Delayed air passengers owed £3.2bn in compensation

Not all passengers are claiming for delayed flights Passengers delayed on flights going in and out of the EU have failed to claim GBP3.2 billion owed in compensation, according to new statistics.

In the past decade only 2% of travellers have claimed compensation for late or cancelled flights, passenger rights firm refund.me has said.

EU Regulation was approved in 2004 to secure passenger rights and ensure passengers receive up to GBP490 compensation when a flight leaving or departing the EU is three hours late or more.

However refund.me said more passengers are realising their rights with the amount of unclaimed compensation decreasing in the last three years. Around GBP385m is estimated to have been unclaimed in 2006, which came down to GBP355m in 2012 and GBP240m in 2013.

“We noticed a consistent and deliberate disregard for passenger rights that could result in hundreds of euros for millions of passengers worldwide,” said Eve Buechner, founder and CEO of refund.me, which processed 10,000 claims last year.

She said the decline in numbers was an ‘encouraging trend’ as consumers had previously “accepted that punctuality and care were more suggestions than rights”.

She added more open information from airlines and the introduction of more intermediaries between airlines and passengers had helped more passengers claim.

Sourced by Travel Daily UK


Rise in skin cancer linked to cheap holidays

Sunny Beach, BulgariaThe boom in cheap package holidays since the 1970s has been blamed for the sharp rise in the most dangerous form of skin cancers.

According to new figures by Cancer Research UK, rates of malignant melanoma are now five times higher in the UK than they were 40 years ago.

Researchers have put the rise down to the increasing affordability of holidays to sunny European destinations and the use of sunbeds.

More than 13,000 people now develop this form of cancer each year, compared with 1,800 in 1975.

Nick Ormiston-Smith, head of statistics at Cancer Research UK, said: “Since the mid-1970s, malignant melanoma incidence rates in the UK have increased more rapidly than any of today’s 10 most common cancers.

“Holidays in hot climates have become more affordable and sunbeds are more widely available since the 1970s. But we know over-exposure to UV (ultraviolet) rays from the sun or sunbeds is the main cause of skin cancer. This means, in many cases, the disease can be prevented, and is why it’s essential to get into good sun safety habits, whether at home or abroad.

“The good news for those that are diagnosed is that survival for the disease is among the highest for any cancer; more than eight in 10 people will now survive it.”

Sourced by TTG Digital


Strong pound means travelling further for value, finds report


‘If you can smell roast chicken it’s because some seagulls flew into the engine’

By David Higgs,

Daniel Tyte

Holiday-makers’ trip to Egypt was disrupted after seagulls apparently flew into the plane’s engine as it left Cardiff Airport

Holiday-makers on a flight to Egypt from Cardiff Airport had their getaway disrupted after a flock of birds apparently flew into the plane’s engines.

Passengers aboard the Thomson Airways flight to Sharm El Sheikh said they were told an hour into their journey they were being diverted to Gatwick, after the flight crew detected a smell akin to “roast chicken”.

Cardiff PR director Dan Tyte said the flight left Cardiff at approximately 9am.

“It was a relaxing start to the morning,” said the 33-year-old.

“We got on the flight and it must have been about an hour in and the captain came on and said ‘I don’t know if you can smell what seems to be like roast chicken, we have looked into it and turns out as we were leaving Cardiff, some seagulls flew into the engine’.”

Mr Tyte, who was travelling to Egypt for a week-long holiday with his girlfriend Rebecca, said the aircraft was near the Swiss city of Basel when the announcement was made.

“From that it seems like it was quite a dramatic situation but it was handled with such calm assurance by the captain and his crew everyone handled it well,” he said.

“It was handled really well and the flight itself was really smooth so I suppose safety must come first.”

A spokeswoman from Gatwick Airport said the passengers got off safely and were being transferred to another aircraft.

They were expected to depart at 1.30pm she added.

A spokesperson for Thomson said: “Thomson Airways is sorry for the delay caused to passengers on board flight TOM532 from Cardiff to Sharm El Sheikh, which diverted to Gatwick airport as a precautionary measure.

“The decision was taken to divert the plane due to a suspected bird strike. The plane landed safely at Gatwick airport where passengers were transferred onto an alternative aircraft to continue their journey to Sharm El Sheikh. Our team at Thomson Airways did everything possible to minimise the disruption to customers holidays and get them on their way as soon as possible.

“The safety of our passengers and crew is of paramount importance and we would like to reassure customers that issues of this nature are very rare.”

Sourced by Wales Online


Lastminute’s UK boss quits

Lastminute.comLastminute.com managing director UK & Ireland Mark Maddock has stood down from his role.

A spokeswoman said there was no intention to find a replacement in the role, instead Lastminute.com chief executive Matthew Crummack will oversee the overall business.

Maddock joined Lastminute.com in March 2003 from the Holiday Autos Group where he was general manager – Holiday Hotels.

He initially began running the business on a temporary basis in July 2010 before the appointment was formalised in November in the same year.

At the time he was praised for his “astute strategic vision and leadership coupled with a charismatic flair and feel for our brand.”

A Lastminute.com spokeswoman said: “Mark Maddock, who has lead our UK and Ireland business, has decided now is the time to leave Lastminute.com.

“We want to thank Mark for his contribution over the past years; and whilst it’s disappointing to lose a valued leader of the business, we will not be replacing Mark’s role – Lastminute.com CEO Matthew Crummack is overseeing the overall business.”

The announcement comes as speculation grows that Lastminute.com’s owner Sabre Corporation is trying to sell the company.

The OTA had access to 80,000 hotels as of the end of 2013 with 225 employees.

However, analysts have claimed that its most recent figures showing it undertook $2.6 billion in gross bookings in 2012 meant the company was underperforming, given its size.

Sourced by TTG Digital


APD cuts promised in Scottish independence debate

By Martin Ferguson

The Scottish travel industry received a boost this week in the run up to the independence referendum on September 18 with promises by both sides to cut air passenger duty.

At a debate organised by Scotland’s travel trade body, the Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association (SPAA), politicians and campaigners from both the “yes” and “no” campaigns pledged to slash APD if they win the autumn vote.

Annabelle Ewing, the SNP MSP for Mid-Scotland and Fife, said if her party were elected to govern an independent Scotland it would cut the tax by 50% in the first year and eventually abolish APD if “finances allowed”.

While Ian McGill, the leader of the Better Together campaign in Edinburgh, said he would campaign for APD to be controlled by a devolved Scottish government.

Less committed was Scottish Labour MSP and Better Together campaigner James Kelly, who said he would keep “an open mind” about who should control the stealth tax.

The SPAA has campaigned against APD since its inception, claiming it was discriminatory against Scottish business and consumers who have to pay the levy twice if travelling overseas via an English airport.

The major issues debated at the Glasgow forum were EU membership and currency.

The Better Together campaign said Scotland would not automatically be welcomed into a sterling currency union with the rest of the UK and accused opponents of not having a contingency plan.

But Blair Jenkins, chief executive of Yes Scotland, said there was no contingency plan because it was “inconceivable” for Scotland and the rest of the UK not to share the pound.

On Europe, the Yes Scotland camp insisted it would be treated as a successor state as it was already part of the European Union.

Opponents to independence have claimed that Scotland would be left on the sidelines until the 28 members states voted to allow it to join.

Sourced by bbt


Cardiff Airport and CityJet celebrate launch of flights to Jersey

Following a social media vote, run in association with Cardiff Airport, the people of Wales have named one of CityJet’s aircrafts after Owain Glyndŵr – the Welsh ruler and last native Welshman to hold the title Prince of Wales.

The newly named aircraft will launch CityJet’s newest route from Cardiff Airport this year. The route to Jersey will start with four weekly flights, followed by five weekly flights from 4 June 2014. Fares are priced from £61 one way and £99 return, including 23kgs of hold luggage and a complimentary snack and drink service.

Christine Ourmières, CityJet’s Chief Executive Officer, said “We are pleased with the response from the poll and are happy to name one of our aircraft after a top Welsh icon in time for the launch of our new route to Jersey.”

CityJet began flying out of Cardiff Airport in January with routes to Paris-Orly and Glasgow, followed by the Edinburgh route which launched on 30 March, operating up to three daily flights.The summer schedule will also see a third daily flight added to the Glasgow route on Thursdays and Fridays, whilst Paris-Orly will be served every day of the week.

The social media poll asked Welsh people to vote for their favourite among six iconic figures: Saint David, Dylan Thomas, Gareth Edwards CBE, Owain Glyndŵr, Baroness Tanni Grey Thompson DBE and Simon Weston OBE.

To find lowest fares, book online at www.cityjet.com.

Route Schedules

Cardiff to Edinburgh
Flight Number Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su From Departs To Arrives
WX300 x x x x x Cardiff 06:15 Edinburgh 07:50
WX300 x Cardiff 08:00 Edinburgh 09:35
WX302 x x Cardiff 09:15 Edinburgh 10:50
WX302 x x x Cardiff 13:30 Edinburgh 15:05
WX304 x x x x x x Cardiff 17:40 Edinburgh 19:15
Edinburgh to Cardiff
Flight Number Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su From Departs To Arrives
WX301 x x x x x Edinburgh 08:20 Cardiff 09:55
WX301 x Edinburgh 10:05 Cardiff 11:40
WX303 x x Edinburgh 11:20 Cardiff 12:55
WX303 x x x Edinburgh 15:35 Cardiff 17:10
WX305 x x x x x x Edinburgh 19:45 Cardiff 21:20
Cardiff to Glasgow
Flight Number Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su From Departs To Arrives
WX132 x x x x x Cardiff 06:40 Glasgow 08:15
WX134 x Cardiff 08:05 Glasgow 09:40
WX134 x x Cardiff 14:10 Glasgow 15:45
WX136 x x x x x x Cardiff 18:20 Glasgow 19:55
Glasgow to Cardiff
Flight Number Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su From Departs To Arrives
WX133 x x x x x Glasgow 08:45 Cardiff 10:20
WX135 x Glasgow 10:10 Cardiff 11:45
WX135 x x Glasgow 16:15 Cardiff 17:50
WX137 x x x x x x Glasgow 20:25 Cardiff 21:55
Cardiff to Jersey
Flight Number Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su From Departs To Arrives
WX310 x x Cardiff 10:50 Jersey 12:00
WX310 x Cardiff 12:15 Jersey 13:25
WX310 x x Cardiff 15:00 Jersey 16:10
Jersey to Cardiff
Flight Number Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su From Departs To Arrives
WX311 x x Jersey 12:30 Cardiff 13:40
WX311 x Jersey 14:00 Cardiff 15:10
WX311 x x Jersey 16:40 Cardiff 17:50
Cardiff to Paris Orly
Flight Number Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su From Departs To Arrives
WX286 x Cardiff 09:10 Paris Orly 11:45
WX286 x Cardiff 12:15 Paris Orly 14:50
WX286 x x x x x Cardiff 12:50 Paris Orly 15:30
Paris Orly to Cardiff
Flight Number Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su From Departs To Arrives
WX287 x Paris Orly 12:25 Cardiff 13:00
WX287 x Paris Orly 15:20 Cardiff 15:50
WX287 x x x x x Paris Orly 16:00 Cardiff 16:35

Decline in premium air travel growth recorded


Ratings agency increases Thomas Cook Group outlook to positive

Harriet Green - Thomas CookFollowing a “detailed” financial review of the group, its rating services has raised the outlook although the overall rating remains unchanged at “B” for the time being.

Thomas Cook group chief executive Harriet Green said: “This is another milestone in the rapid delivery of our strategy of sustainable profitable growth.

“We are very pleased that S&P has recognised the pace and extent of our transformation and we appreciate its confidence in our ability to maintain the momentum.

“As we reported last month, our cost out and profit improvement programme is delivering ahead of schedule and we have reached our target for disposals of non-core interests 18 months early.

“S&P has recognised the importance of our continuing transformation, including the delivery of our strategic targets, and I look forward to sharing a full update of our progress at our half year results on May 15.”

A Standard & Poor’s spokesman said: “The operating performance of Thomas Cook Group plc has improved thanks to the ongoing implementation of its turnaround strategy.

“We anticipate that its credit metrics will continue to strengthen as cost-saving initiatives as part of its turnaround strategy lead to Ebitda growth and debt reduction.

“We are therefore revising our outlook on Thomas Cook Group plc to positive from stable, and affirming our “B” long-term corporate credit rating on the company.

“The positive outlook reflects the likelihood of an upgrade within the next 12 months if positive operating trends continue to improve the Group’s profitability and credit measures.”

Sourced by TTG Digital


Driver airlifted to hospital after car plummets down steep ravine

A driver had to be airlifted to hospital yesterday after their car plumeted down a steep revine.

The car, a white Volkswaken Scirocco was travelling along the Rhigos mountain road from Hirwaun towards Treherbert with then incident happend at approximately 7:05pm on Thursday.

The incident resulted in a multi agency response including the Welsh Ambulance Service, South Wales Police and the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service.

Support was also provided by the South and East Wales Air Support Unit, Wales Air Ambulance and a Royal Air Force Search and Rescue helicopter from Chivenor, Devon however the later was stood down once arrived on scene.

A spokesperson for the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: “Appliances from Treorchy and Hirwaun attended a Road Traffic Collision on the Rhigos mountain road and supported by specialist crews from Ebbw Vale, Merthyr, Aberdare and Barry.”

A spokesman for South Wales Police said: “The vehicle has left the road and plummeted down a steep ravine to the right hand side before coming to rest.

“The driver of the vehicle was extricated from the vehicle by the South Wales Fire and Recuse Service before being airlifted by Air Ambulance and taken to University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff.”

The road was closed for around four hours to allow the police to conduct initial investigations. It was also closed this morning to allow specialist recovery of the car to take place.

The Police would like to speak to any person who witnessed the incident, or any person who was in the area at the relevant time and may have seen the vehicle in question.

The spokesman added: “Police would also like to speak to any person who may have seen the vehicle between 3pm and the time of the collision either being driven or stationary.”

Anyone with information, should call the South Wales Police Serious Collision Investigation Unit at Gwaelod y Garth on 016565 655555 ext 42339, or contact 101.


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