Τετάρτη, 18 Οκτωβρίου 2017

OAG’s on-time performance Star Ratings highlight North America’s most on-time airlines and airports

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για OAG on-time performance Star Ratings highlight North America’s most on-time airlines and airports

CHICAGO - OAG, the global leader in flight information, has released its On-time Performance (OTP) Star Ratings, accrediting the top airlines and airports around the world for superior performance. Delta Air Lines once again demonstrated on-time excellence, finishing as the only legacy carrier to achieve 4 stars. Among North American airlines, Delta trailed only Hawaiian Airlines – the only U.S. carrier to achieve 5 stars.
OAG’s biannual rating system is a global accreditation program that recognizes exceptional OTP across all airports and airlines regardless of size, geographic location or aviation peer group. The awards showcase the industry’s premier performers, with the top ten percent of airlines and airports receiving 5 stars. The awards are then distributed based on performance across all airlines and airports, with the poorest performers receiving 1 star.
Delta’s performance stands out, as it not only topped its mainline competition, but finished ahead of smaller airlines such as Alaska Airlines and Sun Country Airlines. In a U.S. air travel ecosystem that relies on major hubs, it’s easy for a single delay or cancellation to knock an entire day of flights off schedule. Despite managing one of the largest fleets in the world, Delta has remained a cut above its competitors. Southwest (78.9 OTP), American (78.8 OTP) and United (78.5 OTP) all performed admirably, earning 3 stars respectively.
Some of North America’s largest airport hubs also earned high marks in OTP Star Rating, with Salt Lake City International Airport earning an impressive 5 stars for an 85.2 percent on-time performance. Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (82.9 percent), Detroit Metropolitan Airport (83.1 percent), Charlotte Douglas International Airport (82.2 percent) and Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport (85.1 percent) all performed strongly for airports of their size. In fact, Minneapolis narrowly missed out on becoming the largest North American airport to earn 5 stars.
“Today’s travelers are evaluating their air travel options through a variety of considerations, and punctuality is increasingly becoming a deciding factor,” said John Grant, senior analyst at OAG. “On-time performance is viewed as an indicator to judge the quality of an airline or airport. As a result, many airlines and airports continue to track this critical metric and invest to optimize operations and improve their performance.”
The OTP Star Ratings are measured on a rolling 12-month period, and awarded twice a year in April and October. To achieve an OTP star rating, the world’s airlines and airports must meet two simple criteria: all airlines and airports must have a minimum of 600 operations a month and OAG must receive flight status information for no less than 80 percent of scheduled flights within the 12-month period.

Viking Sea Cruise marks its opening visit to Bermuda

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Viking Sea Cruise marks its opening visit to Bermuda

Viking Sea Cruise is a small cruise ship company makes its inaugural visit to Bermuda, a British Overseas Territory in the North Atlantic Ocean.

The Minister of Transport & Regulatory Affairs Walter Roban led a delegation aboard the MS Viking Sea at the invitation of the Founder, Chairman and Owner of Viking Cruises Torstein Hagen.

There were some more than 40 stakeholders, who were invited for lunch and a tour of the Star Class vessel, docked in Hamilton, on its inaugural visit to the island.

It is the first time a Viking Cruises ship has ever sailed to Bermuda, although Viking Cruise has been registered in Bermuda for two decades.

During a grand ceremony involving an exchange of plaques, the Deputy Premier of Bermuda had welcome remarks for Mr. Hagen, Viking Sea Captain Bent-Ivar Gangdal and crew.
 Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Viking Sea Cruise marks its opening visit to Bermuda
In 2013, Viking Cruise added to their leading reputation for river cruises, by branching out into ocean cruises and launching their first ocean liner in 2015.

Following the inaugural visit of the MS Viking Sea, Bermuda will also host two more Viking inaugural calls with the MS Viking Sky on October 31 and the MS Viking Sun on November 14.

The Viking model involves the medium size, five-star design cruise vessels, together with excellent performance and comfort levels on ships holding less than a thousand passengers.

Minister Roban said that it was a great pleasure to be here with them to commemorate the inaugural visit to Bermuda of the MS Viking Sea. This superb vessel is not just a Bermuda flagged ship, but it is owned by a Bermuda company, Viking Cruises Ltd., which was incorporated here nearly 20 years ago.

They are delighted to finally welcome one of great ships to the Caribbean island.

The Bermudians admire how the most established brand with the world’s finest river cruises and how, in recent years, you entered, and quickly excelled at, the ocean cruises market.

Viking Cruise has been named the #1 Ocean Cruise Line in the Caribbean cruise world.

Delta to rollout pre-select flight meals for premier guests

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Delta to rollout pre-select flight meals for premier guests

Passengers boarding Delta Air Lines will relish an elevated in flight dining experience with the introduction of new services.

Customers travelling to selected European destination from the New York-JKF and Atlanta will be able to pre-select their meals, this will be followed by upgraded meals and serviceware in the main cabin from the start of mid 2018.

After the initial launch of the pre-select meals, the services will first be available to Delta One customers on all international routes both outbound and inbound in the United States. The passengers in the Delta Premium Select cabin will be able to avail by the end of next year.

An email communication will be sent to customers six days prior to their flight asking them to choose their meals, Delta will roll out pre-select through additional channels in 2018.

Lisa Bauers said that by selecting their meals the customers will have more control over the inflight experience. It will be just like providing the customers a culinary experience similar to that of their favourite local restaurant.

There will be newly designed trays and upgraded serviceware that will complement investments in meal quality. The first changes will be seen next month when the customers will receive menu cards which will have information on timing for each meal service and details on the in-flight food and beverage offerings.

In December, the airline will introduce new upgraded cutlery in the Main Cabin before the meals are served next year.

Bauer further added that this will be Delta’s biggest investment in the main cabin dining experience till date, the main motive is to recreate the customer’s experience, what they would prefer at 30,000 feet taking into account what items naturally complement them, the service behind the offerings and the overall presentation.

Oxfam Canada highlights exploitation of women hotel housekeepers

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για f women hotel housekeepers

OTTAWA - Profits in the global hotel industry are based on the systematic exploitation of housekeepers, the majority of whom are poor women living in fear of losing their jobs, says a new report by Oxfam Canada entitled Tourism's Dirty Secret: The Exploitation of Hotel Housekeepers.
In interviews with current and former hotel housekeepers in Canada, the Dominican Republic and Thailand, Oxfam heard hotels often don't pay housekeepers enough to survive, make them work long hours with no overtime pay, and turn a blind eye to high rates of injury and sexual harassment on the job.
"You cannot say anything because if you say something, you don't know if you're there tomorrow. If you report it, they don't even believe it," said Toronto housekeeper Luz Flores.
One housekeeper in Punta Cana was hospitalized with severe vomiting, despite repeatedly complaining to her supervisor about exposure to toxic chemicals. In Toronto, housekeeper Lei Eigo was asked to deliver a pillow to a guest, only to be greeted by a naked man at the door.
"With the busy holiday travel season approaching, Canadians need to understand the daily reality for the women who ensure their rooms are clean and comfortable. A housekeeper's job can be dangerous, dirty and demanding," said Diana Sarosi, Women's Rights Policy & Advocacy Specialist at Oxfam Canada. "The hotel industry is just one example of how our global economy relies on exploiting women's cheap labour to maximize profits. It illustrates the vast and growing inequality of today's world."
Oxfam has warned the gap between the super-rich and everyone else is increasing at an unprecedented rate, disproportionately affecting women who make up the majority of the world's poor. Consider it would take a housekeeper in Phuket, Thailand nearly 14 years to earn as much as the highest paid hotel CEOs make in a single day.
"The working lives of hotel housekeepers and those of hotel CEOs graphically depict the unacceptable inequality that plagues today's world. This growing wealth gap is bad for us all. It makes it harder to end poverty, and it has particularly adverse consequences for women," Sarosi said.
Such systematic exploitation is not inevitable. Oxfam's report found when women have the ability to unionize, they earn decent wages and benefits, have greater job security, and experience less stress and fewer injuries. However, employer resistance and a climate of fear created by management make organizing in the hotel sector extremely difficult, particularly in developing countries.
"Governments around the world must hold corporations accountable for violations of labour rights, and take action on pay equity," said Sarosi. "Politicians, companies and everyday people all have a role to play in putting an end to the exploitation of women at work. We need to build a movement where everyone does their part to ensure women's work is fairly paid and equally valued."

Windstar Applauds the Spontaneous Celebration with a Group Rate for Real People – Book 7, Get 1 Free

Seattle, WA, — “If you wait until retirement to go see the Parthenon, you might not make it up the steps.” Wise words from an anonymous traveler. Windstar Cruises – with small ships visiting 170 ports from Asia to Alaska, Canada, New England, the Caribbean, South Pacific, and Europe – is applauding a growing trend among its guests: celebrating milestone moments as they define them. We’re talking taking that cruise to Alaska because you crave one more child-free adventure with your friends before baby is born, or you just got divorced and want to enjoy your new happiness with those BFFs who truly support you. People are living more and more in the moment with their friends and family, celebrating these decisions and markers that go far beyond the typical and expected times to commemorate life milestones.

“We have been seeing this trend and decided to do something to support it,” said Steven Kona Simao, vice president of sales for Windstar. “Why just have corporate incentives for groups? Why not let people define their own friends and family group and reward it?”

So they did. So many people are traveling in groups that Windstar, on select dates, will give a free cruise to the eighth cruiser for every seven people booked.
“That’s a major value,” said Simao. “Some people keep the free cruise for themselves, while others divvy up the savings with the rest of the group.” 
On higher-demand cruises, it’s one free cruise for every nine people that are booked.

In addition, groups also get a discount off of standard guest fares, as well as a $100 per person shipboard credit to use on things like massages, shore excursions, or a bottle of bubbly. 
However guests choose to celebrate or share the savings, Windstar is also able to help elevate the festivities with a variety of intimate celebration options on board their vessels, which carry no more than 310 guests on itineraries around the globe. From vow renewals performed by the captain with a personalized cake baked by the culinary crew (gluten-free if need be), to private cocktail parties in one of the larger public spaces on board or a guest suite, there are plenty of ways to make moments special together. Windstar may also arrange for memorable shore excursions and other activities exclusively for the group. And of course, there’s also the option of gathering a group to join one of Windstar’s incredible themed cruises, or a delicious foodie-focused sailing on Windstar’s James Beard Foundation Culinary Cruise Collection

This is the beauty of small ship cruising with Windstar: flexibility and completely tailor-made revelries, no matter what milestone you’re celebrating or just because.

For additional information on private yacht-style cruising and organizing a group with Windstar, contact your travel agent or Windstar Cruises at 877-958-7718, or visit www.windstarcruises.com.

Judge restricts Trump’s latest travel ban hours before it is ready to take effect

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Judge restricts Trump’s latest travel ban hours before it is ready to take effect

A federal judge has blocked yet another of the travel bans proposed by US President Donald Trump that is the latest in a series of legal setbacks for the immigration agenda of the president.

In September, Trump had unveiled a brand new executive order that is his third on the matter so far curtailing travel from countries like Syria, Yemen, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Chad, Venezuela and North Korea.

On Tuesday Derrick Watson, the U.S. District Court Judge has nullified the implementation of a part of that order just a few hours prior to the ban set to take effect. He had written that it had suffered from the same legal weaknesses as the previous versions.
Judge Watson had been repeatedly ruled against the Trump administration in legal clashes over travel bans.
The judge had wrote stating the travel order discriminates based on the nationality of people and therefore is completely unethical to the basic principles of this nation.

The White House responded by slamming the order of Judge Watson and promising to press along with a court battle, arguing that the order would be standing up to legal scrutiny. A White House statement however stated that the dangerous flawed court order slams the efforts of the US President to ensure the safety of Americans by enforcing minimum security standards for entry into the United States.

Eventually, the Supreme Court permitted certain aspects of the earlier travel ban to stand, handing over the Trump administration a partial victory.
It has allowed for a temporary halt on travellers from Somalia, Sudan, Libya, Iran, Syria and Yemen. Moreover it has also suspended refugee admissions in cases wherein people were unable to prove ‘bona fide’ ties to the United States like immediate relatives or job offers. Last month the high court has cancelled arguments on the restrictions as it had anticipated the indefinite ban that might be taking effect.

LiveRez launches technology that enables vacation rental managers to get bookings on more than 1,000 websites

EAGLE, IDAHO - LiveRez.com, the most widely used cloud-based software for professional vacation rental managers, released multiple pieces of new technology last week at its annual user conference.
New products included a next-generation mobile work order app and a channel management system powered by NextPax that allows companies using LiveRez to seamlessly integrate with more than 300 major booking portals worldwide.
Chief among the announcements, however, was a new technology called the LiveStay Network (LSN) that empowers LiveRez users (called partners) to work together on a massive scale by listing each other's inventory, referring bookings and earning commissions.
With the announcement of a channel manager and its LSN technology, LiveRez will give its partners the ability to potentially list and get bookings through well over 1,000 different websites.
"To this point, we've kept our heads down and focused on building out our core management software, while educating our partners about building their own brands and protecting their data," said Tracy Lotz, LiveRez founder and CEO. "But last year, we committed to build a channel manager. And, with this announcement, we've gone from the software with the fewest amount of integrated booking portals to the one with the most – and by a wide margin."
Since launching in 2008, LiveRez has evolved into the fastest-growing and single largest software in the industry. And Lotz is confident that the timing behind the launch of this new technology will not only help the network grow faster but also stronger.
"The size of our network and the efficiencies of all our partners using the same technology is what has made the LiveStay Network possible," Lotz said. "While others in the industry could attempt to duplicate this technology, it's the size and strength of our network that will really drive the success of this initiative."
The LSN technology, while still in beta, has already generated promising results with only a small network of testers using it. Once expanded to a larger base, the company expects it to grow into a major source of bookings for its partners and a way for many of them to generate revenue year-round, even in their slow seasons.
The technology works by allowing professional managers, through a digital handshake, to agree to list one or more of each other's properties. A shared guest review system that has ratings for both managers and individual properties allows partners to decide which managers and properties to work with. 
When guests book, property-specific branding will indicate that they are booking with a partner company. The bookings will flow directly into the reservation system of the partner that manages the property, keeping them merchant of record. Both partners will have access to the guest information, as well as reports that indicate which bookings were generated through LSN, by which partners, and how much commission they have earned.
The concept of the LiveStay Network will translate into the company's guest app, which currently allows travelers to download one app and use it to manage their stays with any partner in the network.
Down the road, Lotz said he envisions LiveStay growing into a recognizable affiliation standing for consistent standards of excellence.
"As a network, we have an opportunity to define what it means to offer exceptional guest experiences,"Lotz said. "We can set a consistent standard that travelers will recognize and that enhances each participant's individual brand."