News in brief:
Last chance for the British Airways Winter Sale – ends Tuesday
Travel dates vary by destination. The deals appear to run throughout 2016 for most destinations although prices move around by season. The easiest way to check out the best prices to a specific destination is with the British Airways Low Fare Finder tool on ba.com. This will show you the cheapest price on any route, in any class, on month by month basis.
If you can be flexible with dates, there are some decent fares available. Here are some major destinations, priced as World Traveller / World Traveller Plus / Club World / First:
New York £362 / £797 / £1,391 / £2,416
Miami £432 / £872 / £1,534 / £2,535
Abu Dhabi £374 / £715 / £1,339 / £2,061
Mumbai £453 / £664 / £1,945/ £2,879
Bangkok £491 / £1,074 / £1,941 / na
Tokyo £509 / £969 / £2,033 / £3,677
The US and Middle East Club World and First fares are very aggressive compared with usual sale prices out of London. £1,391 Club World to New York is very, very cheap – in fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen it cheaper on BA in a mainstream sale. Abu Dhabi, note, is £300 cheaper than Dubai in Club World on certain dates even though they are only a short cheap taxi ride apart.
The Caribbean is looking OK – Barbados is down to £1,692 on some dates in Club World. Kingston and Punta Cana are a shade under £1,300.
In general, the £2,000 Asia fares I quote above are as good it gets, apart from perennial dog Chengdu! This is £1,698. Similarly, Africa doesn’t have any standout deals – Cape Town never gets below £3,000 whenever you book.
Remember that there are also some excellent Club World deals to be had if you are willing to start your trip in Dublin. My original article on those fares is here.
ESTA changes for the USA and Canada
Both the US and Canada are making changes to the process for entering their countries which could make your travel trickier.
With immediate effect, the US will not be allowing anyone who holds dual nationality with Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria to enter under the Visa Waiver Programme, irrespective of who issued their other passport.
In addition, anyone who has visited Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria since 1st March 2011 will be unable to use the Visa Waiver Programme.
Over in Canada, the online ‘Electronic Travel Authority’ system is being launched for the first time. From 15th March, an ETA will be required for visa-exempt foreign nationals travelling to Canada by air. US citizens are exempt.
The cost of the ETA is C$7 per passenger, and the validity is five years or until your passport expires, whichever is shorter.