Merry Christmas & Happy New Year
Friday 19 December 2008 - 12:39
Trailfinders would like to wish all our clients a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year. We will be open throughout the festive period to help you with your travel arrangements, closing only on Christmas Day, Boxing Day & New Year's Day. We will also close early at 4pm on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.
New Trailfinder magazine - out now
Friday 19 December 2008 - 12:38
The new Trailfinder magazine is out now and packed with exclusive offers and inspiring articles. It's guaranteed to brighten even the gloomiest of days so if you haven't received your free copy or know of someone who you think would enjoy it then order a copy today!
Update - Bangkok Airport - Flight disruptions - Thailand
Friday 05 December 2008 - 09:00
Following the re-opening of both Suvarnabhumi International Airport and Don Muang Airport, most airline schedules are returning to normal. We are contacting any clients affected by a change in flight time to advise. However if you are due to travel to Thailand in the next few days please call your travel consultant to confirm flight details and for any further assistance you may require.
Travelling to the USA after 12 January?
Thursday 04 December 2008 - 18:18
Then you may need to pre-apply at least 72 hours before departure for authorisation to travel using the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA). For more information click here.
Update - Mumbai terrorist incident - India
Tuesday 02 December 2008 - 17:00
The UK Foreign Office and the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs no longer advise against all but essential travel to Mumbai. Visit www.fco.gov.uk or www.foreignaffairs.gov.ie for further information.
If you are due to travel to Mumbai in the near future and you have any concerns please contact your travel consultant to discuss your itinerary.
Trailfinders - Best Specialist Independent Operator
Wednesday 26 November 2008 - 16:28
For the second time in as many months, Trailfinders has been recognised as the UK's leading tour operator. We were delighted to have been awarded Best Specialist Independent Operator at the Telegraph Travel Awards 2008.
Having won the category every year since the inception of the awards in 2001, this accolade is especially important to us as it is voted for by members of the public from Britain’s biggest survey of travel habits, gaining over 25,000 responses.
This award comes hot on the heels of winning Best Tour Operator at the Guardian and Observer Travel Awards 2008 and being a winner of one of the Best Longhaul Operators in The Sunday Times Travel Magazine Readers' Awards 2008.
British Airways & Qantas Heathrow terminal updates
Thursday 13 November 2008 - 15:30
Qantas have moved from Zone D to Zone B in Heathrow Terminal 4. This also applies to Qantas premium passengers who previously checked in at British Airways premium check-in area.
Due to building work, access to the terminal building and the check-in hall is from the Arrivals level only until mid 2009. Clients arriving by car or taxi will need to be dropped at the departures level forecourt as normal, then take a lift down to the ground floor of the car park to enter the building before taking a lift back up to the departure level.
British Airways Lounge Pavilion at Gate 10 of Terminal 4 is now closed. Eligible clients can continue to use the Terraces Lounge by Gate 1.
British Airways Arrivals Lounge at Terminal 4 has closed. Eligible clients arriving on the following flights only will be able to use the Galleries Arrivals lounge at Heathrow Terminal 5; BA10 / QF301, BA16 / QF319, BA12 / QF3345, BA7311, BA7371, BA7309.
It is NOT available for use by Qantas clients travelling on Qantas flight numbers QF1, QF9, QF31 or QF29.
An onboard invitation will be given to eligible clients and they will be transferred by coach to/from Terminal 5 after they have collected their luggage upon arrival.
Trailfinders - the UK's No.1 Tour Operator
Monday 13 October 2008 - 10:01
For the second consecutive year Trailfinders has won the prestigious title of Best Tour Operator in the Guardian, Observer and Guardian Unlimited Travel Awards 2008. Winners of our category on nine separate occasions this award is particularly important to us as it is voted for by over 17,000 readers.
New - Airport Lounge Passes
Thursday 09 October 2008 - 08:58
Start your holiday in style and enjoy the experience of VIP travel - book an airport lounge pass. With 130 airport lounges worldwide at almost 100 airports, including 20 in the UK you can escape the hustle and bustle of the airport and relax before your flight. To book click here.
Suspected car bomb in Bangkok - Thailand
Tuesday 07 October 2008 - 12:14
A suspected car bomb has exploded in central Bangkok. We are in the process of contacting our ground operators for more information and we will monitor the situation and review our policies in line with Foreign Office advice.
Currently the UK Foreign Office/Irish Department of Affairs advice on travelling to Thailand has not changed. Visit www.fco.gov.uk or www.foreignaffairs.gov.ie for further information.
Trailfinders sponsors Andy Rouse Royal Geographical Society lecture
Thursday 02 October 2008 - 14:02
Ever since his first trip there 12 years ago, Andy Rouse has been captivated by the magic of Africa and his images from this incredible and vibrant continent have won major international awards. Now Travel Africa magazine, in association with Trailfinders, have brought Andy for one night only to the prestigious Royal Geographical Society in London to share his experiences of Africa on 29 October 2008.
The evening will be a journey through some of Andy’s favourite African destinations. Fully illustrated with his stunning collection of images Andy will talk about why each place holds a special place in his heart. The RGS will open its doors at 6pm. Andy's talk and slide show will begin at 6.45pm in the Ondaatje Theatre. Andy will be speaking for two 45-minute sessions with an interval.
Tickets are priced at £15 and available from Wendy Ball at Travel Africa Magazine. Please either call 01844278883 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for your tickets, directions and further information.
Infants no longer exempt from Passenger Service Charge
Thursday 02 October 2008 - 13:28
Effective immediately, the UK authorities discontinued the previous exemption afforded to infants of the U.K. Passenger Service Charge. Infants will now be charged the additional tax which can be up to £20. If you have a current booking with Trailfinders that is affected we will be contacting you in the next few days. If you have any questions regarding this change please contact your travel consultant.
London Heathrow flight disruption 25 September 2008
Thursday 25 September 2008 - 17:38
A technical problem with the main air traffic control centre at Swanwick earlier today has resulted in flight disruption to and from all airports in the South-East of England. Some flights have had to be cancelled and others delayed.
Clients are advised to check the status of their flight before they leave for the airport.
To access British Airways real time arrival and departure information click here.
For all other airlines please contact the airline direct.
Bomb blast in India - India
Monday 15 September 2008 - 12:13
Five bombs exploded in New Delhi on 13 September. The districts affected were Ghaffar Market, Karol Bagh, Connaught Place, Barakhamba Road and Greater Kailesh I. Media reports that 30 people have been killed and as many as 90 injured. No British or Irish nationals are reported to have been among these casualties. UK Foreign Office/irish Department of Affairs advice on travelling to India has not changed as a result of the weekends events. Visit www.fco.gov.uk or www.foreignaffairs.gov.ie for further information.
Update - Hurricane Ike - Cuba
Monday 08 September 2008 - 10:31
As a result of Hurricane Ike making landfall in the USA, the UK Foreign Office is currently advising against all but essential travel to Dallas, Houston, southern and eastern Texas and western Louisiana. Trailfinders consultants are in the process of contacting clients due to travel to any of the above destinations to discuss alternative arrangements. If you have not yet been contacted and would like to discuss possible options please contact your local travel centre.
We will continue to monitor the situation.
Situation in Thailand - Thailand
Tuesday 02 September 2008 - 09:53
The Prime Minister has imposed a State of Emergency in Bangkok after clashes between pro and anti Government protestors. Any protests and disruptions are still only in the Government House area, which is generally not frequented by tourists.
At this time, the State of Emergency covers Bangkok only with the rest of Thailand presently unaffected. The UK Foreign Office/Irish Department of Affairs advice on travelling to Thailand has not changed as a result of these events. Visit www.fco.gov.uk or www.foreignaffairs.gov.ie for further information.
Trailfinders will continue to monitor the situation.
Hurricane Gustav - United Kingdom
Monday 01 September 2008 - 13:03
Hurricane Gustav, a category three storm, is expected to hit main land USA today. Some hotels in New Orleans have taken the decision to close from 31 August to 3 September as a precaution. Trailfinders consultants are in the process of contacting clients due to travel to New Orleans over the next few days to discuss alternative travel arrangements. If you have not yet been contacted and would like to discuss possible options please contact your local travel centre.
We will continue to monitor the situation.
Changes to the US Visa Waiver Program - United States Minor Outlying Islands
Thursday 14 August 2008 - 10:08
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has announced planned changes to U.S. Immigration requirements from 12 January 2009.
Clients seeking to travel under the Visa Waiver Program must pre-apply for Authorisation using the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) . ESTA is a mandatory requirement and applications should be made online
at least 72 hours before departure via their website https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov
From 12 January 2009 it is planned that the I-94 visa waiver forms, currently completed on board, will be phased out and replaced by ESTA which must be done prior to travel. ESTA is very similar to the Australian ETA which has been running successfully for a number of years, however it is currently free and must be completed online via their website. It is recommended that ESTA is completed as soon as travel arrangements are made and at least 72 hours before departure as although the majority of responses are immediate it can take 72 hours for approval in some cases.
British Airways and Virgin Atlantic fuel surcharge refund claims - United Kingdom
Monday 07 July 2008 - 17:30
British Airways and Virgin Atlantic have advised that anyone who purchased a ticket for a longhaul journey on either carrier for travel between 11 August 2004 and 23 March 2006 are entitled to apply for a partial refund of their fuel surcharge.
The exact amounts to be refunded for each ticket are not yet known and it is not possible to apply directly to the airline for a refund as the refund process is being managed by an independent mediator. British Airways and Virgin Atlantic are currently advising that from 14 July 08 all potential claimants should register their claims online at www.airpassengerrefund.co.uk. The settlement will go before a judge for formal approval on 26 September 08.
Silverjet operations suspended
Friday 30 May 2008 - 10:43
Silverjet, the all-Business Class carrier to New York and Dubai has ceased operations with the last flight leaving for Dubai this morning. Trailfinders is currently in the process of contacting all clients due to travel on Silverjet. If you have not already heard from us and are due to travel imminently please call your local travel centre.
London Heathrow local transport delays 31 May
Wednesday 28 May 2008 - 15:06
Due to a planned demonstration at the eastern side of Heathrow Airport on Saturday May 31, some disruption is expected to local transport. B.A.A are working with the Metropolitan Police and the organisers of the demonstration to reduce the impact on Heathrow’s operation.
Trailfinders clients are advised to allow extra time when travelling to the airport by road or by bus or to consider alternative transport options if possible. Long stay car parks and car rental agencies will remain open.
Trailfinders wins Gold at Chelsea
Tuesday 20 May 2008 - 10:36
Trailfinders is delighted that the Fleming’s and Trailfinders Australian Garden presented by Melbourne, Victoria has won a Gold Medal at this year’s prestigious RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2008.
Following the theme of previous years the garden showcases Australia’s unique flora and fauna and highlights the laid back lifestyle and outdoor living that is enjoyed down under. This year’s garden was designed by Australian celebrity Jamie Durie and features artwork by renowned Aboringinal artist Gabriella Possum Nungarrayi. One of her paintings was presented to the Queen during the royal visit on Monday.
Trailfinders is delighted to add another accolade to it’s trophy cabinet. With over 37 years experience and as the No.1 Tour Operator to Australia from the UK, Trailfinders is the only choice for your next trip.
Bomb blast in Colombo - Sri Lanka
Friday 16 May 2008 - 17:48
There have been reports of casualties following a bomb blast in Colombo, Sri Lanka. However Trailfinders ground operators have reported that the incident occurred in the business district of Colombo and no tourist areas have been affected. We will continue to monitor the situation and review our policies in line with Foreign Office advice. As of 16 May the Foreign Office overall level of advice has not changed.
Bomb blast in India - India
Wednesday 14 May 2008 - 12:35
At approximately 15:00 BST there were a series of bomb blasts in Jaipur, western India. There have been reports of casualties. Trailfinders ground operators are investigating and we will continue to monitor the situation and review our policies in line with Foreign Office advice. As of 14 May the Foreign Office overall level of advice has not changed.
China Earthquake - China
Wednesday 14 May 2008 - 12:26
On 12 May an earthquake measuring 8 on the Richter scale struck south-western China, 92 kms northwest of Chengdu in Sichuan Province. Transport links have been damaged; Chengdu airport is closed but Chongqing airport has reopened, although flights are heavily delayed.
Trailfinders ground operators are investigating and we will continue to monitor the situation and review our policies in line with Foreign Office advice. As of 14 May the Foreign Office overall level of advice on travel to China has not changed, although they are advising against all but essential travel to Sichuan given the damage to infrastructure.
If you are due to travel to the affected area with Trailfinders on or before 31 May and would like to discuss possible options please contact your local travel centre.
Update - London Heathrow Terminal 5
Friday 11 April 2008 - 16:34
British Airways & BAA have decided to defer the move of the majority of their long haul flights from Heathrow Terminal 4 to Terminal 5 (originally planned for 30 April). Although there has been a steady improvement at Terminal 5, BA want to be sure that customers can be confident of high service standards when the terminal is handling larger numbers of passengers. The move will now begin in June but as yet they do not have a precise date. This decision has been taken to protect clients from the kind of disruption seen at Terminal 5 on its first day.
Over the next week BA will advise Trailfinders of your new departure terminal, we will then update our ViewTrail facility with the correct information. We suggest that you check ViewTrail 72hrs prior to your departure for up to date information.
How to check your departure terminal:
1.British Airways online check-in: available up to 24 hours prior to departure this ensures a smooth journey through the airport. Access your itinerary using our ViewTrail facility and click on the "Manage My Booking" link in order to check-in. Your departure terminal will be confirmed to you upon checking in.
3.Call your travel consultant.
London Heathrow Terminal 5 opens
Thursday 20 March 2008 - 17:44
On 27 March London Heathrow Terminal 5 will welcome the first British Airways passengers through its doors. Promising a smoother check-in process, fewer queues and less waiting around you’ll have far more time for eating, shopping or relaxing in the state-of-the-art facilities available.
British Airways starts its transition into Heathrow Terminal 5 from March 27, although some flights will still depart from Terminals 1 & 4. Other airlines will also be changing terminals over the coming months, although exact details are subject to change.
To ensure a problem-free start to your trip we recommend you check which terminal you will be flying from in advance.
How to check your departure terminal?
- British Airways online check-in: available up to 24 hours prior to departure this ensures a smooth journey through the airport. Access your itinerary using our ViewTrail facility and click on the "Manage My Booking" link in order to check-in. Your departure terminal will be confirmed to you upon checking in.
- Detailed Flight Itinerary on ViewTrail: check-in and terminal information can be found by accessing your Detailed Flight Itinerary using the ViewTrail facility on Trailfinders website.
- Call your travel consultant.
Update - British Airways and Virgin Atlantic Fuel Surcharge Refunds
Friday 15 February 2008 - 18:25
We are aware of reports in the media suggesting signing up to third party websites in order to register for refunds. We have not received guidelines from either airline on this issue and as a result do not recommend Trailfinders' clients take this action at this time.
British Airways and Virgin Atlantic have reached an agreement to refund a percentage of the fuel surcharges to clients who purchased tickets between 11 August 2004 and 23 March 2006. This has to be ratified by the US courts and it is expected that full details of the refund procedure will not be available until late April /early May. Trailfinders are unable to accept any requests for refunds on this basis until an approved policy has been released by each respective airline.
10 Lucky Winners
Monday 21 January 2008 - 16:28
Trailfinders recently celebrated making our ten millionth travel arrangement. To mark this prestigious occasion anyone who made a booking with us between 17 November and 23 December was entered into a prize draw to win one of ten pairs of tickets to Dubai or New York with Silverjet. Alternatively entries were possible online at trailfinders.com.
Frank Barrett, Travel Editor of the Mail on Sunday, drew the following lucky winners on Tuesday 15 January;
Mr J Wilson, Witham
Dr P Collins, London
Mr J Robertson, Glasgow
Mrs H Hall, Petworth
Mrs L Heath, Nottingham
Mr G Mellers, Belper
Mr P Bartholomew-Keen, Colchester
Mr N Shelmerdine, Woking
Mrs M Jenkins, Hove
Mr A Cowie, East Lothian
Unfortunately, with over 35,000 entries, not everyone could be a winner. Sorry if you were not one of the lucky ones this time round, but please look out for future competitions on trailfinders.com.
Update - Current Situation in Kenya - Kenya
Friday 18 January 2008 - 16:35
As the Foreign Office advise for Kenya remains unchanged and they are still advising against all but essential travel to Kenya due to the unsettled political situation Trailfinders has extended their policy.
Trailfinders consultants are in the process of contacting clients due to travel on or before the 27 January to discuss alternative travel arrangements. If you have not yet been contacted and would like to discuss possible options please contact your local travel centre.
We will continue to monitor the situation and will review our policies in line with Foreign Office advice.
Update - Heathrow Flight Disruption
Friday 18 January 2008 - 16:27
Following yesterday's incident at London Heathrow it is likely that there will be some disruption to flights to and from Heathrow on Friday 18 January. B.A.A. are expecting near normal operations however are recommending that anyone due to fly into or out of Heathrow today contact their airline regarding the status of their flight. British Airways have stated they plan to operate all of its longhaul flights and a high percentage of its shorthaul flights, however some shorthaul flights will be cancelled as a result of aircraft, pilots and crew being out of position. Should your travel arrangements be affected please contact your Trailfinders travel centre for further information."
Heathrow Flight Disruption
Thursday 17 January 2008 - 17:01
Following an earlier incident at Heathrow involving a BA flight from Beijing the Southern runway is closed and will remain so for at least the remainder of today (17 January). Information is limited, however, British Airways have advised that all their UK Domestic and European services will be cancelled for the rest of today. Other airlines may also be cancelling flights. British Airways intend to operate a full longhaul service, subject to delays, using the Northern runway. Should your plans be affected by this disruption please contact your Trailfinders travel center for further information. Any further news will be updated on our website.
Update - Trailfinders Vice Chairman completes Atlantic Double
Friday 04 January 2008 - 11:18
Congratulations to Tristan Gooley, Vice Chairman of Trailfinders, who arrived at Marigot Bay, St Lucia, on the afternoon of the 1 of January in a 32ft yacht called Golden Eye after 26 days at sea alone.
He is the first European to have both flown solo and sailed single-handed across the Atlantic. In May 07 he flew from Goose Bay, Canada to Oxford, England in a single-engine Cessna Caravan, re-fuelling in Greenland, Iceland and Scotland during the epic 2 day flight.
The only other person to have achieved both is the legendary American navigator, Steve Fossett, who is still missing after a routine flight in Nevada in September.
Tristan is using his achievements to raise awareness of Prostate Cancer, a disease that kills one man every hour. He is also paying tribute to Steve Fossett. Tristan said “It has been a difficult and unusual challenge but that has been a large part of the attraction. I like the fact that more people have walked on the moon than tackled the Atlantic by air and sea alone.”
For any press queries on Tristan's latest challenge please contact:
Nikki Davies. PR & Marketing Manager
020 7937 8499; email@example.com
Andrew Appleby, PR & Marketing Executive
020 7368 1590; firstname.lastname@example.org
Current Situation in Kenya - Kenya
Thursday 03 January 2008 - 16:37
The Foreign Office is currently advising against all but essential travel to Kenya due to the unsettled political situation.
Trailfinders consultants are currently in the process of contacting clients due to travel on or before the 14 January to discuss alternative travel arrangements. If you have not yet been contacted and would like to discuss possible options please contact your local travel centre.
We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will review our policies in line with Foreign Office advice.