Skill up on all you need to know with bite sized travel news designed specifically to help you, the Travel Agent, be your best today and tomorrow.

1. United faces backlash on social media over the brutal treatment of a passenger

United Dreamliner 787

‘Didn’t they realise the flight was full before boarding’? ‘How could they treat a man like that’? ‘Who would’ve thought United management was scarier than snakes on a plane’?

Social media is full of questions today over a viral video in which a doctor is yanked from his seat by police officers and literally dragged off a United Airlines aircraft.

The shocking 30-second clip, uploaded to Facebook by fellow passenger Audra D. Bridges, opens with three officers leaning into a row of seats and pulling a man from his assigned position.

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2. Flight Centre founder opens $1.8M wildlife conversation centre


Queensland’s favourite travel entrepreneurs Graham (Skroo) Turner and Jude Turner have collaborated with The University of Queensland to establish a multi-million-dollar conservation project at Spicers Hidden Vale, an hour west of Brisbane.

In what is thought to be one of the largest family contributions to conservation in Queensland history, the Turners have committed more than $18.5 million to the project from the Turner Family Foundation.

The contribution includes building costs and a donation of ongoing funding to support research grants and UQ operation of the facility for breeding and rehabilitating wildlife and protecting endangered species over the next 30 years.

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3. A slight name change & higher earnings over at Helloworld


Helloworld’s shareholders have ‘resolved’ to adjust the company’s name slightly to a title that will better reflect the business.

The newly agreed upon name will be – Helloworld Travel Limited.

In a statement uploaded to ASX, Chief Executive and Managing Director, Andrew Burnes, said he believes that adding ‘Travel’ to the company’s title is an “important step” towards “further increasing” the brand’s awareness “and cut-through in the market”.

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4. Which airline did TripAdvisor users vote in as the ‘best’ worldwide?


Officials may have dubbed Air New Zealand as the best airline for 2017, but it seems travellers don’t entirely agree.

TripAdvisor’s first annual awards for airlines found that when it comes to flying its users have a love of Middle Eastern carriers, particularly Emirates.

The Dubai-based carrier was voted in as the ‘top airline’ around the world ahead of Singapore Airlines (second), Brazil’s Azul (third), JetBlue (fourth) and Air New Zealand (fifth). The carrier was also recognised for having the ‘Best First Class’ as well as ‘Best Economy Class’ while Russia’s Aeroflot received the title for ‘Best Business Class’ and Air New Zealand landed the gong for ‘Best Premium Economy Class’.

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5. TripAdvisor to open airport retail store: but what will they sell?


TripAdvisor is set to open a branded pilot store at Raleigh-Durham International Airport in North Carolina.

According to website: The News & Observer – The TripAdvisor retail store is part of an overhaul of retail shops in Terminal 2 at the airport and is forecast to open in 2018.

But what are they going to sell we hear you ask?

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6. Wendy Wu Tours Easter Eggstravaganza for Agents

Easter incentive

Wendy Wu Tours are getting into the Easter festive season with an ‘Easter Eggstravaganza’ Agent incentive, giving Agents a $50 Coles Myer gift voucher for every new booking they make from 10-26 April.

The incentive is valid on bookings with a minimum gross value of $2,900 per person for all 2017 travel. It includes both group tours and FIT bookings. Head of Sales, Vara Glover, said that the incentive is a way to thank Agents for their continual support and what better way to do that than with some retail therapy.

Agents can also register for Wuniversity to complete training modules and access various marketing tools to assist with selling the wide range of product available. Click here for more information.


7. Testing… one, two. Qantas’ inflight wi-fi trials begin

Qantas wasn’t messing around when it said its super fast inflight wi-fi would arrive in 2017, because the product has already (kind of) launched.

The Flying Kangaroo began trials for the long awaiting product late last week on one of its Boeing 737 aircraft.

Guests travelling on the specially equipped plane will have be able to use the free wi-fi over the next few months and give Qantas feedback for improvements.

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8. How Australia almost lost Carnival Spirit to Mexico

It’s hard to picture Australia’s cruise scene without Carnival Spirit and her unmistakable Green Thunder, but according to the cruise line’s local boss, we almost lost the vessel to Mexico.

Carnival Cruise Line’s Vice President and General Manager of Sales in Australia, Jennifer Vandekreeke, told media last week that prior to 2012, when the brand was looking at basing a ship outside the US, it considered several countries before landing on Australia.

She admitted that Mexico was on the list of potential destinations for Carnival’s first non-US based vessel, as was the UK and Brazil.

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9. Last chance to save on airfares with Insight Vacations


Insight Vacations says there’s still time for Agents to secure a saving of up to $500 per couple on flights for their clients when booking in conjunction with any 2017 Europe, USA or Canada tour.

If flights have already been booked guests can still take advantage of this offer with the discount being applied to the tour instead.

Plus, consultants can also combine this with Insight’s five percent Early Payment Discount available on many 2017 Europe, USA or Canada tours to save even more for their clients.


10. Valuable connections made at DMS Connect


DMS Connect wrapped up another whirl wind tour across Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland in March, with shows engaging over 250 MICE and leisure professionals to a stellar selection of global DMCs and DMS’ valued industry partners.

DMS takes pride in partnering with their handpicked industry sponsors to align with the latest trends in the market, to deliver an unmatched service. In 2017 DMS’ generous sponsors included, Emirates, Hawaiian Airlines, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, LATAM Airlines, Malaysia Airlines with major sponsors, Air New Zealand and Philippine Airlines, who all kindly contributed to the success of DMS Connect.

One of the Melbourne attendees commented: “It was my first DMS Connect and I really enjoyed meeting trustworthy DMCs, along with key suppliers and thought the whole event was professionally presented.”

Connect allows the market to network and grow with the pioneers in DMC representative services and destination consulting – DMS. Stay tuned for 2018 dates.


11. Royal Caribbean boogies the night away at the MTA Annual Conference

Royal Caribbean 2

Royal Caribbean staff joined almost 400 Agents, guests and suppliers at the MTA Annual Conference at the Sheraton Grand Mirage on the Gold Coast last month.

The cruise line was a co-sponsor of the 70’s themed Gala Dinner on Saturday evening, a highlight from the event, with much fun and many fantastic costumes on show.


12. Emirates & AC Milan surprise travellers

Travel Agent Emirates feature

Emirates and AC Milan surprised travellers at Milan Malpensa International Airport with the unveiling of an A380 sporting a special AC Milan livery. For the occasion, the Club asked some of its top players to welcome the iconic aircraft on the tarmac, grabbing unsuspecting travellers’ attention.

The AC Milan A380 landed at Milan Malpensa International Airport today at 14:41 with a unique livery featuring five AC Milan players: Carlos Bacca, Giacomo Bonaventura, Mattia De Sciglio, Gianluigi Donnarumma and Riccardo Montolivo. They witnessed the aircraft’s first landing in Milan and posed next to the double-decker on which their photo spans more than 500m2.

The AC Milan A380 continued on to New York JFK on the non-stop service from Milan. The decal will remain on the aircraft until August, as it continues to operate to the 47 destinations currently served by the Emirates A380 around the world such as: Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Sao Paulo, Shanghai and Sydney.


13. A culinary dream comes true for the foodie cruiser

Send your foodie clients on a culinary journey through exotic Asia onboard the Genting Dream, and they’ll probably never want to get off the cruise ship to satisfy their bellies…

That’s because the Genting Dream is without a doubt the best cruise line in the world when it comes to giving your customers the best choice and variety available at sea. There are over 35 restaurant and bar concepts onboard, with an emphasis on Australian brands and cuisine and top quality ingredients.

Genting Dream is the inaugural cruise ship of Dream Cruises, the first-ever luxury cruise line in Asia. It’s basically a floating luxury hotel with all the creature comforts you’d expect in a modern cruise ship, plus the best customer experience ever to grace the seas.

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14. Change your world for the better – join Travel Counsellors today

Travel Agents: Listen up! A future world with no limits to what you sell, when you work and how much you make awaits you.

In this world, you’re never worried about hitting your cost of seat or concerned with how many rooms you’ve sold for your contracted suppliers. You can choose to work only with clients who value your service over the bottom line. You’re an expert after all, and your price tag includes your expertise.

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