Simon Calder's Independent Travel Podcast
June 15th - Rail strikes in June
During the planned nationwide rail strikes for three dates in late June, only limited passenger train services will run – most of them on key links to and from London.
Members of the RMT rail union at Network Rail and 13 train operators voted 8:1 in favour of strike action over jobs, pay and conditions, and will stage 24-hour walkouts on 21, 23 and 25 June.
Here is the lowdown on all you need to know about the strikes.
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June 9th - Left high and dry aboard LNER's Aberdeen service06:24I’m on the 9.52am train from Aberdeen to London King's Cross – the only one in the LNER timetable on which alcohol is banned, and then only as far south as Newcastle. “We expect a number of large groups to be travelling on this train,” says the train operator. “So to help make it a pleasant experience for everyone, we'll be operating an alcohol-free policy for part of the journey.” But drinking is banned on every ScotRail train, and at every Scottish station. In Northern Ireland, the legality of alcohol depends on what sort of train you are on. And on all public transport in London, drinking has been illegal for 15 years.Of course this podcast is free, as is my weekly newsletter. Subscribe here to get every Friday.
June 8th - Chaos, what chaos?07:28With 31 days of security strikes threatened at Heathrow, I take a look at what measures will be used to limit the impact of the walk-outs.This podcast is free, like my weekly newsletter. Subscribe to that here.
June 7th - Heathrow strikes amid a "major escalation" about pay06:31London Heathrow airport will see “disruption, delays and cancellations this summer” according to the Unite union. In a “a major escalation” of a pay dispute, it is calling more than 2,000 security staff out on strike for 31 days between June and August.The action at the UK’s busiest airport is timed to coincide with busy family travel dates, including the start of the main summer holidays in England and Wales, as well as the August bank holiday weekend. Here's my assessment.This podcast is free, like my weekly newsletter. Subscribe to that here.
June 6th - My arctic adventure continues09:00Part two of my Arctic adventure. In which a train goes missing, a bus stands in, another train has almost no passengers, connections are missed or never truly existed in the first place, many drivers are kind but some are not, and the Miracle of the Train whereby I was heading south from Oslo airport on an express that was due to leave two minutes before my plane from Bodo arrived.This podcast is free, like my weekly newsletter. Subscribe to that here.
June 5th - My difficult journey to Sweden06:11I had a particularly odd journey to Luleå in Sweden. It began with a 25 minute late flight from Stansted, I was met by a train derailment in Arlanda but I did enjoy a taxi instead of a rail replacement bus. Then I had to negotiate with members of an extremely long security queue in order to board my Norwegian flight on time. Thanks to a few strokes of luck I arrived at my final destination but things could have gone badly wrong.This podcast is free, like my weekly newsletter. Subscribe to that here.
June 2nd - How to get the cheapest plane tickets08:06I’m on a plane to Sweden – flying Ryanair from Stansted to Vasteras, an approximation to Stockholm. I know some people will have paid less than me, and some will have paid more: that is the nature of pricing planes, trains and ships. How do companies set prices, and when exactly should you book? If I knew that …This podcast is free, like my weekly newsletter. Subscribe to that here.
June 1st - Weigh before fly06:59Would you tolerate standing on the scales at the airport?At present, airlines use “assumed mass” – typically 88kg per passenger. Air New Zealand is seeking 10,000 volunteers to ensure that these averages are still accurate. Yet if airlines knew exactly how much each passenger weighs, the captain could load fuel more accurately: reducing fuel burn, and the damage to the planet. Which major airline will be first to introduce the idea?This podcast is free, like my weekly newsletter. Subscribe to that here.
May 31 - What to discover in Szczecin06:51I’m in Szczecin in northwest Poland – previously known as Stettin, when in German hands.It’s a fascinating city, as I have been hearing from Szymon Maksymiuk at the city’s tourist office – who explained that Szczecin has the newest “old town” in Europe – dating from the 1990s and still not finished.This podcast is free, like my weekly newsletter. Subscribe to that here.
May 30th - The worlds largest passenger jet could be on it's way09:25A new transatlantic start-up airline, Global Airlines, says it has acquired its first Airbus A380 SuperJumbo and will fly four of them between London and New York/Los Angeles from next Spring. I'm not marking that in my diary just yet. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/airbus-a380-london-new-york-norse-los-angeles-b2347479.htmlOf course, this podcast is free, as is my weekly newsletter. Subscribe here to have it delivered every Friday.