Air passenger duty increases by 8%

Air passenger duty (APD) has increased by 8% since last year’s Autumn Statement. This will hit the pockets of budget holidaymakers hard as they bare the brunt of high travel costs. For short haul flights, the tax has increased from £12 to £13 and for long haul flights of over 4,000 miles; this has shot up from £85 to £92. A joint statement from the heads of easyJet, British Airways owner IAG, Ryanair and Virgin Atlantic claim that the hike would “hit millions of hard working families and damage the wider economy.” The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) expressed its disappoin…

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Air tax rise confirmed in budget

With the usual mixed response to the Chancellor’s budgets announcements now in full flow, one industry sector has been unanimous in its criticism. holiday travelThe planned increase in Air Passenger Duty (APD), which was first announced last year, is due to go ahead next month and has drawn condemnation from the travel industry who have claimed that the Chancellor has put “beer before aviation”. The comment reflects that the rise in APD stood in stark contrast to George Osborne’s decision to reduce the price of a pint of beer by one penny. Dale Keller, chief executive of the Board of Airline Represe…

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Aircraft cabin case sales increase

As costs continue to rise for ‘check in’ luggage, British holidaymakers are increasingly choosing to travel light and use carry-on ‘cabin’ baggage. compare travel cards A new survey from the popular auction website eBay has revealed that sales were up 75% on cabin luggage compared to the same period last year. One of the main advantages of not checking in any bags apart from the lack of extra costs is that waiting times at arrival are cut down as you don’t need to hang around while the luggage handlers unload the hold of the aircraft. eBay’s study also shows that as cases get smaller, so do holiday ess…

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Airline collapsed due to credit card debt

The financial company E-Clear is being investigated over an alleged £35m debt, which was a factor in the downfall of Flyglobespan. The Scottish airline collapsed last week, leaving around 4,500 holidaymakers stranded across Europe, North America and North Africa. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), one of Flyglobespan's administrators, has announced that the collapse could be linked to credit card payments due from E-Clear. PwC has requested that the funds held by E-Clear, which are estimated at £35m, be placed in a joint bank account 'immediately'. Joint administrator Bruce Cartwright claims the f…

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Airline introduces ‘design your own' in-flight meal

While many airlines are trying to compete with low cost flight operators by cutting back on in-flight drinks and food, Air Baltic is taking a novel approach by giving passengers the chance to customise their menu. Travel Travel The Latvian low-cost airline, which is based in the Latvian capital Riga and flies from Gatwick to 34 destinations, allows passengers to choose what makes up their in-flight meal at the same time as booking their seat. Founded in 1995 and with a fleet of 28 aircraft, Air Baltic flights from Gatwick currently take British travellers to destinations including Moscow,…

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Airlines rake in £265,000 a day from debit and credit card fees

Budget airlines are cashing in on £265,000 a day via debit and credit card charges for various purchases. Changes in the law will soon make it illegal for airlines to charge such high booking fees. However, many are still enjoying profits from this additional charge. Ryanair has been named and shamed as one of the worst offenders. It charges a massive £48 in return fees for a family of four making a booking using credit and debt cards. Other low budget carriers charge passengers for each leg of the journey, despite both the outgoing and inbound flights being booked in the same transaction. C…

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Alcohol-free destinations unpopular with British holidaymakers

A poll of more than 10,000 British adults, undertaken in the wake of the opening of an alcohol-free hotel in the Red Sea resort of Hurghada last month, has revealed that nearly two-thirds would avoid holiday destinations where they couldn’t drink alcohol. The research, carried out by TripAdvisor, found that 60% said the idea of not being able to drink at their destination would deter them from going there on holiday. The survey was prompted by the opening of the Le Roi in Egypt last month, which is aimed at attracting conservative Muslim tourists to the region. As well as a ban on alcohol, t…

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American Airlines speed up boarding

One of the holy grails for any airline is to speed up the time it takes to get passengers onboard. This is because hefty fines can be incurred by flights which don’t stick to the strict timetables imposed by airport authorities. Boarding flight This is the reasoning behind the recent introduction of reduced cabin baggage sizes by easyJet, although it remains to be seen how that will work in practice. Now American Airlines has launched a new system aimed at increasing the speed and ease of the boarding process for its passengers, and it is one which is also concerned with how much luggage they t…

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American Express announce new credit card deals

American Express has announced a range of special offers to celebrate the launch of Avios – the new reward scheme replacing Airmiles. The offers are available to new and existing American Express customers who take out the American Express British Airways Classic Card. From 17th November until 29th February 2012, new customers who take out the credit card will receive 9,000 Avios points if they spend £1,000 in the first three months of card membership. This is enough to pay for a return flight to zone one destinations, including Paris, Nice and Berlin. Existing card members will also benefit fr…

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American Express Contactless Credit Cards Sweep the UK

The first American Express branded contactless credit card is to be launched in the UK by MBNA so millions of customers can take advantage of the new quick and easy way to make purchases. MBNA is the first to issue EMV-enabled contactless credit cards in the UK for American Express, MasterCard and Visa. By the end of 2012 millions of MBNA UK customers will have their own contactless credit card to make quick and easy purchases without the need to enter a PIN. “We are delighted to offer a world first in providing EMV-enabled contactless credit cards across the three major payment networks,” sai…

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AmEx credit cards security warning

People with American Express credit cards beware: your information may not be as secure as you first think. A computer engineer in the States has found a section of their website which says that it is secure is anything but, as it fails to encrypt your credit card details. Joe Damato discovered that if you click the 'Sign up for Daily Wish' button and enter your personal information, it transmits it in clear text back to American Express' servers. The worry is that between your computer and their servers, your credit card information is open for anyone to steal, should they so wish. In a…

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