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Simon Calder's Independent Travel Podcast

September 18th - The future of travel with emerging tech

I’m exploring the technological future of travel with brainbox Kate Doodson, joint chief executive of Cosmic UK – a social enterprise that works with destinations on travel tech.


This podcast is free, as is my weekly newsletter, which I can hand-on-heart say is purely human-made. Subscribe here to have it delivered to your inbox every Friday.

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  • December 11th - How to avoid 'Frenetic Friday' this Christmas

    05:00
    With just two weeks to go to Christmas, I'm in Tirana airport giving you an update on how to avoid the dreaded 'Frenetic Friday' great getaway. In this episode I'll be talking about the situation at UK airports, across Britain's rail network and also what the situation will look like on the roads.This podcast is free, as is my weekly newsletter. Subscribe here to get it delivered every Friday to your inbox.
  • December 8th - How the UK is getting school travel groups back from the EU

    06:06
    The Brexit ban on tourists from the EU using ID cards has begun to be reversed. Insisting on passports almost obliterated school group travel to the UK. From next year the ban has been lifted for children attending French schools, with others likely to follow.This podcast is free, as is my weekly newsletter - sign up to receive it every Friday here.
  • December 7th - How (un)reliable is the London Underground?

    09:18
    On Wednesday, the day of a rail strike that wiped out almost all South Western Railway trains, London’s Northern Line shut down for an hour. With many travelers switching from rail to Tube, the closure was doubly damaging. It is not clear what caused the problem, and Transport for London has not responded to my request about it. But while I was part of the Tubeful of travelers wondering what was going on, I thought I should look at the best and worst Underground lines for cancellations.This podcast is free, as is my weekly newsletter - sign up to receive it every Friday here.
  • December 6th - Taking the temperature of the holiday industry

    06:54
    Europe's biggest tour operator, Tui, is reporting souring profits and passenger numbers. Holiday bookings for the current winter are 11 per cent up from the same time last year. What does this mean? That your holidays won't be getting any cheaper.This podcast is free, as is my weekly newsletter - sign up to receive it every Friday here.
  • December 5th - Something odd has been happening with Ryanair's boarding passes

    06:20
    The great Ryanair boarding pass mystery. Has Ryanair come up with a new moneymaking scheme just in time for Christmas? That is the question that has been exercising a good few of you in the last couple of days. The short answer, according to an airline spokesperson, is no: “There is no new procedure in force.” But something odd has been happening. Here's what we know, and what I am guessing.This podcast is free, as is my weekly newsletter - sign up to receive it every Friday here.
  • December 4th - Day Four in the 2023 advent calendar of travel misery

    06:26
    After a miserable weekend for travelers in large parts of the UK, the working week has begun with more disruption. Thousands of airline passengers woke up on Monday morning where they did not intend to be after dozens of weekend flight cancellations. Rail firms are warning of major disruption on day four of an overtime ban by train drivers. Some roads in Cumbria and the Peak District are blocked due to snow, and the Met Office has issued four yellow weather warnings for Monday.This podcast is free, as is my weekly newsletter - sign up to receive it every Friday here.
  • December 1st - Simon Calder catches up with Mick Lynch following RMT pay deal

    08:15
    I’m speaking exclusively to Mick Lynch, general secretary of the RMT union, just after members voted overwhelmingly to accept a pay deal. But, he warns, strikes could be back next summer if negotiations in the New Year do not go well.This podcast is free, as is my weekly newsletter - sign up to receive it every Friday here.
  • November 30th -Navigating the Rail Chaos: A December of Disruption Ahead

    06:10
    On today's podcast, I'm stationed at Manchester Piccadilly, exploring the impending rail challenges this December. From driver strikes to altered schedules, I'll break down what this means for UK travellers and how to best navigate the disruptions.This podcast is free, as is my weekly newsletter. Subscribe here to get it delivered every Friday.
  • November 29th - Downgauging is a sneaky airline trick you should know about

    06:12
    Another bit of aviation jargon unravelled. Some listeners and readers have been in touch about “downgauging" – when an airline uses a smaller plane than planned. What happens if two dozen passengers are unable to travel as booked? The same rules apply as for overbooking.This podcast is free, as is my weekly newsletter. Subscribe here to get it delivered every Friday.