No more paper counterparts! UK driving licences change

  • 04 Dec, 2014
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Driving Licence

Just recently I booked in my car for its service, and was told “bring both parts of your driving licence”. It’s such a normality these days but, as of the 8th June 2015, this will no longer be necessary.

Following on from the abolishment of the paper tax disc earlier this year, the DVLA have decided to get rid of the paper driving licence – opting for an online, digitised system. You are now able to log in here with your postcode, driving licence number and National Insurance number to view your licence details.

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Ebola screening to start at Heathrow and Gatwick airports

  • 13 Oct, 2014
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Baggage claim at airport

In the wake of mounting pressure on the government to follow America’s example in introducing screening for Ebola at airports, an announcement was made last week, following advice from the Chief Medical Officer.

Enhanced screening measures will be introduced at London’s Gatwick and Heathrow airports as well as at Eurostar terminals. Passengers facing screening will be those travelling from affected regions of West Africa (Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone) where measures are already in place for screening those leaving the country.

Interestingly, the World Health Organisation is of the opinion that screening those leaving a country is more effective than trying to screen those entering a country. Currently there are no direct flights from affected countries to the UK although travellers can obviously fly on a non-direct route transiting through a number of countries.

Those facing screening will have to give details of their recent travel history, their contacts and their onward travel arrangements. They may also be assessed by trained medical personnel rather than Border Force officers, particularly if they have a fever.  Advice will also be given on what to do should they develop symptoms after entering the UK. Read More

New rules for flying with kids to South Africa apply from 1 Oct 2014 (Postponed)

  • 09 Sep, 2014
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south-africa

Update 17 September 2014: It has been announced that the new rules for flying with children to and from South Africa have been postponed from 1 October 2014 to June 2015.

With several Airport Parking Shop team members heading off to South Africa later this year, we thought we’d remind our users that new rules of travelling with children will apply from 1 October 2014.

If you are flying to, from or transiting through South Africa with a child under 18 years of age, you will have to adhere to these rules.

Both parents travelling with a child who is under 18

You must produce an unabridged birth certificate of each child which shows details of the parents of the child, as well as a child’s valid passport. The birth certificate has to be full and shows details of the parents of the child.

One parent travelling with a child who is under 18

Where only one parent is accompanying the child, the following has to be presented:

• an unabridged birth certificate (full);
• consent in the form of an affidavit from the other parent registered as a parent on the birth certificate, authorising them to enter or depart from South Africa with the child;
• a court order granting them full parental responsibilities and rights or legal guardianship or where applicable, a death certificate of the other parent registered as a parent of the child on the birth certificate.

You should travel with these documents in case you are asked to provide them. Read More

Flight delayed or cancelled? Brits fail to claim their dues

  • 01 Sep, 2014
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Airport International Departures Live Departures

As you will know if you have read our blog post on the subject, EU law states that passengers can claim compensation for overbooked, delayed or cancelled flights.

It seems, however, that not all of us who are entitled to claim actually do so. In fact, according to German compensation claims firm Flightright, there is more than half a billion pounds unclaimed by some 1.6 million travellers in the UK.

Their figures are based on an evaluation of 3 million flights, and it is not just Brits who are proving to be unsavvy travellers. German passengers have failed to claim over £468 million, Spanish over £400 million and French over £355 million. Passengers have up to six years to make their claim so it is not too late.

A few weeks ago, the tail end of Hurricane Bertha caused misery for travellers and many flights were cancelled or delayed. One passenger who had come down to London for the weekend and was due to return to Leeds from Heathrow on the Sunday evening could not fly home until the next day. He was unaware that he could claim compensation, wrongly believing that because the airline had told him of the cancellation on the Saturday and were putting him on the Monday flight at no extra charge they had done their bit. He also assumed that bad weather would constitute an exceptional circumstance, meaning that the airline had no obligation to pay him compensation. Read More

Make destination research a part of your holiday planning

  • 15 Aug, 2014
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camo Jamaica

Heading off to Jamaica for a holiday soon? Did you know that camouflage clothing is illegal in Jamaica and Barbados?

A recent research by online travel agent Sunshine.co.uk revealed that Britons spend on average 32 work hours planning, researching, booking and talking about their holidays. And this is just at work; for most of us holiday planning continues during lunch break, on the commute home, at weekends and pretty much occupies all our thoughts right to the point when we board the plane.

The planning itself, however, to most of us entails budgeting, comparing accommodation, airfares, transfers, car hire, local sightseeing spots, kids facilities, spas and the ins and outs of half-board /full-board menu; finding out local customs and laws takes somewhat a back seat.

The FCO’s Know Before You Go campaign urges travellers to research local laws and customs of their destination before they travel, to avoid misunderstandings or simply stay out of trouble with local law enforcement.

According to the FCO’s new study, while 70% of people believe that researching local laws and customs would make their holiday more enjoyable, less than 50% would actually make it part of their preparations when visiting somewhere new. Read More