Heathrow Express hike: Fares on the high-speed rail service between London Heathrow and the city's Paddington station are set to rise at the end of this month, making it one of the most expensive airport rides in the world. Top price for the 24km journey on the Heathrow Express will be a first-class return fare of GBP42 (about HK$507), an increase of GBP2. Standard one-way fares will rise by GBP3, to GBP13. The new standard return will cost GBP25. The company, which is to introduce the new fees on September 29, says there has been no fare rise for three years and that discounts are available for groups or by making advance bookings.
Mid-autumn Singapore: Singapore will hold its second Mid-Autumn Festival from this Saturday until Sunday September 21. Following last year's success, four districts - Chinatown, Albert Mall, Orchard Road and the Singapore River - will pull together to create a bigger impact for the traditional festival. Celebrations will also take place in fringe areas including Downtown East and the Chinese Garden. The Chinese Garden will feature lanterns in the shapes of Disney characters. The effort aims to revive interest and awareness in the festival. Traditionally rooted in Chinese culture, this year's festival will be a multi-racial affair and have a unique Singaporean flavour. Even mooncakes are distinctly fusion, with delicious deviations such as Bailey's Irish Cream, chocolate truffle and macadamia nuts available at the festival.
Low-price Lufthansa: Lufthansa is introducing low-price fares for flights on domestic routes in Germany. To coincide with the start of the 2002/03 winter timetable, the airline is launching a new, more flexible fare concept. Fares for all domestic Lufthansa flights, which can be booked from today and will not be limited to a specific period of time, start at 98 euros (about HK$750), including taxes and charges. The lowest fare, if booked online, is only 88 euros. Another benefit is that these fares do not require a minimum stay or advance booking. Lufthansa is also introducing other attractive price categories and so-called combi-fares, which are of special interest to business travellers. If a particular fare is no longer available for an individual flight leg, the next higher fare will not automatically apply to both the outbound and return flights, but only to the relevant section of the route. With this new concept Lufthansa aims to enhance its offerings to customers, while the more flexible fares will boost the capacity utilisation of its aircraft. The new lower fares and combi-fares will make flying at off-peak times more attractive for business and leisure travellers alike. The fare concept not only offers customers cheaper flights, but also gives them more flexibility planning their journey. From next month, Lufthansa will extend the fare concept to Britain and Turkey. In future, more European countries will be added. In November, for example, Lufthansa will offer between 150,000 and 200,000 seats at the new lower fare. On the Berlin-Frankfurt route, Lufthansa is only permitted to offer this fare if there is an overnight stay from Saturday to Sunday due to restrictions imposed by the Federal Cartel Office. www.lufthansa.com
New name: New York Newark International Airport has changed its name to Newark Liberty International in remembrance of the victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Diabetic traveller: A good resource for people with diabetes is www.diabetic-lifestyle.com
/travel. A different destination is featured each month and online archives date back to 1997. The site spotlights destinations and offers guidelines for travellers with diabetes.