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Gatwick Airport flights latest news update: Flight cancellations, delays & diversions | Travel News | Travel

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Gatwick Airport flights have all been grounded since last night when drones were spotted illegally flying over the airfield. The major security alert resulted in outbound flights being diverted and incoming planes diverted. Passengers have been advised against travelling to the airport without checking the status of their flight first. Flights have been diverted to other airports including London Heathrow, Luton and Manchester as well as Paris and Amsterdam. This is the latest travel advice for travellers due to fly to or from the London airport, whether flying with Ryanair, easyJet, British Airways or Virgin Atlantic.

Thursday 20 December, 10.52am

Police are now appealing for help in identifying those responsible for flying the drones over Gatwick. “We are appealing for information to help us identify the operators of the Gatwick drones,” Sussex Police tweeted. “If you know who’s responsible or have any information please call 999 and quote ref 1350-19/12.”

Superintendent Justin Burtenshaw has said the incident is “absolutely” a deliberate act. He said: “This has been going on for 10 hours now. Each time we believe we get close to the operator, the drone disappears; when we look to reopen the airfield, the drone reappears. I’m absolutely convinced it’s a deliberate act to disrupt Gatwick Airport.”

Thursday 20 December, 10.24am

Police have said there is no evidence the drone incident at Gatwick is terror-related. Sussex police tweeted: “We are carrying out a joint search with Gatwick Airport for the operators of drones sighted at Gatwick. Public safety is paramount and we will take all available actions to disrupt this deliberate act. There are no indications to suggest this is terror-related.”

The last sighting of the drone was at about 8.45am today, police have said. Gatwick chief operating officer Chris Woodroofe has said police do not want to shoot the devices down because of the risk from stray bullets.

The airport is due to remain closed until 11am now, according to Eurocontrol.

Thursday 20 December, 10.15am

Experts say they believe the drones were deliberately used to create as much disruption at the airport as possible. 

Former RAF fighter pilot and instructor Jon Parker, now an airline pilot, regularly flies into Gatwick and runs drone training company Flyby Technology. He told Sky News: “It sounds like more than one drone has been used which seems to me like it could be a concerted effort to disrupt operations.”

He added: “The usual practice is to suspend flights for half-an-hour which is the usual battery lifespan for drones but it may be in the Gatwick case whoever is responsible for this have had several batteries and have brought their drones back to the ground to put new batteries on them.”

Superintendent Justin Burtenshaw tod BBC more than 20 police units are searching for the drone operator. He said: “I’m absolutely convinced it’s a deliberate act to disrupt Gatwick Airport.” 

Thursday 20 December, 10.05am

Rail operator LNER is offering free travel between London and Edinburgh for all passengers unable to fly between the two capitals due to Gatwick’s flight cancellations.

To qualify for free travel on LNER trains, passengers should show their flight ticket for their cancelled journey to the train manager.

Thursday 20 December, 9.52am

Ryanair has updated their travel advice on their website with the statement: “We have been advised that London Gatwick Airport expected to re-open at 10am (20 Dec) following an earlier runway closure. Please check the status of your flight before travelling to the airport.”

Virgin Atlantic has posted the statement: “Flights to and from London Gatwick airport have been suspended this morning due to reports of drones flying close to the airfield.

“The safety and security of our customers and crew is our number one priority and we may be forced to delay or divert flights until the airport resumes full operation. We would like to assure any customers due to travel with us that we are doing everything we can to minimise disruption to their travel plans. For the latest information please check Flight Status.”

Thursday 20 December, 9.45am

Gatwick’s boss has said one of the drones is a heavy industrial drone. It is illegal to fly drones within 1km of an airport boundary. The offence is punishable by up to five years in prison.

“All flights to and from Gatwick are suspended due to ongoing drone activity around the airport,” Gatwick have tweeted. “Unfortunately, there are significant delays and cancellations to all flights today. Please do not travel to the airport without checking the status of your flight with your airline first. We apologise to everyone affected, but the safety of all our passengers and staff is our number one priority.”

Thursday 20 December, 9.17am

Chris Woodroofe, COO of Gatwick Airport, told Sky News: “The police have 20 units out looking for the operator of that drone, and once they find them, they will bring them to justice, which is five years imprisonment for endangering an aircraft.”

EasyJet is advising passengers to not travel to Gatwick if their flights have been affected. 

Thursday 20 December, 9.13am

Gatwick said 110,000 passengers were due to either take off or land at the airport on 760 flights today.

Thursday 20 December, 9.03am

Norwegian has announced all its Gatwick flights are grounded. Customers can be fully refunded if their flights are affected or they can rebook for free.

“Following reports of drones flying over Gatwick’s airfield in the early hours of this morning all flights remain suspended at the airport,” a Norwegian spokesperson told Express.co.uk

“Norwegian would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused and we advise customers to check the status of their flight on Norwegian.com before travelling to the airport.

“Customers on flights that have been cancelled can rebook free of charge or receive a full refund. The safety of our passengers and crew is always our top priority.”

Thursday 20 December, 8.18am

Gatwick Airport has said police are still hunting for the person(s) responsible for flying the drone after another device was sighted just before 7am.

European air traffic management group Eurocontrol has said the runway will remain closed until 10am.

Thursday 20 December, 8.15am

It is illegal to fly drones close to airports. According to dronesafe.com: “On 30 July the UK drone rules changed to make it against the law to fly above 400ft (120m) and to make it against the law to fly your drone within 1km of an airport or airfield boundary.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has tweeted: “It is totally unacceptable to fly drones close to airports and anyone flouting the rules can face severe penalties including imprisonment. Anyone operating a drone must do so responsibly and observe all relevant rules and regulations.”

Thursday 20 December, 8.10am

Gatwick Airport confirms all flights remain grounded on Twitter: “Due to drone activity on the airfield at Gatwick, all arriving and departing flights are currently suspended.

“Please check with your airline before travelling to the airport today. We’re sorry to everyone affected, safety is our number 1 priority.”

They added: “Please do not travel to the airport without checking with your airline first.”

Thursday 20 December, 7.50am

Check-in queues at Gatwick continue to expand despite all flights being suspended.

Furious passengers have complained of being stuck in planes for hours. Many were forced to sleep overnight on the floor of Gatwick Airport or on planes stuck on the tarmac.

Thursday 20 December, 7.45am

easyJet announced on Twitter: “Due to the LGW closure overnight, we expect there to be some disruption to flights this morning.

“We advise customers to check flight tracker before travelling. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.”

British Airways released a statement, saying: “All flights to and from London Gatwick airport are suspended while authorities investigate reports of drones flying close to the airfield.”

Thursday 20 December, 7.40am

According to travel expert Simon Calder well over 50 easyJet flights would have been affected by the security breach and is the “worst affected airline,” Calder said on Good Morning Britain today.

Calder said the breach could be serious: “The Sussex Police believe there is more to it than a couple of idiots with a couple of drones flying,” he said.

The incident could cause particular trouble for those flying long haul due to the competition over seats at this time of year.

Calder said: “It is looking bad. If your flight is cancelled you go right to the back of the queue – you are struggling for seats and there are few seats available at this time of year.”

He cautioned passengers could be affected by flight disruption right up to Christmas Eve as a result of the drone incident.

“If you are flying long haul, even if the airport opened right at this very minute, there would still be hours of disruption and it could be up to before Christmas Eve before it is sorted out,” he said.

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How to win the lottery — 7-time lottery winner shares 5 important tips

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Incredible as it may seem,the odds of matching all the winning Powerball numbers are 1 in 292.2 million, according to the Multi-State Lottery Association. It means you’re much more likely to date a supermodel, get bitten by a shark, become the president of the United States, get struck by lightning, amongst other incredible feats than win the lottery.

However, despite the high odds of winning the lottery once, Richard Lustig has won the seven lottery grand prizes. Due to the rarity of his feat, Lustig wrote a book titled: Learn How To Increase Your Chances of Winning The Lottery, where he discusses the do’s and don’ts of playing the lottery and how to better your odds of winning the lottery.

Here are some of the useful tips shared by Lustig to better your chances of winning the lottery.

1.  Avoid “quick-pick” numbers that are autogenerated from the stores

While it might appear like every number carries an equal amount of “luck” in the quick pick method, but according to Lustig, it is advisable to not be lured by this.

“Every time you buy a quick pick, you get a different set of numbers; therefore, your odds are always going to be at their worst in that particular game, whatever game you’re playing. In this case, the hype, of course, is all about the Powerball right now,” said Lustig in a Forbes interview.

2.  Exhaust all your options

For many people who play the lottery, they typically limit their choices to “special dates” like anniversaries, birth month and dates and the likes.

While these dates carry precious memories, choosing them means you’re limiting yourself to less than half the numbers available from 1 through 31. Therefore, ensure you exhaust all of your options in terms of picking numbers.

“If you pick your own numbers and only play birthdays and anniversaries, you’re splitting the pot with 20-40 people. If you spread the numbers out across the whole track, you’ll either be the only winner or will split it with only one or two people,” said Lustig.

3.  Ensure you stick with your guts

In his book, Lustig recommended a specific way to find the numbers that you’re most comfortable with, but ultimately, never go back on a group of numbers that you believe would win you the jackpot.

“Remember, a set of numbers wins the grand prize, not individual numbers,” notes Lustig.

Therefore, while it is alright to repeat one or two numbers, it is necessary when playing multiple cards to have enough variety when grouping selected numbers. Doing this helps maximize your odds.

4. Maintain consistency

If you want to increase your chances of winning a particular game, it is important to consistently follow past and future drawings to get an insightinto the winning patterns—if any.

“Never miss a drawing in the game you’re playing. Every Saturday, every Wednesday, every week,” said Lustig.

5.  Know your limits and don’t be carried away

Winning the jackpot can be a life-changing experience for not only you but your loved ones, however, it is important not to invest so much money into lottery tickets than you’re willing to lose.

While buying 100 tickets gives you a better chance that buying 10, but only do this if you’re able to afford a loss—as lottery tickets are not a regular investment.

“One of the things that I preach to people all the time is budget, budget, budget,” Lustig says. “Set a budget of what you’re going to spend. Do not get caught up in what’s called lottery fever”

“Don’t spend grocery money. Don’t spend rent money. Figure out what you can afford to spend. Don’t worry about how much Joe Blow down the street is spending. … Figure out what your budget is, what you can comfortably afford to spend, and stay within that budget,” he continued.

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48 hours in . . . Bruges, an insider guide to Belgium’s city on water

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Little Bruges, the perfect pocket-sized medieval city, was a Sleeping Beauty. Laced with canals, it was one of the great North European trading ports in late medieval times. The magnificently detailed paintings of its artists, such as Jan van Eyck and Hans Memling, record its wealth in clothing, jewellery and ornament. Then it fell rapidly into decline and slept until rediscovered and restored to glory in the 19th century.

Today its new riches are in tourism, carefully managed and constantly refreshed by year-round cultural events, so that it retains the dynamism of a living city. The best way to appreciate all this is to stay a few days, luxuriating in the dreamily romantic boutique hotels, and visiting the rewarding museums and churches at your leisure. Above all, this is a place to walk and wonder, and there are still plenty of quiet corners to discover, where historic Bruges sleeps on.

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Europe’s most incredible cosy cabins for watching the Northern Lights

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The Northern Lights are a phenomenon likely to appear on the wish, bucket or to-do list of any intrepid traveller. And what better way to experience them in Europe than by bunking down in cosy cabins, surrounded by miles of forest, still water or the peaks of mountains. They might be pared-back but still boast polished elements, whether it’s a heated hot tub in Sweden, an ‘igloo’ extension in Norway or a glass roof above your bed in Finland. Nothing distracts as the Aurora Borealis flames across the sky – curl up under a blanket and take a look inside. . .

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