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April 2011

  
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29 April 2011 - Misleading Airline Advert

Posted by: Alan

 European budget airline Ryanair has been taken to task for using sunny beach scenes to promote flights to cold destinations.

 
The carrier featured a picture of a bikini-clad woman sipping a cocktail with the catchphrase ‘Book to the sun now’ in ads for February and March travel.
 
But one of the destinations was Oslo in Norway, where the temperatures at that time ranged from 0-4 degrees Celsius.
 
Other flights were to Scotland, Ireland, Denmark and Germany, where temperatures barely topped 9 degrees.
 
Britain’s Advertising Standards Authority said the ads were misleading.
 
"We considered that the average consumer would infer from the claim ‘Book to the sun now’ and the image of the woman sunbathing, in a bikini, with a cocktail, that the promotion included fares to destinations warm enough to sunbathe in swimwear during the promotional period," it said.
 
"Because we understood this was not the case, we concluded that the ad was misleading."

 

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28 April 2011 - Leaning Tower of Pisa

Posted by: Alan

 Scaffolding which has supported the Leaning Tower of Pisa for 20 years has been removed as engineers declared the structure finally safe

 
The 56-metre high world-famous iconic monument was covered in supporting scaffolding for almost 20 years.
 
Now travellers can visit the tower without having their views and photos ruined by the unsightly metal poles.
 
Officials have stated that the structure will be 'safe for years to come', estimating no more work will be needed for up to 300 years.
 
Restoration work carried out on the 7,000 square metres of marble, included scraping away dirt and grime and re-attaching pieces of marble that had fallen off.
 
Before the restoration work began in the early 1990's the tower was falling by a further one millimetre each year.
 
According to reports, the project cost €27 million but has straightened the toppling structure by almost 50cm.
 

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27 April 2011 - Six Day Taxi Ride

Posted by: Alan

 Two men have completed a six-day, 4800km taxi ride from New York to Los Angeles after the father of one said that no Manhattan cabbie would be prepared to travel that far.

 
But New Yorkers John Belitsky and Dan Wuebben struck a deal with cab driver Mohammed Alam, who agreed to make the trip for $US5000.
 
The meter rate would have been $US17,000.
 
The two men paid for nearly half of the fare during a brief stop in Las Vegas, where they won $US2000 playing blackjack.
 

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21 April 2011 - Tourist Numbers in New Zealand

Posted by: Alan

A massive drop in tourist traffic to NZ’s South Island as a result of the Christchurch earthquake and the Japan disasters is being reported today.

 
It’s claimed visitors are down 30% in some areas, forcing tourism firms to cut staff and limit operations.
 
Christchurch is the gateway for 90% of tourist visitors to the South Island, but arrivals there are down 30%.
 
"We are currently in the midst of the biggest crisis that South Island tourism has ever faced", airport ceo Jim Boult told media.
 
Areas well beyond Christchurch, including Queenstown, Wanaka, Mt Cook and Te Anau have all been hit.
 
One report says Queenstown is usually "awash" with Japanese visitors at this time of the year, but has been hit badly by the natural disasters in Japan and the Christchurch earthquake, in which a number of Japanese students died.
 
Mt Cook business is said to be down 50%.
 
The award-winning Whale Watch operation at Kaikoura, north of Christchurch, has cut staff numbers and reduced sailings.
 
Many businesses are counting on strong ski season traffic from Australia to bring better times.
 

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20 April 2011 - Qantas Increases Fuel Levy

Posted by: Alan

Qantas international passengers will pay a fuel levy of $250 each way to North America from next week, after the carrier announced increases of up to 67% in its fuel surcharges.

It’s the third time QF has hiked fares and surcharges since Feb, with the levy now becoming $290 for flights to UK/Europe (up $100), $200 for South America, South Africa and India (up $50) and $145 for Asia, Pacific and Hawaii routes (up $40).

Domestic, regional and Tasman fares will also increase by 5% and a fuel surcharge will be added to domestic ($10) and Tasman ($20) frequent flyer Classic Awards seats, according to QF ceo Alan Joyce, with all the changes effective Thu 28 April 2011.

He said that Qantas’ second half fuel bill will be up by about $300m on the first six months of the year, with the situation continuing to be under review.

Source: Travel Daily

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19 April 2011 - Princess Cruises Return to Egypt

Posted by: Alan

Princess Cruises announced yesterday that it’s returning to Egypt on 15 May 2011.

 
Political unrest saw the line change itineraries for 18 sailings by Star Princess, Dawn Princess, Ocean Princess and Pacific Princess up to November.
 
Original itineraries have now been reinstated, with executive vp Jan Swartz saying in a statement: "The situation in Egypt has calmed considerably since widespread protests earlier this year, and tourist areas aren’t currently being affected".
 
The line says it will continue to monitor the situation.
 

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18 April 2011 - Kate Middleton London Hotel

Posted by: Alan

 A booking surge is being predicted for a pricey suite at a London hotel which will house royal bride-to-be Kate Middleton and members of her family the night before her 29 April wedding.

 
Kate, her mother Carole and her sister Pippa will occupy a recently-renovated five-room suite at The Goring Hotel, about 500 metres from Buckingham Palace.
 
Standard rooms at the 71-room, 5-star hotel normally sell from £400 (about $550) a night.
 
Suites cost upwards of £1500 a night.
 
It’s not known what the Middletons are forking out for their one-night stay.
 
But the media is suggesting that the rate for the suite could skyrocket afterwards.
 
A spokeswoman for The Goring is quoted as saying: "I could not tell you how much the suite will cost after the wedding. That is to be decided".
 
When The Goring opened in 1910, it claimed to be the first hotel in London with central heating and ensuite bathrooms.
 
The rate per night was a healthy seven shillings and sixpence.
 

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15 April 2011 - New Plane is Bigger than A380

Posted by: Alan

Airports are preparing to receive a new plane – the biggest Boeing 747 version yet.

It made its first flight just days ago and pilots say it handles like the original. The hi-tech new-generation B747-8 will be flying into many airport in the US – and elsewhere in the world, that have never received so large an aircraft before.

In the US, 27 airports in all are seeking approval to handle the cargo version of the plane, which Boeing says will be quieter than current model 747s.
 
The Boeing B747-8 is the world’s longest passenger aircraft, almost one metre longer than the Airbus A380. The two planes are in direct competition as large capacity long-haul civil airliners. Boeing claims its 747-8 is more than 10% lighter per seat and will consume 11% less fuel per passenger than the A380, translating into a trip-cost reduction of 21% and a seat-kilometre cost reduction of over 6%.
 
At 76 metres long, with a wingspan of 68.5 metres, the 747-8 Intercontinental is the largest passenger aircraft Boeing has ever built. It can seat 467 passengers in a three-class configuration.
 
Lufthansa is launch customer and Cathay has ordered 10 B747-8Fs (the freighter version) and should begin taking delivery sometime next year – all going to schedule.
 
“The 747-8 Intercontinental will be a great complement to our fleet, fitting nicely into the 400-seat category, improving our fleet’s eco-efficiency even further,” said Nico Buchholz, executive vice president, Lufthansa Group Fleet Management.
 
The jetliner retains the shape of the B747, which first revolutionised air travel 40 years ago – but that’s where the similarities end.
 
“You’re looking at a new wing, a new body, new engines and when you look inside, you’ll see an all-new interior,” said Pat Shanahan, Airplane Programs vice president and general manager for Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
 
“The new 747-8 Intercontinental features the latest in innovative technologies – applying many of the breakthroughs also found on the 787 Dreamliner,” Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and chief executive Jim Albaugh commented. “We think our customers will value the low operating costs and passengers will enjoy the comfort of the striking new interior.”
 
The advances in technology will help the 747-8 deliver 16% better fuel economy, 16% less carbon emissions and a 30% smaller noise footprint than its predecessor.
 
Source: e-Global Travel Media

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14 April 2011 - Sir Richard Branson again

Posted by: Alan

 Sir Richard Branson is finally fronting up for yet another stunt after losing a motor racing bet with AirAsia boss Tony Fernandes.

 
The British adventurer and aviation entrepreneur will work an AirAsia flight from London to Kuala Lumpur on 1 May, dressed as a female flight attendant.
 
He’ll help serve meals and drinks to Mr Fernandes and 250 other passengers on the 13-hour flight, while a number of celebrities will provide live entertainment.
 
A total 160 seats are being sold for charity at £4500 (about $6300) each, according to a statement issued by AirAsia late yesterday.
 
 
They went on sale yesterday till 24 April, unless sold out beforehan
 
Bookings can be made via website airasiago.com
 
Mr Fernandes joked: "I’ve got my razor ready and I can’t wait to shave his (Sir Richard’s) hairy legs".
 
The entire stunt has been sparked by a wager between the two men over which one’s Formula 1 racing team would be placed higher in last year’s rankings.
 
Virgin Racing lost out to the Lotus team of Mr Fernandes.
 
Sir Richard’s inflight appearance was to take place in late February, but was delayed after he suffered ligament damage skiing in Switzerland.
 

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13 April 2011 - Dog DNA on Isle of Capri

Posted by: Alan

Authorities in a world-famous Italian tourist spot are going to use DNA to identify people who fail to clean up their dog poo from public areas.

Dog owners on the island of Capri will have to supply genetic details of their animals to a central database.

Samples of unwanted deposits will then be sent to a laboratory for testing, to identify the dog and subsequently its owner, who’ll face a fine of 2000 euros.

Capri has more than 1000 dogs.

The DNA move is the brainchild of mayor Ciro Lembo, who says he loves dogs, but there have been unpleasant episodes of tourists falling and hurting themselves after slipping in dog poo.

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12 April 2011 - Saudi to Build a Mile High Tower

Posted by: Alan

 The Saudi royal family has unveiled plans to build a tower one mile (1.6km) high.

 
That will make it twice the height of the Burj Khalifa tower in Dubai, which is currently the world’s tallest skyscraper.
 
The Saudi Kingdom Tower, which will include hotels and luxury apartments, will be built outside the Red Sea port of Jeddah.
 
Construction will cost about $17 billion.

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11 April 2011 - Airport Baby Returns as an Adult

Posted by: Alan

 A man abandoned as a baby at London’s Gatwick airport 25 years ago has returned there to thank airport staff who took care of him.

 
The meeting on Saturday was filmed as part of a documentary charting the life of Steve Hydes since a duty-free sales assistant found him in a women’s toilet on 10 April 1986.
 
Initially named Gary Gatwick by airport staff, Mr Hydes has been trying to locate his mother for several years, but says it’s pretty much a worldwide search.
 
"Being left in an airport makes it a lot more mysterious", he said. "I could have come from a different country.
 
"There’s so many people passing through an airport, it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack".
 
He has appealed publicly for his mother to come forward, but so far without result.
 
The documentary will appear on BBC TV.
 

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08 April 2011 - United Airlines Birthday

Posted by: Alan

United Airlines marked its 85th birthday on Wednesday 6th April by unveiling an Airbus A320 featuring the carrier’s 1970s ‘Friend Ship’ livery.

The jet was rolled out at an employee party at Chicago’s O’Hare airport.
 
The picture shows the A320 with its 1970s "retro" paint job.

The company says birthday celebration are also being staged at other major United hubs.
 

 

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07 April 2011 - Heavyweight Travellers

Posted by: Alan

 Americans are getting so big that authorities have had to change maritime safety laws.

 
The US Coast Guard plans to reduce the number of people it will allow on ferries, sightseeing boats and other smaller passenger vessels to compensate for an increase in the average weight of travellers.
 
The average weight per person used to calculate maximum capacity for these vessels is being increased from 64 kilos to 74 kilos.
 
It means that a vessel currently rated to carry 100 passengers will be able to carry only 85 after the changes take effect on 1 December.
 
Florida’s Sun Sentinel newspaper, which revealed the move, says the aim is to stop small commercial craft capsizing when heavy passengers suddenly move to one side.
 

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