High Phone charges abroad

If there’s one thing that annoys me, it is the cost of calls from abroad on my mobile telephone. I’m not very organised when it comes to checking my mobile phone statement, but today, I decided I was going to be organised and look through my statements, then file them.


In April, I went to Prague, for three nights, and called my brother, to ask if he could pick me up at the airport – I can’t have been on the telephone for more than two minutes, and I was charged £5 which makes that £2.50 a minute!

How can 02 or any other mobile operator justify such a charge – off I went to do some research and have a rant and according to the Sunday business Post mobile phone operators are charging customers more for calls made from abroad than they were three years ago.

The phone companies look at which are the most popular destinations, and then charge the lower rate – the less popular destinations, then get the higher rate, and this is why I was charged this outrageous amount.

The unjustified costs need to be reviewed and the mobile phone networks need to forget about the profit margins and give the consumer a fair deal. What do you think about the call roaming rates, and phone charges abroad?
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Wine Tours in New Zealand

I’m sure by now most of my readers will be aware of my desire to one day visit New Zealand – every time I watch a TV programme or video on the country, I become even more obsessed, and thanks to Greg at Grape Escape Ltd I am now like man possessed.

If you are like me and want to visit this beautiful Country then get in touch with Grape Escape Ltd who specialise in wine tours of Hawke’s Bay New Zealand as well as tours of the other regions of New Zealand, Martinborough, Marlborough and Central Otago.

The tours range from half and full day small group wine tours of Hawke’s Bay to personalised luxury tours of the region. The tours also venture south taking in some of the most fantastic scenery New Zealand has to offer – I’m not a wine drinker, but after watching Greg’s NZ tour video I will be making sure that a Wine tour is part of my travel plans.
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Oasis Airlines replies..

Earlier this month I blogged about the news that Oasis Hong Kong Airlines are offering flights to Hong Kong from £75 for a single flight from London Heathrow. Due to the media attention the website was slow or offline, but I managed to contact Oasis Airlines to ask them some questions.

When and where will travellers be able to purchase tickets?
Sales are expected to start in early September 2006 through our Web site and travel agents

How much will flights really cost?
Travelers can expect year-round fares 30-50% lower than those currently offered by other airlines to the destinations we serve. Some of our promotional fares will be even lower! For example, one-way fares in Economy class start at £75 or HK$1,000 (excluding taxes and charges) and include warm meals and inflight entertainment

What level of service will be available on board?
We will be offering a selection of hot meals, alcohol for purchase, movies and music entertainment on board. They will be other on board services, and more information will be available soon.

Is it true that you hasn’t yet received your Air Operator’s Certificate?
We will receive our air operators certificate in the weeks preceding the test flight of the first aircraft, this is standard operating procedure for any new airline. As soon as I have more information I’ll be the first to let you know.
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Be Healthy during the Heatwave

Phew – the weather has been incredible today, not a cloud in the sky and beautiful sunshine, but at 91 F it was unbearable to work without any air conditioning, so I’ve decided to work a few hours in the evening whilst it’s cooler.

The latest rumour is that the heatwave has caused travel agents sales to drop. Reports suggest that there has been a slow down of trade in recent weeks and this has meant that many travel agents here are reducing the cost of package holidays to tempt people to go on a holiday abroad.

If you have grandparents, or elderly neighbours please take five minutes out of your day and call them – I was in the city centre today, and witnessed an elderly man collapse due to heat exhaustion.

The sun is at it’s hottest between 11am and 3pm so during this time try and keep in the shade, wear a hat, and carry a bottle of water around with you. The NHS Direct website has published an article and leaflet to help people keep healthy during the heatwave.

Weather forecasters are predicting that the temperature, tomorrow and Wednesday will be in the mid to high 90’s but the temperature won’t get any higher than the record of 101 F in Brogdale, Kent (south east England) on 10 August 2003.

Enjoy the Sun – but be safe!
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The War on Tourism

Every time I switch on the television I am focused on the events that are affecting tourism; the bombings in Mumbai, the Israeli attacks on Lebanon and the natural disasters in South East Asia – travel experts write that the travel industry always comes back fighting, but can moral alone keep travel companies in business during the difficult times ahead?

Californian mudslide – Houses falling

Reports suggest that the bombings in Mumbai has severely affected business for travel companies, with hotels receiving cancellations throughout the week. The Foreign Office have today advised against all travel to Israel and Lebanon following the recent Israeli air attacks, and air prices increase further due to the war in Iraq.

Since the South East Asia Tsunami in 2004 we’ve seen an increase in the number of natural disasters, and only today, there’s rumours that Mt Mayon in the Philippines is showing signs of unrest, which last erupted in 2001.

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New Zealand Campervan trip

New Zealand is an ideal country for touring by campervan. You don’t have to go very far before encountering a diverse range of world-class scenery. Having just completed an eight week holiday through both islands in a hired campervan, I can pass on these budget travel tips for anyone who is intending to do a similar trip.

Make sure when you pick-up your vehicle that you get a spare key cut. The cost is minimal from any key-cutting shop, only a few dollars to ensure that you have a back-up means of accessing your campervan.

Keep the spare key in your wallet and carry it on you. This will save you a lot of bother if you inadvertently lock your supplied keys in the van as I did. If you are touring in the North Island, especially during the cooler months, try warming up in the many public hot thermal pools.

You can find these not only at Rotorua, but at Taupo, Waiwera, and many other towns as well. Hanmer Springs in the South Island is definitely worth a visit. There is no better way to ease your aching muscles after a long day on the road.

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Brochure Free Travel Agencies

According to reports UK Travel agency, Going Places, are going to be opening brochure free travel agents in branches of Asda and Sainsbury’s. The travel consultants will be using the internet to find the best deals and those customers that are wanting to take away information will be given coloured printouts.

I’m very pleased to hear that travel agents are starting to embrace the internet and use it as a tool to enable them to improve customer satisfaction and also give holidaymakers a wider range of products.

Not only are brochures bulky and expensive for travel agents to print, but having a brochure free agency will help the environment, so I say a hat’s off to Going Places, and let’s hope that more travel agents follow their lead.

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