Travel update

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The Independent Travel
United world

UNITED Airlines has announced plans to operate a scheduled, round-the-world air service, the first since the glory days of Pan Am more than a decade ago.

Beginning on 10 February, the airline will run two flights - 'United One' westbound and 'United Two' eastbound - each linking six big cities: New York, London, Delhi, Hong Kong, San Francisco and Los Angeles. It is a journey of 19,717 miles. United One will leave Los Angeles at 9am, arriving back at 9.03pm the following day.

The first-class fare costs pounds 3,663, connoisseur class is pounds 2,355, and economy pounds 1,533. The fares are valid for a year and allow unlimited stopovers around the world and a maximum of four stopovers in the US, excluding the points of entry and exit.

New Zealand deal

DURING August, STA Travel (071-937 9962) is offering a Gatwick or Manchester to Auckland return for pounds 857. The fare allows stopovers in Jakarta, Singapore and Bali.

Trailfinders (071-938 3366) is offering return fares from London to Mauritius via Johannesburg from pounds 822; fares to the Seychelles, also via Johannesburg, cost from pounds 945. Children under 18 travelling with adults get a discount of 33 per cent.

Surf's up

THE Stormride Guide: Europe (Low Pressure Publishing, pounds 14.95) claims to offer the first 'wave by wave guide' to Europe's surf beaches. The book features about 500 'surf breaks' in Scotland, Ireland, Wales, England, the Channel Islands, France, Spain, Portugal, the Canary Islands and Italy. It is available from bookshops or direct (including pounds 1.70 p & p) from Low Pressure Publishing, 186 Kensington Park Road, London W11 1EF (071-792 3134).

Drive a train

BIRMINGHAM Railway Museum (021-707 4696) is offering the chance to drive a steam train on special day courses held every Saturday and Sunday. The courses, which cost pounds 90, include a chance to drive 'Defiant', a Great Western Railway Castle Class locomotive.

Oz guide

TRAVELLERS planning a trip to Australia and New Zealand are offered information on fastest flying times, best leg-room, cheapest direct fares and best round-the-world deals in the new edition of the Austravel Fare Guide (071-734 7755). Return fares to Australia listed in the guide cost from pounds 599 for a seat on the Britannia Airways charter series. Round-the- world deals cost from pounds 749.

Travel bookshelf

THIS week's bestsellers at the Travellers' Bookshop (071-836 9132):

1. Lonely Planet: India (Lonely Planet, pounds 13.95)

2. Travellers' Survival Kit: Cuba, by Simon Calder (Vacation Work, pounds 7.95) 3. Thomas Cook European Rail Timetable: Summer 1992 (Thomas Cook, pounds 8.99)

4. Let's Go Britain & Ireland (Pan, pounds 13.99)

5. Travel Survival Kit: Thailand (Lonely Planet, pounds 8.95)

6. The Rough Guide to Europe (Penguin, pounds 12.99)

7. Alternative Moscow: a guide (The Institute for Social Inventions, pounds 4.95)

8. Neither Here Nor There: Travels in Europe (Minerva, pounds 4.99)