Lufthansa Staff On Strike Tomorrow.

Unfortunately there is now going to be yet more industrial action taken tomorrow (Thursday 21st March), this time by Lufthansa employees in Germany.

This will affect the following airports : Berlin, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg & Munich. The strike action will commence at 0500 and finish at midday (local time).

Lufthansa has said that it will cancel most of its domestic and short-haul European operations, but long-haul flights are expected to operate on time.

We (GTM) are currently working to identify and assist any of our customers’ whose flights are affected.


UK Border Agency Strike – Wednesday 20th March.

The Public & Commercial Services union has called a 1 day strike today, Wednesday 20th March.

This strike will impact UK Border Agency staff at airports and other ports around the UK. Unfortunately this information has only just reached us, hence the late posting.

According to the union’s web site another walk-out is also planned for Friday 5th April starting at 1pm.

Self Service Bag Tagging Now At Heathrow T1.

Self Service Bag Tagging has now been introduced at London Heathrow Terminal 1. This option means BA’s customers will be able to print and attach bag tags at a self-service kiosk,  then drop their bag at a bag drop desk.

As well as easing congestion, it is hoped this new service will add speed, efficiency and convenience for BA’s customers. British Airways also has self-service bag tagging at LHR Terminal 3, London City Airport and London Gatwick airports.

What more could you possibly want!

Hand Baggage Only Air Fares.

British Airways is extending its new “hand baggage only” fares across the whole of its London Gatwick short-haul network.

Following the introduction of this new type of air fare on February 19th, BA are now rolling the concept out across the rest of its short-haul network at Gatwick from March 7th.

Customers choosing the “hand baggage only” fare can continue to take advantage of the airline’s generous hand luggage allowance and carry on a good-sized case (56cm x 45cm x 25cm), plus a handbag or laptop bag.

It is worth noting that BA’s hand luggage allowance is more generous than that of most of the so called Low-Cost Carriers, who only permit and strictly enforce just one piece of carry-on luggage. BA’s hand baggage only fares will also be eligible for free online check-in and seat selection 24 hours prior to departure. Likewise, BA still provides complimentary food and beverages on board.

Sales pitch over!

Iberia Strike Called Off.

Next week’s planned strike action by Iberia workers has, thankfully, now been called off. Unions representing most workers at the Spanish airline cancelled next week’s industrial action after they accepted a mediator’s proposal regarding the proposed job losses. Iberia’s management have also accepted the proposal.


Eurostar Operational Update.

Ongoing wintry weather conditions in Northern France and Belgium mean that there are speed restrictions on the high speed line.

Eurostar is operating an amended timetable on Wednesday 13 and Thursday 14 March. Trains may be delayed by up to two hours and a number of services have been cancelled. 

Freezing conditions are forecast to continue on Thursday in Northern France. While no further snowfall is forecast, a considerable amount of snow remains on the ground and we expect speed restrictions to continue on the high speed line.

Unfortunately, this means we (Eurostar) will only be able to operate an amended timetable. Journey times may be up to an hour longer than usual.

Eurostar’s advice is not to travel unless your journey is essential.

Adverse Weather Continuing To Affect Travel In Europe.

The continued wintry weather in northern Europe continues to impact upon travel. Last night a severe snowstorm brought further travel problems to north-western Europe, with the effects continuing into today (Wednesday 13th March).

Hundreds of flights at Europe’s major airports were affected. Rail services, including cross-Channel Eurostar trains, were not spared from the blizzard-like conditions. Eurostar said it would “operate an amended timetable” on Wednesday, while Thalys said travellers
should expect disruption.

France was the worst affected, however, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and England also reported disruptions to travel. Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports in Paris cancelled up to a quarter of their scheduled flights. 

Frankfurt Airport in Germany re-opened two runways by late Tuesday after being briefly forced to completely close because of the heavy snow. An airport spokesman said 700 flights had been cancelled and warned of more cancellations and delays on Wednesday. Public transport in Berlin was affected with several regional trains cancelled or delayed. In Belgium, the snowstorm caused massive traffic disruptions because of snowdrifts and ice.

Please ensure we have your mobile/cell phone number and email address on file and always remember to checkin online for your flight or Eurostar service. This will help to avoid wasted journeys.

Roll on the summer!

Important Eurostar Information.

Please note that Eurostar are operating to a revised timetable on their London to Paris route.

From Tuesday 12th March until Saturday 13th April, trains from Paris to London will depart up to 15 mins earlier. Going in the opposite direction, trains from London to Paris will arrive up to 12 mins later from Monday 25th March until Saturday 13th April.

This is due to engineering works which will be taking place between Arsy & Hattencourt on the French section of the high-speed line.

Trains between London, Brussels and Disneyland Paris are unaffected.

Iberia Workers Strike Set To Continue.

Following on from last week’s strike by Iberia cabin crew, ground staff and maintenance workers, a reminder that this series of planned industrial action looks set to continue in the near future.

Further action is planned for 4th – 8th March and 18th – 22nd March.

Important Update – KLM New Checked Baggage Fee.

KLM has become one of the first European airlines (with the exception of the Low-cost Carriers) to implement a new fee for Economy Class passengers, flying within Europe, who wish to check a bag in to the aircraft’s hold.

From April 22nd 2013, passengers travelling in the economy cabin will have the option of flying with just carry-on baggage, or to check in baggage at a fee. Carry-on baggage remains free of charge for one piece up to 12kgs and, in addition, one lap top or handbag may also be taken on too.

The cost of checking one piece of luggage in is 15 Euros, either via KLM’s web site, or through ourselves (this is currently subject to confirmation from our GDS provider Travelport). Should passengers have to pay for their hold luggage at the airport the fee is 30Euros. 

However, please note that there are numerous exceptions to this new rule, some of which are mentioned below, however, should you have any further questions or concerns please contact Paul Baker at Some of the ways in which you can avoid paying this new checked baggage fee are:

  • Become, if you are not already, a Flying Blue member
  • Enrol your company in Bluebiz
  • Passengers purchasing fully flexible Y & B class fares
  • Infants under 2 years old
  • Marine offshore and NGO passengers. 

Finally, please note that if you are flying via Amsterdam on a long-haul flight in Economy Class, then these new charges do not apply.