Thomson and First Choice offer increased choice for Scottish customers

Thomson and First Choice have announced plans to increase capacity at the Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow airports in summer 2015 with the introduction of 34,000 extra seats. The holiday brands will also add five new routes including Dubrovnik, Croatia and Marrakesh, Morocco from Glasgow; Antalya, Turkey and Rhodes, Greece from Edinburgh; and Faro, Portugal from Aberdeen.

The new routes went on sale on April 24.

With the expansion, Scottish customers will be able to choose varying duration holiday packages (not just the standard seven and 14 night stays) to some new destinations with access to some of Thomson and First Choice’s most popular hotels. These include the new Thomson Couples Atlantic Palace in Sorrento, Italy for summer 2015, which will be served by flights from Glasgow to Naples, and Thomson Sensatori Resorts in Ibiza and Turkey’s Dalaman region.

Croatia’s popular Dubrovnik region will be served from Glasgow, offering holidaymakers the chance to enjoy a cruise and stay in Dubrovnik for the summer season.

Aberdeen Airport offers more choice to passengers travelling to Palma, Majorca with the introduction of an additional flying day, bringing the total number of destinations served from Aberdeen to six in summer 2015. Edinburgh Airport will serve 16 destinations from next summer, and Glasgow 32 destinations, including additional Paphos, Cyprus; Dalaman, Turkey; and Ibiza flights.

Commenting on the expansion, Karen Switzer, Director of Aviation Planning for Thomson and First Choice, said: ‘Expanding access to our portfolio of destinations and hotels is a key part of our overall strategy and we hope that this move will enhance the holiday experience for our customers.’

Francois Bourienne, commercial director at Glasgow Airport, said: ‘The decision by Thomson and First Choice to add Dubrovnik and Marrakesh to the long list of destinations it already serves from Glasgow Airport is clear evidence of its willingness to respond to an increase in demand for these new and exciting destinations.’

Gordon Dewar, Chief Executive of Edinburgh airport added: ‘It’s fantastic news that Thomson and First Choice are providing more choice to Antalya and Rhodes from Edinburgh where these popular destinations will be even more accessible. We look forward to working with Thomson to continue to expand customer choice and ensure that all travelling through Edinburgh Airport will have a fantastic start to their holiday’.


ABTA offers top ten tips for holidaymakers

ABTA, a UK-based travel agent’s association, has offered its top ten travel tips to help Britons enjoy a trouble-free holiday when planning their summer vacations.

1. Check your passport in advance – Check the validity of your passport well before the travel date to avoid the extra expense of having to fast track the renewal. Also, many countries outside of Europe require six months validity after the departure date, failing which travellers may be refused entry.

2. Weigh your luggage – Weigh your bags before you leave home to ensure they meet the airline’s baggage allowance, thereby avoiding expensive supplements at the airport.

3. Tell your bank you are travelling – Banks are always on guard for fraudulent transactions, so if they do not know when or where you are overseas they may block your ATM card from overseas use.

4. Be aware of restrictions when bringing back goods on your return – Refer to the full list of what you can and cannot bring back from your holiday destination. If you are travelling outside Europe it is often illegal for you to carry back food-based goods.

5. Make your drinks last longer – Spirit measures overseas are generally more generous than in the UK, so save money and your liver by opting for a mixer rather than more alcohol.

6. Buy travel insurance – Avoid the possibility of high medical bills by taking out travel insurance. It might be of help to know that treatment for a broken leg in the US costs around GBP44,000.

7. Get vaccinated – When travelling outside Western Europe, North America or Australasia, it is advisable to consult a medical professional to receive all of the necessary jabs to protect against preventable diseases.

8. Lunch like the locals – On a holiday it always helps to adopt the habits of local people, especially when it comes to food.

9. Learn a few words in the local language – one of the most basic things to do, but it will be greatly appreciated by the locals.

10. Learn these travel tips before you go.

ABTA said that it expects 14 million Brits to holiday overseas between July and September this year. There is still availability for locations including Mallorca, Turkey and the Canary Islands.


British Travellers Can Save Money by Switching Destinations

While British holidaymakers may book their holidays in Spain and Turkey, in the belief that those destinations offer the best value for money, a recent survey suggests that this might not be the case in reality, and that by comparison, vacations in Portugal and Bulgaria are likely to be less expensive.

A new Post Office Travel Money report suggests that couples can save up to £457 on a holiday, by simply changing their booking to a different country, as long as they do their homework properly.

Vacations are cheaper for a couple in Portugal, Bulgaria and Majorca, when including accommodation, daily eating out and drinks. The total estimated cost for this package in Portugal is £903.98, compared to that in the current hot favourite travel destination of Croatia, where the same package is estimated at £1,360.98.

Around two-thirds of holidaymakers have said that they would readily opt for a cheaper deal when deciding on a vacation, but while British tourists consider Spain and Turkey to be cheap destinations, when all of the associated costs are taken into account the best value for money can be somewhere else entirely.

Andrew Brown, the Post Office head of Travel Money, said, ‘We always advise people to take all holiday costs into account when choosing a destination and this research shows why that is so important. In tough times, it is hard to stay loyal when there are big savings to be made by swapping to a destination that is over a third cheaper.’

The survey also suggested that Bulgaria, one of the cheapest destinations in Europe, is perceived unfavourably by the tourists, compared to its more expensive neighbour, Croatia.