Something To Declare: the Med, from Gatwick; bisect Australia by train; dress down in the Bahamas
The column that gives the global picture
Saturday 18 October 2003
Bargain of the week: the Med, from Gatwick
Bargain of the week: the Med, from Gatwick
Gatwick has long had an inferiority complex about its big brother, Heathrow - especially since 2001, when British Airways (0870 850 9 850; www.ba.com) started moving services out of the Sussex airport and around the M25 to BA's main base. Part of the vacuum has been filled by easyJet (0870 600 0000, www.easyJet.com) which, in two years, has grown from nothing to become the second-largest scheduled airline at the Sussex airport. But BA and its affiliate, GB Airways, are striking back this weekend with a seat sale on flights to southern Europe.
The travel period covers the four leanest months for airlines - November to March. Note that the week before Christmas, Valentine's weekend and the February half-term are not included. The sale ends at midnight on Tuesday 11 November.
The most tempting deal is on GB Airways' new route to Paphos in Cyprus, whose maiden flight is tomorrow. Over this weekend, the usual lowest fare of £179 is reduced to £139 - remarkable value for a flight of more than four hours on a quality airline.
In France, Toulouse and Toulon look good value at £69 return, the low price spurred by the low-cost competition to these destinations.
Madrid and Barcelona are available for £75, and Naples and Rome for £89. These fares are about one-third what you would have paid before easyJet and Ryanair started up eight years ago.
As with all such seat sales, the lowest fares are available only for online bookings on off-peak departures - don't hold your breath for bargains on Fridays or Sundays.
Destination of the week: bisect Australia by train
The track work on the new line through the Northern Territory between Alice Springs and Darwin has finished, under budget and ahead of schedule. On 8 February next year, the first passenger trains should run between Adelaide and Darwin. The journey time on the "Ghan" train is just short of 48 hours, with stops for four hours in both Alice Springs and Katherine. International Rail (0870 751 5000, www.international-rail.com) can sell you a basic one-way ticket for £197. Don't miss the train: it runs only once a week each way.
Warning of the week: dress down in the Bahamas
The US State Department has just strengthened its warning about rising crime in this group of islands: "While most criminal incidents take place in a part of Nassau not usually frequented by tourists (the 'over-the-hill' area south of downtown), crime and violence has moved into more upscale tourist and residential areas."
The Americans also recommend that you should "Avoid wearing expensive jewellery, particularly Rolex watches, which criminals have specifically targeted."
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 VMAs 2015: Was Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus' awkward acceptance put-down real or staged?
- 3 Rules on 5p plastic bags likely to lead to arguments at the check-out
- 4 I like Corbyn, but let's face it: we don't need another white man at the head of a political party
- 5 Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Natural wonders in the UK: From Giant's Causeway to Durdle Door
What's it like on board North Korean airline Air Koryo - the worst in the world?
Exclusive Escapes: Upmarket holiday company goes bust on the eve of bank holiday weekend
The 10 Best lightweight luggage
North Korean airline Air Koryo named worst in the world for fourth time in a row (despite Kim Jong-un's best efforts)
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
£26000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Product Development departm...
£23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Visitor Fundraising Team is responsi...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...
£30000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Estates Team of this group ...