Posts Tagged ‘travel’

British Airways accounts hit by cyber-attack

March 30th, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

British Airways 857 19385812 0 0 4005 300 British Airways accounts hit by cyber attackBritish Airways have had to freeze tens of thousands of frequent flyer accounts after a cyber attack.

The airline said that customers’ personal info, like addresses and bank details was not stolen in the attack, which is something, but those affected won’t be able to use the air miles they’ve accumulated while BA try and sort everything out.

A spokesperson said: ”British Airways has become aware of some unauthorised activity in relation to a small number of frequent flyer Executive Club accounts.”

“We would like to reassure customers that, at this stage we are not aware of any access to any subsequent information pages within accounts, including travel histories or payment card details.”

“We are sorry for the concern and inconvenience this matter has caused, and would like to reassure customers that we are taking this incident seriously and have taken a number of steps to lock down accounts so they can no longer be accessed,” the spokesman added.

There’s no word on which set of hackers it is (it doesn’t look like the work of our pals at Lizard Squad), but it is thought that the hackers got into the company’s computers by utilising an automated computer programme that looks for vulnerabilities in online security systems, which is gaspingly unsurprising.

Anyway, reset your passwords if this affects you.

Don’t catch a train over Easter

March 30th, 2015 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

train Dont catch a train over EasterGot time off over the Easter weekend? Congratulations! You don’t work in retail. Fancy a nice day trip somewhere? Well, whatever you do, don’t think about catching a train.

You see, as usual, the train companies have decided to do a load of engineering works on the days when loads of people might actually want to use them. Naturally, that means there’s going to be huge traffic jams as well, so you might as well stay in and sulk.

So what’s going down? Well, there’ll be no Southeastern trains running to or from Charing Cross, Waterloo East or Cannon Street in That London. As well as that, there’s major works going on at Watford, which means there’ll be no Virgin or London Midland trains able to run in-and-out of Euston station between Good Friday and Easter Monday.

Virgin won’t have any trains running any further south than Milton Keynes, Rugby or Northampton and there’ll be no direct London Midland services between Euston and Hemel Hempstead, with Virgin saying that they are “strongly recommending” that passengers don’t travel between Good Friday and Easter Monday.

Trains through Manchester will also be affected as well as services in Scotland and, well, bloody everywhere. If you’re planning a journey, have a look at your routes to see which ones are going to be a pain in your backside.

The roads will be chockablock too, with traffic information givers from Inrix saying that the congestion hotspots this weekend will be in the South East and the South West of England.

If you’re travelling by road to Gatwick and Heathrow, journeys could take four times as long, so set off early if you’re going on holiday.

British Airways 857 19385812 0 0 4005 300 Airlines review safety procedures after Germanwings disasterIf you’re flying anywhere this week, you’ll understandably be a bit nauseous after the tragedy that is the Germanwings disaster.

With that, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said that they have got in touch with all the British airlines “to require them to review all relevant procedures”.

The details of the crash in the Alps are well documented, so you’ll know that, in the lead-up to the crash, Andreas Gunter Lubitz waited until the captain of Flight 4U 9525 left the cockpit and then crashed the aircraft into a mountain range.

Post 9/11, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) brought in rules which require a member of the cabin crew to enter the cockpit if the captain or first officer needs to leave for some reason. These rules weren’t put in place across Europe.

The CAA said: “Following the details that have emerged regarding the tragic Germanwings incident, we are co-ordinating closely with colleagues at the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and have contacted all UK operators to require them to review all relevant procedures.”

“All UK airline pilots undergo extensive and regular medical assessments to determine their fitness to hold a licence. As part of this, aeromedical examiners are required to assess a commercial pilot’s mental health at each medical examination which, for an airline pilot flying with at least one other pilot, is undertaken annually.”

Virgin, Thomson, Monarch and Easyjet have said that they’ll be bring in the procedure immediately and Ryanair, Jet2 and Flybe already undertake this system.

Boeing get patent for sci-fi forcefields!

March 24th, 2015 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

Boeing have been watching far too many science fiction films, as they’ve been granted the patent for actual forcefields. We hope that they’re also looking at tractor beams and lasers too.

Anyway, they want to use this technology to protect military vehicles and other targets – they could even use it on planes to stop birds flying into their engines.

The design is named “Method and system for shockwave attenuation via electromagnetic arc”, which is not at all catchy. An image from the patent looks like this:

design 1 480x360 Boeing get patent for sci fi forcefields!

According to patent office website USPTO, this forcefield will consist of two key elements: a sensor to detect a shockwave-producing explosion, and an arc generator that receives a signal from the sensor and uses magical energy to deflect the explosion.

“Such embodiments … may reduce the energy density of the shockwave by creating a second medium in the path of the advancing shockwave that reflects, refracts, absorbs and deflects at least a portion of the shockwave,” says the patent.

We assume Ryanair are building a Death Star as we speak.

ryanairvsign Ryanair: decided against cheap Transatlantic flights after allRemember Ryanair’s plans to fly you to America for £10? Well, seems like this isn’t going to be a thing at all, although they’re probably happy with all that media coverage they got, thanks.

The airline issued a small statement saying that these flights aren’t going to be offered at all: “In the light of recent press coverage, the Board of Ryanair Holdings Plc wishes to clarify that it has not considered or approved any transatlantic project and does not intend to do so. ”

Of course, Ryanair and Michael O’Leary do have previous when it comes to talking a load of old cobblers, so this shouldn’t surprise anyone. Remember when they said they were going to charge people to defecate on their planes? That didn’t happen did it?

The only thing you can take seriously is the things that Ryanair actually do, rather than say they’re going to do.

That said, £10 one-way flights to America with Ryanair would invariably end up costing you much more money in hidden charges, as they whack on costs for baggage, paper tickets, food and whatnot, meaning you’d end up spending more than you would if you flew with British Airways and be dropped-off 430 miles from where you actually want to be.

poo crap 300x300 Someones poo was so bad, a plane had to turn back

Passengers were flying to Dubai to have a lovely time, when suddenly, they were heading back to Heathrow. Not because of technical problems, but because someone had dropped their guts in a spectacularly vile manner.

Those on the flight had been complaining about the skin-stripping stench from the toilets which were enough to curdle milk.

Tory councillor Abhishek Sachdev was on-board (going to Dubai, eh?) and tweeted about the whole affair, prompting Bitterwallet to immediately think ‘whoever smelt it, dealt it’. That’s the way it works right? Even in adult life.

His tweet read:

flight poo Someones poo was so bad, a plane had to turn back

Talking to the Mail, he said the pilot apologised to the passengers, and: “About 10 minutes later he said you may have noticed there’s a quite pungent smell coming from one of the toilets. He said it was liquid faecal excrement, those are the words he used. He said it’s not a technical fault with the plane, and he was very adamant about that.”

The flight was rescheduled for the next day and a British Airways spokesperson said: “We are very sorry for the discomfort to our customers.”

Meanwhile, someone somewhere can be proud or ashamed, depending on their constitution, of doing a crap so rancid that a plane had to stop flying.

breastfeeding 300x226 EasyJet passenger told her breastfeeding was ‘upsetting other passengers’How weak does someone’s constitution have to be, where they end up feeling upset at the sight of a baby or a boob?

Well, looks like some folk need to shape up, as a mother has vented her ire after she was told to cover up while she was trying to breastfeed her child on an EasyJet flight.

Gemma Leung, the mother in question, said that she didn’t even get her eight-month-old baby fed when a flight attendant told her she that she was going to have to cover everything up with a blanket for fear of upsetting the other passengers.

Again – imagine being upset by it. Getting irritated if the baby starts to cry and crap everywhere, sure, but a feeling of being distraught by a something as magnificently humdrum as a woman breastfeeding.

Mercifully, not all the attendants were thundering berks, as another returned to the ‘upsetting’ scene and apologised to Leung. “I’m totally outraged,” said Mrs Leung. “It ruined the whole trip for me and my mum. It’s just not right.”

EasyJet have made a public apology and reiterated that passengers are indeed allowed to breastfeed at any point during a flight, with a spokesperson adding: “The crew member was immediately corrected by another member of crew who apologised to Mrs Leung. This does not reflect EasyJet’s policy on breastfeeding.”

EU to keep mobile roaming charges

March 5th, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

Mobile phone holiday beach GUIDE 01 EU to keep mobile roaming chargesWe reported a while ago, that the EU was all set to abolish roaming charges. However, that may not be the case now, as they’re going to be here for another 3 years.

The pointless and outdated charges were to come into play this summer, but now, roaming charges are going to stay until the end of 2018. And only then, the situation will be reviewed. With the average Brit spending £120 on these charges, this is a bit of a kick in the pants.

The telecoms industry aren’t happy about this either, as they say that this will affect their revenues, presumably because holidaymakers will prefer to switch their phones off while abroad, rather than use them. That said, they’ll happily take the money of those who do use their phones, so they won’t be too annoyed at all this.

A number of consumer groups across Europe, who have joined forces at the BEUC, have called this u-turn ‘outrageous’ and that ‘roaming is not justifiable in a single market.’

Only last year, the UK was planning on getting together with other European countries to sort out a fairer system which would abolish roaming charges, whereas now, everyone’s going to have to work out a common position with the European Parliament and Commission before any changes come to the fore.

“EU member states should hang their heads in shame,” said Belgian MEP and Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe group leader Guy Verhofstadt.

Drinking to be banned on trains?

February 23rd, 2015 2 Comments By Mof Gimmers

train Drinking to be banned on trains?Remember how bad the response was, when drinking on the London Underground was banned? Well, steel yourself, because the bosses of the railways are being asked to consider a ban on drinking on all trains.

So, that’d mean old dears not being able to have a G&T while going on a day trip or someone making a long commute more bearable with a can.

Of course, you can still get on a train absolutely bladdered, which means any notion of this being a thing to stop anti-social behaviour is out of the window. It also goes without saying that you don’t have to be hammered on booze to be anti-social, either.

What’s the big idea then?

Well, this is being floated by the Rail Safety and Standards Board because they want to do something about the number of people killed on the railways because they’re drunk. In the last 5 years, 18 people were killed and 250 were seriously injured after they fell from platforms.

So you’ll assume that the rail safety lot will be banning slippery shoes and people checking their phones when they should be looking where they’re going, too? Not to mention banning passengers from frequenting any nearby pubs, especially the ones that are actually inside the train stations themselves.

This is only in consultation at the moment and you can imagine the Rail Safety and Standards lot won’t be able to justify alcohol bans because, if they do and accidents keep happening, they might have to start spending some money on making train platforms safer, rather than blaming it on alcohol.

Improved WiFi for trains!

February 12th, 2015 2 Comments By Mof Gimmers

train Improved WiFi for trains!WiFi on trains is crap, at best. Bearing in mind you get it for free in coffee shops and the like, the fact you have to buy a pass for it on trains is, frankly, rubbish.

Well, the government are looking at connectivity on trains and have announced that they’re going to free up £50 million of funding for free WiFi on the rail networks in England and Wales.

Rail Minister Claire Perry said that the Department of Transport want to make sure that WiFi is available on more services by 2017. It’ll be useful for people who work while they travel and, naturally, it’ll be good for bored people wanting to stream TV shows or listen to Spotify without hammering their data.

In addition to all this, all future bids for new franchises and direct award agreements are going to have to include provisions for WiFi infrastructure. At the moment, the DoT are looking at improvements on Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern, Southeastern, Chiltern and Arriva Trains Wales.

Rail Minister Claire Perry said: “Free WiFi is a priority for many as being able to keep up with work, connect with friends or even check the latest journey information online helps make rail travel more productive.”

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander, looking like a penis hiding in an old sock, said: “The government is earmarking around £50 million to provide free WiFi on trains; this and our other franchising improvements mean that nearly three-quarters of rail journeys will be made on trains with wi-fi provision.”

United Airlines £50 first class flights boob

February 12th, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

united airlines United Airlines £50 first class flights boobUnited Airlines dropped a clanger, flogging a load of first class flight tickets from London to Newark for the paltry sum of £50.

Apparently, a ‘third party error’ was responsible and sadly, even though a load of people snapped up the cut-price tickets, United said they would not be honouring the purchases. The flights would normally cost around £4,000.

Ever gracious, United Airlines released a statement accusing customers of trying to “take advantage of the situation”.

“United is voiding the bookings of several thousand individuals who were attempting to take advantage of an error a third-party software provider made when it applied an incorrect currency exchange rate, despite United having properly filed its fares,” they said.

“Most of these bookings were for travel originating in the United Kingdom, and the level of bookings made with Danish Kroner as the local currency was significantly higher than normal during the limited period that customers made these bookings.”

B9oBqxTIcAABXG5 United Airlines £50 first class flights boob

The glitch allowed users to book a round-trip flight between Heathrow and Newark Liberty International airport for 491 Danish kroner if, on United’s site, they changed their host country to Denmark.

People who got in while the glitch was still live, were able to buy cheap tickets to any US destination from Heathrow, as long as they opted for first class or business class.

Imagine the good publicity if United Airlines honoured the flights! Still, they’re probably still butt hurt from the time their Twitter account got hacked with all manner of risque messages.

Should we all start invoicing buses for being late?

February 2nd, 2015 2 Comments By Mof Gimmers

Buses and trains are notorious for being late in the UK, with most people just accepting it as part of the service. However, all that might’ve changed as one lady made a note of all the late bus services and then invoiced for them successfully.

Elizabeth Thomas sent her invoice to First Buses, which totted up to £103.30 and they gave her a load of free passes.

late travel invoice Should we all start invoicing buses for being late?

She complained about a service in Bristol which had been consistently late, which she said, had been preventing her from spending time with her two children because her commute was taking longer than necessary.

“I’ve had to start leaving an hour earlier just to be sure I get to work on time, and by the time I get home I’m looking at a 12-hour day most days,” she said.

“That’s time I should be spending with my children. Is my time not valuable to First?”

Thomas looked at her Twitter and used the data she collated there, to document late buses (or indeed, buses that didn’t show up at all). She added up all the time she waited and put it into an invoice. She found that she’d wasted 11.24 hours waiting for First’s buses.

With that, she decided to charge First £9.19 per hour, which resulted in a cost of £103.30. Seeing as Elizabeth Thomas was successful, should we all start invoicing travel companies for late running services, to get some compensation or free stuff? Looks like a good idea to us.

**UPDATE**

First in Bristol got in touch to say this: “The success of this particular claim was due to the fact that there is a customer promise already in place in Bristol, which offers to pay out if a bus (in Bristol) is more than one minute early at a defined timing point, or more than 20 mins late at any boarding point, and the cause of the failure is within the company’s control. This is well publicized locally and means that there was, in fact, no need for an invoice to be submitted at all.”

All buses services across the country would do well to adopt this customer promise!

Cheap oil won’t mean cheaper flights

January 26th, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

airplane Cheap oil wont mean cheaper flightsNow that the price of oil has gone down, prompting savings with our energy bills and at the petrol pumps, does that mean the price of holiday flights is going to fall? Well, according to what you’ve just read in our headline, it doesn’t look like it.

This follows what Flybe have stated, saying that this drop in oil costs will have a “minimal impact” on the price of air travel. With that, shares in Flybe dropped accordingly by over 20%.

Saad Hammad, chief executive, who is trying to get the company making a profit again has been selling the company’s peripheral assets and reworking their routes. He’s certain that the airline is on the up (pardon the pun), saying: “Flybe’s improvement in its core UK business continues to progress. Only a year into our three year transformation we now have a platform which enables us to compete in a tough environment where the consumer demands value.”

“We have responded to that by keeping our fares low and launching new routes. Having removed nearly a $1bn of future liabilities over the course of this year in relation to the firm legacy order for additional Embraer E175 aircraft and ongoing losses of Flybe Finland, we are making solid progress towards finding a solution to our remaining legacy issue, Project Blackbird.”

Project Blackbird sounds like a secret services strategy where they incite race riots or something. Either way, fact is, Flybe won’t be dropping their prices and at the moment, it doesn’t look like anyone else in the industry is going to bother either.

Are you entitled to Eurostar compensation?

January 19th, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

eurostar channel tunnel Are you entitled to Eurostar compensation?There’s been a weekend of complete mayhem at the Channel Tunnel, which means a lot of people are looking at getting some compensation from Eurostar.

As you’ll be aware, the chunnel was closed for most of Saturday because of a fire and then it was locked down again on Sunday because of an unrelated electrical fault. Today, there’s only one of the two tunnels open, which means more delays and headaches for passengers.

It is hoped that the Channel Tunnel will be back to full speed tomorrow, but after this weekend, no-one should hold their breath.

The amount of passengers inconvenienced over the weekend are in advance of 12,000, which is a lot of compensation needing to be paid out.  On Saturday, Eurostar cancelled 26 of their services.

The cancellations were a result of a lorry  which was on fire (or more accurately, it was “”smouldering”, which meant two CO2 detectors went off and everything had to be shut down. Then, once that was put out, “residue smoke” had to be cleared, meaning further delays. Then, when it looked like things were getting sorted, there was a problem with a power supply which meant more hair being torn out in frustration.

So what happens now?

Well, if you’re planning to travel on Eurostar, they’ve said that they’re planning to run a full service, albeit with delays, so you should check-in as normal, but expect to spend some time sat around and tutting.

“As Eurotunnel will not be completely operational Eurostar services may be subject to delays of up to about 30 minutes,” the company said. “If you were scheduled to travel on Saturday or Sunday and wish to change your plans and were impacted by the tunnel closure, you can exchange your ticket free of charge, within the next 60 days to travel anytime within the next 120 days, or apply for a refund.”

If you’re wanting to complain, then there are long waits on the Eurostar telephone services. You can try ringing them - 03432 186186, 9am-5pm Mon-Fri – or, if you prefer, you can email them at traveller.care@eurostar.com and include the details of what happened as well as your six-letter booking reference.

Eurostar’s website says that they have a “generous compensation policy” for passengers who have been affected by delays so if all of the above switches you off, they have an online form to help you get your money back.

And now, instead of some hold music, here’s a man being run over by a moped outside London’s St Pancras, live on the telly. Both are fine.

Ryanair just can’t play nicely

January 16th, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

Corporate Twitter accounts are no fun. They’re just some poor sap in the office who isn’t allowed to be funny and spontaneous without every Tweet going through a committee, leaving business feeds stilted and dead-eyed.

In some instances however, companies allow their social media teams to do stuff on the fly, which seems to be the case at Ryanair and Aer Lingus, who got into it after a customer asked a question.

aerlingus ryanair Ryanair just cant play nicely

When Des Foley asked if the two airlines really hated each other, Aer Lingus replied that it was all just a bit of fun. However, Ryaniar constantly have a bee up their arse and replied with the pithy “we’d have to treble our fares and lose 81m customers”, singing the “trolololol” song all the while.

They just can’t play nicely can they?

[via SimonNRicketts]