Michelle is amazing. She has been booking my travel now for over four years and having flown to New Orleans during the COVID situation only to have to return two days later Michelle cancelled all our hotels and found us flights to return home within minutes of making the phone call. Amazing.
Stephen worked as quickly as possible to change my and my daughter's flights and hotel bookings as the Corona virus situation on both sides of the Atlantic got worse. He was most helpful and understanding
Really great communication, super helpful staff - great trip!
Will was brilliant throughout the whole process and answered all my questions.
Really good service as usual from DialAFlight.
We couldn't have asked for more. We got the holiday of our dreams at a very affordable price with constant contact and updates right up until the day before we flew. Excellent service.
Brilliant service, right up to the day before leaving for our holiday. I was given valuable support and advice.
We have been dealing with Glen Blackburn for several years and he never fails to deliver. Extremely informative, his knowledge is excellent and his travel tips are invaluable. Thank you Glen.
Logan was very efficient and patiently answered our endless questions. Everything went like clockwork.
Third time we have used DialAFlight - always excellent
Great service, updates and advice from Kieran. I have highly recommended to friends.
Thank you for a wonderful trip - everything went to plan and looking forward to our next booked trip in May
Everything went according to plan. The hotel room was large but had no external window which was disappointing
You are doing a brilliant job. Keep up the good work
We had a fantastic time, so easy to check in on all 3 flights and hotels were great
Libby was fantastic! Thank you. We’ll definitely use you again
Thank you for sorting travel plans and then helping with a cancelled connection and new car hire. Fab service and invaluable
Overall happy and satisfied with the service. Tyler and all staff extremely approachable and willing to assist wherever possible. I felt genuinely cared for.
An excellent service. The team offered support from the time of booking right up to the date of the holiday. I felt very supported.
Had a great holiday and so did all the others in our party, and they all commented on what a great service Oscar provided.
I would like to thank Kieran for his exceptional knowledge when I was booking our flights. Very efficient. Many thanks and we had a fantastic time at my cousin's wedding.
Excellent comunication and help for a smooth itinerary, Jeremy as contact was excellent, hope to use again in the future
Great service from Tyler and the other guys in the office
Thanks DialAFlight. You do what it says on the tin and do it well....
My flights to and from New Orleans from Heathrow were all hassle-free. Thank you all for your excellent service. Flying into Charlotte NC was a dream compared to the two hour immigration queues at JFK and Philadelphia!
Fabulous service as always from Dennis and his team. I regularly refer friends to you
Very good service - I will use them again
Best service I’ve experienced - really helpful staff.
Highly recommended to all our friends and relatives.
The only problems we had were with the car hire service Thrifty
The evening slams into action with a long blast of brass. Ronell Johnson has swung to his feet and is squeezing every last bit of jazz out of his trombone.
Rickie Monie, meanwhile, is tinkling the ivories at frantic speed. I'd been told the Preservation Hall in New Orleans was the place to see live jazz, but never realised it would be as moody-blues as this.
All the local jazz legends have blown their trumpets here, from Punch Miller and George Lewis to Sweet Emma Barrett and The Humphrey Brothers. The Preservation Hall continues to attract the best acts.
FINDING THE MUSIC
Jazz is everywhere in New Orleans - in the bars, in the streets and in the psyche. This, after all, is the city of Louis Armstrong, who played his way to fame on the paddle-steamers that plied the Mississippi river.
This, too, is where the early jazz legends Buddy Bolden and Jelly Roll Morton once jammed through the night. Their local haunt, the Little Gem Saloon, has recently reopened and serves cocktails and food along with the music. Even those paddle-steamer river excursions still serve up jazz with their Creole cuisine.
'Welcome to New Orleans,' whoops the compere at the Preservation Hall in a pause between acts. Welcome indeed. New Orleans has to be the funkiest city on earth, where the
streets are filled with buskers and the back-alleys packed with cocktail bars. They even have drive-thru daiquiri bars where - I kid you not - the daiquiris are sold by the gallon. A visit to Louisiana's most beguiling city ought to begin with a government health warning: this is a place that takes partying very seriously.
The wildest district is Bourbon Street, the setting for some of America's most outlandish clubs, strip-joints and cocktail bars. It's about as raw as it gets.
Women dressed in knickers and nipple-tassels parade the street touting for photos ($1 a snap) while men hang out in doorways drinking 'hand grenades', a Bourbon Street speciality that will blow your socks off. It comes in a yard-long vessel that's tinted green and shaped like a grenade at the bottom. The recipe is a guarded secret.
FINDING THE CALM
Apart from Bourbon Street's excesses, the rest of the city winds down to a gentler pace at around midnight. Then it's back to the hotel - in my case, the historic Maison DuPuy - where the party continues in the inner courtyard at a more subdued pace.
In 2005 Hurricane Katrina caused catastrophic devastation. More than 1,200 people died and 400,000 left homeless. An excellent (if sobering) exhibition in the city's Presbytère - a branch of Louisiana State Museum - recounts the horror as the levees collapsed and a tidal wave hit the residential quarters.
THE FRENCH QUARTER
The only part scarcely touched was the historic French Quarter, home to many of the oldest buildings, jazz clubs and museums. 'New Orleans is not an American city,' explained John, my guide. 'It's half European, half African. It's unique.'
Founded by the French, ceded to the Spanish, sold to the Americans and besieged by the British, it was populated for much of its history by slaves from Africa. Allowed one day off work each week, they would congregate in local parks and improvise the musical riffs of their African forbears. This was how jazz was born.
Jackson Square is home to fine museums: the 1850 Museum, the Cabildo - the old town hall - the Presbytère and nearby Gallier House, with a preserved mid-19th century interior.
In the French Quarter, head to the Gumbo Shop restaurant to sample typical New Orleans fare: shrimp Creole, seafood gumbo (a thick Creole soup) and deep-fried alligator (straight from the swamps surrounding the city).
But I'm in need of a cocktail and take myself back to Bar Tonique, which serves the best sazerac in town (New Orleans's signature cocktail: cognac, absinthe and a shot of local Peychaud's bitters.) As the sun oozes itself into the Mississippi, I down a couple before taking myself back to Preservation Hall.
There's no Ronell Johnson on tonight's programme. But local star Clint Maedgen is on the sax, and that'll do for me.
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