News Clips for Corporate Travel Management: September 2006

1 British Airways Hand Baggage

British Airways published their latest hand baggage restrictions on the 23rd August 2006

In a nutshell travellers will only be allowed one cabin bag no bigger than 45cm x 35cm x 16cm, the size of a small laptop bag, inclusive of wheels and handles

Cabin baggage MUST NOT contain:

  • Any cosmetics
  • Any toiletries
  • Any liquids
  • Any drinks
  • Cigarette lighters (Cigarette lighters may not be checked into the hold. They can be purchased airside and but must be disposed of before boarding a flight)
  • Items previously prohibited in cabin baggage, such as sharp objects, should not be carried onboard.

Wherever possible customers are advised to check-in via www.ba.com before they leave for the airport. They can do this by going to www.ba.com and clicking on 'Check-in online' from the menu on the left hand side of the homepage.

2 Why can't all new hotels be like this?

September 1st saw the opening of The Hoxton Urban Lodge, billed as the Square Mile's first "luxury budget" (no it's not an oxymoron) hotel.

Created by Sinclair Beecham, co-founder of the Pret a Manger sandwich shops, the hotel is located on Great Eastern Street, a few minutes walk from Old Street underground station, and comprises 205 rooms (185 doubles and 20 twins).

Rates start at GBP59 (Friday - Sunday), and GBP119 (Monday - Thursday), and all rooms include air-conditioning, a flat screen TV, desk, sofa, tea and coffee (with fresh milk), mineral water, as well as Frette linen and duck down duvets. Rather than installing a minibar the hotel has opted for an empty fridge in each room, with a shop in the lobby area serving goods at "regular retail prices".

Business travellers will be attracted by the complimentary wifi internet access throughout the hotel, and in-room telephone rates of 3p per minute to the UK and 5p per minute to the US.

There is no room service, but the Hoxton Grille serves French/American inspired dishes, and guests will also find a complimentary "Lite" breakfast of a banana, orange juice and yoghurt hanging on their bedroom door handle each morning (supplied by Pret a Manger of course).

Source: BusinessTraveller.com; www.hoxtonhotels.com

3  United to Quit London? - Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!

Last month we reported that United will sell its New York-London route authority to Delta Air Lines and came to the wrong conclusion.

This deal is for only one route and does not mean that United will stop serving London.

United will continue to service the UK via London and Manchester with direct services to Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington.

Our apologies if we conveyed the wrong message.

4  Autumn Forum 

If you have not booked yet you had better make haste as seats are going fast for Management Solutions (UK) limited's Corporate Travel & Expense Management Forum to be held on the 20th September at the Hesperia-Victoria London Hotel in conjunction with the Institute of Travel Management.

Full details including the list of the panellists of our Concur Technologies and GetThere supported event will found on our website http://www.ms-uk.com/content/autumn06advert.html

The day's agenda follows our previous pattern and has been determined by the votes of our previous delegates and readers of this newsletter.

  • In house travel dept versus Call centre (do you get a better service from a TMC implant or a call centre?) - TUPE & the impact on changing TMC
  • What new product(s) is/are on the horizon to allow Corporates / TMC's to reduce bottom line costs?
  • Surface Transport, Rail & Hotel procurement and how self booking tools are dealing with this problem.
  • Is the Security and Risk Management under control in your company and some suggestions to consider.

If you have never participated in this unique Network focussed event then call us now to reserve a place.

5  EOS ETicketing

All business class transatlantic carrier Eos is to offer e-ticketing as part of an expanded distribution deal with Sabre.

The airline, which runs daily Stansted-New York flights on 48-seat Boeing 757s, believes the move will help it further tap into the corporate travel market.

The airline's global sales executive vice-president Toby Joseph said: "Eos is pleased to select Sabre in expanding the distribution of our premium class service to New York and London."

"With a higher level of GDS connectivity, Sabre is clearly helping Eos in achieving its sales and marketing targets."

Source: Travelmole; www.eosairlines.com/

6  St Pancras for a good start to the day

Train operator Midland Mainline is championing breakfast as the most important meal of the day. The company, whose London services leave from St Pancras, have introduced its very own Breakfast Ambassadors.

The idea is to get to grips with a new menu where the choice has transformed from a traditional breakfast grill and pre-packed bacon butties to almost 20 options, with all hot dishes freshly cooked on board. The 'Full Works' combines a 'Healthy Option' of citrus fruits, cereals and probiotic yoghurt with the Great British - bacon, egg and the trimmings - or smoked salmon, or kippers.

Alternatively, diners can now enjoy the 'Healthy Option', a vegetarian grill, salmon or kippers, as individual choices. In addition, Midland Mainline has introduced bacon and sausage baguettes, freshly cooked on board, and toast served on its own or with scrambled eggs.

Source: Air & Business Travel News; www.midlandmainline.com

7  Supermarket Sweep

Air-Berlin has teamed up with low-cost supermarket Lidl to offer cut price flights.

Between September 5 - 12 customers will be able to buy flight vouchers from any of the 390 Lidl superstores in the UK, at a cost of GBP19 one way.

These vouchers will be valid on any Air-Berlin flight until the end of March 2007 with no restrictions (other than the flight not being sold out). The vouchers include taxes, and represent a saving of up to GBP50 on a one way flight depending on the route.

To take advantage of the offer passengers should purchase the voucher from Lidl and then enter the details at Air-Berlin's website.

Source: Business Traveller online; www.AirBerlin.com

8  More Marriott Expansions

Marriott International plans to open its second Renaissance-branded hotel in Beijing in 2008 under a management agreement with Beijing R&F Properties Development. When opened, the 540-room Renaissance Beijing Capital Hotel, will be the 8th hotel in Marriott's Beijing portfolio.

It will be situated on the southern edge of Beijing's central business district as part of the massive R&F City 1.6-million square metre mixed-use development.

Marriott International has also introduced its Renaissance brand to Spain with the opening of the 259-room Renaissance Barcelona Airport Hotel.

The location is a short drive from the new Fairground (Fira II), soon to be one of Europe's largest exhibition sites, and a 10-minute drive from the city center with its famous Gaudi attraction, La Sagrada Familia. Daily complimentary roundtrip airport shuttle service is available.

Source: Business TravelExecutive Redline; marriott.com/renaissancehotels/default.mi

9  Going Private

European Business Jets (EBJ), based at Cambridge Airport, has been granted an Air Operator's Certificate (AOC) at a time when, due to the security problems at the major airports, the private aviation business is booming.

EBJ floated on AIM in April last year and now operates a pair of six-seat Cessna Citation CJ1 aircraft.

Innovative EBJ has introduced what it calls its five hour "Demonstration Card", which effectively allows cardholders to test drive the service whenever and wherever they wish for a set price of GBP2,950 an hour.

The EBJ concept is based on a streamlined version of the fractional ownership model.

Individuals and companies purchase a portion of a specific aircraft - an interest that meets their travel requirements based on the number of actual hours they expect to fly annually. They are then guaranteed exclusive use and availability of an aircraft in Europe 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with as little as 12 hours' notice.)

Source: Air & Business Travel News

10  Accor Double

September sees not one but two Accor hotels opening in Reading. The hotel group is adding both an Ibis and a Novotel to its existing portfolio, and they are located right next to each other.

Business travellers familiar to the Accor brand will know that Ibis is the group's budget offering (along with its newer Etap hotels), while Novotel is a mid-market product (the group also operates upmarket Sofitel hotels among others).

The 182 room Ibis Reading Centre adds to the new generation of Ibis hotels in the UK, following the recent opening in Bristol .

Facilities include a queen size bed, desk and chair, tea and coffee facilities, flat screen TV / radio, and wired internet access in all rooms (some rooms also have wifi internet access). Restaurant La Table Rouge offers a cold buffet or table menu and is open 6pm - 10.30pm. The hotel is located at 25a Friar Street, a few minutes walk from Reading's main train station.

Meanwhile next door at 25b, the four-star Novotel Reading Centre has 178 Novation guest rooms, the new modern-style room gradually being rolled out across the brand. Room facilities include everything the Ibis offers, plus laptop size safes, minibar, hairdryer and 24-hour room service. Elements restaurant and bar is open 6am - midnight, and is also open to the public. With the Novotel guests also enjoy leisure facilities (indoor swimming pool, gym, sauna and steam room), and there are eight fully equipped meeting rooms, all with natural daylight.

Rates at the Ibis Reading start from GBP60 (Mon-Thurs) and GBP45 (Fri-Sun), while at the Novotel these rise to GBP120 (Mon-Thurs) and GBP59 (Fri-Sun). All prices are room only - parking is available on site for an additional charge.

Source: Business Traveller Online

11  Ryanair go Mobile

Ryanair and OnAir are signing a deal that will see Ryanair's entire fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft fitted with OnAir's onboard mobile communications solution.

The announcement will make Ryanair the first European airline to offer Europe-wide mobile telephony services during flights across its entire fleet of aircraft to all passengers via their own mobile phones and smartphones.

The deal means that from mid 2007 (subject to relevant regulatory approval) Ryanair's passengers will be able to call, text and e-mail using their mobile phones, BlackBerrys™ and Treos™ at rates which will mirror international roaming charges. OnAir intend to fit 50 Ryanair aircraft during the second half of 2007, with the remainder of the fleet receiving installations from early 2008 onwards.

Source: InternetTravel News

12  Taking it to the Max

Las Vegas, already linked to the UK by both Virgin Atlantic from Gatwick and bmi from Manchester, is to have a route from Stansted. Maxjet is the operator, and says it is not taking a gamble with the new service.

The all business class airline, already established on New York and Washington routes, will launch a twice-weekly flight Thursday 2 November to the casino capital of the world departing 13:00 with a 17:00 arrival local. From 1 October the airline is revising its existing schedule.

The six weekly New York flights will depart from Stansted at 11:45 and JFK 20:15. The Washington, four times per week schedule calls for STN departure at 15:00 with the aircraft leaving 20:30 for the return trip.

Source: Air & Business Travel News;

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