Why does fog cause a problem for flights?

There has been a lot of press today particular about the impact of fog on flights in London, but this made us wonder what affect does it have and why.

Todays weather has been dense fog across large parts of the UK and particularly London and the South East.  London City Airport had to cancel all flights and one point and 10% of flights into and out of Heathrow were cancelled, why?

UK airports have procedures that they follow when visibility is reduced to under 600 metres.

Passenger aircraft are are generally fitted with an Instrument Landing System (ILS), which allows them to be guided towards the airport by a radio signal when there is reduced visibility and it can also direct them during take-off.  This is all well and good, except, runways have to be completely clear when an aircraft is landing or taking off following this procedure and this in itself leads to more space being required between flights.

Airports such as Heathrow which are already at near capacity then have to delay and/or cancel flights as there simply isn’t enough spare time between normal flight operations to follow this procedure.

Below are some of the affected airports and links to their latest travel advice and information:

London City Airport
Manchester Airport
Southampton Airport
Gatwick Airport
George Best Belfast City Airport
Cardiff Airport

Travel to Stansted – Stansted Express

One of the best ways to get to Stansted Airport is by Stansted Express, especially if you are travelling from London.

Its a great, relaxed way to get to the airport and fares start from just £8 each way.  It takes between 47 and 56minutes from London Liverpool Street and just 36minutes from Tottenham Hale.  Departures take place every 15minutes.

You can buy tickets now via The Trainline.

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What bag can you take on Easyjet as cabin baggage?

Many people ask what what bags they can take on board with them on easyJet flights.

So, here is a quick round-up of what you can take into the cabin with you.

easyJet allows ONE item of cabin baggage per passenger. If you take just ONE piece of cabin baggage which does not exceed 50 x 40 x 20cm including handles and wheels they will guarantee it will always travel with you either in the overhead locker or under the seat in front of you.

If you choose to take one item which is slightly bigger than the above size and no bigger than 56 x 45 x 25cm including handles and wheels, on some busy flights your bag may have to go into the hold.

Don’t forget that there are rules on what can be carried in your hand luggage with special notice of liquid requirements:

  • Liquid must be in a container with a maximum volume of 100ml
  • All containers must comfortably fit into a transparent, re-sealable 1 litre plastic bag, measuring no more than 20 x 20cm
  • The plastic bag must be removed from the hand baggage and shown separately to airport security

UK rules for baggae allowance can be found on gov.uk

To purchase cases which match easyJet requirements, click here.

Stansted Airport drop-off zone returns

Fantastic news for those being dropped off or picked up from Stansted Airport, Essex.

The express zone has been restored directly outside the terminal.  It will have a minimum charge of £2 for 10 minutes, the same charge that was applied to the short-stay car park.

There will be a free drop-off and pick-up facility in the mid-stay car park with a shuttle bus to the terminals.  

This is great news for travellers and takes effect from today, more details available on Stansted Airport website.

Security tightened on flights to the US

With almost immediate effect security on direct flights to the US is being tightened at the request of the TSA.

UK airports have said they are following instructions and tightening security, but no extra details have been provided.  Its likely that there will be additional checks on clothing and bag contents, so our advice would be to allow plenty of time (a bit more than normal) and keep an eye on advice from your airline and the airport you are departing from.

Holiday Money Collection at the airport

Following our previous posts about not waiting until you get the airport to buy your travel money, but instead compare your holiday exchange rates online and buy holiday money online beforehand we thought it’d be useful to also point out that some companies offer reserve and collect.

A number of the online suppliers who have stores in airports and train stations, such as ACE FX have stores at Gatwick Airport south terminal and other locations. They allow you to reserve at the better online rate and then collect at the store when you are there.

This helps make life even easier if you leave it until the last minute to order your holiday cash.

Airport Hotel stay with Parking

Following on from our previous post about getting to and from the airport, we explore the airport hotel stay and parking option.

This has been popular for a long time, but with the rise of on-site hotels is becoming even easier than before.  it can also be a more relaxed way to start your holiday, especially if your flight is early in the morning.

The Detail – How does Hotel stay and Park work?

  • You pre-book and pre-pay
  • You drive to the hotel and park
  • You stay in the hotel the night before you fly
  • You leave your car in the hotel car park
  • You either walk to the terminal or get a shuttle bus
  • When you return you either walk back to your car or get a shuttle bus back to the hotel to then collect your car


Costs vary, as with all airport parking options, but hotel stay and park can often be cheaper than just parking.  This is simply because the hotel would like you to stay with them and hopefully spend some money or dinner, breakfast and drinks which may or may not be included in your room rate.

What to Check

Check the total price and compare with other options.  Do make sure you know which terminal you are flying from as this might affect which hotel you would like to stay in.  Look at different rates at the hotel as often there are many different rates on offer.

Compare and book Meet and Greet Parking

We recommend Holiday Extras to look for hotels offering stay and park at UK airports.