Something To Declare: Shanghai; Easter breaks in the UK; Malaga flights ditched
Saturday 08 April 2006
Destination of the week: to and through Shanghai
Competition on flights to China is becoming more intense, with Lufthansa (0870 1288 737; www.lufthansa.com) offering fares under £400 return from London or Manchester via Frankfurt or Munich to Shanghai, the People's Republic's largest city.
On China Eastern (020-7935 2676; www.chinaeastern.co.uk), you can fly non-stop from Heathrow to Shanghai for £410 return between next Saturday (15 April) and 15 June. The airline also offers cheap connecting flights to a range of Asian destinations - including Bangkok, Phuket and Hong Kong for £490 return. Sydney is even more of a bargain at just £550 return, including a free night in a hotel in Shanghai on the inbound flight because of inconvenient connections. This arrangement provides a no-fuss way to get a glimpse of China, since British passengers are issued with a 24-hour visa-free transit permit on arrival rather than having to battle with the usual red tape. Accommodation is usually in a three- or four-star hotel in the lively Pudong district of the city.
Bargain of the week: Easter breaks in the UK
Plenty of British hotels are offering cheap deals over Easter. Macdonald Hotels (0870 830 4812; www.macdonaldhotels.co.uk) has dinner, bed and breakfast deals in Aviemore in the Scottish Highlands for £90 per night for two, and in the town of Kenilworth for £92; stay for two nights, and you get free champagne and chocolate.
In north-west Wales, the Portmeirion Hotel (01766 770000; www.portmeirion-village.com) has doubles for £110, excluding breakfast, for some dates over the Easter holidays. And the Grand Metropole in Blackpool (0845 838 1002) offers dinner, bed and breakfast for £204 for two, staying Good Friday and Easter Saturday, if you book online at www.britanniahotels.co.uk
Warning of the week: Malaga flights ditched
Iberia's retreat from the UK-Spain market is stepping up. From 1 May, the Spanish national airline ends flights between Heathrow and Malaga. Code-share flights operated by BA will continue.
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