‘I flew to New York for £69’ – was it worth it?

Earlier this year low cost airline Norwegian launched a new route from the UK to New York, with one-way tickets selling for just £69. But what sacrifices do you have to make to get a price that low? We sent MSE Megan to find out…

Editor: Fancy testing a flight to New York for us?

Me: YES

Editor: There’s just one catch…

Actually, it turned out there were quite a few catches. The flight departed from Belfast – as I live in the South East of England, I had to fly there from London first. It arrived somewhere called Stewart International Airport, 65 miles north of Manhattan. It was hand luggage only. And I had to make my own entertainment for much of the flight and five-hour layover (of which more below).

But still, I jumped at the chance – who wouldn’t want to go to the Big Apple? So I booked one of Norweigan’s headline-grabbing £69 promotional fares (a bit touch and go as they went so quickly – see my previous blog).

The £69 one-way flight was a promotional fare to launch the route, and you can’t find tickets for that price any more. But we have seen them for £99 since launch, and Norwegian says you can currently find one-way flights for £129 from Belfast to New York.

Getting to Belfast

Fast forward a few months and I was ready for my trip. As I had to get to Belfast from where I live first, I started at the crack of dawn – so I headed to Gatwick at 5am to catch my £21 Ryanair flight.

When I got to Belfast, I had five hours to kill, by far the worst bit of the trip. I arrived in Belfast so early that the check-in desk wasn’t even open, so I had to hang around for half an hour before I could even go through security.

Once airside I used an airport lounge pass I got free with my Amex Gold card, so I can’t really moan. But as I was sat there waiting, albeit on a comfy chair, I was very aware of how long there still was to go.

A no-frills long-haul experience

When I finally boarded my Norwegian flight, I was braced for the typical budget airline experience – so it was a pleasant surprise to find I had quite a lot of leg room and the seat was relatively comfy. In fact, as luck would have it (and despite the low fares) I had the entire row of seats to myself.

Unsurprisingly, there was no TV screen on the back of the seat in front of me, just a tiny screen about halfway up the plane which seemed to alternate between cartoons and adverts – so it really wasn’t the end of the world that I couldn’t plug my headphones in to listen. I spent a fair bit of time reading, the rest of it sleeping.

Even though it was a transatlantic flight, there were no pillows, eye masks or blankets, although you could buy them on board (the cynic in me wonders if that was why the plane was on the chilly side). I was prepared, though, and had brought my own.

What might be a deal breaker for some is that you have to pay for all your food and drinks, which was a first for me when flying long-haul. Again though, I’d known this in advance so had come prepared – I just bought a £3.99 meal deal at the airport with the largest bottle of water I could find.

Welcome to Stewart International Airport

The flight passed relatively quickly, but the journey wasn’t over yet. Instead of flying in to JFK or Newark, I landed at Stewart International Airport in Orange County, New York, about 90 minutes’ bus ride from Times Square.

The upside to using a smaller, out-of-the-way airport was that I was through immigration in 15 minutes flat. But the bus journey – which I’d booked ahead, a straightforward process – made an already long day that much longer.

While the driving time was only about 20 to 30 minutes longer than taking the Air Train and subway from JFK, we had to wait 45 minutes for the bus to fill with passengers before we even set off.

The journey itself was fine, with the bus stopping a few blocks away from Times Square. I decided to stretch my legs for the final 20 minute walk to my hotel, and finally got to bed at 3am UK time – almost 22 hours after I’d set off.

How much did it cost in total?

Totting it all up, I reckon the journey from Gatwick to my New York hotel cost me £115 all-in. Here’s how it broke down:

  • Ryanair flight from Gatwick to Belfast – £21.41
  • Food in Belfast – £4.50
  • Norwegian flight from Belfast to Stewart International – £69
  • Meal-deal for the plane – £3.99
  • Bus from Stewart International to New York City – £15.58 [$20]

So… would I do it again?

Personally, if I was doing it again I’d probably rather pay a bit more for a direct flight from London – the extra flight to Belfast and stop-over made it an exhausting journey. But if I was starting out in Belfast or Edinburgh (where Norwegian also flies to New York from) it would be a very different story.

Yes, the flight was budget, with none of the trimmings you’d expect on a long-haul trip. But with one-way transatlantic flights typically costing over £400, you can’t really argue with £69 – or even £115 all-in – to fly more than 3,000 miles to one of the best cities in the world.
The post ‘I flew to New York for £69’ – was it worth it? appeared first on MoneySavingExpert.com Team Blog.

‘I flew to New York for £69’ – was it worth it?

Earlier this year low cost airline Norwegian launched a new route from the UK to New York, with one-way tickets selling for just £69. But what sacrifices do you have to make to get a price that low? We sent MSE Megan to find out…

Editor: Fancy testing a flight to New York for us?

Me: YES

Editor: There’s just one catch…

Actually, it turned out there were quite a few catches. The flight departed from Belfast – as I live in the South East of England, I had to fly there from London first. It arrived somewhere called Stewart International Airport, 65 miles north of Manhattan. It was hand luggage only. And I had to make my own entertainment for much of the flight and five-hour layover (of which more below).

But still, I jumped at the chance – who wouldn’t want to go to the Big Apple? So I booked one of Norweigan’s headline-grabbing £69 promotional fares (a bit touch and go as they went so quickly – see my previous blog).

The £69 one-way flight was a promotional fare to launch the route, and you can’t find tickets for that price any more. But we have seen them for £99 since launch, and Norwegian says you can currently find one-way flights for £129 from Belfast to New York.

Getting to Belfast

Fast forward a few months and I was ready for my trip. As I had to get to Belfast from where I live first, I started at the crack of dawn – so I headed to Gatwick at 5am to catch my £21 Ryanair flight.

When I got to Belfast, I had five hours to kill, by far the worst bit of the trip. I arrived in Belfast so early that the check-in desk wasn’t even open, so I had to hang around for half an hour before I could even go through security.

Once airside I used an airport lounge pass I got free with my Amex Gold card, so I can’t really moan. But as I was sat there waiting, albeit on a comfy chair, I was very aware of how long there still was to go.

A no-frills long-haul experience

When I finally boarded my Norwegian flight, I was braced for the typical budget airline experience – so it was a pleasant surprise to find I had quite a lot of leg room and the seat was relatively comfy. In fact, as luck would have it (and despite the low fares) I had the entire row of seats to myself.

Unsurprisingly, there was no TV screen on the back of the seat in front of me, just a tiny screen about halfway up the plane which seemed to alternate between cartoons and adverts – so it really wasn’t the end of the world that I couldn’t plug my headphones in to listen. I spent a fair bit of time reading, the rest of it sleeping.

Even though it was a transatlantic flight, there were no pillows, eye masks or blankets, although you could buy them on board (the cynic in me wonders if that was why the plane was on the chilly side). I was prepared, though, and had brought my own.

What might be a deal breaker for some is that you have to pay for all your food and drinks, which was a first for me when flying long-haul. Again though, I’d known this in advance so had come prepared – I just bought a £3.99 meal deal at the airport with the largest bottle of water I could find.

Welcome to Stewart International Airport

The flight passed relatively quickly, but the journey wasn’t over yet. Instead of flying in to JFK or Newark, I landed at Stewart International Airport in Orange County, New York, about 90 minutes’ bus ride from Times Square.

The upside to using a smaller, out-of-the-way airport was that I was through immigration in 15 minutes flat. But the bus journey – which I’d booked ahead, a straightforward process – made an already long day that much longer.

While the driving time was only about 20 to 30 minutes longer than taking the Air Train and subway from JFK, we had to wait 45 minutes for the bus to fill with passengers before we even set off.

The journey itself was fine, with the bus stopping a few blocks away from Times Square. I decided to stretch my legs for the final 20 minute walk to my hotel, and finally got to bed at 3am UK time – almost 22 hours after I’d set off.

How much did it cost in total?

Totting it all up, I reckon the journey from Gatwick to my New York hotel cost me £115 all-in. Here’s how it broke down:

  • Ryanair flight from Gatwick to Belfast – £21.41
  • Food in Belfast – £4.50
  • Norwegian flight from Belfast to Stewart International – £69
  • Meal-deal for the plane – £3.99
  • Bus from Stewart International to New York City – £15.58 [$20]

So… would I do it again?

Personally, if I was doing it again I’d probably rather pay a bit more for a direct flight from London – the extra flight to Belfast and stop-over made it an exhausting journey. But if I was starting out in Belfast or Edinburgh (where Norwegian also flies to New York from) it would be a very different story.

Yes, the flight was budget, with none of the trimmings you’d expect on a long-haul trip. But with one-way transatlantic flights typically costing over £400, you can’t really argue with £69 – or even £115 all-in – to fly more than 3,000 miles to one of the best cities in the world.
The post ‘I flew to New York for £69’ – was it worth it? appeared first on MoneySavingExpert.com Team Blog.

Blogger Travels The World In Flowy Dresses, Takes The Most Stunning Photographs

  Her name is Ninelly and she travels the world in the most breathtaking locations to take photographs. But wait, there’s a catch. She takes self-photographs in the most incredible locations wearing immaculate flowy dresses. She recently created a photo project called #MyDressStories and takes her readers everywhere in the world. She went to magnificent […]

The post Blogger Travels The World In Flowy Dresses, Takes The Most Stunning Photographs appeared first on Shrawk.

My most favorite travel songs

Kita suka sebuah lagu sebenarnya karena ada kenangan yang menempel padanya. Setuju? Nah, saat traveling kita punya “lagu kebangsaan” yang terus berputar. Pas lagi traveling-nya sih nggak berasa, tapi saat balik muncul lah film flashback tentang kejadian apa saat mendengar lagu itu. Ada juga lagu yang bikin kita terinspirasi atau bahkan bikin depresi karena lirik atau suaranya.

Saya sendiri termasuk orang yang tidak pakai headphone dengerin lagu di mana pun. Sebagai penulis, saya membiarkan semua panca indera terbuka jadi tidak mau mengisolasi diri dengan mendengarkan musik. Namun, di setiap perjalanan mau tidak mau pasti mendengar musik yang diputar di ruang publik. Nah, berikut ada 10 lagu favorit saya saat traveling beserta alasannya, serta video musiknya:

  1. Waiting in Vain by Bob Marley

Saya suka semua lagu Bob Marley sampai sulit memilih hanya satu. Genre reggae emang pas  diputar di pantai, apalagi lagunya Marley. Karena dialah saya sampai pergi ke rumahnya di Jamaika (baca di buku “The Naked Traveler: 1 Year Round-the-World Trip”). Mendengar kocokan awal lagu ini langsung bisa membawa saya ke pantai tropis, pasir putih, nyiur melambai, matahari terbanam di cakrawala, pria hot bertelanjang dada, sambil chill nyimeng minum bir! #eaaa

  1. It Aint Over til Its Over by Lenny Kravitz

Semua lagu Kravitz juga keren-keren. Gantengnya juga sama kayak Marley. Khusus lagu ini otomatis kepala dan badan saya pasti goyang-goyang saking beat-nya enak banget. Kalau lagi enak-enaknya traveling, kenalan sama orang yang menyenangkan, lalu terjadi kekhawatiran terhadap sesuatu, saya selalu bilang sambil nyanyi, “‘Cause baby it ain’t over ’til it’s over!”. Jadi nikmatin dulu aja apa yang ada. #modus

  1. Ants Marching by Dave Matthews Band

Dua mantan gebetan saya fans berat Dave Matthews Band, bahkan mereka bisa main gitar dan bernyanyi persis lagu ini. Sialnya saya jadi kebawa-bawa doyan lagu ini. Eh tapi liriknya bagus sih, bikin saya pengin keluar dari rutinitas karena bak semut baris mengerjakan hal yang sama setiap hari. Lagu yang menginspirasi untuk traveling!

  1. Pure Shores by All Saints

Gara-gara film The Beach-nya Leonardo di Caprio yang saya suka banget, saya sampai bela-belain ke Pulau Phi Phi di Thailand pada 2003. Nah, soundtrack film itu adalah lagu ini! Saat saya liburan ke pantai sama sahabat-sahabat cewek saya, lagu ini pun diputar sambil berlagak bikin video klip ala All Saints. Hehe!

  1. Hey Ya! By OutKast

Mendengar lagu ini pasti bikin saya langsung joget. Ini lagu kenangan saat road trip di New Zealand bersama sahabat-sahabat saya Sri dan Jade. Tiap kami dugem dan merajai lantai dansa dengan “Goyang Bor” ala pedangdut Inul tapi pake lagu Hey Ya! Sudah dipastikan kami dikelilingi orang-orang yang bertepuk tangan. Rasanya jadi orang paling seksi sedunia!

  1. Guajira by Yerba Buena

Saat saya keliling dunia 1 tahun yang kebanyakan di negara Amerika Selatan, mau nggak mau jadi terekspos dengan Bahasa Spanyol beserta lagu-lagunya. Sebenarnya saat itu yang lagi ngetop adalah lagu-lagu dangdut disko Latin, namun yang nancep adalah lagu ini saat pemilik penginapan di Havana, Kuba, sering memutarnya. Dia akhirnya mengkopi lagu ini ke USB dan menjadi “lagu kebangsaan” saya dan Yasmin.

  1. Rocketeer by Far East Movement Ryan Tedder

Entah kenapa, lagu ini pas banget didengerin saat saya mau packing! Lagu yang pernah dipakai iklan salah satu maskapai penerbangan ini emang bikin saya segera terbang ke destinasi impian. Jadi semangat bongkar lemari!

  1. Closer by The Chainsmokers

Lagu sejuta umat ini nempel di kepala saat saya trip ke Eropa pada 2016 selama 1,5 bulan sendiri, saking selalu diputar di mana-mana. Rasanya bikin saya jadi cool dan pede mau kayak apapun sulitnya  ngegebet perjalanan.

  1. Home by Daughtry

Lagu ini berputar di kepala saat trip berakhir, biasanya pas di jalan mau ke bandara dengan perasaan penuh kemenangan berhasil menaklukkan suatu tempat. Sialnya harus pulang… untuk ngurus visa lagi. #hiks

  1. Chasing Pavements by Adele

Ini lagu bikin saya termehek-mehek banget! Saya selalu bernyanyi lagu ini di kepala kalo punya gebetan pas traveling sampai akhirnya kami berpisah ke destinasi masing-masing. Trus, mikir ini mau dibawa ke mana? Should I just keep chasin’ pavements, even if it leads nowhere? Anjirrr! #hakjleb

Nah, lagu favorit kalian pas traveling apa dan kenapa? Share dong di comment! ?

Deze dagen moet je in 2018 vrij nemen om zo lang mogelijk op vakantie te kunnen

Van vakantie krijgen we nooit genoeg. Maar wie veel trips wil maken en te maken heeft met een vastgesteld aantal vakantiedagen per jaar, kan nog weleens in de knoei komen.

Heb je in 2018 recht op 24 vakantiedagen? Wij zochten uit hoe je je vakantiedagen zo kan indelen, dat je zo lang mogelijk op vakantie kunt.

  • We beginnen goed met Nieuwjaarsdag. Als je de vier dagen erna vrij vraagt bij je baas, kan je 30 december t/m 7 januari gebruiken om het jaar in te luiden.
  • Als je van 3 t/m 6 april vrij neemt, hoef je maar 4 dagen op te nemen, maar ben je er maar liefst 9 vrij. Dit vanwege Tweede Paasdag.
  • Neem van 30 april t/m 9 mei vrij en je kan van 27 april t/m 13 mei vakantie vieren. Vanwege Koningsdag en Hemelvaartsdag heb je maar liefst 17 vrije dagen voor de prijs van 8.
  • Wie van 22 t/m 25 mei vrij vraagt, kan van 19 t/m 27 mei maar liefst negen dagen op vakantie.
  • Als je 24, 27 en 28 december vrij neemt, hoef  je van 22 t/m 30 december lekker niet te werken.

Beeld: Getty Images

The post Deze dagen moet je in 2018 vrij nemen om zo lang mogelijk op vakantie te kunnen appeared first on STYLETODAY.

Monarch Airlines destinations, routes and holidays – where did the airline fly to and is Monarch atol protected?

MONARCH Airline has gone into administration leaving 110,000 passengers stuck abroad and 300,000 future bookings cancelled.

The airline – the UK’s fifth biggest and the country’s largest ever to collapse – employs about 2,100 people and reported a £291m loss last year. Here’s what you need to know…

Monarch has gone into administration with 110,000 passengers abroad
Monarch has gone into administration with 110,000 passengers abroad
Alamy

What happened with Monarch?

The airline has failed to gain a renewal of its Air Travel Organiser’s Licence (Atol) from the Civil Aviation Authority.

This mean it was no longer able to Atol-protected holidays from midnight on Monday morning.

Just after midnight it announced it had appointed KPMG as liquidators.

Passengers received texts telling them their flights had been cancelled.

What can Monarch customers do?

These are the guidelines which have been issued by the Civil Aviation Authority:

  • Customers in the UK yet to travel: don’t go to the airport
  • Customers abroad: everyone due to fly in the next fortnight will be brought back to the UK at no cost to them. There is no need to cut short your stay
  • Customers currently overseas should check monarch.caa.co.uk for confirmation of their new flight details – which will be available a minimum of 48 hours in advance of their original departure time
  • All affected customers should keep checking monarch.caa.co.uk for more information
  • The CAA also has a 24-hour helpline: 0300 303 2800 from the UK and Ireland and +44 1753 330330 from overseas
  • You should expect to be flown as close as possible to your planned departure dates, no earlier, and prepare for disruption to journeys.
  • There will be no online check-in. You will be issued with a new flight and new boarding card and will not be able to check in with your old flight details

Is Monarch Atol protected?

If you booked a package holiday through Monarch you will be Atol-protected.

If you’ve only booked your flights with Monarch then you’re unlikely to be protected.

Thousands of Monarch staff are set to lose their jobs
SWNS:South West News Service

But if you’ve booked your flights with a credit card (and have paid more than £100 but under £30,000) then you will be protected under Section 75 of the Consumer Rights Act.

If the worst did happen then you’d have to chase your card provider for a refund.

If you paid by debit card then you may be covered under Chargeback – this means your card company would chase the collapsed firm for the cash.

The rules on this vary vastly, but you’d usually have at least 120 days to make a claim to your bank.

What about Monarch customers abroad?

The Government has asked the Civil Aviation Authority to charter more than 30 aircraft to bring customers currently overseas back to the UK.

The aim is to fly every customer back to the UK in the next fortnight at no extra cost to passengers.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, who has ordered Britain’s biggest ever peacetime repatriation, said: “Nobody should underestimate the size of the challenge, so I ask passengers to be patient and act on the advice given by the CAA.”

Vulnerable passengers – including unaccompanied minors – will be prioritised.

Where did Monarch fly to?

Last year, Monarch carried 6.3 million passengers to 40 destinations from Gatwick, Luton, Birmingham, Leeds-Bradford and Manchester airports.

Monarch lost a large chunk of its annual revenue following terror attacks in Turkey and Egypt.

They were forced to compete on busier routes to Spain and Egypt, which caused prices and profits to fall.

As well as popular tourist hotspots such as Alicante and Rhodes, the airline also flew seasonal flights to Venice, Paphos and Friedrichshafen.


 

Ultimate Luxury – Tropical Hawaii is America’s Pacific Paradise

Tropical Hawaii is America’s Pacific Ocean paradise. Vacationers can enjoy world-class beaches and immerse themselves in the culture and traditions

The post Ultimate Luxury – Tropical Hawaii is America’s Pacific Paradise appeared first on The Life of Luxury blog.

Learning She Has Cancer, Woman Travels 7 New Wonders of The World in 13 Days

It was bad news that turned Megan Sullivan’s life around. She was diagnosed with cancer. For her, it was the worst month of her life. Previously, she suffered an accident falling 50-feet on a climb in Yosemite National Park in the Sierra Nevada. On the same month, she also got hit by a car. Upon […]

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