Tag Archives: airlines

Travel News: Walt Disney World To Build Star Wars Hotel

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Walt Disney World To Build Star Wars Hotel

Walt Disney World used this weekend’s Walt Disney D23 Expo in Anaheim to announce it will build a Star Wars-themed hotel. The hotel will be built at Walt Disney World in Orlando and has been described as ‘the most experiential’ luxury resort ever attempted by the company. Each guest will have their own unique experiences following their own individual storyline throughout their stay while dressed up in realistic Star Wars attire. In the rooms ‘every single window has a view into space’. There is no confirmed date yet on an expected opening. Meanwhile Disney said the upcoming Star Wars themed lands at Disneyland and Walt Disney World will be named ‘Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge’.

New Destination For River Cruises Near Amsterdam

The development of two berths to handle river cruise vessels up to 135 meters has begun at Huizen, an old fishing village in the North Holland province of the Netherlands not far from Amsterdam. The berths are expected to be ready early next year. According to Amsterdam Cruise Port’s latest newsletter, the municipality of Huizen aims to become an additional destination for the many river cruises in the region. Huizen offers a charming old port area and can serve as a gateway for tours to Utrecht and other destinations. Funfact: Utrecht is a “friendship” city with Portland, on its way to becoming a sister city.

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Sandals Temporarily Closing Antigua Resort

Sandals Resorts International is temporarily closing Sandals Grande Antigua for important maintenance projects. The work, which is scheduled to begin Sept. 20, is anticipated to take five months, however, Sandals is in the process of completing a full and detailed assessment and say the timing may actually be shorter. This is the first time Sandals Grande Antigua, the only Sandals property in this destination, has closed since opening in 1992. 

Inbound International Airlines now requiring 3-hour check-in

More and more flights booked with international airlines that are flying into the USA are now requiring a 3-hour check-in. Keep this in mind the next time you’re flying back home!

Congress Set To Finally Push Back Against Shrinking Airline Seats 

Yahoo reports cabin seats have been shrinking over the past few decades. Since the 1970s, the average economy seat pitch, the distance between the seats, has shrunk from 35 inches to 31 inches, further pressurizing cabins and passengers’ tempers. This has allowed airlines to squeeze more seats in, or to make more room for larger seats they can sell at a premium. Today, travelers need to purchase premium economy seats for the same amount of legroom they used to get with the old economy. In May American Airlines said it would be shaving two inches of legroom in economy class, going from 31 to 29. Public blowback led the airline to partially reverse its decision and only cut one inch from most rows. But passengers’ knees, legs, and elbows are on track to get a reprieve thanks to the dogged efforts of one member of Congress, Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN). Cohen is finally looking at a win in his third year waging war against shrinking seats, having steered a version of his Safe Egress in Air Travel (SEAT) Act into the FAA reauthorization bill as an amendment, after failing numerous times.

22 Cruise Ships Earned Perfect 100 Health Scores So Far In 2017

Twice a year, each cruise ship that sails to or from a US cruise port goes through a surprise public health inspection. This inspection is done by the VSP (Vessel Sanitation Program at the Centers for Disease Control) to determine how well the ships are operating and to the check the sanitation standards on board. For a full list, click here: http://cruisefever.net/22-cruise-ships-earned-perfect-100-health-scores-far-2017/

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Tourism In Antarctica Funds Scientific Expeditions

tourism-review.com reports there are two things that are increasing in the Antarctic Peninsula: temperature and tourism. An unprecedented temperature of 17.5°C was recorded by the World Meteorological Organization at Base Esperanza, in Argentina in March 2015. As of July 2017, there are 63 vessels registered in the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators, including Hurtigruten, Holland America Line, Seabourn, Silversea and Celebrity Cruises. They brought a total of 38,500 visitors on tourist expeditions to the white continent in the 2015-2016 season, an increase of almost 10,000 compared to the last decade. The scheme of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators has agreed to require best practices to minimize the impact on the environment. The registered routes of the Association are limited to no more than 500 passengers on the ships, with only 100 of them on land at a specific time. And before approaching the Antarctic Peninsula, ships must comply with rigorous decontamination processes. At Palmer Station, a research base in the United States, is located the southernmost souvenir shop in the world, with t-shirts, sweatshirts and decals for sale. Clearly, it was put there for the arrival of tourists. Hundreds of thousands of coat-clad tourists will come to visit penguins on the ice in the 2017-2018 season, profits from responsibly managed tourism in Antarctica will help fund scientific expeditions to the continent.

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Filed under Disney, Europe

Is Economy Plus Really Worth It?

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Heard of Economy Plus or Economy Comfort but not sure what it means?

Economy Plus or Economy Comfort (both terms are correct and interchangeable, which term utilized depends on the airline) is the front section of economy/coach class that typically offers more comfortable seats. If you have purchased economy class on a flight, you are eligible to purchase one of these “plus” seats, at anywhere from $20-$120. International seats are typically more expensive than domestic seats.

Though generally not as cozy or as serviced as business/first class, this special seating offers more comfort to take the edge off a long flight. Understandably, many of our clients prefer this seating on long-haul international flights. Note that Economy Plus seats are NOT available with all airlines or on all airplanes. Delta, United, Virgin America, Frontier and JetBlue all offer economy plus/comfort on select flights.

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Economy Plus/Comfort CAN (but are not guaranteed to) include:

  • up to 1-2 extra inches of seat width
  • up to 2-3 extra inches of seat recline
  • up to 3-4 extra inches of legroom
  • Premium food service
  • Priority boarding
  • Seating in the first few rows of the economy cabin

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Don’t Confuse Economy Plus/Comfort with Premium Economy, which is a separate section–seats between Economy and Business/First. Premium Economy is only offered on select airlines, and can offer even more benefits at a different fare level.

Some airlines, such as United, allows complimentary access to Economy Plus seating for their Premier members and up to 8 of their traveling companions.

United Airlines is now offering an economy plus annual subscription, which automatically upgrades your seat to one on economy plus if available. If you do more than two international trips per year, it’s definitely worth it. The subscription also provides for two checked bags per flight for the subscriber and up to 8 companions. For more information and to book, check it out on United’s website.

This is just one of the insider tips that travel agents can offer. Ask your Willamette Intl Travel agent to book the best flights with guaranteed economy plus/comfort for you and your family. Call 800-821-0401 or email info@wittravel.com.

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SPECIAL AIRFARE: Hawaiian Airlines + New Zealand

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ALOHA SPECIAL: Roundtrip New Zealand airfare from 1210$!!!

Hawaiian Airlines has recently opened up its flights to New Zealand, and are running a special promotion package!! Book a Roundtrip package to New Zealand from select West Coast Gateways, starting at $1210 per person! Call Willamette Intl Travel Today at 503-224-0180 to book!

copyright kayadams.com, creative commons

Book Today through to September 27 for this limited time offer!

Travel Dates:

–          Today to Oct 3, 2013

–          Oct 19 – 18 December, 2013

–          February 1 – 23 April, 2014

PACKAGE INCLUDES:

  • Round-trip airfare via Hawaiian Airlines West Coast Gateways to Auckland. All Taxes, Fuel Surcharges, Security Charges included.
  • 1 FREE night at Copthorne Auckland City Hotel with Breakfast Included
  • 7 days FREE Travella Car Rental from Jucy Rentals (Nissan Pulsar or similar)

Willamette Intl Travel Agents Pam, Barb, Nancy and Linda have all been to New Zealand and would love to share their insight with you! Call us to book this limited time offer at 800-821-0401 or email info@wittravel.com!

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Dubai

This weekend our agent Pam is in Dubai, escorted and hosted by the world-renown airline Emirates. She’s coming back next week, and we can’t wait for her report! Today we’re taking a closer look at the popular city-state.

photo by Shenli Leong, Creative Commons

Dubai has boomed as a major destination in the past 10 years, and these days draws tourists and business travelers from all across the globe. There’s a plethora of sights, enchanting landscapes and luxury attractions for every type of traveler to enjoy. Here are some top sights:

–         Experience the old Bastakiya Quarter and cultural centers: the Al Fahidi Fort, the Dubai Museum, the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding, and the Jumeirah Mosque

–         Head over to the Abra Dock and ride in a wooden boat taxi for a memorable cruise

–         Wander the souqs, marketplaces of spices, textiles, perfumes and jewelry

photo by Emmanuel Eragne, Creative Commons

–         View the Dubai Fountain, in Burj Khalifa Lake. The fountain, designed by the creators of the Fountains of the Bellagio, shoots water up to 500 feet!

–         Visit the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, which stands at 2,722 feet.

–         Fancy a break from the desert? Head over to the Dubai Mall of the Emirates, to Ski Dubai, the world’s third largest indoor ski slope. Complete with trainers, a chair life and t-bar, ski down 6,000 tons of snow to your heart’s delight.

–         Head out of the city and enjoy sandy beaches, striking deserts, water slides, golf, and a hot air balloon ride. Who knows—you may be able to catch a camel race in the winter.

–        Ride on the sand with professional guides and go dune-bashing

photo by Robert Young, Creative Commons

Interested in a vacation to Dubai? Whether you’re a luxury or adventurous traveler, we can help you plan your ideal vacation. Just passing through? Emirates connects the world with top destinations in Africa and Asia. Willamette Intl Travel regularly books tourists heading to safaris in Kenya or conferences in Hyderabad.

Emirates flies a nonstop from Seattle and other major U.S. hubs to Dubai. Call Willamette Intl Travel for the best times/dates to fly! Call 503.224.0180 or email info@wittravel.com. 

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Filed under Airlines, Emirates, Middle East, UAE

WIT Agent off to Dubai, UAE

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Our agent Pam is heading out tomorrow to Dubai on our vendor Emirates. She will depart on January 31 from Seattle on the nonstop to Dubai, and return on Feb 4.

Her outbound and return flights will be on the Boeing 777-200LR, and will be approximately 14 hours and 30 minutes. There are private suites in first class, and lie-flat seats in business class. All seats feature ice, the award-winning inflight entertainment system, offering up to 1,200 channels. We regularly book our clients in first and business class, and recommend these highly.

Emirates is currently the fastest-growing Middle Eastern airline. They stirred up some excitement for travelers when they announced a direct flight between Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and Dubai on March 1, 2011. Emirates flies to more than 100 destinations from Dubai, including Islamabad, Delhi, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Bangkok, Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh, Manila, Nairobi, Seychelles, Johannesburg and Dakar.

Pam will do three nights in Dubai with her Emirates hosts, seeing beautiful Dubai, the world’s tallest building, and learning the ins and outs of the airline and the city. She’ll travel with a local guide and discover this urban jewel of the Arabian desert, and it’s world-class service and attractions.

This is a terrific opportunity to see the inside workings of an airline—so stay tuned for her report!

Willamette Intl Travel can connect you with contract fares on Emirates to hot destinations in Africa, Arabia and Asia! We work side by side with our Emirates representatives to ensure you have an exceptional travel experience. Traveling first or business class? Emirates offers some incredible high-end classes at low-end rates! Call us today at 503.224.0180 or email info@witravel.com.

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Filed under Airlines, Emirates, Middle East, UAE, Vendors, Where in the World is the WIT Agent?