United Kingdom Travel Guide
Just when it seems like airlines are only imposing new fees to negatively impact passengers, British Airways has gone and introduced a fee which actually helps. Starting now, travelers searching airfares on British Airways for travel on BA or Iberia may pay $5/£5/€5 for short-haul or $10/£10/€10 long-haul per person to place a reservation on hold for a period of 72 hours before deciding whether or not to purchase.
Alliance partner American Airlines offers a similar option, allowing customers to place an itinerary on hold for 24 hours, for free; BA's charging for the privilege may set a precedent for the future of this service.
While on hold, the flight price is guaranteed not to increase, but it can decrease (yay).
VisitScotland is taking full advantage of the hype surrounding the new Starz series Outlander by launching a map of Outlander locations for fans of the books and the show.
The online guide brings visitors to genuine locations from Diana Gabaldon's first two novels and includes Scotland's must-see historic sites. Some of the highlighted locations include the Holyrood Palace, Royal Mile in Edinburgh, Urquhart Castle, Loch Ness, and Fort William, which plays an important role in the novels.
In-Flight Entertainment / In-Flight Comfort / Monarch Airlines / Monarch / Airlines / Airline News / → All Tags
When it comes to in-flight entertainment we’ve seen more and more systems that require you to bring your device. Now there’s another carrier asking you to tote along your tablet, as Monarch Airlines and their MPlayer offers up all kinds of movies and other media straight to your iPad.
The MPlayer app is available in a few flavors from iOS to Android, and there’s both free content and those programs that you have to pay for. Just remember to download things before heading off to the airport, and we can only imagine that will help things go that much more smoothly.
Road Trips / Top Gear Travel / TV Travel / Cars / Britain Travel / Awesome Stuff / Racing / → All Tags
Fun fact: BBC's Top Gear is the most popular automotive show in history, broadcasting in about 170 different countries. Hundreds of millions of people tune in and watch the ragtag trio of presenters race, destroy cars, and chide each other in the process every week, so there is a pretty good chance you're one of those fans. If so, good news! The Top Gear Test Track is now open to the public, for a price of course.
That’s right. You can drive on the same track at Dunsfold Park (near Guildford in Surrey) where they do most of their tests and challenges, visit the Top Gear TV Studio, and catch a glimpse of that looming Boeing 747 in the process. The Top Gear Track Experience, as it's called, offers 8 different options ranging from the “Star In a Reasonably Priced Car” timed laps to off-roading in a Land Rover Defender.
Travelers to the United Kingdom will be in for a surprise next Monday, August 4, when the country suddenly turns off the lights.
The Telegraph explains:
The Houses of Parliament, Blackpool Illuminations and Tower Bridge will go dark on August 4 to commemorate the outbreak of the First World War.
They are among hundreds of sites taking part in Lights Out, a Government-backed project aiming to achieve a nationwide switch-off from 10-11pm – the hour in which Britain declared itself at war with Germany 100 years ago.
The Foreign Office will leave a single lamp burning in a room overlooking the Cenotaph, and another in a room overlooking St James’s Park. The inspiration for the event is the remark made by Sir Edward Grey, foreign secretary, on August 3 1914.
Knowing that war was imminent, he gazed out at gas lamps being lit in St James’s Park and said: “The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.”
TV Travel / Literary Travel / Scotland Travel / Outlander Travel / Tours / Edinburgh Travel / → All Tags
With the Starz series Outlander about to debut, there is more interest than ever in the books which inspired the show, not to mention the Scotland locations where both are set.
There are several tour companies throughout Scotland now offering Outlander tours, including Vacation Scotland's Outlandish Adventures, a 7-day exploration of book locations, from Edinburgh to the Isle of Skye.
Beauty Travel / Flight Attendants / Virgin / Virgin Atlantic / Airline Uniforms / Vivienne Westwood / Fashion Travel / Carry-on Luggage / Luggage / Vivienne Westwood for Virgin Atlantic / → All Tags
This year's 30th Anniversary of Virgin Atlantic combined with the launch of the airline's snazzy new Vivienne Westwood-designed uniforms means more than just partytime in the skies on VS; these milestones will also bring about a revamped beauty and grooming guide for the already fresh and polished Virgin crew.
You see, when a new hire receives their uniform, they're also handed a Virgin-produced book titled Runway. It's essentially a guide to the "Virgin Atlantic look" regarding how to wear the uniform, suggested hair styles, and the like. It's meant for maintenance employees, gate agents and Clubhouse staff just as much as for cabin and flight crew, but the pages dedicated to the minutiae of a flight attendant's jet setting lifestyle are among the most enlightening.
Runway is right now in the process of being updated, but there are some choice sections worth preserving for all.
We usually turn our attention towards New Mexico when it comes to space travel and space tourism, as that’s where Virgin Galactic has been preparing and planning for the last few years. However, there’s another spot to add to your space race map; the United Kingdom have their own sky-high dreams and they're focusing them on Scotland.
Until mobile devices somehow magically charge themselves throughout your journey—you’re going to need a spot to plug in and charge up at the airport. The concourses and terminals have gotten a little bit better at adding ports and plugs, and now it seems like there’s a push overseas to add even more spots to charge up before your trip.
With that pesky new requirement regarding devices to be operational at airport security airports in London are pushing to get more options available to flyers.
Drinking Travel / Business Class Travel / Virgin Atlantic / Airlines / In-Flight Meals / In-Flight Cocktails / The Little Things / → All Tags
In the midst of the bustle of travel, it's all too easy to overlook the details. We're talking about special touches others have stressed over just so you can enjoy a unique experience, whether you know it or not. Every so often we'll highlight The Little Things like this, so now you will know.
The Little Thing: A dedication to serving Lanson Black Label champagne in Upper Class on Virgin Atlantic.
You've just settled back in the leather seat, put your smartphone on "airplane mode," and flipped open the Upper Class in-flight menu. Before you can turn to the extensive list of options "from the bar" on this Virgin Atlantic flight (and yes, there is a real bar), a flight attendant sashays your way with a tray of bubbly.
It's a scene now so signature to Virgin Atlantic service, this stylish pour of Lanson Black Label Brut accompanied by a scarlet smile, but it hasn't always been that way.
The coupe-shape glass was first introduced onboard Virgin Atlantic flights with the revamp of the A330 bar in 2012, but the glass is now part of all Upper Class services regardless of aircraft type. The long, thin stem topped with a sultry bowl evokes the glamor of old Hollywood, and champagne bubbles look damned fine in it.
Photo Gallery / Fashion Travel / Flight Attendants / Pilots / Virgin Atlantic / Virgin / Airline Uniforms / Vivienne Westwood / Vivienne Westwood for Virgin Atlantic / Richard Branson / Travel News / London Travel / Britain Travel / Beauty Travel / → All Tags
The Virgin Atlantic look is sharp, iconic, sizzling; there’s no denying the head-turning appeal of a crisp white blouse tucked into a scorching red pencil skirt, topped off with red heels. But, with the celebration of the airline’s 30th Anniversary this year, it’s about that time for a snazzy refresh so as to continue “flying in the face of ordinary,” as the airline’s slogan goes. For this, Virgin Atlantic paired with UK designer and punk powerhouse Vivienne Westwood. The new uniforms were just unveiled July 1 in London, and will roll out for all Virgin Atlantic staff, from cabin crew to flight crew, and desk agents to Clubhouse hospitality.
Alas, a flash of the new uniform as it swishes down the airplane aisle isn't enough to appreciate the detail. Aside from the fact that it’s now easier to care for with a new tech “nano finish" (the earlier uniform was dry clean only) and yarn made from recycled plastic bottles, there are small secrets hidden in every dart and under each lapel, telling the story of the collaboration between England’s flag-carrying airline and one of the country's most iconic fashion influences.
Although the uniforms don’t officially take flight for the entire Virgin Atlantic fleet until September 1, keep an eye out for a preview on your next VS flight; crew have been heading to the airline’s Base near Gatwick Airport to pick up their full looks since this past weekend. Here's what to look for:
Live Music Travel / Wales Travel / How To Get Tickets To / Music Festivals / Festival Number 6 / → All Tags
If you decided to skip the Glastonbury Festival only to regret it, there is another UK music festival coming up that might be the next best thing.
Festival Number 6, taking place September 5 -7, 2014, has a musical lineup that includes Pet Shop Boys, Beck, London Calling, James Holden, Jon Hopkins and dozens more, along with comedians, artists, film premieres, pop-up raves, and gourmet treats.