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Travel News May 2005.

Online agents tout expansion to keep investors' interest. Despite a 20% jump in online bookings, Internet travel agencies must work hard to keep the attention of investors, the New York Times reports. Travelocity, Orbitz and Expedia are emphasizing corporate sales and expanding internationally. Meanwhile, costs are rising and the market is becoming more mature, analysts say. May 31, 2005

In-flight Internet options proliferate for international travelers. More international carriers are introducing or expanding in-flight Internet access for passengers, Airguide reports. Scandinavian Airlines System cited high demand as the reason it expanded in-flight connectivity access to all seats on many of its routes. May 26, 2005

Small Seattle ad firm lands DMX Inflight. Aeromedia Network has won a contract to provide ad content for DMX Inflight, an in-flight entertainment provider. The contract could mean wide exposure for Aeromedia because DMX has relationships with almost every major airline. Aeromedia now provides advertising content for Alaska Airlines. May 25, 2005

Internet travel firm aimed at groups plans to double in size. An online site for group travel is growing and will double its size in the next year, the Denver Rocky Mountain News reports. Groople is based in Denver and plans to open an international office in Paris. The company caters to groups needing at least five hotel rooms. May 25, 2005

U.S. airlines expect 200 million passengers this summer. The Air Transport Association is expecting approximately 200 million passengers to travel on our country's airlines this summer. Throughout the summer -- Memorial Day through Labor Day -- the airlines are expecting to carry 4.1% more passengers than they carried during the same period in 2004. May 25, 2005

More travelers with time to kill head to the gym. Some travelers are hitting the gym during layovers, the Associated Press reports. It has become easier to find fitness centers in or near airports. Some gyms are a short taxi ride away, and others are located inside airports or in hotels linked to airports. May 24, 2005

Air fares, hotel rates climb ahead of busy summer travel season. Anticipating a strong demand for summer travel, airlines and hotels have lifted their prices, the Dallas Morning News reports. Tom Parsons of said air fares are now more than $100 higher than they were a year ago. A PricewaterhouseCoopers study indicates hotel rates have jumped 4.5%. May 24, 2005

Airlines make first-class more child-friendly as demand grows. Airlines are responding as more families choose to fly their children in the first-class cabin, the Wall Street Journal reports. Some carriers are offering new services, such as Nintendo video games, a child-friendly menu, and "sky nannies," who entertain the children with toys and puzzles. Airlines are also trying to balance the needs of children who fly first-class with those of business travelers. May 20, 2005

Standard XML messaging gains momentum in travel industry. Many travel companies are switching to a standard XML messaging specification from proprietary XML interfaces, Information Week reports. The new XML specifications offer better connectivity and online packaging. It also cuts distribution costs. May 11, 2005

Space tourism attracts interest of wealthy, may boost economy. Thousands of wealthy people are interested in spending $200,000 to tour space, Florida Today reports. If it takes off, the space tourism industry could add millions to the economy and create thousands of NASA jobs. The Florida Space Authority has commissioned a study on building a private space port and attracting companies interested in catering to space tourists. May 10, 2005

When making summer plans, travelers mull driving, flying. Travelers are finding it difficult to decide whether to drive or fly to their summer vacations, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Many families are finding it cheaper to fly because high gas prices make it expensive to drive long distances. Also, major and discount airlines are offering cheap airfares to certain parts of the country. May 9, 2005

Web booking takes off with more travelers. PhoCusWright predicts more money will be spent this year in the U.S. booking leisure and unmanaged business travel online than offline. The online travel industry is expected to rake in $66 billion this year. Experts and consumers cite the ease and convenience of travel sites, which are available 24 hours a day; however, travel agents say they believe vacationers will continue to turn to them to arrange cruises, tours and other more complicated itineraries. May 9, 2005

Travelers troll Internet sites for erroneous fares. Many consumers check airlines sites specifically looking for "mistake fares," USA TODAY reports. Recent accidental online deals include a $51 roundtrip ticket from Los Angeles to Fiji. Some Web sites include disclaimers giving the right to refuse to honor a fare that a reasonable person would recognize as a mistake. Often these online deals are caused by human error. May 6, 2005

More research needed before tighter emission rules are enacted. Europe and North American officials are moving toward stricter emissions standards for commercial airlines, according to an editorial in Air Transport World. Tougher rules could harm the industry, which is already suffering from staggering fuel prices. Airport air emissions are an under-researched subject, and more work should be done to understand the airlines' role and responsibility. May 6, 2005

Sleeping on an aircraft is always the subject of debate. Now when on a flight, passengers can avoid the bad movie, or talking to fellow passengers and instead get some much needed rest. John Stallcup the US-based (it could only happen in America) co-author of "How to Sleep on Airplanes" the best selling sleep travel handbook, has introduced a comprehensive website providing everything passengers need to know about sleep while traveling. The site includes an online store offering field tested sleep travel gear, including earplugs, eyeshades, inflatable pillows, the "How to Sleep on Airplanes Handbook" and complete sleep kits for short haul, transcontinental and long haul flights. Also included is a section on the most common questions travelers have about sleep, as well as links to helpful travel sites, making this the web's only all inclusive source for everything passengers need to sleep on aircraft. May 6, 2005

For women business travelers, it's a jungle out there. Women business travelers encounter hazards and hassles many male road warriors don't have to consider, Keith L. Alexander writes in the Washington Post. Author Kathleen Ameche offers women advice to maximize safety and avoid common pitfalls in her new book, "The Woman Road Warrior: A Woman's Guide to Business Travel." Among her suggestions: Never stay in a hotel room on the ground floor, and let the hotel concierge know where you're going and check in when you get back. May 4, 2005

Demand for summer travel heats up; airline bookings climb. The travel industry is rebounding from the recession it endured after the Sept. 11 attacks, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports. Bookings for airline tickets, hotel rooms, cruises and campsites are climbing for this summer, despite high fuel prices. May 2, 2005

Repeal of Wright could reduce flights at Dallas/Fort Worth, study says. A study commissioned by Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport said repealing the Wright amendment could cause the airport to lose up to 35% of its flights. At a news conference, officials said eliminating Wright would result in lower airfares. Southwest Airlines wants the law, which limits flying out of Dallas Love Field, repealed. American Airlines and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport want it to stay in place. May 11, 2005

Atlanta on track to be busiest airport in 2005, FAA says. The Federal Aviation Administration expects Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is on pace to claim the title of the busiest U.S. airport in 2005, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. The airport will serve more passengers and operate more flights than any U.S. airport. Last year, Chicago O'Hare operated more flights. May 23, 2005

Washington bound passengers from Europe should not get confused. The airport renaming craze has struck the good citizens of Baltimore who have renamed their important hub, Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport in honor of the first black justice on the US Supreme Court. It is still BWI and has a twice-daily BA service to Heathrow. Washington Dulles (named after a former secretary of state), the main international airport for the District of Columbia, is in fact much the same distance from the downtown area. However if you are flying into Washington on a domestic basis use Reagan (the former film star and sometime President), which at the most, is five miles from any place in the center of the city and has excellent rail connections. May 20, 2005

BWI to double retail space with hopes of boosting sales. Baltimore-Washington International Airport plans to double its eating and shopping space, the Washington Post reports. A new terminal, which will include more stores, will open this week. Officials say they want to boost the airport's retail sales. The terminal will include a McDonald's and several specialty shops. May 15, 2005

British Airport Authority - BAA has posted a forecast-beating 18.8% increase in profits after a record busting 141.7m passengers used its seven airports. Travelers spent more than ever in its shops, the average take rising to [pounds sterling]4.16 per passenger from [pounds sterling]4.12 a year earlier. At the bottom line, pretax profits increased by 36% to [pounds sterling]733m including a one-off property-related figure of [pounds sterling]112m. Perhaps the only fly in the ointment was an admission that the second runway at Stansted was further off than planned, even 2112 now being muted. May 20, 2005

Connexion by Boeing is, for the second year running, the recipient of the World Travel Award for World's Leading High-Speed In-flight Internet Services Provider and was recently named one of the wireless companies to watch in 2005 by IDC wireless services analysts. Through a broadband connection to an equipped aircraft, high-speed Internet, data and entertainment connectivity is delivered directly to travelers in flight. The Connexion by Boeing service is available today on flights offered by Lufthansa, SAS, Japan Airlines, ANA and Singapore Airlines. In addition, China Airlines, Korean Air, Asiana and El Al Israeli Airlines have announced their intent to install the Connexion by Boeing system on their long-range aircraft. Connexion by Boeing also offers a high-speed connectivity solution for the business aviation and maritime markets. For more information, please visit May 17, 2005

Connexion by Boeing to offer television this summer. Connexion by Boeing will start offering live television this summer, the Seattle Times reports. Singapore Airlines is the only carrier that has committed to offering the TV service, which will include four channels: BBC World, CNBC, EuroSport News and EuroNews or MSNBC. May 17, 2005

Marketplace drives Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. Residents and companies in North Texas help Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport thrive, Mitchell Schnurman writes in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The airport and its supporters often claim it is the region's economic engine, but Schnurman points out corporations were creating jobs in the area long before the airport opened. May 18, 2005

FAA studies new runway lighting system at Dallas airport. The Federal Aviation Administration has started studying a new lighting system at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, the Dallas Morning News reports. Officials hope the Runway Status Light system will help cut the number of near-collisions on airport runways. May 31, 2005

Texas lawmakers to propose bill that would repeal Wright Amendment. Two Texas lawmakers will introduce House legislation that would repeal the Wright amendment, the law that limits flights out of Dallas Love Field, the Dallas Morning News reports. Republican Reps. Jeb Hensarling and Sam Johnson say "The Right to Fly Act" would immediately repeal Wright. American Airlines and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport have criticized the proposal. May 26, 2005

Dallas/Fort Worth opens new Skylink people-mover system. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport opened its new Skylink people-mover system on Saturday, the Dallas Morning News reports. A traveler needs a plane ticket to ride the system, which connects all of the airport's terminals with D/FW's new Terminal D. May 23, 2005

New $2.7B D/FW terminal set to open in two months. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport's new Terminal D is set to open in two months, the Dallas Morning News reports. The expansion project cost $2.7 billion. Officials hope the new terminal, which is attached to a Grand Hyatt hotel and Skylink people mover, will generate interest in the airport as a connecting hub. May 2, 2005

Detroit Metropolitan Airport will have all its SkyTeam partners under one roof by the middle of June. With Continental, KLM and Northwest already established in the McNamara Terminal, Delta has come across to join them. A fourth SkyTeam carrier, Air France, plans to add to these carriers at DTW 13 June 2005, in conjunction with an inaugural service to Detroit. SkyTeam customers have access to a range of consolidated SkyTeam operations, including gates, check-in kiosks and counters, and security checkpoints. May 6, 2005

Heathrow clients of the Guy Salmon Prestige Rental fleet using T1 can now use what is claimed to be the first collection and return service immediately outside the terminal. Rather than queuing for a bus for the perimeter rental car parks, customers can enjoy the services of a concierge to take their luggage and show them to their car in the Guy Salmon car park directly opposite the pedestrian exit of the main terminal building. A wide range of prestige vehicles is available, from the sporty BMW Z4, Porsche Boxter or Mercedes CLK & SLK Convertible, to the fun-loving Mini Cooper S, the luxury of the Mercedes S Class or Jaguar XJ8 or one of the many other prestige vehicles on the fleet. Once the rental has ended, the customer can return the car to Terminal 1 between 0600 and 1800 by simply phoning through to the concierge, who will meet them directly outside the terminal building. Guy Salmon also provides a full delivery and collection service throughout the UK, which means that the vehicle can also be returned to any Guy Salmon or National Car Rental location in the UK, or the customer can arrange for it to be collected from a convenient location. May 13, 2005

Internet surfers can now continue with their exertions even over the Pacific. Japan Airlines has become the first carrier to offer a satellite link with the Connexion by Boeing system, on its daily 12.5 hour Tokyo - New York flight. Initially available on a single aircraft, the service will become available daily by the end of June when a second Boeing 747-400 completes a installation. The service supports e-mail, Web browsing and corporate network access via a virtual private network, among other features according to JAL. Access will be available throughout the aircraft; it will cost $29.95 for the entire flight, or $9.95 for the first 30 minutes and 25 cents for each additional minute. May 13, 2005

Luton is only 7 hours 19 minutes away from Chicago if you have the latest in business jets. Just a week after entering service, a new large-cabin, long-range Gulfstream G450 business jet, established a new intercontinental city-pair speed record, flying 3,550 nautical miles in record time at an average speed of Mach 0.85. The G450 set its first speed record on its way to Geneva (Switzerland), where it was displayed at the annual European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE). Flight attendant Kitty Ramage and four passengers were also on board. Sadly as far as we know, no scheduled operation is planned, or any other across the North Atlantic from the north London airport, the UK's busiest executive jet base. May 27, 2005

Luton Airport users might like to know of an opening by Days Inn just ten minutes taxi ride from the airport and a short walk from the mainline station. In an area dearth of decent hotels in the mid-budget range the new property is a welcome addition. It features 120 rooms, a restaurant and bar and two private conference facilities. The Days Hotel Luton becomes the chain's 39th hotel to open in the UK and is managed by Kew Green Hotels under a franchise agreement with Cendant Hotel Group International. Equipped to near four-star standards, bedrooms are fully air-conditioned, with king-size bed, en-suite bathroom with double-size power shower, broadband Internet access, satellite channels, pay movies and direct dial telephone. WorkZone bedrooms for business guests also feature an iron and ironing board, safe for a laptop, work desk, extra light and additional telephone. Six wheelchair-accessible rooms are also available. Guests can also use the Livingwell Health Club next door (for a small charge) and parking is available. May 27, 2005

Airports expect record number of travelers for Memorial Day, summer. Los Angeles International Airport expects to serve a record number of travelers this summer, the Los Angeles Times reports. Low air fares and the weak dollar have spurred many people to travel. LAX expects 18.5 million travelers to pass through the airport this summer, up 6% from a year ago. The number of international passengers will climb 10%. Other airports, including Nashville International Airport, expect record crowds during Memorial Day weekend, the Nashville Tennessean reports. Crowds, security and weather will contribute to summer delays: Airport officials expect crowds and weather delays on the busy Memorial Day weekend and into the summer. Federal Aviation Administration officials predict crowds, security procedures or summer thunderstorms will delay one in four flights this summer. May 27, 2005

Research shows passengers are pleased with their ability to access the Internet. Lufthansa and Connexion by Boeing today announced that their partnership to provide high-speed, in-flight Internet access is proving a popular feature with passengers. Based on research conducted with passengers of the industry-leading European air carrier, the FlyNet portal, which includes Internet access from Connexion By BoeingSM, is helping them to not only be productive in flight, but also is affording them with new entertainment options."Our partnership with Lufthansa continues to be strong, customer-focused and one that is helping to meet the connectivity needs of the airline's passengers," said Friedman. "Based on the research data, passengers are using the Connexion by Boeing service to access e-mail, surf the Internet, connect to their corporate virtual private networks and conduct Voice-over-Internet-Protocol calls over the Internet. It's very encouraging to know they are using it the way it was designed, while also finding new and creative ways to entertain themselves in flight.""From my own experience and after talking to many customers, I know how important this service is, especially for business travelers," emphasizes Chief of Marketing and Sales of Lufthansa Passenger Airlines Thierry Antinori. "This corresponds with the results of the survey where 85 percent stated that in the future, the availability of high-speed Internet will influence their choice of an airline."In an early sampling of 1,600 ( Survey conducted in Asia, Europe and the US with a 40 percent response rate.) passengers who have used the Connexion by Boeing service, research showed the following:- Two-thirds of passengers are very satisfied with the overall service- 93 percent are either satisfied or very satisfied- One out of three customers surveyed has used the service two-to-four times already- The top four usage applications are sending and receiving e-mail, accessing the Internet for general information, accessing company intranets and using the Internet for financial service transactions- 85 percent indicated the availability of high-speed Internet access would have an impact on their future choice of airlinesTo commemorate its one-year in-service anniversary, Connexion by Boeing will provide one week of free Internet access on all equipped Lufthansa flights during the week of May 17-23. Currently there are 42 Lufthansa aircraft equipped with high-speed Internet access; route information can be found at or the FlyNet pages at In coming months, Connexion by Boeing will work closely with Lufthansa and other airline partners to identify and introduce new levels of service and functionality that will be offered to airline passengers. May 12, 2005

Airports Commission approves Minneapolis expansion project. The Minneapolis Metropolitan Airports Commission approved an airport expansion plan Monday, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports. The $983 million plan will cost $120 million more than an earlier proposal by Northwest Airlines. The commission will consider funding for the project in September.

May 18, 2005

New plan would boost cost of Minneapolis-St. Paul airport project by 14%. A revised plan would boost the cost of expanding Minneapolis-St. Paul airport by $122 million, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports. The current estimate is $862 million. The new plan includes additional gates and parking spaces. The Metropolitan Airport Commission is considering the revised plan. May 4, 2005

India's Mumbai Airport has a new meet and great facility, particularly useful for first time visitors to India and business travelers who want a really smooth journey through the airport. The idea is not new, it being available at Dubai for some time, and also in the Gulf Qatar Airways offering the facility. With international passenger numbers soaring by 25% the airport authority believes it is the way forward to ensure a smooth arrival. Desks are to be set up shortly in the airside arrivals area. Escorts will see passengers through the (speedy) immigration and deposit them in a lounge whilst collecting luggage and organizing a taxi or onward connections. The cost will be 500 rupee ($1.10 / [pounds sterling]6) with the task entrusted to a specialist hospitality company. Passengers using the former Bombay airports' domestic facility will find a huge improvement from August onwards when a renovated domestic terminal 1B is introduced. The old building dates back to 1958. Amongst the many improvements is a covered drop off area, essential during the monsoon period when it can be very wet. May 20, 2005

New Orleans officials contemplate new airport. Officials in New Orleans are considering building a new airport, the Associated Press reported. The airport would be located in suburban St. Charles Parish or in eastern New Orleans. It would replace the Louis Armstrong International Airport, which private developers could buy for up to $600 million. May 19, 2005

Paris airport is top hub for international connecting travel, study says. Paris is the top connecting hub for international travelers, according to a study published Tuesday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. The findings will help officials understand the flow of traffic and learn where more competition is needed. Researchers at Northwestern University conducted the study. May 24, 2005

Reno airport conducts disaster simulation drill. Officials at the Reno/Tahoe International Airport recently conducted "Operation Broken Propeller VI," a disaster simulation drill, the Reno Gazette-Journal reports. The airport must participate in a full-scale disaster drill every three years. Bodies were strewn in a grassy field, airport police and fire fighters rushed to the scene and paramedics tended to volunteer victims. May 27, 2005

Sabre threatened by airline-backed startup G2 SwitchWorks. Sabre Holdings is facing challenges as airlines work to reduce ticket reservation fees, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Sabre runs the world's largest reservation system. Now airlines hope to move a large portion of their reservation business to startup G2 SwitchWorks. Sabre chief executive Sam Gilliland said the company will transform into a low-cost provider, but said, "We do believe we should get a premium from our product, based on our breadth, our reach and our relationships." May 9, 2005

Sabre to buy U.K. travel firm for $1.1B. Sabre Holdings will purchase the U.K. travel company for $1.1 billion. Sabre will combine's operations with those of its Travelocity Europe unit. officials said they will consider all offers, as it is possible other companies would place competing bids. May 12, 2005

Travelocity creates customer bill of rights, will provide live agents. Travelocity has created a customer bill of rights that includes working with suppliers to correct problems, Air Transport World reports. For example, it will work with a hotel if a reservation is lost or if the hotel is overbooked. The travel site will also provide telephone numbers so travelers can reach live agents. May 3, 2005

United may build up international service at Denver hub. United Airlines may add international flights to London and Tokyo from its Denver hub within the next four years, the Denver Rocky Mountain News reports. Denver has been trying to attract international flights and offers marketing incentives for airlines that launch new flights to certain foreign destinations. United asks fliers to fax statements: United Airlines is giving some of its frequent-flier customers miles for faxing in frequent-flier statements from competing airlines, the Wall Street Journal reports. Each statement faxed in is worth 2,000 United miles. United said it will use the information to learn where its customers are flying. May 27, 2005

Travelers prepare for possible United strike: Some travelers are afraid a possible strike at United Airlines could interrupt their travel plans, the Associated Press reports. However, travel agents say their customers are not alarmed and continue to book tickets on the airline. May 13, 2005

Possible strike at United worries some summer travelers: The possibility of summer strikes at United Airlines has some travelers worried, the Denver Rocky Mountain News reports. Some travelers are purchasing tickets on competing carriers or making backup plans. Some of the airline's labor groups have threatened to strike if the bankrupt airline is allowed to cut its pension plans. May 9, 2005

United may scrap automated luggage system in Denver. United Airlines is testing new ways to move luggage at Denver International Airport, the Denver Rocky Mountain News reports. The airline may permanently replace its $250 million automated baggage system because it is expensive and works poorly. May 4, 2005

US Airways to further shrink Pittsburgh operations: US Airways will cut 15 more flights out of Pittsburgh International Airport, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. The cuts will start on Aug. 21. After the cuts, the airline will operate 221 daily flights in Pittsburgh, which was once a major hub for the carrier. May 25, 2005

Airlines could bid for parts of US Airways, analysts say. Other airlines may soon offer to buy parts of US Airways, such as takeoff and landing spots in Washington, D.C., and New York, the Charlotte Observer reported. American Airlines has said it is always examining new opportunities in the market, the Dallas Morning News reported. Meanwhile, discounter Southwest Airlines says it doesn't see the merged carrier as a large threat, airline executives said. May 25, 2005
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Title Annotation:online bookings
Publication:Airguide Online
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 31, 2005
Previous Article:Frequent Flyer Program News May 2005.
Next Article:Airline News May 2005.

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