Trabber News

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News of July 2012


Wizz Air to charge customers €10 for hand luggage on board

10 July 2012

Wizz Air is venturing into previously untapped financial territory – by charging its passengers for taking hand luggage into the cabin, even though it already charges to check in luggage to the hold.

The move means that any passenger hoping to take a small case away with them will be forced to pay whether they put it in the hold or take it in the cabin with them.

From August 1, Hungarian carrier Wizz Air will begin a trial on its route between Luton and the Polish city of Katowice that will see customers required to pay to take larger hand-carried items on board.


China airline crew rewarded with cars and cash for foiling hijack

10 July 2012

A Chinese airline has given cash rewards and gifts to crew members who helped foil a hijack attempt on an internal flight, state media say.

Hainan Airlines Group gave nine crew members Audi cars, cash and property.

Officials have said six men tried to break into the cockpit using a broken aluminium crutch as a weapon, but were overpowered by passengers and crew.

The plane landed safely back in Hotan. All the suspects were detained. Officials said they were ethnic Uighurs.


British Airways criticized over plan to Google passengers

8 July 2012

A new British Airways program aimed at creating more personalized experience for customers has the airline in hot water with privacy advocates.

The airline recently started outfitting staff members with technology to help them recognize selected travelers, such as chief exectives of financial companies, without having to ask their name. The so-called “Know Me” program involves Googling future fliers so that cabin crew members and staff at check-in desks and first-class lounges can “put a face to the name before the customer sets foot in the airport.”

The airline has said it just wants to create a more efficient and personal experience for customers, but the move expectantly has privacy advocates up in arms.


Some hotels with free Wi-Fi consider charging for it

7 July 2012

USA’s biggest hotel chains that offer free Wi-Fi are considering adding charges after seeing insatiable demand for Internet bandwidth from guests.

No chain that includes Internet access in its room rate has pulled back on offering Wi-Fi for free, but some are giving customers the option of paying extra for upgraded bandwidth so they don’t get frustrated by sluggish speeds.

Surveys have repeatedly shown that free Internet access ranks toward the top of guests’ want lists from hotels, As a result, hotels have been buying up more bandwidth.


EasyJet set to close Madrid base

5 July 2012

Low-fare airline easyJet is proposing to close its Madrid base from winter 2012/13 but will continue to fly to the Spanish city from other bases.

The budget carrier said it was reviewing options for its eight Madrid-based aircraft and 310 crew.

EasyJet said all pilots and cabin crew in Madrid would be offered a job in the airline’s other bases and that it hoped to retain as many staff as possible.

The airline said Madrid was delivering returns below all its other bases and that there were high airport charges.

source: Association Press


12 airlines agree to scrap last-minute debit card fees after OFT investigation

5 July 2012

Twelve airlines, including easyJet and Ryanair, will no longer spring last-minute fees on customers paying by debit card, the Office of Fair Trading has said.

The carriers have agreed to include debit card surcharges in the headline ticket price rather than surprise consumers at the end of the booking process.

The airlines also agreed to make surcharges for credit cards clearer and easier to find during the booking process, the OFT added.

Aer Lingus, BMI Baby, Eastern Airways, easyJet, Flybe, German Wings, Jet2, Lufthansa, Ryanair, Thomas Cook, Thomson (TUI) and Wizz Air were subject to an OFT consumer law investigation and have agreed to change their practices.

source: Guardian.co.uk


What is Europe’s most-visited tourist attraction?

3 July 2012

Europe’s most-visited attraction won’t be found in London, Barcelona, Paris or Rome. It’s in Istanbul, where 15 million people swarm the Grand Bazaar annually.

More travelers than ever are seeking out Turkey’s East-meets-West history, making it the seventh-ranked country for international arrivals, with 27 million in 2010 and more than 30 million in 2011, according to the World Tourism Organization. (Six of the 10 most-visited countries are European.) It helps that the dollar has strengthened against the Turkish lira—and against the euro—and that an increase in flights to Istanbul has brought down airfares and made it an easy stopover on the way to Africa or Asia.


Passenger focus: airberlin’s comfort initiative on long-haul flights

2 July 2012

As part of extending the flight services offered, particularly to the United Arab Emirates and North America, Air Berlin already began enhancing the level of comfort on board its A330-200 long-haul fleet at the start of this year. In Economy Class, new seats equipped with anti-thrombosis cushions and individually adjustable head rests offer improved comfort. In Business Class, customers can expect fully automatic reclining seats which provide improved comfort whether passengers are sitting or lying down.