The Travel Bookshop and No Frills Flying

Last week I had the chance to drop in on The Travel Bookshop in Notting Hill (the shop is the bookshop that Hugh Grant’s character owned in the movie Notting Hill). Given my passion for travel books, and my somewhat inexplicable appreciation of the movie, this was something of a pilgrimage for me.

The shop lived up to my expectations. I’ve visited some good travel bookshops — Globe Corner in Cambridge, Altair in Barcelona, and the formidable Waterstone’s in London — but The Travel Bookshop is the best I’ve seen: it has just the right combination of size, service, location and selection.

One of the books I found there was No Frills: The Truth Behind the Low Cost Revolution in the Skies by Simon Calder. The book is a thorough examination of the rise of low-cost, no-frills airlines like easyJet, RyanAir, and WestJet. It’s very up to date — my paperback edition was published two months ago — and entertainingly written. While it’s not quite thorough enough to be a “how to start your own discount airline” manual, it comes pretty close. Recommended if you’re interested in the new travel economy.