For week ending 20 May 2016.
Loads of updates from last week you won't want to miss such as Qantas' new fare changes for travel to the USA. Also read about Virgin Australia's "the business" which launched last week and their plans for new economy space + seats.
All this and more in our weekly news round-up brought to you by FCM Travel Solutions.
Hyatt Place opens at Heathrow
The Hyatt Place hotel brand has made its UK debut. The 170-room Hyatt Place London Heathrow/Hayes is located 20 minutes from the airport and offers free wi-fi, 24-hour food service, a gym and meeting spaces as well as onsite paid parking.
New Mantra Richmont
Mantra Group has opened a new property in Brisbane. The 110-room Mantra Richmont Hotel is located in Spring Hill offering easy access to the CBD and airport. Property features include a restaurant, bar and cafe as well as a gym, onsite parking and a boardroom that seats up to 15 people.
Qantas US fare changes
Qantas is updating economy fares on its Australia-mainland USA routes.While weekday fares will remain unchanged, weekend services on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays will rise by $100.
The move brings Qantas in line with partner AmericanAirlines. The carrier also plans to introduce two new advance purchase business classfares.The 120-day Advance Purchase ‘I’ class fare will have a minimum 10-night stay, while the 50-day Advance Purchase ‘D’ class has no minimum stay. Changes come into effect from 24 May.
Los Angeles new VIP terminal plans
Los Angeles Airport plans to open a new VIP terminal for the rich and famous.‘The Los Angeles Suite’ will enable VIPs to avoid interacting with the public when travelling through the airport. Business executives travelling to/from LAX on private and charter aircraft will be able to utilise the service which will speed their clearance times through the airport. The new facility is expected to open within eight months.
KrisFlyer adds premium economy options
Members of Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer frequent flyer program will be able to redeem miles for Premium Economy class travel from 24 May.Upgrades from economy to premium economy and premium economy to business will be available from 1 June.
New bag rules for Air China
Air China has reduced its long-haul economy class baggage allowance on most long-haul routes. Travellers are now entitled to just one piece of check-in luggage up to 23kg, down from two pieces. Passengers travelling to/from China as well as gold and silver Phoenix loyalty members will receive one extra bag.
VA launches ‘The Business’
Virgin Australia has formally unveiled its new business class product. Retrofitted on B777-300ER aircraft operating to Los Angeles and Abu Dhabi, ‘The Business’ offers 37 private lie-flat seats in a 1-2-1 configuration, as well as a new Business Class Bar and Lounge. Seats are 80-inches in length and equipped with 18-inch HD touch screens. Signature Services include having breakfast at the bar rather than at your seat. All five B777s will be refitted by the end of September.
New DoubleTree Fiji open
Sonaisali Island resort in Fiji has reopened as the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Fiji- Sonaisali Island. Located 25 minutes and a three-minute boat ride from Nadi Airport, the 120-room/bure property has been fully refurbished and features three restaurants and bars, conference and meeting spaces, a spa, tennis court, 24-hour fitness centre and lagoon-style pool.
VA Economy Space +
Virgin Australia plans to offer Economy Space + seats on long-haul routes operated on B777-300ER aircraft.The first five rows of the main cabin, as well as exit rows, will offer extra legroom and guests travelling in these seats will also benefit from a dedicated Premium check-in counter, pre-boarding, preferred overhead locker, dedicated crew members, guaranteed first meal choice and noise-cancelling headsets. The new cabin option will be available from 30 August for an additional fee.
New SYD passenger pick-up options
Sydney Airport is adding more pick-up options. From 19 July, the Blue Emu Car Park near the T2/T3 domestic area will offer one hour’s free parking for those waiting to pick up passengers.