Wednesday, 16 June 2021

Boeing 737 Max, 8200 or 800 take your pick?

Ryan Air are taking delivery of their new B737 Max aircraft which according to reports they have negotiated a remarkable deal with Boeing, Ryan Air are repeating history where as after 9/11 they negotiated a fantastic deal on B737-800 aircraft which they signed in January 2002.  The savings they achieved locked in a permanent cost advantage allowing them to achieve an unbeatable growth with a fantastic deal to consumers.

It has been rumored that Ryan Air will call the B737 Max the B737 8200 as well as offering the B737-800, it has also been rumoured that they will switch different aircraft types in and out of routes and passengers won't necessarily know what type they will be traveling on.

The B737-Max has been cleared by US and European aviation authorities to fly and given a clean bill of health, I don't think if you asked passengers what aircraft they recently flew on they would know and it will be interesting to see how the public react, I personally think it will all settle down and clients will not have any qualms


Ryan Air planes with other airlines awaiting delivery 



Wednesday, 9 June 2021

Green list review next date

When is the Green list due to be reviewed next?  We should know on the 1st of July with the new additions becoming applicable on the 5th of July

I believe Portugal, Maderia, The Canaries (Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria & Lanzarote)  Balearic's (Majorca, Menorca and Ibiza) and some Greek islands will return. 

The political imperative has been to get Freedom day out of the way, the government is looking tough to ensure that happens, but after thatthey will start to loosen up travelling, but very slowly over the summer

Wednesday, 29 July 2020

How to get my money back from my tour operator or airline

I bumped into a friend the other day who thanked me for some advice I had Small Claims court link   .
given back in April.  They were trying to get a refund from a No-frills carrier and had asked my advice.  I suggested issuing a summons in the small claims court, this is relatively easy but be aware there are a lot of companies advertising this and charging spurious extra fees so heres the HM governments official link 

My friend had there money refunded very quickly, it doesn't cost any more to name multiple defendants, so if there is more than one party, then name them as well, they will put pressure on the guilty party to ensure you get a prompt response.

If its a large company then your action will focus minds , but even if the company or individual is not trustworthy or solvent you can take things further by eventually send in bailiffs but you need to consider this is worthwhile.

Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Which is the best way to Search for Flight prices?
I have been in the travel industry for 40 years, it was a truism that when you went on holiday you would not mention that you were in travel as everyone would want to discuss their travel problems.

I am also asked by friends for cheap flights and the best place to get a quote from, my advice these days is always the same,  Check out, it's the premier search engine, It was bought by Chinese investors for £1.3 Billion, it does not sell you the fares but links you directly to various web sites.

It's comprehensive in an overview , it covers all the No frills airlines, scheduled carriers and charter flights, I use it for fare intelligence as it's a one stop shop and I can't praise it high enough.

Check it out, try using actual airports as well as cities, eg if you use London (any) you will see departures from Stansted, Luton, Heathrow, Gatwick, Southend, London City it's very powerful. For instance you can put in Glasgow (any) bring up Glasgow International as well as Prestwick, also you can check out regional airports like Southampton as an alternative to London

Friday, 1 May 2020

3 of The Best European Festivals in October

3 of the Best European Festivals in October
With so many European Festivals taking place during the month of October, we're introducing you to just 3 of the best.

Where : Valls, Spain
When : Late October

The town of Valls is located near the city of Barcelona, and its main square comes alive during late October when rival teams compete the create the biggest and most impressive human castle, or pyramid. Huge crowds congregate in the square, and pack balconies that overlook the scene of ever increasing towers toppling, or the youngest (and smallest) of the team claiming victory as he/she tops the castle.

Where : Perugia, Italy
When : 9 days in mid October

A chocolate lover's paradise for 9 days when the hilltop town of Perugia attracts over a million visitors who come here to eat and talk about all things chocolate. Complete with sculptors carving huge blocks of chocolate, beauty treatments using this sweet treat, food and drink stalls, and of course some of the finest handmade chocolates made while you watch. Buy a “ChocoCard” at the festival and benefit from discounted small items to sample.

Where : Munich, Germany
When : 16 days before the first Sunday in October

Munich plays host to the largest folk festival every year where a celebration of Bavarian beer and food is held. Over 6 million people will visit, taking their seats in one of the 14 hangar-sized tents and then perhaps moving on to the 100 or so smaller tents where specialist products can be sampled. Every 10 minutes you are reminded of the main reason for visiting this festival as the band strikes up One, Two, Three, Drink!

Today, it's relatively easy to reach the majority of places and experience so many festivals. Each month we will be bringing you our top 3 European Festivals, so watch for news of those happening during November.

As with all travel arrangements, it's important to recognise the importance of booking through an ATOL protected operator for complete peace of mind and financial protection.

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Financial protection for Thomas Cook Airlines?

Thomas Cook Airlines.

I have been watching the BBC news channels
regarding the reports of Thomas Cook and
the Chinese investor Fosun with a proposed
investment of £750M.

The BBC was broadcasting that all clients
monies were safe because Thomas Cook has
a CAA ATOL, that is correct, but only for
package holiday clients.  But of course it does
not cover for rearranging  holiday plans, only for
cancelled flights at the value paid.

Anyone that has booked a flight seat only
product with Thomas Cook airlines is

Airlines are allowed to sell flight seats with
out financial protection similar to Monarch
Primera, Cobalt and FlyBMI who all went

There are exceptions like
have financial protection arrangements
in place under the ATOL as a flight
only operator.

If Thomas Cook Airlines went bust it would
be similar to Monarch and other failed airlines
where passengers lost money, unless they paid
with a Credit Card and the transaction was
over a £100, then there is the protection of the

Consumer Credit Act of 1973, but only if the
funds were paid through a UK merchant account.
I don’t know what arrangements Thomas Cook
have in place so people will have to go into things
with their eyes wide open and use the
precautionary principle.

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Primera Collpase year after Monarch lessons about Financial protection?

Primara Air B737.
Its now a year since Monarch collapsed and we have another airline collapse to the exact time and date a year later.

Primera Air an established carrier that had a very conservative reputation, seemed to have lost it's reluctance for risk last year when they started flying aircraft from the UK to the USA.

It was basing these on a new aircraft type the A321 neo which had the extended range to make the USA at a lower cost and a lower committed capacity.

Late deliveries of aircraft , over stretch of product, have led to its sad demise .

Anyone who has not paid by Credit card will loose most of their money as airlines do not have financial protection.  The CAA licences tour operators and travel companies, but have no legislation in place to force airlines to financially protect clients.

So lessons to be learnt by the travelling public, firstly check that any operator has an ATOL, if they don't then ensure you pay by credit card, as under the consumer and credit act 1973 if your purchase is over £100 then the credit card company has a joint responsibility to supply the goods or refund you.  Or alternatively take out a SAFI policy (Scheduled air Financial insurance), the costs are normally about £2-2.50 per person.

Companies I have been involved with Avro Plc, have always had ATOL protection.  Flylolo goes further and issues a SAFI policy included in the headline price.

What other airlines will go bust in the next year?  Michael O'Leary (Ryanair CEO) predicted last year that Monarch and Norwegian would go bust, Norwegian are still here, so half right then Michael.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Your money has paid for Monarch's excess's

Defunct Monarch airlines has cost you a fortune!.
The collapse of Monarch Airlines on the 01st of October brought into focus the fact that airlines are not financially protected.

The irony of Monarchs collapse that even if a passenger was booked directly with Monarch the CAA in effect an arm of government picked up the bill for repatriating passengers back to the UK, in effect your tax monies have under written an airline owned by a private equity group who in effect acquired the airline for nothing and leveraged the assets.

The hit to the exchequer which underwrites the Air Travel Trust Fund is rumoured to be over £100M.

ATOL Protection.
But worse completely innocent companies were pulled down by the Monarch collapse because the CAA re-charged travel company passengers when they didn't try or bother to charge direct consumers.

The fact that a Conservative conference was on at the exact time of the collapse may have had something to do with it.  It would have been truly embarrassing if passengers were filmed at overseas airports being stranded.

Things could be much simpler if all passengers were made to take out a SAFI policy (Scheduled Air Insurance Policy) which would cost no more than £2. per head. 

Because No Frills airlines lobbied the government not to issue a levy to cover
there eventualities, the airlines won the argument.

The only way you can really trust your travel arrangements is to book with an ATOL company and if possible also take out a SAFI policy, one company that does both is a new start up, maybe we should see the airlines being compelled to safeguard your money?

Friday, 15 September 2017

Easyjet to launch Long Haul flights with airline partners

WestJet B767.
EasyJet have announced a linking up with Norwegian Airlines and WestJet of Canada, beating Ryanair to offer long haul flights to Asia, South and North America with Canada being served by Westjet.Com

The proposal is that Easyjet flights to and from London Gatwick  will feed into the long haul services of the long haul airlines and will have a guarantee of ensuring passengers if they miss their connection that they will be put on the following available flight. Passengers will be allowed a 2.5 hour connection time to ensure smooth running.

Bags will have to collected and handed to the Gatwick connects desk, so baggage will not be through booked as happens on other scheduled airlines, this might prove an unattractive aspect.

But the prices are expected to be competitive and a real challenge to British airways, KLM-AirFrance  and other legacy airlines

Norwegian Airlines fly Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft and Westjet fly Boeing 767

Top 10 facts about Tenerife you may not know

Top Ten Facts.

Tenerife is probably the most popular of the Canary Islands and is packed with interesting places to visit, and things to do.  Here's our top 10 facts about the island of Tenerife :

1. The emblematic flower of the island of Tenerife is the Bird of Paradise, or strelitzia.  This exotic orange and navy flower presents itself as a beak from the sturdy stems, and once one flower fades away, another is waiting to emerge.

2.  The Pyramids of Guimar in Tenerife are perhaps one of the oddest sights in the region. A mysterious collection of six stone structures, they were originally thought to be mere piles of stones. However, on careful inspection by Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl, they were found to be arranged in large steps with a ceremonial platform on top.

3.  In the small wine town of Icod de los Vinos in Tenerife, you will find the Drago Milenario (Thousand Year Old Dragon Tree).  This gigantic tree stands 17m high and has a diameter of 6m, and is within a protected garden.  How old is this tree? Probably around 600 years. Known for its magical properties, the resin of the tree turns red on contact with the air.

4. Vilaflor (flower town) is the highest village in the Canary Islands.  To date, the village remains unspoiled as most people tend to pass straight through it on their way to the National Park.  Linger for a while in Vilaflor's pine forests or visit the natural spring whose waters are bottled and sold all over Tenerife.

5.  Masca is a mountain village perched above a deep gorge.  Once a remote location, a road now leads to the village where visitors can then make their way down the gorge to the coastline below. However, be prepared for a long hike and ensure you're wearing suitable shoes and clothing.

6.  La Orotava in Tenerife is a jewel box of balconied facades, cobbled streets and wonderful historic buildings. Visit here during the Corpus Christi celebrations (usually in late May) to witness demonstrations of sand and flower pictures that cover the pavements. The best places centre around the Town Hall Square and the nearby streets.

7. Streets in Tenerife are often named after people and often they will be obscure local doctors, artists, sculptors, and politicians to name just a few.

8.  The cable car to the top of Mount Teide offers spectacular views of Tenerife's volcanic features, and takes visitors close to the summit of the mountain and is possibly the most painless way to ascend Teide and takes just 8 minutes to make the journey.

9.  From Castillo de San Miguel in Garachico, you will have views of the town below where you will clearly see the route taken by the lava of the volcanic eruption back in 1706 as it made its way down the cliffs to the sea.  You will see gardens and swimming pools constructed from the solidified lava.

10.  In Puerto de la Cruz you will find Plaza del Charco - full name being Plaza del Charco de los Camarones (Shrimp-Pod Square).  This reference is to days when the area surrounding the square used to fill with water at high tide and locals would then come here to fish for shrimp, 

If you're looking to visit the island of Tenerife in the Canary Islands, we would recommend :

Flights :
Low cost and ATOL protected flights can be booked online from Manchester, Gatwick and Glasgow over Christmas and New Year.

Hotels and Apartments :  Corona Holidays
Canary Island specialists (financially protected bookings) offering hotels, apartments and villas on the island of Tenerife. From self catering apartments to 5 star luxury hotels.  

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

EU passport check delays

Were you one of the unlucky tourists to be hit by the new EU passport checks which resulted in hours of delay at passport control?, where in the past most EU passports would be nodded through, the Eu has decreed that if you were unlucky enough to be a non schengen passport holder then a 2 minute per person computer check has to be carried out.  With aircraft averaging   180 passengers then you can work out the time to process a single aircraft, then assume that there are 5 arrivals a hour and you only have 2-3 immigration clerks then you can work out the issue.

Obviously employing more immigration staff would help, but some airports only have 5/6 booths maximum.

If you don't have to travel to the EU, then you could go to Non schengen EU countries (Eire, Denmark) or EEA countries (Norway, Iceland, Switzerland,Liechtenstein), or avoid the EU completely.

Non EU countries
Montenegro is maybe an option, Turkey  is extremely cheap and with the threat of Terrorism has depressed prices further.,  Tunisia is coming back, but again terrorism is a threat that depress's prices but also reduces demand

There are smaller airports that have less traffic which will help if you have transfer easily from them to your destination I'm thinking particularly Spanish destinations like Reus, Girona, Valancia, Serville, Cadiz, Almeria, Murcia)  .  But if your travelling to Palma, the only way to avoid that is go via an intermediate point like Madrid, Barcelona Amsterdam or Paris that have the extra immigration infrastructure and you enter the schengen zone via there.

With the Euro approaching possible parity to the pound and these type of issues I would recommend looking at the Black Sea resorts and Romania.  The quality is very good and prices are low and it's a non Euro destination. flys there from Luton to Constanza, also is looking to do a Southampton flight.  Also consider Bulgaria either flying to Varna or Bourgas.

Friday, 8 September 2017

Could Ryanair buy Monarch Airlines?

With all the talk of Michael O'Learys claim that Monarch and Norwegian airlines are in trouble, is there another underlying strategy at play.

Ryanair will need a UK AOC (Air Organisers Certificate) by March 2019, maybe even sooner if they want to be selling this by March 2018.  Monarch being a UK airline have this, they also have some fairly juicy assets, Gatwick slots and Engineering subsidiaries are a must for an airline.

Ryanair could launch a  Gatwick flight programme using the Gatwick slots and if Norwegian were not around it gives a perfect opportunity to make Gatwick a major departure point for Ryan Air

It's food for thought, no one knows whats going to happen until it happens, but you can see logic in the above theory!
Monarch engineering.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Norwegian Airlines shares plunge on the Oslo Bource by 10%

Norwegian (DY, Oslo Gardermoen) stock on the Oslo bourse plunged almost
10% in value on the opening of trading on Monday, September 4, following comments made by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of rival Ryanair (FR, Dublin Int'l), Michael O'Leary, about the Scandinavian LCC's future prospects. Comments attributed to the typically brash Irishman and carried by Travel Weekly said Norwegian faced bankruptcy in four to five months.“Both Monarch and Norwegian are in trouble," he said.

"It’s an open secret among airlines that Monarch Airlines (ZB, London Luton) and Norwegian may not survive through the winter. They are burning cash. Norwegian has huge aircraft orders that they don’t have the cash to pay for.” 

Norwegian Communications Director Lasse Sandaker-Nielsen later told Norway's Nettavisen newspaper that O'Leary's comments “have no basis in reality.”    "All we have to say is that this is classic O'Leary bullshit that has no basis in reality," he said. "Norwegian has run a profitable business for 10 years and we will continue to focus on our own global business, not on single-player games as is done by our competitors."

Despite Sandaker-Nielsen's response, Norwegian's stock plummeted from NOK194.70 to NOK178.20 on the opening of trading on Monday morning. Prices later recovered to NOK194.40 at the close of trading.

Norwegian and Ryanair have been in talks to develop their vaunted connecting flights project. According to O'Leary, the negotiations are still ongoing.

Are No Frills airlines becoming TOO powerful?

Ryanair B737-800.
Michael O'Leary has recently claimed that Norwegian and Monarch are in financial trouble,

"O’Leary told journalists in London: “Norwegian will go in four or five months. They are running out of cash. They are scrabbling around daily.” Norwegian denied it is in difficulty, with a spokesman insisting the Ryanair chief executive’s comments “have no root in reality.”
However, O’Leary said: “Both Monarch and Norwegian are in trouble. It’s an open secret among airlines that Monarch and Norwegian may not survive through the winter. They are burning cash. “Norwegian has huge aircraft orders that they don’t have the cash to pay for.”

So whats Michael O'Leary up to, whats his strategy in these fairy risky comments?  is he trying to weaken the airlines so they actually do collapse, cash flow is there life blood and if this is stopped or slowed then it causes a knock on effect. or is he just giving a fair assessment of the market?

No Frills airlines are increasingly becoming too powerful, they are becoming political lobbying and threatening governments and local authorities across Europe, they are creating a tunnel vision for consumers, where as the only way is Ryanair or EasyJet, how does the consumer kick back against these moves!

Well I would recommend, it's the premier airfare search engine and always comes up with the cheapest fare, They are objective and help counter the dark noncompetitive forces who try to relieve you of your hard earned money.

One thing you may not know is that there is no consumer protection for No Frills flights, apart from the Consumer Credit act of 1973 where if you have paid by a Credit Card and the purchase was over £100 and it was a UK transaction then you are covered. apart from that you can take out a SAFI policy, who recently launched gives this away with the seat sale. Also FlyLolo and other licenced Tour/Flight operators are covered by a CAA ATOL, no Frills are not apart from holiday package arrangements through their holiday divisions. 

So my advice for whats its worth is do a search and check out fares, because if we get down to only one or two airlines on a route, the consumer will pay dearly!!

Friday, 25 August 2017

Pound to Euro where to look for better value

Romania Black Sea coast (Hidden Gem).
The pound has slipped to below 1.09 this week and the likelihood with all the Brexit negotiations as a back drop means that there is a possibility of parity.

The obvious choice to look for the best value is to avoid Euro Destinations, if your talking about Winter sun then the options of Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt might appeal if you can get past the taint of threat of terrorism.

The canary islands because of their duty free status does give good value as alcohol is much cheaper even though you are purchasing in Euro's but an all inclusive deal could appeal as these were negotiated last year and the holiday companies to certain extent have hedged against the Euro.  

Also look at All Inclusive deals in Cuba, Mexico and the Dominican Republic as well as the Maldives and Goa (India).

Winter Ski wise you could look to Poland, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Romania

For next years summer sun  the Black Sea Bulgaria (Fly to Bourgas or Varna), Romanian Black Sea coast  (Fly to Constanza) .  Turkey is on it's way back and will be fantastic value as well as Greece, although a Euro destination, because of the economic hardships has had deflation and is still cheap.  Also look at Montenegro as well as Croatia.

Getting there, you have the normal Low Cost airlines,,, currently flys to Constanza as well as Bulgaria and other eastern european destinations, is planning to operate a Southampton programme to Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Croatia, Bari southern Italy and Spain.. The best search engine for fares is

Friday, 18 August 2017

Winter-sun-Want inspiration on where to go

Winter sun can be the lift you need in the depths of a cold hard winter months,

But where to choose, the hotter you want the further you have to travel

Closest to home would be  the Spanish Costa's or southern Portugal, but the weather is problematic and can't be guaranteed.  Also you will need jumpers and cardigans even in the middle of the day.  The Costa Blanca because it juts into the sea has some of the better temperatures.

Slightly further afield and back on the block is Tunisia, fantastic value if you can find a flight as it's only just had the restrictions lifted, Also Morocco particularly if you travel further south to places like Agidir.

Egypt was the old favorite with fantastic value, but with the terrorist threat Sharm el Sheikh is still off limits, but there are other resorts you can fly to Hurghada (Thomas Cook)  and Marsa Allam (Thomson Holidays).

The Canary Islands there are 7 islands, but the main four are  Lanzarote, Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura, flights are good value and there's plenty of good priced accommodation deals.

Cape Verdi islands offers good sunshine, but its just over six hours flying, but there are a number of islands with various different characteristics.

Gambia in west Africa is a reasonably cheap option, but the political problems of last year shows how fragile some countries are.

Cuba, Jamaica or the Dominican Republic are good value Caribbean islands with direct charter flights and of course you have Florida.

Eastern Mediterranean, Cyprus, but again the weather can be changeable and you are reasonably far north, but also Eilat in Israel, Aqaba on the Red Sea in Jordan with the Rose red city of Petra not far away.

The Gulf, you have Dubai, but also Oman is new on the block and better vale.

Indian ocean, Goa and the Maldives have direct charters

Wherever you go make sure you are covered financially and look out for the ATOL or ABTA symbol to protect you and your travel provider against financial collapse. also innoculations are required for some of the destinations.  Also some destinations (Egypt) had notorious reputations on food poisoning

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Hold Baggage comparrison

AirEuropa B737-800.
Travel Advice Bureau has compared the different costs of baggage for No Frills airlines, it's not an easy task as there is no definite answer for each airline, many airlines operate a dynamic pricing where prices change from booking to booking driven by demand and load factor, so we have comparison of minimum and maximum.  Also it's a bit like comparing apples with pears, as some airlines offer bigger weights.

No-Frills Online bag costs for a bag in the hold
EasyJet.comN/A£13-30N/A£15-£36N/A€8-16 Euros*€8-16 Euros*€8-16 Euros*
Air Europa£15£45N/A
British Airways£20-40*£20-40*£20-40*
* anything up to 23kgs

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Top 15 International Airlines, some surprises ?

Top 15 airlines for international seats in S17.

Medano Hotel, El Medano, built above the beach

Of all the hotels that have impressed me the most is the Medano Hotel in El Medano, if you like the sea and being close then this is the hotel for you.  The only downside is the restaurant which is great for Breakfast, but limiting if you are on a Half Board or Full Board option.   The only company that can sell you the Bed & Breakfast option is Corona Holidays, I have know the owner for over 20 years, you can book via there web site

Sell pppn B&B
21-Jul-17 - 31-Aug-17
01-Sep-17 - 31-Oct-17
01-Nov-17 - 08-Dec-17
09-Dec-17 - 21-Dec-17
22-Dec-17 - 06-Jan-18
£53 > Min Stay 4 Nts
07-Jan-18 - 31-Jan-18
01-Feb-18 - 01-Apr-18
02-Apr-18 - 30-Apr-18

Supplement for: Half Board £7 per person per night
3rd Passenger: Sharing a room with 2 adults -25%

1st Child 0/12: Sharing a room with 2 adults -100%

Adult + 1 child : Pay price of single room

[3rd passenger discounts are not applicable on the Half Board supplement]



Sell pppn B&B
21-Jul-17 - 31-Aug-17
01-Sep-17 - 31-Oct-17
01-Nov-17 - 08-Dec-17
09-Dec-17 - 21-Dec-17
22-Dec-17 - 06-Jan-18
£68 > Min Stay 4 Nts
07-Jan-18 - 31-Jan-18
01-Feb-18 - 01-Apr-18
02-Apr-18 - 30-Apr-18

Supplement for: Half Board £7 per person per night