Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Club Med Opens First Village in China

Club Med is opening a ski village within the Sun Mountain Yabuli Resort in China's north eastern province of Heilongjiang.

The resort is owned by Melco China Resorts and consists of two hotels, one has 133 rooms, and the other 155 rooms. It will be marketed as the Club Med Yabuli Resort. Club Med has signed a ten-year renewable contract to operate the two hotels. Club Med will invest approximately $3 million to bring the hotels up to its brand standards.

During the summer, the Sun Mountain Yabuli Resort offers hiking, tennis, luxury camping, horse riding and mountain biking.

Contact a Professional Travel Agent to book your next Club Med vacation today!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Airlines On-Time Performance Improving

The nation’s 19 largest airlines had an on-time performance rate in 2009 that was their best since 2003, according to the Air Travel Consumer Report released by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). The report also shows that the carriers’ rate of mishandled baggage last year was the lowest recorded since 2004.

According to information filed with the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), a part of DOT’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA), the carriers reporting on-time performance recorded an overall on-time arrival rate of 79.5 percent in 2009, an improvement over 2008’s rate of 76.0 and the best annual record since the 82.0 percent on-time rate of 2003. In addition, the carriers recorded a mishandled baggage rate of 3.91 per 1,000 passengers in 2009, the best mark for a calendar year since the rate of 3.84 recorded in 2004.

For assistance booking your next trip, contact a Professional Travel Agent today!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

World's Tallest Tower Closed

Just one month after opening, Dubai's Burj Tower, the tallest viewing tower in the world, has closed.

It was closed to the public a week ago, without any explanation. It turns out that 15 people were trapped in one of the elevators for 45 minutes after they heard what sounded like a small explosion and then saw dust seeping through a crack in the elevator door, 1600 ft above the ground.

It took rescue crews 45 minutes to arrive and pry open the elevator doors. As the elevator was stuck between floors a ladder had to be put into the shaft to help the stranded people crawl out. No one was injured but I can imagine the mental state of some of them before getting to the ground. Some stranded in the elevator wanted to use the stairs to get down but were not allowed to do that. One person in the elevator said the lights went out and the elevator began to fall before the brakes kicked in.

Another 60 people were also stranded on the observation deck and some began to panic. The company that owns the Burj Tower has said little about the incident and nothing about an elevator malfunction.

The Burj is the tallest freestanding structure in the world at some 160 stories and the observation deck is some 2/3 of the way up.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Great Ways to Spend a Layover

Stuck at the airport for a layover? It doesn't have to be a tedious experience. Here are some ideas to make your next layover an enjoyable one.

- Work Out. Several airports offer gyms on-site, or if not, almost any airport information desk can guide you to the nearest off-site gym.
- Art Galleries. Many major airports, including San Francisco Intl, Denver, Atlanta and Philadelphia, offer worth wile art displays.
- Get Some Work Done. Business centers are popping up in airports everywhere, and most include free Wi-Fi. Some airports with great business centers are Los Angeles Intl, San Francisco Intl, Dallas and Seattle, just to name a few.
- Get a Massage. Next to relax after a long flight? How a back rub or massage? Massage Bar and d_parture spa have been opening locations in concourses everywhere!
- Shopping. Just about every major airport world wide offers shopping.
- Gourmet Restaurants. Having a good meal is a great way to spend a layover! Many fine dining options can be found at most airports, just about anything from steak houses to sushi!
- Fine Wine or Microbrews. If you'd like to unwind with a glass of fine wine or a pint of beer, tap houses and wine bars can be found in just about any major airport.
For assistance booking your next trip, contact a Professional Travel Agent today!

Monday, February 01, 2010

Air New Zealand Upgrades Economy Seat Options

Long international flights are a travel deterrent for some people as sitting upright for an extended period of time is not very appealing. Fortunately more and more airlines are offering better (i.e., more comfortable) seating options for long international flights. Considering the flight from Los Angeles to New Zealand takes 12 hours, it’s no surprise airlines are interested in creating more choices for passengers seeking economy travel.

Air New Zealand has increased its seating options based on consumer demand, especially leisure travelers comprised of families, couples, and groups. The airline recently unveiled some new prototypes that offer customers more comfort and space in attempt to make flights less intimidating and travel more enticing.

For economy class, Air New Zealand has created a new lie-flat option called the “Skycouch” – a row of three seats where the bottom cushion extends forwards creating a bed-like surface with more room for kids to play or for adults to lie down. In order to reserve a Skycouch, you’ll need to buy all three seats, obviously. This new division of economy class airfare will be delivered in Boeing 777-300s around November 2010.