Something To Declare: Flight delays; Malaysia in comfort; Iberia by train; free wi-fi on Stena Line

Warning of the week: Flight delays

Ten top European airlines have very different punctuality rates, according to the 2009 figures published by FlightStats.com , a US aviation monitoring agency. The industry standard of a delayed flight is one that arrives more than 15 minutes late. A fair measure of timekeeping is to look at the percentage of flights that are delayed by this measure. The lower the figure, the better the performance.

Of Britain's leading airlines, easyJet performed worst, with a score of 26. British Airways rated 21; Flybe and BMI scored only 17 per cent – as did BMI's parent, Lufthansa. At the top of the punctuality list, KLM rated 11.5 per cent (though its owner, Air France, scored 19 per cent). SAS was the most punctual major airline in the survey, with only 11 per cent of flights arriving late.

Crucially, Europe's biggest low-cost airline, Ryanair, was not included. "Ryanair is actively working with FlightStats to ensure that the most accurate flight data is used to inform these quantitative reports," say the researchers. Ryanair is one of the most punctual airlines – but its main base, Stansted, is second-worst among major European airports for punctuality. One in three flights (33 per cent) at the Essex airport arrived late. Only Istanbul (39) performed worse. Heathrow (25) and Gatwick (29) were also in the bottom half of the airport top 12, but Manchester (21) made the top half. Amsterdam performed best: only 13 per cent of flights arrived more than 15 minutes late.

Bargain of the week: Malaysia in comfort

The longest haul from Stansted is to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, with a journey time of 12 hours (and even longer coming back because of the jet stream). Air Asia X, which celebrates the first anniversary of its London route this month, has a premium cabin as good as business-class on many mid-range airlines. The return fare for a range of dates is a fairly constant £1,091 return. The airline ( AirAsia.com ) steps up its daily flights to nine a week from July to September, and in December, January and early February.

Destination of the week: Iberia, by train

The train from Irun on the Franco-Spanish border to Lisbon, the Portuguese capital, is known jointly as the Surex and the Sud Expresso. It used to be anything but an express; the journey across the north of Spain and along the Tagus Valley could take up to 24 hours, with passengers incarcerated in the clapped-out rolling stock.

But from this month, according to the new edition of the Thomas Cook European Rail Timetable, the overnight service has been upgraded to a Trenhotel. This creates the option for a comfortable trip from London St Pancras via Lille or Paris to Irun by high-speed train, connecting to the Trenhotel; renfe.es for more details.

Tip of the week: On board, in touch to Holland

Free Wi-Fi is now available on board Stena Line (08447 70 70 70; stenaline.co.uk ) ferries between Harwich and Hook of Holland. You need to pick up an "access card" from the information desk on board. Mobile telephone coverage is also available for the entire crossing, but because charges can be high it would be much better to make low-cost calls through an internet phone service such as Skype.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
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
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer - Product Development

    £26000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Product Development departm...

    Recruitment Genius: Assistant Manager - Visitor Fundraising

    £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Visitor Fundraising Team is responsi...

    Recruitment Genius: Developer

    £30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

    Recruitment Genius: Estates Contracts & Leases Manager

    £30000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Estates Team of this group ...

    Day In a Page

    A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

    A nap a day could save your life

    A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
    If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

    If men are so obsessed by sex...

    ...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
    The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

    Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

    The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
    The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

    Rolling in the deep

    The bathing machine is back but with a difference
    Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

    Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

    Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

    Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
    House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

    The honours that shame Britain

    Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
    When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

    'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

    Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
    International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

    International Tap Festival comes to the UK

    Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
    War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
    Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

    'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

    Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
    Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

    BBC heads to the Californian coast

    The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
    Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

    Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

    Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
    Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

    Car hacking scandal

    Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
    10 best placemats

    Take your seat: 10 best placemats

    Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory