This week in travel 19-09-2019
Date: 19 Sep 19
UK Government says "Renew your passport"
With Brexit looming in 6 weeks the UK government is urging travellers to check how long they have left on their passports. Those with less than 6 months are being urged to renew their passports. Countries in the EU will now demand that British passport holders have at least 6 months left on their passport before allowing them access - the government is set to send out 1 million text messages to those travellers that have registered their mobile number urging them to renew before Brexit and before travelling anywhere in Europe. Passport renewals currently cost £75.50 if you apply online.
Saudi Arabia to offer tourist visa
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is set to open its doors to tourism in a move to make the country more accessible to tourists. Currently, visas are only available to those working in the country and those performing the religious pilgrimage of Hajj and Umrah. The visa is set to cost around £100 and will be made available online or on arrival. Saudi Arabia is largely untouched by foreign tourism but is blessed with sandy beaches, diving to rival that of Egypt, amazing scenery in its lush mountainous regions as well as cultural heritage. This is all part of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salmans plans to modernise the archaic rules of Saudi Arabia and planning for a future without reliance on oil but we wouldn't start packing our flip flops just yet...
British Airways and Ryanair strike action
Ryanair pilots are currently striking and potentially disrupting the travel plans for 1000's of passengers. The two-day strike scheduled for the 18th and 19th September will be followed by further strikes on the 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th and 29th of September 2019. Ryanair has played down potential disruption - those passengers affected will be notified by email or text.
British Airways pilots have however called off their next strike which had been planned for 27th September, This comes as no relief to the many passengers that have been informed that their flights had been cancelled last week. As the airline has given passengers two weeks notice they no longer have to pay compensation for the cancellations and is only offering refunds and alternative flights.
China's Loch Ness monster revealed
Footage of a mysterious creature swimming down the Yangtze river in Chinas has gone viral this week. The creature has been spotted slithering close to the Three Gorges dam and has so far accumulated 32m views on Weibo. Experts have claimed the creature to be a "water snake" or a giant salamander which are an endangered species in China. The reality, however, turned out to be a little more mundane as workers fished out the creature downstream only to find out it was a giant rubber tube typically used as ship buoys. Nessie breathed a sign of relief at the news...