|H2O Dive - More Ways to Go Diving than ever before
15 March Thursday, 3:15 PM
Fly from a local airport? Is comfort and onboard service important? Is the free luggage limit enough?
Not usually top of the list when selecting a diving holiday choice of travel arrangements plays a subtle but crucial part in the success of any diving holiday. With so many more ways to get to the popular dive destinations this year divers are spoilt for choice.
The Egyptian Red Sea is still far and away the most popular dive destination for European divers. This summer there will be over 50 flights per week leaving the UK to Sharm El Sheikh, Hurghada or Marsa Alam presenting divers with more choice than ever before. Half depart from Gatwick or Manchester with the rest from regional airports including Bristol, Cardiff, Newcastle and Glasgow. This summer also heralds the return of the Non-stop service from Dublin to Sharm El Sheikh.
The Maldives attracts the next biggest contingent of British divers. In 2007 Sri Lankan Airlines will offer the UK’s only scheduled non-stop service to the Maldives. Meanwhile from September 2007 Emirates introduce a new Newcastle service to their existing departures from Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, Heathrow and Gatwick, all via Dubai.
H2O’s Daniel Le Merle feels that extra choice is the next logical step for worldwide diving holidays but this comes with a warning.
‘Flexible holiday planning is essential these days but choice creates a minefield for the unwary. Many new flights are not solely geared towards divers. Getting the day of the week, flight times or free luggage allowance right is crucial, particularly when there’s a liveaboard departure or dive course involved.
What’s more booking flights outside a fully bonded package holiday puts divers at risk of a schedule change or cancellation with out any recourse. Airlines are not responsible for your losses if changes to their flight cause you losses from hotels, boats or diving services booked separately. The only way to be financially secure is to look for the ATOL logo then check, via the CAA’s web site, that’s its valid.’
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