Planning a winter sports holiday this season? Want something for nothing?

Posted in Travel Competitions by Jeff on the September 30th, 2009

Looking forward to the thrill of the open slopes, the cool fresh air and the après ski that makes any winter sports holiday special?

Finding the ultimate ‘must have’ bargain, be it a pair of skis, a snowboard or some other piece of kit is as much a part of the overall experience as the holiday itself. After all, having the latest and greatest gear on the slopes is like having the latest gadgets to boost street cred. Well we’re as excited about the approaching ski season as you are and have trawled the Internet to find something that’ll kick the fast approaching season off in style.

How’s this for starters: £100 worth of ‘Snow & Rock’ vouchers being offered by in their ‘Winter Sports Lucky Draw Competition‘. Yes, that’s £100 worth of vouchers to spend on this winter season’s trendy gear and must-have equipment.

Now you’re probably asking yourself, “What’s the catch?” and the simple answer to this is that there isn’t one. When you’re as passionate about skiing, snowboarding and winter sports as they are, it’s about celebrating the arrival of the fresh snow and nothing more.

So what do you need to do to be in with a chance of winning this great give-away prize? Simply go to their ‘Snow & Rock Winter Sports Lucky Draw’ page and enter your details. Be quick, the competition expires on the 14th of October.

If you’re lucky enough to win, send us a picture of you and your new gear while on holiday and we’ll happily post a picture of you having fun in the sun (and hopefully snow) for all to see.

We’re going to be keeping an eye open for any other great travel offers and competitions and when we find them we’ll post them here, so keep checking back!

Who are the Worst Airline Passengers You have Travelled With?

Posted in Air Travel by Hank on the September 23rd, 2009

At a recent lunch time drinking session myself and a group of friends began to swap stories about the worst passengers we’d run into on planes. Here are just a few of the worst:

fatFat, Sweaty, Smelly Woman: I once had the middle seat next to a lady who must have been at least 20 stone (280 pounds). This was in the middle of summer, on a very hot day and this woman stank. The strong smell of body odour nearly made me wretch. She was so fat that her enormous flabby backside encroached into my seating space making it impossible for me to avoid coming into contact with her unpleasantly sweaty mass. She spent the whole flight puffing, panting, complaining about the heat and stinking.

Seat Kicking Kid: One of my friends described an economy flight to the Canary islands with a child sitting behind him who persisted in kicking his head rest. The child’s mother did nothing to stop this obnoxious little brat and in the end my friend had to ask a flight attendant to do something about it resulting in an argument with the child’s equally obnoxious mother.
Screaming Baby: We’d all experienced the joy of travelling with babies on board and concluded that there needs to be separate aircraft for parents with babies and toddlers. A night flight from Singapore to the UK with a teething baby and its mother in the adjacent seat is enough to turn anybody into a child murderer.

Drunken Sailors: One of our group described a flight to the Caribbean via the United States with a group of British Seamen destined to join a tanker in Trinidad. As soon as the plane took off from Heathrow this little group started drinking heavily. They were soon highly intoxicated, singing ribald sea shanties and sexually harassing the flight attendants and anybody else who came within arms reach.
The Sloppy Sleeper: This is the person who somehow manages to doze off but rests their head on your shoulder. Several of us had run into examples of this passenger. In one case the sleeper was a young man who spent the flight obliviously scratching his crotch while mumbling and dribbling. Not nice.

Do you have any examples of aircraft passengers who you would rather have not travelled with?

Looking for travel discounts? “Guess Who” at

Posted in Travel Discounts by Hank on the August 21st, 2009

I’ve told you before about the great deals on travel extras to be found at, but now things are even better.

The gosimply powers-that-be have introduced a new contest called “Guess Who?”, and it couldn’t be easier to enter. Just guess whose face they’ve covered with the gosimply logo, then enter your name and email address. If you’re right, you’ll get an email with links to use and get 10% off airport parking and lounges, 5% off car hire and a whopping 15% off travel insurance! (The airport parking discount applies only to bookings through APH, but that’s certainly nothing to sneeze at!)

The deadline to enter is 14 September and you need to book by 21 September, so go visit them as soon as you can and save £££!!!

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Best deal on airport parking? gosimply! says BBC’s Working Lunch

Posted in Travel by Hank on the August 13th, 2009

Our championing of’s great service is being echoed now by the BBC’s Working Lunch programme, and they’ve endorsed as a place to go for great airport parking deals.

In the segment, presenter Ben Shore recommends pre-booking your airport parking in order to save money, and namechecks gosimply as a price-comparison site to use.

Gosimply also has a Low Price Guarantee, ensuring you won’t find a better deal anywhere. That, combined with their exceptional user-friendliness and helpful information, makes using them for booking airport parking, airport hotels and other travel extras a complete no-brainer.

Their tagline is “smart people gosimply” and I don’t see any reason to disagree!

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New flights to Larnaca from Monarch Airlines

Posted in Air Travel, Birmingham Airport, Travel by Hank on the July 28th, 2009

The award-winning low fare airline Monarch has announced the addition of services from Birmingham International Airport to Larnaca on their winter flying schedule for 2009/2010. The route was launched in March and has proven popular with travellers.

The new flights are available to book until the end of March 2010 and will operate twice a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays, with fares starting at £64.99 one way.

Liz Savage, Managing Director of Monarch Flights and Holidays, said: “Our services between Birmingham and Larnaca have been an overwhelming success since they launched in March this year. Over 12,500 seats have already been sold on the route this summer, which is over half of the seats we have available and we are delighted to be continuing flights this winter, therefore enabling the people of the Midlands to enjoy our low fares to this favourite year round holiday hotspot.”

The savings don’t have to stop with your airline tickets either. If you know where to look, great savings can be found on Birmingham Airport hotels (a real luxury if you have an early morning flight), and by pre-booking your Birmingham Airport parking you can save up to 60% off the regular daily gate rates.

With so many opportunities to realise great savings on a holiday, it’s hard to think of excuses NOT to go!

Passengers may need to take a stand with Ryanair

Posted in Air Travel, Air Travel News by Hank on the July 14th, 2009

It was recently announced that low-cost airline Ryanair is looking into making some passengers stand during flights.

Michael O’Leary, chief executive of the company, has held talks with US plane manufacturer Boeing about designing an aircraft with standing room. The idea is to charge passengers less for “bar stools” with seat belts around their waists, and O’Leary is currently seeking approval from the Irish Aviation Authority before ordering a new fleet, according to The Sun newspaper.

Chinese airline Spring is considering a similar plan, and estimates that up to 50% more passengers could be accommodated, while costs could be cut by 20%.

Ryanair uses Bristol Airport as a flight hub, and it makes you wonder what might happen if some of these mad cost-cutting ideas spill over into other areas. Imagine booking Bristol Airport parking, arriving at the car park, and then being told your car will need to be stored on its side so more vehicles can be squeezed in. The mind boggles.

bmibaby announces summer 2010 schedule for Cardiff

Posted in Air Travel News by Hank on the July 7th, 2009

Low-cost airline bmibaby recently launched phase one of its Summer 2010 flight programme from Cardiff Airport.

Customers can now book flights to popular destinations between 19 April 2010 and 23 October 2010. Travellers from Cardiff Airport can now find great deals on flights to Alicante, Faro, Malaga, Menorca, Murcia and Palma, with even more destinations to be announced soon.

Since the new flights are already available, it’s especially beneficial for families with children, as they will be able to secure the most popular school holiday dates well in advance. Another benefit that everyone can take advantage of, once a flight is booked, is being able to pre-book Cardiff Airport parking before the prices start to rise closer to the summer holiday season.

Flybe and LBIA help businesses soar through tough times

Posted in Air Travel News, Business Travel by Hank on the July 7th, 2009

Leeds Bradford Airport has teamed up with Europe’s leading regional airline to help encourage businesses to keep moving through the current financial climate.

A campaign was launched recently by the airport and Flybe, targeting cost-conscious commuters by slashing Leeds to London flight prices. In an effort to go head-to-head with train fares, the new prices for Flybe’s daily service to London Gatwick will start at just £24.99 one way, including taxes and charges. If you then add in the money to be saved by pre-booking a Leeds Bradford Airport car park like Sentinel Security parking, commuting to London by plane looks a lot more attractive than sitting on a train for hours.

The service, which started on 29 June 2009, is now providing the only scheduled flights from Yorkshire and the Humber to London. Tony Hallwood, Commercial Director at LBIA, said: “Our ‘Get Business Moving’ campaign aims to assist companies in the region who commute regularly to London by offering cost effective and speedy access to the Capital. We want to make it easier for businesses to develop a strong economic and financial infrastructure with the City to attract further inward investment.”

Jammed cargo door makes passengers walk

Posted in Air Travel, Air Travel News by Hank on the June 30th, 2009

Several travellers refused to fly on a Thomas Cook plane from Mallorca to Newcastle after being asked to move to seats at the rear to help balance the plane.

A cargo door on the plane was stuck, meaning luggage could only be loaded into the front of the plane. Thomas Cook said that balancing the plane was a routine procedure on all airlines, and there was no safety risk. The pilot himself came out of the cockpit to speak to the passengers, but 71 people weren’t convinced and left the plane. Many of them spent the night at the airport and caught a different flight the next day.

No mention was made of possible repercussions for the timid travellers, such as additional charges for the subsequent flight or resulting overstays at Newcastle Airport car parks, but surely some passengers were contacting Thomas Cook when they arrived home to express their displeasure.

A Thomas Cook spokesperson said, “It is standard for all airlines to ensure cargo and passengers are evenly distributed on an aircraft…this is a routine industry procedure and poses no safety issue. We are disappointed that, despite reassurances from the captain and crew, a number of passenger decided not to travel.”

Travelpad wonders, would you move seats to balance a plane if asked, or would you walk too? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think.

Hackers love Wi-Fi hotspots

Posted in Air Travel News, Airport Lounges by Hank on the June 23rd, 2009

Wi-Fi hotspots are becoming increasingly available in places like train stations and airport lounges. While they provide a very convenient means of checking email or even just doing a bit of surfing before a trip, a leading white hat hacker believes these hotspots are one of the easiest attack points for hackers who are up to no good.

In a recent speech, Chris Gatford, director of white hat hacking group HackLabs, said that most hackers “do their best research when they are bored in airport lounges on their way to a conference.” He went on to say that the reason for this is the lack of any encryption on data traffic in public places, due to the difficulty in providing such encryption for temporary customers.

Gatford recommends using a VPN (virtual private network) when connecting to the web from a public place. If a VPN is not available, he states that using the TOR anonymous network will help to eliminate some, but not all of the risk. Regardless of how you connect, you should always disable your Wi-Fi connection when it is not in use.

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