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New passenger assistant at MIA’s South Terminal now

by amit.uniyal 24. October 2014 09:19

No matter whatever time of day or night you are at Miami International Airport (MIA), a new super employee will be there for you to assist in either English or Spanish about where to get last-minute gift item or your favorite pre-flight meal.

passenger assistant

The South Terminal at Miami International Airport now boasts of a new first-rate employee called “Leticia”. This newly installed virtual passenger assistant will now be assisting the passengers all seven days a week, 24 hours a day, by providing helpful information regarding an assortment of 60 shops, restaurants and other services at the airport.

Media reports said that the virtual passenger assistant Leticia functions through high-definition projection imaging and surround sound. The best thing will be that Leticia will be operating round the clock without taking a break.

The Leticia has been initially installed as a pilot program at two entryways to MIA’s South Terminal. If this proves to be a success, the Leticia will be installed at more locations at the Miami International Airport in the coming days.

The Miami International Airport is now the latest addition in the ever rising count of airports in the United States to deploy virtual assistants for the benefit of the passengers. According to MIA officials, the Leticia will be targeting dining and shopping customers.

Emilio T. Gonzalez, Miami-Dade Aviation Department Director, said that the Miami International Airport is proud to introduce an innovative way for engaging its customers and offering them improved travel feel. The novel virtual aid would be of immense help to the passengers and help them to utilize their time at MIA through interactive, fun and entertaining way.

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Two four-story hotels to come up in Sacramento

by amit.uniyal 22. October 2014 08:26

The California State University Sacramento will see two new hotels coming nearby in the next few years. Media reports recently indicated that the officials at the city of Sacramento have received a development proposal for the construction of two new four-story hotels. The proposal also includes the construction of a 10,000-square-foot retail building on 5.67 acres with the location being at 1817 65th St., near Highway 50 and an existing light-rail station.

sacramento

The application submitted to the Sacramento City authorities described the proposals to be a vital project and catalyst for the 65th Street area. The two hotels will comprise of a total of 250 rooms and would be serving Sacramento State University, SMUD as well as the medical campuses located nearby.

The proposal envisages the construction of a 117-room Hampton Inn & Suites on the eastern side of Sacramento State University, while the second hotel which is yet to be named would be located toward the western side. The retail building will however be situated on the 65th Street itself. According to the application, the construction of the Hampton Inn & Suites is scheduled to start from next year. The Hampton Inn & Suites would cover an area of 76,764-square-foot. However, the schedule for the construction of another hotel and the retail building is yet to be confirmed.

The application while providing the details of the site plans indicated that the main entrance of Hampton Inn & Suites would be on the north side of Sacramento State University. The outdoor pool and the surrounding parking spaces would be on the south side of the hotel. Apart from hotel rooms, the Hampton Inn & Suites will also have a breakfast room, a fitness center and a meeting space.

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General

Chinese Airlines offer utmost comfort with better seat designs

by amit.uniyal 20. October 2014 06:32

Chinese Airlines continue to grow tremendously in the global aviation industry with millions of passengers traveling every year. The Chinese Airlines ensure that the services provided in-flight are extraordinarily comfortable for the international as well as the domestic traveler. The passengers between U.S. and China would be quite pleased with the services offered on the various airlines.
Check out the 5 Chinese Airlines that shout absolute comfort.

china airlines

China Southern Airlines First Class
China Southern Airlines First Class Seat is the widest in its class, i.e. 33 inches with a seat pitch of 82 inches. It reclines to 180 degrees and is equipped with the latest technologies including connectivity IFEC system in five languages: English, Simplified Chinese and Japanese, Korean and French and Thales’ Top Series AVANT in-flight entertainment. This entertainment screen is 23 inches wide HD controlled with Touch Passenger Media Unit. This seat is available on B777-300 ER.

China Eastern Airlines Business Class
The new business class in Boeing 777-300ER for China Eastern Airlines features Zodiac Cirrus with 52 seats placed in 1-2-1 reverse herringbone configuration allowing each passenger direct aisle access. The 21 inches wide seat has 81 inches wide seat pitch equipped with power ports for charging your devices.

Hainan Airlines Business Class
The flat bed is the standout feature of Hainan Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner and so is the 15-inch crystal clear video screen. The 22.5 inches wide seats with 74 inches seat pitch adorn red plush seat cushions which give the feeling of an oriental ambience. The 36 flat bed business class seats are divided in 2-2-2 configuration which is somehow bothersome. The passengers might not appreciate climbing over their neighbors to even attend the nature’s call.

Air China
The 12 first class seats arranged in 1-2-1 configuration offer direct access to the aisle. The 23 inches wide seat with 80 inches seat width are surrounded by curving cabin walls and mood lighting system. The seat reclines to 180 degrees.

Xiamen Air First Class
Xiamen Air first class features 4 Zodiac Apollo seats in a distinct shell-like design. The 28 inches wide seats arranged in 1-2-1 configuration offer direct aisle access. The 15.4-inch IFE screen features Panasonic eX3 in-flight entertainment system.

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Airline News

Emirates Airlines proves to be the most glamorous airline

by amit.uniyal 19. October 2014 09:00

Emirates Airlines is all about extravagance, elegance and pleasure in air. The First class private suites with flat beds, Caviar, Aubergine Lasagna and other hors d’oeuvres served with champagnes and vintage wines, shower spa with Timeless Spa kits, the gorgeous flight attendants adorning red hats with white veils and khaki colored ensemble represent the Emirates royal experience. The company, founded in 1985 is the fastest growing airline while it fans out actively in the U.S air travel market, leaving the U.S. air passenger carriers behind.

emirates airlines

Business class travel in the U.S. is flourishing and Emirates is making the most of it. At present, the U.S contributes to 7% of business for Emirates. However, the airline aspires to expand in the U.S as it plans to add more destinations to the existing nine. Emirates is procuring more and more aircrafts to its existing fleet of 217 as it strives to achieve a 70 million customers per year target by 2020 as compared to 40 million as of now.

Emirates’ marketing campaigns, does not only set its sight on the business commuters but the routine fliers as well. Emirates also launched an ad campaign to make the airline accessible to all, depicting a company that connects the travelers worldwide.

Despite its much famed luxury travel, Emirates acquires major profits from the economy seats, not the business or first class seats. Filling the economy seats is prioritized.

Emirates Airlines has been conferred with various awards portraying it as one of the most glamorous airlines. Brand Finance, U.K presented the title of the most valuable airline brand across the globe to Emirates. In 2013, owing to 19 million surveys by customers worldwide, Skytrax fabled it the world’s best airline. The first-class lounge at Dubai International Airport also attained first spot in 2013 World Travel Awards.

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Airline News

Domestic U.S Airlines hike airfares despite cheap oil windfall

by amit.uniyal 18. October 2014 07:37

Holiday Travel may burn a hole in your pocket as U.S. air passenger carriers raised the base fares for domestic flights last week. Despite the good fortune of decreased oil prices and Ebola epidemic distress, the 5 major airlines in U.S have attempted a fare hike in October 2014 thrice, wherein the third attempt was successful.

US airlines

The fare hike was initiated by JetBlue Airways with up to $4 round trip raise on some domestic flights’ fares. 4 hours later, Delta jumped on the bandwagon and extended the increase with 37 times as many fares. American Airlines, US Airways and Southwest Airlines following suit on Friday. Airlines usually hike fares to rationalize the higher costs, especially for fuel. However, oil prices have gradually plunged in a few weeks and carriers are gaining a windfall.

Although Ebola epidemic was believed to tumble the stocks down and that the people will be reluctant to fly. However, the demand has only surged with the holiday season.

According to an investment analyst, this hike represents the first successful increase across the domestic aviation industry since April and the fifth one this year. These price bumps should allay the investors’ concerns that lower fuel prices will only profit the consumers with lower air fares.

Airlines do not also want to charge more than Southwest Airlines, the low cost carrier with maximum number of domestic passengers, so they run sales, reduce fares on certain flights and try to fill middle seats with extra perks.

Traveling on Thanksgiving weekend will pinch the passengers’ pocket as the domestic flights’ fares are up by 17% at $467 in comparison with $400 in 2013. On the other hand, fares for Christmas holiday flights will increase by 2%, averaging at $493 as compared to $482 last year.

Meanwhile, Wall Street remunerated the fare hike as the shares for airlines gained an average 5%.

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Airline News

Is Travel better with Wearable Technology?

by amit.uniyal 16. October 2014 06:31

Recent technological advances in air travel have streamlined the checking-in and checking-out process.
Air passengers are also getting accustomed with wearable technology for boarding flights in the most convenient way possible. A recent market survey depicted that 77% of more than 6000 passengers would be comfortable with use of wearable technology like Google Glass or smart Watch to make their journey pleasant.

wearable technology

Among the fliers assessed, 97% of them carry a laptop, smartphone or a tablet while flying and one out of five carry all three. Passengers are eager to stay connected even during flight with over 76% using the airline applications. 53% of the passengers want alerts about flight delays on their phones while 57% want airport terminal directions and maps. The demand for in-flight connectivity is drastic. 56% of the travelers want to be able to stay connected on their laptop or tablet for entertainment purposes during their flight.

The huge demand of customers worldwide has encouraged innovative minds to develop technology that helps you throughout your journey. Miami International Airport, for instance, is the first ever airport to deploy iBeacon technology covering the check-in point, baggage and parking areas across the airport.

The passengers are given relevant information related to boarding gate, directions and boarding time on their phones through the use of Bluetooth Low Energy technology. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport has released an update of iOS and Android devices featuring a Voice Concierge.

AirBerlin, Iberia and Vueling, and have also recently unveiled smart watch boarding pass for owners of Pebble Steel, Samsung Gear 2 and Sony Smartwatch 2. With just a shake of a wrist, the devices scan the watch like a digital boarding ticket on a phone.

Well, these dapper gadgets will certainly help you board your flight on time and have a fun flight.

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Travel Advice

The Aviation Industry takes a giant leap on Air Social Media

by amit.uniyal 12. October 2014 07:04

Social Media is now an integral part of Global Aviation Industry. More and more airlines are using social media to engage with their customers just like they use the phone for issue resolution. Qatar Airways is now ruling the social media game as it has transcended the 5,000,000 Facebook fan milestone, reclaiming its position as second most liked international airlines on Facebook. It has 300,000 plus Twitter followers and has gained 3rd position on Instagram among airlines, upholding its ever increasing online media engagement with the fans. Adding another feather in the cap, Qatar Airways has been conferred with the award for the Best Use of Emerging Platform for 2014 by SimpliFlying, one of the best aviation marketing consultancies.

social media


The rapidly growing carrier has soared above its competitors in social media fan base, particularly after developing a global partnership with FC Barcelona and earned huge profits on the arrival of its first super jumbo jet Airbus A380 in Doha in the month of September. Qatar Airways has 13 social media platforms for engaging with customers on which the CEO, His Excellency Akbar Al Baker commented that Social media has undeniably opened various channels of communication between Qatar and its fliers. It is an excellent way to engage with the passengers in innovative ways.

Qatar Airways has embarked upon several initiatives to strengthen the relationship with the social media followers. As a tribute to this, Qatar Airways was nominated and awarded as an airline making the Best Use of Emerging Platforms at the Annual SimpliFlying Awards held last year in New York. Qatar Airways, during the award ceremony, demonstrated how Instagram and Pinterest were used to achieve the marketing targets for the carrier.

The airline has been recognized by SimpliFlying twice in a row, having been awarded Best Emerging Airline on Social Media in 2013.

 

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Airline News

The Mecca for Shoppers around the World – San Francisco

by amit.uniyal 8. October 2014 10:23

San Francisco is the Mecca for shoppers around the world. The city offers the best shopping experience for the tourists as well as the shopaholics. The shoppers love to browse the various shopping complexes, malls and districts in San Francisco. Westfield Centre, Hayes Valley, Haight-Ashbury, Fillmore Street, Chinatown and Union Square among many others offer an incredible style of shopping, suited to the consumer’s needs and mood. Also, contrary to the popular belief, you will find various shops where you would not have to splurge.

shopping

Westfield San Francisco Centre
Westfield San Francisco Centre, located on Market Street, is the paragon for all the shoppers and tourists. In this splendid mall reside the top notch American brands for consumer products which include but are not limited to a two level Abercrombie & Fitch, a five storey Nordstrom's store, Bloomingdale’s, Bebe, Victoria's Secret, Kenneth Cole, Guess and Club Monaco. The mall is also home to Century Theatres multiplex and Bristol Farms greengrocery.

Union Square Shopping
The California’s Historical Landmark is a colossal collection of gift shops, fancy boutiques, supermarkets, galleries and salons, making it a prime shopping district in the United States. Marked by the Goddess of Victory statue atop the Dewey Monument, the Union Square Park is a popular tourist attraction with its history dating back to the Civil War. The square is home to leading chain stores including Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys New York and Neiman Marcus. Various fancy fashion boutiques for Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Stuart Weitzman, Chanel, Hugo Boss, Burberry, Giorgio Armani, Tiffany & Co, Cartier and Marc Jacobs are also located in the shopping district surrounded by Post, Geary and Stockton Streets.
 
Chinatown Shopping
The Dragon Gates marking the entry of Chinatown lead to a different world of shopping spiced up with red hues and everything Chinese. Baroque lampposts, pagoda domes, Sing Chong Building and Bank of America in a Chinese Style Building are few of the prominent places to see in this largest Chinatown outside Asia. At every turn, you will find vibrant fabrics draping the window fronts where hawkers sell carved Buddha statues, paper lanterns, parasols perfect for decorating your house. Various apothecaries sell green tea, fragrant black tea and other refreshing beverages. For your sweet tooth and a surprise, don’t forget to check out Fortune Cookie Factory on Ross Alley (featured in the Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom).

Fillmore Street Shopping
Fillmore Street is home to one of the chicest fashion and beauty retailers. You can check off your wish list for shopping with home furniture stores like Nest, Jonathan Adler and Zinc Details and beauty stores like MAC Cosmetics, BeneFit, Posh, Hats of the Fillmore and many more. For a quick break from your shopping spree and refueling your next round, pay a visit to Pizza Inferno, Fresca, Starbucks or Royal Grounds coffee. The shopping experience is a distinctive mix of elegance and vibrancy, upscale yet approachable and comfortable without being tedious. From antiques to accessories, jazz clubs to blues club, Fillmore has it all.

North Beach Shopping
North Beach, San Francisco’s Little Italy, is rich in Italian style and spirit that infuse every diner and fashion store. North Beach is an ultimate shopping retreat as you will shop as the Romans do while passing through murals, European antique stores and grocery stores along the oldest street of Grant Avenue. At Old Vogue, you can delve into vintage varsity jackets and everything retro. The avant garde jewelry by Peter Macchiarini designed to your specifications screams "Bellisima!"

Hayes Valley Shopping
The Hayes Valley is an ultimate blend of commerce and art located on the Hayes and Gough Street jammed with interior design boutiques, art galleries, wine bars and outdoor restaurants. Hayes Valley is an haute couture haven and famous for Scandinavian Fashion, Ver Unica for unworn vintage clothes, Mac (Modern Appeal Clothing) for Belgian custom design clothes and Dark Garden for corsets and wedding dresses. Hayes Valley is all about local artists and designers displaying their works of art to the visitors. Shoppe Unusual is one of the largest vibrant retail spaces in Hayes Valley displaying designs and art works from more than 30 local artists.

Mission Street Shopping
The Mission Street is for shoppers with liberal choice of fashion and art. It is the perfect destination to tend to eccentric desires. The Mission is a vivid neighborhood with bohemian stores. You will find anything to everything eccentric including toddler boots in snakeskin and a lot more. If you are looking for the best taquerias, dive bars and everything Latino, the Mission is for you.

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Travel Advice

Tourists to get Chinese-language map of Boston by Hainan Airlines

by amit.uniyal 4. October 2014 08:44

Chinese tourists traveling to Boston will now find their stay and travel to the city more convenient and hassle free as Hainan Airlines has now decided to provide them Chinese-language maps of Boston.

Hainan

Hainan Airlines had earlier this year launched direct flights between Beijing and Boston. The airline partnered with a travel consultancy named Attract China for providing the Chinese-language maps of Boston to the tourists.

The airline has decided to co-brand the map and provide it to all the passengers flying into Boston’s Logan International Airport.
 
Zhang Ning, General Manager of Hainan Airlines Boston office, said that an increasing demand by Chinese travelers is being recently witnessed for travel to the United States. He said that by providing a resourceful Mandarin map to the Chinese tourists, they will find it easy to access and navigate the city of Boston.
 
The passport-sized map of Boston is presently available at city information kiosks, Chinatown restaurants and over 100 hotels in Boston area. By providing the Chinese-language maps to the tourists Hainan Airlines and travel consultancy Attract China want to ensure outstanding travel experience. The prime objective of providing the map is to provide the travelers with insights and adequate information on the types of destinations that interest them the most.

The map will be prominently highlighting the major shopping areas in Boston as well as 21 recommended destinations such as the USS Constitution Museum, the Freedom Trail, and Freeway Park.

Chinese-language maps for other important cities in the United States such as Chicago and Seattle are likely to be released by the end of 2014, while more U.S. cities would be covered in 2015.

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Airline News

Hawaii becomes a prime focus for various markets and airlines

by amit.uniyal 30. September 2014 02:35

Hawaii is attracting keen interest from various markets and airlines. This has been made clear at the recently-concluded 2014 Hawaii Tourism Conference when Mesa Air Group's go! interisland subsidiary said that it was becoming rather too difficult to compete with the Hawaii’s flagship carrier Hawaiian Airlines in the interisland market.

Hawaii

Hawaii currently has the most diverse airline network. This has prompted numerous airlines and markets to show keen interest in Hawaii. This has also made the State of Hawaii less vulnerable to significant swings in the travel market.

Media reports quoted Brad DiFiore, cofounder and managing partner of Ailevon Pacific Aviation Consulting, which operates interisland go! airline, as saying that the seat capacity to Hawaii from North America has increased 19 percent over a decade. Interisland air travel has significantly lowered than what it was 10 years ago despite the fact that revenue and average fares continue to be higher. DiFiore however said that the seats are likely to return with the growing travel demand now and Hawaii also proving to be a big market for airlines.

DiFiore said that for an outsider like Mesa Air Group's go! interisland subsidiary competing with a homegrown airline like Hawaiian Airlines is rather difficult as it has been proved now. He said that Hawaiian Airlines had 82 percent market share while go! had only 9 percent share for the interisland market.

Apart from Hawaiian Airlines, other carriers such as Alaska Airlines, Allegiant Air, Air Canada’s Rogue, Cebu Pacific, Virgin America and Jetstar have also made forays and focusing on flights to Honolulu.

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Airline News

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