A Guide to Sleeping at the Airport

  • 07 May, 2014
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Man sleeping at the airport

It is not only budget-conscious backpackers who find themselves having to sleep at the airport. Recent storms, the volcanic ash crisis of 2010 and the UK air traffic computer malfunction late last year have all left travellers in the lurch, wondering how on earth they were going to manage to sleep.

It is against the law in some countries, frowned upon by many airports and could be downright dangerous in some places so the following advice comes with a strong caveat: sleep at the airport at your own risk, particularly if you are a lone female!

Some airports have a supply of camp beds for stranded travellers, but they are limited in number so be prepared for the worst case scenario if you know the weather is bad or there are other extenuating circumstances that mean you may have to rough it for the night. Read More

Know Your Rights: When Your Flight is Delayed

  • 28 Feb, 2014
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International Airport Board Close-Up displaying flight is delayed

There is nothing more annoying than arriving at the airport to discover that your flight has been significantly delayed. Don’t take it lying down: read on to see whether you are entitled to assistance such as free calls, free food and free accommodation or even a cash sum in compensation.

In practice anyone flying out of the UK will be protected by the Denied Boarding Regulations. This is because these regulations apply to anyone flying on an EU-based airline (including budget carriers) OR anyone flying with a non-EU-based airline from an EU airport (i.e. all UK airports). Anyone flying from a non-EU airport on a non-EU carrier is not entitled to the same level of assistance and you will have to look at the airline’s Condition of Carriage to see what their duty of care is.

Requirements

Whether or not you are entitled to anything depends on the length of your flight and the length of your delay. You must fall within one of the following categories:

– A flight of 932 miles or less with a delay of at least 2 hours
– A flight of more than 932 miles within the EU with a delay of at least 3 hours
– A flight outside the EU of between 932 and 2,174 miles with a delay of at least 3 hours
– Any other flight with a delay of at least 4 hours

So long as you fall into one of the above categories you are entitled to:

– Two free telephone calls, emails, telexes or faxes
– Free food and drink depending on the time of day
– Free hotel accommodation and transport between there and the airport if the flight is delayed to the following day

Read More

A List of UK Airports Arrivals / Departures Boards

  • 19 Dec, 2013
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International Airport Board Close-Up with Delayed Flights at UK Airports

With the busiest travel period approaching and severe weather forecasts suggesting there might be trouble, we thought it might be useful to provide our users with a full list of UK’s leading airports arrivals / departures boards. Come rain or shine, always check the arrivals / departures information before heading off to the airport, whether collecting an arriving guest or taking a flight yourself.

A-Z list of UK’s airport live flight information links

Aberdeen Airport Arrivals | Departures

Belfast International Live Flight Information

Birmingham Airport Arrivals | Departures

Blackpool Airport Live Flight Information 

Bournemouth Airport Live Flight Information

Bristol Airport Arrivals | Departures

Cardiff Airport Live Flight Information

East Midlands Airport Live Flight Information

Edinburgh Airport Arrivals | Departures

Exeter Airport Arrivals | Departures Read More

Flying with babies and toddlers. How to survive?

  • 01 Oct, 2013
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father and son at the airport

If your offspring hasn’t reached the school age yet, you may find yourself looking for a sunny mid-year break at pretty much any time of year. Buckets and spades (and even a sun hat!) still stand a good chance of giving your little one a quality time in the September sun. If you are taking the plunge this autumn and booking your first trip abroad with your baby, or a toddler, you might find the packing process overwhelming. Jurga Sefton, one of our team members, shares her tips that hopefully will make your journey easier and stress-free. Or could it really be stress-free?

Liquids! Always have something to drink. Keep a container of powdered milk with other baby essentials in your hand luggage and feel free to ask for warm water at any bar after you pass the security check, or wait until you board the plane and the flight attendants will be able to assist. The trouble is that in most cases you will be given boiling hot water (and loads of warning about the hot contents!) so wait until it cools down. I used to have a small amount of cooled boiled water in the bottle so that it could be mixed with the boiling water to make it the right temperature. If you decide to take any cooled water with you, remember you might be asked to try it straight out of your baby’s bottle during the security check.

Some powdered milk manufacturers also sell ready-to-use cartons (usually 200 ml) which, if sealed, can normally be taken through security (always check with the airport you are travelling from). For example, people travelling from Gatwick airport are advised to carry the amount of baby milk required for the journey in the hand luggage, and the rest should be packed in the checked-in baggage. The airport advises that families can also pre-order cartons of baby milk to collect from Boots in the departures lounge by calling the relevant Boots store.

Sharp items! If you are a well-organised parent who always carries a small pair of scissors to open milk cartons, you may need to check with your airport whether you will be able to take those on board. According to London Heathrow Airport website you can take nail scissors in your hand luggage providing the blades are no longer than 6 cm measured from the point where the blades cross, whereas Gatwick Airport Security Guidelines also state the blunt scissors shorter than 6 cm should also have rounded ends if you want to take them in your hand luggage. It’s probably best to check the up-to-date lists of prohibited items on official sites such as Gov.uk. Read More