Something To Declare: Gatwick for less; Tokyo’s Haneda airport; Australian visa scam; St John in London
Saturday 30 October 2010
Bargain of the week: Gatwick for less
A one-way trip on the Gatwick Express from London Victoria costs £16.90; book online at gatwickexpress.com, and the fare falls to £15.20. But for a real bargain, go to southernrailway. com. Southern runs on the same line, with journeys taking slightly longer. And in return for booking ahead, you can travel for just £3.75 if you are flexible about the exact train.
If you book today, accompanying children travel for just 5p each – so a family of four can get a one-way trip for £7.60, exactly half the price of a single ticket on the Gatwick Express. No railcard is required but if you do have one, you could save even more.
Destination of the week: Tokyo's Haneda airport
For the past 32 years, international travellers to the Japanese capital have faced the long journey into the city from Narita airport, 40 miles away.
But from tomorrow, Haneda – the much closer, original "Tokyo international airport" – is reinstating links from overseas. Reaching the centre will be much quicker and cheaper, whether on the Tokyo Monorail or the Keikyu Railway. Haneda has no night curfew and offers a far better range of domestic connections than Narita.
First into Haneda from Europe is Air France from Paris, with connections from across the UK. British Airways is adding new services out of Heathrow from 19 February next year.
The flight departs Heathrow at 8.05am – very early for a long-haul flight – and arrives in Japan at 4.55am. And you will need to get up early for the return hop, which leaves at 6.25am. However, the 10am arrival offers time for plenty more connections at Heathrow. Fares for the first few weeks are attractive, at £717 return.
Warning of the week: Australian visa scam
With the Australian dollar now more valuable than the US version, the incentive for working there is stronger than ever. Working-holiday visas are extendable to a second year if you can prove that you have worked in a rural area, for example picking fruit, for three months during the first year of your working holiday. But the Foreign Office this week issued a warning about "scam adverts offering to sell information claiming to help you extend a working holiday visa". Some British travellers have falsely claimed to have worked on farms using information or documents from scam advertisers. "As a result they have had their visas cancelled and been excluded from Australia for three years," says the Foreign Office.
Tip of the week: St John in London
You need not go to Malta (see 48 Hours in Valletta, pages 12-13) for an insight into the world's oldest charitable institution. The remarkable Museum of the Order of St John opens this week in Clerkenwell, London. It tells the story of the Knights, from the Crusades to St John Ambulance. It is open 10am – 5pm, except on Sundays. Free admission. museumstjohn.org.uk
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