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Air New Zealand Wins Airline of the Year for the Second Time

by amit.uniyal 3. December 2014 06:59

The airline which features the Middle Earth and its denizens in its advertising campaigns and holiday vacations has been selected as the Airline of the Year by a popular airline rating agency. Air New Zealand has scooped this award for the second successive year. An Australia-based agency awarded the top rank to the airline for its trendsetting in-flight advancements, operational safety, in-flight technology enhancements and focus on the environment. The airline was also praised for the staff motivation and their outstanding efforts.

Air Newzealand

The 75-year-old national flag carrier of New Zealand has also been conferred with the Best Premium Economy Class Award. Geoffrey Thomas, Editor-in-Chief for the ratings website applauded the airline for its excellent customer service and fiscal management. He commented that Air New Zealand is an epitome of the airline offerings despite its location and the size of the country. The editorial team of the agency also heaped praise on the two award-winning seat designs for long-haul flights, Spaceseat for Premium Economy and Skycouch for Economy Class Passengers.

Christopher Luxon, CEO of Air New Zealand praised the 11,000 staff members for their "outstanding efforts" to bring this airline to its top position.

Qantas also received multiple awards for Best Catering, Best Domestic Service and Best Lounges. The airline also received an honorable mention for its safety record.

Etihad Airways received the second rank followed by Cathay Pacific. Etihad won the Best First Class award while Emirates on 5th rank received the Best In-Flight Entertainment award. Cathay Pacific received the Best Business Class award while the winner for Best Economy Class was Thai Airways. Virgin Australia received two awards for the Best Cabin Crew and inaugural Best New World Carrier.

The agency conferred Etihad for Middle East/Africa, Lufthansa for Europe, EVA Air for Asia/Pacific and Lan Chile for Americas with the Best Long Haul Airline award.

The Best Low Cost Airline also has multiple winners including JetBlue for Americas, Kulula for Middle-East/Africa, Scoot for Asia/Pacific and Norwegian Air for Europe. These airlines received this award for best value proposition.

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Airline News

Top U.S. Carriers Compete for the Coveted Edinburgh-New York Route

by amit.uniyal 2. December 2014 09:07

United Airlines and American Airlines are at a neck-to-neck competition for Edinburgh-New York flight routes. United Airlines will start offering flights between Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) and Edinburgh Airport (EDI) from summer 2015. The carrier will operate two daily flights on this route.

On the other hand, American Airlines will also commence its daily service between John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and EDI from May 7, 2015. This route will replace the airline’s six months old Edinburgh-Philadelphia route.

Round Trip Flight

The customers traveling from the Scottish capital will be pleased with the three daily nonstop services connecting Edinburgh and New York. They will also have better access to the numerous onward destinations from New York. Currently, there is only one daily nonstop service offered by United. Travelers from the United States visiting Edinburgh during summers will have better accessibility to the city as they come to attend the Edinburgh International Festival.

American as well as United Airlines will deploy Boeing 757 narrow body twin jets on the routes. The aircraft will only have Business and Economy classes. American Airlines’ flights will depart from EDI at 9.15 am and arrive in JFK at 11.50 am local time. The return flight will leave from JFK at 7.25 pm and arrive in EDI at 7.15 am the following day.

United Airlines flights operate twice daily with departures from EDI at 9.25 am and 12.05 pm. The flights will arrive in EWR at 12.10 pm and 2.50 pm local time respectively. The return flights will leave Newark at 7.55 pm and 9.45 pm and arrive in Edinburgh at 7.55 am and 9.45 am the following day respectively.

The passengers are sure to witness some changes in fares as the time of launch approaches.

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Airline News

Air New Zealand to move LAX operations to new terminal in Dec

by amit.uniyal 1. December 2014 08:51

Air New Zealand is excited to get a new home at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The airline recently announced that it will be shifting its flight operations at the airport to the newly revamped Tom Bradley International Terminal. The airline will begin operating flights from the new terminal effective from December 3, 2014.

With the flight operations from the new LAX terminal, the airline is exuberant and hopes to open a new exciting chapter. The airline has been providing flights services from Auckland to Los Angeles for nearly 50 years now.

Air Newzealand

Carrie Hurihanganui, Air New Zealand’s General Manager Customer Experience, said that the new arrangement would prove to be beneficial for the customers. The present move is aimed at providing better connectivity to the customers to reach various destinations within the United States.

The customers while taking Air New Zealand flights from the new terminal can also look forward to other benefits as well such as vastly improved and hassle free transit experience, faster processing, a state-of-the-art lounge, and above 150,000 square feet of dining and retail space provided in the Great Hall.

Hurihanganui further said that the transiting customers will be provided greater access to the new expansive terminal while waiting to board their connecting flights. Earlier, such passengers had to remain confined in a dedicated transit facility before boarding their connecting flights.

Those customers who are eligible would also be provided admission to the Star Alliance-operated lounge at the Los Angeles airport. The lounge is being presently managed by Air New Zealand itself on behalf of Star Alliance.

The airline’s investment in the new LAX terminal is being seen as yet another move to expand operations in North America.

Currently, Air New Zealand is operating twice daily flights between Los Angeles and Auckland utilizing a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. The airline has also increased frequencies on Los Angeles-Auckland route for the forthcoming 2015 Northern Summer schedule by 20 percent. The airline will be offering three extra weekly services on the route.

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Airline News

Tips to Make the Best of Thanksgiving Travel

by amit.uniyal 28. November 2014 00:20

With Thanksgiving around the corner, millions of travelers fly to another state or a country during the Thanksgiving Weekend. An analysis projected that 24.6 million people aboard U.S. airlines will travel around the globe from November 21 through December 2, 16 million of which will travel a day before Thanksgiving i.e. November 26 entailing busy airports, no extra seats and no carry-on baggage space. According to a data analysis of 5 years, 25 percent of the passengers will have to face a flight delay or cancellation.

These travel tips may help you travel smoothly during this family festivity of Thanksgiving.

Thanksgivings Celebrations

Follow Weather and Flight Delays
Traveling during winter season can be troublesome due to which most of the airlines offer weather waivers allowing you to travel to your destination a day earlier without paying any additional charge.

Lounge Access
In case of flight delays or keeping your kids occupied during long connections, lounge access is quite useful and takes you away from the hustle and bustle around the gates. Some of the co-branded credit cards offer ongoing lounge access (Amex Platinum Card) or one time passes (United Mileage Plus Explorer Card).

Check-in Options
Many airlines offer curbside baggage check-in which gets you to the gate faster without having to wait to check your bag in the long queue at the terminal. Some airlines also offer Pre-Check randomly, check your boarding pass before getting in the check-in queue. Kids under 12 can accompany an adult with Pre-Check privilege.

Keep your Gadgets Charged and Check Airlines Apps for Updates
With numerous passengers flocking at the airports, power ports may be hard to find. Keep you gadgets fully charged. You can check flight updates on the airline’s app, contact the airline authorities for alternate flight plans or simply keep your children entertained while waiting for the flight.

Carry-on Essentials for Children
Owing to the weather, many flights will get delayed. Ensure that you carry all the essentials for your kids in the carry-on, be it food, entertainment options, change of clothes or hygiene products.

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travel guide

Kid-Friendly Airports in the United States

by amit.uniyal 27. November 2014 02:34

The long-haul layovers can torment parents, let alone the kids. Keeping the little tykes occupied at the airports can be a herculean task which makes parents to consider road trips. However, there are few domestic terminals that ensure that they cater to all your children’s needs. The top 5 American airports have earned their wings for offering the best children activities.

kid friendly airports

Orlando (MCO)
Orlando International Airport is the gateway too Disney World and it does a great job even before the theme-park vacation begins. A King of Kong video arcade, free Wi-Fi, plethora of restaurants, automated tram service to the gates and shops offering Disney, Kennedy Space Center, SeaWorld and Universal merchandise. The giant aquarium in the food court is magnificent.

Detroit (DTW)
The McNamara Terminal at Detroit Metro Airport offers several play areas, Motown and Henry Ford stores. Jelly sandwiches and gourmet peanut butter are sold at food concessions. Free Wi-Fi keeps the teenagers occupied while Play Port which is a soft sculpted playground at the North Terminal offers fun time for kids. There is a padded clouds slide and an aircraft.

Seattle (SEA)
The airport has four Starbucks outlets for the parents to enjoy respite. Sea-Tac International offers special playlists for teenagers that allow them to ‘Experience the City of Music’ via video screens, speakers, free Wi-Fi and a smart phone application featuring the top performers of Seattle. The younger tots can play in Children’s Play Areas located between the concourses A and B.

Minneapolis (MSP)
Minneapolis- St. Paul Airport offers two different play areas in Terminal 1 and Terminal 2; Lindburgh and Humphrey respectively. They have control towers with slides, mock airplanes and device charging outlets for adults while they wait. A statue of Snoopy at Terminal 1 is great for capturing photographs. A video arcades trio and free Wi-Fi keep the teens occupied. In case, you forgot to carry all your infant supplies, the Diaper Bag Basics vending machine in Terminal 1 has it all.

Denver (DIA)
The Denver International Airport is a treat for art lovers. 30 installations and sculptures include A Subterranean Journey and Deep Time/Deep Space. The light and sculpture installation in the inbound train tunnel at West Terminal is a mile long. DIA also offers free Wi-Fi and four scavenger hunts. You can find toys for your kids at Kazoo & Company or sports merchandise at Sports Terminal.

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Travel Advice

Three big Gulf carriers accelerate their push in U.S. market

by amit.uniyal 26. November 2014 03:04

After vigorously shaking up the commercial aviation markets in Asia and Europe, it’s now the turn of the United States. Leading Middle East carriers such as Qatar AirwaysEmirates Airline and Etihad Airways are making a determined push into the air travel market in the U.S. The high-quality services coming at lower prices gradually seem like a fantasy to the U.S. fliers.

gulf carriers

The three Gulf-based carriers had increased the frequencies of flights to the United States by 47 percent in 2013. These airlines are presently serving 11 U.S. cities. This major push by these carriers has sent the U.S. legacy carriers into a tizzy to the extent that complaints have been filed over the unfair competition being posed by the Gulf carriers.

As a result, Emirates Airline is into a stiff competition with American Airlines and Delta Air Lines. Emirates boasts of transporting more passengers to Dubai International Airport from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport than is being presently done by either American Airlines or Delta Air Lines.

Doha-based Qatar Airways has launched flights to DallasMiami and Philadelphia in 2014. Even Etihad Airways is adding nonstop flights to Dallas from Abu Dhabi. With the gradual expansion, the three Gulf carriers will now be competing head-to-head in at least four U.S. cities.

The urge to make a major dent into the U.S. market can be gauged from the fact that these airlines are even spending a lot on branding. In 2014, Emirates Airline sponsored the U.S. Open Tennis championship. It was also San Francisco Symphony’s official airline.

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Airline News

One-way Tickets versus Round-trip Flight Tickets

by amit.uniyal 25. November 2014 02:56

If you are a savoir-faire traveler, you must know your way around cheap airfares to a particular destination. As a rule of thumb, round trip tickets to and from any destination are usually more affordable than two one-way tickets.

An avid traveler would be familiar with these terms, but for those who are yet to board their maiden flight, one-way tickets offer an onward journey to a destination but do not include a return flight. One-way tickets can be direct or include a halt at another city airport. On the other hand, round trip tickets include a flight to the destination and return flight from that destination back to where you started from. These tickets may also have direct flights or stop over flights.

Round Trip Flights

If a ticket offers better flexibility, it will be more expensive than a ticket that offers limited options. For example, a one-way ticket does not include minimum or maximum stay restrictions or open jaw restrictions. Open jaw trips are applicable for roundtrip tickets wherein the passenger does not land at the departure city or does not board a flight from the arrival city. For instance, a traveler can fly from New York to Birmingham, travel from Birmingham to London and fly back home from London to New York. However, this option is not available in one-way ticket. These kind of round-trip tickets are beneficial for those who want to explore different cities in a country and head back home on the return date with cheaper airfares. Round trip tickets in general have restrictions due to which you get lower prices.

For others who are not sure of the duration of their stay at a particular destination, like in the case of students studying abroad or visiting a sick relative, buying cheap round trip tickets would not help since one cannot commit to a return date. If you happen to buy a round trip ticket, you would have to pay the change fee. For these travelers, open tickets are an option with a flexible return date usually within a year of the departure date, but they are rather expensive than one-way or round trip tickets.

A good way around more affordable one-way tickets is to check prices for different airlines since you have an option of choosing a different airline for your return journey. Airlines also offer cheaper one-way airfares for the frequent fliers. So, if you like the service of a particular airline and it goes to your destination of journey, you should stick to it for starting journey.

Another way to get cheaper one-way tickets is to look for red-eye flights, early morning flights and flights on certain days like Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Airfares are usually expensive on Fridays and Sundays which are the busy travel days. So it is advisable to plan your journey with a return flight on weekdays. Another point to note is that tickets are usually cheaper within four to six weeks of departure date and are expensive around two weeks from departure date. So, the best way to go about it is observing the flights on various websites well in advance and finding the most affordable one-way or round trip depending as per your needs.

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Tags: one-way tickets, round-trip flight tickets

Travel Advice

Important Tips to consider when booking a Red Eye Flight

by amit.uniyal 24. November 2014 02:51

Air travel can be costly as well as cheap, which however depends on the destination and duration of the flight. One would always want to have his/her flight cheaper. A red eye flight can fulfill your objective of making air travel cheaper, particularly when you are traveling within North America.

Typically, Red Eye Flights are those flights making late departures at night and arriving to the destination quite early in the morning. Such kinds of flights normally don’t come under the purview of that common operational day.

Red Eye Flight

In the United States and Canada, the red eye flights usually make their departure from the west coast and make arrival on the east coast. These flights begin their departures between 10 pm and 1 am and arrive at their destination between 5 am and 7 am. For instance, if your are having a 6-hour flight from Los Angeles to Boston which departs at 9 pm L.A. time, and when the time difference is added, then you will be arriving at 6 am Boston time. Booking a red eye flight is advantageous as you will be able to make great savings on your tickets.

Here are some of the valuable tips that will make booking a Red Eye Flight easier for you. In the process, this will prove to be a significant money saver as well.

Look out for the best deals
The best deals would come after you vigorously shop them around for. Conduct an extensive search on online booking websites and also check with the travel agents as well. Be flexible with your travel plans. It would be always good if you book your tickets late in the evening. The best deal could come at 9 pm or even at midnight. Various airlines also provide discount offers and you need to keep a keen watch over them.

Booking flights in advance always pays
Do remember that flight tickets tend to become costlier as the date of flight comes nearer. The closer the flight dates would be, the costlier the ticket prices would be. It is therefore always a wise thing to book your tickets in advance. For a red eye flight, you will however need to purchase your tickets at least 21 to 30 days prior to your scheduled departure. This will surely get you the best prices.

Mid week travel is cheaper
Make your plans for your travel particularly during the middle of the week. You need to check out at least a week before and after your scheduled and preferred dates of your journey. Traveling on a Wednesday can be cheaper rather than traveling on the weekend.

Consider flying to smaller airports
Smaller airports have two benefits. They have less traffic and your tickets would be cheaper when flying here. So, why not make smaller airports your destination instead. There are multiple airports in large cities, and at least one or two airports in these cities would be situated on the outskirts of the central part of the city. By choosing to arrive at one of the smaller airports you will be able to save money and also reach in the central part of the city by taking a bus.

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Travel Advice

Etihad’s First Apartment on Cloud Nine, Wins Top Design Award

by amit.uniyal 24. November 2014 02:46

Imagine watching a movie and savoring champagne while sitting on a couch. After the delectable meal, retire into the cozy bed. This is not a five star hotel or your home. This is 10,000 feet in the air on Etihad Airways A380 flight to London.

Etihad Airways

The First Apartments concept for the airline’s first class cabin has been recognized at the Society of British and International Design (SBID) awards held in London. The airline won the Overall Design Award 2014. Abu Dhabi based airline commented in a press release that SBID is one of the most acclaimed in world design and consists of 15 categories in design excellence. The airline was entered in the Best Entertainment Space, but grabbed the Overall Design Award.

Acumen Design Associates, CEO, Ian Dryburgh commented that the company designed the first class based on the Inspired Service concept which aims at bringing exclusivity and individuality of a boutique hotel to the first class traveler. The airline will configure its ten new A380s with nine First Apartments. The first aircraft will be deployed on Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) and London Heathrow Airport (LHR) route starting December 27.

The First class cabin on the upper deck of the wide body aircraft will feature 80.5 inch separate bed, full length wardrobe, vanity unit, mini-bar, private walk-in living space with Poltrona Frau Armchair. The First Apartments are 74 percent larger than the current First Class suites occupying a 39 square feet area.

The airline started operating from Abu Dhabi in 2003. It carried 11.5 million travelers to 111 cargo and passenger destinations in Asia, Africa, the Americas, Australia, Europe and the Middle East last year.

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Airline News

Best ways to book Last Minute Flights

by amit.uniyal 22. November 2014 02:24

Traveling during an emergency situation is more often fraught with obstacles and just might prove to be a costly affair. This is equally true with air travel, particularly at a shorter notice. It is cost prohibitive. Booking last minute flights can prove to be tedious and pricier.

There’s a general perception that it costs a lot to book last minute flight tickets. But this has proved to be wrong quite often. Patience and a keen eye are the buzzwords to find a good deal. This however largely depends on the time of your booking and the destination you are flying to.

Last Minute Flight

Many would simply ask now as whether it is possible to book tickets at the last minute and what are exactly the best ways to book flights during emergency situations or at extremely shorter notice. And, of course, there are many ways to search for good prices for such flights. Let us have a look into some of the effective ways that would ultimately get you the best deals for these flights.

Flexibility is the key factor
Flexibility is undoubtedly the key factor to find short-notice flights. Missing out on a last minute flight would be the last thing you would want in case of urgency because you are just not ready to bend on your flight timings or the airports you want to fly to. When it comes to selecting airports, airlines, departure and arrival times, being flexible has always paid rather handsomely. Compromising sometimes is indeed rewarding. To get your flights cheap at the last minute, stopovers might be involved. Be ready to take more than one flight in order to arrive at your destination, and if you want to save more on your tickets. You should also prepare to take red eye flights and early morning flights as well. Flights departing on a Tuesday or Wednesday also prove to be cheaper and easier to find.

Get Internet-only deals
It is always possible to find the best deals on online booking engines. This is particularly because the airline wants to leave no stone unturned in filling up a flight rather quickly. In such a case, the airline and other travel websites post Internet-only deals for flights at the last minute. You need to constantly monitor these websites. You may also consider signing up for email alerts as well. Fares are typically posted mid-week for the flights departing on the following weekend. You should however remain cautious about non-refundable tickets and also watch out for loopholes too.

Keep an eye on auctioned flights
Bidding could be yet another fantastic way to find a cheaper flight on short notice. There are many airlines and travel websites holding auctions for cheap flights. This may also some time include car rentals and hotel deals as well. You must however read the fine print before bidding. You should be aware that some websites would have restrictions, such as a flight at the last minute would be guaranteed only during specific times.

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Travel Advice

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