Something To Declare: Stansted Express savings; Kilimanjaro; St Petersburg in July
Saturday 25 March 2006
Ryanair has brought back its offer of cheap tickets on the rail link between London Liverpool Street and Stansted Airport. The standard single fare for the 45-minute journey is £15, or £25 for a return trip. But if you buy at the same time as booking your flight at www.ryanair.com, you pay only £10 or £19.50 respectively.
One catch: you have to collect your tickets at the station before departure, a process for which Ryanair advises you "allow at least one hour". In addition, if you change your flight dates and times, it will not be cheap or easy to amend your rail booking.
Destination of the week: Kilimanjaro
Before you test yourself against the highest mountain in Africa, watch Adventures & Experiences - Kilimanjaro on Travel Channel. It traces the fortunes of 14 trekkers who attempt the Rongai trail to reach Uhuru peak, the "roof of Africa", at a height of 5,895 metres. The programme starts at 8.30pm on Wednesday, 29 March. Travel Channel is available on Sky channels 261 and 262.
Warning of the week: St Petersburg in July
Russia's former capital, which is also the country's leading tourist attraction, should be avoided in mid-July. Russia currently holds the G8 presidency, and will stage the summit 10 miles outside St Petersburg (pictured), at the Constantine Palace on the Gulf of Finland. Much of the city will be disrupted - not least because the airport is to be closed for three days to all flights except those of official delegations to the summit. Around 180 flights will be affected, including departures on British Airways and Pulkovo Airlines to and from London.
BA is offering alternative flights or refunds to those affected, but warns that "for any passengers whose flight has not been cancelled, but who no longer wish to travel to St Petersburg due to the G8 Summit, the fare rules of the ticket they have purchased must be applied". In other words, those on cheap tickets will get no refunds.
Even if you manage to get to St Petersburg, take great care: the US State Department is warning of tourists being held up at knifepoint on the city's metro and buses.
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