James McCarthy

Brussels Airport stays closed a seventh day, snarling Easter holiday travel

Linda A. Thompson and Janon Fisher, Special for USA TODAY 3:45 p.m. EDT March 28, 2016

Forensic officers works in front of the damaged Brussels Airport terminal on March 23, 2016, a day after suicide bombings hit the Belgian capital.(Photo: Geert Vanden Wijngaert, AFP/Getty Images)

BRUSSELS Belgium’s busiest airport remained closed for a seventh day Monday because of last week’s terror attack, snarling travel as passengers returned from a long Easter holiday.

“My plans for last week got disrupted in places but in the end I got to where I was going,” said Nicholas White, a consultant who lives near Brussels. White, a native of Northern Ireland, flew from England to Belgium’s smaller regional airport in Antwerp, 35 miles to the north. He said many people opted to stay home rather than risk a difficult trip and further attacks.

“All the flights coming back from Manchester to Brussels were combined onto a much smaller flight from Manchester to Antwerp,” he said. “And I expect most of the people who were planning to fly from Manchester to Brussels today simply canceled their plans. It was a very small plane and it wasn’t even full.”

Brussels Airport, also known as Brussel-Zaventem Airport, is the 21st busiest airport in Europe, in part because Brussels is home to both NATO and European Union headquarters. It handled more than 23 million passengers in 2015 and about 3 million in the first two months of this year. The airport had originally hoped to resume partial operations by Tuesday, a week after suicide bombings that killed 35 people at the airport and a metro station. But the airport authority said it would remain closed indefinitely to allow police, military and aviation officials to test security measures and passenger flow in a temporary structure built over the Discount Holidays © holiday weekend. About 800 airport employees are to take part in the trial run.


3 more face terror charges in Brussels; death toll rises

The closure means that Belgium’s smaller airports in Liege, Charleroi and Antwerp are stretched to the limit. Antwerp’s airport, which usually handles five flights on a Sunday, was inundated with 40 takeoffs and landings on Easter Sunday.

“I have worked here for 20 years and have never seen anything like this,” airport commander Wim Verbist said Monday. “Tomorrow, we are expecting 58 commercial (flights). So it’s really busy and tomorrow will be insanely busy” because Tuesday is the first day of the post-Discount Holidays © holiday workweek in Europe. Many travelers said the added volume strained the local terminals, causing long waits and missed flights.

“It’s not ideal because the ideal situation was not available,” said White. “There was a substantial delay at immigration in Antwerp, where it seemed to be fairly clear that the border guards maybe weren’t familiar with the setup, and it took them a lot longer to process people landing from England than would normally have been the case in Brussels.”

Charleroi Airport, about an hour south of the capital city, was also flooded with passengers. “These extra (flights) represent 10,000 additional passengers per day compared to the traditional situation for the Easter break,” airport spokesman Vincent Grassa said. Una Blagojevic, 27, a master’s student in philosophy at Belgium’s Leuven University, was worn out trying to get her two cousins back to Berlin and Vienna after a long-planned Easter family get-together. “I feel bad to complain about these things at this point, but it was very stressful,” she said. Blagojevic said her cousin missed her flight to Vienna out of the smaller Liege airport because free shuttle buses were delayed and bus drivers were uninformed about timetables. “It has to be like that. You just have to go with the flow,” she said. “It could be much worse. They’re doing the best that they can.”

Elizabeth Slate, 35, a production manager at a publishing house in London, was determined to make it to Brussels for her niece’s first birthday party.

“We booked a month ago because it was her birthday.

We wanted to come,” Slate said. “Then Tuesday happened, it was awful. We all watched it on the news. My husband said to me: ‘A bomb went off in the metro and that’s our hotel, you can see the pictures, because it is right next door, isn’t it?'”

“But we never had any doubt about coming.

So we drove here,” Slate said.

Contributing: Maya Vidon, Patrick Costello in Berlin and Paul Ames in Lisbon

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Buyer’s guide to rear lights

Here’s our guide to make sure that you pick a good rear light that will keep you visible this winter

Buyer’s Guide To Rear Lights

If you re looking to ride through the winter, then you re really going to need some good lights to attach to your bike. While you ll be buying a front light1 to light up the road in front of you to let you see where you re going, from a safety point of view, the rear one is perhaps more important, making sure that drivers approaching from behind can always see you and overtake safely.

>>> Buyer s guide to cycling lights2

So what should you be looking for in a good rear light for your bike in order to make sure that your winter and nightime riding can be as safe as possible?

Legal Requirements

By law, according to the Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations, if you re riding between sunset and sunrise, then you must display a red rear light (as well as white front light, red rear reflector, and two pedals reflectors on each pedal). The rear light must be positioned centrally, 35cm to 150cm from the floor, and visible from the rear. It must also conform with the relevant safety standards, and if flashing emit a minimum of four lumens.

>>> Garmin Edge computers: a complete buyer s guide3

Of course in reality, these requirements are rarely enforced, and we can t really imagine you being pulled over and reprimanded by the police on account of having your rear light 170cm from the floor. However, it is always wise to conform to the regulations, not only on safety grounds, but just in case you find yourself in court after being involved in a collision.

Watch our pick of the best new products


One of the most important things to look at in a rear light (or any light for that matter) is how bright it is. While a serious heavy-front light can be expected to pump out thousands of lumens, you really don t need this sort of brightness at the rear. In fact, even the very brightest rear lights are unlikely to pump out much more than 75 lumens, which is more than enough to make you seen.

>>> Buyer s guide to road bike groupsets4

Much more important is where all this light is directed. Obviously you want most of it pointing backwards so that cars approaching from behind are able to see you, but sideways visibility should always be a major consideration too. Especially if you re riding in built-up areas then it s really important to make sure that drivers emerging from side junctions can see you as well as those approaching from in front or behind. Therefore look for rear lights which have clear sides in order to avoid taken out from vehicles emerging from side roads.


A key consideration in deciding which rear light to buy is the number of modes that it has, and in general the more modes the better. The most basic of rear lights will often only have a single flashing mode, but pay a little more and you ll often find lights with multiple constant and flashing modes. Rear lights with more than one LED or bulb will often also have modes where one LED is on while the other flashes, as well as different levels of brightness.

>>> 15 top tips for commuting to work by bike5

This is useful on a number of levels. Firstly it allows you to be flexible when it comes to light conditions. Slightly counterintuitively, the darker it is the less bright your rear light needs to be, so if you re riding on dark, unlit lanes then you should be easily be spotted even if your rear light is flashing away on its lowest setting. However, if you re riding towards a low sun, and have your rear light on in order to help drivers see you in the brightness of the sun, then you ll want your light to be as bright as possible.

>>> Buyer s guide to road bike tyres6

Multiple modes will also help you to preserve battery life, so if you ve forgotten to charge your rear light and are worried that it might be running low, then you can put it on a lower setting in order to get you home safely. That said, plenty of the better rear lights on the market now come with a low battery mode, which automatically switches the light into a less energy-sapping mode in order to get you home safely.

Watch our pick of the five sexiest superbikes of 2015

Battery life and charging

Even if your rear light does have a low battery mode, battery life still has to be a key consideration. It s really better to be safe than sorry with these sort of things, so the longer the battery life the better, and you should really be looking for a rear light that would be able to cope with at least a week of commutes in order to keep your mind at rest.

>>> Brompton: the perfect commuting machine7

However, probably more important is what batteries the rear light uses, and whether they are rechargeable. If you re looking to get a good, convenient rear light, then it s really worth getting one that is rechargeable. There are plenty around that are powered by coin cell, AA or AAA batteries, but these leave you guessing as to when they might run out of juice.

>>> Buyer s guide to winter cycling gloves8

The beauty with USB rechargeable ones is that you can just keep the charging cable at home or at work, and plug it in whenever you think your light might need a boost. What s more, plenty of rear lights are now charged using micro-USB cables, which you re likely to already have lying around at home somewhere, meaning that is you lose the cable that comes with the light then it s not the end of the world.


The final big consideration is how your rear light is going to attach to your bike. Basically what you re after is a mount that will keep your rear light firmly in place and pointing in the right direction, so even if you hit some pretty big potholes on some gloomy lanes, your not going to have your nice new light bouncing off into the bushes.

>>> The 25 best pieces of cycling advice9

If you re got a standard round seatpost, then mounting your light shouldn t be too much of an issue (although if you ve got a 31.8mm seatpost then some mounts can be a little tight). However if you re attaching your rear light to a bike with an aero seatpost, then things can be a bit more difficult.

Buyer’s Guide To Rear Lights

If you ve got an aero seatpost, then you might need to improvise on rear light placement

If this is you then look for lights which attach using a long silicon band, or ones which are designed in such a way that they can be mounted either elsewhere on the bike, such as underneath the saddle or on your seatstays.

Our pick of the best rear lights

Buyer’s Guide To Rear Lights

  • September 10, 2015

When it comes to safety, having a good rear light is probably more important than having a good front light, More 10

Buyer’s Guide To Rear Lights

  • November 14, 2014

Embracing the potential offered by rapidly advancing LED and battery technologies, Lezyne has several new lights in its product line-up More 11

Buyer’s Guide To Rear Lights

  • November 8, 2014

Exposure Blaze acts as a bright, compact and easy to use rear light which our tester liked.

Buyer’s Guide To Rear Lights

  • November 3, 2014

Hope do provide extra special pieces of kit that work thoroughly well, though is a rear light with an external More 12

Buyer’s Guide To Rear Lights

  • April 20, 2015

The days are getting longer, but for some lights are still a necessity. The B Twin VIOO Front/Rear Bike Light is a More 13

How much should I spend?

The good news is that while you probably have to go well into three figures in order to buy a top-quality front light that s suitable for the darkest conditions, you don t have to spend nearly this much on your rear light.

In fact thirty quid or so should be more than enough to buy a very good front light that will be bright and include all the key features, while if you re just riding on lit roads then you can get away with much less than this.

How we score

10 Superb, best in its class and we couldn t fault it
9 Excellent, a slight change and it would be perfect
8 Brilliant, we d happily buy it
7 Solid, but there s better out there
6 Pretty good, but not quite hitting the mark
5 Okay, nothing wrong with it, but nothing special
4 A few niggles let this down
3 Disappointing
2 Poor, approach with caution
1 Terrible, do not buy this product


  1. ^ Best front bike lights for under 100 (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  2. ^ >>> Buyer s guide to cycling lights (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  3. ^ >>> Garmin Edge computers: a complete buyer s guide (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  4. ^ >>> Buyer s guide to road bike groupsets (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  5. ^ >>> 15 top tips for commuting to work by bike (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  6. ^ >>> Buyer s guide to road bike tyres (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  7. ^ >>> Brompton: the perfect commuting machine (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  8. ^ >>> Buyer s guide to winter cycling gloves (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  9. ^ >>> The 25 best pieces of cycling advice (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  10. ^ More (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  11. ^ More (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  12. ^ More (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  13. ^ More (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)

She spent £1300 on a holiday.

But this mum spent her 40th birthday sleeping on … – WalesOnline

They spent 1,300 on their family Discount Holidays © holiday but found themselves sleeping on a beach after being kicked out of their hotel with no money. Annmarie Alders, her partner Calum Watts, and their two sons from previous relationships were left stranded and distraught after their Discount Holidays © holiday turned into a disaster. Annmarie said the family were thrown out of the hotel after her son, Calum Watts, and her boyfriend s son Kayne Cawley, got into a fight with one another after boozing in their room in San Augustin s Hotel Folias.

Read more: The Discount Holidays © holiday from hell that led to having two months off work1

The fight happened the day before Annmarie s 40th birthday which they had hoped to celebrate in the hotel. But, as her bag with her Discount Holidays © holiday money and travel documents was still in the hotel, they had no option but to sleep on the beach until her wages were paid into her bank account on Friday.

The dream trip to Mexico that turned into a hospital nightmare2

My 40th birthday and I woke up on a beach with nowhere to stay.

I don t ever want another birthday again after this.

We arrived here on September 8 and stayed one night at the hotel.

Police told them to move on

By the ninth we were kicked out. We were sat outside on the steps and they phoned the police to move us on.

We were sat there with our suitcases wondering what to do because we had no rep to speak to.

We were just traumatised by it all.

Discount Holidays © Holiday from hell families win 350,000 payout after Sharm El-Sheikh nightmare3

I went back the next morning and they said they did not have my things, Annemarie said.

450 to fly home early

We had to wait until Friday to get my last wages to pay 172 for more accommodation. She said Teletext Holidays, who had arranged the trip, said they would charge 450 to fly them home early.

I am horrified at Teletext Holidays, Annemarie, from Tongwynlais4, Cardiff, said.

We paid 1,300 for one night.

Summer 2015 was a Welsh washout5

The second night was much worse. We understand that they are young, they are on holidays and have a drink.

What they cannot do is bother the rest of the guests.


Annmarie said that Kayne, 17, has Aspergers and that he and Calum had had a falling out.

The boys had a falling out and had a fight with each other, Annemarie said.

My partner s son came into my room and was crying and upset because they had had this falling out.

So we were trying to get into the next room to make sure Calum was OK.

We were worried about his well being because we did not know to what extent they had been fighting.

Tried to force door

She said Steve tried to force the door because Calum, also 17, was not responding.

So the hotel kicked us out, Annemarie said. She said she planned to write a long complaint to Teletext Holidays on her return.

Read more: 33 entirely lovely pictures of the Gower that’ll make you wonder why you ever Discount Holidays © holiday abroad6

They have since moved to another hotel, Monte Feliz, also on San Augustin. A Foreign Office spokesman said: We provided consular assistance to British Nationals in Gran Canaria. Teletext Holidays were not available for comment at the time of going to press.


  1. ^ http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/health/forced-work-two-months-gut-wrenching-9297591 (www.walesonline.co.uk)
  2. ^ http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/holiday-nightmare-8918131 (www.walesonline.co.uk)
  3. ^ Discount Holidays © Holiday from hell families win 350,000 payout after Sharm El-Sheikh nightmare (www.walesonline.co.uk)
  4. ^ http://www.walesonline.co.uk/all-about/tongwynlais (www.walesonline.co.uk)
  5. ^ http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/summer-winners-losers-wales-rain-9954535 (www.walesonline.co.uk)
  6. ^ 33 entirely lovely pictures of the Gower that’ll make you wonder why you ever Discount Holidays © holiday abroad (www.walesonline.co.uk)