Business Travel Agents Tips: Things to Know About Flight Delay Compensation

You arrive at the airport, your flight is delayed or even cancelled? Flight delay compensation is an important topic travellers should know about, especially when it comes to business travel. Whether it is due to bad weather such as snow, a security alert or a strike, there are many reasons for flight delays and cancellations. But whatever the reason, it means you have to stay involuntarily longer at the airport before you can travel to your destination or back home. Plus, you may be entitled to flight delay compensation or a refund. Here are some important rules helping you to make sure you are not left out of pocket and make the most of the involuntarily gained extra time.

1. Know your rights

From getting refunded for all your food and drink expenses to getting a hotel or some alternative transportation, you should know what you are entitled to. So, if your flight is cancelled or heavily delayed, you’re protected by the Denied Boarding Regulation (EU rule 261/2004 and repealing regulation (EEC) No 295/91). Unless ‘extraordinary circumstances’ apply, you can claim a financial flight delay compensation for cancelled or heavily delayed flights totalling:

€250 (£210) for inter-EU flights of 930 miles or less

€400 (£330) for flights between 930 and 1,860 miles

€600 (£500) for other journeys (long-haul flights)

It applies for EU flights, which includes any flights leaving from or arriving at an EU airport with an EU-based airline. Plus, your compensation may be reduced by 50% depending on flight distance and the ultimate arrival time. This means the reduced compensation applies to short haul flights within two hours, to medium haul flights within three hours and to long haul flights within four hours. But remember, flight delay compensation is only applicable if it is the airline’s fault (i.e. no act of God applies, such as natural catastrophes, incl. earth quakes, volcanoes or bad weather or political unrest). To claim flight delay compensation simply write to your airline stating the flight number, date, length of delay and reason for the claim. Sometimes airlines try offering you vouchers as flight delay compensation, but you don’t have to accept them and can ask for a cash refund instead. If your airline refuses to compensate you, contact the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for support and advice. Note, technical faults, unless they result from events which, by their nature or origin, are not part of the normal exercise of the airline, do not count as extraordinary circumstances.

Your right to reimbursement comes into play, if the delay is a minimum of five hours. You should get a reimbursement within seven days, for the cost of the flight ticket, the part of the trip not travelled and the parts already travelled, provided they are then useless. Where applicable, you may be even entitled to the earliest possible return flight to your departure destination or rerouting along with a refund.

During the travel disruption you should receive assistance from your airline, including food, drinks, two free telephone calls, faxes or emails, as well as accommodation and transport transfers to and from the hotel – where applicable. This is regardless of the reason for the delay/cancellation.

2. Networking

It’s always good to make friends, so why not use the downtime for extending your network. Try to see the positive of dealing with flight delays. Seen from a practical level, you may be able to share costs, e.g. for a taxi into town. Also being friendly towards the airport staff may prove helpful. Especially in these kinds of situations they encounter a lot of stressed and unfriendly customers, although the delay/cancellation is none of their personal fault. If you are friendly they are much more likely to help you, maybe even give you some extra advice.

3. Gate-crash the airport lounges

Those of you flying Business Class or being members of corporate airline loyalty or frequent flyer schemes will already be in the VIP lounge enjoying a nice drink and peanuts. It’s a far quieter and relaxed environment. This may be the best option when having to wait for a delayed flight. But if you are neither flying business class, nor a member of a loyalty scheme, be advised that in some cases these lounges are not exclusive and you may be able to access them for a fee of around £20. This could be much cheaper than getting your food and drink from an airport bar.

Furthermore, desk agents in these lounges are often authorised to make fast, last-minute reservations’ changes and there are usually far fewer people ahead of you in the queue. At least you can enjoy the Wi-Fi and free snacks (or booze!) while you have to wait. In the case of a flight cancellation or major delay, and you are at the airport immediately contact the airline you are travelling with. To change the ticket and get advice on the available options, it is best to go to your airline’s ticket desk, as soon as possible. Your business travel management company should continually provide pro-active telephone support throughout, as Flightline Travel does.

What are your top tips for dealing with flight delays and cancellations?

© Copyright Flightline Travel Management Ltd. All rights reserved. All amounts and prices stated are correct at time of publication.

Flightline Travel Management – Pro-active business travel support services for corporate travellers

Macro Environment Analysis of Allegiant Travel (ALGT)

Demographic:

The increasing numbers of people entering retirement is great news for companies such as Allegiant Travel who services are geared towards leisure travelers. The retired population generally has more flexible schedules and free time for leisure travel. The restaurant industry has known for years that the retired population will adjust their schedules just to save a buck. Look at the success of “early bird specials” all across the country. Allegiant Travel can capitalize on this population’s flexible schedules and interest in finding the best price. Twenty-one percent of leisure travelers were born before 1946 and of this group it is estimated that they each take 4.1 trips per year. In addition, older baby boomers born between 1946-1954 makeups another 15 percent of the leisure travel population. As the U.S. population continues to age and the retired population grows it can be expected that the demand for inexpensive leisure travel will also increase.

Economic:

The economy plays an important role in the health of all companies and very few can say that these last 5 years have been easy. American’s are found to be thriftier now than 5 years ago thanks to the economic recession. In general, the nature of spending has changed in America. A report by Fidelity investments show that personal debt is down and investments are up. This shows that the population on a whole is examining their purchases more closely than they did before the recession. The focus on cutting costs during these uncertain economic times has led to Allegiant Travel’s success over the past 5 years when other airlines were losing money. They have focused on keeping costs down and providing their services at the lowest price point. This focus on innovation and being a price leader has provided Allegiant Travel with a strategic advantage over other larger carriers. Although in most sectors the larger the company the lower the costs due to economies of scale, this is not the case in the airline business.

Socio Cultural:

The travel industry groups travelers into one of two categories either leisure or business. Each type of traveler has very unique needs and different goals in mind apart from the desire to have a safe enjoyable flight experience. It is estimated that leisure travelers account for 3/ 4 of all domestic trips taken in 2011. The regular business traveler is interested in consistent schedules and enjoys the perks of earning points whereas leisure travelers only books a few trips per year and are willing to give up points to secure a lower price. This is the market that Allegiant Travel is focused towards as they are the low cost leader who runs variable schedules throughout the season to ensure flights are always running to their fullest capacity.

Political-Regulatory:

Airlines operating within the United States are regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The FAA is an agency of the United States Department of Transportation who regulates civil aviation within the U.S. The Homeland Security Agency also plays an active role in airline travel interacting directly with all passengers prior to boarding the aircraft. The added security precautions mandatory for travelers since 9/11 can be a major factor behind the increased frustrations voiced by travelers. The U.S. Travel Association’s study in 2008 showed that travelers avoided approximately 41 million trips within a 12 month period due to perceived air travel hassle. Although airlines such as Allegiant Travel do not have control over how Homeland Security does their job they are able to lobby for more efficient airport security which can in turn help increase their profits.

Environment:

The rise in environmental consciousness impacts traveler’s decision making. More than 79% of U.S. adults claim to be environmentally-conscious and familiar with carbon footprints and global warming. Although travelers are starting to be more conscientious of their decision making and its impact on the environment they are not yet willing to pay a premium for environmentally-friendly service providers. The current determination is that in general, driving is more eco-friendly (measuring greenhouse gases) compared to flying. Although gas prices averaged at $3.78 a gallon many travelers may find it cheaper to fly than drive and stay in a hotel. The addition of saving time may also help convince environmentally-conscious travelers to fly rather than drive cross country.

Technology:

The increase of access to information through the internet over the years has created savvy shoppers who can compare dozens of prices quickly online and has created more focus on price competition. The internet has also decreased the dependency on traveler’s utilizing travel agencies to arrange travel as they feel more comfortable booking directly online. This puts Allegiant Travel at an advantage as they are able to offer competitive prices through booking directly with the customers and avoiding any middle men such as websites like Expedia.com or Yahoo.com.

In conclusion, Allegiant Travel is a solid company that is strategically positioned to thrive in any environment. They have shown their agility in changing with the market demand over the past six years. Allegiant Travels focus on servicing the price conscious traveler seems to be a smart approach as they understand that consumers are still hesitant with their spending even as the economy is improving. The expected increase to the retired population in the coming years will also bode well for Allegiant Travel. As long as Allegiant Travel continues to focus on strategic growth that will allow them to move quickly when they see an opportunity or threat coming their way they are set for a successful future.

Reflections of Travel to Northeast Asia

As a four-decade Certified Travel Agent, international airline employee, researcher, writer, teacher, and photographer, travel, whether for pleasure or business purposes, has always been a significant and an integral part of my life. Some 400 trips to every portion of the globe, by means of road, rail, sea, and air, entailed destinations both mundane and exotic. This article focuses on those in Northeast Asia.

Hong Kong:

A trip to Hong Kong offered an opportunity to experience the destination while it was still under British rule.

Rising like modern monoliths of concrete, steel and sun-glinted glass skyscrapers occupied every inch of the city on both its Hong Kong Island and Kowloon sides, which were separated by Victoria Harbor. Bridged on the surface by frequent, Star Ferry crossings and below by traffic-and subway-boring tunnels, these bustling, commerce-concerned metropolises tried to blend modern and ancient, and western and eastern culture, yet retain a hold on its past. A walk up to an extensive breakfast buffet, for instance, meant the typically expected fare, but also featured Chinese offerings, such as dim sum.

My sightseeing strategy entailed an ever-expanded encompassment area.

Attractions included the Suzie Wong district of Wanchai; Deep Water Bay; and Repulse Bay with its beaches; the Stanley Market, once part of a fishing and farming village and now a residential area whose sprawling complex of shops and stands displayed bargain-priced commodities, such as designer clothes, porcelain wares, bamboo, and rattan. Aberdeen, fisherman-inhabited and water-littered with junks and sampans, certainly emphasized the city’s origins, and a tram ascent up Victoria Peak, which rose from 80-foot Garden Road to 1,305-foot Peak Tower, offering new perspectives.

The Sung Dynasty Village, a recreated, period-dress representation of Bian Jing, China’s capital during the Sung Dynasty (960 to 1279 AD), offered a return to the country’s ancient, cultural past. Entered through its time portal main gate, it afforded a multi-sense immersion by means of architecture, customs, food, and shops that sold everything from incense and fans to silks, handicrafts, and wood carvings in a layout of streets, a stream-spanning wooden bridge, and triumphal arches. Live performances solidified the experience.

Considered “the land between,” New Territories, 15 miles north of Kowloon’s bustling waterfront, office skyscrapers, and gleaming hotels, was an area of rolling, green hills, neatly terraced fields, rural markets, and fishing villages. It shared Hong Kong’s then-border with Communist China.

Visits here were to Chuk Lan Sim Yuen, Tai Mo Shan, the tallest mountain, and Luen Wo Market.

Lunch, in the Yucca de Lac Restaurant overlooking the Tao Harbour, included corn soup with bean curds, green kale in oyster sauce, beef and pickles in a yam nest, fried chicken with lemon sauce, spare ribs with champagne and tangerine sauce, diced pork with cashew nuts, fried rice with ham, and ice cream.

Two day-trips brought beyond-Hong Kong perspectives.

The first, to Macau–the “Eastern Monte Carlo” –required a 40-mile, jetfoil-bridged journey to the Portuguese community, which was founded more than 400 years ago by Portuguese traders and missionaries to serve as an entrepôt with Imperial China and Japan. Now a blend of Chinese and Portuguese cultures, it was awash with pastel-colored palaces, baroque churches, temples, cannon-sporting fortresses, and winding narrow streets.

Its attractions, an interchange between Eastern and Western cultures, included St. Paul’s ruins, the Ken Iam Temple, the Border Gate with China, and Penha Hill.

After lunch in the Hotel Lisboa, there was time for a pass through the casino.

The second excursion offered a taste of Communist Chinese life. A hovercraft trip to the Shenzhan Special Economic Zone-specifically to Shekou on the Pearl River statuary and west of Shenzhen City–provided personal inspection of the Terracotta Warrior and Horse exhibition, dating to the Tang Dynasty and now considered the 8th Wonder of the World, along with a visit to the local kindergarten, followed by a performance of its incredibly disciplined students.

A subsequent drive through Nan Tau to Dongguan, one of the oldest counties in Dongguan Province, was rewarded with a superb, multi-course Chinese lunch, and was followed by the continued journey to Guangzhou, formerly known as “Canton,” but still the center of political, exonymic, and cultural life in Southern China. Its own attractions encompassed the Guangzhou Zoo, the Temple of the Six Banyan Trees, and Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall, an octagonal building designed in palatial style to honor the politician, physician, and political philosopher who served as the provisional first present of the Republic of China.

The experience was capped by dinner in the dining car of the Kowloon-Canton Railway (KCR) during the return journey. But a sign of the earlier times was expressed by the tour guide, who, opening crossing the no longer existent border, blurted, “Relax, everyone. We’re in Hong Kong. We can breathe again!”

People’s Republic of China:

Beijing, gateway to the Peoples’ Republic of China, was in a state of flux. Still wrestling with the problems of modernization and struggling to balance rapid growth with environmental protection to preserve its cultural, architectural, and historical heritage, it strove to respond to the demands of advancement and westernize itself without losing the Chinese foundation upon which it was built.

Its rich sights offered mental, emotional, and psychological exposure to its past.

First and foremost was the Forbidden City, the largest ancient archaeological structure in China. Once the Imperial Palace of the Ming and Qing Dynasties where 24 monarchs from both ruled the Celestial Empire, and laid out according to the ancient principles of geomancy, it was the heart of Beijing and the proverbial center of the universe for the emperors. Its wooden structures were living examples of ancient Chinese architecture and retained much of the mystique of the rulers who once dwelled there. As a bastion of the Mandarin authority, it exuded size, significance, and magnificence, its pavilions and spacious courtyards both awe-inspiring and, at times, unfathomable.

Constructed as a result of a decree issued by Zhu Di in 1406 by an estimated one million laborers and completed 14 years later, it became the capital to today’s Beijing after it was transferred from Nanjing. But it was almost entirely rebuilt under the Manchu Qing Dynasty, which began its own reign in 1644.

Now surrounded by a ten-meter wall and a moat, it encompassed 72 hectares and contained more than 800 individual structures. “Wumen,” or its “Maiden Gate,” served as the entrance to its inner sanctum, beyond which a large courtyard opened up to a canal spanned by multiple marble bridges.

The outer palace consisted of the Hall of Supreme Harmony, the Hall of Central Harmony, and the Hall of Preserving Harmony.

Through the Gate of Heavenly Purity was the inner palace, comprised of exquisite buildings and a labyrinth of courtyards. It was the living location of the emperor and his entourage.

Located south of the Forbidden City and north of the old Front Gate was the famed Tiananmen Square, the world’s largest such expanse and the location from which Chairman Mao Zedong proclaimed the founding of the Peoples’ Republic of China in 1949.

In its center was the 40-meter-high Monument to the People’s Heroes and on its western side was the site of China’s national Congress, the Great Hall of the People. To its south was Mao Zedong’s Mausoleum.

The highly recognizable Temple of Heaven, located in a pristine park setting, consisted of the round temple itself, adorned with a blue-tiled roof and a gold knob. Constructed without the use of a single nail during the Ming Dynasty in circa 1420, it was rebuilt more than 400 years later in 1889 after a lightning strike destroyed the original one. It was visited every winter solstice by the emperor, who prayed for a bountiful succeeding-season harvest, and he offered sacrifices of animals, grains, and silk to the gods in exchange for it during the sun’s first ray-reach of the eastern horizon

The Summer Palace, constructed by the Manchu Qing emperors as an escape from the summer heat, was set in a classical Imperial garden of embracing hills and lakes. Despite its associated serenity, however, it suffered numerous attacks and partial destructions, such as those by British and French troops who marched on Beijing in 1860 during the Second Opium War.

“Hutongs,” a word that was Mongolian in origin and dated from the days when Kublai Khan used Beijing as the capital of the Chinese portion of his empire, were not considered specific sights or location. Instead, they comprised a patchwork of walled, single-story courtyard dwellings that were removed from the noise and chaos of the modern city. Local life slowly unfolded here: the elderly napped; children played; and women hung out their laundry to dry. Quiet and insular, they provided insight into the Beijing psyche.

The Great Wall, the most ancient and longest manmade structure and the only one visible from the moon with the naked eye, was one of the very symbols of China and a testament to is architectural achievement. Its sheer span and construction, especially during primitive-technology times, was staggering and mindboggling.

Built to protect the northern frontiers from nomadic steppe raiders, it represents many things to many people.

“To some, the Wall stands for the blood and sweat sacrificed by the toiling masses who built it in the service of emperors, while to others this de facto demarcation between the Steppe and the Sown represents an age-old struggle of civilization against savagery,” according to Beijing: The Insider’s Guide to the Best of the Capital (Chinanow.com, 2000, p. 24).

Qin Shi Huang, the ruler of one of the many rival Warring States, linked the various sections of it upon completion of his conquest in 221 B.C., creating the first Chinese empire and the definitive Great Wall in the process.

Although the original assembly was mostly a rammed earthen wall, none of whose remains exist today, the current crenelated, guard signal tower, and parapet-provisioned masonry rendition, erected during the Ming Dynasty, closely follows its contours, threading its way up and through velvet green mountains with stone steps like stationary railroad tracks, plied only by people.

“Most of the wall is about 25 feet high and 19 feet wide at the top, (sufficient for either a five-abreast mounted solider passage or a ten-abreast marching one),” according to Beijing: The Insider’s Guide to the Best of the Capital (ibid, p. 25). “It includes about 25,000 towers, spaced two arrow-shots apart so that the guards could defend its entire length, and extends-though not continuously-from the Yellow Sea to the Gobi Desert.”

I attempted climbs in two sections. The first, in the tourist-overrun Badaling section, offered a glimpse into Chinese values. My mother, not quite up to the trek, elected to remain behind, but several locals, strongly revering the elderly, quickly volunteered, “Go and climb the Great Wall,” they told me. “We’ll look after your mother.” And they did, with care, concern, and extreme respect. She felt very protected and safe.

The second climb, which can only be considered the effortless one, was to the top of the Simatai section in a gondola for a beautiful view.

Another area attraction was the Ming Tombs, the burial place for 13 of the 16 Ming Dynasty emperors and threshold to which was the marble archway erected in 1540. Three such burial sites were open to the public: Changling, the earliest and largest, which dates form 1413; Dingling, which was built in the 16th century for the Emperor Wan Li and was excavated in 1958; and Zhaoling.

My final sightseeing venture entailed an unleash at the expansive China Aviation Museum. Almost like a kid in a candy shop as an aviation author and photographer, I roamed the outdoor displays of rare, Russian aircraft once hidden from the West and still wearing the livery of their communist Chinese carrier, CAAC, with camera and notebook in hand, inspecting their cockpits and walking through their passenger cabins.

Japan:

Although Japan could only be experienced during a single-day interlude, I felt its pulse in downtown Tokyo, particularly at its crowd-thronged railroad station, where the masses moved from platform to the shinkansen, or bullet trains. My hotel room was tiny. Prices were high. Signs in Japanese left little interpretability. And I was somehow infused with the subconscious desire to follow local etiquette and bow to those with whom I interacted.

Korea:

Korea offered another oriental, almost dual-world experience between its bustling Seoul metropolis and the palatial serenity of its past.

My own hotel, only a ten-minute drive to the city’s heart in Bukhansan National Park, itself seemed a world apart with its verdant, velvet hills and waterfalls. The included breakfast buffet was sprawling and, in part, western, but its always-available kiimchi said “Korea.” The daily coverage of its attractions entailed a combination of shuttle bus, tour bus, subway, and foot.

Taking center stage was the Gyeongbokgung Palace, the principle royal one during the five-decade Joseon Dynasty. Constructed in 1395, it was consumed by fire during the Imjin War (1592-1598). However, all of the palace buildings were later restored under the leadership of Heungseondaewongun during the reign of King Gojong (1852-1919). As the most representative edifices of the period, its Gyeonghoeru Pavilion and the pond around Hyangwonjeong Pavillion have remained relatively intact. The raised dias and stone markers of Geunjeongjeon showcase the representative art style of their time.

Jogyesa, the main temple of the Jogye order in Seoul, was the center of Korean Buddhism. Built in the late 14th-century during the Goryeo period, it was later reduced to rubble by fire, but was subsequently reconstructed under the name of Gackhwangsa Temple in 1910 by monks, such as Han Yong-un and Lee Hee-gwang. Renamed “Tegosa” in 1936, it became the main Korean Buddhist temple. After a purification drive eliminated Japanese influence and revived traditional Buddhism, the present one was established.

Tranquility restored the soul at Changdeokgung and in its Secret Garden, the primary royal residence for 200 years, beginning in early-1600s, and now considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its intertwining paths, linking wooden slopes, lotus ponds, and pavilions.

Namdaemun, located in Jung-gu between Seoul Station and Seoul Plaza and presently known as the Sungnyemun, was one of the Eight Gates in the Fortress Wall of Seoul, which surrounded the city during the Joseon Dynasty.

The modern, geometric configuration of the National Museum of Korea traces its origins to 1945, when Korea regained its independence after defeat of the Japanese, and it planted its roots in the Joseon Government General Museum, adopting its current name. Now displaying more than 12,000 art and science artifacts in its six permanent exhibition halls, it has played a significant role in restoring the nation’s damaged cultural pride and correcting the false historical images of Korea.

City perspectives were gleaned from its Seoul Tower, located on top of Mt. Namsan and the country’s second-highest point, and during a glide on the Han River, which offered sea level views of its skyline. A Korean barbeque lunch between them seemed appropriate.

As a time-portal to the country’s traditional culture during the late-Joseon period, the Korean Folk Village resurrected it through its 200 or so buildings, including its farm houses from the southern province, its Chinese drugstores, its Buddhist temples, its noble man mansion, and its markets. Craft demonstrations included cotton weaving, wicker working, and pottery making. Performances brought the era to life through the farmers’ dance, the Korean seesaw, tightrope dancing, and a wedding parade. The Confucian academy, a seodang (a village school), and a representative street cemented the experience.

Article Sources:

“Beijing: The Insider’s Guide to the Best of the Capital.” Chinanow.com, 2000.

The Vacation Sales Cold Call Script

If you have been hunting around for a cold call script, take a look at this one. The destination vacation is a big money operation. People who make 1,000 calls per week generally find 100 interested prospects that turn into 50 paid customers using scripts like this one. Everyone tweaks a word here and there in scripts and this one is no different. Sit with your sales manager for approval on the wording and then try this script out on your next 100 calls and see if it makes a difference.

“Hello, is __________ there?

Hello, my name is _________, calling from _______________ How are you today? (Customer’s first name)

I see that you filled out a survey form and expressed interest in a Hawaii vacation.

Our company has just released our VIP Invitations for vacations to Hawaii and your name is on that list!

I am calling to make sure you want to take advantage of this discounted Hawaii vacation offer. Mr/Ms_______________________what do you think?

If you have pen and paper,I’ll give you all my information so you can start planning.

Again, my name is ________ and this is through _____________________________.

This Hawaii vacation package is for 4 days and 3 nights on Maui. Your airline will be _____________________________. You will be staying at the Hotel __________________ for 4 days and 3 nights. If you need other airline arrangements we are a full service travel agency and we would be happy to search for another airline fare.

I know that we do not pay your personal expenses or any taxes and no service fees are paid. The last time I went, I believe I paid not more than $25.00 and I paid that at the hotel check-in.

I only have 11 vacation packages to Hawaii and I do have other calls to make to lucky people. Are you ready to buy this great vacation today?

The cost is $698.00 for two adults and must be taken within 6 months from today. As long as both of you are over 21 years of age, you are on your way to sunny Hawaii!

Do you have your credit card ready or do you need to discuss this with someone before you buy?

I’m only offering this one package today so you would need to buy today, but then again, take up to 6 months before you run off for a fabulous vacation!

Oh no, Ma’am, there are no hidden fees or charges. But now that you mention it, there is one thing that I would ask you to do. Once you get home, would you drop me a line and tell me what was the most exciting, the most beautiful or the most fun about this Hawaii vacation?

Yes, you can enclose a snap shot if you would like.

If you are ready to buy right now, I’m ready to take your credit card and get you all set up.

Yes, Ma’am, please read the numbers on your card.

I’ll read that back to you.

Now if you would verify your address I’ll get your things into the mail.

Wonderful! Now write down my name and phone number so I can answer any questions for you.

My Ticket Registrations department might give you a call to verify the spelling on your name or some other detail, I hope that is not a bother for you.

Okay, we are all set.

I will you enjoy that fabulous sun, sand and sea! Aloha!”

Invest your time and words into a script that deliver what you want to convey as efficiently as possible. Use a mirror and practice doing phone sales to yourself until all the words are comfortable and you can smile the entire way through. A great telesales script is extremely valuable.

Know When to Book a Cheap International Flight Ticket

Many travelers dream to travel to a foreign country. However, the soaring prices of international flights scare them and they drop the idea to visit a tourist destination abroad. The times have changed now. The increasing popularity of the tourist attractions spread across the world has led to a strong competition among the travel services companies who offer cheap flight tickets. You can plan a vacation to Rome, Paris, London, Shanghai, Beijing or any other place of the world because you can easily book flight tickets online.

Internet has opened the gateway to book online tickets and sitting in the comfort of your home you can search for flights to your destination and also compare prices of different airlines. Usually the travel sites that offer cheap international flight tickets are powered with advanced software which enables you to enter the destination name, time and date of travel to display a long list of international flights. In order to pick the cheapest international flight, you have to know some tricks of when cheap tickets are offered.

The airfare of international flight tickets change daily. You need to keep a watch regularly by browsing through the net and reading the reviews, following the blogs and collecting travel information from different travel sites. As there are so many sites you can easily get all the information readily available in the internet. You can in fact sign up with a good travel site or subscribe to their newsletter to get the airfares direct to your mail box.

Once you enhance your skills to find cheap international airfare, you can know when exactly the price falls. You will be able to bargain for the cheapest flight deals by knowing at what time you can get cheap tickets. Traveling at odd time can reduce the airfare and also in the off seasons you can avail such offers. However, you have to be vigilant enough in finding when prices fall and when you can book cheap international flights.

Some airlines offer cheap tickets on some special days of the week but do not advertise about it. You have to keep track of these offers and plan your trip accordingly. Also the time when you call to book a ticket is important because after midnight the first call is usually given a discount. You have to therefore try calling just after 12 pm to book cheap international flight tickets. This happens because the airlines update their computerized ticket booking system in the midnight on a daily basis.

You should also try not to book international flights at weekends. Usually many travelers book their tickets in the week ends. If you want discount tickets then you should go for some other day of the week other than week ends. Therefore to avail cheapest flight deals you have to consider the time when you purchase your ticket.

Viable Options to Book Flight Tickets

Over the past few years, the aviation industry has been growing at a lightning pace. A lot of new low-cost carriers (LCC) have emerged in the last decade, leading to an addition of many new options for flyers. To book flight tickets for domestic travel, there is a wide array of airlines to choose from. Before the introduction of LCCs, the aviation market was dominated by full-service carriers. Because of this situation, a lot of people had to pay for the services they did not want to avail. Many LCCs give passengers the option of availing these services separately while reserving seats.

In addition to the drastic changes in the aviation industry, the development of mobile technology has made things even easier. Internet facilitates buying of air tickets on the web itself without any difficulty. To make reservations online, users need only an internet connection along with a credit or debit card for completing the transaction. There are a number of ways, in which a person can complete the process successfully. Online travel agencies (OTAs) and mobile applications are two of the easiest and most accessible modes, available for this purpose.

Online Travel Agencies

With online marketing gaining pace, almost all the airlines have collaborated with OTAs to attract a wider range of customers. These portals do away with the need of calling individual travel offices or visiting them personally. Such travel websites offer a number of available flights for a particular departure date and destination. To book flight tickets through online travel agencies, people can choose from a number of available websites. The best thing about reserving a seat on an aircraft through OTAs is the available flights can be compared in a single window. On the basis of the preference of customers, the most suitable option can be chosen.

Online travel agencies regularly offer deals and cheap rates for tickets during the year or as part of flash sales. Regular customers may get coupons and credits that can be availed later to make the flight cheaper in the long run. While users undergo the process on the internet, they have an option of buying either a one-way or a round trip ticket. A one-way ticket is a viable option for those, who are not yet sure about their return schedule, whereas a round trip prevents the hassle of last-minute booking.

Mobile Applications

In the age of smart phones, travel mobile applications have revolutionised the way ticket bookings are done online. This facility can be used for checking the lowest airfare for carriers operating in different parts of the world. With these applications, seats can be reserved on an aircraft from anywhere. There are additional benefits of using these travel application like being able to check the flight schedule and receiving the boarding pass on the phone or tablet itself. This can save the precious time of passengers that is often wasted in standing at the airport check-in counters.

OTAs and mobile applications have been making the process of reservation simpler and more transparent for flyers.

Long Island MacArthur Airport: The Frontier Years

Promise to Ronkonkoma-located Long Island MacArthur Airport, operating in the shadows of Manhattan-proximity La Guardia and JFK International airports, always came in the form of new airline serve, which attempted to achieve profitability and replace that which the discontinued ones failed to. Several ultimately unsuccessful low-cost and upstart carriers left little more than a fading imprint during the past half-decade.

Alaska-based PenAir, for example, seeking to replace the popular, multiple-daily Saab S-340 flights once operated by Business Express and later American Eagle between Long Island and Boston, forged tis own link in July of 2013 with two daily roundtrips operated by the same 34-passenger turboprop. But poor load factors led to its discontinuation a year later.

“We were losing money,” according to David Hall, PenAir’s Chief Operation Officer. “We just weren’t able to get to a consistent operating profit. Unfortunately, it’s a business and that’s how it works.”

Another attempt was made by low-cost, Las Vegas-based Allegiant Air, which inaugurated two weekly roundtrips to Punta Gorda, Florida, in December of 2013. Because their winter sun-seeking draw diminished in the spring, they were discontinued on May 26 of the following year and were intended to be reinstated in December. They never were.

Still another Islip entrant was Elite Airways. Founded, as reflected by its name, in 2016 by airline veterans wishing to establish a higher-quality airline that deviated from the proliferation of no-frills ones, it was certified as a US Part 121 air carrier that offered charter and scheduled service, initially transporting professional and college sports teams, company executives, heads of state, White House press corps, and VIP tour groups. Headquartered in Portland, Maine, but concentrating its maintenance, crew training, sales, and marketing in Melbourne, Florida, it operated charter flights for the first six years of its existence before transitioning to scheduled ones with a minuscule route system, including Melbourne-Portland, Naples (Florida)-Newark, Naples-Portland, Vero Beach (Florida)-Newark, and Rockford (Illinois)-Fort Collins (Colorado) sectors. Its 11-strong Bombardier Region Jet fleet consisted of a single CRJ-100, five CRJ-200s, and five CRJ-700s.

Seeking incentives, such as reduced or waved landing fees, underserved airports with its 50- and 70-seat aircraft, It intended to offer sunbirds air links between New England and Florida, very much the way Northeast had with its 727 “Yellowbirds” in the early-1970s before Delta acquired the carrier. Because of its airline veteran founders, who additionally endeavored to resurrect the higher quality inflight service of the full-fare legacy carriers, it bore similarities with no-longer existent KIWI Airways.

Elite touted itself as “Melbourne’s hometown airline.”

Catalyst to the Long Island MacArthur service was passenger request.

“The funniest thing is that if it wasn’t for people who are originally from Long Island, we wouldn’t be here,” according to Elite Airways president John Pearsall. “On our route we’re presently flying between Newark and Vero Beach… we’ve had more people asking for Islip, Long Island, than any other destination we fly to.”

Twice-weekly service, on Friday and Sunday, to Portland, Maine; Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; and Melbourne, Florida, on which $99.00, $139.00, and $149.00 introductory fares were respectively charged, began on June 17, 2016, amid the typically upbeat comments from Pearsall, who said that he expected “passenger demand to be strong for these new routes” and Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter, who commented, “I am thrilled that the Town of Islip is entering into a partnership with Elite Airways. The addition of Elite to the Long Island MacArthur Airport family will offer both residents and those living in Nassau and Suffolk counties the opportunity to travel to some of the most desirable vacation destinations along the east coast… “

The Portland route continued to Bar Harbor, while that to Melbourne was envisioned as being extended to St. Croix, the US Virgin Islands.

Because of Elite’s presence in Rockford, Illinois, it also contemplated connecting Islip with that Chicago-alternative destination.

“We will be announcing additional destinations as we get more and more familiar with the market here,” Pearsall said.

Another route then under consideration was that to Newport News, Virginia, slated for a March 13, 2017 inauguration. But it was forced to postpone it because of a pending investigation concerning the $3.55 million state funding, intended for infrastructure improvement that was allegedly used to guarantee a loan for a low cost carrier.

Although the controversy did not involve Elite itself, it found it prudent to avoid the airport.

“The Peninsula Airport Commission has been informed that Elite Airways has chosen to temporarily suspend service from the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport (to Newark) due to the continuing negative and inaccurate headlines, which are preventing the introduction of this brand new property to our community,” according to a statement. “The commission and Elite Airways have a great working relationship as well as support for one another. We look forward to setting a new launch date over the next few months. We feel certain that Elite will find success out of the market, and that our community will enjoy their ‘Elite Class’ of service.”

“It was a difficult decision to postpone the start of service… ,” Pearsall said, “as the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport has been a great partner to work with. We strongly believe in the market and want to give this service the best possible climate to start in. Postponing the start date will allow both the airline and the airport to be more successful in launching new air service to meet the needs of the community.”

It never did. Nor did it to Rockford. And existing Islip service, considered seasonal, was suspended between January 15 and February 16, 2017, before it was reinstated and severed a second time at the end of April. Although a second reintroduction was slated for July, it was never implemented.

While the service duration of these carriers was brief, one, National Airlines, never even touched down on Long Island soil.

Founded in 2008, the Orlando-based airline operated passenger and cargo flights with Boeing 747-400BCFs as National Air Cargo, but upgraded to public charter service on June 11, 2016 under Department of Transportation (DOT) PC#16-038, whose flights were sold by FlyBranson Travel LLC dba (doing business as) Branson Air Express and operated by National Air Cargo Group, Inc., which itself did business as National Airlines.. Its fleet, a pair of Rolls Royce 40,200 thrust-pound RB.211-535E4-powered Boeing 757-200s configured for 170 (26 first class and 144 coach) and 184 (22 first class and 162 coach) passengers, was intended for a six-destination route system, encompassing Aguadilla, Puerto Rico; Islip, New York; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Sanford-Orlando, Florida; St. John’s, Newfoundland; and Windsor, Ontario.

“At National Airlines we provide an enhanced passenger travel experience air mile after air mile,” it described itself. “Our uncompromising quality, unrelenting service, and unmatched agility set us apart as one of the market’s most elite passenger airlines. We travel farther, move faster, and arrive on time with a focused commitment to safe performance. From the runway to the horizon, National provides a world-class flight experience.

“National is committed to customer care. We believe our passengers are the most precious cargo that an aircraft can carry, and therefore we treat each individual as an elite global VIP. From the dedicated service of our inflight crew to the undeniable beauty of our aircraft, we focus on the details.”

Planned were two weekly departures to Aguadilla as Flight N8 273 on Monday and Friday and four to San Juan as Flight N8 231 on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday from Islip. All were scheduled to leave at 0900.

“The city of Islip is a wonderful and engaging community.” according to Edward Davidson, National’s president and CEO, “and Long Island MacArthur Airport offers both outstanding service and convenience for our customers. National Airlines believes there is demand for our unique brand of exclusive service of inclusive fares between Islip, San Juan, and Aguadilla.”

“There is a vibrant Puerto Rican community in and around Islip and the entire New York City region,” he continued, “and we believe travelers will find our combination of convenient location and inclusive service very attractive.”

Although it would have constituted the first nonstop service to the Caribbean from the Long Island airport, a lack of suitable equipment precluded its inauguration, resulting in a six-month delay and prompting passenger refunds.

“National has experienced challenges acquiring the very popular Boeing 757 aircraft,” according to a statement issued by Town of Islip Supervisor Angie Carpenter. “Regretfully, this has prompted National to postpone the June 1 launch from Long Island MacArthur Airport to Puerto Rico. However, the Town remains very enthusiastic in welcoming National Airlines t to our airport family.”

It was never given the opportunity to do so.

The airport fared far better with the next carrier to touchdown on its runways, ultra-low-cost, Denver-based Frontier. Announcing nonstop service to Orlando in May of 2017, the airline, an Airbus A320 operator, placed itself in competition with incumbent Southwest to that destination and Florida in general, offering unbundled, $39.00 introductory fares, with additional fees for checked baggage, early boarding, drinks, snacks, and refundability. Based upon advanced bookings, it became the threshold to a significant Islip presence that would entail more nonstop flights and to further destinations than Southwest itself and (then) Elite had offered.

As part of 21 cities it was adding to its existing 61, it was considered the first step in an expansion that would double its size in the next five years.

“Islip is going to be part of the largest expansion in Frontier’s history,” said Scott Fisher, the carrier’s senior director, at a MacArthur news conference.

Because of airport facility availability, a lack of congestion, and the reconstruction of La Guardia, which it also served, Fisher labeled it an “easy airport experience” in the otherwise competitive New York market. “This became a no-brainer in terms of a partnership,” he said.

“We thank you for your confidence in what we know is truly a treasure that has been untapped,” Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter said to Fisher at the news conference. “This is really going to reap a tremendous amount of rewards for everybody.”

Touching down at 0936 after an inbound ferry flight from Orlando on August 16 and given a water cannon salute from MacArthur Airport Fire-Rescue, the single-class Frontier A320-200, designated Flight F9 1779, became the inaugural departure, pushed back from the gate at 1045. It would return as Flight F9 1778 at 2155 that evening.

It became the first in a dual-phase expansion at MacArthur, with service to Fort Myers, Miami, New Orleans, Tampa, and West Palm Beach beginning on October 5, and that to Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, and Minneapolis the following April 9, 2018. Atlanta and Chicago constituted two of the airport’s once-served, but subsequently lost destinations. They remained the two still most-requested ones.

Yet, because deregulation facilitated the rapid entry and exit of markets, and very low-fare carriers such as Frontier, by necessity, were forced to adopt hairpin triggers when revenue fell below expectations, a significant portion of its Islip route system was modified shortly after disappointing load factors dictated the need to do so.

The first destination to be eliminated, on March 5, was New Orleans.

“We constantly evaluate route performance,” according to Frontier spokesman Richard Oliver III. “Unfortunately, this capacity was better… redeployed elsewhere in our route network.”

Airport Commissioner Shelley LaRose-Arken echoed this reality.

“Unfortunately, one of (Frontier’s) ten routes-New Orleans-did not perform as was anticipated, and therefore adjustments to the schedule are being made to ensure the carrier continues to be successful in the market.”

Like the first in a string of falling dominoes, however, it knocked down Miami and Fort Myers on April 8.

“They just weren’t meeting our expectations,” Oliver III said.

Two more dominoes fell on July 5-namely, Detroit and Minneapolis.

“We haven’t seen the level of demand that we need to see for the routes,” said Daniel Shurz, Frontier’s Vice President of Commercial Operations.

Myrtle Beach and San Juan replaced two of the original destinations, and Fort Myers, Miami, and West Palm Beach were being considered for reinstatement during the winter 2018-2019 season.

Despite the cancellations, Frontier remained committed to Islip, provided load factors ensured adequate profitability.

“We’ve been working together with the airport and they’ve done a good job promoting service,” said Shurz.

Although American Eagle and Southwest remained the long-time anchor tenants, they made tiny adjustments themselves. The former upgraded its 37-passenger de Havilland of Canada DHC-8-100 turboprop to American’s Philadelphia hub to a 45-passenger Embraer ERJ-145 pure-jet, representing a 31-percent capacity increase, while the latter inaugurated one-stop, single-aircraft service to Raleigh/Durham, via Baltimore, facilitating same-day return business travel.

Long Island MacArthur continued its perpetual search for airlines, while the airliners themselves continued their search for passengers and profitability in the shadow of the New York airports, as evidenced by the latest round of carrier entries and exits. Yet, despite losses between 2011 and 2014, with the $2 million one its largest in 2012, it ended 2017 with an almost $3 million surplus.

In the fiscal year from February 2017 to February of 2018, it recorded 6,473 aircraft departures, a 10.67-percent increase, 694,000 arriving passengers, a 17.28-percent increase, and 697,000 departing passengers, a 17.43-percent increase, according to DOT statistics. The number of nonstops served more than doubled, from seven to 15.

Like American Airlines in the 1970s, Northeastern International in the 1980s, and Southwest in the 1990s, Frontier could serve as the catalyst to the airport’s next development cycle, provided it can determine the markets that ensure its profitability and long-term presence.

The Airplane Ticket: Only The Beginning Of The Cost Of Flying

It used to be that buying an airplane ticket was a fairly simple task. You’d pick your flight and time and pay to fly from point A to point B. Today, purchasing the ticket is a more complicated process. Fliers are confronted with a number of choices, each with its own price tag.

So many fees may be added to the price of an airplane ticket that the base cost is usually only a starting point. According to Max Levitte, co-founder of Cheapism.com, “Consumers don’t know what to expect unless they read all the fine print, which is a lot nowadays.” While your cable company offers you bundling of services, the airlines are doing just the opposite, offering you a la carte choices of services that used to be included in the regular fare. The carriers contend that add-on airplane ticket fees are simply their idea of giving fliers more choices. United Airlines CEO Jeff Smisek compared the process to ordering a pizza saying, “We used to serve you a pizza with all the toppings and that’s all you got. Unbundling allows passengers to pay for only what they want.”

But what if the current base price of an airplane ticket is as high as the traditional price “with all the toppings”? Due to the high cost of fuel, airlines need the extra revenue to stay in the air according to an industry spokeswoman. Perks that used to be included in the cost of an airplane ticket but now carry add-on fees include baggage checking (the heavier the bag, the higher the cost), cancellations and food and beverages. Some other fees added to the cost of an airplane ticket are for new services such as wireless internet access and seating with extra legroom. There is even talk of a new program whereby a passenger may buy a higher-priced airplane ticket which entitles him or her to 1.5 seats. If I were cynical, I might suggest that the size of the seats on airplanes has been shrinking over the last few years so folks would be enticed to buy a second seat. (Some do.) Selling a double seat means less passenger and baggage weight on the plane which results in lower fuel consumption while ticket revenues stay the same. Of course, it’s possible that I am larger now than I used to be and the seats just seem smaller…

In July, 2013, a survey by Consumer Reports named America’s Spirit Airlines the most hated carrier. About 39% of Spirit’s 2012 revenue came from sources other than the airline ticket. George Hobica, founder and editor of Airfarewatchdog, which tracks airline deals says, “Spirit is the only no-frills airline left with fares that can be 90 percent less than other carriers.” The problem is, in addition to the price of an airplane ticket, it also charges a wide array of fees: $10 to $19 just to book a flight, $3 for juice, a soft drink or candy and $35 to $100 per carry-on bag. Ironically, Spirit Airlines is thriving while other larger carriers are not. It must be very popular with those passengers traveling without luggage. It’s clear that, while no one likes added fees, the charges must be weighed against the all-inclusive offerings of airlines like Southwest and Virgin America to determine the best deal on an airplane ticket.

Benefits of Last Minute Flight Ticket Booking for Business and Corporate Travelers

Traveling on a business class flight ticket can be both overwhelming and fun. However, if you get the same business class ticket at an affordable price, then travelling becomes all the more exciting. Your purpose of travelling could vary from business meeting to fun-filled adventure trip to vacation or holiday with friends or sudden unforeseen circumstances. With last minute ticket option being offered by almost every other airlines service, booking a business class ticket isn’t difficult anymore. Today, you can find countless domestic and international flight options for travelling in and around a country as and when desired. Here, find out more about last minute business class flight deals and options.

Booking business class flight tickets is very convenient these days. Given that all the major airlines services and flight ticket offering companies have their own websites today, one can book flight tickets in just a couple of steps and clicks. One of the biggest reasons why people choose business class ticket over economy class flight ticket is that they get numerous luxuries in the form of food, wine and entertainment throughout their journey. Right from watching your favorite television shows to the latest movies, you get every opportunity to entertain yourself during your flight journey. Yet another advantage of travelling with a business class flight ticket is that you get cushioned seats and delicious cuisine to make you feel comfortable. Many international airlines service providers also offer seats that are easily adjustable and can be used for lying down. The airlines services across the globe moreover, offer last minute air tickets for business class passengers, thereby providing them with the flexibility of booking flight tickets as per their convenience, budget and time.

If you are looking to save, some time and money then scan the websites of different airlines services and book last minute air tickets to your choice of destination. In fact, cheap business class tickets are ideal for companies that look at various cost-cutting options to minimize their expenses. It is a myth that only advance bookings can be economical!

In view of uncertain economic conditions, rising shipping costs, expensive supplies, rising equipment and machinery prices and rising employee related costs, companies have no other option but to reduce their expenditure. Given that employees, board members and other staff members of large and small companies travel to international locations for official meetings and business purposes, booking flight tickets at reasonable rates can certainly help them save a huge amount of their money. Businesses can use this money for further expansion and achieving their targets easily. With nearly all the leading airlines services offering last minute air tickets options, booking tickets at a very short notice has become both effortless. In fact, last minute flight ticket is an excellent option for business and corporate travelers who are looking to network with their prospective and existing clients at various international locations.

Travelers can check the websites and book tickets to numerous domestic and international locations and get special and discounted flight tickets in no time. So, if you are in a hurry for hassle-free business trip, then book last minute business class ticket to your preferred destination right away!

Inexpensive Methods to Travel the World

Many people dream about being able to someday retire and travel the world. There are also a growing number of people who are considering career breaks and time after school to travel extensively. A top concern and deterrent of these individuals is the cost of travel. This article will outline the several ways to save on transportation costs to allow discounted travel around the world.

Know your top destinations, but be flexible. Making a list of top destinations is an excellent outline for a travel plan, but keeping flexibility on how and when you arrive there is a key to budget travel.

• Airlines use specific airport hubs to connect flights to other destinations. Searching for direct flights both in and out of these locations can save significant amounts of money on tickets. It also often allows for time to explore the area around these hubs between flights.

• Start at an end destination and work your way back. Look at a top destination’s airport website and look at all inbound and outbound flights. This will give you information on which hubs service these locations most often, and other possible destinations of interest you can use as a connection.

Time is your friend. Long-term travel requires considerable planning with as much notice as possible.

• Taking time to research destinations is key to affordable pricing. Traveling to destinations during popular events will cost more than during non-peak times. Researching all forms of transportation are key: South America, and Asia offer luxury buses that are often cheaper and more comfortable than flights, while crossing the Atlantic Ocean can be cheaper on a cruise than by a flight once lodging and meals are factored in.

• Having flexibility in time of travel is a significant source of savings. Searching tickets over a month time-frame will allow for the cheapest options. Additional flexibility in travel time, and not being rushed to your destination will also allow for multiple connections and long layovers, the cheapest tickets usually available.

• Many cruise lines and some airlines offer a best price guarantee but do not advertise it. Booking well in advance and routinely checking back for drops in ticket prices gives you the opportunity to contact the company and request they match their current price. If they will not match the price often companies will provide you with a credit of the difference in price to use on future travel.

Use technology to your advantage. The Internet is the best tool for planning, searching, and booking cheap travel.

• Many search engines allow for you to search multiple airlines over multiple dates to find the lowest prices.

• Checking directly with the airline, cruise line, or bus company and not through a travel agent will give a comparison for all other prices. Signing up for the travel company’s newsletters and loyalty groups will often provide you with first access to special pricing.

• Following travel companies and travel groups on social media provides direct access to immediate news and specials. Travel groups often post glitches in booking software and most travel companies repair these in minutes. Followers that are able to book during the window of glitches are usually allowed to keep their prices. Travel companies occasionally offer followers discounts and travel credits for public feedback on social media.

• Use the booking company’s currency conversion. Changing the booking to multiple currencies can provide significant savings. Often changing currency in software assumes you are in a poorer region and provides discounted pricing. A quick search engine lookup will provide you with an accurate conversion, and a global credit card with no international fees is best for purchase.

Planning well in advance, keeping flexible travel times, and using technology to your advantage can allow you to follow your dreams and travel the world at an affordable price!