Sunday 22 September 2019

Business Traveller: Rent a car... for 15 minutes

Vogue McFadden, GoCar Ambassador pictured at the celebration of the GoCar milestone of 10, 000 trips.
Vogue McFadden, GoCar Ambassador pictured at the celebration of the GoCar milestone of 10, 000 trips.

Sarah McCabe

BUSINESS people doing a couple of hours work in Dublin or Cork don't have to rent a car for a full day any more just to get around. Car sharing scheme GoCar has expanded its fleet and looks like an increasingly smart option for time-pressed road users.

Unlike traditional rental companies, GoCar allows users to access vehicles for as little as 15 minutes at a time. Another bonus for Dublin users is that members aren't charged for parking at any pay and display spaces in the Dublin City Council area. Personal motor insurance is also unnecessary.

The rental company now has 70 vehicles in place between Dublin and Cork. To use, you must first register with the company and take receipt of a membership card. Cars can then be ordered online or by phone, and picked up at various on-street locations.

The company has just done a deal with Topaz, meaning users don't have to have cash on hand to refuel. Instead, they use a Topaz card provided with the car, and pay for the fuel at the end of the process as part of their overall bill.

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IF YOU'RE a regular business traveller, you'll probably have had difficulty keeping on top of loyalty programmes. Almost every long-haul airline, and most medium and large hotel chains, operate some kind of loyalty scheme. This is helpful for consumers, but only if they can keep track of what they're eligible for.

One solution worth checking out is AwardWallet, an app available for Android and Apple devices that helps manage reward balances and travel itineraries. It supports 627 loyalty programmes including air, hotel, car rental, credit card and others. It has more than 200,000 members managing over 42.7 billion air miles and points.

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A FEAR of flying is a common phobia, and no one enjoys hitting turbulence mid-flight. Online aviation forums lit up this week after it emerged that five people had been hospitalised from a United Airlines flight between Denver and Montana, following one of the worst incidences of turbulence reported in recent months.

Joe Frank (20), who was on board the flight, told 'The Denver Post': "The sudden drop pulled everyone out of their seats, and I mean hard. I didn't have my seat belt on, so I hit my head pretty hard. But what hurts is my lower back and hips." The turbulence saw an infant thrown from its parent's arms and into another nearby seat, he added.

Concerned travellers should take note that this type of event is very rare. "Flight crews around the world share a common classification of turbulence: light, moderate and severe," explains Steve Allright, a British Airways pilot.

"Severe turbulence is extremely rare. In a flying career of over 10,000 hours, I have experienced severe turbulence for about five minutes in total. It is extremely uncomfortable but not dangerous. The aircraft may be deviating in altitude by up to 100ft or so, up as well as down, but nothing like the thousands of feet you hear some people talking about.

"I should stress that this level of turbulence is so rare that leisure travellers will almost certainly never experience it and nor will most business people."

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