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Travel News October 2005.

Visa Waiver Program countries must issue new passports with digital photographs to allow their citizens to gain access to the US. Visitors with valid machine-readable passports issued prior to October 26 may travel without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program. However passports issued on or after that date must have the digital photo. Visitors which arrive with a new passport without a digital photo will need a visa for entry. Oct 31, 2005

Bush to outline super-flu plan. An announcement is expected this week on how the Bush administration plans to fight the next super-flu. The plans are expected to include additional efforts to spot infections early in both the U.S. and abroad and recommendations on how to isolate the sick and distribute vaccines. Oct 30, 2005

Airport-wide Wi-Fi service launched in Atlanta. New airport-wide Wi-Fi service was launched this week at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. The airport expects to recoup the $11 million it spent on the project in fees ranging from $2.25 to $3 per connection. Travelers use the service to connect their laptops, personal digital assistants or other wireless devices. Oct 27, 2005

New Cendant product to cater to corporate market. Cendant's new Travelport product will integrate elements of Orbitz For Business, according to Travel Weekly. The new offering will be marketed to corporate clients who want Travelport's travel management functionality and Orbitz For Business' technology. Oct 24, 2005

More business travelers book over the Internet, study finds. More business travelers are booking tickets over the Internet, according to a new Accenture study. They are using in-house corporate systems and commercial booking sites. Nearly 75% of business travelers now use Internet booking, up from almost zero five years ago, the study found. Oct 11, 2005

Hillary Clinton, Pataki protest Canadian border passport rule. Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., and New York Gov. George Pataki are asking the federal government to abandon its plan to require passports for crossing the Canadian border. They spoke out against the rule separately Wednesday. Clinton said requiring passports could threaten economic activity. Pataki said he thinks a driver's license is sufficient identification for crossing the border. Oct 5, 2005

Sitting down with Sabre. Chris Kroeger, Sabre Travel Network's senior vice president, talks with about the challenges and opportunities his company faces. Kroeger says Sabre has become a leader among North American travel agencies through providing value to suppliers, who are looking for ways to trim distribution costs. Oct 5, 2005

Some business travelers hope cell phone ban remains. A commercial flight can be the only escape from cell phones and e-mail for some busy business travelers. However, these travelers may soon become reachable: Federal regulators are reassessing rules banning cell phones, and international carriers have added Internet access to their jetliners. Some travelers say they hope federal regulators do no lift the ban on cell phones. Oct 4, 2005

Adding Wi-Fi might not pay for U.S. carriers: Adding Internet technology to commercial jetliners may not be a profitable move for U.S. airlines, according to The New York Times. It would cost up to $600,000 to fit a plane with the technology, and the airlines would lose money while the plane is out of service. The heavy systems would also cause planes to use more fuel. Boeing says airlines can also use Wi-Fi systems for crew communication and security cameras. Oct 4, 2005

London's hotel occupancy levels dramatically slumped by more than 13% in August as an aftermath to July's terrorist attack, according to figures released by the hotel consultancy service PKF (UK). This time last year, the room use was 80.2% attracting on average [pounds sterling]100 per night. This figure only dropped marginally by 3.2%. In the Provinces occupancy grew to 73.9%, while average room rates rose 2.9% to [pounds sterling]64.91. Over the next few weeks the major hotel groups are expected to produce half year figures which will give a further indication of how London is doing but from a visual indication during last week, it seemed as busy as ever. Oct 3, 2005

Discount airline stops selling tickets through Expedia. Discounter AirTran Airways has stopped selling tickets through online agent Expedia. The airline also said it signed a new multi-year deal with Cendant to make its fares and schedules available through Cendant's Apollo and Galileo computer distribution systems. Oct 31, 2005

Storm forces airline cancellations, airport closures. Hurricane Wilma forced airlines to cancel flights and shut down several Florida airports Monday and Tuesday. David Castelveter, spokesman for the Air Transport Association, said affected airlines lost several million dollars in revenue. American Airlines, which operates a Miami hub, said the storm may affect fourth-quarter results. Miami International Airport reopened Tuesday afternoon, but traffic was unusually light. Oct 26, 2005

Storms, jet fuel costs will hurt American's Q3 results. Disruptions caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita as well as high fuel prices will hurt third-quarter results for American Airlines, executives at the airline said. The high fuel costs will offset improvements in passenger demand. Analysts expect the carrier to lose $80 million, or 51 cents a share. Oct 4, 2005

American Express Business Travel has revealed European business travelers are more and more productive on the move. The company's Productive Traveler survey showed that advances in technology with the likes of PDA'S, wireless access in airport lounges and hotels, and laptop connectivity, made people feel as industrious as their office-based colleagues. However, the technology improvements have also enabled travelers to enjoy more personal time as a result. The findings also said the average business traveler spends three working days a month traveling. The survey interviewed 500 European business travelers in the UK, France and Germany last month. Oct 31, 2005

Atols will not be going under the new CAA recommendations to the government. What has been proposed is new regulations under which ATOLs will remain and ATOL holders will have to meet the same financial requirements as they do now. However, the important difference is that ATOL holders will no longer be required to put up bonds. All would be covered by the [pounds sterling]1 levy. The CAA thinks it is the simplest and economically best option. It is easily understood and brings important deregulatory benefits. If the tour operator goes bust (or the hotel), clients will still be covered. Oct 3, 2005

Cendant has confirmed it is to split into four separate divisions, and lose its current name. The separate sections will cover travel distribution, hospitality, vehicle rental and real estate and be up and running by summer 2006. The travel division will include timeshare subsidiary RCI, Galileo, Gullivers Travel Associates, Orbitz, ebookers, and English Country Cottages. Hospitality will cover nine hotel brands including Days Inn, Ramada, Howard Johnson and Wyndam. Vehicle rental will cover Avis in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and Latin America/Caribbean and Budget Rent A Car. Oct 31, 2005

Connexion by Boeing in-flight Internet product has been on a sales tour using its now 25-year old 737-400 demonstrator/technical aircraft (left). Since it was first tested the system in summer 2003 it has been upgraded and improved with a selection of four TV channels now built into the system and available on your laptop and (at least on the demonstrator) on a massive 42" plasma screen. It's all gone wireless too, its speed very acceptable. In-flight telephones can also be fitted by client airlines but a much cheaper alternative is the use of Internet telephones via laptop. Airlines who have the system, or have signed up, include All Nippon Airways, Asiana, China Airlines, El Al Israeli Airlines, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, Lufthansa German Airlines, Scandinavian Airlines System and Singapore Airlines. Oct 10, 2005

Foreign carriers add Internet service; U.S. airlines resist. Several non-American airlines are using Boeing's in-flight, high-speed Internet service. Financial problems and concerns about adding weight to aircraft have stopped U.S. carriers from also adding Internet access. Boeing believes its Connexion Internet service can succeed by focusing on planes located outside the U.S. The company may also try to bring the high-speed service to the tanker industry. Oct 4, 2005

Global Business Pass is a new application of an old idea introduced for North Atlantic business class scheduled services. Its use applies to Delta, Air France and Alitalia and it uses a dedicated, web-based reservations system as the booking device between the client and the airlines. The basis of the scheme is the purchase by corporations of a block of travel with claimed savings on current published fares of as much as 50%. The travel management system allows companies to produce instant budget reports of any travel taken using the Pass. Behind the scheme is the Bermuda-based Royal Ocean Group. Global Business Pass Worldwide Hotel Units operate in a similar way and give access to specially discounted one-night stays at hundreds of Marriott hotels worldwide. In a form of guarantee, all monies paid up front go direct to Butterfield Trust, part of the Butterfield Bank, Bermuda's oldest financial institution dating from 1858. Oct 17, 2005

Computer glitch triggers free fares for airline. Independence Air accidentally gave away about 100 tickets Monday. A computer glitch occurred as pricing managers were loading a fare sale. The airline said it would honor the tickets. "Nothing like this has ever happened before," Independence spokesman Rick DeLisi said. Oct 13, 2005

Star Alliance has linked its Canadian and US networks with interline e-ticketing. The move allows customers to use one single electronic ticket if flying on Air Canada, United Airlines and US Airways. The global group is rolling out interline e-ticketing across 16 carrier networks spanning 790 destinations in 138 countries. Since the end of August, more than 70% of the necessary links have been put in place, allowing passengers to use more multi-carrier e-ticket combinations. Oct 24, 2005

United unveils booking site for small businesses. United Airlines unveiled a new Internet booking site targeting small and medium-size businesses. The site will use Orbitz technology, and will offer discounts of up to 4% off published fares. Oct 17, 2005
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Publication:Airguide Online
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 31, 2005
Previous Article:Frequent Flyer Program News November 2005.
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