Tuesday, June 15, 2010


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Pilots' strike forces Spirit Airlines to cancel flights
Spirit Airlines posted a notice on its website that all of its flights have been canceled through Tuesday because of a strike by the carrier's pilots. An ongoing contract dispute prompted the pilots to walk off the job Saturday. "None of the planes are moving and none of our pilots have crossed the picket line," said Paul Hopkins of The Air Line Pilots Association. Bloomberg (6/13) , USA TODAY/The Associated Press (6/12)
EasyJet looks into volcanic-ash detector
U.K.-based EasyJet is planning to test a volcanic-ash detector in an effort to avoid a repeat of the April and May flight disruptions caused by ash from an Icelandic volcano. The Norwegian Institute for Air Research developed the technology. "This pioneering technology is the silver bullet that will make large-scale ash disruption history," EasyJet CEO Andy Harrison said. "The ash detector will enable our aircraft to see and avoid the ash cloud, just like airborne weather radars and weather maps make thunderstorms visible." BTNOnline.com (6/11)
Airlines add seat belt-mounted airbags to boost safety
Air France-KLM Group and Cathay Pacific Airways are aiming to comply with tougher regulations by introducing airbags in their economy-class cabins. Authorities in the U.S. and Europe have started requiring higher safety standards for aircraft. But many seats comply with the stricter regulations without the need for airbags. "The problem with our economy seats is that they have rigid shells and a head impact is more difficult to handle," Cathay Pacific CEO Tony Tyler said. "Therefore we need airbags." Bloomberg Businessweek (6/9)
Other News
Disneyland launches expansion project with World of Color show
Travel Weekly (6/11)
Travelport rolls out a new leisure portal for travel agents
Travel Agent (6/11)
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Trends and Technology

Cruise-line presidents offer tips to travel sellers
Presidents of several cruise lines offered advice about selling cruises during a panel at the Cruise Lines International Association's recent Cruise3Sixty conference. For example, the executives said sellers should focus on current clients. "I've got to believe the most valuable customer is the experienced cruiser," Celebrity Cruise Line President Dan Hanrahan said. "The real fertile ground is the customer who just got off a cruise this weekend and is ready to book again." TravelMarketReport.com (6/10)
Column: Cruise-line changes affect agents' bottom lines
Columnist John Frenaye explains how Carnival Cruise Lines and Viking River Cruises each made changes that could significantly affect the bottom lines of many travel agents. Unfortunately, the alteration by Carnival, one of the biggest players in the industry, will negatively affect agents, while Viking's change is a positive for travel sellers. Travel Research Online (6/12)
Other News
Body scanners make debut in San Jose
San Jose Mercury News (Calif.) (6/12)
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Consumer Travel News
Syria offers a glimpse into the changing shape of civilization
Syria is a destination for travelers interested in gaining a better understanding of how civilization is changing as the country is part of much of what the world has been through. Syria features dead cities, ancient cities and crowded cities. It's also known for the hospitality of its citizens, but Syria holds many surprises for those who make the trip. The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) (6/12)
Regulatory and Legislative
Senate approves bill aimed at improving cruise safety
The Senate has approved the Cruise Vessel Safety and Security Act of 2009, a measure supported by the Cruise Lines International Association after a number of revisions to the original legislation. The bill would require increased transparency by the cruise industry regarding reporting of crimes. Also, cruise lines would be required to comply with new security and surveillance provisions. "The term 'duty free' does not apply to the safety of passengers. Murky lines of jurisdiction are no longer an excuse for risking the safety of millions of Americans who will board cruise ships this year," said Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass. Travel Weekly (6/11)
DOT's new rules could offer relief to travelers
The Department of Transportation recently issued its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, which aims to offer airline passengers some protections, but the changes likely won't be evident in the market for a couple of months at the earliest. Business-travel insiders are welcoming the changes. "Many observers claim the airline industry is being unfairly targeted and held to a higher standard for consumer protections than other industries," said Kevin Mitchell, chairman of the Business Travel Coalition. "However, there is strong rationale for government intervention." TravelMarketReport.com (6/10)
EU members are poised to approve "open skies," sources say
Transportation ministers from the 27 European Union member nations appear set to approve the latest "open skies" deal with the U.S., sources said. The deal would further the deregulation of airline marketing and operations between the EU and the U.S., although passengers and airlines likely won't see much in the way of change. But a rejection of the deal would be a significant blow for liberalization. The Wall Street Journal/Real Time Brussels blog (6/11)
Best Practices
Blogger: Put customers, not profits, first
When Bill Hogg needed a replacement part for his stationary bike, he was told he would have to pay a $10 shipping fee for the $0.78 replacement piece. Hogg writes that companies should consider whether their policies are reflecting their concern for customer satisfaction or simply their own profitability. CustomerThink (6/10)
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ASTA Spotlight
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