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1. ‘I promise you we will do better’: United boss apologises (again)

United feature

United Airlines’ boss is scrambling to alter the carrier’s public image after a viral video – in which a bloodied customer is dragged off a plane – sent the carrier’s shares plummeting by four percent (a loss of $US255 million) overnight.

In a fresh apology posted online, Chief Executive Oscar Munoz described the events of the 30-second clip where a male passenger is pulled from his seat, thrown face-first into an arm rest and tugged by his arms down the aisle, as “truly horrific”.

Unlike the boss’ first statement which has been labelled by some as a “taking no responsibility” speech, Munoz issued a more heartfelt apology, saying he shared the same “outrage, anger [and] disappointment” expressed by the public over the last 24 hours on social media.

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2. Want to know if AirAsia X’s Premium seat is worth the extra money?

AirASia

AirAsia X has adopted the concept of ‘try it before you buy it’ by giving flyers the chance to experience its Premium seating prior to booking.

The budget carrier has placed one of its AirAsia X Premium Flatbeds at Flight Centre’s George Street store where they can sit in the 20” width, 60” pitch chair and even try stretching out to 77” in full recline position.

Available for in-store trials from now until 19 April, potential flyers will also get an idea of the inflight features included in the cost such as universal power sockets, adjustable headrests and built-in personal utilities such as tray table, drink holder, reading light and privacy screen.

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3. Flight Centre set to tango with Argentina’s second largest travel group

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Flight Centre has just made a ‘low risk’ entry into South America, with the acquisition of 24.1 percent interest in Argentina’s second largest travel group, Bibam.

Announced this morning, Flight Centre explained that Bibam was selected because of its strong presence in the on and offline leisure, corporate and wholesale sectors.

The FLT’s President in the Americas, Dean Smith, said he expects the investment to deliver enhanced digital commerce capabilities through access to Bibam’s e-commerce platforms such as Avantrip.com and software development teams as well as access to a strategically aligned and experienced partner.

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4. Virgin Australia awarded ‘Best for Onboard Beverages’

Virgin Australia

Virgin Australia has been named as ‘Best for Onboard Beverages’ at the Onboard Hospitality Awards 2017, held in Hamburg for The Duo, a customised wine developed in partnership with Barossa Valley winery St Hallett and Fine Wine Partners.

The Duo is served in ‘The Business’ on board Virgin Australia aircraft and in Virgin Australia lounges.

According to the judges, George Banks and Nikos Loukas, it is “a specially-blended wine from an historic wine producing region, this wine had a great taste on the palate with a balance of strength and elegance. It also brings an interesting back story and links to the onboard wine service.

 

5. Contiki adds ‘Pride’ to its Greek Week summer

Contiki Greek Week

Contiki is adding Pride to its Greek Week summer 2017 product itineraries to celebrate the Greek Pride events in Athens & Mykonos.

The Greek Week Pride trips will cater for all millennial travellers looking to experience an awesome Greek Pride festival teamed with the idyllic islands and cities Greece has to offer. The original Greek Week product runs over nine days, travelling around Athens, Ios and Mykonos, with new Pride departures offering the same itinerary plus some added Pride included extras.

The Greek Week, Athens Pride trip departs on 9 June for 10 days, the trip features an extra day in Athens so travellers can kick the trip off with a welcome evening in the precinct of Gazi. Plus there’s the Greek Week, Mykonos Pride trip departing 24 August and spends its time in Mykonos during its iconic festival, XLSIOR Mykonos.

 

6. Avalon expands Asian offering in 2018

Avalon Siem Reap

Avalon has added a new ship, new itineraries and more features in Vietnam and Myanmar as part of its 2018 program.

In a move which will double its capacity in Vietnam, the cruise line will launch the 36-passenger Avalon Saigon in September 2018. The new ship will join sister ship Avalon Siem Reap on the Mekong River, offering weekly departures and a variety of cruises including two new 18 and 21-day sailings.

As well as the two new Mekong itineraries, Avalon is also introducing a new 16-day itinerary on Myanmar’s Irrawaddy River. 

 

7. Fly to Tahiti from just $1,209

Air Tahiti feature

Australian holidaymakers are invited to soak up some tropical sunshine in the Society Islands with Air Tahiti Nui offering sizzling deals to some of French Polynesia’s most idyllic destinations.

On sale until 24 April 2017, return economy flights from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane to Tahiti are priced from $1,209 per person.

Meanwhile return economy flights to Huahine and the island of Raiatea are priced from $1,609 per person, while Bora Bora is also on sale with return economy flights starting from $1,729 per person.

The deals are valid for travel between 21 April 2017 and 31 March 2018, with some blackout periods over the summer holidays.

 

8. Silversea reveals the Silver Muse Owner’s Suite 

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Ultra-luxury cruise line Silversea, has revealed details of Silver Muse’s Balsorano Owner’s Suite, a unique space which reflects the taste and Italian tradition of Silversea chairman, Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio.

At more than 1000 square feet in size, the Balsorano Suite contains a specially curated selection of Mr Lefebvre’s personal items including books, sculptures, works of art and family photographs. Among the items chosen are a chesterfield chair and ottoman, an additional chair from Mr. Lefebvre’s former family residence in Rome, and photos of Mr. Antonio Lefebvre, Mr. Lefebvre’s father and mentor.

The Balsorano Suite will also be stocked with vintage port, each variety having been specially selected by Mr. Lefebvre himself.

 

9. On The Go Tours’ Global Tour Guide of the Year is…

Travel Agent On the Go Tours

Last month, On The Go Tours recognised Mohammed Said from Egypt as the company’s Global Tour Guide of the Year for 2017 after receiving positive feedback from travellers over a 12-month period.

Seven tour guides also took out the title of Tour Guide of the Year awards, they included Feng Xinwen from China, Saleeb Mikaeel from Egypt, Yusuf Khan from India, Akthar Seyad Mohamed from Sri Lanka, Hung Chi Do from Vietnam and Dasha Shemyakina from Russia.

“We are incredibly proud of our guides and see them as one of our strongest assets,” says Carl Cross, Managing Director of On The Go Tours. “Our local guides are passionate about their country and its culture, and have a wealth of knowledge that they are enthusiastic to share with visitors.”

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