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Tues 27 Jan: 10 travel stories you need to know today

We’ve done all the hard work, so you don’t have to! Read on for the top ten travel stories you need to know today.

We’ve done all the hard work, so you don’t have to! Read on for the top ten travel stories you need to know today.

1. Travel Indochina rebrands – looks at new destinations

Insider Journeys

After more than two decades of operating as Travel Indochina, the tour operator has been rebranding with a new title that better reflect the company’s offerings and its potential expansion.

Effective 2 February, Travel Indochina will be known as Insider Journeys.

Announcing the change to KarryOn, the company’s founder Paul Hole said the name Travel Indochina had served the company well, however, research over the last 18 months found the title didn’t reflect the company’s philosophy and focus.

Read on


2. Travel chaos – thousands of US flights cancelled

Image: Fill Werrell/Twitter

Winter Storm Juno disrupts flights to and from the East Coast of America.

Travel in and out of the East coast of America has been hit by Winter Storm Juno, with some 5,000 flights cancelled over Monday and Tuesday.

According to FlightAware, yesterday more than 2,600 flights were scrapped in and out of Boston, New York and Philadelphia. Another 2,800 are expected to be cancelled today.

New York’s LaGuardia is said to have been hit the hardest, with half of all flights expected to take off yesterday cancelled and 60 percent of flights heading into the airport turned away.

Read on


3. Qantas fuel charges drop but fares remain the same

Qantas 747

Qantas has announced it will cut fuel surcharges on international flights, however, don’t expect the move to reduce fare prices.

The airline said the fuel surcharge will be absorbed into the base fares.

Although the general travelling public won’t feel the effects of the change, it will benefit Frequent Flyers who use their points to cover the base fare and then only pay taxes and fuel surcharges.

Qantas said this could see FF save up to $130 per booking.

The move comes less than a week after Virgin said it would no longer charge a separate fuel surcharge on flights to America. The change saw Virgin prices drop by $40 for economy and $50 in business class.

Although Qantas said it wouldn’t follow in Virgin footsteps, it did launch a major sale that sees travellers save up to $374 on flights to LA. Read on

“In a highly competitive environment where customers are already paying less than they were several years ago, lower oil prices can help put the industry on a more sustainable footing. It means airlines are in a better position to invest in the new aircraft, new lounges and new routes that ultimately benefit customers.”

Alan Joyce, Qantas Group chief executive


4. Fire onboard cruise ship

More than 1,000 passengers onboard Fred Olsen’s Boudicca were left without power yesterday after a fire broke out in the engine room.

The ship was sailing off Morocco’s coast on an 18-night ‘Cape Verse and the Canaries’ cruise when power went out for about five hours.  

In an online statement, Fred Olsen said there were no injuries to any guest or crew.

The ship is now enroute to Tenerife where it is expected to stay for two days while the cruise line repairs two main engines and electrical cables.

Guests will then be notified of a revised itinerary for their cruise.


5. Contour takes agents to South America

South America

Contour Travel is celebrating the launch of its 2015 South America, Mexico, Cuba, Central America and the Caribbean Islands brochures by taking eight travel agents on a 14-day famil of the region.

Heading off on 11 March will be Carolyn Allen – Warrandyte Travel + Cruise MEL; Phillipa William – Leonore Stratford ADE;  Samantha Yates – Impulse Travel SYD; Suzie Wright – Albury Kent Travel SYD; Birgit Adam – Our Vacation Centre BNE; Lynelle Groom – Directions Travel PER; Jonica Gilbert – MTA Travel BNE; and Chris Viney – RACT Tasmania.

The group will visit the Chilean Patagonia and Atacama Desert to experience highlights including an Australis Cruise into the Patagonian fjords reaching Cape Horn, the Torres del Paine National Park, the Valley of the Moon and more.

Agents will also have their senses spoiled at luxurious properties including the Ecocamp Patagonia, The Singular properties and Alto Atacama.  


6. More ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ please Carnival!


Carnival Cruises put on a legendary show to remember at their family fun day on-board the Carnival Legend docked in Sydney last Friday.

With invited big and small kids already excitedly babbling at catching their first glimpse of the Carnival Legend, things only got better for the lucky bunch who then got the chance to board the Carnival Spirit sister ship, on it’s maiden season out of Australia.

And that included my delirious 5-year-old son Milo who let out a huge ‘woah’ when he took in his first eyeful of the massive gleaming ship. “It’s like an island!” he proclaimed.

Read on  


7. It’s a Dreamliner come true for AA

AA Boeing 787

American Airlines is officially a 787 owner, taking delivery of the plane late last week.

The plane is scheduled to arrive in Dallas/Fort Worth on Friday afternoon and is the first of 42 Boeing 787 aircraft the airline has on order. 

Its arrival also marks the start of American Airlines’ $2 billion fleet and land upgrade.

“The 787 makes our fleet younger and more modern and it will open up new possibilities to connect our customers to the places they want to fly.”

Doug Parker, American Airlines chairman

AA Boeing 787 2

American expects its first 787 to enter revenue service in the second quarter, flying domestically between American’s hubs for several weeks before being launched on international flights.

The 787 will have advanced engine technology, reduced maintenance requirements, better fuel efficiency and lower overall operating costs.

As well as upgrading the fleet, American Airline also refreshed its in-flight magazine.

The first issue of the new ‘American Way’ is now available onboard AA flights and features the Foo Fighters on the cover.  


8. ‘Cyber Caliphate’ hacks Malaysia Airlines’ website

Malaysia Airlines is ensuring travellers that all personal data remains secure after a self declared ‘Cyber Caliphate’ took over the airline’s website domain over the weekend.

Anyone that typed in the airline’s URL was redirected to the hacker website, which carried the headline ’404- Plane Not Found’ accompanied with an image of a Malaysia Airlines plane – a reference to the missing MH370 plane, which disappeared late year with 239 people onboard.

Read on


9. KarryOn deals of the week

Deals of the week

Get some inspiration for your next holiday or your client’s next trip, with some of the best travel deals of the week.

Malaysia Airlines has discounts on flights to Asia and Europe or how about flying free with Royal Caribbean?

There’s also fly and stay packages in Fiji, earlybird savings on European car hires, extended discounts on Fez itineraries in Turkey, a Valentine’s Day special at AYANA and AAT King has 10 percent off guided tours.

Read on


 10. Qantas, Virgin and P&O Cruises Aus Day antics

P&O three ships

The Australian spirit took over three Aussie travel brands yesterday – Qantas, Virgin and P&O Cruises.

P&O Cruises Australia brought its entire three-ship fleet to Sydney yesterday, where the vessels met in the Harbour for the first time ever.

The ships arrived at the crack of dawn on the historic Australia Day and were welcomed by thousands of onlookers.

Read on


Need to Know Extra: Her Majesty to godmother Britannia?

Her Majesty is rumoured to be godmother of P&O's forthcoming vessel, Britannia. Image: RoyalNavy.mod.uk

Her Majesty is rumoured to be godmother of P&O’s forthcoming vessel, Britannia. Image: RoyalNavy.mod.uk

Her Majesty The Queen may add godmother to her extensive list of duties, with rumours she will christen P&O Cruises International’s Britannia.

According to a Cruise Critic user: “HM [Her Majesty] accompanied by Prince Phillip are to visit Hampshire on March 10th, this is shown on the Royal Diary dates.”

The user said Britannia’s maiden voyage leaves Southampton on 14th March. The dates may just be coincidental, but a naming ceremony could very well take place four days before the maiden voyage.


P&O was previously said to be interested in having the Duchess of Cambridge as Britannia’s godmother, however, she’d just recently christened Princess Cruises’ Royal Princess and the ship’s launch clashes with dates she’s expected to deliver her second child.

P&O Britannia will set sail on its maiden voyage from Southampton on 14 March 2015. She weighs roughly 142,000 gross tons and will be carry 3,600 passengers.

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