Ryanair denies U.S. route plan. Dublin-based Ryanair, the largest intra-European ultra-low-cost carrier, late last week denied earlier reports that it plans to start flying to 14 U.S. cities within five years. According to the initial reports, the airline’s board was said to have approved the ambitious expansion plan, which would have called for transatlantic fares as low as 10 pounds (about $15) one-way — supplemented by the many ancillary fees for which Ryanair is famous. But a few days later, the Ryanair board issued a terse one-sentence statement saying that it “has not considered or approved any transatlantic project and does not intend to do so.”
4 ways to find discount biz class. If you want to snag a rare business class discount this summer, now would be a good time to start looking, according to a Wall Street Journal article posted this week. Many airlines discount business class during summer, but only if you purchase 60-90 days in advance. It also suggests waiting for last minute biz class discounts presented when you check in online or at the airport (Virgin Atlantic Etihad, Air Canada, Air India, Alitalia), bidding for upgrades on the likes of LOT, Etihad, KLM, Virgin or Air New Zealand, or using specialized travel agencies that sniff out biz class discounts by using unusual routings or volume discounts.
This week’s most popular post: FAA: Stay out of that (filthy) seat back pocket
Delta, United prepare Apple Watch apps. Following up on American’s plan to be an app launch partner for the new Apple Watch, both Delta and United are working on their own apps for the device. Besides providing a new way to store electronic boarding passes for airport check-in via Apple’s Passbook, the Delta and United apps would reportedly provide flight notifications, gate numbers and changes and other preflight data. The Delta app would also let users know which baggage carousel to go to when their flight arrives. The Apple Watch is due go on sale April 24.
Frontier boosts bag fees. Effective May 1, ultra-low-cost carrier Frontier Airlines will increase some of its baggage fees. For purchasers of basic economy fares, The gate check fee for a bag that exceeds permissible carry-on dimensions goes up from $50 to $60; and the fee for a first checked bag goes from $20 to $25 when purchased at web check-in, and from $25 to $30 for airport check-in. For both basic economy and Classic Plus fare buyers, the fee for a second checked bag rises from $30 to $35. All the more reason I think a lot of travelers will shy away from these carriers despite their recent big expansions into cities like Atlanta.
Have you checked out Personal Capital yet? A powerful new tool from the former CEO of PayPay and Intuit (Quicken) to help busy people manage finances– some say it’s a better tool for wealth management than Mint.com. If you, like many business travelers, have a tough time keeping up with your investments, you should check it out today and help support TravelSkills!
JetBlue adds Florida code-shares. JetBlue has forged a new code-share partnership with regional carrier Silver Airways, giving customers access to JetBlue-coded connections beyond Orlando and Ft. Lauderdale on 14 Silver routes within the state of Florida. Silver flies 34-seat Saab 340B Plus turboprops. JetBlue said that later this year it expects to expand the code-sharing to 13 Silver routes between Florida and the Bahamas. Meanwhile, JetBlue also announced that it will deploy its Mint premium-cabin service with lie-flat seats on flights from New York JFK to Barbados and Aruba starting in November.
Are ‘long shower fees’ coming? As travel suppliers look for new ways to soak their customers, could hotels start charging extra for spending too long in the shower? The University of Tulsa reportedly received a government grant to develop new technology that tracks the amount of water used in each hotel room. Could that be the infrastructure for a new revenue stream from long-showering guests? It might be a good idea in drought-stricken California, but customers in other regions would probably think such an idea is all wet.
Room rates ramp up. If you’re working on your business travel budget for the next couple of years, you better allow for significantly more spending on hotels. The prognosticators at PKF Hospitality Research are predicting that average U.S. room rates will jump by almost 12 percent from 2014 to 2016, as rising demand allows hoteliers to adjust prices upward. PKF said it expects to see average U.S. hotel occupancy (percentage of rooms filled) reach a record 65.6 percent this year, pushing room rates up by 5.3 percent. That will be followed by a 2016 increase of 6.3 percent in average daily rates, the company predicts.
No time to read Saturday’s Weekend Edition? No probs! Here ya go:
In Case You Missed It…
- Planning a summer Europe trip? Better book now.
- Turkish Airlines comes to San Francisco next month
- Chris experiences St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin.
- Seven tips for sticking to your Caveman or gluten-free diet while traveling.
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