Travel News: The Airlines That Sell Double Beds In The Sky


The Airlines That Sell Double Beds In The Sky 

Forbes reports there is a growing trend for airlines installing double beds on planes. It began as a way of differentiating first class from ever-better business class, now almost every respectable long-haul airline has seats that recline into fully flat (single) beds so the battle is on to improve the customer experience further. It was back in 2014 that Abu Dhabi-based airlines Etihad unveiled its revolutionary uber-first class concept, the Residence. The airline already had a first class cabin, so this was an additional three-room section, complete with living room, bathroom and bedroom, right at the front of the superjumbo A380. At the time, James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ president and chief executive officer, said: “These new living spaces will raise in-flight product and service standards to their highest level yet in commercial aviation and alter air travelers’ expectations of inflight comfort and luxury forever.” Passengers in the Residence also have a butler trained by the Savoy hotel in London) was that it was only available to the super rich – and everyone wanted it. Then Doha-based airline Qatar Airways last year announced that it was bringing out a new business class product called the Qsuite on its B777s, and it would have double beds. This meant that suddenly, a dozen people on a flight could be sleeping in a double bed, rather than two on Etihad. 

United Will Add Premium Economy To Match Delta And American

United intends to add a premium economy section with comfortable recliner seats on long-haul aircraft soon, matching a product already offered by American and Delta, its two main competitors. United will call the cabin Premium Plus, and it will feature several free perks business class travelers usually receive, including meals served on china, alcoholic beverages, a Saks Fifth Avenue blanket and pillow, and an amenity kit. In an internal note, later put on the company blog, United said it will “begin to introduce” the product later this year, though it’s not clear on what flights or routes. United’s seat is expected to be similar, if not identical, to the recliners Delta and American already fly. Both competitors have seats that are nearly identical to US domestic first class, with seats about 18 or 19 inches wide, with roughly 38 inches of pitch.

Qantas To Start SFO 787 Services From September

Qantas will start Boeing 787-9 services from Melbourne to San Francisco from September 1 while reducing its Melbourne-Los Angeles Dreamliner flights from six to two services per week. The San Francisco fares went on sale Friday and the airline will operate the overnight flights four times a week. The flights are aimed at holiday-makers and corporate travelers from The San Francisco area’s globally-renowned technology centers. The airline’s website showed sale fares starting at $A1098 return. Qantas said the new nonstop Dreamliner service reflected strong demand in travel to the popular Californian city. With connections to 17 codeshare destinations including Chicago, Seattle, and Vancouver, the new service also provides another gateway for Australians traveling into the US. The airline said customers affected by the decision to reduce the Melbourne-Lax services would be re-accommodated on other flights. It will continue to operate daily A380 flights between the two cities. The 236-seat Qantas 787s come with refreshed business, premium economy and economy class offerings. There are 42 in business class with a 1-2-1 formation, 28 in premium economy in a 2-3-2 layout and 166 in economy in a 3-3-3 configuration. 

Paris On Flooding Alert As Rising Seine Causes Travel Disruption

Parisians have been warned to stay away from the river Seine as it continues to rise, flooding surrounding roads and causing disruption to the city’s transport network. As water levels increased on Wednesday, the capital’s authorities said the river could pass the 6.10-metre (20ft) level of 2016, the highest in over a century and more than four metres above its normal height. Quayside roads and tunnels have been closed and all river traffic, including cruise boats and water taxis, halted as vessels are unable to pass under the bridges. 


Delta Tightens Requirements For Bringing Service Animals Onboard A Flight

Delta Air Lines is taking steps to further protect its customers, employees and service and support animals by implementing advance documentation requirements for those animals. This comes as a result of a lack of regulation that has led to serious safety risks involving untrained animals in flight. The new requirements support Delta’s top priority of ensuring safety for its customers, employees and trained service and support animals, while supporting the rights of customers with legitimate needs, such as disabled veterans, to travel with trained animals. Delta carries approximately 700 service or support animals daily, nearly 250,000 annually. Putting this into perspective, Delta carries more than 180 million passengers annually. Customers have attempted to fly with comfort turkeys, gliding possums known as sugar gliders, snakes, spiders and more. Ignoring the true intent of existing rules governing the transport of service and support animals can be a disservice to customers who have real and documented needs. Delta has seen an 84% increase in reported animal incidents since 2016, including urination/defecation, biting and even a widely reported attack by a 70-pound dog. In 2017, Delta employees reported increased acts of aggression (barking, growling, lunging and biting) from service and support animals, behavior not typically seen in these animals when properly trained and working. In compliance with the Air Carrier Access Act, Delta provides in-cabin travel for service and support animals without charge. 

The guidelines, effective March 1, require that all customers traveling with a service or support animal show proof of health or vaccinations 48 hours in advance. In addition to the current requirement of a letter prepared and signed by a doctor or licensed mental health professional, those with psychiatric service animals and emotional support animals will also need to provide a signed document confirming that their animal can behave to prevent untrained, sometimes aggressive household pets from traveling without a kennel in the cabin. These measures are intended to help ensure that those customers traveling with a trained service or support animal will no longer be at risk of untrained pets attacking their working animal, as has previously been reported.

Longest glass bridge has terrifying sway

Because walking across a glass-bottomed suspension bridge just isn’t scary enough, China is finding new ways to bring the fear. The country’s latest, billed as the world’s longest, opened at the end of 2017 in Hebei Province’s Hongyagu Scenic Area. If the 488 meter span (1,600 feet) over a vertical drop of 218 meters (715 feet) doesn’t bring visitors to their trembling knees, there’s an added sway to test the nerves at this destination. “Hongyagu glass suspension bridge marks the 2.0 era for China’s glass-bottomed bridge,” says Yang Minghua, the chairman of Hebei’s Bailu Group, which created the span linking two peaks in the mountainous region of northeastern China. The three-year construction project has given birth to several record-breaking claims, some more objective than others. These, Yang told local media, include the largest span, the greatest transparency and “the most spectacular pedestrian glass suspension bridge.” The bridge is 4 meters wide (13 feet) and made of 1,077 glass panels that are four centimeters thick (almost 1.6 inches). Opened to the public on December 24, 2017, the bridge can accommodate up to 2,000 people, but only 500 to 600 visitors will be allowed to walk on it at the same time. Staff will be stationed along the bridge to help the fainthearted get back on their feet. Visitors must wear special provided “shoe gloves” to protect the glass surface, a necessary precaution given other bridges suffered broken glass panels not long after opening. Hongyagu’s swaying suspension bridge isn’t the first glass walkway with a nerve-jangling extra. While Hongyagu’s glass bridge might have stolen the “longest” crown from another Chinese structure, it’s predecessor, which spans the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon, can still claim to be the highest, at 300 meters.


Tourists Warned Cape Town ‘Very Likely’ To Run Out Of Water

Travelwire reports Cape Town’s mayor has warned visitors to the city that it is ‘very likely’ to run out of water in April. Reservoirs supplying Cape Town are running dangerously low after two years of drought, during which rainfall has been only about a third of normal levels. Mayor Patricia de Lille said Day Zero, which is the date the city will run dry, was originally set at April 21 but this has since been moved forward to April 12. “Day Zero is the day that almost all of the taps in the city will be turned off and we will have to queue for water,” said the city council. Water pressure has been reduced to limit consumption, but water leaks and cuts in the supply are becoming more common. “Four million citizens will be expected to collect 25 liters per person from one of 200 collection points,” they said. “A true nightmare scenario is developing before our very eyes.” Hotels, bars and restaurants remain open but some have turned off the water supply in public lavatories and are providing hand sanitizer instead. A statement from South African Tourism said: “To counter the short-term effects of the drought, the city has put in place a number of initiatives to increase the supply of water and make provision for water shortages for locals and visitors. “There will be water for tourists’ essential daily needs including access to drinking water and for personal hygiene. At present, tourists will be able to shower and maintain daily hygiene. Some swimming pools at hotels have been converted to salt (ocean) water.” The city council will vote this week on measures to apply a punitive tariff which will raise water bills five-fold for those who use the least and the heaviest users will pay 140 times as much for each liter of water. Four new desalination plants are under construction in and around Cape Town, but three are running behind schedule and none is likely to be ready by April. Desalination ships are also being prepared.

Water Restrictions in Cape Town’s hotels

From 01 January 2018, the water restrictions applied in Cape Town have reached the most severe level. Some hotel properties have been affected, in that certain amenities are limited. 

All such properties have implemented projects to save water while also ensuring that the guest experience is affected as little as possible. Measures that affect guests include not topping up swimming pools, temporarily stopping spa treatments that use large amounts of water and removing bath plugs to encourage the use of showers.    

We can specifically speak of properties owned by South Africa’s andBeyond hotel collection, and you may encounter similar restrictions at other hotels in the city. 

Peak season adjustment for Morukuru Ocean House 

The peak season period for Morukuru Ocean House has been shortened, making this property a great option for December bookings. High season rates will now apply until 21 December 2018 and peak season will only start from 22 December 2018 to 06 January 2019.

Lion Sands River Lodge set to reopen in May 2018

After a devastating fire last year, the newly rebuilt Lion Sands River Lodge, located along the banks of the Sabie River will reopen on 01 May 2018. 

Grootbos Conservation Levy increase

The Grootbos Conservation Levy has increased from ZAR 50 per adult per night to ZAR 75 per adult per night. The increased levy applies to bookings from 01 May 2018, and confirmed bookings will be honored at the old rate.  

Babylonstoren increases Low Season Rates in 2018

Babylonstoren has advised increased rates for their low season period 01 May to 31 August 2018.

Park fee increase for Isimangaliso Wetland Park

Isimangaliso Wetland Park fees for Rocktail Camp have increased, and are payable directly at camp 

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