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Travel News and Reviews

Eoghan Corry Talks Travel – January 2023

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Disappearing flights, Ryanair revenues rise, goodbye Flybe and welcome back Holiday World – Eoghan Corry talks travel this month.

We have become less connected to Britain and the pendulum is set to swing further in Europe’s direction in 2023, reports Eoghan Corry. We say goodbye to Flybe while Ryanair gets its strategy right. Travel agents welcome back Holiday World but remember to chase those new routes – Eoghan Corry talks travel this month.
 

 

 

Disappearing flights.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Sarah Slattery – Travel Expert (@the_travel_expert)

Have you booked to Stansted, Birmingham or Leeds Bradford this summer? Then look again. Flights are disappearing from the summer schedule and it would take all the skill and the guile of a few pre-pubescents and Timmy their dog to keep track of them all.
 

 

 
British flights are first to go, with London’s three airports and the regionals all losing out. Our airport stats from 2022 show we have become less connected to Britain since the double whammy of Brexit and Covid and this trend is accelerating. Passenger traffic to and from Britain was 31pc of the total in 2019 and is now down to 28pc, Europe was 53pc and is up to 57pc. The pendulum is set to swing further in Europe’s direction in 2023.
 

 

 

Disappearing bags.

disappearing bags at Dublin airport

The number of missing bags since last summer is now down to around 200. In normal times these could safely written off as irrecoverable. But these are not normal times and a few are showing up intermittently. In normal times up to 50 bags a day were lost at Dublin airport. That rose to about 300 a day during the summer, with Aer Lingus, Sky handling and Swissport.
 

 

 
Aer Lingus have hired an extra 100 service agents and updated their website to make reporting and claiming easily, both for interim expenses and then for the final claim when the bag is written off after 21 days (Aer Lingus say 80pc of the bags missing in Dublin airport were never loaded in the first place at congested hubs like Heathrow).
 

 

 
Don’t hold your breath for the compo. Compensation for a lost bag is pitiful, and will barely cover lost clothes. Even the calculation sounds like it was arrived at 30,000 feet up in cloud cuckooland, in a fictitious currency called International Drawing Units.
 

 

 

Priority profits.

ryanair

Ryanair’s business update for November to December indicates revenue per passenger is now €60, which is €22 higher than the average fare. It shows the success of the Ryanair strategy of cheap lead fares, and charging us more by the time we have finished the booking and got our digital mitts on that magic six digit booking reference.
 

 

 
Of course, we can always travel without priority boarding, a cup of coffee, a bag and with randomly allocated seats, and (what the heck, let’s do it) a scratchcard. But what would be the fun in that?
 

 

 

Goodbye-be Flybe.

Flybe cease trading - Eoghan Corry talks travel

The loss of Flybe as an alternative air carrier from Ireland is more significant and worrying than appears at first glance. Passengers will almost certainly get the air fare back, to their card if the payment is recent and from the travel insurer if you have disruption. But hotels and event tickets are going to be trickier, and the English CAA website is notoriously vague on the subject of compensation.
 

 

 
The problem now is that Belfast City has lost 30% of its flights and a lead customer. Less competition is bad for consumers. Competition on flights from Belfast to Heathrow is already reduced by the withdrawal of Aer Lingus on the route.
 

 

 

Rising tides and cruise ships

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Sarah Slattery – Travel Expert (@the_travel_expert)

It will be a big year for cruise with 28 major cruise ship launches, bigger and more luxurious ships set to launch. Cruise ship bookings in January have given companies an indication of the workings and price points that suit the Irish market and they report brisk business. MSC Cruises has two new ships, MSC Euribia in June and the launch of a new luxury category, the 922 passenger Explora 1.
 

 

 

Secret Agents

Eoghan Corry talks about Holiday World 2023

The Holiday World show had a sizeable presence of members of the Irish Travel Agents Association all playing up the benefits of booking with an agent in a post-pandemic environment. Consumer protection is not the only reason for seeking out the assistance
of a travel agent.
 

 

 
Travel agents came into their own when flights were cancelled, refunds sought, and when flights were missed because of security queues, and also for dealing with the headaches when bags went missing. They can offer agent only discounts and robust deposit policies, where as little as €1 deposit can secure the summer holiday instead of paying up front.
 

 

 
Researching a holiday with an agent saves time and webpages, gives the opportunity of booking all parts of the holiday in one go, and offers one point of contact if anything changes or anything goes wrong. The agency holiday should also be equal to or better value than DIY bookings.
 

 

 

Chase the new routes.

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Sarah Slattery – Travel Expert (@the_travel_expert)

Remember to chase those new 2023 routes for the best prices, 14 from Dublin airport, five each from Shannon and Belfast international, three from Belfast City, two from Cork and one from Knock.
 

 

 
Aer Lingus to Cleveland is the headline start-up on May 19th. Eastbound, El Al’s new Tel Aviv route starts March 16th. There are also a clutch of winter routes some of which are continuing (such as Ryanair Dublin to Genoa).

Not all are from high profile airlines: HiSky Dublin to Bucharest-Otopeni is already running and Widerøe to Bergen begins April 27th. It takes a year for a new route to find its price point, during which time the consumer has a short-lived and rare advantage.
 

 

 

Showtime to Go-time.

Declan Nerney holidays

A severely shrunken series of Holiday World shows in Limerick, Belfast and Dublin made up in excitement what they lacked in size with sunshiny smiles all round. While France and Italy did not show their colours (Ryder cup venue Italy tried, but were hampered by politics at home), Spain, Portugal and USA made up for it with razzmatazz and Declan Nerney showed up to tell
us to “stop the world and let us off.” Not yet, Declan, not yet.
 

 

 

Missed last month’s post? 

Read: Eoghan Corry talks travel – December 2022

Eoghan Corry

Travel News and ReviewsTravel Tips

Eoghan Corry Talks Travel – September 2022

Ryanair and Aer Lingus

Flight cancellations, lost luggage, lack of hotel beds and more – Eoghan Corry talks travel this month. 

It has been a summer, says Eoghan Corry. Nobody was sure what shape the holiday season would take, but the travel industry, always full of surprises, threw in a few extra twists for us this year. So there is lots of things to ruminate about as we face into the last few weeks of the summer schedules. Rumination with a view, if you like. 

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1. Ryanair are roaring.

Eoghan Corry's talking points on Ryanair

“Fortune favours the bold,” is a slogan that could have been thought up by Michael O’Leary. Not many, at least outside the control room in Swords anticipated the scale of Ryanair’s passenger growth in summer 2022.
 
The headline figures compared with 2019 show two things: Ryanair’s readiness to snap up the business of returnees to travel and the caution of the opposition. Ryanair’s policy of keeping its aircraft certified, its pilots licensed and its cabin crew employed through Covid meant that it did not hit the staffing crisis faced by almost everyone else on the departure board.
 

 

 
It meant that Ryanair, for a time during summer at least, were the second busiest airline in the world. And because it flies point to point and does not do transfers, it did not get caught up in the lottery of lost bags.

Ryanair monthly passenger rate increases got bigger as their rivals floundered in the heat of summer, 5.4% ahead of 2019 in April, 9.2% in May, then 12% 13.5% and 13.4% in June, July and August, at a time most airlines are expecting to report lower numbers than three summers ago.
 

 

 
What next? An ambitious schedule has already been published for 2023. Ryanair is anticipating two new aircraft a week between now and March, although Boeing seem to be able to deliver only half that number unless something improves in Seattle.
 
It is well positioned to face a further rise in fuel price this winter, and willingness to turn its back on Frankfurt Main and Zaventum shows it is still prepared to pull out of an airport deal if the terms are not right.
 

 

 
That means more of the same: cheap headline prices, but be prepared to be shaken down on ancillaries. Some of the fares on offer for summer 2023 are surprisingly high. And Christmas is off the scale.

Read: Book Ryanair flights with 50% deposit on family fares
 

 

 

2. Lingus are not laggards.

talking points on Aer Lingus with Eoghan Corry

When BA, Lufthansa Air France and Easyjet assessed the rosters in May and made the call to cancel thousands of scheduled flights, Aer Lingus decided not to do so and flew straight into a series of well publicised sickness shortages.
 

 

 
The short term cancellations caused by staff absences, at their peak, caused disruption that was no greater than a moderate weather event. The problem was that 27% of their flight cancellations were at less than six hours’ notice, bad news for both airline and passengers.

Another difference was that Aer Lingus publicised their problems, while Air France, American, BA, Eurowings, United, SAS and Westjet quietly cancelled without drawing attention to themselves.
 

 

 
When they thought nothing else could go wrong, someone in England dug up the cable that links the booking reference to the cloud, 800 gigabytes of oppression. There is an ongoing problem for Aer Lingus, the interface between their once state of the art Astral system and the front end website and app.

For the future: expect earlier cancellations and (maybe) fewer press releases.
 

 

 

3. Cold cases.

Eoghan Corry talks lost luggage

The baggage mountain in Dublin airport became a social media meme of its own this summer. Musicians, golfers, brides and even a dead parent’s ashes were all sucked into it at some stage, like an otherworld villain from a 1950s B movie.
 

 

 
Many, though not all of the problems, were caused by bags that failed to make the transfer flight in Heathrow, Amsterdam and, especially Toronto, among other places.

Baggage handlers were slow to staff up and thwarted by red tape. The issue now is that the problem is likely to taper on, with Heathrow saying their woes will spill on until next summer.
 

 

 
Our tech-heavy baggage system was designed for efficient airline operations and enough beefy men to actually lift the bags. Neither situation prevails at the moment.

Read: How to prevent lost luggage when travelling
 

 

 

4. Hotels are overheated.

hotel demand in Ireland

Forget the burgeoning energy bill. It is hot in the lobby. Dublin’s hotels went into the recover knowing they were about 3,500 rooms short of demand.

They also had up to 80% of their stock already taken with deferrals (about 25%), tour ops (35%) and government contracts (about 17%) while 2.4% of hotels chose not to reopen at all. That left 6% of rooms, one sixteenth of the total, for walk in business.
 

 

 
To ramp the temperature up further, it was a summer of 30 concerts, three times the number we danced at 2019, with the likes of the Eagles and Garth Brooks likely to draw the very cohort of customers hotels spend a lot of their marketing budgets trying to attract.
 

 

 
All this was not going to end well, and country hotels are blaming their cosmopolitan colleagues for the PR disaster that ensued. The hoteliers knew the figures before the first check in of summer. How did they allow it to go so wrong so quickly?
 

 

 

5. Cruising’s breakers yard blues.

Celebrity Beyond

We remember, if not always fondly, the iconic budget cruise ships of the past. Okay, some of these elderly maidens were short on space, long on years and in need of a makeover, but for many Irish people they provided their first cruise.

This summer they all paraded off to the breakers’ yard, the CMV Magellan and Marco Polo and Fred Olsen’s Boudicca, while Black Watch has become an accommodation ship.
 

 

 
Royal Caribbean’s original Monarch and Sovereign of the Seas, later sailing for Pullmantur, also tugged off to Davy Jones’ locker, or as Luke Kelly used to sing, Fiddler’s Green.
 

 

 
While there is plenty of excitement at sea this autumn, with 17 new ships including the marquee launches of RCCL’s Wonder of the Seas, Celebrity Beyond and Norwegian’s Prima, Princess announcing its new Sphere-class and MSC Seascape to follow in a few weeks, the crisis that hit cruising more than other aspects of travel has cleared the quays of the smaller older ships that used to offer low budget options.
 
Read: How to choose the right cruise for you
 

 

 

6. Covid hasn’t gone away (you know).

travel updates on summer travel

Few things cause as much dismay at a departure gate as the unexpected news that a flight still requires masks., A surprising number still do. Germany is the latest to drop masking requirements on flights, next Saturday. But remember Asia is still largely closed, Africa and South America still complicated, and local restrictions can still bite us in the earlobes.
 

 

 
Travel insurance has never been as important as now. Make sure it covers covid, including the isolation period before you fly home.

One of the distractions of the summer is the complication experienced by passengers boarding cruise ships, whose Covid insurance was deemed inadequate by the gangway attendants. Being right is no use if you lose the argument as you walk the plank.
 

 

 

7. Garda blues about passports.

Irish passport

Nobody could say it aloud, but when the great passport delay hit the headlines, one body of gentlemen were to blame. Finding the Garda that signed the witness form for first time applicants proved as elusive as the first salmon catch on the Moy.
 

 

 
While all the systems that we use to issue passports have been updated, and sideshows such as a printing machine in Cork hit the headlines, the logjam was caused by the old fashioned phone call to a Garda who was not due to be rostered until Tuesday next or has been promoted to a bigger job.
 

 

 
There is no certainty the window dressing of “closer liaison” will solve this problem. Get that application in as soon as the new-born baby arrives.
 

 

 

8. Three strikes and we are all out.

cancelled flights

The summer round aviation strikes were more about headlines than about the havoc those promised. Ryanair’s Med-based cabin crew strikes were staged by tiny unions who did not have the muscle to cause enough cancelations to impact their schedule. SAS pilots and Belgian cabin crew were the exceptions, but neither affected mainstream holiday destinations.
 

 

 
An exception is the French air traffic control. Three unions are competing in terms of militancy and there is an uncertain political balance. This means that we can expect half of the flights to and from France and a significant number of overflights to places like Reus to be affected by two further strikes.
 

 

 
There is nothing airlines can do about this except cancel the required 50p% of their schedule and appeal to Brussels to allow neighbouring countries take command of overflights. It should not be that difficult.

Eoghan Corry

 

Eoghan Corry

Travel

When Can We Travel Again? 5 Things That We Need to Consider

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‘When can we travel again?’ was the top searched question on Google last week. Find out my thoughts below.

I was surprised to learn that ‘when can we travel again’ was the top searched question in Ireland last week. I should clarify, I am not surprised that people want to know when we can travel again, (God knows I do!), but I thought the question was a little vague. The answers to this question are completely different depending on where you want to travel to – be it at home or abroad, how much annual leave you have, and whether the airlines will even be flying. (Note this post was published in May 2020).

 

Instagram

 

There are five key questions that need to be asked before we can think about when can we travel again to a foreign country. If you can answer yes to all of these, then get planning! Otherwise you may need to hang on a little longer to find out…
 

 

 

1. Is the country you wish to travel to open for international visitors?

when can we travel again

Currently the Department of Foreign Affairs is advising against non-essential travel to most countries, except those on our Green List. Most of Europe is open to International visitors, but some require visitors to produce a negative covid test to gain entry.  Many countries including Australia, New Zealand and the US are expected to be closed to International visitors for many months.  

 

 

2. When will flights resume?

ryanair - when can we travel again

 

Many airlines have already resumed flying, albeit with reduced capacity. There are temperature checks and covid tests available in many airports, and face masks are mandatory on all airlines. Ryanair’s latest video highlights the new Covid measures than have been put in place. 
 

 

 

 

 

3. Are you prepared to self-isolate on entry and on your return?

travel updates due to coronavirus - when can we travel abroad again

Even if a country is allowing foreign visitors entry, there may be restrictions with regard to self isolation. These policies are changing all the time and may be removed in due course. Tests may also be carried out at the airport (see above) to eliminate the need for self isolation. 
 

 

 
Currently Ireland has a policy whereby anyone entering Ireland has to self isolate for 14 days if travelling from a non Green List country – this applies to both tourists and residents.  It is possible that you will need to plan annual leave for up to six weeks if you want to take a two week holiday – this includes two weeks self isolation when you arrive and when you return. If you can work from home this may not be an issue for you, but it should be something you clarify with your employer before you plan a holiday.
 

 

 

4. Are you happy to holiday with restrictions still in place?

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Sarah Slattery – Travel Expert (@the_travel_expert) on

There is no doubt that holidays will not be the same until a vaccine is found. Most countries will have restrictions on the number of people in hotels, restaurants, bars and even beaches. Selected tourist resorts in Europe require you to pre-book your beach space in advance.

However, we have managed to get used to restrictions to a certain extent at home, so perhaps we will get used to it when travelling too. Villas and self catering holidays are already proving to be widely searched, and hotels will have much smaller numbers of guests. Personally, I will certainly be happy to holiday with restrictions in place, once it is safe to do so.
 

 

 

 

5. Are you concerned about contracting Covid-19 while you are away?

when can we travel again

This might vary depending on your age, reason for travel, and whether you can take time off work if you do happen to contract Covid-19 while abroad. Most countries when open, will have restrictions in place, possibly similar to our own. You may find the likelihood of contracting Covid-19 abroad is not much more than staying at home.
 

 

 
However, it is likely that you wont be able to stick to social distancing guidelines in airports, airplanes and even beaches. Many new insurance policies may have exclusions in place and will not cover you for Covid-19 – however Multitrip.com will cover you once the Department of Foreign Affairs says it is safe to travel to your destination. Ts&Cs will apply.
 

 

 
While the free European Heath Insurance card will be allow you to get treatment in a public hospital in Europe, it will not cover you for additional expenses such as hotel bills or rebooking alternative flights, should you need to stay in a country longer than planned. It is important to have adequate travel insurance cover in place before you travel.
 


 
It is important to note that travel restrictions and airline policies are changing daily, and that social distancing has become the new normal. Of course if a Covid-19 vaccine is found, travel may back to normal sooner than we think. In the meantime, I am hopeful that the work being done at European Commission level and throughout the world will make sure airports and airlines will be adequately prepared for when can we travel again – lets hope it is sooner rather than later.

 

Like this post? You might like:

Latest travel updates

Latest updates on refunds and vouchers

 

Note some of the links in this post are affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made, but at no additional cost to you.

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert

 

 
 
Travel

AerClub Event at Kildare Village 8th & 9th September. Save up to 20%, Collect Triple Avios & Lots More!

Doing anything this weekend? I know where I’ll be – at the exclusive AerClub event at Kildare Village!

 

This weekend, on the 8th and 9th of September, AerClub are having an exclusive event at Kildare Village for AerClub members. Not only can you save up to 20% in participating stores, but you can also collect triple Avios, that’s 15 Avios for every €4 spent! You will also get free access to the VIP Lounge during your visit and you could win a shopping trip for two to Barcelona! This exclusive event is a great way to boost your Avios account. Fancy some Autumn / Winter wear or maybe some early Christmas shopping? Popular stores including Hobbs, Asics, Sun Fashion Lab, Watch Station and many more are participating. A full list of participating stores will be released shortly.

aerclub event at kildare village

To put this into context, so you can see how great this promotion really is, if you spend €200 at Kildare Village this weekend, you will receive a whopping 3000 Avios, plus a bonus of 200 Avios (1 per customer for any purchase) when you claim your Avios on the day! You only need 8000 Avios for a return flight to Paris and 26,000 for a return flight to New York (you just need to pay taxes, fees and charges). You can also use Avios to pay for hotels, car hire and travel experiences. See five ways to spend Avios here. I am a big fan of Avios and I have already collected 60,000 Avios, most of which were accumulated by shopping. For more details on how to get flights and upgrades by shopping click here. In case you didn’t know, Avios are a reward currency that are used by many airlines including Aer Lingus, British Airways and Iberia, as well as various hotel websites and high street stores.

aerclub event at kildare village

How do I receive my exclusive invitation?

Only AerClub members will receive the above benefits. If you are an AerClub member you can click here to register for the event. You will receive a confirmation email. Simply present this at the Welcome Desks in Kildare Village, to receive your exclusive shopping pass for additional discounts at participating boutiques. If you are not a member of AerClub you can join now for free and then register for the event afterwards.

How do I join AerClub?

For those of you who haven’t yet joined AerClub, this is the perfect time to do it. Simply click here to join AerClub, it couldn’t be easier! Once you have joined, click here to register for the event and you will receive a confirmation email.

aerclub event at kildare village

How do I collect triple Avios?

Once you have registered for the event and received your confirmation email, you should present this to the Welcome Lounge in Kildare Village to receive a store directory. This contains a unique barcode which must be scanned at participating boutiques to avail of the exclusive discounts. At the end of your shopping day simply present your purchase receipts at the Tourist Information and the staff will register your purchases. Note, this has to be done on the day to collect the bonus Avios and to collect triple Avios on your shopping. Avios will be credited to your account within 40 days. Note exclusions can apply and discounts may not be available in conjunction with other promotions.

And thats not all – Win a VIP trip for 2 to Barcelona!

If you are an AerClub member, simply present your receipts at the Tourist Information during the event and you will be entered into a prize draw to win 160,000 Avios and a VIP shopping trip for 2 to La Roca Village, Barcelona! 160,000
Avios is enough for return flights for two from Dublin to Barcelona (taxes, fees and charges excluded), plus a 2-night stay in a 4* hotel. This VIP trip also includes transfers from your hotel, a gift card for €250 and lunch for two people
! Competition terms and conditions apply  – see here.

aerclub event at kildare village

And enjoy access to the VIP lounge

You are also invited to access the VIP lounge at Kildare Village from 12pm – 6pm on both days, 8th and 9th of September. So chill out and enjoy something sweet with a coffee or a glass of bubbly before, or after, your shopping! Silver, Platinum and Concierge AerClub members can access the lounge between 10am-12pm each day. So shop like a VIP and treat yourself to some Autumn wear or some do some early Christmas shopping. I hope to see you there!

 

This post was sponsored by Avios but all views, as always, are my own.

 

Sarah

Travel

Want To Get Paid To Travel The World This Summer?

all inclusive resorts

WOW air is offering two lucky people the chance to spend the Summer living in Iceland and get paid to travel the world to their 38 global destinations!

 

Not only will you be PAID to travel the world but you will also be paid to rate restaurants, nightlife and hospitality, for three months!! You will move to Reykjavik and from there explore Iceland as as many other WOW air destinations that you can fit in from June to August.

paid to travel the world

WOW air flies to 38 destinations including New York, San Francisco, Toronto, Miami and Amsterdam. According to WOW air ” the two travellers will be expected to sample the best that each destination has to offer, rating the food, nightlife, activities, hospitality and budget-friendliness. Their content will be shared on the WOW air website and social media pages. “We’re looking for two best friends, a couple—even two strangers—to produce insightful, light-hearted content that fellow travellers and holidaymakers want to watch and read. Not only is the competition an excellent opportunity for travel, it’s a chance for the winners to hone their digital skills and publish their work to a huge online audience”.

paid to travel the world

 

How to enter:

You and a friend will need to submit a short video guide of your hometown, between 30 seconds to 2 minutes in length. You are being paid as content creators so you will need to make sure your video is creative!  The WOW air Travel Guide competition is open to everyone over the age of 18.

Visit travelguide.wowair.com for more details and a full list of Ts&Cs.

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert

 

Travel News and Reviews

Portugal Wins World’s Leading Destination at the World Travel Awards

I have visited Portugal many times so I was delighted to hear it won the World’s Leading Destination award at the prestigious World Travel Awards last week.

 

It is great to see Portugal being recognised with such an accolade, as well as Lisbon winning the world’s leading city break destination. While the Algarve is one of Ireland’s most popular destinations for holidaymakers, regular direct flights to Lisbon and Porto are making Portugal’s cities, firm favourites too. In fact passenger growth from Ireland has increased dramatically and now Ireland is considered one Portugal’s fastest growing markets. I am just back from a weekend in Porto and I loved it. The city of Porto is UNESCO World Heritage site, full of colourful buildings, delightful streets and has a great food and wine scene. If you haven’t already visited, read my blog on why you need to choose Porto for your next city break.

world travel awards

These awards are a fantastic achievement, particularly as Portugal is the first European country to win the World’s Leading Destination award. Portugal won Europe’s Leading Destination in September which automatically entered them into the final along with 17 other countries. It beat off competition from the USA, Brazil, as well as six time winners, Dubai, to win the coveted prize of at the World Travel Awards, on the 10th of November in Vietnam.

But that’s not all, Portugal also won 6 other awards:

– World’s Leading Tourist Board for Turismo de Portugal
– World’s Leading Tourism Authority Website for Visit Portugal
– World’s Leading Island Destination 2017 for Visitmadeiraofficial
– World’s Leading City Break Destination 2017 for Visit Lisboa
– World’s Leading Conservation Company 2017 for Parques de Sintra
– World’s Leading Luxury Leisure Resort 2017 for Pine Cliffs, a Luxury Collection Resort

world travel awards

Ana Mendes Godinho, Secretary of State for Tourism said, “It is the acknowledgment of the country that we have. An authentic, innovative, reinvented country that combines a wide variety of experiences and landscapes, a country that combines cosmopolitanism, history, tradition, sun, nature and gastronomy. A country that knows and enjoys to welcome everyone. We must now continue this work of showing all the diversity of what Portugal has to offer and which makes us a tourism destination of excellence”.

 

So if you haven’t already visited Portugal, go see it in 2018!

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert

Travel Tips

Why You Need To Add Travel Disruption Cover To Your Travel Insurance Policy

cancelled

Last year massive travel companies like Thomas Cook and WOW Air ceased trading, thousands of flights were cancelled over strikes, and currently the Coronavirus is causing havoc for travellers in 2020. If you don’t already have Travel Disruption Cover – get it now!

Insurance is one of those purchases that unfortunately you only really value when something goes wrong.  I always book my travel insurance with Multitrip.com and just renew it each year without asking any questions. However in light of recent events, I like many of you, found myself asking what exactly am I covered for?
 

 

 
Read: What to do if you have booked a holiday and are worried about Coronavirus
 
Most insurance policies will not cover you for ‘acts of God’ like hurricanes or volcano eruptions, or for airline strikes or closures. Remember the Icelandic ash cloud? 100,000 flights were cancelled and many people were left stranded for weeks.
 

 

 
Multitrip.com however, have a Travel Disruption Cover which can be added to all policies from as little as €10 (single trip policy) and €17 (annual policy) and will provide you with additional cover in the event of adverse weather conditions, airline cancellations and even strikes.
 
Book here
 

travel disruption cover

 

 

 
Like all insurance policies however, you can’t purchase Travel Disruption Cover after something goes wrong… Once you have added it to your policy it will be effective seven days later. So don’t wait until you hear that a case of Coronavirus has been reported in the country you are going too – add it to your policy now. 

Note: new bookings will not be covered against Covid-19 if there is a travel advisory in place advising ‘all but non essential travel’ to a particular country.
 

 

 
Travel Disruption Cover offers extended cover under delayed departure, missed departure and accommodation sections, should your flight be cancelled or delayed as a result of strike or adverse weather conditions.
 

    • If your flight is cancelled or delayed for more than 12 hours it covers additional accommodation and travel costs up to €1,000.
    • If your flight is cancelled or delayed for more than 12 hours then you can claim back up to €1,000 for irrecoverable unused travel and accommodation costs should you cancel.
    • Claim back up to €1,000 for accommodation if you have to be moved from your current location or cut your trip short because of flood, earthquake, volcanic eruption etc
    • Covers cancellation or curtailment charges should the Foreign & Commonwealth Office or World Health Organisation advise against travel to the country or specific area you are travelling to.
    • Gives you control of the situation and the added security that you have sufficient cover should an airline cancel, delay or redirect your flight after take-off.

 
Book Travel Insurance Here
 

 

 
Note some of the links in this post contain affiliate links, where I receive a small commission if a booking is made, but at no additional cost to you.

Related articles on the blog:

Cancelled Flight? – What to do when things go wrong.

Top tips for booking travel insurance.
 

 

 
Sarah

The Travel Expert

 

Travel

It’s Double Avios Points Weekend! Shop Via The Avios Estore From 5th – 8th October!

online shopping

I get very excited when I hear about Avios promotions! Yes, I will no doubt be doing some serious online shopping this weekend, to take advantage of the Avios eStore Double Avios Weekend!

 

For those of you who have been following me on my journey, I am delighted that have already accumulated almost 30,000 Avios points this year. I just need another 7,000 for a business class upgrade to New York with Aer Lingus – how cool is that! Most of my Avios points were collected by shopping, I have only collected 2469 points by flying. I shop in Supervalu regularly and convert my Real Rewards to Avios. Occasionally I shop in Kildare Village, but the majority of my points were accumulated by shopping through the Avios eStore. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not spending a fortune online, I’m just clever with my purchases. Recently I bought the kids school supplies from Easons, their uniforms from Marks & Spencer and new runners from Adidas. Those three purchases accumulated 6000 Avios! For anyone who is not familiar with Avios, read my first post about how to get flights and upgrades with Avios points.

 

Here are some of my top store picks from the eStore Double Avios Weekend. I have highlighted a few offers that I think you should watch out for but click here for the full list of all participating stores.

 

Marks & Spencer: 8 Avios for every €1 spent.

Choose their best selling jeggings, some mens polo shirts, cute kidswear or Rosie’s latest underwear, there is always something to be bought in M&S. If you spend €100 that gives you 800 Avios points. Shop here.

double avios points

Expedia: 14 Avios for every €1 spent.

Planning a Christmas market break or a sun holiday in the near future? You can massively increase your Avios points with accommodation or holiday purchases. A hotel break for €500 will give you 7,000 Avios or a €2000 family holiday will give you 28,000 Avios. You could almost have your business class upgrade in one purchase! Shop here.

double avios points

Adidas: 20 Avios for every €1 spent.

Kids football boots, the fashion must haves – Superstars, or the latest Stella Mc Cartney gym gear, there is something in the Adidas store to suit everyone. With 20 Avios for every €1 you spend, a new pair of Superstar runners will give you 2000 Avios points. Shop here.

double avios points

Groupon: 14 Avios for every €1 spent

From short breaks to Christmas gifts, restaurant offers to teeth whitening deals, Groupon is your one stop daily deals website. Collect 1400 Avios for every €100 spent on top of their already discounted prices. Shop here

double avios points

Lego: 10 Avios for every €1 spent.

Shopping for Christmas already? Parents know too well how expensive Lego can be but if you can accumulate Avios points while buying toys for the kids, it will soften the blow. Collect 1000 Avios for every €100 spent. Shop here.

double avios points

ASOS: 14 Avios;  Boohoo.com: 6 Avios; Pretty Little Thing: 10 Avios, for every €1 spent.

Shopping for yourself or your daughter perhaps? Get the latest autumn winter looks from the UK’s biggest online fashion stores and collect Avios points at the same time. Shop here.

double avios points

Apple: 4 Avios

Planning on a getting a new phone, iMac or apple watch for Christmas? Perhaps you are thinking of treating the kids to new iPads? Buy them now and collect Avios points too.  Collect 1500 points if you buy the new apple watch or 2000 points if you buy a mini iPad. Shop here.

double avios points

 

How to sign up.

If you are already an AerClub  member, your existing log in and password will suffice. Collect Avios points by logging in to avios.com/ie with your AerClub details and clicking through to the Avios eStore. For those who have not yet joined, you can join any of the airline programmes here. Why not download the free Avios app too, it will allow you book flights on the go, check your Avios balance and find out where to collect.

 

Where else can I collect Avios points?  There are many ways to collect Avios points but here are some of my favourites:

  • Fly with Aer Lingus, British Airways and Iberia and book car hire with Avis.
  • Shop at SuperValu, Kildare Village and Appleby.
  • Make your restaurant reservation by using Restaurant Circle. Normally you receive 250 Avios for each restaurant reservation but from now until the end of December you receive 500 Avios.  Christmas party bookings perhaps?
  • Irish Independent are giving customers a staggering 30,000 Avios points if you subscribe to the Irish and Sunday Independent for six months.

 

Ts&Cs

The Double Avios points offer is valid from 00.01 Thursday 5 October till 23:59 Sunday 8 October on the Avios eStore. Selected retailers are excluded from the Double Avios points offer and certain exclusions apply to each stores, see individual retail pages within the Avios eStore for details.

Click here to shop the eStore

 

This post was sponsored by Avios but all views, as always, are my own.Sarah
Travel Tips

Flight Cancelled With Ryanair? You May Be Entitled To Expenses And Compensation

Ryanair

Another week, more headline grabbing news from Ryanair.  Ryanair are cancelling 40 – 50 flights every day for the next six weeks. If you have a flight cancelled with Ryanair, you may be entitled to compensation.

 

Although Ryanair say that this is less than 2% of their schedule, this doesn’t offer much consolation for those affected. To make matters worse the only explanation given by Ryanair is

“We have messed up in the planning of pilot holidays and we’re working hard to fix that”.

Ryanair have only offered cancellation notices until Wednesday 20th of September so those who are travelling later in September or October still have no idea of whether their flight will operate. For a full list of flights that Ryanair have already cancelled click here

flight cancelled with ryanair

 

The Commission for Aviation Regulation have issued the following statement:

 

If you have been affected by the Ryanair programme of flight cancellations you are entitled to a choice of refund or rerouting. Compensation may also be payable depending on the notice period Ryanair has given you.

 

Cancellation with prior notice.

Under the terms of the Regulation your entitlement and compensation varies depending on when you were informed of the cancellation.

The airline must provide at least two weeks notice to avoid paying compensation and they must then offer either:

  • an alternative flight at the earliest opportunity or at a later date of your choice subject to the availability of seats; or
  • a full refund of the ticket.

If you have been given between two weeks and seven days notice the airline must offer a choice between:

  • an alternative flight departing no more than two hours before your original departure time and allowing arrival at your final destination within fours hours of the original scheduled time of arrival; or
  • a full refund of the ticket.

Less than seven days notice requires the airline to offer the choice between:

  • an alternative flight departing no more than one hour before your original departure time and allowing arrival within two hours of the original scheduled time of arrival; or
  • a full refund of the ticket.

Airlines are entitled to offer a passenger comparable transport to the final destination if no alternative flight with the carrier is available.

 

Cancellation upon arrival at the airport.

In the event of a cancellation without prior notification the Regulation provides the following:

  • The air carrier shall provide a written notice setting out the rules for assistance in line with Article 14(2) of the Regulation. In addition, a sign must be displayed at the check-in area with the following text:

“If you are denied boarding or if your flight is cancelled or delayed for at least two hours, ask a the check-in counter or boarding gate for the text stating your rights, particularly with regard to compensation and assistance”

  • Passengers must also be offered care and assistance free of charge while waiting for their rerouted flight– specifically, meals and refreshments in reasonable relation to the waiting time, hotel accommodation in cases where an overnight stay becomes necessary, transport between the airport and place of accommodation and two telephone calls, emails, faxes or telexes.
  • An alternative flight at the earliest opportunity or by comparable transport to the final destination.
  • A full refund of the ticket for the part or parts of the journey not made, and for the part or parts already made if the flight is no longer serving any purpose to the passenger’s original travel plan or when relevant a return flight to the first point of departure, at the earliest opportunity.
  • When a city, town or region is served by several airports, a carrier may offer a flight to an alternative airport to that originally booked. The carrier is then obliged to bear the cost of transferring the passenger to the airport to that which the booking was made or to another close-by destination agreed with the passenger.

 

Compensation.

Compensation in the event of a cancellation depends on the distance of the flight and the reason for the cancellation.

If an airline can prove that the cancellation was caused by an extraordinary circumstance which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures were taken no compensation is payable.

As previously stated, the distance of a flight determines the amount of compensation due.

If the flight distance is:

  • 1500km or less the amount payable is €250
  • 1500km – 3500km and all EU flights over 3500km the amount payable is €400
  • 3500km or more the amount payable is €600.

If an airline can offer rerouting to the final destination that does not exceed:

  • two hours for flights of less than 1500km;
  • three hours for flights between 1500km and 3500km; and
  • four hours for flights over 3500km

the compensation will be reduced by 50%.

It is very important to note that compensation is distinct from and separate to the notion of reimbursement of expenses and/ or the refund of the cost of an unused flight ticket.

Claims Process

If you choose to make a claim for expenses or compensation from Ryanair, you must contact the airline directly.  This is covered in Article 15 of their terms and conditions found on their website.  Ryanair aims to deal with your application within 4 to 6 weeks.

It is important to remember that Ryanair is not required to pay compensation if the cancellation was outside of their control (extraordinary circumstances).   Once Ryanair has finished dealing with your claim and if you do not agree with their decision, you can refer the matter to:

The Commission for Aviation Regulation.

3rd Floor Alexandra House

Earlsfort Terrace

DUBLIN 2

Telephone number +353-(0) 1-6611700

apr@aviationreg.ie

www.aviationreg.ie

Irish passengers who remain unclear about their entitlements as set out in EC Regulation 261/ 2004, or who have further queries in relation to same, should contact this office at info@aviationreg.ie or on 1890 787 787 or + 353 1 6611700.

 

Source:

https://www.aviationreg.ie/news/ryanair-flight-cancellations.803.html

https://www.aviationreg.ie/air-passenger-rights/cancellation.209.html

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert

 

Uncategorized

Celebrate World Tapas Day on the 15th of June!

tapas

Celebrate World Tapas Day on the 15th of June where many restaurants around Ireland are offering tasty tapas menus and special offers.

 

Thanks to the Spanish Tourism Board, Ireland is one of thirty countries around the world that will celebrate World Tapas Day. Whether you are a ‘foodie’ or just like an excuse to dine out, there are plenty of restaurants, bars and venues with promotions to help you enjoy Spain’s signature cuisine. Here are some of my favourites:

The Taste of Dublin, Iveagh Gardens, Dublin 2.

The annual Taste of Dublin will celebrate World Tapas Day over it’s four day event. There will be a feature stand from the Spanish Tourism Board, beside the Port House Restaurant. Chefs from Lanzarote will perform culinary demonstrations and there will be lots of tasty tapas and Spanish wines for you to enjoy.

#Worldtapasday @tasteofdublin16 #riojatapas #tapas #foodie #rioja 🍷

A post shared by Sarah Slattery (@the_travel_expert) on

The Port HouseSouth William Street, Dublin 2.

One of our most popular tapas restaurants will offer Almejas con Jamon (clams with ham and sherry) plus a glass of wine for €10.

No. 5 VinotecaMerrion Row, Dublin 2.

The highly rated piano bar has a set menu with 6 tapas and 2 glasses of Cava for €50 for two sharing.

PigletTemple Bar, Dublin 1.

The popular Cow’s Lane wine bar will offer two tapas and a glass of wine for €9.50.

Market BarFade Street, Dublin 2.

The large Gastro Bar and tapas restaurant will offer guests a tapas sampler for €15, available from 12-5pm. This will include three tapas, a dessert and a glass of Sangria.

Cava Bodega, Galway.

One of Galway’s best Spanish restaurants will be offering complimentary churros to guests having 5 or more tapas on the day.

 

As much as I love Spanish cuisine, and tapas in particular, it’s not always about how good they taste. The Spanish tradition of eating tapas brings friends together at mealtimes. There is nothing better than sharing a variety of foods and wine with your friends 🍷 So which ever option you choose, grab a few mates and celebrate World Tapas Day together this year!

 

Click here for more details on all promotions and activities.

 

Sarah

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