Something To Declare: Seattle; forest fire in Chile; Palma
Saturday 26 February 2005
Destination of the week: Seattle
Yesterday, British Airways (0870 850 9850; www.ba.com) launched another seat sale, this time focusing on North America - and allowing travel until the end of April. Many of the fares look attractive: £219 return from London-Boston, and £269 to either Los Angeles or San Francisco. But these are all highly competitive routes, where low fares are commonplace. One that isn't is Heathrow-Seattle, on which BA has a monopoly. The return fare of £299 is substantially lower than normal - and as evidence of how good, it is £110 cheaper than the special to Vancouver, just across the Canadian border.
You must book these fares by 8 March, complete travel by 30 April - and avoid the Easter "blackout" from 17-24 March.
Warning of the week: forest fire in Chile
A careless Czech camper whose stove tipped over has started a huge forest fire in the Torres del Paine National Park, one of the most beautiful parts of South America. Kathy Jarvis, the director of Andean Trails, described the devastation as "immense". Parts of the park have been closed to visitors. Torres del Paine is about 1,500 miles south of the capital, Santiago, and offers superb glacial scenery. The region has been experiencing an unusually dry summer.
The tourist was fined $200 (£105) and has since left the country.
Bargain of the week: Palma de Mallorca
Seven years ago, just one scheduled airline served the Mallorcan capital from the UK: British Midland (now BMI), which operated from Heathrow to Palma. Since then, the number of airlines (and airports) have proliferated. On 23 March, Thomsonfly joins the throng, flying to Palma from Bourne-mouth - with return fares of under £50 widely available for the first month. Services from Doncaster-Sheffield will begin on 28 April, with return flights from under £60.
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