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Business class a must for long haul flights as per Ryanair

by amit.uniyal 18. July 2014 05:35

Business class is a must for long haul says Howard Millar, CFO Ryanair. The airline is famous for low cost and single class system on short haul.

Howard Millar, chief financial officer of Ryanair, said that long distance flights cannot be undertaken without business class. Long haul is not financially viable with only low-cost, single-class system. This system is pioneered by Ryanair and South West on shorter routes. For longer routes Ryanair will never fly with this system.

Ryanair

He further said that after executing a number of business models on it, the conclusion was arrived that it is not feasible to operate a long haul flight without including business or premium class. Due to this reason the airline will never provide long haul flights. Ryanair at present provides short haul and point to point service within Europe.

He further pointed out the staffing concerns that occurred in long-haul business and gave an example of Norwegian Air. He also said that the cost of long distance aircraft will also be expensive. There are already huge orders placed by Gulf carriers with the makers of aircrafts. This implies that there are few long-haul aircrafts available that too at exorbitant prices.

Oliver Sleath, analyst at Barclays, said it is difficult to operate long-haul flights without business class. These flights need structurally higher costs that low cost airline like Ryanair cannot avoid. There will be fuel expenses, passenger taxes, and other expenditures that cannot be fulfilled by providing only one-class, low-cost service. This explains why Ryanair has not started low-cost long haul.

Ryanair is an ultralow cost carrier of Ireland established in 1985. This airline serves 28 countries in Europe and Africa. The carrier is adding more flights on major destinations.

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BA first class fliers to get cozy sleep in Happiness Blanket

by amit.uniyal 8. July 2014 08:45

British Airways wants to leave no stone unturned when it comes to offering extra privileges to its premium customers. This time it’s no exception as well. The airline has decided to move ahead to the next level to make its first class fliers feel more comfortable than ever before.

British Airways

British Airways doesn’t want to see its first class passengers getting a disturbed sleep in any case while on long haul flights. In yet another innovative step, British Airways has developed a blanket which will now be analyzing the “meditative state” of its first class fliers. The airline has designed a “Happiness Blanket” to offer a blissful sleep to its customers. This unique blanket is made of wool and tiny fiber-optic LEDs are implanted in it. The passengers are required to wear a band on their head. The LEDs change color after brainwaves are transmitted through a Bluetooth from this band. When the LEDs color changes to blue then it signals that the passenger is calm, in utmost peace and relaxed during his/her sleep. This also indicates that the passenger is in a deep sleep. However, when the passenger is stressed or getting anxious then the blanket displays crimson color.

The airline however said that the high-tech blanket is currently under trail. Presently, this blanket will not be provided for direct use by the passengers. The airline will instead use the blanket on several volunteers who readily agree to make themselves available for the experiment during transatlantic flights.

British Airways through this trail will be analyzing the data collected from the blankets so that it will be able to make the in-flight experience of its first class customers even better. The airline wants to stay ahead in the race of providing the ultimate service and amenities in its first class cabins, particularly at a time when other airlines are providing posh linens and flat-beds to attract their premium customers.

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US Airways and American Airlines to merge miles programs

by amit.uniyal 25. June 2014 08:03

The two top airlines of America, US Airways and American Airlines are merging their miles program. This will be effective from 2015.

The frequent travelers who have accounts with each merger airlines will have benefit through combination of their mileage balance. Till the change is put to practice the merger airlines is providing additional benefits to their elite travelers. From June 11, elite class passengers can upgrade their travel on the same day while using services any of the two airlines.

US Airways and American Airlines are merging their miles program

The elite Dividend Miles member of US Airways can upgrade their flights the same day on American Airlines using the same rules that is applicable to AA’s elite members. This facility is provided on a first-come-first-serve basis. The upgrade will be provided on American Airlines flights within USA (Hawaii included) and to Central America, Bermuda, Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexico, and Canada.

In the same way, the AAdvantage members of American Airlines can upgrade their flights on the same day using the criteria that is used by elite Dividend Miles members of US Airways. This facility will be given on first-come-first-serve basis. The upgrade will be provided on US Airways flights within USA (Hawaii included) and to Central America, Bermuda, Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexico, and Canada.

Both the airlines will also adjust the thresholds of its redemption policies for all US and Canada bound flights having a three-seat classification. The US Airways provides only two-seat classification, while few American Airlines provide three-seat classification. The coalition will increase the mileage demarcation on this route for high and medium buyback classes. These changes are also applicable on oneworld alliance members like Cathay Pacific that provides three-seat classification in few flights. These flights are between New York and Vancouver. In addition, Canada and Alaska are also included Dividend Miles award chart of US Airways.

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Best destinations in the U.S. to visit this summer

by amit.uniyal 20. June 2014 04:41

The summer season is now about to begin in the United States. This is one particular time when people along with their families or friends plan to spend their holidays in popular places in the country. Some might plan a visit to one of the famous cities that attracts tourists in large numbers during this time. For some, visiting a well known beach is a great idea for an ultimate summer vacations. The destinations may be quite varied, but they will of course make your holidays enjoyable and memorable.

holidays in popular places in the country

We have prepared a list of three renowned destinations that you may consider visiting in the United States. These include Honolulu, St. Petersburg and San Diego. A recent study has concluded that Honolulu has topped as the best destination in the U.S. to spend holidays this summer. St. Petersburg has made it to the top as a beach destination worth visiting. San Diego has gained a place of prominence as the top family summer destination.

Honolulu
Have you ever visited Honolulu, the beautiful capital city of the State of Hawaii? This is absolutely one of the best destinations to visit in the U.S. If you haven’t done so and planning to visit Honolulu for the first time, it will indeed be great to adhere to some of these travel tips. These are quite essential for all those making a trip for the first time.

Honolulu offers great attractions for the visitors here. If you are a history buff or have some interest in knowing about the history of this picturesque city, consider visiting the iconic site of USS Arizona Memorial. Visiting here brings the memories of Pearl Harbor attack alive. The memorial has been built to commemorate the marines and sailors killed on the fateful December 7, 1941, when Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese.

While you are in Honolulu, it will be wonderful to savor Hawaiian cuisine. The local restaurants are best to visit for relishing delectable pup u platters serving raw fish or poke dishes.

St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg is among the prominent beach destinations in the United States to visit this summer. It’s a place with plentiful of sunshine. Tourists from within the country and different parts of the world visit St. Petersburg in large numbers for relaxation and fun at its beaches. You can also enjoy concerts at Jannus Live in downtown St. Petersburg while enjoying your stay here.

The city has some attractions as well. Visit the Dali Museum, one of the famous landmarks, to see surrealist works showcased here in large numbers. If you are visiting the city in July, do remember to participate in the waterfront festival ‘Vans Warped Tour’ where you will enjoy musical performances by over 30 bands on five stages.
 
San Diego
San Diego is a great destination to enjoy summer vacation along with your kids and family. The city has many attractions to offer. Consider visiting the La Jolla Cove for swimming, diving and snorkeling. Your kids will enjoy visiting the San Diego Zoo, is home to above 3,700 animals including the giant panda, which is rarely found elsewhere in the world.

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Turkish Airlines raises baggage allowance for Shopping Festival

by amit.uniyal 15. June 2014 04:27

Turkish Airlines, Europe’s top airlines, has increased the baggage allowance on Doha-Istanbul route. Extra baggage allowance is made to celebrate Istanbul Shopping Festival en-masse.

Turkish Airline has made it possible for passengers to carry more luggage, during this annual Istanbul Shopping festival. Commenced from June 7 the Istanbul Shopping Festival will run until June 29, 2014. Baggage allowance for the route will now be 40 kg for economy class and 50 kg for business class passengers.

Turkish Airlines increased baggage allowance

Turkish airline partner of Istanbul Shopping Fest, ISF, has increased the baggage allowance so that people could make best use of the shopping festival and can travel with lots of purchases from this fest. This will indirectly help both the partners.

Istanbul Shopping Fest is celebrated every year and is the main center of attraction of the city. This shopping extravaganza exhibits the artistic, cultural, and cosmopolitan highlights of Istanbul. People from all over the world visit this place to enjoy shopping, viewing street shows, attending to live concerts, and getting in touch with latest fashion.

ISF is providing attractive discounts on new collections. You can find a lot of international brands and exclusive collection of designer boutiques, antiques, valuables, artifacts, and many more. You can even shop in Istanbul Sapphire Building, the highest building of Europe and can visit Istinye Park, where can have a chance to meet a celebrity.

Apart from shopping you can enjoy local food delights, see historical places, spend time in spas, or relax in any luxurious hotels. Spend your time visiting famous landmarks of Isanbul.

Turkish Airline has the largest country flight network with connectivity from 253 locations. The airline is also the member of Star Alliance; hence connecting to various destinations will become convenient.

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Tips on how to make your business trips exciting and fun

by amit.uniyal 10. June 2014 08:22

Many travelers rue the fact that business trips often turn out to be more and more work, instead of leisure, particularly when visiting overseas. This can however turn out to be exciting and a great fun. Though it solely depends on you how the business trip is actually handled.

What does one do when embarking on a business trip? The very thought of endless business meetings and constant stay in hotel rooms may make you tizzy. But did you ever know that this might even become glamorous as well. Make your boredom that your business trip might entail just go away by simply adding a side trip to your itinerary. This is enough to break the monotony and turn your business trip into holiday travel magic.

turn your business trip into holiday travel 
magic

Here is how you can add more fun and pleasure to your business trip. There are many travelers who go for business meetings to destinations like Shanghai, Dubai, Delhi, Toronto or Santiago. Apart from your usual business activities here, you can simply enjoy your stay in these destinations as well.

If your company has asked you to go to meet a business client in Shanghai, here is how you should take advantage of your stay here. Consider extending your stay by a few days and think of visiting the futuristic Oriental Pearl Tower and ancient water town of Zhujiajiao. Both of them are quite remarkable and wonderful to visit. The 1,536 feet high Oriental Pearl Tower is China’s second and world’s sixth tallest TV and Radio tower. The unique architectural design makes it one of the most stunning places to visit. It offers a great photographic opportunity with the imagery of the Yangpu Bridge and Nanpu Bridge resembling to be twin dragons playing with pearls.

What if you are on a business trip to Dubai? How to make it exciting and fun is the foremost question that might appear in your mind. After putting off your business meetings behind, consider staying in Dubai for a few days more and visit the nearby Sultanate of Oman. Here you can enjoy spectacular views of wadis (oasis), mountain ranges and sand dunes. The Bedouin dwellings of nomadic tribes and date plantations are also equally pleasing to see. If you have decided to extend your stay by three days, then don’t forget to see the copper dunes of Wahiba Sands and the beautiful fishing villages in Oman.

When planning a business trip to India’s famed capital Delhi, you should better think of extending your stay for few days more and visit the nearby Agra, the fabled “City of Taj Mahal”. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this white marble mausoleum was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to commemorate the memory of his wife Begum Mumtaz Mahal. This alluring one of the seven wonders of world attracts millions of tourists from around the world every year. You can also spend your night in the renowned luxury hotel in Agra – The Oberoi Amarvilas. Here you can experience Indian hospitality, opulence and grandeur at its best while simultaneously enjoying fascinating views of the Taj Mahal.

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Canada relaxes rules for using electronic devices on flights

by amit.uniyal 4. June 2014 08:02

Now, customers flying in Canadian airspace will not be warned by flight attendants against using their portable mobile devices on board their flights until the aircraft attains its cruising altitude. Such warnings will soon become a thing of the past.

Lisa Raitt, Canada’s Transport Minister, has relaxed rules regarding using of the portable electronic devices in flights. The United States has already permitted the use of electronic devices in 2013.

portable electronic devices in flights

Media reports said that Canadian airlines are now all set to allow their customers to start using their portable electronic gadgets as soon as they board their flights until it has finally landed at its destination. This will however be permissible on the condition that the transmitting of data doesn’t take place during the course of the flight. This has become possible only because of the new rules being implemented by Transport Department in the country.

Air Canada indicated that it is planning to allow its customers to make use of their electronic devices on board their flights in a few days. While, other two prominent carriers – WestJet Airlines and Porter Airlines – said that they will implement this new rule in early summer.

Canada’s Transport Minister Lisa Raitt said that the rules regarding the use of portable electronic gadgets on board the aircrafts are being relaxed. Under the new rules, the airlines are now permitted to apply for this. However, before doing so they will have to ensure that the aircraft fleet is ready to withstand and tolerate radio interference. The airlines are also required to update manuals and make amends to the flight crew training programs.

Media reports quoted Raitt as saying that there is a need to grant Canadians the freedom to take their electronic devices on board their flights as soon as possible and make use of them. Raitt made the remarks while addressing a news conference in Ottawa.

This exemption is however also applicable to the use of devices such as e-readers, electronic games, tablets and cameras, from gate-to-gate, on the condition that they are kept in flight mode or non-transmitting mode during landings and takeoffs. Cellphones, also termed as electronic devices, are also allowed on board the flights and can be used. However, the customers cannot use their cell phones for making calls or receiving and sending wireless signals.

The Transport Canada is implementing new rules in an attempt to keep itself in sync with the changes elsewhere including Europe and the United States. The rules regarding use of electronic gadgets on board the aircrafts have been relaxed in European countries and the U.S. in 2013.

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Airlines grapple to retain focus on first class travelers

by amit.uniyal 28. May 2014 08:02

Premier Middle East carriers like Etihad Airways and Emirates Airline are striving hard to continue to offer first class cabins to their premium travelers. However, even as the airlines have upgraded their offerings, recent data released by the Centre of Aviation or Capa has shown that first class air travel is constantly on the decline.

Recent reports said that Etihad Airways and Emirates Airline have innovated new luxury travel concepts. Flying bedrooms have been introduced by airlines hoping to catch travelers’ fancy. Such bedrooms are akin to the ones found in a hotel or a luxury yacht.

luxury travel concepts

The reports said that Etihad Airways in May this year began offering premium travel experience to its customers. The airline introduced business studios, apartments and private suites on its aircraft. Emirates Airline has also decided to emulate Etihad’s premium travel offering. The airline is planning to introduce new “bedroom concept”.
 
The data released by Capa pointed out that the London Heathrow-New York JFK route continues to the most popular among first class travelers in the world. The travelers were offered 159 first class seats on an average per day between May 12 and May 18. This route in fact offered a total of 1,116 weekly seats in first class.

The study by Capa further said that American Airlines removed its first class cabins on its Boeing 777-200 aircrafts fleet. According to the data, that airline flew 560 first class passengers on its 35 weekly flights on London Heathrow-New York JFK route in May 2012 as compared to 168 seats on its 21 weekly flights in May 2014.

In yet another data released by IATA, the premium first class traffic also showed sharp decline in recent months with China demand on the wane. The Middle East sector only performed solidly on this front. The data also outlined that there was a slowdown in premium travel in March this year. The IATA report citing the Middle East performance disclosed that tourism and economic growth had accelerated in this region thus proving that it continues to be among the strongest markets for air travel in the world.
 
The reports concluded that the premium offerings are being constantly being reviewed by various airlines world over. The first class cabins are being sustained by only few airlines. The Capa report pointed out an increasing trend of more business class lie-flat seats is being seen, with first class air travel demand shrinking.

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Southwest Airlines launches mobile boarding program at McCarran

by amit.uniyal 24. May 2014 09:46

Southwest Airlines is continuing to move ahead with its mobile boarding pass program and has now expanded the facility to its passengers taking flights out of McCarran International Airport. The airline has announced that its customers at McCarran will now be able to make use of their mobile phones to complete their security checks and board their flights.

Southwest Airlines, which is currently the largest airline at McCarran International Airport, had earlier launched its pilot program in 2013 at Dallas and Austin. The mobile boarding pass program was primarily launched to help passengers to pass through security checks and ultimately board their flights with the help of their mobile phones.

Southwest Airlines will now provide 
mobile boarding passes

With the expansion at McCarran, Southwest Airlines will now provide mobile boarding passes for travel from 28 cities on its network currently. These cities include Tampa, San Jose, San Diego, Phoenix, Orlando, Oakland, Nashville, Los Angeles, Kansas City, Fort Myers, Denver, Chicago Midway, Austin, Albuquerque, St. Louis, San Francisco, Sacramento, Philadelphia, Orange County/Santa Ana, New Orleans, Milwaukee, Las Vegas, Houston Hobby, Fort Lauderdale, Dallas Love Field, Baltimore/Washington and Atlanta. The airline is however planning to extend this program to its customers in all the cities within the United States where it is serving.

The process for getting a mobile boarding pass is simple. The customers taking Southwest Airlines flights out of any 28 cities will be required to place a request through the airline’s website, mobile site or mobile app.

The airline however indicated that the mobile boarding passes will not be provided to all the passengers. Those excluded from this category include passengers on military fares, senior fares, unaccompanied minors and infants. The airline also indicated that this facility is also not available to those traveling on its long-haul international flights or AirTran Airways-operated flights.

Meanwhile, Southwest Airlines recently announced it is extending its flight schedule as well as introducing $99* or less one-way fare from Dallas Love Field Airport. The destinations where the airline is extending its schedule and introducing cheap airfares include Washington Reagan National, Los Angeles, Denver, Baltimore/Washington, Orlando, Las Vegas and Chicago Midway. The airline will be offering introductory fares to these destinations starting from October 13 through November 2, 2014.

Southwest Airlines also said that starting from November 2 it will expand its nonstop service to other cities as well with introductory $99* one-way fare. These cities include Tampa Bay, San Diego, New York LaGuardia, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Santa Ana/Orange County, Phoenix, Nashville and Atlanta.

The airline further announced it is introducing flights to new international destinations including Mexico City and Punta Cana. The new flights are available for booking through January 4, 2015.

* The airfares are one-way and inclusive of airport fees, government taxes and fuel surcharges. Other terms and conditions are applicable.

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Customer Satisfaction in Aviation Industry Reaches New Heights

by amit.uniyal 21. May 2014 09:25

It seems that customers aren’t complaining about the airlines - at least, not as much. As per a recent survey conducted in the North American aviation industry by J.D. Power and Associates stated that travelers have never been more satisfied by the airlines they are flying in.

It may be hard to believe but the fact stays that passengers are happier with their respective airline providers despite innumerable charges and fluctuating ticket prices. The survey judged passenger satisfaction level on the basis of in-flight services; costs and fees; reservations; check-in; boarding, flight crew, aircraft, de-boarding and baggage. The survey was conducted on over 11,000 passengers who flew in the North American region in 2013.

1000 point passenger satisfaction attained 712 points

On a scale of 1000-point passenger satisfaction attained 712 points, an increase of 17 points on y-o-y basis. The most interesting finding of the survey was that passengers were happy with the cost and fees levied by the airline. The scores improved to 642 from last year’s 618. As per a market expert, it is not that passengers are happy with the ongoing price rise of airfares and other services, but just that they have accepted this as a reality of air travel making them a little less dissatisfied.

The survey also reflected that customers are satisfied with some parts of their air travel; however uncomfortable seating was their biggest point of concern. They particularly disliked seats with less leg room, elbow space and seats that are not that comfy.

As far as baggage charges were concerned the satisfaction level rose from 37 to 40 percent in 2013. They know that they do not have a way out as far as baggage fees is concerned hence they have accepted this harsh reality.

Seattle based Alaska Airlines topped the satisfaction score with 737 amongst traditional North American carriers, making it seven in a row for the airline. Its scores increased by 20 points as compared to 2012. Delta Air Lines received second highest satisfaction score of 693 points followed by American Airlines (684), Air Canada (683), United Airlines (658) and US Airways (656).

In the low-cost carrier section JetBlue scored the highest with a score of 789. This was its tenth consecutive victory. By topping the survey, it indicated that passengers preferred an airline that offered live TV on flights, creating an important divergence in their overall flying experience. Southwest Airlines came second with 778 points followed by WestJet with 734, Air Tran Airways with 708 and Frontier Airlines with 676 points.

Alaska got another feather in its cap by receiving first rank in the quality and usability of airline frequent flier programs category with 757 points on a 1,000-point scale. Southwest Airlines followed second (731 points) with its Rapid Rewards program. This was followed by JetBlue’s TrueBlue program (707), United Airlines (686), American Airlines (685) and US Airways (642). Loyalty/rewards survey was based on factors including reward program terms; variety of benefits available; ease of redeeming points or miles; customer service; ease of earning points or miles and account maintenance.

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