Trabber News

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News of June 2012


Ryanair fees ‘discriminate’ against British fliers

29 June 2012

Ryanair is charging British travellers nearly 25 per cent more than it charges their counterparts elsewhere in Europe in its numerous fees and charges.

The airline calculates its optional and non-optional fees using an exchange rate of £1 = €1 – a policy adopted when sterling was close to parity with the euro. Since last summer, however, the European debt crisis has seen the pound strengthen steadily to a four-year high against the euro, meaning British travellers are increasingly paying more than residents of Ireland and the Continent.

Ryanair’s charges include a “web check-in fee” and an “admin fee”, the latter avoidable only by passengers who carry a Ryanair Cash Passport. Travellers from Britain pay £12 per person per return flight for the first and £6 per person for the second. Those outside Britain pay €12 and €6, which equates to £9.60 and £4.80.

source: telegraph.co.uk


Southwest Airlines will try out live TV on five planes

29 June 2012

Southwest Airlines plans to sell live television service on five planes and expand it to 20 by mid-July.

The airline said Thursday it would offer seven sports and news channels for passengers to watch on their own devices.

Southwest said it will test prices from $3 to $8 during a trial period. Passengers will need a Wi-Fi-enabled device such as a smartphone, tablet or laptop computer.

Live TV will be offered separately from wireless Internet access, and customers won’t have to buy Internet access to watch TV.

source: lubbockonline.com


U.S. fines Mexico’s Volaris over airline bag fees

24 June 2012

Mexico’s Volaris on Friday became the first airline to be fined by U.S. regulators under new consumer-protection laws that include requiring carriers to disclose all taxes and fees, such as those levied for checked-in bags.

Volaris received a $130,000 civil penalty from the U.S. Department of Transportation, which said the carrier didn’t clearly label baggage fees on its website.

The new consumer-protection laws came into force in January, part of a package of protections that included forcing carriers to be more transparent about advertising fares. It also extended fines for airport delays to international airlines for the first time.


Chile’s Lan and Brazil’s Tam merge to create huge airline

24 June 2012

Chile’s Lan airline has completed a takeover of Brazil’s Tam, creating the world’s second largest airline by market value, to be known as Latam.

After two years of negotiations, Tam shareholders agreed to the takeover.

The new company will have its headquarters in the Chilean capital, Santiago.

Brazil and Chile have enjoyed years of economic growth, which has brought about a massive increase in air travel but also recently tougher competition.

source: BBC.co.uk


Travel insurance firms tackle alcohol-related claims

19 June 2012

The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (Biba) says companies are adding more restrictions for drink-related claims.

They looked at 20 of the leading policies and all of them said drink could affect the result.

The Foreign Office says taking holiday insurance when people go away is vital.

Foreign office figures suggest 25% of 16 to 24-year-olds travel abroad without holiday insurance, a much higher number than the average.

source: BBC.co.uk


More European airlines likely to go bust this year

11 June 2012

More European airlines will go bust this year as their collective losses top $1bn (£642m), according to the industry’s global body.

The International Air Transport Association’s bleak forecast, doubling the losses predicted in March, warned that an intensified eurozone crisis and a return to higher fuel costs were real risks that could sink the industry further.

Tony Tyler, the chief executive of Iata, said the state of the industry was “fragile” and that “profitability is balancing on a knife-edge“.

Despite the price of oil dipping below $100 a barrel last week, fuel remained around 33% of airlines’ operating costs, compared with just 13% 10 years ago. “It’s our biggest challenge, and one with little predictability.” Any deteriorating relations with Iran could have a severe impact on aviation, he said.

source: Guardian.co.uk


China forbids international tourism to Tibet indefinitely

9 June 2012

In a matter of days, the number of expected foreign visitors to Tibet has gone from millions to zero.

Chinese authorities alerted foreign travel agencies Tuesday that they would no longer be issuing entry permits to Tibet, the latest in a series of regulations being put on travelers to Tibet. The announcement follows the self-immolation of two Tibetans last week.

While many tourism agencies have learned to adapt and predict the trends on tourism bans, this closure comes as something of a shock. According to Nellie Connelly, marketing director of WildChina, a prominent travel company that regularly coordinates trips to Tibet, Chinese authorities informed the company in mid-May that travelers would only be allowed to visit Tibet in groups of five people of the same nationality. Last week, the government stopped issuing entry permits to Tibet altogether.  Connelly is in the process of rerouting customers whose Tibetan vacations are affected by the new ban. Only those Chinese nationals are allowed to enter the region.

source: ABC News


London hotels ‘pricing themselves out of market’

8 June 2012

Bookings at London hotels for the Olympic period are down by around a third on last summer, with travellers being put off by high prices, a British travel agent said this week, dampening hopes that the Games will help to revive Britain’s economy.

The travel agent said a four-star hotel room in central London is normally priced between 80 pounds and 120 pounds per night during in the peak summer season, but this year the range is 200 pounds to 415 pounds.

source: Reuters


Spanish court rules Vueling can’t pass on charges

8 June 2012

A court in Barcelona ruled that Vueling Airlines, the Spanish low-cost carrier, can’t pass on higher landing charges to clients who bought their tickets before the price hike was announced.

The court said Vueling can’t enforce a clause in their sales contract which allows them to charge clients extra after the government increased fees by 19 percent at Spanish airports.

Ryanair, which last month told customers they faced extra charges, may also be affected by the ruling.

fuente: Bloomberg


Air Baltic launches new seatbuddy concept

6 June 2012

Latvian carrier Air Baltic has become the launch airline of Satisfly’s new intelligent assigned seating product SeatBuddy.

Through the product passengers are able to select a preferred flight mood and desired seat neighbour profile. The system automatically identifies and allocates the ideal “seat buddy”  based on travellers preferences. The service is initially available on flights to three European countries including Finland and Estonia.

Travellers seeking a quiet flight with a silent environment can benefit from intelligent seating assignments, by selecting a relax or work flight mood. Passengers in a social mood will have the opportunity to opt for “business networking” or “easy chat” to be seated with a like-minded buddy with a similar mood.

source: flightglobal.com