flybe.com) has cut its fares to the lowest-ever levels.

Between February and June you can fly one-way from Gatwick to Guernsey for £24.10; coming back, the one-way fare is £24.50. From Leeds/ Bradford to Belfast City, the return fare is £60.70. A Birmingham-Brussels return is £77.40, while Exeter-Dublin is £59.60 return. (Quotes based on test bookings made yesterday.) The lowest fares are available midweek, on daytime or late evening flights.

Unlike similar offers, there is no minimum/maximum stay for return trips, and the fare is the same whether you book online, by phone, or through a travel agent. Book by 15 February.

Warning of the week: talking (Greek) telephone numbers

Greek phone numbers are changing this year. Twice. From tomorrow, to dial an ordinary fixed line, you must add a 0 to the end of the area code, before the individual number.

To call the Athens number (new area code 010) 123 4567 from the UK, dial 0030 10 123 4567 – dropping the initial zero of the area code. Add 11 to the end of special rate codes like 0800, 0801 and 090. But for code 096, add 2.

Mobile numbers, starting 093, 094 or 097 don't change – yet. To make calls within Greece, even to call next door, you must dial the full 10-digit number.

In October it all changes again. You swap the 0 at the beginning of all fixed line numbers for a 2, and must include it from abroad. So to reach that mythical Athens number, dial 0030 210 123 4567. Mobile and pager numbers replace the leading 0 to 6. Oh, and that 096 which had become 0962 in January turns into 8962 in October.

Comments