Colorado and Florida have cheapest domestic fares, says ARC
Travelers departing from Colorado and Florida are the most likely to find the lowest airfares, according to ARC statistics. ARC said that based on an examination of average fares for 12 months ending April 30, 2012, Colorado was the least expensive state for a roundtrip domestic flight. Looking at a six-year period, ARC found that from Jan. 1, 2006 through Dec. 31, 2011, the least expensive airfares were in Florida.
Southwest looks beyond U.S. borders to Mexico, Caribbean
Southwest is becoming an international airline as it begins taking over AirTran Airways’ routes to Mexico and the Caribbean after the airlines’ merger. Southwest recently signed a deal for a new reservations system capable of handling international bookings and is seeking approval to build a new international terminal in Houston to add as many as 25 flights a day. “We have always wanted to get to a point where we added international capabilities,” said Southwest Chief Commercial Officer Bob Jordan.
AA ramps up personalization in selling and tailoring services
AA is making efforts to “personalize” air travel by offering tailored, relevant fares and services based on such customer attributes as previous itinerary searches, a traveler’s flight history and frequent-flyer status.
United Airlines withdraws preboarding privileges for families
United Airlines has dropped its policy allowing families with small children to board ahead of other passengers. Fliers with children not holding first- or business-class tickets must now board with their assigned boarding groups.
Royal Caribbean announces plans to upgrade reservations system
Royal Caribbean will undertake a five-year program to upgrade its reservations system, the company has announced. Through the $100 million initiative, the cruise line seeks to “help travel agents sell cruises more easily and service their clients more effectively by leveraging the latest technologies,” it says.
USTOA launches Facebook promotion
The U.S. Tour Operators Association has launched a travel sweepstakes through Facebook that is aimed at increasing consumer awareness of and participation in the packaged-travel industry. Four USTOA members — Pacific Delight Tours, Go Ahead Tours, Collette Vacations and Globus — have provided travel product worth $40,000 for Around The World With USTOA Sweepstakes, which will take place from May 29 through June 25, with one of four prizes awarded each week.
Report: “Disney” is top keyword in searches for vacation destinations
An analysis by AdGooroo of keyword-search frequencies on the Internet has concluded that “Disney” is the most-searched travel destination from January through February 2012, at 7.3%. Las Vegas came in second at 6.3%, followed by Florida at 5.7% and the Caribbean at 3.2%. The study also showed a significant interest in deals, with 13.3% of keywords searched related to discounts.
Apple launches fitness vacation packages
Apple Vacations launched Fitcations, a fitness vacation program that kicks off with a weeklong Zumba party at the Now Amber Puerto Vallarta on June 16. The program is run in conjunction with Fit Bodies, an agency that places fitness, yoga and sport professionals at resort facilities for a teaching vacation.