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Simon Calder

Train strikes, passports and carry-on kilts: 9 travel questions answered by expert Simon Calder

From the usual passport, vaccination and flight cancellation queries to how to journey with a kilt, readers had a wide-range of questions for The Independent’s travel correspondent, Simon Calder, on Thursday.Simon reported a slightly slow start to his weekly ‘Ask Me Anything’ due to waiting to board a late-running bus from Montreal to Quebec City in Canada, followed by an onboard laptop ban and dodgy WiFi.However, thanks to a friendly driver turning a blind eye to the laptop as long as the sound was off and Simon tethering to “a dodgy old mobile” with “internet about as good as it...
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Ask Me Anything: Simon Calder to answer your travel questions as train and airline strikes threaten holidays

Train strikes seem like a regular occurence at the moment, as many transport workers choose to walk out over disputes to do with pay, job security and the cost of living.This month is set to see yet more transport worker strikes across the country, as well as some aviation industry strikes set to affect Spain and Portugal.While the threat of additional travel chaos for thousands of British Airways passengers has been lifted after workers suspended plans for strike action at London Heathrow airport, train or tube strikes have been confirmed for some of the busiest travel weeks in mid-August.Meanwhile,...
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Ask Me Anything: Simon Calder to answer your travel questions as Brits told to avoid trains during heatwave

The mercury is rising - and, with it, the chance that your train will be delayed or cancelled.Temperatures continue set to soar and potentially hit 40C in the UK, train operators are reducing services to cope with the heat.Steel rails are susceptible to buckling under extreme temps; some companies will have to run trains at speeds as low as 20mph (instead of the usual 125mph) for safety reasons.Meanwhile, passengers across certain parts of the country have been told to only travel by train during the heatwave if their journey is strictly necessary, with Transport for London giving the same message...
TRAFFIC

Ask Me Anything: Simon Calder to answer your travel questions as UK hit by more rail strikes

This week, the UK has been hit by more rail strikes: one on Wednesday, with another coming up on Saturday.Walkouts involve different unions - RMT and Aslef respectively - across different train operators, but have major impacts on travellers’ plans.The 27 July strike left only one in five trains running, with some destinations seeing no services at all; the industrial action on 30 July involves drivers working for Chiltern, Greater Anglia, GWR, Hull Trains, LNER, London Overground (Arriva Rail London), Southeastern or West Midlands Trains, and will also cause widespread disruption.Further strikes are planned for August So what does it...
TRAFFIC

Summer travel 2022: your questions answered by expert Simon Calder

Plenty of hurdles stand between you and the beach this summer.Tens of thousands of British Airways flights have been cancelled this summer; Heathrow airport has capped passenger numbers; and easyJet has made a loss because of all the disruption – especially at Gatwick.On the roads, rails and seas there are a host of problems.Yet even so, millions of travellers are seeking to get away – and the travel correspondent of The Independent, Simon Calder, tackled questions from some of them.Flight disruptionQ: If I have a flight from Manchester to London Heathrow to Los Angeles and the Manchester-Heathrow part is cancelled, and...
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Ask Me Anything: Simon Calder to answer your travel questions as Heathrow caps passengers until September

In an unprecedented move, Heathrow airport has told airlines to stop selling flights for this summer.The aviation hub this morning announced a daily cap on passenger numbers until 11 September, saying that the airport could handle no more than 100,000 travellers each day.The upshot is that carriers will have to suspend sales on seats as yet unsold - and that more flight cancellations are likely on the way.So what does all this mean for your holiday? And will your flight be affected?Our expert Simon Calder will be on hand this afternoon, Tuesday 12 July, to answer all your questions in...
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Ask Me Anything: Simon Calder to answer your travel questions as British Airways strike suspended

As we look ahead to the peak summer holiday season, a threatened British Airways strike has been suspended.BA passenger service agents at Heathrow looked set to reveal walkout dates this week, after the majority voted in favour of industrial action last month.The dispute involved 700 BA personnel known as “above the wing” ground staff in terminals 3 and 5 at Heathrow airport, who were planning to strike over pay.However, the proposed industrial action is on hold after the company made an improved pay offer, Unite said on 7 July.So what does all this mean for your holiday? And is your...
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Flight cancellations, delays and compensation: 5 travel questions answered by Simon Calder

British Airways workers were threatening to announce a strike over pay this week but on Thursday, the union Unite announced the plans had been suspended.Holidaymakers are clearly still feeling anxious over flight cancellations and delays, which was evident when Travel Correspondent Simon Calder did his weekly ‘Ask Me Anything’ later that day.Flight questions were on the top of the agenda from readers who put their questions to Simon. Here are 5 reader questions answered by Simon.My wife and I are thinking of going to Crete in September but we are concerned with the what seems like vast number of flight...
AEROSPACE & DEFENSE

Ask Me Anything: Simon Calder to answer your travel questions as British Airways braces for strike announcement

As we look ahead to the peak summer holiday season, more travel chaos could well be in the works.Employees for various airlines are cooking up plans to strike, with some British Airways staff at Heathow, plus Spain-based crew for Ryanair and easyJet, threatening walkouts over pay.It follows UK carriers, overwhelmed by renewed demand for their services, being told to cut schedules in advance to avoid on-the-day flight cancellations this summer.So what does all this mean for your holiday?Our expert Simon Calder will be on hand on Thursday, 30 June, to answer all your questions in an ‘Ask me anything’ event,...
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Flight cancellations, vaccines and Brexit: 18 travel questions answered by Simon Calder

Travel chaos could well be in the works as airline employees cook up plans to go on strike during the peak summer holiday season.The Independent’s travel correspondent Simon Calder was on hand to answer questions on Thursday during his weekly ‘Ask Me Anything’.Flights, Brexit, vaccines and cruises were just some of the topics that came up when readers asked questions during an hour-long session.Here are 18 questions asked by readers and answered by Simon.Flight cancellationsQ: Regarding the flights that were cancelled this morning at Heathrow: Any idea if there is a risk of this happening again over the next week?...
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Flight cancellations, strikes and your rights: 8 questions answered by Simon Calder

Summer travel disruption, flight cancellations and strikes were at the forefront of questions asked by readers during travel correspondent Simon Calder’s weekly ‘Ask Me Anything’ on Friday.The message of the day? Stay positive. Simon urged readers to be optimistic when booking and reminded them of their rights should their flights be cancelled.Let’s dig in.It seems easyJet are now cancelling some flights 20 days in advance. Do you have any insight into how end of August is looking ?Several million people booked on easyJet over the summer will be wishing, as I am, that the airline could finalise all its cancellations...
AEROSPACE & DEFENSE

Travel: 8 questions on flight cancellations, strikes and your rights, answered by Simon Calder

Summer travel disruption, flight cancellations and strikes were at the forefront of questions asked by readers during travel correspondent Simon Calder’s weekly ‘Ask Me Anything’ on Friday.The message of the day? Stay positive. Simon urged readers to be optimistic when booking and reminded them of their rights should their flights be cancelled.Let’s dig in.It seems easyJet are now cancelling some flights 20 days in advance. Do you have any insight into how end of August is looking ?Several million people booked on easyJet over the summer will be wishing, as I am, that the airline could finalise all its cancellations...
LIFESTYLE

Ask Me Anything: Simon Calder to answer your travel questions ahead of summer of discontent

Now is the summer of our discontent - at least, if you’re trying to get anywhere.This week brought not only the biggest rail strike seen in decades, with trains across Britain impacted by three 24-hour walkouts, but continuing woes for airlines and airports too.Heathrow had a baggage handling “meltdown” on Monday, leading to various flight cancellations, while easyJet said it would be cutting its proposed summer schedule by 7 per cent, meaning hundreds of services will end up being axed ahead of time.Across the Pond, a pilot shortage is causing flight cancellations in the US.So what does all this mean...
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Six burning questions about flight delays and cancellations answered by Simon Calder

Holidaymakers have faced chaos since the removal of international travel restrictions for returning to the UK eight weeks ago.As people battle to get through to customer services over flight delays and cancellations and passport problems, many are turning to The Independent’s trusty travel correspondent Simon Calder, who is working hard to answer as many questions as he can.During his weekly ‘Ask Me Anything’ event, which took place on Wednesday this week, questions flooded in from a whole range of topics; from vaccinations to solo all-inclusives.However, the common theme this week is flight delays and cancellations. Here are six questions asked...
AEROSPACE & DEFENSE

Flight cancellations, rail strikes and passport problems: your travel questions answered by Simon Calder

The summer getaway is well under way, but for travellers the range of potential problems seems to be multiplying – with wholesale flights cancellations, a threatened rail strike across Britain and continuing issues with post-Brexit red tape.Simon Calder has tackled 11 pressing travel questions in his latest Ask Me Anything.Flight cancellations and delaysQ: If an airline cancels your flight, how do you actually make it fulfil its statutory obligations to get you to your destination or provide a hotel? Everything I’m seeing and hearing suggests they simply “hardball” you and do nothing to help. Better to take ownership, book yourself...
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Ask Me Anything: Simon Calder to answer your travel questions amid flight cancellations and rail strikes

Following weeks of chaos at the UK’s airports, with major airlines cancelling flights daily - some just hours before, or even after passengers have boarded the plane - the country’s airlines will now face questions from MPs.The Business, Energy and Industrial Select Committee is set to grill airline bosses, unions and aviation industry bodies over the flight cancellations faced by holidaymakers over the May half-term holiday on Tuesday, 14 June.The UK’s biggest budget airline, easyJet, has been cancelling dozens of flights daily, while BA has taken hundreds out of its schedule in the first few weeks of the summer travel...
INDUSTRY

Ask Me Anything: Simon Calder to answer your travel questions ahead of rail strike chaos

Rail woes are about to add to the UK’s considerable travel chaos; in a move that will bring much of the nation to a halt, the leading RMT union has instructed members employed by 13 train operators and Network Rail to strike.Three 24-hour walkouts have so far been announced for 21, 23 and 25 June, involving 40,000 workers.Separately, London Underground staff will strike on 21 June.The dispute is over pay and working conditions, with the gap between what the union wants and what companies are prepared to offer so wide it looks unlikely to be resolved before the planned disruption...
TRAFFIC

Simon Calder on easyJet, flight cancellations and passport problems

Wholesale flight cancellations, passport expiry worries and US Covid restrictions: as June gets under way, travellers have plenty of concerns.Our travel correspondent, Simon Calder, has been answering as many as he can in our latest Ask Me Anything.easyJet worriesQ: If my outbound flight with easyJet gets cancelled and I have to book with a different airline and claim back from easyJet, what happens to the return portion of the easyJet flight? Should I book a single or return flight with the different airline?Also, sometimes I book outbound with one airline and back with another. What happens in that situation if...
AEROSPACE & DEFENSE