By Gloria Bohan
This Week’s TravelFaxx is Brought to You by Omega World Travel and ANA.
FEATURED PARTNER: ANA
For the second straight year ANA (All Nippon Airways) has earned SKYTRAX’s highest 5-Star rating. ANA is one of only four airlines, and the only carrier in Japan, to receive the SKYTRAX airline and airport review rating 5-Star level in 2014. The award is based on delivering “consistent and inspired service” to customers in more than 800 categories of airport and onboard services. During the past year ANA has enhanced its in-flight entertainment, passenger comfort and catering services, in addition to enlarging and upgrading its airport lounge and restaurant facilities at Tokyo Haneda. ANA, 6/23/14.
VIRGIN ATLANTIC DREAMLINER SERVICE ANNOUNCED
Virgin Atlantic has announced that the inaugural route for its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner will be between London Heathrow and Boston. The six-times weekly service will launch on October 28, with subsequent routes between LHR and Washington, Newark and New York JFK to follow. The carrier is due to take delivery of its first Dreamliner in late September. It will be the first European airline to receive the larger B787-9 version of the aircraft. Virgin Atlantic's Dreamliner will be configured in three classes with 31 seats in Upper Class (business), 35 in Premium Economy and 198 in Economy.Business Traveller 6/22/14.
IHG OPENS FIRST EVEN HOTEL IN CONNECTICUT
InterContinental Hotels Group is opening its first EVEN Hotels property in Norwalk, CT. Launched in 2012 and based in the US, EVEN Hotels is IHG’s newest lifestyle and wellness hotel brand. IHG believes that for business travelers to maintain their health routine while on the road is becoming more and more important and EVEN Hotels provide the tools and encouragement to make healthier choices while on the road at an affordable price point. There are four EVEN hotels in the pipeline in Manhattan (2), Brooklyn and the Washington, DC suburb of Rockville, MD. Breaking Travel News 6/23/14.
AMERICAN AND JETBLUE ADD ROUTES
American Airlines announced that it will add four routes from Los Angeles this fall, including two to western Canada, as it works to strengthen its West Coast hub. American will use regional partner Mesa Airlines to provide a daily American Eagle flight to Edmonton, two daily flights to Vancouver, and two to San Antonio, all on Bombardier CRJ900 jets. American will also add jet service once daily to Tampa. . . JetBlue will add two new routes from Washington DCA, with service to Fort Myers and West Palm Beach, FL beginning Dec. 18. The airline launches service this week from DCA to Charleston, SC, Hartford and Nassau, Bahamas. ASTA, 6/23/14.
AIRLINES BOOST APRIL ON-TIME PERFORMANCE
The nation’s largest airlines improved their on-time performance in April, with arrival rates of 79.6 %, up vs. both last month and last year. April figures were 2.3% better than the on-time rate posted in April and 2% over March 2014. Domestic flight cancellations were down 1%. Primary reasons reported for late arrivals included aviation system delays, late-arriving aircraft, maintenance or crew problems, extreme weather and security. US Department of Transportation, 6/19/14.
HOTEL TRENDS IN SUMMER 2014: PERSONALIZATION
Hotel guests not only want personalization these days, they also want to be catered to more than ever. More and more properties are going beyond traditional customer service by unveiling a new world for the guest. For hotels, that means improving existing amenities and services or inventing entirely new ones. As guests seek a stay specifically tailored to them, niche concierges, residential celebrity designers and complimentary luxury car rentals are some examples of hotels’ personalized customer service programs now available. Travel Pulse, 6/18/14.
SUSPICIOUS ERASED COMPUTER FILES MAKE MH370 CAPTAIN PRIME SUSPECT
The captain of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 is now the prime suspect in the ongoing investigation into the plane’s mysterious disappearance. Police found suspicious evidence in his house, including a computer with erased data about a drill he simulated on his home computer. It shows rehearsing a flight far out into the southern Indian Ocean and landing on an island with a short runway. Following intelligence checks into all people on board, Captain Zaharie Shah was the only one who raised suspicion. eTurbo News 6/23/14.
Discount vacation packages are available from Omega World Travel and Cruise.com: Seven-day Alaska from $249, seven-day Europe from $503, seven-day Bahamas from $529, seven-day Mexico from $549, seven-day Bermuda from $649. For more information, visit Cruise.com or call 1-888-333-3116.
Cover photo by Kevin Dooley