Friday, 19 December 2008

The Great Escape at Christmas

or those living in northern Europe, it is becoming an increasingly popular trend to escape the winter cold and the Christmas excesses, by heading instead to warmer climes for Christmas. What better way to enjoy the winter break than by relaxing in the sun, leaving behind the manic shopping, cooking, endless guests, and the snow and ice that you almost break your leg on as you try to get round all the Christmas parties?

Although the resorts of some popular holiday locations such as Greece and Turkey tend to shut down over the winter period, locations such as the Costa del Sol, the Canaries, or North Africa are ideal at this time of year, and a look through the search engines of the main holiday sites can turn up some very good deals. You could even head for the warmth of Goa, or the Caribbean.

You might think that Christmas Day itself would be the one of the days of the year that you would not consider flying, but booking a flight on this day does turn up some rather good bargains. Flights for the 23rd and 24th of December get booked up well in advance, and because of the demand, air tickets and holidays leaving on these days tend to sell at pretty steep prices. So if you want to get a real holiday or flight bargain, take a look at flights departing on Christmas Day itself.

In terms of holidays, I once bagged a magnificent two-week half-board holiday at a beautiful four star hotel on the Costa del Sol at an utterly knockdown price because the departure flight was on Christmas Day. Not only that, but the travel agent phoned us back with a further discount when it was realised that we would get in just too late for the Christmas Day Gala Dinner in the evening. In actual fact, when we arrived, a lovely welcoming dinner for just the two of us was laid out and waiting for us in the dining room. And we didn't miss out on the experience of a great Gala Dinner either, as included in the holiday cost was the superb celebratory of many courses for New Year’s Eve, along with preprandial drinks, champagne and goody bags.

So if the endless Christmas preparations along with the cold are wearing you out this year, think about a great escape for Christmas 2009.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Airport Focus: London City Airport

Situated in the former East London dockland area, London City Airport is a single runway airport which enjoys the status of being the only airport that is actually within London, and is the closest private jet centre to central London. Not only that, but London City Airport is a mere two miles from the site of the 2012 Olympic Games, which will give it great importance around the time of the next Summer Olympics. The airport is but three miles from Canary Wharf, six miles from the bustling financial City of London, and passengers travelling to and from the airport can enjoy fast transfers on the Docklands Light Railway, with a journey time of just 22 minutes to Bank Tube Station in the heart of the City.

With neat credentials such as these, it’s not surprising that London City Airport experienced record growth last year, with over 2.9 million passengers travelling through the terminal.

With its proximity to the financial district, and obvious convenience for those involved in finance, the airport gets considerable support from the business community. The ease of use of the airport is made even more so with faster check-in times than any other London airport.

Next year British Airways will launch from here its first business-class only transatlantic service to New York on the Airbus A318, which will be the first ever transatlantic scheduled flight from the airport.

London City Airport has recently made available throughout the whole of the terminal area free WiFi for all its passengers, and is the first airport in the UK to offer this service.

So from former dockland area to well-located airport, London City Airport is continuing the tradition of international links to East London.