Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Travel Advice for British Nationals on Thailand Trip

Thailand, though a peaceful nation witnessed riots and political violence few months back. Although a state of emergency was declared in many provinces of the country and situation was finally controlled after the two months long violence, the possibility of fresh violence surfacing in view of the political developments in the country can not be ruled out. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office that is responsible for promoting British interests overseas continues to issue important travel advice for British Nationals already in Thailand and those planning to take their flights to Bangkok and other parts of Thailand.

As per the FCO travellers have been advised to avoid Preah Vihear temple area to evade violence. Unless it is essential British nationals should not visit Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and Songkhla.

As there are chances of political violence reoccurring in the region, all travellers should remain updated about the place through media and internet and should remain in their hotels in case violence breaks out. A State of Emergency is still in effect in certain regions such as Bangkok, Khon Kaen, Nakhom Ratchasima, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Samut Prakarn and Udon Thani.

Travellers on their holidays should exercise caution if they want to travel to Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Khon Kaen, Ubon Ratchathani and Udon Thani where foreigners and expatriates have been attacked and have greater chances of indiscriminate attacks.

Britons should avoid Chiang Mai as Red Shirt protesters are planning to hold protests, which may turn violent. All Brits are advised to keep their passports with them and should not carry or possess illegal substances such as drugs.

Before travelling Brits should take out medical and travel insurance, cheap or premium, and choose holiday package deals from reliable operators and register with the FCO’s LOCATE service. Those British nationals who are in Thailand should remain updated of changes in timings of the flights made by the airlines they have booked with and keep their return tickets in a safe place. If urgent help is required, they should call British Embassy in Thailand at +66 (0) 2 305 8333. For further information on British Embassy services visit: www.ukinthailand.fco.gov.uk.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Partnership between Virgin Blue and Etihad

Virgin Blue came out with major piece of aviation news by announcing a partnership between V Australia, its full service international arm and Etihad Airways. It is reported that one of the major reasons behind this decision was the findings of the second stage of the network review that had been carried out by Virgin Blue. The review revealed that there was a high degree of need to overhaul V Australia’s routes.

Under the partnership, V Australia will provide direct flights to Abu Dhabi in 2011. From 1st October, 2010 the combined network of Etihad and V Australia would span over a 100 destinations. Initially, there would be 27 flights between Australia and Abu Dhabi. The agreement calls for a codeshare on every service from Abu Dhabi. All Pacific Blue, V Australia, and Virgin Blue flights will have the ‘EY’ Etihad code. Other than the code share, V Australia will operate three weekly flights from Sydney to Abu Dhabi by February 2011 as well as three flights every week from Brisbane to Abu Dhabi by February, 2012.

The numerous services of both the carriers would be integrated as well. For instance, Velocity, the frequent flyer programme of Virgin, would be merged with Etihad Airways’s Etihad Guest. This includes the merger of ground services like lounge access too. The emerging picture indicates that members of the loyalty programmes of both the carriers would get to earn and redeem miles by utilising the services of either of the airlines.

The enormity of the partnership agreement is evident from a statement by the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA), an aviation analyst. CAPA had issued a comment stating that this deal would prove more comprehensive for air passengers than the agreement with Qantas and British Airways on the route between Australia and London, referred to as the Kangaroo route.

Read the complete news here (Resource Southalltravel News)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Slashed prices result in cheap flights to Thailand

With Thailand slowly but surely restoring peace and order, the tourism providers in the region hope to make up for the loss by slashing air fares and consequently increasing tourism. The tourists are the gainers as there are number of cheap flights that are now available to Bangkok. With this move the tourism industry hopes to distance itself from the political problems of the past. With discounts reaching as much as 50 percent, it is a very good time to plan that long-awaited and thoroughly deserved vacation.

The Thailand tourism additionally benefits from the fact that several countries, notably the U.S. and the UK, which have eased their restrictions on the travel to the country. Additionally, the Thai Hotels Association reports that hotels in the country are only 40 percent full. This makes your visit to Thailand much more hassle-free and much more enjoyable.

Visit the magnificent cities of the country, stroll on the sandy beaches of the region and feast your eyes on the golden land of lustrous fields. The region epitomizes the exotic splendor of the east. You can explore the colorful markets, architectural wonders and a variety of museums. For food lovers, the Thai cuisine is a true paradise. Treat your taste buds with a variety of international and local spicy cuisines that are ready to melt in your mouth.

There are plenty of cheap flights available on the internet and expert travel agents that may help you booking Thailand flights. Don't delay in booking one for yourself if you want to be a part of the region that has a rocking night life, swanky shopping malls and a high degree of religious fervor.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Choppy Waters for the UK Travel Industry

The travel industry of Great Britain has definitely been taking a great beating. The year 2010 alone has been a very rough time for the industry. First, it was the series of strikes by the British Airways crew that made a major dent in revenues. Even nature did its bit. The volcanic eruption in Iceland and the subsequent ash cloud led to losses running into millions of pounds. The fragile state of the industry is being reflected in the way travel companies are going bust like a row of dominoes. This is spelling further trouble for the industry as people are getting apprehensive about booking flights to India and other similar long haul holidays.

In the latest event of a travel company going bust, it was the turn of Kiss Flights, a low cost carrier operating flights to Canary Islands, Egypt, Greece, and Turkey. This incident follows on the heels of the collapse of the Birmingham-based Sun4U, which stranded hundreds of travellers in Spain. Naturally, an alarmist sentiment is seeping in the customer psyche. After all, let’s say that you plan to visit Delhi for the Commonwealth Games and travel further to beach destinations like Goa and Kerala or electrifying cities like Mumbai and Kolkata, the last thing you would want is that your tour operator goes bust.

Although, it’s being reported that quite a few travel companies are likely to collapse in the future, one can’t stop booking holidays altogether. One simply has to be wiser. For instance, the next time you book your holidays, make sure that your tour operator and the specific tour package you buy are covered by ATOL. It’s a matter of time before the industry gets its act together. It remains to be seen, how long does it take for the come around.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Commonwealth Games 2010 are here

The countdown has long begun for the iconic Commonwealth Games 2010. The venue for the 2010 edition of the games is Delhi and the city administration has overdone itself to host the event. Year 2010 will see the most expensive Commonwealth Games so far. Funds in billions have already been pumped up to give Delhi a complete facelift. Hordes of Commonwealth enthusiasts are expected to book flights to Delhi to celebrate this sporting extravaganza.

The city’s infrastructure including the roads and highways leading to the games venue, modes of transport in the city and the IGI airport have undergone massive transformation. The international delegates and contingents from commonwealth countries as well as travellers from across the globe would be most stunned to see the sprawling and ultra modern terminal 3 of the Delhi International Airport. Similarly, the metro rail network has been extended, while new flyovers have also sprung up to ease the traffic conditions.

Be sure that you are in Delhi from 3rd October, 2010 to 14th October, 2010 to witness this grand spectacle. The games will cover over a dozen exciting sports like aquatics, shooting, boxing, archery, gymnastics, hockey, and tennis.

Tour operators, hotels, and airlines are all set to lure more and more tourists with overwhelming offers. Truly, this would be one of the best times to spend your money on flights to India. The sizzling Indian summer dies out by October and the weather turns divine. In fact, the timing is perfect to explore Delhi’s myriad tourist attractions like the Red Fort, Jama Masjid, Akshardham Temple, and Old Fort. The glorious weather would also be conducive for the Golden Triangle tour of Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur.

Get in touch with the Games Travel Office and grab your tickets today for this rare chance to throw in so many delights into a single overseas trip.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Holiday Company ‘Kiss Flights’ Ceases Operations – CAA Steps In

There seems to be no end to the plight of many British travelers as another travel holiday company succumbs and shuts its operations. Kiss Flights, which was owned by the ‘Flight Options’ since January last year went into administration and sparked an uncertainty for as many as 70000 British Travellers. Flight Options declared cessations of its operation last evening.

This has been the third incident when a travel company has ruined the travel arrangements of thousands of travelers. Less than a week back another travel company ‘Sun4U Limited’ went into liquidation which was only a few weeks after ‘Goldtrail Travel Limited’ that had ceased to operate.

Experts fear that there may be more such casualties as more holiday companies may follow suit. Thanks to the Civil Aviation Authority that has always stepped in to rescue the affected travellers and provide many of them with financial protection under its Air Travel Organisers' Licensing (Atol) scheme. CAA has tried to reduce the panic and chaos by stating that over 13000 travellers who are already on their holiday abroad will be able to continue as per plan and return to the UK as normal.

Over 60000 travellers who booked with Kiss Flights to depart UK after the company ceased operations have been advised based on the flights departing before and after 6 pm today. All those booked to depart UK before 6 pm today can continue with their travel by reaching the airport, checking in and boarding their flights as normal. However, those who were to depart UK after 6 pm today have been the worst hit as their flights have been invalidated. Such travellers have been advised to contact CAA to lodge a claim of refund with them. Information on ‘How to make a claim with CAA’ is available on the CAA’s website along with the necessary ATOL Claim Form.

Read the complete News here

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Accord between BAA and UNITE laid bare

After a taut weekend, air passengers now have a reason to smile. Yes, the allusion is to the BAA strike issue. Unite has decided to call the strike off. However, before the strike can be totally called off, Unite would need to call a vote amongst its members. The union would be recommending its members to vote against a strike. The reason for this development is the successful conclusion of a 9 hour long dialogue between the BAA and Unite over the issue of pay hike.

Last week, BAA employees had voted in favour of a strike. BAA had rolled out a hike of 1% and a possible additional raise of 0.5%. The additional raise was contingent upon the employees abiding by any changes made to the firm’s sickness compensation policy. Unite rejected these offers as measly, especially in view of the fact that last year employees had accepted a wage freeze as well as changes to their pension plan. However, BAA was not ready to budge, citing the dismal economic scenario and the huge losses incurred earlier in the year.

This stalemate between the BAA and Unite took an ugly turn with the call for strike. However, BAA and Unite decided to hold a meeting and explore the possibility of resolving this issue. During the meeting, the BAA came up with a 2% hike in basic pay backdated from 1st January, 2010, and agreed not to alter the sickness compensation policy. Furthermore, a per head lump sum payment of ₤500 would be given for 2010. This may go up to ₤900, in case the airport where the employee works overshoots its earnings prior to amortization target, depreciation, interest, and tax. Unite has accepted these new offers and has decided not to go forth with the strike.

Friday, August 13, 2010

New Orleans too far from the oil spill zone

New Orleans, one of the most liveliest, colourful and oldest cities of US, attracts millions of spectators every year for its reputation for raucous revue, such as Mardi Gras, museums full of historical specimens, spicy scrumptious Creole cuisine and a vibrant nightlife with jazz music.

Adubon zoo, Adubon Aquarium of the Americas, Louisiana Children's Museum, New Orleans Museum of Art, Jackson Square, Cabildo, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, Old Ursuline Convent, St. Louis Cathedral and D-Day National World War II Museum just to name a few are very popular among the tourists.

Though popularly known as "The Big Easy", this city is now at great unease with the oil spill that happened in the remote parts of the Gulf of Mexico. People have started calling up at the hotels at New Orleans to find out if there is smell of oil in the air and in many restaurants visitors have asked about the freshness and quality of sea-food.

With such queries it is obvious that many are not aware of the location of the vivacious city and in an effort to dispel such suspicions from the mind of curious travellers, Kelly Schulz, vice president of PR for the New Orleans Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau in an interview with Kitty Bean Yancey, USA TODAY said, "We're inland" from the Gulf of Mexico, and therefore not directly affected by the spill.

New Orleans has launched print and TV ads (using $5 million from BP Oil Company to assuage damage) to tell people that everything is really normal in The Big Easy. Those who have booked their USA flights this season but not sure about keeping New Orleans in their itinerary can safely visit this city to sample the nightlife and cuisine.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Chicago Air and Water Show

The annual ‘Chicago Air and Water Show’ is amongst the most gala aviation events in the entire world. After all, very few similar events can boast an average spectator base of some 2.2 million. This year, the event would be held on 14th and 15th August from 11 am to 4 pm and would also complete its 52nd anniversary. The venue is North Avenue Beach, Chicago. The show, which started out as a mere part of the ‘Family Day Celebration’ on a budget of about US$88 has now become a gigantic event backed by sponsors like Shell Oil Products, Pepsi-Cola, The Boeing Company, Chicago Tribune, Hyatt Regency McMormick Place, and American Airlines to name just a few.

This year round, the show promises to outdo itself like every preceding year. The expected headliners are to be none other than the US Navy Blue Angels, US Army Parachute Team Golden Knights, and US Navy Parachute Team Leap Frogs. Naturally, superhuman feats like parachute jumps from 12,500 feet and amazing aircraft formation flights are to be a part and parcel of this show. To carry home awesome reminders of this mesmerizing experience, one can purchase a copy of the Official Air Show Souvenir Program.

View the complete details about the 'Air and Water show in chicago'

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Tourism Code in Goa for Safe and Pleasant Visit

Goa is India’s premier beach destination and millions of visitors from all over the world book flights to Goa every year for memorable holidays. To enhance tourist satisfaction and safety, Goa has come up with stringent rules to ensure the safety of this beach haven.

While a large number of tourists flock to Anjuna, Calangute, Baga and Benolim beaches to unwind themselves, there are some who are in search of less frequented beaches. Primarily popular among the hippies, Anjuna beach now attracts millions of tourists and its flea market is a major attraction among avid shoppers.

The adventure seekers flock Calangute and Baga for fun, exciting water sports and exotic sea-food. The cobalt blue waters lashing upon the beaches and frothing and fuming on moonlit nights make a spectacular view. The shimmering beauty of the roaring sea combined with the effects of drinks creates a psychedelic effect in the minds of the ecstatic tourists.

Cultural differences and ensuing interactions on being transposed to the other world of consciousness after consumption of intoxicating drinks or drugs have exposed tourists to some unfortunate incidents. Nevertheless, few stray incidents cannot rob Goa’s charm among visitors. Safety and security of the travellers is the administration’s paramount concern which has taken steps to curb the crime in this city-state, the premier beach destination in the country.

To allay fear and uncertainty among tourists, Goa administration has come up with a code of conduct stipulated for both the visitors and hosts to prevent cultural and social intolerance that increases vulnerability to crime. According to the tourism minister, Kumari Selja, it is expected that the “guidelines will assist in preventing prostitution, sex tourism and other forms of sexual exploitation like assault and molestation and safeguard women and children” in Goa.

So, those who were in a dilemma over booking their flights to Goa can now safely visit the state for an exciting and safe holiday.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Addis Ababa, One of the World’s Cheapest Cities for US Expats

According to a recent survey conducted by Mercer on cost of living, it was found that Addis Ababa ranked 208 out of 214 cities around the world. The survey includes 214 cities across five continents and measures the comparative cost of over 200 items.

Did you know that Addis Ababa is one of the least expensive places to live for expatriates? According to a recent survey conducted by Mercer on cost of living, it was found that Addis Ababa ranked 208 out of 214 cities around the world. This report puts Luanda, capital of Angola, as the most expensive city in the world for expatriates followed by Tokyo, Ndjamena, Moscow and Geneva.
"The survey includes 214 cities across five continents and measures the comparative cost of over 200 items in each location against parameters such as housing, transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment. This study is touted to be the world’s most comprehensive cost of living survey and Governments and Multinational corporations use this report to decide remuneration of expatriate employees."

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Bangkok Tops the 2010 "World's Best" list

Bangkok has been voted by Travel & Leisure Magazine as one of the world’s best city for travel and is followed closely by another Thai city, Chiang Mai. Other cities that were voted for include Florence (Italy), San Miguel de Allende (Mexico), Rome (Italy), Sydney (Australia), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Oaxaca (Mexico), Barcelona (Spain) and New York City (the United States).

Bangkok’s popularity has been measured against practical parameters namely places for sightseeing, their beauty and greenery; arts and culture; food; shopping areas; people's friendliness; and value for money spent.

Bangkok, like any other Asian city, is a splendid mix of the exotic past and flamboyant new and draws millions of spectators every year to experience its colour, flavour, fragrance and vibrant hospitality. Its verdant parks, canals, ancient palaces, museums, elegant temples, exotic cuisines, chic hotels, shimmering sky-scrapers and surreal red light districts attract visitors from all over the world.

Not to forget the glitzy malls and the lively flea markets, Bangkok offers a world of choice to its visitors leaving them to crave for more. With so many markets, malls, restaurants and spas to shop, eat and get a heavenly massage from, Bangkok can be called a hedonist’s paradise. Asian holidays appear among the most sought after holidays and if you have not booked your flights for your Asian holiday then look for Thailand holidays, as lot of discounts are offered these days to revive tourism in the area after the riots that disturbed the peace in the region in the recent past. Therefore, getting cheap flights from London to Bangkok is not difficult and with all the trappings of a perfect holiday destination, Thailand is all set to make for a memorable and affordable holiday.