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Gone west: The perks of a 'Dublin dodge' to Chicago

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independent.co.uk

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Fri, Aug 5, 2022 06:01 AM

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Simon Calder’s Travel Week August 05, 2022 Reports that British Airways has stopped selling fli

Simon Calder’s Travel Week [View in browser]( [The Independent]( August 05, 2022 [The Independent]( Reports that British Airways has stopped selling flights from Heathrow for the next 10 days are exaggerated. You can still buy a BA flight to Chicago tomorrow – though the lowest fare is £1,828. Heaven sent: Aer Lingus transatlanticAirbus A330 jets are named after Irish saints But to keep a lid on passenger numbers, [British Airways has “decided to take responsible action” and close domestic and European sales until 16 August](. The airline will lose millions in potential revenue from last-minute bookings. But keeping short-haul seats empty helps the airline comply with [Heathrow airport’s daily cap of 100,000 departing passengers]( and “maximise rebooking options for existing customers”. As all European airlines struggle to maintain punctuality, connecting passengers on network carriers are particularly vulnerable to seeing their itineraries unravel. On Wednesday afternoon, for example, British Airways flights from Aberdeen and Athens arrived two hours late at Heathrow, triggering missed connections and searches for seats on later departures. At the time, I was far from Heathrow: seven miles high and 700 miles south of Greenland aboard a plane named after an Irish saint, giving thanks for the success of my "Dublin dodge" en route to Chicago. Flying to the US via the Irish capital swerves some serious travel hurdles. To dodge [Heathrow, with its high charges and low passenger numbers,]( I bought a £13 flight from Luton to Dublin with Ryanair, and a separate £450 ticket to Chicago with Aer Lingus. Self-connecting, as this practice is known, is not without risk: had the first flight been cancelled or heavily delayed, the transatlantic flight would have gone without me. But [Ryanair has remained reliable in this trickiest of summers](, so I took a chance. The Dublin dodge also saves you £71 in Air Passenger Duty (APD). On my short-haul flight from Luton to Dublin, the tax matched what the ticket cost: £13. (I was not Ryanair's most profitable passenger of the summer.) Long-haul from the UK, APD is £84. By self-connecting I paid only the lower amount. Now that’s what I call tax relief. A third travel benefit of the Dublin dodge: avoiding endless queues for Customs & Border Protection on arrival at Chicago O’Hare airport. Transatlantic passengers are pre-cleared at Dublin by US officials. Officer Marseille welcomed me to America while my feet were firmly planted on Irish soil. Touching down eight hours later in the land of the free, I was able to leave the airport without further formality and go anywhere – even another 700 miles west, to Dodge City. [Get inspired...](   [Car-free California]( Kick back and see the Golden State via rail, not road for a scenic west coast trip [I'm an image]( [Treasures of Delhi]( Architecture, spirituality and world-class food: why you shouldn't skip India's vivid, ancient entry point [I'm an image]( [Sustainable Machu Picchu]( Taking an indigenous-guided trek along a less-trodden trail can ease the crush at Peru's world wonder Tip of the week: Beware airport car rental rates   Rather than queuing at the car rental desk at the airport, taking local transport to a city centre office can save hundreds of pounds on vehicle hire. Car rental firms pay high fees for the right to operate at airports, and they know that many travellers will pay a premium for convenience. But taking a train, bus or taxi from the airport to a city centre rental location can pay off. When I priced up an Enterprise rental in San Francisco, the rate for a week’s small car was more than twice as high at the airport (£512) than from the firm’s office in the city centre (£252). [Here's how to save on holiday car rental]( Pick of the week: Visit Saudi Create a fully customized day-by-day itinerary and discover the hidden gems of Saudi. Plan your trip [here]( Deal of the week: London-Derby for £20 return   In a bid to fill trains at a time when business travel is low, East Midlands Railway has come up with a tempting prospect: a ticket from Sheffield, Derby, Nottingham or Leicester to London for £20 return (£40 in first class) between now and 4 September. Conversely, travellers from the capital can travel from London St Pancras to those cities for the same fare – or change at Derby for the line to Matlock in the Peak District. To get the deal, [book]( at least three days ahead and by 15 August at the latest, and commit to specific trains. Remarkably, you can amend your date of travel free of charge up until 6pm the day before your original train. The deal is not on offer [on strike days (18 and 20 August)](or over the bank holiday weekend (27-29 August). No railcard discounts apply. [Take your pick of the most spectactular walks in the Peak District]( Travel voucher of the week [Save £150 on holidays over £800 with this TUI voucher code]( Question of the week: Croatian highlights   Q We are planning to fly into Dubrovnik in Croatia and travel to Split over the course of a week. Any hidden gems? A Hidden gems are elusive along the Croatian coast in summer: this area of Europe thrums with tourists at this time of year. Dubrovnik is rightly celebrated as a magnificent walled city in an outstanding location where the mountains tumble into the Adriatic. Split’s city centre is defined by the ancient fortifications of Diocletian's Palace, which has been continuously occupied for 17 centuries. At its heart stands the Roman emperor's mausoleum, now the city's cathedral. To make the most of your week, do some sightseeing when you arrive and leave. Each city’s airport has a lovely small port close by. From Dubrovnik airport, a quick taxi ride takes you to Cavtat, from where you can sail across to the city centre on a ferry. On your way home, check in at Split airport – then nip along the road for a coffee and a stroll around the pretty coastal town of Trogir before your flight home. To escape the crowds, you could also escape to the island of Solta – just an hour off the coast from Split, yet far less touristy than some other Croatian islands. Pines drape the hills, fishing boats bob in tiny harbours and life is easy and relaxed. [Read about my trip to the Croatian island of Solta]( Stat of the week 8 Number of days between [a scam listing for a North London home on Booking.com]( being reported by the property's owner (on 5 July) and when it was taken down. Unwanted guests who had been taken in by the scam continued to arrive for a further 16 days. Booking.com said: “All customers are being contacted by a member of our customer service team to apologise and offer any support required in relation to refunds, relocations and additional fees, as well as of course extending our apologies to the homeowner.” What you might have missed   - Real-time route: Nancy Pelosi's flight to Taiwan becomes most watched journey on flight-tracking website]( - E-visa deferred: [Europe’s Etias online travel permit delayed to November 2023]( - Emotional baggage: [Passengers crawl along conveyor belts to retrieve own luggage]( Simon’s diary   Every day from Monday to Friday I tackle a top travel story, or explore a topic in more detail than usual in ‘Simon Calder's Independent Travel Podcast’ – available free on [Spotify](, [Apple Podcasts](, [Pocket Casts]( or [Acast](. I find the easiest way to rush out stories is to tweet them. It’s also an easy way to contact me. My direct messages are open and I read all DMs, though regrettably I can’t respond to every one. Let me know your thoughts [@SimonCalder]( Each Saturday and Sunday I take questions live at 5.30pm British time on Instagram Live – from wherever I happen to be in the world – so please do come and say hello. Follow me on [@Simon_Calder]( Or you can find me on TikTok. Come and have a look at what I have been up to as I bring you top travel topics and report on the latest changes in a minute or less via [@caldertravel](   INDYBEST / [TRAVEL BEST BUY](   Aldi’s £50 camping cupboard is here to elevate your alfresco eating experience Upgrade your cooking station with this £50 outdoor accessory. The unit includes a windbreak and mesh doors to keep your food ventilated. For the full review [click here](   Essential reading [As France eases its Covid rules, what are the current entry requirements?]( Articles available exclusively to subscribers [Back on track: a luxury train ride through southeastern Australia](   Other newsletters you might like [US Morning Headlines] US Morning Headlines Weekdays, 12pm (UK time) Written by Andrew Naughtie [Sign up]( [Climate Warrior] Climate Warrior Every Wednesday, 8am (UK time) Written by climate activists [Sign up](   If you can spare a minute we’d love your [feedback]( on our newsletters. [The Independent]( Join the conversation or follow us [Facebook]( [Twitter]( Please do not reply directly to this email You are currently registered to receive The Independent's Travel newsletter. Add us to your safe list of senders. If you do not want to receive The Independent's Travel newsletter, please [unsubscribe](list_name=IND_Travel_Newsletter_CDP). If you no longer wish to receive any newsletters or promotional emails from The Independent, you can unsubscribe [here](. This e-mail was sent by Independent Digital News and Media Ltd, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5HF. Registered in England and Wales with company number 07320345. Read our [privacy notice]( and [cookie policy](.

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