Saturday snippets: 18th of June 2016

By | Category: Travel news
This is as close as you could get to the Mary Rose. Now just a balcony will separate you

This is as close as you could get to the Mary Rose. Now just a balcony will separate you

It’s just a month to the re-opening of the Mary Rose in Portsmouth on July 20th. It closed about six months you remember for the charity to improve he viewing ability. From the re-opening you will have views of the ship from all 9 galleries through floor-to-ceiling glazing on the lower and main Decks.  On the Upper Deck you will enter it from an air lock and, for the first time, there will only be a balcony between them and the hull.

From time-to-time, Just about Travel has reminded you of the importance of travel insurance. Now a report from Comparethemarket.com  suggests  that some policies aren’t worth the paper they are written upon when it comes to making claims. It found that found that nearly a third of single-trip policies do not cover missed connections in the UK and 14% do not pay out for missed flights. Cheap policies are unlikely to pay out for loss of luggage or expensive valuables and the excesses claimants have to pay are high. Nearly half only covered valuables under £250 and people wrongly assumed they are covered in all instances. Just under half of policies only cover cancellation up to £3,000. Boring as it is, check the small print before agreeing and cheap policies may not necessarily give the same cover as more expensive ones.

oil wrestlingIf you are looking for a slightly different holiday this summer, how about a trip in late July to Kirkpinar in Turkey for the oil-wrestling tournament. This week long festival which has roots stretching back 670 years is now a UNESCO Intangible Heritage event. It attracts thousands every year and is said to be oldest annual sporting event in the world. Oil wrestling is open to all and the last man standing walks away with the Kirkpinar Golden Belt and the title of Chief Pehlivan. After watching the sport, you can put your own oil on, (sun-tan lotion actually,) head to the beaches and do a spot of sun bathing before returning home to sit in front of the tele and watch another sporting event – the Olympics?

The assumption is that when people retire, many of them travel more. According to research by Stannah, that is a desire that isn’t necessarily turned into reality. Why?  Just under a third of responders said it was due to financial reasons and only a few less said it about health problems. The third reason given was that the hassle of getting through airports turned them away from travel. It isn’t only retirees who are put off by queues. In the US those screening lines I mentioned a month or so ago are deterring Americans from flying and some of the queues I have encountered at Gatwick, Heathrow and Cardiff in the last twelve months have meant that I get t airports earlier and waste more time sitting down (I really mean trying to find somewhere to sit down in the airport lounge) before the flight leaves. Maybe it’s all a gigantic plot to get us to visit and spend more in the airport shops!

West Somerset Railway © Ian Brodie

West Somerset Railway © Ian Brodie

Earlier this week, I moaned about bus services and the lack of ticketing across different types of transport. At the West Somerset Railway that problem has been resolved and there is an agreement with the local rail franchisee, GWR, so that you can buy one ticket from anywhere on GWR’s network which includes a ride on the heritage railway and the bus which connects the mainline station to West Somerset’s. There is another advantage. Buying a combined ticket and travelling from London, you have no peak time ticket restrictions on services out of London. Another heritage railway, the Bluebell in Sussex already has such a deal in place with Southern.

But are the queues in the US shortening or lengthening? More staff have been taken on and the head of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) says 93% of approved PreCheck travellers passed through checkpoints within five minutes. But that is just a small number of passengers. What of the rest? An act passed through Congress last week which ensures that all TSA checkpoints are properly staffed and by properly they men sufficient.  A study by the US Travel Association found that the publicity about long lines at the airport would ground one in five would-be flyers, leading to a $4.3 billion loss in travel spending this summer. And that doesn’t include us foreigners who probably won’t get to hear about the improvements made and thus continue to think that long lines exist. One airline passenger has had enough. Taking 90 minutes to get through the queues he missed his flight and is now suing the authorities for the amount he had to spend on purchasing a new ticket. Could he be the first of many?

Barbados

Barbados

Barbados has had an increase in the number of overseas tourists but not everyone has benefited. According to Elegant Hotels who own six hotels on the island, Brexit fears and the Zika virus have reduced demand for luxury hotels there. Is it also anything to do with a noticeable slide in holiday bookings whilst the Euros are on? Then will people stay at home whilst the Olympics are on and not holiday till September?

Opening on 2nd July in Bishop Auckland is Kynren described as an epic tale of England which is costing £34 million. With a cast numbering hundreds, Kynren takes audiences on a 90 minute storytelling journey through 2,000 years. It is described as having “14 action-packed and movie-like performances of colossal and dazzling proportions.” But £34 million?

If you have been to Luton Airport recently you will know the terminal is being redeveloped. In the short term, more disruption is planned as the link from the M1 at junction 10a is upgraded to make it easier for us to get to the airport so expect delays whilst the work is underway.  They are also building a mass passenger transit link to connect the rail station with the terminal. This will replace the existing shuttle bus and cut journey times from St Pancras Station to around 22 minutes.

There has been such a flurry of Ryanair stories in the last week and here’s another. It has copied other airlines and introduced a three tier ticket system. Ryanair Regular with the guaranteed lowest fare gets you a free 10kg cabin bag, a smaller second bag but no confirmed seat number; Leisure Plus  provides priority boarding, reserved seating and a 20kg check-in bag allowance whilst Business Plus allows security fast-track, priority boarding, premium allocated seating, flexible ticket changes (two days either side including the day of travel), a dedicated Business Plus desk and free airport check-in.

will queues shorten here as well?

will queues shorten here as well?

The assumption is that when people retire, many of them travel more. According to research by Stannah, that is a desire that isn’t necessarily turned into reality. Why?  Just under a third of responders said it was due to financial reasons and only a few less said it about health problems. The third reason given was that the hassle of getting through airports turned them away from travel. It isn’t only retirees who are put off by queues. In the US those screening lines I mentioned a month or so ago are deterring Americans from flying and some of the queues I have encountered at Gatwick, Heathrow and Cardiff in the last twelve months have meant that I get t airports earlier and waste more time sitting down (I really mean trying to find somewhere to sit down in the airport lounge) before the flight leaves. Maybe it’s all a gigantic plot to get us to visit and spend more in the airport shops!

Finally, from Eurocamp comes research saying that for almost a third of us, wifi is one of our travel essentials. Over half os us say that they won’t go anywhere without a table- not the hangover variety but the electronic one. What sort of a holiday is this? The very meaning of the word is that you have respite from your normal daily grind. Having a tablet and connecting to wifi isn’t a holiday, it’s more of the same.

 

If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,