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5May/100

New Iceland Volcanic Ash Cloud Image Shows UK Coverage

The ash is back. Fresh volcanic activity under the Eyjafjallajokull glacier in Iceland has resulted in a fresh ash plume being pushed about 5.5km (18,000ft) into the air.

Weather conditions had led to a concentrated cloud of ash reaching northern parts of the UK.

Weather conditions had led to a concentrated cloud of ash reaching northern parts of the UK.

 
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Iceland volcanic ash cloud shows coverage of the UK and Europe
 
5May/100

Northern Irish and Scottish Airport close over new ash cloud fears

Airports in parts of Scotland and Northern Ireland closed from 0700 BST because of risks from volcanic ash, the Civil Aviation Authority has said.

Glasgow, Prestwick and Derry are likely to be closed all day, while there are plans to shut Inverness in the morning only, and Belfast in the afternoon.

The CAA advised air passengers to check with airports before travelling and warned the situation was changeable.

Last month, volcanic ash clouds from Iceland grounded flights for six days.

The situation in the skies has been changing hour by hour, meaning the picture for air travellers is unclear.

Dublin Airport will also close from 1100 BST until further notice.

Forecasts show the 60 nautical mile buffer zone imposed around high concentrations of ash is close to some northern airports.

AIRPORT CLOSURES
Glasgow 0700-1900
Prestwick 0700-1900
Inverness 0700-1300
Stornoway 0700-1900
Benbecula 0700-1900
Tiree 0700-1900
Islay 0700-1900
Barra 0700-1900
Campbeltown 0700-1900
Derry 0700-1900
Belfast International 1300-1900
Belfast City 1300-1900
Dublin 1100-onwards
All times in BST. Source: CAA at 0200 BST

However, the latest advice issued by the CAA at 0200 BST said airports in Edinburgh and north-west England could safely stay open on Wednesday, despite the proximity of the ash.

The CAA says the South East of England is unlikely to be affected on Wednesday.

In a statement, the CAA said: "The situation remains changeable, so passengers expecting to travel from airports in Scotland, Northern Ireland, the North of England and north Wales should contact their airlines to check whether their flight is operating."

 

 

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4May/101

5 holiday scams & rip offs to watch out for!

Money switching

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US and euro currency notes are particularly at fault here: many of their denominations are the same size or otherwise relatively hard to distinguish. In a car it’s easy for an unscrupulous cabbie to use sleight of hand and switch your note to a lower denomination. Ensure you learn your numbers in the appropriate language and, if in doubt, loudly and slowly count the amount as you pay the potential scammer. Sometimes, as a tourist, you just have to be annoying.

Car Jacking

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You didn’t spot the sly criminals eyeing you and your possessions as you filled in the form at the hire-car stand. A few miles down the road, just after you’ve stopped at a red light, your tyre bursts. Generously, the motorcyclists that were alongside your vehicle at the lights offer their aid in changing the slashed tyre – and snatch all your belongings while you’re struggling with the jack. Most common in the touristy parts of Spain, but it also occurs in Thailand.

The Ticket Collector

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Particularly prevalent around Paris Metro ticket machines, where a friendly local in the queue offers to help you obtain your seven-day pass. He gets the right option up on the screen, but your card mysteriously won’t work. No matter, he will use his and you can pay him back in cash. So much for unfriendly Parisians - this guy’s a Samaritan! Only after performing the transaction and watching him speed off down an escalator do you realise you have paid him 77 euro for a single-use ticket.

Roman Holiday

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Phew, you made it to your Rome hotel safely, you checked in and are just freshening up when a man with a clipboard knocks on the door: he needs to do an inventory of your room and to determine that every appliance is working properly. He will probably ask you for a hand in checking the taps in the bathroom for leaks - but he has deftly left your door off the latch and, while you’re busy in the bathroom, his accomplices will have swarmed in and fled with your belongings.

Shoe Shine Scam

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A trick employed in souks and markets everywhere is to thrust apparent samples, or surpluses, of sweets, fabric or tobacco at you and then claim you misunderstood the transaction and you have to pay, over the odds, for the “gift”.

A variant of the same that seems to have wandered beyond the bazaar is that of the “grateful shoe shiner”. You pick up a shoe shiner’s brush that he dropped in the road, and he is so grateful you have saved his livelihood he insists on shining your shoes – for free, of course, you think. Wrongly. When your shoes are gleaming - as you are, at the freebie - he will demand grossly inflated payment. Fellow shoe shiners soon appear to help to reinforce his claim. This routine has reached virtual plague proportions in Istanbul.

If you have any holiday scams you'd like to share drop us a comment!

Now you’re savvy to a few scams here’s a genuine deal with no strings attached…honest guv’nor! Search Bargain Villas for your next cheap holiday villa and you could save a packet.

 

4May/100

Flight ban in Ireland and parts of UK over new Volcanic ash cloud risk

All flights in and out of Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic have been grounded since 0700 BST because of fresh risks from volcanic ash.

Airspace over Scotland's Outer Hebrides was closed, affecting Tiree, Barra and Benbecula airports, with Campeltown in Argyll also closed.

Flights in and out of the Republic are due to resume from 1300 BST.

An ash plume is drifting south from the same Icelandic volcano that wreaked havoc to European air travel in April.

Flights over Europe were banned for six days last month because of fears of the effect of volcanic ash on plane engines.

In the rest of the UK, schedules are operating as normal.

The decision to lift the restrictions followed safety tests that showed the engines could cope in areas of low density ash.

The fresh disruption comes as European Union transport ministers are meeting in Brussels to discuss ways to improve air traffic management in the wake of last month's events.

Last week a spokeswoman for EU Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas said that had there been more co-ordination at EU level, air traffic could have resumed up to three days earlier.

Read the full article here