Thursday June 26, 2014
|Falcon Responds to Greek Holiday Boom for 2015|
The Greek Islands are increasing in popularity among Northern Ireland holidaymakers, particularly families, as revealed at the launch of Falcon Holidays 2015 Summer Programme in Belfast today.
The numbers travelling to the Greek Islands on package holidays in the Province has steadily increased over the last number of years with Falcon's programme to Corfu proving welcome news as it took flight earlier this summer.
Speaking at the launch of Falcon Holiday's 2015 Summer Programme, Head of Ireland, TUI UK and Ireland, Carol Anne O'Neill said: "It's encouraging to note that the Greek market is becoming increasingly popular in Northern Ireland and since Corfu is a recent addition to our sun programme we expect this trend to grow even further. SplashWorld Resorts and Holidays Villages continue to be a firm favourite for holidaymakers in Northern Ireland, particularly families and we're delighted to offer a new SplashWorld Resort in Menora, available directly from Belfast International Airport."
Northern Ireland holidaymakers will be spoilt for choice in Summer 2015 as Falcon now offers 11 Holiday Villages in favourite locations such as Majorca, Ibiza, Menorca, Costa del Sol, Lanzarote and Tenerife to name but a few. This year in fact marks the 10th anniversary of the exclusive Holiday Village concept which has everything a family could need or want in one holiday destination.
As a booking incentive Falcon says it has thousands of free child places on offer and you can save up to £300 when you book as a couple in selected properties across a range of destinations. A limited number of free room and board upgrades are available for holidays booked before January 31, 2015 and free group places are on offer throughout the summer.
|Good News for Travellers to the US|
There's good news for holidaymakers on the eve of the main summer holiday season. The pound sterling hit a near five-year high against the dollar recently making US holidays in the weeks ahead great value for money.
Sterling broke through the $1.70 exchange mark for the first time since August 2009 recently although it has since fallen back slightly. South Africa is another destination where UK travellers will get great value for their spending money.
The pound also managed some gains against the euro recently. It hit a 20-month high of 79.59p before easing back to around 79.85p against the European single currency, which has come under pressure as the European Central Bank loosens policy to tackle worryingly low inflation.
|French Air Traffic Controllers Strike Ends|
French air traffic controllers have ended their industrial action which has caused serious disruption of flights in the UK and Ireland over the last two days.
The strike was called off at midnight last night (Wednesday), and Ryanair, one of the hardest hit airlines which has been forced to cancel hundreds of flights over the past few days, saying it will operate a normal schedule today.
EasyJet said it was expecting "a fairly normal operating day" today. It added: "The level of disruption caused over the last two days is likely to have some knock on effect throughout today, so regrettably we could still see a number of delays while we fully recover, but we are working hard to minimise any impact to our customers."
|Make Sure You're Covered for Strikes|
Hundreds of Irish travellers were left stranded after their flights were grounded during two days of the French air traffic control strike which ended last night at midnight.
Insurance company Multitrip.com travel insurance is now reminding travellers to be aware of what their travel insurance policy covers them for, should further strike action this summer affect their travel plans.
This French air traffic control strike is yet another stark reminder to travellers that strike action can occur at any time and without warning. This is why it is important to check what cover is provided under your travel policy in the event of a strike. Many travel insurance policies exclude cover for strike action and deem it the responsibility of the airlines to provide a refund to the customer for a cancelled flight or provide an option to travel on a different date.
Ciaran Mulligan, Managing Director, says: "In light of this French air traffic control strike, it is important that customers are aware of what they are covered for in the event of strike action. It is unbelievable that 25 per cent of people are still travelling without travel insurance, especially as an annual European policy with Multitrip.com is just 17.95 Euro. We are pleased to have the unique optional cover of 'Travel Disruption' available for unexpected costs incurred in making new arrangements due to strike action in addition to our strike cover."
|Football Action on Irish Sea Ferries|
Football fans won't have to miss out on the World Cup when they travel between now and Sunday, July 13 as Stena Line is showing the action onboard its Irish Sea ferries.
Passengers will also have the opportunity to enjoy some friendly competition with a World Cup fussball table in each of the bars and spot prizes. Other competitions include the 'Win in a Minute' competition with passengers winning an instant prize if they pick the time of the first goal in the live matches and a draw to win an official World Cup football shirt.
What's more, families still have the opportunity to set sail for less with Stena Line's great Kids Go Free offer which is available on all sailings from Belfast in June, July and August up until August 31 when booked at least seven days in advance and before June 30 2014.
For more information or to book contact Stena Line, go on to the company's website or visit your local travel agent.
|Half Price Discounts on Older BA 747s|
British Airways is to offer First Class seats on some of its older Boeing 747s at up to 50 per cent discounts from the winter, shortly before retiring the aircraft altogether.
The airline said that as the 'hardware' in the premium cabin in the older jumbos was no longer what First Class customers expected, the seats would be sold at business class (Club World) fares. In some cases, these are half the First Class tariffs. Flights affected are those from London to Las Vegas, Vancouver, Phoenix and Cape Town from October 26.
BA said the seats would be offered at a discount "for a short time" until the 747s are replaced with newer aircraft fitted with the airline's recently upgraded First Class.
|In the Dark about Passport Details|
According to new research from an online travel agency in the UK, half of Britons wouldn't be able to accurately say when their passport was due to expire; putting them at risk if they were to book any last minute trips abroad.
The agency conducted the poll following the recent reveal of the passport application backlog, which has allegedly affected as many as half a million holidaymakers. 1,822 adults from around the UK took part in the poll and answered questions relating to their holiday plans and passports. All respondents were in possession of a UK passport at the time of the survey. Respondents to the agency, sunshine.co.uk were initially asked if they would be able to accurately state when their passport was due to expire to the nearest year, to which over half (53 per cent) said 'no, I'd have no idea'. Thirty seven per cent said that they had a 'rough idea', while only 10 per cent said they 'definitely' knew.
When asked if they had already booked a holiday abroad for 2014, that they were yet to attend, 57 per cent, of the people taking part said 'yes'. Of these people, 23 per cent had also indicated that they were unsure when their passport was due to expire.
|Fiery Farewell Finale to Maritime Festival|
The biggest pyrotechnics display in the North West this year will light up the River Foyle on Saturday, as a massive fire and water show marks the end of the LegenDerry Maritime Festival.
A huge fiery battle between two pirate ships will be accompanied by a specular aquatic fireworks finale on Queen's Quay to close the weeklong festivities which have had the eyes of the world watching.
The dramatic ceremony is the brain child of well-known local man Donal Neill, from Pains Fireworks, who was involved in the Clipper Race stopover event in the city in 2012: "The fireworks display back in 2012 was, then, one of the biggest that Derry had ever seen so to get the chance to top that will be an absolutely incredible experience. The fireworks will have a maritime theme and will burn on the water with haunting, ghostly music so it will be a remarkable sight.
"Tied in with that we will have a narrative piece from a pirate who will speak about "dead men telling no tales", followed by the theatrical stand-off between two eight-metre tall galleons. It's all about thinking outside the box to make this hugely memorable."
The farewell finale will begin at 10pm on Queen's Quay. Park and Stride facilities are available at Fort George. For more information, visit legenderrymaritimefestival.com.
|Summer Charter Programme Takes Off|
The summer programme of Olympic Holidays' new charter flights and holidays to Crete, Rhodes, Cyprus and Corfu have begun from Belfast International Airport.
Local travel trade representatives were on hand to welcome the arrival of the Aegean Airlines A320 aircraft at Belfast International Airport bound for Crete with lots of excited holidaymakers.
Olympic Holidays are the market leader to Greece and is also operating holidays to Corfu and Rhodes from Belfast International Airport this summer. Olympic Holidays Commercial Director, Photis Lambrianides said: "All our holidays out of Belfast include a free baggage allowance of 15 kilos, with excellent in-flight services - meals and drinks - at reasonable extra cost."