We're going to be in London this summer and would like to make a side trip to Mykonos. I'm trying to figure out which airlines fly nonstop from London to the island and how much fares would be, but it's not particularly easy to do. Can you help? Also, is there an official Mykonos tourist site?
Q: We're going to be in London this summer and would like to make a side trip to Mykonos. I'm trying to figure out which airlines fly nonstop from London to the island and how much fares would be, but it's not particularly easy to do. Can you help? Also, is there an official Mykonos tourist site?
A: As far as I can make out, British Airways (www.ba.com) flies this route nonstop from London's Gatwick Airport only, with fares as low as $130 each way, but many dates are completely sold out for travel in July and August, and only the higher fares are available on days when there are seats. Also a possibility is Astraeus (www.flystar.com), which I believe offers nonstop charter flights from Gatwick, and charter operator XL Airways (www.xl.com), also from Gatwick. As a side note, other airlines flying nonstop from European cities to Mykonos are TUI, Condor and Transavia, among others. You can find route maps for these and dozens of other airlines on the Airfarewatchdog.com route maps page. Visit the island's Web site at http://www.mykonos.gr, and you'll find some reviews of Mykonos on TravelPost.com.
Q: I saw on the news that if you purchase a plane ticket and the price goes down you can get a refund. How does this work?
A: Southwest, United, Alaska, JetBlue and US Air will refund a difference in fare if you buy a non-refundable ticket and it goes down in price before you depart. The refund issued by these airlines is in the form of a voucher good for future travel for up to a year, and they do not deduct an administrative or change fee. You cannot change your flight times or days of travel. Only the fare may have changed. Other airlines also offer refunds, but they deduct between $25 and $100 (on a domestic ticket) from any voucher they issue you. So it's wise to check your fare even after you purchase, and to fly with airlines that don't deduct fees. A new site called Yapta (www.yapta.com) promises to alert you if a fare you purchased has gone down in price and you qualify for a refund. Yapta works with most major U.S.-based airlines but not with Macintosh computers or the Mozilla Firefox browser (only Internet Explorer).
Q: I don't use a computer, and I'd like to make a pilgrimage to the Phillip Johnson Glass House, which I've heard is now open to the general public. How does one arrange a visit, and is the house reachable for someone who doesn't drive?
A: You can purchase tickets by phone, by calling 866-811-4111, however it appears that all tours are sold out for the rest of 2007. Tours are not given over the winter, so the next available dates are in the spring of 2008. Reaching the Glass House visitor center in New Canaan, Conn., is fairly easy by public transportation. Take the Metro North Railroad's New Haven Line from Penn Station in New York City to the New Canaan stop, which is right across the street from the center. Computer users can visit www.phillipjohnsonglasshouse.org for more information.
Q: I saw that United was having a sale to Taipei, so I got to wondering if it's worth a visit. Is it? Also, I gave up trying to find the official tourist site. Do you know where it is?
A: I think Taiwan is one of the most fascinating and geographically diverse places to visit in Asia. Last year I woke up from a nap while flying across Asia and happened to look out my window at what appeared to be the snow-capped Swiss Alps. Grabbing the airline's in-flight magazine, I quickly figured out from the route map that those frosty peaks were Taiwan's Yushan mountain range, whose highest peak is nearly 12,000 feet. The country's national parks also afford some brilliant scenery closer to earth, and the National Palace Museum is home to the foremost collection of Chinese art and objects in the world (there are 700,000 treasures, only a fraction of which are on view at any one time). And if you're a shopper, you'll find amazing bargains on anything made in the country, including designer eyewear, electronics, computer parts and bicycles.
Try http://www.taiwan.net.tw, the country's official tourist site, for more reasons to visit.
George Hobica is the creator of airfarewatchdog.com, an airfare listing and advice Web site. Send your questions for George to email@example.com.