something to declare

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The Independent Travel
A likely story

'New British Airways route creates $260 million and over 3,500 new jobs in the first year for Phoenix, Arizona' - City of Phoenix press release

The Arizona state capital is such a go-ahead place that city officials can already be precise about the impact of BA's new route from Gatwick, even though it began only in July. The daily DC-10 holds 271 passengers, of whom about half will stay on the plane as far as San Diego. So, assuming full loads throughout the year, 50,000 passengers will take the new flight. By the time they get to Phoenix, they will each have created more than pounds 3,400 in wealth - about 10 times the lowest fare. On this basis, any large American city would do well to start a new route to London and pay everyone to travel on it. Or, at least, to write absurd press releases about it.

Trouble spots

Foreign Office advice about potential disaster areas

Canada: heavy flooding in the Saguenay-Lac St Jean region, Quebec. Communications are restored in most areas.

Montserrat: hurricane season from now until the end of October. Volcanic activity in the south, including the capital, Plymouth. Avoid that area.

Ukraine: diphtheria epidemic in parts of the country. Consult your GP about immunisation and other precautions.

Turkey: forest fires in the Marmaris, Datca, Mugla and Dalaman areas. Roads are open but there may be some delays and temporary closures.

Bangladesh: occasional floods. Check with local police that roads are open.

For more information call the Foreign Office on 0171-238 5403. FO travel advice is displayed on Ceefax, page 564 onwards, and can be accessed on the Internet on http://www.fco.gov.uk/

Visitors' book

Wonderful bed. After this I want flannel sheets for the rest of my life - Jan-Olof Strindlund, Sweden.

Pink dreams in a pink room - Francoise Swichocka-Leonard.

Warm Welsh hospitality and food on a cold winter's day. Thanks - Jonathan Akikusa, Australia.

Thanks for a nice stay and cheese - Ketty Rolfgaard, Denmark.

Mrs Williams's B&B, Porthmadog, Gwynedd

Bargain of the week

The two shortest international air routes from London are to Antwerp and Brussels in Belgium, and these are the two served by the only unlimited travel commuter ticket. Sabena (0181-780 1444) sells unlimited trips within a month to either city from Heathrow and London City for a flat fee of pounds 599 - apart from the troublesome tax of pounds 10.40 per trip. Should you wish to make the most of it, try travelling to Antwerp twice a day for a month, with a day off on Saturdays. You'll end up spending almost pounds 500 on tax - but will accrue 38,400 frequent flyer miles in the process.

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