Stranded holidaymakers can get free rail travel today to help them get home after an Air Traffic Control (ATC) fault led to hundreds of UK flights being cancelled and severely delayed.
LNER and Transpennine Express are both offering free standard class travel today for any customers who have been impacted by the Air Traffic Control technical issue and are having issues getting home across the UK all day on Tuesday 29 August.
The free rail travel has been offered by the train companies as an alternative after thousands of flights were cancelled and delayed due to a fault affecting flights in and out of the UK.
Travellers only have to show their boarding pass to claim the offer, which is running throughout Tuesday.
The LNER statement reads: “Following a UK Air Traffic Control technical issue on Monday 28 August 2023, some customers may need to return home earlier than originally planned.
“LNER is offering free Standard Class travel for those affected and for anyone whose flight back to the UK has resulted in them landing at a different airport, or who is travelling on a different date than originally planned, meaning their journey home will involve a trip along the LNER route.
“Customers will be asked to present their airline ticket or boarding pass to make use of this offer, which will run across the 28th and 29th of August 2023.”
The fault, first detected early on Monday 28 August, has seen UK airports move to delay flights – leaving thousands of unhappy passengers waiting in airports.
It is estimated that more than 500 flights have been cancelled or delayed by airlines operating across the UK, with countless numbers of those who have been/were set to travel this bank holiday weekend now stuck in limbo as they wait for their rescheduled flights or for alternative means of transport.
Even more concerningly, according to the National Air Traffic Services (NATS), while the network-wide technical issue is now thought to have been “identified and remedied”, they have warned that the subsequent disruption could last until later into the week.
A limited number of flights were able to operate but overall air traffic was severely restricted as engineers struggled to locate and rectify the problem, with controllers left with no other choice but to input flight plans manually.
With some prospective passengers facing up to as much as 12-hour delays or massive price hikes following the flights being outright cancelled, it’s hard to overstate just how long the disruption will last or exactly how many will have been affected.
Meanwhile, NATS has insisted they will be continuing to investigate what caused the system failure “very thoroughly”. The technical fault is said to have lasted for more than four hours, only causing further chaos in airports and on planes as people were informed they would be stuck there for the time being.
The Irish star, who just landed his first UK number one album, wants to make customers ‘feel like a big deal’, apparently.
And seeing as he shot to fame with his viral flashmob stunts, he seems like a good choice to be popping up from behind Amazon lockers as people pick up their online shop.
Cian Ducrot comments: “My flash mob performances are all about spreading joy and music, and I loved helping shoppers feel like a big deal at the Amazon Lockers.”
Amazon’s Prime Big Deal Day sales event, which is taking place on 10 and 11 October 2023, will also see the brand hide hundreds of items in Amazon Lockers around the UK.
Over those two days, Prime members who are collecting shopping will be given the opportunity to pick a code, which will open a locker containing a free item to take away.
Surprise locker locations will be in London, Cardiff, Liverpool, Newcastle, Belfast, Glasgow, Birmingham and Manchester on 10 and 11 October.
The giveaway runs alongside a Prime member exclusive shopping event, featuring deals on everything Prime members need for Autumn, from making an early start to festive shopping, to stocking up on seasonal essentials.
Council Tax in Manchester could be raised to support the city’s ‘poorest households’
Manchester City Council has laid out plans to potentially raise residents’ Council Tax to help support the “poorest households” in the city.
Councillors are proposing that, under the city’s current Council Tax Support scheme, the amount owed by a household is reduced by up to 100% for pension-age residents with the lowest incomes, and up to 82.5% for working-age residents with the lowest incomes from April 2024 – with the maximum reduction for working-age residents increased by 2.5% to 85%.
This means the maximum that those eligible for support would have to pay is just 15% of the bill, according to Manchester City Council.
At the same time, it’s being proposed that rules allowing reductions to be backdated, in instances where someone “has a good reason not to have claimed sooner”, are extended to allow up to a year’s back payments, rather than up to six months as is currently the case.
With the proposals all laid out, a consultation has been opened and residents living in the Manchester borough are now being asked for their views.
The Council Tax Support scheme currently provides around one fifth of Manchester households with help paying their Council Tax, but it’s estimated that these proposed changes would cost the Council around £770,000 in 2024/25.
This proposed raising of Council Tax also comes after the Council revealed earlier last month that £50 million in funding will go towards upgrading and improving social housing in Manchester over the next two years – with thousands of tenants living in social housing and Council-owned residential complexes across the city and wider borough set to benefit.
Residents in these properties are set receive what is being dubbed “transformational investment” to their homes before 2026.
“We are acutely aware that some residents are really struggling due to cost of living pressures,” admitted Cllr Rabnawaz Akbar, who is the Executive Member for Finance at Manchester City Council on the proposals, “and this is why we’ve already introduced a range of measures to help people access food, advice and support.
“As part of this wider response, we want to go even further to help the poorest households in Manchester with their Council Tax, and that’s what these proposals are all about.
“We’re keen to hear your views on what we’re suggesting before we make a final decision.”