I receive so much information daily about worldwide travel industry news, I thought it might be of interest to my readers for me to share some of the items I hear about.
European travel companies plan for Greece to leave the Eurozone. Some economists believe that if Greece drops the Euro, its replacement currency would quickly lose value making holidays there cheaper and thus more attractive again.
European airlines lose in battle to limit compensation for flight delays. A senior European Court of Justice has ruled against several airlines in favor of passengers in a judgment sought by the High Court in London and a court in Cologne. Passengers on flights delayed three hours or more should be treated as though the flight was cancelled and compensated up to Euro 600, or $500.
Air Pacific Airlines will be renamed Fiji Airways, which was its former name in 1958. The airline announced that it would revert to its original name, with rebranding to coincide with the delivery of the A330 aircraft in 2013. Fiji Airways' new logo and colors will be announced sometime during July 2012.
Research shows high internet fees on cruise liners. London's Daily Telegraph newspaper has found cruise lines are charging as much as $57 an hour in addition to an on and off activation fee. The charge can be as high as $600 for a cruise and the cruise lines say that it is expensive to provide internet access from the middle of the ocean. Check whether port terminals on your itinerary have free Wi-Fi access and check your Smartphone plan - remember that your international plan does not work when you are in Cellular @ Sea mode. I rarely use email while on board a cruise ship. Take the time to relax.
Charge by airlines for carry-on items - I was carrying a handbag, a fur coat over my arm, and an evening dress in a bag. I was told there would be a $50 charge for my coat and a $50 charge for my dress bag. I think we will see more airlines charging for any carry on baggage. Spirit Airlines is now charging $100 per item.
Some airlines will not allow you to request a seat assignment in economy class. They assign you one and some are charging for these requests, such as aisle or window, etc.
Customized travel is picking up - travel agents are noting an increase in business for deeply personalized itineraries. These travelers are short on time and willing to pay for expert knowledge and service.
Southwest Airlines will defer taking delivery of 30 new Boeing jets in 2013 and 2014 in an attempt to hold down costs and boosting profitability.
Passengers have been put off two cruise lines recently for not attending the boat drill. Both Seabourn and Holland America made the cruisers pack up and disembark for this offense. After the Italian Costa Concordia disaster, every cruise line is following a tough safety policy.
American Airlines wants to add an additional 17 weekly flights between the U.S. and Brazil and are now waiting for Government approval.
Maureen Jones is president of All Horizons Travel at 160 Main Street. Members of her staff are experts in business travel, cruises, and all types of leisure.