Tag Archives: U.S. airlines

This Week in Travel & Tourism — 9/24/2012


Virgin America to offer nonstop flight from N.Y. to Calif. for winter

Virgin America plans to add a nonstop route from New York’s JFK airport to Palm Springs, Calif., beginning Dec. 22. The service will run on Saturdays throughout the winter season. “We’re pleased to be expanding in the market and offering a new nonstop option for travelers coming from New York to the desert this winter,” said John MacLeod, a senior vice president at Virgin America.

British Airways eyes no-wait electronic check-in

British Airways has developed a system that checks passengers in the day before their trip, selects their seat and sends a boarding pass electronically. The system, which would eliminate the need to check in at airports, will roll out on a trial basis.

U.S. airlines collect $932 million in bag fees in Q2

U.S. passenger airlines collected a total of $932 million in baggage fees in the second quarter, up from $816 million in the first quarter, according to figures released by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics on Tuesday.

InterJet will launch Orange Country-Mexico City flights

InterJet plans to offer daily nonstop flights from John Wayne Airport in Orange County, Calif., to Mexico City and Guadalajara in mid-October.


More agents are collaborating with OTA network, Expedia leader says

Expedia’s Travel Agent Affiliate Program is enjoying healthy growth in the ranks of its affiliated traditional travel agencies, and agents are boosting engagement with its platform, says Diego Pedrani, a director at Expedia Worldwide. “We currently work with more than 25,000 travel agency affiliates worldwide, and new agent signups continue to accelerate. We signed double the number of agents in the first three months of 2012 compared to the previous year,” Pedrani said.


2 decks of relaxation await on Norwegian Breakaway

Norwegian Cruise Line will debut its 23,000-square-foot, two-floor Mandara Spa on the Norwegian Breakaway. The spa will feature 13 heated loungers, a salt room, vitality pool, whirlpools, sauna, solarium, steam room, salon and barber shop. It will include 22 treatment rooms and offer cosmetic medical treatments including Botox injections.


Six Vegas restaurants earn top honors from Wine Spectator

Six Las Vegas restaurants were honored with Wine Spectator’s Grand Award, the top honor in the publication’s annual Restaurant Wine List Awards. Aureole Las Vegas (at Mandalay Bay); Delmonico Steakhouse and Piero Selvaggio Valentino (both at the Venetian); Joel Robuchon Restaurant (MGM Grand); Picasso (Bellagio); and Restaurant Guy Savoy (Caesars Palace) earned Grand Award status.

This Week in Travel & Tourism — 9/17/2012


Hawaiian Airlines is bidding for nonstop flights to Tokyo

Hawaiian Airlines is among the four U.S. airlines bidding for flight rights for nonstop travel between Haneda Airport in Tokyo and Kona, Hawaii. The flight rights were awarded to Delta Air Lines in 2010 with its service to Detroit, but when Delta suspended that route, the Department of Transportation decided to accept new bids. Delta, American Airlines and United Airlines have also submitted bids for routes to Tokyo through different U.S. cities.

Global tourism is on pace to reach 1 billion in 2012

International tourism numbers continue to grow, having risen 5% between January and June against the same period last year, says Taleb Rifai, secretary-general of the U.N. World Tourism Organization. Rifai predicts that global tourism will reach the 1 billion mark by the end of 2012. “As we lead up to the milestone of 1 billion, we need to ensure that the tourism sector is supported by adequate national policies and that we work to reduce existing barriers to the expansion of the sector, such as complicated visa procedures, increased direct taxation or limited connectivity,” Rifai said.


Travel firms note slow recovery of luxury segment

Hotel chains and travel booking firms say the luxury-travel segment is inching back toward a full recovery, with bookings in group and leisure showing the most stable growth. “The strongest segment by far has been leisure. The consumer is buying more premium rooms every year over the previous year,” said Chris Gabaldon, chief marketing officer of Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co.


Fares on U.S. airlines rise for fourth time in 2012

Southwest Airlines last week raised about 10% of its routes by $10 per round-trip. United Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Virgin America and JetBlue Airways raised some rates as well, marking the fourth time this year that U.S. airlines have increased fares.

Delays, cancellations hamper American Airlines’ performance

American Airlines has suffered poor performance in the past few days, with a steep number of flight cancellations implemented throughout the country and a sharp increase in flight delays, this feature says. The carrier is embroiled in a dispute with its pilots over impending mass employee layoffs and new cost-saving work policies. American Airlines has announced plans to cut its scheduled flights in September and October in light of alleged disruptive actions by its pilots.

Hawaiian Airlines passenger traffic grew 12.6 percent in August

Hawaiian Airlines has released its August and year-to-date statistics. The carrier’s number of total passengers increased 12.6% in August compared with the same month in 2011. Year-to-date passenger totals are up 8.4% over the same period last year.

Budget airlines are growing in a sluggish industry

Several airline executives spoke at Boyd Group International Aviation Forecast Summit on Monday to say that their low-cost airlines are growing during a sluggish economy. Executives from Spirit Airlines, JetBlue Airways and Southwest Airlines spoke of the growth their airlines are experiencing. Consolidation was also a common topic at the summit, with leaders supporting the measures as being good for the industry.

JetBlue plans to roll out speedy in-flight Wi-Fi

Starting in the first quarter of next year, passengers aboard JetBlue flights will be able to access Wi-Fi service fast enough to stream movies and TV shows. According to an internal company e-mail, the low-cost carrier plans to partner with ViaSat to offer fast Wi-Fi that it says will give it a competitive advantage over its rivals. The e-mail says the service will be free during an initial trial period.


The Rockettes to christen Norwegian Cruise Line’s new ship The high-kicking Rockettes of Radio City Music Hall fame will christen the Norwegian Breakaway on May 8, Norwegian Cruise Line disclosed on Tuesday. The Breakaway will be the largest ship to be homeported in New York, and the cruise line said the choice of the Rockettes to serve as godmothers will deepen its ties to the city.

This Week in Travel & Tourism — 7/16/2012


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