Something to declare: Ryanair fees; the sound of France; Bob Dylan's world
Where to go, how to save, what to avoid
Saturday 19 July 2008
Warning of the week Ryanair fees take off
In response to rising costs – notably the price of fuel – Europe's leading no-frills airline has dramatically increased some of its fees - meaning that a family of four will pay a total of £32 for the privilege of paying by debit card for a round-trip flight on Ryanair.
The airline imposes a fee of £4 per flight, per person, for payments by credit or debit card. Ryanair claims the punitive charge is "to defray the substantial administration costs we incur when processing credit and debit cards". Yet British Airways makes no charge for paying with a debit card, and many other airlines do not apply credit-card fees. The only way to dodge the fee is to pay with a Visa Electron card. Ryanair stresses this is a "special offer" that applies "for a limited period only".
The fee for infants has risen to £16 per flight, which raises the scenario that under-twos will pay more than their parents for the same flight – even though the baby occupies no seat. Also, the fee for changing the name on a booking has risen to £80.
Podcast of the week The Sound of France
How do you stay safe and legal on the roads of France? Why are French trains so good? And should you pack a one-piece swimsuit or a bikini for Paris Plage? The latest edition of the UK's leading travel magazine podcast, Something To Declare, has the answers. This 25-minute broadcast-standard podcast, produced by The Independent in association with P&O Ferries, brings you the best of France. It is co-presented by Simon Calder beside the beach in Calais, and Ben Ross at Languedoc-Roussillon House in London. By the end of the show you'll be able to tell your grand cru from your premier cru, discover secrets of Waterside Paris and locate the best moules frites deal in Calais. Listen to, or download, the programme at www.independent.co.uk/sd.
Destination of the week Bob Dylan's world
You have nine more days to get an insight into the life and mind of the world's leading folk-rocker by visiting the Halcyon Gallery (020-7659 7640; www.halcyongallery.com) at 24 Bruton Street in London's Mayfair.
It contains paintings by Dylan of places such as the Carbondale Hotel, a bell tower in Stockholm and a Dallas hotel room.
You get a strong sense of life on the road – a world that is strangely compressed into the view from an anonymous window. The gallery itself is a complete mid-Georgian, townhouse. It has adopted an open-door policy, where access is not limited to prospective buyers.
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