Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Last Minute Travel Deals to South Padre Island

So you're thinking about going to South Padre Island for some summer enjoyment, but you made the decision at the last minute? Families, college students, and adventure seekers all may get sucked into the fun that is South Padre Island with little advance notice. AOL Travel knows this and is here to help you find last minute travel deals to South Padre Island.

First, know that there aren't any flights straight to South Padre Island. This confuses many people who try plan last minute flights to South Padre Island. The closest airport is Brownsville/South Padre Island International Airport at 20 miles away. (Car, taxi, or hotel shuttle will get you the rest of the way.) If you're having problems finding flights through here, you may have to consider alternate airports.

That said, head to Priceline.com's particular page for last minute deals. They typically contain a combination of airfare and hotel room from providers looking to fill their airplanes and hotels at the last minute. Simply choose your destination of South Padre Island, where you're leaving from, and your travel dates. Priceline scours the Internet for the South Padre Island travel deals that best meet your criteria.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Travel Increase at Atlantic City International

Atlantic City International Airport is seeing a significant travel raise this year.
The airport has seen a 36-percent boost since the beginning of this year compared to 2009 and trust it will surpass the numbers from 2007 – the airport’s the highest number of travelers to date, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Spokesperson for the South Jersey Transportation Authority Sarah Gordon tells the Inky that the airport is seeing results in their attempt to expand their market area to Philadelphia suburbs and their strategic marketing campaign.

Though revenue is declining for Atlantic City casinos, there has been an influx in reservations for conferences held in the city, reports NJ.com. That can attribute to the raise of passengers to the airport. The publication says that reservations have increased 73-percent in recent years.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Cathay Pacific to Boost Capacity 11% Next Year on Global Travel Pickup

Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd., the Hong Kong carrier expecting a record yearly profit, will increase passenger capacity 11 percent next year as the economic pickup stokes demand for premium-class travel.

“It’s certainly very strong at the moment,” Chief Executive Officer Tony Tyler said in an interview in the city today. “That’s giving us a fine feeling and, of course, great results.”

The airline is due to get nine new widebody passenger aircraft next year as rising wages in China and a rebound in the worldwide economy spurs demand for business and leisure flights. Asia-Pacific travel growth will likely continue to outpace global demand next year, said Andrew Herdman, director general at the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines.

“I’m optimistic we’ll see continued growth into 2011,” Herdman said in a Bloomberg TV interview in Kuala Lumpur. Airlines in the region “have got costs under control and they’re managing power carefully,” he said.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Spirit Airlines computer crash causes holiday travel snarl

Spirit Airlines is working with the company that oversees its computer systems to fix problems with their reservations scheme, Misty Pinson, Director of Corporate Communications for Spirit Airlines told CNN.

“All flights are operating and we have not had any cancellations. We are very proud of our workers for stepping up and ensuring that our customers are checked in without an automated system.”

Scott Wintner, a spokesperson for the Detroit Metro Airport told CNN, Spirit Airlines have been going back to older pencil and paper system - checking people in manually. Instead of checking people in on a first come, first serve basis, agents have been taking people into groups and checking them in based on their departing times. That has led to agents being unable to provide passengers approximate wait times.

And if you're flying Spirit you probably won't be able to get any help online either. As of the time of this posting it appears the computer crash has also led to the website being down.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Holiday travel headaches include body scans, high gas prices

Those are some of the things travelers could face if they head out of Northeastern Wisconsin for the Thanksgiving holiday.

An improving economy means more people are hitting the road and the skies this week, said Tom Frymark, president of AAA Wisconsin. The association says 42.2 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles for Thanksgiving

"Many (Americans) are in a better financial situation this Thanksgiving than a year ago," Frymark said on the organization's website.

If there's a main difference on the travel scene this year, it's what fliers will encounter at the nation's airports. The federal Transportation Security Administration has instituted stricter passenger-screening procedures, including aggressive pat-down searches and machines that see through clothing, at almost 70 large airports, including Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee.

The controversial body-scanning devices haven't been installed at Austin Straubel International Airport in Ashwaubenon, but travelers will see them in Milwaukee as well as Chicago O'Hare, Detroit Metro and Minneapolis-St. Paul. Getting through security at Austin Straubel otherwise should seem like business as usual, said Timothy Decker, federal security director for airports in Northeastern Wisconsin.

"Will there be a wait at security? Maybe a 10-minute wait, but only at the busiest times," he said. "Otherwise, previous year and this year should be pretty much the same."

Critics of the fresh procedures complain that they are invasive, and some worry that they'll cause delays. Frequent travelers, unions, passengers groups and civil libertarians are filing lawsuits and urging boycotts of new procedures.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Heinz profit beats estimates; sees more cash

Ketchup maker H.J. Heinz Co (HNZ.N) posted higher-than-expected quarterly earnings, helped by price increases and growth in emerging markets.

The company, which also makes Ore-Ida frozen potatoes and Smart Ones frozen entrees, affirmed its earnings outlook for the complete fiscal year but raised the target for how much free cash it expects to generate.

Profit in the second quarter, ended Oct. 27, was $251.4 million, or 78 cents a share, compared with $231.4 million, or 73 cents a share, a year previous.

Analysts on average were expecting 76 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Sales fell 1.2 percent to $2.61 billion, hurt by the impact of foreign exchange rates and falling short of analysts' expectations for $2.67 billion.

Sales volume increased 0.3 percent, driven by 2.6 percent growth in emerging markets. Cost increases lifted sales by 0.6 percent.

Heinz said it is still on track to deliver fiscal 2011 growth of 3 percent to 4 percent in sales and 7 percent to 10 percent in earnings per share. It raised its free cash flow target by 15 percent to $1.15 billion.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Free Travel Lead Opportunities Now Available for Travel Agents

Travel planning service Travelection.com recently launched a new site where travel agents can find new travel leads, offer their services through a bidding process, and boost their business. Travelection.com offers without charge service and leads to travelers and travel agents.

With the new Travelection.com website, travel agents can connect with people who need expert assistance in making their travel arrangements. Using the details these travelers provide on the website - such as travel destination, itineraries, desired accommodations, expected dates of departure and arrival, duration of the journey, and special considerations - travel agents can customize and offer suitable packages to best match these travelers' needs. (Travel agent specific site: Travel Leads).

Travelection.com offers free service to travelers and free leads to travel agents. Travelers and travel agents can sign up for an account without the need of a credit card. The only charge involved is a fee that Travelection.com takes for every booking that travel agents make.

"People have this common idea that the business of being a travel agent is largely dead," said Kevin Thompson, CTO of Travelection.com. "While that notion is definitely untrue, there are travel agents out there who need a helping hand in finding new travel leads. This is what we are aiming to do with our travel service."

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Vegas Ranks No. 4 On Yahoo Holiday Travel List

Las Vegas looks poised to cash in this holiday period with travelers looking toward Sin City as one of their top destinations for the final weeks of 2010.

According to Yahoo! Travel, Las Vegas ranked No. 4 on its list of the most popular cities for holiday travel.

Austin, Texas, Orlando, Fla., and Chicago took the top three spots, respectively.

Las Vegas’ ranking is likely a testament to the drawing power of its annual New Year’s Eve celebration.

This year, fireworks will launch from the rooftops of seven Las Vegas Strip hotels, including the MGM Grand, Aria, Planet Hollywood and Caesars Palace.

The city’s newest resort, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, is also opening in December and has announced a New Year’s Eve concert featuring Jay-Z and Coldplay that will be shown live on its marquee.

Last year’s festivities drew 315,000 visitors, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Weary of online booking, clients return to travel agents

Vacationers who hire Suzanne Burr book their travel the old-fashioned way. They tell Burr where they want to go and what they require when they arrive, and leave it to her to make it happen.

Burr's business has been booming in recent times, in part because some people who've been booking their own trips on the Internet are returning to her. "They would push the button on some of these websites, and that was it," Burr says. "There was no one to ask a question. Nobody to ask for help. When it comes to really spending money and wanting an advocate, people are turning back to agents because people care. A computer doesn't."

For some travelers, do-it-yourself booking is losing its luster. A study by Forrester Research found that in the first three months of this year, 28% of leisure travelers in the U.S. who booked their trips online said they'd be interested in going to a good traditional travel agent. That's up from 23% in 2008. Another Forrester statement finds that the number of leisure travelers who enjoyed using the Web to plan and book their vacations dropped to 46% last year, down from 53% in 2007.

The findings reflect a growing frustration with sites that fail to simplify an increasingly complicated travel process or to meet a vacationer's specific needs, some analysts and travelers argue.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Cathay Pacific Sees Record Profit on Travel Rebound

Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd., Hong Kong’s largest carrier, forecast a better-than expected record annual profit on rebounding travel demand and asset sales.

Net income will likely be at least HK$12.5 billion ($1.6 billion) this year, the airline said in a statement today. That’s more than double last year’s profit and it surpasses the HK$11.7 billion average of 18 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

The airline’s passenger numbers surged 11 percent through October, while freight volumes leapt 20 percent, as business travelers resumed flying and Chinese exporters boosted shipments overseas amid the economic pickup. The carrier has also sold stakes in an air-cargo handler and a maintenance company, as well as benefiting from rising profit at affiliate Air China Ltd.

“Demand for both air travel and cargo has helped Cathay Pacific and that will translate into good earnings,” said Jay Ryu, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Mirae Asset Securities Co., who has a “buy” recommendation on the carrier. “With the economy recovering, business-class travel appears to be coming back and that could help lift earnings next year as well.”

Cathay said its forecast includes a HK$2.2 billion gain from the sale of shares in Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Ltd. and Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Co. as well as a 57.1 million euro ($78 million) fine from the European Union tied to anticompetitive actions in the air-cargo industry.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Top Democrat seeks small business tax form repeal

Senator Max Baucus, chairman of that chamber's tax-writing committee, said he would introduce legislation to repeal that part of the law, which requires filing so-called 1099 forms, after small business groups complained it would become a paperwork nightmare.

Republicans, who won control of the U.S. House of Representatives election and gained seats in the Senate in the recent elections, have vowed to try to repeal the entire healthcare law. They have also sought repeal of the 1099 provision separately.

Baucus noted that the change was originally proposed under former Republican President George W. Bush.

Baucus said he was convinced by business groups' complaints that it was an administrative burden.

"I have heard small businesses loud and clear and I am responding to their concerns," Baucus said in a statement.

Obama last week said that he would fight any attempt to repeal the legislation, but would be willing to consider some Republican ideas. He suggested the two sides work together to change the new business transaction reporting requirement.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Stars to lose 1st class travel

Hollywood actors will have to give up flying first class under a fresh cost-cutting agreement, which will force them to mix with ordinary holidaymakers in the cheap seats.

Movie studio bosses met with union officials this week in a bid to hammer out a money-saving preparation, and they agreed to slash stars' travel costs in return for improved pay rates, health insurance and pension contributions.

The latest rules are expected to come into force next year and will see stars forced to travel in coach class for journeys less than 1,600 kilometres or between Los Angeles and New York or Canada. For longer trips, actors will be able to upgrade to first class, but only if no business class seats are available.

The Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists struck the tentative deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Air travel to increase for Thanksgiving holiday

Air travel for the Thanksgiving holiday is expected to raise slightly over last year in response to a stronger economy, an airline trade group predicted.

The Air Transport Assn. of America, the industry trade group for the nation's largest airlines, predicted that the number of air travelers would raise by 3.5% over last year, to 24 million people, from Nov. 19 to Nov. 30.

"It is reassuring to see travel levels rebounding, with the stronger economy," said association president James C. May. "While modest, the recovery is mainly encouraging given the deep hole that this industry was in a year ago."

The forecast for holiday travel continues the trend of increasing demand and higher fares for the airline industry, which reported newly that August marked the eighth straight month of revenue growth over the same period in 2009.

The Automobile Club of Southern California won't release its holiday travel forecast until next week but a spokeswoman said the report is also expected to predict an increase in travel among Southern Californians for the holiday period.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Top travel trends for 2011

An online travel site has released the results of its annual travel trends survey, naming the top destinations for 2011 and the biggest concerns for travelers.

TripAdvisor.com surveyed more than 3,000 people to get a gauge on travel expectations for the upcoming year.

According to the survey, the top travel destination for Clevelanders is Las Vegas, followed by New York and Chicago.

The biggest concerns for travelers are rising airfare costs, bedbugs, and various germs or viruses, the survey says.

TripAdvisor.com says that top activities for travelers are to visit a national park, visit a historic site, or attend a festival.

One interesting finding of the study is that Americans were named both the friendliest, and most irritating, travelers.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Southwest Airlines Offers Nationwide Fare Sale for Winter Travel

DALLAS, Nov. 9, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Don't let the cold weather keep you at home this winter--get out of town and take advantage of Southwest's latest fare sale! Southwest Airlines is offering Customers nationwide air fares starting as low as $59 one-way to select destinations. Take advantage of these super low fares available only at southwest.com and start planning your winter vacation today! These fares are available with a 14-day advance purchase today through Nov. 22, 2010, and are good for travel between Dec. 1, 2010, and Dec. 16, 2010, and between Jan. 4, 2011, and Feb. 16, 2011. To see the list of markets, prices, and to take advantage of these special fares, visit www.southwest.com.

Examples of fares include (see Additional Fare Rules below):

$59 one-way between Denver and Los Angeles

$86 one-way between Austin and Panama City Beach

$94 one-way between New Orleans and Tampa Bay

After nearly 40 years of service, Southwest Airlines continues to differentiate itself from other low fare carriers--offering a reliable product with exemplary Customer Service. Southwest Airlines is the nation's largest carrier in terms of originating domestic passengers boarded, now serving 69 cities in 35 states with service to Charleston and Greenville-Spartanburg beginning March 13, 2011. Southwest also is one of the most honored airlines in the world known for its commitment to the triple bottom line of Performance, People, and Planet. To read more about how Southwest Airlines is doing its part to be a good citizen, visit southwest.com/cares to read the Southwest Airlines One Report(TM). Based in Dallas, Southwest currently operates more than 3,100 flights a day and has nearly 35,000 Employees systemwide.


Fares are available only on www.southwest.com. Southwest Airlines fare sales are available with a 14-day advance purchase today through Nov. 22, 2010, 11:59 p.m. PST, and travel must take place between Dec. 1, 2010, and Dec. 16, 2010, or between Jan. 4, 2011, and Feb. 16, 2011. Fares do not include a federal segment tax of $3.70 per takeoff and landing. Fares do not include airport-assessed passenger facility charges (PFC) of up to $9.00 and U.S. government-imposed September 11th Security Fee of up to $5.00 one-way. Travel to/from Washington, D.C. (Dulles) and Ft. Myers, is not included in the sale. Seats are limited. Fares are available for one-way travel. Fares may be combined with other combinable fares. Fares are not combinable with Senior Fares. When combining fares, all rules and restrictions apply. Fares are nonrefundable but may be applied toward future travel on Southwest Airlines. Fares are not available through the Group Desk. Any change in the itinerary may result in an increase in fare. Standby travel requires an upgrade to the Anytime fare. Fares are subject to change until ticketed. Fares are valid on published, scheduled service only.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Indonesia Volcano Continues To Disrupt Air Travel

Indonesia volcano continued to disrupt air travel over the weekend. Indonesia Mount Merapi volcano cancelled 36 flights on Saturday and 8 flights on Sunday.
Even the capital of Indonesia, Jakarta is feeling the effects of volcanic Ash. Several flights to Jakarta were either cancelled of reschedule due to the Mout Merapi volcano eruption. In total 8 flights were cancelled and 42 were forced to reschedule at the Jakarta Airport.

Malaysia Airlines has started morning and afternoon flights to Jakarta but evening flights are still cancelled as for now.

The air travel in nearby destinations to Mount Merapi Volcano is facing even more trouble. Yogyakarta and Solo are facing severe problems which has stranded thousands of passengers.

Ash cloud is also feared to disrupt the visit of US President Barack Obama to Indonesia. There are fears that President may skip Indonesia due to the trouble caused by the ash cloud.

Monday, November 1, 2010

European Travel This Holiday Season

The holiday period is right around the corner, which means vacation planning is in full swing. Europe is a great place to consider for holiday travel, as airline prices are typically at their lowest and main cities are a lot less crowded compared to the summer months. Here are some tips from Gate 1 Travel on how to make the most of a European vacation.

Explore holiday traditions on a different continent: Countries all across Europe have their own special way of celebrating the holiday time. In Norway, December 13 is the feast day of Santa Lucia. Throughout the day, a parade of girls wear a crown of lights, carry baskets and hand out saffron buns. In France, the Christmas Eve feast is known as Le Reveillon de Noel, lasting a lot of hours and serving up cuisine unique to each city.

Visit Europe's famous Christmas markets: Christmas markets are a tradition in more than a dozen cities throughout Europe. These unique destinations feature handmade crafts, unique foods, live nativity scenes, concerts and special celebrations. In Copenhagen, visit the Christmas market at Tivoli Gardens to see more than four miles of Christmas lights. In France, the Strasbourg Cathedral is the oldest Christmas Market in the country.

Ring in the New Year on a River: River cruising is a unique way to visit multiple European cities during the holidays. Cruise the Danube, Rhine or Main River to see cities like Amsterdam, Cologne, Vienna, Frankfurt and Nuremberg. "River cruises are unique in that they are smaller than traditional ocean cruise ships and usually less than 100 suites," said Marty Seslow, Vice President of Marketing and Sales for Gate 1 Travel. "They are also unique in that they typically stop at a new city everyday, instead of spending an entire day cruising."