Border Agency strike could cause delays at airports and ports

Visitors to the UK today, 30 November 2011, could experience disruption and delays due to border agency staff joining other public sector workers in strike action over pension reforms.

Ports and airports are set to be affected with Gatwick warning of ‘significant delays’ and Heathrow has contacted airlines requesting that they reduce load factors to alleviate pressure on border checks.

The UK Border Agency (UKBA) has said that it has robust plans in place to maintain the security of the border.

Tips to help avoid delays when passing through border control today:

  • Use e-Passport gates where available
  • Have travel documents, including passports, ready
  • Fully complete landing cards
  • Stay in family groups.

Top 12 travel products unveiled at Heathrow Airport

HeathrowTravelProductAwardsSuitcase

Everyone like to buy new things for their holidays and we all have our favourite travel products, but have you ever stopped to think what items are regarded as ‘must haves’ for travel?

If you’re travelling through Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 5 this month you can see the winners of the 2010 Heathrow Travel Product Awards displayed in a newly installed giant suitcase.

The suitcase is the same size as Big Ben’s Great Bell, nearly 3 metres tall and over 2 metres wide – it can hold over 21,000 pairs of knickers, 10,000 bottles of sun cream (150ml) and 83,000 UK passports.

During October it will be home to the 12 winning travel products of 2010 including the Harrods Paddington Bear, an Apple MacBook Pro 15″ and a pair of Ray-Ban Black Suspended Lens sunglasses.

In its second year, the Heathrow Travel Product Awards launched to recognise the best UK travel items asked a panel of experts to shortlist 12 travel categories, which were then made available to the general public for voting via the Heathrow Travel Product Awards microsite.

Brian Woodhead, Retail Concessions Director at Heathrow, said: “The Heathrow Travel Product Awards were launched to showcase the many brands and products sold at the airport. It’s great to see what our passengers really value when they travel – and the luxuries and essentials they just can’t live without.

“We hope the awards will not only raise awareness of the offering at Heathrow – and the substantial savings that can be made – but also our commitment to making every journey better than the last one.”

If you can’t make it to Terminal 5 or want to know in advance of travelling, here’s the top 12 Travel Products of 2010

1. Top Travel Must-Have – Trunki Children’s Tipu Ladybird Case
2. Top Technology – Apple MacBook Pro 15″
3. Best Travel Entertainment – Nintendo DS – Brain Training game
4. Best Camera – Canon 500D
5. Best Handbag – Smythson Nancy Tote
6. Best Sunglasses – Ray-Ban Black Suspended Lens
7. Best Travel Beauty Product – Prevage anti-age serum
8. Best Men’s Fragrance – Gucci by Gucci Pour Homme
9. Best Women’s Fragrance – Marc Jacobs Lola Velvet EDP
10. Best Watch & Jewellery – Omega Speedmaster Professional
11. Top Travel Gift – Harrods Paddington Bear
12. Top Travel Read – ‘At Home’ by Bill Bryson

British Airways strike: expanded flight schedule announced

British Airways has announced its flight schedule for the next strike period – an expanded schedule due to an increase in non-striking cabin crew staff.

During the next strike period of 27 – 30 March the airline will operate:

  • All flights to and from London City Airport
  • All flights to and from Gatwick Airport
  • At Heathrow: up to 55 % of BA’s shorthaul and 70% of BA’s longhaul flights will operate

All flights operated by BA subsidiary, franchise, alliance and codeshare partners will operate as normal

For full information, updated details of flight operation and to check the status of your flight click here.

BA unveils strike contingency plans

If your plans appear to be up in the air because of the proposed strike by British Airways cabin crew, don’t panic just yet as the airline has plans to operate around 60% of its flights should the planed strike action go ahead on 20, 21, 22 March.

Flights unaffected by the proposed strike include:

  • All flights operated to and from London City Airport will operate as normal
  • Flights operated by subsidiary OpenSkies between Paris and New York will operate as normal.
  • Flights operated by British Airways franchise partners (Comair in South Africa and Sun Air in Scandinavia) will operate as normal.
  • Flights operated by other carriers (including oneworld Alliance partners) which have a BA codeshare flight number will operate as normal

For all other flights, passengers should check with British Airways.

The airline has set up a customer helpline for passengers affected by the industrial action – the contact number is a free-phone: 0800 727 800.

Passengers with bookings during the proposed strike action can check their flight status and bookings here: www.britishairways.com/rtad/travel/public/en_gb

For up-to-date strike action information check here www.britishairways.com/travel/strike-ballot/public/en_gb