Category Archives: Airlines

Hear it first from Rainbow Travel: Vancouver Airport recently launched Automated Passport Control (APC)

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Hear it first from Rainbow Travel:

Vancouver Airport recently launched Automated Passport Control (APC) giving US passport holders options for streamlining their airport travel experience, while pre clearing US Customs at YVR Airport.

YVR Airport is the first Canadian airport to launch with US Customs and Border Protection Automated Passport Control that gives passengers tangible options to use technology to expedite the US pre-clearance process.

Canadian passport holders are looking forward to this process being made available to them.

For more information please click on the link below:

http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/passport+control+system+expected+reduce+delays/8351249/story.html

Thanks to The Vancouver Sun for this information

Beatle City, Liverpool gets new link to Cyprus

#Beatle City, #Liverpool gets new link to Larnaca, Cyprus, welcome to John Lennon Airport- Larnaca. http://ow.ly/mFSha

Rainbow Travel is always looking for way

Rainbow Travel is always looking for ways to make our clients flying experience easy, thanks Frommers. http://ow.ly/bbg7Z

WESTJET LAUNCHES UNACCOMPANIED MINOR PROGRAM

Now Canada’s favourite airline offers service for children travelling alone within Canada.

Westjet Unaccompanied Minor

WestJet  has launched a new unaccompanied minor program following feedback from guests encouraging the airline to unveil a service that allows children to travel alone.
Effective immediately, children can travel without a parent or guardian. The program is required for children between the ages of eight and 11 and optional for children ages 12 to 17.
Under the unaccompanied minor program, a fee of $100 per child, per flight, will be added to the fare paid.
For this fee, the child will remain in the care of WestJetters from the time they board the aircraft until they are met by a parent or guardian on arrival. On flights with live seatback television, unaccompanied minors will receive a set of regular earbuds. On routes with buy-on-board service, children will also receive a free sandwich or other buy-on-board items.
WestJet will accept unaccompanied minors on WestJet-operated domestic flights that are non-stop or flights that do not require a change of aircraft. This service is not available on connecting flights, flights operated by codeshare or interline partners or on WestJet Vacations and WestJet Vacations group bookings.
WestJet’s guardian fare program, which allows a guardian to accompany a child on their flight, will remain available for booking and can be used for flights that do not qualify under the unaccompanied minor program.
Restrictions apply to a child’s eligibility and full details can be found at westjet.com/childrenstravelprogram.

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Hate having an airplane seatmate? You have options

Hate having an airplane seatmate? You have options

AirAsia X passengers who want a coach row to themselves make the request through Optiontown.com. If the traveler can be accommodated, he or she is notified four to 72 hours before departure.

Imagine: You’ve boarded your flight and are comfortable in your seat when you get a good look at, or whiff of, your seatmate coming down the aisle toward you, and you wish you could have simply reserved the entire row to yourself. Sound familiar?

What a great idea, thanks to Harriet Baskas for sourcing out this information. It’s only a shame that more airlines don’t take AirAsia’s lead and offer the same.

I would imagine the main reason is that North American Airlines work on a different operational model and also a lot of their routes are short haul and therefore they have to get revenue for every seat to make the flight pay.

Hate having an airplane seatmate? You have options.

Air fares to soar in wake of ash crisis

Air fares to soar in wake of ash crisis.

Air Fare Increases

Time to Take Off

Air fares are forecast to rise by more than five per cent this year in the wake of the Icelandic volcanic ash crisis and increasing oil prices.

From a study made in the UK travelers can expect to pay an additional £1.8 billion or £48 each on average, according to figures from the Centre for Economics and Business Research.

The study warns that fares are set to rise by 11.5% by 2012, adding £62 to the cost of an average economy flight from London to New York – from £518 to almost £580.

The rises are predicted as carriers attempt to claw back an estimated £1.3 billion in costs due to the ash cloud disruption by the end of last week.

It is believed that up to two thirds of the costs will be borne by European airlines.

Most airlines were already struggling prior to the crisis, but this, combined with soaring oil prices, will have a knock-on effect on consumers as carriers are forced to pass on rising operational costs to passengers.

Oil prices – the main cost factor for carriers and representing 33% of total operating costs – are up by more than 74% in the first quarter of 2010 compared to 2009.

Additionally, increasing competition and falling demand mean that airline operators have struggled to remain profitable.

Profit margins have been under pressure fro some time as established carriers had to adjust their business models following the market entry of low cost airlines in the 1980s.

In Canada we will not escape these increases either and to add to the misery the new HST Tax due to come into effect on 1st May will increase the tax portion of the airfare.

So if you have been procrastinating about booking that flight, DO IT NOW! before it’s too late to still get that deal.

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Travel Industry Jargon

Rainbow Travel Blog - Commonly Used Travel Jargon

I was meeting a friend for coffee and he was planning a vacation.  I was providing some suggestions when he asked me for clarification when he didn’t understand some of the terms / acronyms I used.  I thought I would take this opportunity to explain some commonly used jargon in the travel industry.

Charter Flight – A non scheduled flight.  A single flight that is chartered by a company for a specific trip in order to transport a group, usually as part of a vacation package.

Direct Flight – A flight with one or more intermediary stops but passengers remain on the air craft during the stop.

Fuel Surcharge – A fee added to the ticket by the airline to recover the increased fuel cost.

Lowest Available Fare – The lowest price available at a specific point in time.  Availability is limited and is sold out quickly.

Open Jaw – A term for the sitatuion where a person flies into one airport but departs from another.   

Pax – An abbreviation for passengers.

Rack Rate – The official rate offered by a hotel to the public before any discounts.

If there are others you have seen but don’t understand, leave a comment below.

In my next post I’ll describe some commonly used acronyms.

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Happy New Year with FREE Luggage Tags from KLM

Just wanted to wish you all a happy new year. It’s been a challenging year for the travel industry in 2009.  Please email us your travel related questions, we look forward to hearing from you.

KLM - Royal Dutch Airlines

To start off the new year, I thought I would share with you a promotion from KLM, the Royal Dutch Airlines. They are offering a set of 2 luggage tags FREE (maximum of one set of 2 per person) when you subscribe to their newsletters and eNews. You have a choice of uploading your own image or choosing one of theirs. Click here for details.

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Airlines gear up for more Vancouver-Beijing flights.

Airlines gear up for more Vancouver-Beijing flights.

Now that the Chinese government has finally granted Canada Approved Destination Status, the goal is to increase at least a 50-per-cent increase in the number of Chinese visitors by 2015.

Starting in June 2010, Air China will add three more Vancouver-Beijing flights per week, going from seven to 10. It’s a doubling in flights that puts Air China up there to match Cathay Pacific Airways service from Vancouver to Hong Kong. Cathay now flies twice daily, connecting to more than 16 cities in mainland China via its sister airline, Dragonair. With return airfares starting at only CAD $730.00*

At the moment Air China’s flights from Vancouver to Beijing leave in the afternoon, but the airline is trying to schedule all its new flights as midnight departures, which are the most convenient for Pacific-crossing business travellers. This allows a full day’s work in Vancouver enabling one to jump on board, sleep and arrive in Asia in time for the morning’s first coffee break and easily catch a connecting flight to elsewhere in China or Southeast Asia.

* Taxes extra

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1st Canadian Airline offer Wi-Fi at 30,000ft!

Air Canada Wi Fi

Air Canada Wi Fi

Air Canada has become the first Canadian carrier to offer inflight internet service to its customers. Trial service has begun on the Toronto-Los Angeles and Montreal-Los Angeles routes. The test period will run until January 29, 2010, after which Air Canada will analyze usage and customer feedback to determine whether it will introduce the service on other routes.

The Gogo Inflight internet service allows travellers to access the service using their own standard, Wi-Fi equipped laptop at a cost of US $9.95 per flight or Personal Electronic Device (PED) at a cost of US $7.95 per flight. In order to make Air Canada’s rollout fast, economical and simple, initially, the Gogo system will be powered by Aircell’s existing network which is only available in the continental US.

The system is expected to rollout on other routes in North America with the deployment of the Canadian Air-To-Ground (ATG) network. Aircell plans to collaborate with the Canadian ATG licensee in supporting the establishment of a Canadian ATG network and in facilitating the fleet-wide deployment of Air Canada’s onboard connectivity service.