Newsletter - July 2008

  1. Don't forget to claim

    BA and Virgin have agreed to fund an advertising campaign reminding passengers of their rights to claim compensation resulting from the carriers' price-fixing scandal. Earlier this year the airlines were forced to pay £73.5 million to fund compensation claims for overcharged flights purchased between August 11, 2004 and March 23, 2006.

    So far around 100,000 individuals have registered for partials refunds, but it is thought there are as many as 8 million UK and US passengers who could be eligible for compensation.

    To encourage more passengers to make their claim, advertisements will appear over the next few weeks in UK national newspapers, weekly and monthly magazines, booking sites such as Expedia and Lastminute, and in BA and Virgin's in-flight publications.

    Source: Business Traveller; full story by Mark Caswell

  2. Eurostar raises frequencies

    Eurostar travellers will have half hourly services between London and Paris during peak travel times following the operator's decision to increase daily services.

    An 18th service will be added in each direction on the London to Paris route on Mondays to Thursdays from September.

    Weekend services will also be boosted with up to 20 train services available on Fridays from London to Paris and 19 trains coming the other way from July 11.

    Source: Travelmole; full story by Dinah Hatch.

  3. Dubai buys into HRG

    Hogg Robinson Group (HRG) says Dnata, a subsidiary of Dubai government-owned Emirates Group, has acquired a 20 percent stake in HRG. Dnata, which is now HRG's largest shareholder, says it does not intend to make a formal offer for the UK-based travel management company but reserves the right to do so in the future.

    Dnata provides passenger, cargo, ramp and technical services for airlines at Dubai International Airport. Dnata also owns a travel agency, and HRG is its travel management partner in the Middle East.

    Source: Redline News; all the stories

  4. Autumn Travel Forum News

    Due to an unfortunate over booking ACTE & MS-UK have had to pull forward our Autumn Forum to Thursday 4th September.

    So ACTE and ourselves are working hard to 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.

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

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

    3. Procurement Strategies - Increasing your purchasing leverage
      A trend is emerging resulting in Meetings Management and Corporate Travel Procurement convergence. We will discuss strategies to align procurement and assess whether you can increase your purchasing power.

    4. 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?

    Speakers already lined up include

    • Christine Oumieres, General Manager UK of Air France KLM
    • Stephane Durand, Managing Director of Amadeus Systems
    • Cynthia Barbor, Partner , K & L Gates LLP
    • Marianne Hansen, Hansen Travel Management (outside contractor to Novartis)
    • Scot Taylor, Country Manager for Talk and Vision
    • Karen McGee, Director of Sssource
    • Johnny Thorsen, Director of ConTgo
    • Fay Sharp, Director Zibrant
    • Matthew Judge, Managing Director of The Anvil Group.

    Here follow some genuine comments from a few of the Buyer delegates that attended our event on the 13th May. 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

    "Very good format with relevant information in today's market" AD of BOSH

    " I found it a great structure which I thought made it a lot easier to absorb the information provided." A SB of OFT

    "Excellent & Look forward to the next one - very informative and the chance to network was also first rates" KG of K.

    "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 the atmosphere at our Forum click here

  5. Exclusive Business at T5

    British Airways is planning to open a dedicated check-in area for business class customers and will shortly open an additional business class lounge in Terminal 5 "B".

    The disclosure came as the airline marked the 100th day of operation of the £4.3 billion terminal since its disastrous opening in March.

    BA claime that the terminal was seeing "significant gains" in improved punctuality and baggage performance. Extra facilities are also being proposed to help business class passengers through ticket presentation as they approach security.

    A further 29 long haul routes will move from Terminal 4 into Terminal 5 on September 17, taking the number of flights per day to more than 480.

    By the end of October the final long haul routes will move in and the number of flights per day will grow to around 510.

    Source: Travelmole; full story by Phil Davies

  6. Stone me! Will this idea fly?

    Here's a novel way to curtail air rage: smoke pot!

    A group called Safer Alternatives for Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER), held a press conference recently to propose their solution to air rage.

    KUSA TV of Denver notes that SAFER's media ploy came soon after a woman on a JetBlue flight was accused of lighting up a cigarette, then punching a male flight attendant who told her to put it out.

    The woman "told investigators she didn't remember smoking or attacking anyone because the flight attendants gave her too many vodka drinks," KUSA says.

    SAFER's executive director, Mason Tvert, claims the "outbursts wouldn't have happened if she'd been inhaling instead of imbibing."

    He has also issued calls "for pot-smoking lounges in the nation's airports."

    "There's been this growing trend of alcohol-related air rage," he said.

    Don't expect any marijuana lounges soon, however.

    "I can safely say we have no plans to open any marijuana lounges at (Denver International)," airport spokesman Jeff Green said.

    Source: Travelmole; full report by David Wilkening

  7. Rail upgrade possibility

    Network Rail is to launch a major study into building new lines across the UK as growing demand threatens to soak up existing capacity.

    The report - slated for release next summer - will examine five strategic routes: north and west of London; Chiltern, East Coast, West Coast, Great Western and Midland Main Lines, although it is unclear whether these will feature the much-mooted high-speed services.

    Despite over-crowding on many routes and affordability issues, rail travel in the UK has never been more popular. Figures from Network Rail show that passenger numbers have leaped 40% to 1.13bn journeys per year - the largest total since 1946 - when the system was twice the size.

    In a statement released 23 June Network Rail is also keen to highlight that 22,000 services now run on weekdays - up from the figure of 17,000 at the time of privatisation - while freight carried has risen by 60%. Punctuality however, is still only at 90%.

    Source: ABTN; full story

  8. Frequent Flyer Plans challenged by airline uncertainty

    In the light of soaring costs, airline cutbacks present a new challenge for frequent flyer programme members.

    In the past, one of the chief complaints from readers of Business Traveller centered on the lack of award-seat availability when they needed to travel, but new challenges are emerging. How can members be sure that the airline or route they wish to take will even be operating? If airlines carry fewer fare-paying passengers will they then allocate more award seats to FFP members? On top of all this, there is concern about the rising cost of so-called "free" award tickets.

    Go back a few weeks, and who could have predicted that Delta would be axing its Gatwick-New York service (a link for which Delta paid United millions of dollars for the route-rights before "Open Skies" was announced), that American Airlines would ditch Stansted-New York (even though it spent a small fortune on a business class lounge at the Essex airport) or that United would decide to scrap Heathrow-Denver, a route launched amid much publicity only three months ago?

    Source: Business Traveller; article by Alec McWhirter

  9. Upwardly Mobile: the next step for travel management

    A new White Paper based on a joint study, undertaken by the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) and Amadeus finds that mobile devices could soon play an integral role in corporations' travel programmes.

    Today, many corporate travellers are using their mobile devices to stay connected on the road yet often these are not part of the managed travel programme.

    This study explores:

    • How corporate travellers are currently using mobile technology
    • The role mobile technology could play in managed travel programmes

    In the near future mobile travel services will enable corporations to gain more control over traveller behaviour during the trip and bring more efficiencies into the travel process. As a result travel managers will need to consider how mobile devices could be optimised as part of their policies.

    The findings are based on a survey and detailed interviews with corporate travel managers, travel suppliers, travel technology providers and mobile technology companies.

    Source: Amadeus; full report

  10. Lufthansa goes West (of England that is)

    Lufthansa began its first services to Newquay in South West England on Saturday (21 June) operating a Bombardier CRJ-200 aircraft from Düsseldorf.

    The new, weekly flights flown by Lufthansa Regional franchise partner Eurowings mark the entry of the third mainline carrier to serve Newquay following Swiss International from Zurich and British Airways from London Gatwick.

    This year will also see Cornwall Airport take over from RAF ST Mawgan and operate with a civilian licence from the UK CAA on 1 December.

    The airport assumed operational management of Newquay on 1 April 2007. All elements of the airport redevelopment required for civilian use are "well underway," according to an airport statement.

    Source: Airline & Business Travel News; full story.

  11. New business traveller compliance software developed

    A traveller profiling system which aims to generate corporate savings as well as encourage increased travel policy compliance by business travellers has been developed.

    TelMe Farebase's Global Profiler allows travel management companies and corporate clients to retain profiles on their travellers, storing personal preferences such as aircraft seat and meal choices and preferred hotel room types, essential information such as passport and visa validity, as well as personal information for use in case of an emergency.

    The new software can be programmed to work across any global distribution system.

    Should a TMC change its GDS, or even a company change it's TMC, they will not have to go through the laborious and expensive task of re-entering each of the profiles onto the new system, according to TelMe Farebase.

    Source: Travelmole; full article by Phil Davies.

  12. Bmi regional grows Copenhagen and Saudi services

    Bmi regional has boosted its services from Edinburgh to Copenhagen, adding a third return flight on its route from July 21.

    The airline will then have 18 return flights a week to the city from the Scottish capital.

    The extra daily service will make it easier for passengers to connect to destinations such as Oslo, Helsinki, Stockholm and Tokyo on services operated by the airline's Star Alliance partners

    Bmi also plans to increase services to Saudi Arabia following bilateral talks between the UK and Saudi Arabian governments.

    Under a new agreement, the number of weekly frequencies permitted between the two countries has been increased to 35.

    Bmi will seek to add to its existing services from Heathrow to Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam.

    Source: Travelmole; full article by Phil Davies.

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