It’s choc-a everywhere! Travel chaos ruins the great Easter getaway
Chalkmarks: Punting, Cambridge, England

Good morning. This is what happened in the world of travel this week: Friday 15th April 2022
This week we’re in bright and sunny Cambridge. It has all the warmth of Barcelona without the airport queues. Here is the 20C view (see above). We’ve come to the right place!

This Bank Holiday weekend we are loving Cambridge. We’re not punting, rowing…or working towards a PhD but relaxing and enjoying the sunshine in this ancient Roman town. We’re exploring the old colleges – King’s is an inspiring sight – the parks, and going off guidebook! We’re eating scones from Fitzbillies and searching for the county’s finest stilton. We’ll then find a place on the grass for a picnic alongside the River Cam and eat freshly baked hot cross buns. Later on we’ll take a stroll along Trinity Street for some sightseeing shopping as I like to call it to see what’s in fashion in this university city. Rah!
Here is your weekly travel round-up from stories that made front page headlines this week, in The Times and the Daily Mail.

Good Friday morning

First up: Oh, we do like to be beside the queue-side! Yes, more flights are cancelled, ferries are not sailing, train and tube lines are closed, and motorists are stuck in traffic jams. It’s choc-a out there! Happy Bank Holiday Easter. As the temperatures rise and the spring flowers bloom, stay home and eat chocolate. Cadbury created a 3ft monster egg – the equivalent of 889 Dairy Milk bars. That should last the full four-day break at least! PA Media had access all areas.

Please queue here: At least there were no surprises this week. The chaos that’s been building over the past few weeks at airports, ports, train stations and on the roads is expected to peak this weekend. Today is the busiest day. All passengers and motorists have been warned to expect the worst. Airports have advised holidaymakers to arrive three hours early to get through check-in and security. The Independent Travel team has been posting daily updates to help keep everyone moving.

The numbers: Aviation data firm Cirium said 2,430 flights were scheduled to depart today, on Good Friday. Over the long weekend 9,212 flights in total are expected to leave from UK airports. That compares to 1,363 scheduled departures in 2021, and 984 flights at the start of the pandemic in 2020. The FT had the story.

Big push to hire: With airlines struggling with staff shortages, British Airways is looking to recruit cabin crew to replace some of the 10,000 jobs it cut during the pandemic. BBC News reported that BA is tempting new staff with a £1,000 “golden hello” to take to the skies – if they can start before July…and have already been trained!

Airlines should be fined: Consumer magazine Which? has called for more to be done so the “shambles this Easter” at airports doesn’t continue into the summer. Its editor Rory Boland told BBC News he wants lessons to be learned and the government to give the regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority, tougher powers to fine airlines when they ignore passengers’ rights. He said they had spent the week speaking to BA passengers who had seen their flights cancelled and not then rebooked. Airlines are required to rebook passengers even with rival carriers. Here is the Which? report.

Off the rails: Meanwhile there are 530 engineering projects underway on the train network causing line closures on the West Coast Mainline out of Euston Station, and there’s plenty of disruption on London’s tubes. ITV News has the full details.

Not in service: Say au revoir again to any sailings this weekend with P&O Ferries between Dover and Calais. Sky News reported that the company had apologised “unreservedly” and offered customers a 25 per cent discount if they wanted their journey rebooked with another operator. It tweeted that some of its services had resumed between Cairnryan, Scotland, and Larne, Northern Ireland. This is the latest from ITV News Meridian.

Driving Britain: The RAC estimates 12.5million road trips will be made this Easter. Add to this many petrol stations are low of fuel, made worse by protesters blocking distribution routes, and it won’t be long before drivers start panic buying.  PA Media tweeted the story. The MailOnline has a map of which routes to avoid. In an attempt to outsmart the traffic, here are RAC’s top tips.

Classic: What’s the government doing? Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said he is concerned about all the delays and cancellations and had warned operators to “gear up”. The Department for Transport tweeted a series of travel tips for the Easter Weekend with the hashtag #CheckBeforeYouTravel.

The view from Switzerland: Here are two tiny people exploring very big landscapes – with panoramas that stretch as far as the eye can see. This is a new grand tour promo of Switzerland with its breathtaking scenery as the main attraction. The country’s famous tennis ace Roger Federer has teamed up with American actress Anne Hathaway to show off the country’s stunning mountains and lakes in a tongue-in-cheek “no one can beat the Grand Tour of Switzerland” advert. It’s “even more majestic that Roger Federer’s abs”, they say!

Sweet dream: For chocaholics, the Swiss city of Lausanne on the shores of Lake Geneva, is the perfect place to get your fix. We found some of the best chocolate shops in the world there including La Chocolatiere which hand makes sweet treats to traditional recipes. You don’t have to imagine, here is our piece in the Daily Star.

Shore thing: The UK’s most popular destinations this Easter have been revealed. Cornwall is the number one seaside destination, Derbyshire is top for a countryside getaway and London is favourite for a city break. Here are some ideas for a trip to the capital and check out our #OneWalkADay project. Hotel Owner picked up this Travelodge research which also revealed 47 per cent of Britons were set to take an Easter holiday – most opting for a trip to the coast.

Curry Heaven: Pop superstar Ed Sheeran was pictured serving pints and drinking in a pub in Small Heath, just outside Birmingham city centre. But the real rising star was curry house Asha, also a favourite of Hollywood A-lister Tom Cruise. Ed announced it was his “favourite of all”. With an unexpected recommendation like that, tables will book up fast. Visit Birmingham has the story.

New interiors:  New carpets made from recycled fishing nets and old plastic bottles, Travelodge is getting a fresh and more sustainable makeover. Having polled thousands of travellers, the hotel chain has begun a multi-million upgrade of 60 hotels this year. Manchester Evening News gets a first look.

Happy Easter!

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