Saturday snippets: 30th March 2019

By | Category: Travel news

Just about Travel has argued that that there should be strong action against unruly passengers. Alcohol is often the cause and sometimes sheer anger brought on by the smallest things can ignite annoyance and appalling behaviour. Government and industry got together to launch ‘One Too Many’ just before the summer holidays began in earnest last year and it looks as though it is having a difference. In 2018, there were 413incidents that were reported which is down by just four on the previous year. But given the increase in people flying you might have expected to see an increase. That the campaign seems to be working is evidenced by reports from different airports and police forces. Glasgow Airport reported a 52% decrease in outbound alcohol-related offenders. Manchester Airport, saw a 23% reduction in incidents of disruptive behaviour and Birmingham Airport said that alcohol-related disruptive incidents were down 20%. The Travel Trade Forum which has been a supporter of the campaign along with IATA and the Airline Operators Association all say that the campaign will continue this year

Iberá Provincial Park . Image – Citiprensa

The Iberá National Park has been created in Argentina adding 395,000 acres to the neighbouring 1.3 million acres of the Iberá Provincial Park. It now becomes the largest national park in Argentine. Located in the second largest wetland in the world, the new protected space hopes to drive ecotourism to the area and it is expected that in 10 years, Iberá Park will receive over 100,000 visitors annually. Wildlife sightings activities will be increased by the growing populations of reintroduced species, like the giant anteater, tapir, peccary, pampas deer, jaguars, red and green macaws, seriemas, giant otter and bare-faced curassow.

At Windermere in the Lake District, a new museum has opened. Called the Windermere Jetty, the new museum comprises a cluster of seven buildings and is dedicated to 200 years of boating history at the Lake District National Park and Unesco World Heritage Site. The new museum is situated on the site of the former Windermere Steamboat Museum, which was founded in 1977. More than 40 vessels are on display at the museum, including SL Dolly – said to be the oldest mechanically powered boat in the world; a tarn boat that Beatrix Potter used to sketch in; and a 50-foot Victorian steam launch boat called Branksome – built in 1896. A series of new jetties installed on the lake allows visitors to sail on the 1902 vessel Osprey – one of the museum’s fully-restored Edwardian steam launches.

Osprey. © Windermere Jetty

A new museum run by the National Trust opened in London this week. The terrace house at 575 Wandsworth Road looks unlike the vast majority of NY properties and, at the front door, you might wonder why you should ever want it preserved. But inside there are intricate wooden carvings on walls and murals on the floor. (You won’t be allowed to wear shoes inside only socks so remember to wear matching ones with no holes in them.) The home of Khadambi Asalache, he created all the carving himself from reclaimed wood which carry Islamic, African and English influences making this an upcycling property par excellence. Visitors are limited to 2,000 a year so book or telephone in advance.

Tomorrow seems to be the opening of the tourism season for many places. Theme parks, Scone Palace (the first ones through the gates at 10am get Family Palace and Grounds Season Tickets and an Easter Hamper) and many CADW properties are re-opening for the year. I find it hard to believe that organisations would wish to re-open on April Fool’s Day but maybe that’s just my sense of the absurd.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has spent years investigating the car hire industry. Now it says that Avis, Enterprise, (which includes National and Alamo) Hertz and Sixt will make the charges more clear on their websites. Both the UK CMA and the EU have been pushing for these changes. Now the extras and conditions must state clearly along with what additional charges there are as well as listing details of optional extras and insurance. But it isn’t only car-hire companies that rent out cars. Comparison websites also have to change so three of them, weholiday.co.uk, affordablecarehire.com and flexiblehirecar.com will also follow the CMA advice. That still leaves a lot of companies selling hire-cars to sign up.

From this October, British visitors to New Zealand will need a visa waiver. Called an Electronic Travel Authority, you can apply for one after July 1st and it will cost NZ $9 via an app, or NZ $12 through an online application and will last up to two years. What seems unfair is that if you are transiting through NZ you will have to obtain an ETA as well despite having no intention of visiting the country so this is similar to the US system. To make it even more annoying if you are holidaying or staying in New Zealand you will also have to pay the country’s International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL), which costs NZ $35

If you are holidaying in the USA or transiting in one of their airports, have you even wondered where the likelihood of delays will be? Chicago has the dubious accolade of having more delays (by a long way) with 115,900 disrupted flights. In second place was Dallas Fort Worth with 75,600 which is quite a long way behind Chicago. Third was the busiest airport in the USA – Atlanta with 75,400 and fourth was an airport which has no UK direct flights. Charlotte Douglas. Some might be surprised that JFK in New York was only in 9th place with Boston in 10th.

Chicago skyline. Great when you get there but delays at O’Hare airport are more common than any other US airport

Earlier this week a BA flight from London City to Dusseldorf mistakenly used the wrong flight plan and ended up in Edinburgh. Egg on the face for BA staff. But it is also on the face of Ryanair staff because they used Twitter to mock BA suggesting a copy of Geography for Dummies. Proving that you need to be very careful these days unless you want to get bitten on the backside, Twitter users suggested at least two books for Ryanair, Employment Relations for Dummies and Customer Service for Dummies.

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