Murty, we have a problem!

This is your Captain speaking!

You may be experiencing some turbulence. And don’t worry if the Statue of Liberty looks a bit too close, I’ll endeavour to bring you all down safely.


I am behind the wheel on my maiden flight in the Turkish Airlines simulator at their headquarters in Istanbul and it is set for New York JFK.

Thankfully the experts at TA HQ have it all covered, flight training, safety drills (chutes that they look to be having great fun sliding down and water pools).

I’m just back from Istanbul where I got the chance to see the spanking new Istanbul Airport which has the capacity for 200 million through passengers. Of course as varied as the charms are in Istanbul you don’t need to be in any rush to pass through.

Turkish Airlines Business Lounge is legendary and, of course, my golf game needed some work on it, so I gave it a swing at the simulator (not any use at that either) and had a whizz on the model toy racing cars too.

The TA Business lounge puts on the best spread I’ve seen in any airport in the world in their award-winning lounge with the best entertainment too, a cinema and numerous TV screens. And showers and beds.

Don’t fall asleep though or you’ll miss your flight back home. On second thoughts!

Economy class Dublin to Istanbul return with European Airline of the year Turkish Airlines from 325 (including taxes). Return business class from €1035 (including taxes). Business class includes the services of flying chefs, 337+ movies, 414 TV series, 756 albums and 17 games cartoon movies as well as wifi and live TV.

Visit http://www.turkishairlines.com, call (01) 525 1849, http://www.igairport.com. And look out for my coming review of Istanbul and some dodgy dancing pictures on a river cruise in the Bosphorus.

Calling all you geysers

Iceland has been at the top of many a travel list, probably since Gwyneth Paltrow endorsed it although I’d still recommend it in spite of her.

Icelandair is making it even more attractive. It has Dublin to Iceland for €78 one-way this month (based on return fare of €155), Saga Premium class €300 one-way (based on return fare of €599).

And now for the history bit…. it was an Icelander who discovered America, sorry Brendan and Chris! So, it’s good to see that it is a popular hub these days through which many of us now visit the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.

So who’s the Icelander? Well, Leif Erikson, of course.

Leif established the Norse settlement of Vinland in the early 11th century, or wine land, and we like him already for that, on the northern tip of Newfoundland in modern-day Canada So that counts as North America for us, in the days before the States existed.

And Icelandair are keeping those links going with special offer prices for travel between August 26 and March 24.

Dublin to New York from €158 one way (based on a return), Toronto from €175 one way (based on a return), Boston from €193 one way (based on a return), Chicago for the same, Washington DC from €198 one way (based on a return), San Fransisco €225 one way (based on a return).

And many more, including Saga Premium class tickets to North America including a stopover for no extra wairfare. Visit http://www.icelandair.com or contact +44 (0) 20 7874 1000.

And when you’re in Iceland you can pay your own homage to Lief by popping by his homestead in Eiriksstadir farm in Haukadal in the western part of the iceland.

Flying by the seat of my pants

No excuse necessary for printing a picture of me lying back and doing nothing in the Dead Sea in Jordan.

All courtesy of British Airways who I flew business class with recently… and I’ll tell you all about it in a future review.

Suffice to say I was in a similar position in their magnificent reclining seats on-board with an in-seat massage putting me well at ease too.

Visit http://www.britishairways.com and Club World for best prices and features.

Hit the beaches

You been digging out your foreign phrasebooks, si?

Aer Lingus has up to 20% off on a number of destinations from Dublin, Cork and Shannon to sunny climes.

Starting from Split (Dublin only) from €52.99 with Palma (Dublin and Cork) at €56.99 and the gorgeous Malaga (Dublin, Cork and Shannon) from €65.99 with many, many others, it’s worth thumbing through the offers to see which one suits you.

Fares are one-way including taxes and charges. Travel between June 17 and August 31. Book by May 27. Visit http://www.aerlingus.com.

Toulouse to win

Sometimes I’m just too generous for my own good. But then some people deserve treats.

One such is the inimitable Muriel Bolger whom I sent away to Toulouse for the Irish Daily Mail to check out Concorde, the home of the iconic aeroplane and also Europe’s aviation centre, and also known for its culinary excellence.

You want to go now too. Well, Ryanair has a new flight from Toulouse to Dublin, due to launch at the end of October.

You know, you’ve got nothing to lose. Visit http://www.ryanair.com.


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