Latin America proves lucrative for U.S. airlines
For most U.S. carriers, flights to Latin America have proved profitable, financial data filed with the Department of Transportation show. During the first quarter, flights to Latin America returned a 5% operating margin, compared with a 4% operating margin for domestic flights.
International visitor spending in U.S. in May up 8%
International visitors to the U.S. in May spent $13.9 billion on tourism and travel-related activities, up 8% from a year earlier, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported Friday. For the first five months of 2012, international tourism spending is up 12% and has created an $18.4 billion trade surplus for the U.S.
Spas very important for Chinese travelers, says Hilton
Chinese tourists are more than twice as likely to factor in whether a hotel has an on-site spa in their booking decisions than Americans, Hilton Hotels & Resorts said in a report released Tuesday.
Average jet-fuel costs in May were the same as a year ago, DOT says
The average fuel cost for U.S. airlines was $3.03 a gallon in May, the same price as a year ago, but down 3.2% compared to April prices, the Department of Transportation says. The total fuel consumption on scheduled flights in May was 1.37 billion gallons.
Customer service is at heart of American Airlines’ Twitter strategy
Dealing with American Airlines via Twitter can be downright enjoyable, Darren Booth writes. The company uses the microblogging site to disseminate information and answer customers’ questions, and it does so with a refreshingly “sincere and human approach,” he writes. Jonathan Pierce, the airline’s director of social media communications, says “our team is empowered by relating to customers, finding connections and being authentic in every response. We make sure there’s a face and voice behind each post.”
United plans 10 new routes
United Airlines announced plans to launch year-round and seasonal service to several new international and domestic routes. International routes are subject to government approval. New routes include daily, year-round service between its San Francisco hub and Taiwan, beginning April 9; daily, year-round service between San Francisco and Paris, beginning April 11; three daily flights between Denver and Williston, N.D., beginning Nov. 4; and daily service between Washington Dulles and San Salvador, El Salvador, beginning Dec. 19.
Hawaiian Airlines will add nonstop flights to New Zealand
Hawaiian Airlines has announced that it will add three nonstop flights per week between between Honolulu and Auckland, starting in March. The move will make the airline the only U.S. carrier flying to the New Zealand city. It believes that New Zealand is an untapped market, noting that the number of visitors to Hawaii from New Zealand has dropped 30% since 1999, when more nonstop flights were offered from Auckland, this feature says.
Carnival’s stricter sales policy draws more praise than criticism
When it goes into effect Aug. 1, Carnival Cruise Lines’ ban on using cash-equivalent value-adds as booking incentives will be among the tightest such policies in the industry. Even so, agents greeted the policy change with more praise than criticism after it was announced in early July.
Baby boomers lead rise in multigenerational travel
Complex multigenerational vacations are on the rise, influenced by a growing number of retiring baby boomers with dreams of making memories and plenty of money to make it a reality, this feature says. Popular family tourist activities around the world include tracing the route of explorers Lewis and Clark in Montana, a culture-laden cruise along Alaska’s Inside Passage and a safari across the Tanzanian Serengeti.
Hertz adds Porsche to Prestige lineup
Hertz added Porsche Panamera sport sedans to the lineup of high-end cars in the Hertz Prestige Collection at select locations in California, Nevada and Florida, saying it’s the first major U.S. rental brand to offer Porsches. Hertz also will become a sponsor of a Porsche racing team. Panamera prices start at about $75,000. http://www.travelweekly.com/Travel-News/Car-Rental-News/Hertz-adds-Porsche-to-Prestige-lineup/?a=usa&cid=eltrvegas