Darryll has been my contact at DialAFlight for years now and has always been excellent with our travel requirements and finds us the best deals. Would highly recommend!
Very well organised as ever - great customer support
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Everything went to plan perfectly
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We had a fantastic trip and all our arrangements went to plan. Great communications from Connie
Great service as always, many thanks.
As always, Joe knocked it out of the park and we were delighted with all the travel / accommodation he had arranged - everything worked perfectly and nothing to distract us from enjoying our holiday. I would absolutely recommend using Joe and DialAFlight for your travel arrangements.
Original flight was cancelled but the 24 hr helpline arranged new flights for us immediately. Arrived later than expected but better than not at all.
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Matthew Price is a legend in travel.
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Just to let you know that Jet Blue has declined slightly since they started transatlantic flights earlier in the year, but still efficient, well priced flights. Everything punctual!
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Thanks for another successful trip.
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Excellent service. Definitely recommend and will use again
How refreshing it is to deal directly with a person at all times. From the initial travel inquiry, the booking itself and finally a call prior to leaving to say if we had any problems while we were away there was a number we could ring for advice. Particular thanks must go to Jerry, whose communication was second to none.
Matt always manages to get me a good deal - a pleasure to work with him
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I am looking forward to booking my next holiday with my DialAFlight
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As I get older, I find the hassle and unreliability of looking and booking flights online a dreadful nuisance. I also very much like having a human being to call if there is a query or a problem. I really like DialAFlight.
Eric, thank you for helping me with last minute flights to visit my mother who unexpectedly moved into a retirement home right before Thanksgiving. You worked around and found us good seats that got us there and back in the time frame we needed
Sitting on San Francisco's famous Pier 39, sauce-stained children slurp huge bowls of clam chowder. In the background, Alcatraz's forbidding, mist-shrouded silhouette rises from the ocean.
The nearby gift shop is doing a roaring trade, churning out striped underpants and replica prison-issue toiletries bearing the tag line, 'don't drop the soap', all to a soundtrack of the pier's famous blubbery, barking sea lions.
WHERE TO FIRST
But the waterfront – with its many fresh crab restaurants – will soon look very different. The green-fingered team behind New York's urban High Line has now turned its attention to the Presidio – a beautiful, sprawling park overlooking the bay.
The tunnels burrowing through it will soon form the base of a spectacular, 14-acre park known as Tunnel Tops. When it opens in 2019, there will be beautiful views of the bay and meadows filled with fragrant wildflowers.
During 1967's Summer of Love, pier workers fought their way through crowds of garland-waving hippies who gathered here to shout about the Vietnam War.
THEN AND NOW
Now, more than 50 years on, hipsters have replaced hippies in Haight-Ashbury. A handful of psychedelic shops filled with tie-dye are squeezed between boutiques and organic cafes.
The closest encounter I have with a possible hippy is when I crouch down to take a picture of an enormous rainbow-themed piece of street art and accidentally disturb a dreadlocked local dozing in a doorway.
At Pork Store Cafe, a 40-year-old Haight Street institution famous for its huge breakfasts, I meet Amanda, a local, who tells me how the area's beautiful, Victorian, pastel-hued houses are being snapped up (and lovingly refurbished) by dotcom billionaires. She complains that prices have rocketed.
As I cycle towards the city centre, a smiling skateboarder shouts his encouragement and speeds past me – uphill. I realise his skateboard is battery-powered. I recall my chat with Amanda and wonder if it's Mark Zuckerberg or someone similar.
On the recommendation of a friend, I stop by Hotel Zetta in downtown San Francisco. Since last spring, it's been home to the world's first hotel-based virtual reality room. It's free to try – those in need of a moment of escapism (without the mind-altering drugs) can simply walk off the street into the padded room and slip on the headset.
I do so and find myself standing atop a shipwreck, one of several colourful worlds to be explored.
Neon fish swarm around me and when I turn around, I'm face-to-face with a huge, blinking whale. The next moment, I'm in a mountainous valley (apparently it's modelled on the landscape of Washington State).
Despite being just metres away from the rumbling trams, I can wander to a cliff edge and peer into a valley so deep that my stomach flips.
On my final night, I check out China Live, one of the city's newest restaurants. The walls are lined with hand-painted tiles showing local landmarks, such as the Transamerica Pyramid.
I sit at one of the communal tables and try jellyfish for the first time (it's salty, rubbery and delicious) with a potent, dragon fruit tea-infused cocktail.
Chinatown borders North Beach, a bay-side neighbourhood with a huge Italian community. I cycle home past Italian flags painted on lamp posts and delis blaring opera music.
In a nearby park, Chinese women perform perfectly choreographed tai chi routines near students making the most of California's decision to legalise marijuana. Suddenly, that Summer of Love doesn't seem quite so far away.
First published in the Daily Mail - May 2018
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