Newsletter - August 2008


1 Eurostar adds 11th daily Brussels service
2 New Marriott on the Zurich skyline
3 Travellers Beware - Airline tickets to cost less than baggage?
4 Autumn Travel Forum News from ACTE-Global & MS-UK
5 New Ramada at Heathrow
6 Use the Sat Nav to find your room
7 Long haul Low Cost plans still on course to Kuala Lumpur
8 Continental and United in the lead to fly together
9 Park Inn goes Green
10 Open skies change onboard layout
11 Ofcom gives green light to mobiles on flights
12 New Links for FlyBe

  1. Eurostar adds 11th daily Brussels service

    Eurostar is adding an 11th daily service in each direction between London and Brussels from December 14.

    Passenger numbers have increased on the route by 30 per cent since the launch of high speed services in November 2007.

    The extra service will bring to 7,500 the number of seats each week on the route, with tickets for travel going on sale from August 16.

    Source TravelMole full story

  2. New Marriott on the Zurich skyline

    The five-star Renaissance Zurich City West hotel is to be built in the rapidly developing district of Zurich West, with an opening slated for January 2011. The new-build hotel, which will be located in the Mobimo Tower on the site of the former Coop shopping complex, will feature 300 rooms and suites over 11 floors, executive levels with views of the city and lake, and a 24-hour executive lounge on floor 14.

    Source - full story by Jenny Southan.

  3. Travellers Beware - Airline tickets to cost less than baggage?

    With Delta Airlines Inc., America's third largest carrier, doubling its charge for checking a second bag, some observers wonder when bags will cost more than airline tickets. Or is it happening already?

    Fee changes include an increase from $25 to $50 to check a second bag for domestic travel.

    Delta said that as fuel costs remain high, it believes revising its fee structure for excess bags and specialty items is essential to generate the necessary revenues to offset its higher costs.

    Delta customers checking bags on international flights can check a first and second bag at no charge.

    Fees are for each extra bag, each way.

    The fee for checking a third bag on a domestic flight will increase from $80 to $125, while the fee for checking a bag that is between 51 and 70 pounds on a domestic flight will rise from $80 to $90. On any flight checking a bag that is 62 inches to 80 inches of the total of its length plus its width plus its height will rise from $150 to $175.

    Delta warned on its Web site that if a customer has an extra piece of baggage that goes over the weight limit and the size limit, the passenger will be charged three times -- once for the extra bag, once for going over the size limit and once for going over the weight limit.

    Source Travelmole full story by David Wilkening.

    On a recent journey to a conference in the US our colleague was five pounds over the limit on his one suitcase back from Las Vegas to Los Angeles - the United surcharge amounted to $100 for a journey that cost $206!

  4. Autumn Travel Forum News

    You can still buy a ticket at the earlybird rate for the ACTE & MS-UK our Autumn Forum on Thursday 4th September.

    ACTE - Global and MS-UK have put together another fascinating day in our own unique format where Panels of authoritative speakers will stimulate interactive discussion from the floor without formal presentations. This forum has proven to engage the audience to share ideas and best practice. Our delegates at our Spring event put forward a number of suggestions from which we have pulled four key topics to explore with a wonderful team of experts and our delegates.

    • The Paradigm Shift in Aviation
      Discuss the impact of Oil prices and Open Skies on the aviation model

    • Corporate Manslaughter explained simply
      What does this legislation really mean to you and your business?

    • Procurement Strategies - Increasing your purchasing leverage
      We will discuss strategies to align procurement and assess whether you can increase your purchasing power.

    • New Technologies to reduce corporate travel costs and improve your carbon footprint
      When and how can you really use video conferencing, mobile communications and other new technologies to manage on demand travel?

    Click here to see the speakers we have already lined up.

    Here follow some genuine comments from a few of the Buyer delegates that attended our event on the 13th May - incidentally. Buyers made up more than 60% of our audience.

    "Most useful interesting and an informative forum on any subject I have attended as long as I can remember" AT of P

    "Probably the most interesting forum for a seminar that I have experienced for years, enjoyed the format - highly informative." AH of NA of W

    You can register now for the ACTE-Global supported MS-UK Autumn event, our sixteenth Corporate Travel & Expense Management Forum by clicking here

    To get an idea of what our Forum looks like by checking out the gallery

  5. New Ramada at Heathrow

    A new Ramada will open two miles from Heathrow on September 17.

    The 200-bedroom hotel, Ramada London Heathrow, will be the 43rd hotel operated by Ramada Jarvis Hotels Limited.

    The hotel will have five air-conditioned meeting rooms which will cater for 12 delegates seated boardroom-style, and larger conference rooms built for 35 people seated in a square. Three of the rooms can be linked together to hold a maximum of 90 people.

    The bedrooms will have work stations, flat screen TVs and on-demand films as well as a 24-hour room service. Alternatively, guests can dine in the informal Arts Brasserie, which serves breakfast from 0630 and sandwiches and three-course meals until 2230.

    Source full story

  6. Use the Sat Nav to find your room

    Customers booking accommodation through are now able to receive directions to their hotel on TomTom in-car satellite navigation systems. users can click the 'Add to my TomTom' link during the booking process to send relevant hotel data to their sat nav device.

    The next time the device is connected to the internet via the TomTom HOME software, the information is transferred automatically to the user's navigation system.

    The user can select the address as their destination, bookmark it for future use or consult a map of the area around the target location on the TomTom screen.

  7. Long haul Low Cost plans still on course to Kuala Lumpur

    Record fuel prices will not scupper plans to launch budget flights from London to Malaysia, Air Asia's boss has pledged.

    Kuala Lumpur-based Air Asia revealed plans to sell flights from Stansted to the Malaysian capital under the Air Asia X brand earlier this year, aiming at business as well as leisure travellers.

    Air Asia X has sourced an Airbus A340-300 on which it will carry 386 passengers, including 58 in a premium economy cabin. This will have inclined flatbed seats with a 50-inch pitch.

    Economy fares were originally set to be around £300 return, but the increased oil price means this is now more likely to be about £350.

    Air Asia X plans to price its premium economy section against Malaysia Airlines' full fare economy ticket. Passengers in both classes will have to pay for food. Source Business Traveller full report from Gary Noakes

  8. Continental and United in the lead to fly together

    Continental Airlines, United Airlines and eight other Star Alliance member airlines filed an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) on July 23rd for Continental to join the group of nine carriers that already hold antitrust immunity.

    Continental, United, Lufthansa and Air Canada have requested DOT approval to establish a trans-Atlantic joint venture to create a more efficient and comprehensive trans-Atlantic network for the carriers' customers, offering customers more service, scheduling and pricing options and establishing a framework for similar joint ventures in other regions of the world.

    The DOT has approved more than 20 applications for antitrust immunity in the past, including the recent approval of immunity for six-way alliance activities in trans-Atlantic markets for the SkyTeam carriers Air France, Alitalia, CSA Czech Airlines, Delta, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Northwest Airlines.

    The DOT ruling allowed Delta/Air France and Northwest/KLM to consolidate their alliance activities.

    Source full press release

  9. Park Inn goes Green

    Park Inn Heathrow has become the first Heathrow hotel to be accredited by the Green Tourism Business Scheme (GBTS), and has been presented with a Silver award for environmental practice.

    The hotel was recognised for its Responsible Business programme which aims to reduce any negative impact on the environment.

    In order to meet the strict criteria from the GBTS Park Inn had to undertake a number of actions which included: accurately measuring and recording figures for energy, waste, water and recycling and then putting strategies in place to reduce the figures; providing green training for all staff; offering recycled pens and paper to meetings and a Green Rate for carbon offset; and using an in-house bottling production to meet their bottled water demand.

    Source Executive PA full story

  10. Open skies change onboard layout

    BA's Open skies subsidiary is to drop its economy seating in favour of an expanded premium economy cabin, just months after launching the airline with a three-class product.

    The carrier, which currently flies between Paris Orly and New York JFK (with an Amsterdam-New York route also due to launch on October 15) says it is responding to "strong and growing customer demand for high value premium offering".

    It will replace the 30 economy class seats onboard its 757 aircraft with 12 new Prem+ seats, increasing the premium economy cabin to 40 seats, and in turn reducing the total capacity of the aircraft to 64 seats.

    Features of Prem+ include a 52' pitch, 140-degree recline, and two power sockets, while the carrier's business class cabin (Biz) has 24 six-foot long fully-flat beds, and an la carte meals and wine service.

    Source Business Traveller full story by Mark Caswell

  11. Ofcom gives green light to mobiles on flights

    The use of mobile phones in the sky has moved a step closer after communications watchdog Ofcom gave it the all-clear.

    Ofcom has licensed the use of mobiles on flights but has also warned passengers they will face unexpectedly high bills and added that it would ensure customers understood the full costs.

    Opponents of their use have warned that passengers talking on phones will annoy others and possibly cause air rage, and these concerns were noted by Ofcom. It added that security clearance for the use of phones would also be required as they are capable of triggering a bomb explosion.

    Several airlines, including Ryanair, are keen to allow customers to make calls and text in the air.

    Following the Ofcom ruling, the use of mobile phones on flights still requires approval from several bodies, including the European Commission and the Civil Aviation Authority.

    Source Travelmole this and other stories

  12. New Links for FlyBe

    Flybe, Europe's largest and most successful regional airline, has created an additional 117 new connecting flights for Flybe passengers with the launch of Flybe Connections, a convenient, new, one-stop, thru-booking service, now available following the announcement of its 2008 Winter Schedule.

    Flybe Connections allows customers to build an itinerary of individual flights operated by Flybe in one convenient transaction. As an example, passengers travelling between the Isle of Man and Jersey via Gatwick would previously have had to make two bookings; now they can book with just one transaction: Isle of Man to Jersey.

    And, through Flybe's franchise deal with Scotland's airline, Loganair, Flybe Connections means that people across the UK can also now book flights to previously more difficult-to -reach destinations throughout the Scottish Highlands and Islands, again with only one easy transaction.

    The new services created by Flybe Connections opens up a comprehensive range of UK and European destinations, reinforcing Flybe's commitment to bringing convenient, low cost travel to the regions as well as cementing its position as Europe's largest and most successful regional airline.

    Source FlyBe full story

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