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Monarch and Ruinair. One low cost airline goes bust, another cancels Christmas

As you read this, our 300 travel managers are busy juggling, shuffling and rebooking flights for customers affected by the demise of Monarch Airlines. Some have been here since soon after 4am so don't expect the usual wit and banter today.

It comes hard on the heels of a busy week trying to help some of the thousands of Ryanair passengers who were told last week that Christmas was cancelled. Ryanair have always made it clear their passengers are simply a commodity and that's why they are the only European airline we refuse to book. But we still have great sympathy for anyone who has their holiday disrupted.

Is this Ryanair's 'Ratner moment?' Probably not, because there will always be people who opt for the very cheapest price, whatever the risk.

As for Monarch, it's a sad day both for their staff and for their many thousands of customers who have taken advantage of low fares to travel throughout Europe. They tried hard but in the end the cut-throat world of low cost travel was too much for them.

If you have friends or colleagues who have been affected please point them in our direction and we'll do our best to help them.

Our top 6 money savers you can't afford to miss

  • Save 45% plus FREE HB at Jumeirah Al Naseem
  • 3 FREE nights in sensational St. Kitts Marriott Resort & Royal Beach Casino
  • Save 30% at ABAMA with 5 FREE rounds of golf
  • An exclusive stay on Mexico's Riviera Maya with 2 nights FREE
  • Save 40% at Shangri-La's Villingili Resort & Spa, Maldives
  • Australia's Nature Coast, the Great Barrier Reef & Whitsunday Islands - Save £500pp

My best holiday ever

Conquering Everest changed adventurer Bear Grylls' life... and camping with 30,000 scouts made a big impression

What people are saying

A selection of customer comments from Trustpilot

10 top things you didn't know last month

  1. Soaring costs of flight delay 'ambulance chasers'

    Frustrated holidaymakers are needlessly handing over hundreds of pounds in compensation for delayed flights to no-win, no-fee claims management firms which take up to 40% of the payout. Other firms including Which? offer a free service. Airlines have been accused of trying to wriggle out of paying compensation amid calls for a tightening of the law.
  2. Sun sets on Goa's full moon parties

    Goa's buzzing nightlife, beautiful beaches and cheap cost of living has seen the area become a favourite for foreign travellers looking for a place to party but authorities are about to ban drinking alcohol in all public places. Chief Minister Monohar Parrikhar said: 'Rave parties on beaches or remote areas are illegal should be totally stopped.'
  3. BA hits out over eGate queues

    British Airways has attacked the Home Office over 'dreadful' airport arrival queues, and warned that automatic eGates are making the problem worse. BA complained that some passengers at Heathrow have to wait up to an hour at immigration to get through the eGates because so many are closed or not working. A spokesman for the carrier said: 'There are routinely just a third of the 29 automatic gates open at Terminal 5 and they close 'prematurely' at 11pm while customers are still making their way off flights causing massive queues and delays.'
  4. Why DialAFlight ticks all the boxes

    If you wonder why DialAFlight is such a successful company look no further than the travel sections of most national newspapers. They are full of complaints by DIY travellers of how they can never get any help, response or compensation when things go wrong. Phones are rarely answered, if they are nobody calls back, and there are rarely responses to emails when frustrated holidaymakers try to online agents. Experts at Telegraph Travel warn that those who continue to forget to treat customers as individuals face a bleak future. We could not have put it better!
  5. Brexit has boosted UK tourism says tourist office

    Since Britain voted to say goodbye to the European Union we have seen the biggest rise in American tourists coming to the UK since the Eighties. The past six months have seen a 25 per cent increase in visitors from North America compared to the first half of last year, the Office for National Statistics has revealed. In June alone, there was a record 650,000 visits, up 35 per cent on the same month last year. A spokesman for Visit Britain said that this influx of US tourism was largely down to a 'Brexit effect'.
  6. Spending big Monet in Abu Dhabi

    After a five year delay, the Louvre Abu Dhabi will finally open to the public on November 11. The United Arab Emirates capital is also thought to have paid an additional £750 million for French managers to oversee 300 loaned works of art including paintings by Matisse, Monet and Van Gogh.
  7. Outwit the car hire cowboys

    Now confidence in car hire companies is at an all-time low, travel experts are warning holidaymakers to be on guard over all aspects of their transactions. With the high pressure selling of damage excess insurance now exposed, it seems many companies are trying even more devious ways of boosting their profits. For advice on the best ways of beating these car hire cowboys at their own game, see Telegraph Travel online
  8. Mind the Gap, Thailand's tops again

    Thailand has regained its position as the most popular destination for British gap-year travellers, according to the trade body ABTA. Australia has been relegated to second place, with the next most popular countries being Vietnam, Peru, New Zealand, America, Cambodia, South Africa, Argentina and India.
  9. Don't get in deep water in Venice

    Authorities in Venice are imposing strict new penalties for tourists caught misbehaving in the city, after a group of Belgian holidaymakers were seen swimming in the Grand Canal. Littering, dawdling and jumping in the canals will now invite fines of between £22 and £450. Tourists caught picnicking, cycling through pedestrian areas and exposing too much flesh are also being charged.
  10. It's the Wi-Fi high life with Virgin

    Virgin Atlantic has announced it is to become the first airline in Europe to offer in-flight Wi-Fi across its entire fleet of aircraft. The news that passengers can get online - once they are above 10,000 feet - on the carrier's A330s, A340s and 747s is positive for those who enjoy browsing the internet, streaming YouTube videos and staying in touch via WhatsApp.

Offers

  1. Save 45% plus FREE HB at Jumeirah Al Naseem

    Part of the Madinat Jumeirah resort, 5* Jumeirah Al Naseem boasts access to the city's longest private beach and is surrounded by lush gardens with five large swimming pools. Guests here have access to all the facilities of Madinat Jumeirah, including a theatre, over 50 restaurants and bars, a spa, kids' club and waterpark. Save 45% with our offer and enjoy complimentary half board. 3 nights from £849pp when you travel 13 May - 11 Jun 2018. Flights are with Emirates.
  2. 3 FREE nights in sensational St Kitts

    St. Kitts Marriott Resort & Royal Beach Casino captures the many moods of one of the most relaxing and romantic Caribbean Islands. This international destination resort offers attractions for families, couples and groups. Explore the beautiful beaches, wildlife and monuments of St Kitts staying 7 nights for the price of 4 at this sensational hotel from £899pp including British Airways flights. Valid for travel 1 Nov - 13 Dec 2017.
  3. Save 30% at ABAMA with 5 FREE rounds of golf

    Spilling down the slopes of Mount Teide to its own gorgeous private beach, the Ritz-Carlton, ABAMA enjoys a jaw-droppingly gorgeous location in the peaceful Guía de Isora region of South West Tenerife. With lush, palm-studded grounds offering views of the Atlantic and the island of La Gomera, the 160-hectare estate also boasts one of Europe's finest championship golf courses. Save 30% on a 7 night stay and enjoy 5 FREE rounds of golf with our offer which includes flights from Gatwick all from £899 pp. Valid for deps 7 - 14 Dec 2017.
  4. An exclusive stay on Mexico's Riviera Maya with 2 nights FREE

    For an exclusive and stylish escape far removed from Mexico's larger all inclusive hotels, Esencia is a boutique property situated on a two-mile stretch of white powder with crystal blue water. Once the home of a European duchess, Esencia comprises a 50-acre private estate, with an awe-inspiring beachfront, two swimming pools, day spa, gourmet restaurant, and an indulgent atmosphere fitting of royalty. Stay 7 nights for the price of 5 with our offer which includes transfers and flights from £1975pp. Valid 1 - 21 Oct 2017.
  5. Save 40% at Shangri-La's Villingili Resort & Spa, Maldives

    Shangri-La's Villingili Resort and Spa is a unique all-villa property set in a spacious, boutique-style environment. Accommodations include private ocean retreats and tropical treehouse villas, while a selection of fine-dining choices, innovative spa treatments and plenty of little extra luxuries make it the ultimate island retreat. Save 40% with our offer and stay 7 nights on a BB basis, flying with Emirates from £2199pp. Transfers are included by domestic flight and boat. Valid for deps 08 Oct - 30 Nov 2017.
  6. Australia's Nature Coast & Whitsundays - Save £500pp

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My Favourite Holiday

Conquering Everest changed adventurer Bear Grylls' life ... and camping with 30,000 scouts made a big impression

How often do you travel? Too much. I seem to always be on a plane to somewhere. I try to embrace it though and treat it as calm time between the storms. I've been filming in some pretty varied terrain so far this year - the Alps, Kenya, Bulgaria, the Pyrenees, Canary Islands and Panama. But the best escape was with the family on a boat off the Exuma Islands, 35 miles south east of Nassau in the Bahamas.

You earliest memory of travelling abroad? Walt Disney World with my family when I was six. It's the place kids dream of, meeting all the Disney characters and a magical place to be absorbed in as a child. Looking back, I remember itching to get on those big hair-raising rides.

Most adventurous destination It's a toss up between the summit of Everest and the 22nd World Scout Jamboree in Sweden. Getting to the top of Everest in May 1998 was a life-changing adventure - I had dreamed about climbing it since I was eight when my father gave me a poster of the mountain for my bedroom wall. Reaching the summit changed me in so many ways, giving a gratitude for life that lasts to this day. In 2011 I joined 30,000 other scouts for the adventure of a lifetime. They built a crazy city of tents in the wilds of Sweden.

Most hair-raising travel experience? Somewhere between the Amazon, the Sahara and the Arctic - all such unforgiving and challenging environments that have, in turn, taken me to the edge.

Best holiday ever? Skiing and paragliding trips to the Alps. We base ourselves in the Alps as a family for winter months. We love the mountain lifestyle, access to back country skiing and amazing paragliding terrain.

Favourite city? Panama City - it's been a great base for so many adventures. After some pretty intense jungle journeys I always love the buzz and vibe of the place as a stop off before heading home.

Favourite airline? Always British Airways.

Best piece of travel advice? Pack a sense of humour and embrace the unexpected. If you're going camping, I have a few good tricks, but the key is to have a set of spare clothes that are well waterproofed and that you make sure you keep dry. That means taking off the wet gear at night, sleeping in the dry set, then getting back into the wet stuff in the morning - that's the painful bit but it is also the important bit.

Where next? We have just done filming for the summer after many months of back to back shoots for Running Wild with Bear Grylls season four for NBC and also for ITV so it's off to our little island in North Wales.

For the full interview see Telegraph online

What people are saying

A selection of customer comments from Trustpilot

  • I wasted hours on the web then DialAFlight found flights in minutes

    After several hours searching the internet looking for flights to America I found DialAFlight. After speaking to Anthony for a few minutes giving him my requirements he called me back within 10 min to confirm flights he had found. Once agreed he did all the booking arrangements including assistance for my Mum and connecting airports. Anthony took the stress out of booking the long haul flights. Totally recommend this company.

    Margaret Rose Agnew gave DialAFlight 5 stars on Trust Pilot. Sparkling footnote: Margaret Rose Agnew's name was pulled out of the hat in our monthly Trust Pilot draw and a case of Prosecco is on its way.
  • Great service again from my trusted travel agent

    I cannot recommend DialAFlight highly enough. I travel quite a lot for work and often do multi-destination trips involving several flights. I have used DialAFlight for this type of booking for about a decade now and am always impressed by the excellent service from Travel Manager Jerry Bushnell, who has handled most of my bookings, and also all the other staff who have helped me on days or at times when Jerry has not been available.

    Why do I recommend DialAFlight so highly? Great, personal service and inside expertise.

    I book plenty of flights myself, direct with the airline when my journey is a simple out and back, but when I know I may need to change itineraries, or for multi-destination trips, it has paid off in so many ways to use DialAFlight whose staff know how to get good deals even at short notice.

    While providing excellent travel agent services, they can even save you money! There have been a couple of bookings over the years where I have happily paid a few pounds more than booking direct with the airline for the reassurance of having the support and help to make changes along the way if I need to.

    On my most recent trip to the US though, which was booked only a few days before I flew, going through DialAFlight saved me hundreds of pounds because of the advantageous deal they were able to get me for car hire during my trip, slashing the cost of the flight significantly.

    So I got personal, reliable service, and saved money compared to doing it all myself online! I wish there were more companies offering the high standard, thorough customer service that DialAFlight do. Consistently five stars.

    James Boag gave DialAFlight 5 stars on Trust Pilot.
  • Superb service as Hurricane Irma blew away our holiday

    Through DialAFlight we booked flights from Scotland to California then on to Florida. They also arranged car hire for us. The service right from the initial enquiry was superb and the price very competitive. Unfortunately tropical storm Irma hit Florida the day before we were due to fly there from San Francisco. Despite the 8 hours time difference and problems with getting clear information about storm damage etc. Niall went out of his way to find alternatives for us and kept us informed throughout. He did a great job, changed our flights, cancelled the original car hire and arranged hotels and new car hire for us at short notice and keeping to our original budget. Niall and DialAFlight were extremely professional and efficient. I highly recommend their services and will certainly not hesitate to use the company again for all our future trips.

    Jo Chisholm gave DialAFlight 5 stars on Trust Pilot.
  • Multi part tour ran like clockwork

    I used DialAFlight following a recommendation from a friend to speak to Carla Smith about our proposed trip to New York, The Rocky Mountaineer, Vancouver then Victoria onto Vancouver Island and finally San Francisco.

    I was not disappointed. Carla was very professional and efficient with a warm friendly approach. Our travel plans were trouble free and included 3 car hires, 6 flights and 5 hotels that were all excellent in great locations with good facilities, Carla also provided additional information we required about local facilities and things to do. Would use DialAFlight again without hesitation

    Ian Maclennan gave DialAFlight 5 stars on Trust Pilot.

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