Tag Archives: Cheap flights

Aer Lingus Announces Bumper Winter Schedule

Aer Lingus has announced its schedule for winter 2012 along with the addition of six new routes and increased frequencies.

Dublin to Verona and Stockholm and Cork to Brussels are set to continue right throughout the winter, owing to their continued popularity. Other exciting destinations on offer include Copenhagen, Bordeaux and Venice.

Frequencies will be increased on a further eight popular routes such as Berlin, Vienna and Amsterdam. There will also be extra flights to Lanzarote and Tenerife which will be music to the ears of those seeking out a winter sunshine holiday in the Canary Islands.

Aer Lingus is not only focused on flying customers to and from Ireland but also on improving connectivity for those who wish to travel onwards. Customers connecting between Europe and New York and Boston this winter have even more choice than before with Berlin, Stockholm, Venice and Faro accessible via Dublin Airport.

Aer Lingus Director of Communications, Declan Kearney said: “This announcement supports Aer Lingus’ strategy to provide greater access and choice for Irish customers with over 1,100 flights a week to and from Ireland. In addition, our continued focus is to support the growth of inbound business and tourism links. We look forward to welcoming customers on board our new services and to continue in our mission of connecting Ireland with the world, by offering the most flight and the best product in the Irish market.”

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Aer Lingus Regional’s Ireland West Airport Knock to Birmingham Service Takes Off

Aer Lingus Regional’s first flight from Ireland West Airport Knock to Birmingham has taken to the skies, giving a boost to the west of Ireland’s business and tourism industries.

Aer Lingus Regional, operated by Aer Arann, now flies once daily from Ireland West Airport Knock to Birmingham, offering both business and leisure travellers direct, convenient and cost effective access to Great Britain’s second largest city.

Commenting on the launch of the service, Aer Arann’s Interim Chief Executive Sean Brogan said: “We are delighted to commence our Aer Lingus Regional Ireland West Airport Knock to Birmingham service. We recognise the vital importance of regional air connectivity and the key role that this air link to Birmingham provides for business, tourism and leisure travel. We look forward to working with our partners in Ireland West Airport Knock to ensure that this route continues to be a success.”

Welcoming the launch of the service, Aer Lingus Director of Communications Declan Kearney said: “Aer Lingus is delighted to add the Ireland West Airport Knock to Birmingham route to its network. We look forward to welcoming more and more customers on board this service from today and into the future.”

Speaking on behalf of Ireland West Airport Knock, Joe Gilmore, Managing Director said: “We are delighted to welcome Aer Lingus Regional’s first flight to the Airport from Birmingham. Our Birmingham service has long been one of our most established routes from the airport and I am sure the uninterrupted continuation of the service will come as welcome news to the thousands of UK visitors who use this service regularly as well as the Irish people travelling to the Birmingham region for business and leisure purposes. We wish Aer Lingus Regional every success with the new service’ and look forward to working with them to grow the service.”

Aer Lingus Regional flights from Ireland West Airport Knock to Birmingham are available for booking on www.aerlingus.com, where travellers can also find out about cheap flights and flight deals.

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Cheapflights.co.uk Checks Travellers Out Of The Rain And Into Hours Of Sunshine

With the Met Office forecasting rain for the next few weeks, it’s time to escape to places where the sun does shine.

The UK forecast holds the equivalent of a month’s rain in just one day, winds of up to 50mph and the coldest May for 100 years. A very different, drizzly picture to the warm and sunny spring of last year.

To help turn dreary into dreamy, Cheapflights.co.uk, the online leader in travel deals publishing, has scoured sunny locales near and far to guide travellers out of the dark and into the light with destinations chosen based on the number of hours of sunshine they offer.

“Given that the weather’s only going to get wetter, now’s the time to escape being affected by SAD in the springtime and get some Vitamin D in places that have it in abundance,” says Nadine Hallak, Travel Expert at Cheapflights.co.uk.

“The wet weather alone would send us on the hunt for brighter skies, but, combined with the official (and depressing) announcement of a double dip recession, now is most definitely the time to cure the gloom with a few rays of much needed sun,” adds Hallak.

Rhodes – 14 hours of sunshine per day

While Greece may have experienced its share of economic problems this year, the sun continues to blaze upon its isles and in Rhodes, specifically, it shines on for 14 glorious hours per day. This is a true sun-lovers paradise complete with miles of sandy beaches that lead nicely into bright turquoise seas. Nightlife is famous here with many bars, restaurants and clubs to keep the party going all night if that’s what it takes. Meanwhile, culture vultures can enjoy Rhodes Town, home to many stunning castles, churches and museums, which are packed with history and set upon lush, green hills. Flights to Rhodes start from £163 return.

Dubai – 13 hours of sunshine per day

The sun hardly ever sets on the desert, and Dubai is a much loved sunny destination with many Brits. In fact, its popularity with the celeb set has grown even further in 2011 and 2012, drawing yet more non-celebs to the destination. Beyond its shiny lights and sometimes ostentatious extravagances, this emirate actually offers everything a traveller could dream of on holiday. There are miles of white sandy beaches flecked with palm trees under which to relax, great barbeque spots, restaurants and bars by the beach that serve sumptuous cuisine in front of a stunning view and luxury hotels and spas at budget prices. It’s also a great place for outdoor enthusiasts and serves up plenty of water and desert sports, among a world of other adrenaline-inducing activities. Flights to Dubai start from £320 return.

Mauritius – 12 hours of sunshine per day

One would expect nothing short of long sunny days in a place that can truthfully be described as heaven on earth. Its beaches are powder white and its water is so crystal clear that it rivals any man-made pool. However, its real charm lies in culture, which is a blend of the many conquerors that have been and gone over time including the Portuguese, Dutch, French and British. The beaches to hit include Belle Mare on the east coast, Flic en Flac (Mauritius’ longest beach) situated on the west coast and renowned for its sunsets, and Tamarin Bay where mountains pose as a breath-taking backdrop. Keen divers will want to explore shipwrecks and coral reefs on the south west of the island. Flights to Mauritius start from £591 return.

Morocco – 12 hours of sunshine per day

With an average of 300 days of sunshine per year and flights of around three hours from the UK to most of its major holiday spots, summer is within easy reach at this exotic destination. A popular destination among Brits for the past few years now, its bustling souks, central squares and coastal riad-filled towns set against bright blue skies never cease to impress. Moreover, the British Pound goes a goes a long way in Morocco, and even budget-conscious adventure seekers will find plenty to get their blood pumping with camel rides across the desert or a sleep under the stars. Flights to Morocco start from £158 return.

Fiji – 11 hours of sunshine per day

It might be a little further to travel, but it’s well worth the trip. Blue lagoons, lush mountains and coconut palm trees make a sight for sore eyes and a rather literal warm welcome to travellers. Fiji’s tropical climate makes it appealing year round and its colourful reefs are a scuba diver’s dream. Comprised of 322 islands, Fiji’s developed economy caters to all manner of budgets and tastes from five-star resorts to hostels and backpackers. Flower lovers can also find attractions such as Garden of the Sleeping Giant, which house a most impressive collection of orchids, located near Nadi, while those who seek the spiritual can head to the Southern hemisphere’s largest Hindu temple, Sri Siva Subramaniya Temple, also in Nadi. Flights to Fiji start from £676 return.

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Aer Lingus Announces Extra Flights To And From Dublin

Aer Lingus has announced that it is to run extra flights to and from Dublin to London Gatwick airport.

These extra flights now mean that Aer Lingus has more frequency for this particular route than any other airline, after increasing its capacity for passengers on this service by 56%.

As part of its new winter schedule, Aer Lingus will now provide 6 flights per day between Dublin and London Gatwick, an increase from the 4 flights per day that had been offered last winter.

Under this new schedule, Aer Lingus’ first flight will leave Dublin at 06:40 (two hours earlier than last year), and will therefore be the first departure to London Gatwick by any airline. Similarly, the first flight to Dublin will leave London Gatwick at 06:50, making it the first departure to Dublin from London. It is hoped that a new 17:50 departure from London Gatwick will complement the existing 18:50 departure, and that this new flight will provide travellers forced to fly at peak times with an alternative option.

Similarly, the new 19:50 departure from Dublin also aims to provide an alternative for travellers searching for UK flight deals at a particularly busy time, and should complement the 20:50 departure nicely.

Finally, the new 12:55 departure from London Gatwick will bridge the gap between the existing 10:50 and 14:50 flights.

These new flights mean that Aer Lingus now provides 18 flights in each direction between Dublin and London every day (124 per week), with the airline now offering a greater frequency of flights between the two cities than any other company. Similarly, with a grand total of 27 flights each direction from the Republic of Ireland to London, Aer Lingus has the highest frequency of flights between Ireland and London than any other airline.

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Aer Lingus Announces The ‘Ache for a Break’ Sale

Aer Lingus, the Irish airline, has announced the launch of its ‘Ache for a Break’ sale.

With fares starting from as little as €19.99 to the UK, €29.99 to Europe and €219 to the USA, Aer Lingus makes it easier than ever to escape for a relaxing winter break.

Those who choose to fly with Aer Lingus will experience its great care, including assigned seating; friendly and professional staff to look after customers on their journey and airports situated in central, convenient locations.

Travellers can book until the 9th September and travel from 1st October to 24th March 2012 for European breaks and from 1st November to 31st March for USA holidays. All fares are one way inclusive of taxes and charges.

Among the journeys on offer in the Aer Lingus sale are flights to Orlando, where visitors can check out the white knuckle rides at theme parks such as Disney and Universal Studios. Other options include baseball games at Wrigley Field in Chicago or a visit to one of the many art galleries or museums in Boston, as well as cruises around Liberty Island in New York.

Aer Lingus’ UK flight offers allow customers to fly to the USA via Dublin, with a number of cheap flights available from a selection of UK airports
to New York, Boston, Chicago and Orlando.

Those wishing to a enjoy a trip to Europe will also be able to find a number of destinations on offer from Aer Lingus including Alicante, Rome, Malaga, Lanzarote and Tenerife.

Declan Kearney, Director of Communications at Aer Lingus said: “Our winter schedule offers a fantastic range of sun, city break and US destinations. We look forward to welcoming you on board very soon.”

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Aer Lingus Announces New App And Mobile Website

Aer Lingus has revealed its new app and mobile website allowing customers to plan and review their flight details, check in, receive travel alerts, check real-time flight information and make a booking whilst staying mobile.

Customers can access these features with their web enabled phone by accessing the mobile site or downloading the check in iPhone app or Android check in app. The app is also available to Blackberry and Nokia phone users. “This is phase one of a number of phases to be introduced as mobile technology advances,” said Stuart Lattimore, eCommerce Manager. “It is a direct response to the needs and demands of our customers and puts control into their hands to make changes and purchase flights with the ease and flexibility of their phone.”

When customers check-in with the app or mobile site, a 2D barcode displays on their mobile phone which can be scanned at security points and at the boarding gate. Customers can check-in, select their preferred seat, add their frequent flyer number and see if their flight is on time. “The result is customers can receive their boarding pass whilst en route to the airport, creating a more seamless and convenient travel experience,” said Stuart.

Customers travelling with baggage can also check-in and then proceed to bag tag and drop desk, in the very same way as checking-in on aerlingus.com. If a customer experiences any problems, they can simply collect a reprint of their boarding card from a check-in desk. Delays or cancellation alerts are highlighted automatically in the app.

“This is especially useful in the event of a disruption and means customers can be informed and advised of any changes before they decide to travel,” added Stuart.

Mobile and app check-in is currently only available on routes between Dublin and London Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester and Birmingham but is due to be fully rolled out network-wide over the next couple of months. “We are working to have certification in place with all our airports throughout Europe and the US. Our systems and barcodes need to be compliant with each airport before we add these routes to the app,” Stuart concluded.

Customer reaction has been positive with over 27,000 downloads of the new app so far.

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Netflights.com Has The Best Available Fares On Offer For Flights During The Busy Chinese New Year Festival

The fifteen days of the 2011 Chinese New Year festival began on 3rd February, welcome to the year of the rabbit! Netflights.com has the best prices for last minute flights to many destinations where the festival is celebrated, including Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong.

Be aware that this is a busy time of year for flights in and around China, as many families reunite to celebrate the festival together. Regional customs and traditions for celebrating the new year vary widely, but the themes of ‘happiness’, ‘prosperity’ and ‘longevity’ are common in the way homes are decorated, and fireworks are very popular! As the country gathers to celebrate peace and happiness, and to look to the future, visiting parts of the world where the festival is celebrated can be an amazing experience at this time of year…

Netflights.com has the following fare offers for last minute flights, selected from the best prices available from major airlines:

Singapore
Malaysia Airways (Heathrow) travel until 15 Jun 11 book by 15 Jun 11 from £686

Hong Kong
Jet Airways (Heathrow) travel until 31 Mar 11 book by 31 Mar 11 from £488

Shanghai
Emirates (Gatwick) travel until 15 Jul 11 book by 31 Mar 11 from £515

Beijing
Etihad (Heathrow) travel until 15 Jul 11 book by 31 Mar 11 from £589

See Netflights.com for more information on these offers or call 084470 846700 800550 to speak with an expert travel consultant. Netflights.com has best value fare offers for all London airports, and flights from Manchester and other major UK airports.

Thousands more flight offers are available to destinations all over the world, selected from a database of fare offers from many major airlines. In addition to a weekly top ten of the best value deals available on last minute flights worldwide, Netflights.com has a top ten of current holiday offers, along with the best prices on hotels and car hire.

Follow the latest news from Netflights.com on twitter.com/Netflights and at www.facebook.com/netflights

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TravelSpec Reveals Brits Are Banking On A Summer Holiday

A survey by TravelSpec reveals that Brits are saving money this Christmas, but most will go over their holiday budget in Summer.

Brits are at the old saving game again this Christmas, with over 58% of people saying that they are canceling budget busting parties and extravagant presents for a more cost effective holiday season.

The poll findings – From a recent OnePoll.com survey commissioned by TravelSpec.com, a flight comparison website that supplies cheap flights to MiamiFlights to LondonFlights to Chicago and cheap flights to Paris – revealed that the majority of Brits will be cutting back on the big budget Christmas celebrations this year.

These recent finding come as no surprise after the Government took drastic steps to try to decrease the UK’s massive debt. The cuts to the Department for Tourism and the Governments promise to raise domestic flight tax may explain why domestic flight traffic has dropped by 3%.

Due to the drop in British tourism the average cost of a British holiday has risen leaving Brits to pay through their noses for a holiday in their own country.

86% of Brits said that they would not give up their holiday in the sun. Even though brits are cutting costs, 94% of Brits will still go up to £500 over budget when they go on holiday. It is probably no surprise that Heathrow airport recorded its busiest September ever this year, proving that people are getting out of the country for at least a week.

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Skyscanner’s Flight Trends for May 2010: Top 50 Flight Destinations

Top Inbound Cities for US
For foreign travelers, New York, Las Vegas and Orlando are top destinations this month, with New York remaining a global Top-10 destination for most countries. In particular, New York has a strong pull this month in France, Italy, Germany, Sweden and Canada; holding its place as one of their top destination-cities. Meanwhile, Orlando remains at the top-pick for both Brits and Americans, and as the end of the school year approaches in North America, Orlando is especially favorable with US travelers.

This Month’s Top 5 Hold Their Positions
Within North America, the top 5 locations on this month’s Top 50 remain unchanged; revealing that London, New York, Paris, Las Vegas and Los Angeles are all solid cities of choice for both spring and summer travel. All of the cities at the top of the list offer attractions drawing even the most discriminating tourists into the city. You can find this month’s best European flight deals here, with specific London flight deals here.

Trends: Travelers Head West
With the start of summer travel seeing an increase in international flights from San Francisco for travelers who seek the adventure of exotic, international destinations like Bangkok and Tokyo, many US and Canadian travelers will also exploring the west-coast of North America this summer; with San Francisco, San Diego, Vancouver and Seattle all making significant climbs in the Top 50.

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Daddy Cool: Skyscanner Reveals Five Fathers’ Day Destinations

Treat dad this Father’s Day by letting him chose the destination for the next family holiday. Cheap flights comparison site Skyscanner reveals “daddy cool” destinations to bring joy to dads of the world.

Daddy Cool: Skyscanner Reveals Five Fathers' Day Destinations

Big Game Fishing, Nassau, The Bahamas Dads love a bit of fishing, though probably most are more used to staring at a float for hours in the local reservoir. Instead, dads can get the trip of a lifetime in the Bahamas where, just four miles off shore, they can be fishing for marlin in 6,000 feet of turquoise water under a tropical sun.

Adrenaline Activities, Queenstown, New Zealand Dad looks to inject some excitement into life, head to Queenstown for bungee jumping, jet-boating, white-water rafting, sky-diving or perhaps some southern hemisphere skiing. If you’d like to add even more excitement, the 36th annual American Express Queenstown Winterfestival is being held June 25 to July 4.

Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid, Spain For dads who are more culture vulture than adrenaline junky, book a few flights to Spain and head to the beautiful city of Madrid to experience one of the biggest and best art galleries in Europe. Here, Dad can experience: Dali, Degas, Gaugin, Carravagio and Constable. View the Willem de Pannemaker exhibit, The Mercury Series, now until September 26.

Track Day, Silverstone, UK Silverstone, home of British motorsport, offers tuition and then solo laps in a single-seater racing car with 140bhp and a 0-60mph time of under five seconds. All this takes place around their Stowe Circuit – a track used for testing by top F1 teams. Grab Dad a cheap airfare to London and he’ll be racing around the track in no time.

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World Cup Nations’ Most Supportive Fans Revealed by Skyscanner

Flight search data from cheap flights comparison site Skyscanner has revealed that the US has topped this year’s list as the nation to have the highest year on year increase in summer searches to South Africa, hosts of this-year’s World Cup.

With searches for flights to South Africa more than quadrupling, hoards of American fans are expected to make the trip to South Africa next month to support their team as they compete in the World Cup.

Not known for their passion for soccer, America has shown a greater increase in searches for South Africa during the World Cup dates than any other country, including football crazy nations Germany, England and Italy!

Spain, the current European champion, holds strong in second-place, with a respectable 409% increase in searches while rival Brazil, are third, with a growth of 399%.

At the other end of the scale are the Italians. Despite being the current World Cup champions, searches for flights to South Africa have only increased by a third – a fairly modest rise given the huge global attention that the World Cup commands.

Scot Carlson, US & Canada Country Manager commented: “This is totally unexpected. Obviously it is great that Americans are taking such an interest in the World Cup but really surprising given that football is not one of America’s favourite sports. Let’s hope this support will lead to an equally surprising performance for the team – perhaps this year will be our chance to shine?!”

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Skyscanner Introduces Five, Fantastic Celebrations Around The World For Chocolate Lovers

Chocolate egg prices are expected to rise by around five per cent this Easter, caused by the rising price of sugar and cocoa.

But fear not, chocoholics can still indulge their passion without breaking the bank by visiting one of the many chocolate festivals around the globe, where free samples and chocolate giveaways are always on the menu!

Skyscanner.com, a website that helps users find cheap flights, introduces five choctastic celebrations, worldwide:

Chocolate covered February, Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA
Almost half of all the chocolate consumed worldwide is done so in the USA so this is a top choice for chocoholics. Visit Hershey, the home of the Hershey bar during February and enjoy a whole month of chocolate themed activities at Chocolate World, Hotel Hershey and even in the chocolate spa!

St Stephens Chocolate Fest 1-7 August, New Brunswick, Canada Visitors to “Canada’s Chocolate Town” can stuff themselves silly at a chocolate luncheon dinner, or enjoy a chocolate tipple at “choctail” hour.

The Ghirardelli Square Chocolate Festival, September, San Francisco, USA
True chocoholics can enter the “Earthquake” Sundae-Eating Contest for the chance to win their weight in Ghirardelli chocolate, while those with a more restrained appetite can enjoy everything from chocolate covered strawberries to chocolate pizza at this cocoa heaven.

New York Chocolate Tour
Alternatively, book a flight to New York and burn a few calories while you consume as you wander around the many chocolate boutiques on a New York Chocolate Tour.

Choc Vienna, October, Vienna, Austria
If you want to watch your waistline then head to this celebration of all things chocolate and sample chocolate beauty products, chocolate make up and even chocolate fashion!

If none of these festivals tickle your taste buds, why not book a cheap flight to Spainand head to Barcelona’s Chocolate museum in where chocolate and art collide resulting in a variety of chocolate sculptures, including Snowy, Barcelona’s famous albino gorilla, carved in white chocolate.

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Countdown Begins for Budget Space Tourism Lift Off on Skyscanner Site

While excitement is building about the increasingly imminent prospect of space tourism following Virgin Galactic’s successful test flights in March, the prohibitive $200,000 price tag makes this a final frontier too far for many would be astronauts, so today Skyscanner announces the launch of cheap flights to space.

“Virgin Galactic is doing a brilliant job of creating excitement and raising awareness that space tourism is a real possibility, but this is not a one-rocket space race by any means and space travel doesn’t have to cost the Earth,” said Skyscanner co-founder Barry Smith. “The ‘no frills’ model has transformed air travel over the last decade, so it’s no surprise a low-cost contender has emerged to make this market more accessible to all.”

Low cost space travel venture Copenhagen Suborbitals – based in Denmark – is taking a no-frills approach in order to bring the cost of space travel back down to Earth.

Prices per trip have not been finalized but are anticipated to substantially undercut the Virgin Galactic fare and half price discounts may be offered for one way tickets. There will be no in-flight service – partly because the spacecraft can actually only accommodate one person – no baggage allowance and no seating – passengers will have to stand throughout the duration of the space flight, although‘buttock and armpit support’ will be available.

“We’d like to call this company the Ryanair of space travel but we can’t – you don’t have to pay extra for check-in baggage. In fact you can’t take any baggage at all,” said Barry Smith.

He concludes: “It’s one small click for the user, but one giant leap for us as a company, opening up opportunities for our business to boldly go into some exciting new market niches. It’s even possible we may see some interest from forlorn former Concorde passengers who miss the view on flights from New York to London. Although the flights are currently starting from a barge in the Baltic Sea, and I’m not actually sure where they’re landing, so that may not be ideal for them.”

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Summer Tourists Shun Greece: Turkey 159% More Popular Reports Skyscanner

Turkey is set to take a significant slice of summer tourists from rival Greece following a recent spate of negative publicity after strikes and rioting hit the troubled country.

Looking at trends, flight site Skyscanner.com can report that while “comparative” search ratios for popular, European city-pairs (e.g., searches for cheap flights to Spain cheap flights to Italy compared to searches for cheap flights to Spain, etc.) remain consistent, searches for flights to Turkey are 159% higher than flight searches to Greece for travel dates this summer.

Following serious economic problems, strikes and rioting over the last few months, Greece’s tourist industry looks to take a hit and rival Turkey is well placed to take Greece’s share of the market.

“Greece has had a lot of bad press recently and unfortunately it’s coming at a time when many people are booking their summer holidays. News of street clashes and strikes are going to hurt Greece’s tourist industry and Greece’s loss is Turkey’s gain. On the upside, it may mean more offers of cheap flights to Greece as it tries to win back tourists.” said Barry Smith, Skyscanner Co-founder and Market Development Director.

Being similar distances from the UK, having similar climates and attracting similar clientele, Turkey and Greece have long been natural rivals in the tourist trade. And for the British holidaymaker who just wants sun and sand, the move from Greece to Turkey is an easy one to make. Turkey has also seen further positive PR this year as Istanbul is a European City of Culture 2010.

Skyscanner’s February 2010 Flight Trends Report revealed that while searches for cheap flights Athens had seen a rise in the rankings, Turkey had three destinations within the top 50 most popular, whilst Greece only had one.

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Battle of the Sexes as Women-only Toilets Introduced on Planes

Plans by one airline to add women-only toilets to its flights have split opinion in half according to the latest poll run by flight site Skyscanner.

Battle of the Sexes as Women-only Toilets Introduced on Planes

The poll asked whether travellers agreed with All Nippon Airway’s (ANA) latest move to introduce dedicated, ‘women-only’ toilets in most of its planes. The airline, which offers flights to San Francisco, New York, and Chicago, along with dozens of long haul routes, says that it introduced the women-only restrooms following requests from its passengers.

46% of voters agreed with the move saying that all airlines should do the same. However, 51% disapproved of the idea. Over 900 people voted in the Skyscanner poll, which shows opinion is polarized between the sexes.

The move by ANA has sparked controversy because many men feel that they will be getting a raw deal. With fewer lavatories to choose from when flying, men may have to stand in line for longer on flights that offer women-only WCs.

Barry Smith, Skyscanner Co-founder and Development Director said:

“Women-only lavatories are great for the girls, but the problem is that most planes would not be adding extra toilets, instead they would convert a uni-sex restroom into a ladies-only one. This is bad news for the boys as it’s likely to mean longer lines.”

Comments from some of the respondents show this split in opinion:

“We need women-only toilets because men make so much mess” said one voter.

But another countered: “If they introduce women-only lavatories, then they should introduce men-only ones, too. Women take ages.”

The onboard restroom riddle joins the other great toilet debate that has been at the heart of a long running row between men and women ever since the WC was invented: should the toilet seat be left up or down?

Cheap flights carrier Ryanair caused controversy last year when it joked that it might start charging people to use its toilets.

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US Set for Foreign Tourist Invasion Says Skyscanner

Travel site Skyscanner reveals which countries like to flash their cash the most when they travel and where in the US they plan on going in 2010 – Germans are in the lead, but China is quickly climbing up the ranks.

US Set for Foreign Tourist Invasion Says Skyscanner

According to the WTO, German travelers are the biggest spenders; capitalizing on the strong Euro and US-inbound travel deals–like seasonal cheap flights to New York — and are closely followed by the British, French, Chinese, Japanese, and Italians. And according to Skyscanner’s data, New York is bound to get a big chunk of this pie, at least amongst US destinations, which collectively show some very positive growth figures for 2010.

With the economy on the path to recovery, tourism worldwide is rebounding from the slump of 2009. And with the Tourism Promotion Bill approved by the US Congress, which President Barack Obama signed into a Law last week, the panorama for the US Tourism Industry looks extremely bright.

Skyscanner’s statistics already show a 130% increase in searches for cheap flights to the US, as compared to last year. Travelers from the UK lead the pack, followed by Germany and Italy. China has shown a great increase this year, surpassing Russia.

As to the destinations-favored by international travelers, the Top 10 list includes the usual suspects: New York, Orlando, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Miami, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Washington DC, and Atlanta. However, cities that are not usually regarded as destinations for foreign tourists have also shown growth – places like Phoenix and Portland are attracting more international travelers this year, a trend that is expected to increase in the coming months.

While Skyscanner’s data shows New York to be the favorite destination for foreign tourists, it is particularly preferred by the British – fully 25% of queries from the UK focused on the Big Apple. However, it only accounted for 5% amongst the Chinese. And while cheap flights to Honolulu didn’t make the Top10 list, Honolulu is, nonetheless, the second-most popular city for Japanese tourists. Hawaii also attracts many Russian visitors, who interestingly also do many searches for destinations in Alaska.

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Outcry Against Airline ‘Size Discrimination’ as Fat and Tall Travellers Unite Says Skyscanner

The UK’s tallest travellers have rallied in support of the world’s podgiest passengers against so called ‘body discrimination’ by airlines.

Following the recent poll on travel site Skyscanner where 76% of people voted in favour of a ‘Fat Tax’ being charged for passengers who cannot safely fit into a single seat, Skyscanner has been inundated with emails from Britain’s lofty air passengers, who have expressed solidarity with overweight travellers against ‘size discrimination’ by airlines.

Simon James, a 6ft5 (196cm) tall man from Edinburgh said:

“Everyone’s talking about ‘fat tax’ but ‘tall tax’ has been around for years. I always request an exit row seat, but there’s no guarantee you’ll get one. On many cheap flights carriers, I have to pay for the privilege of choosing a seat or boarding first.

“I have sympathy for overweight people, but at least the vast majority of them can lose weight if they choose. Tall people can’t get any shorter. People come in all shapes and sizes, and airlines should accommodate us all.”

Barry Smith, Skyscanner co-founder and Development Director commented:

“There’s a fine line here between discrimination against any body type that is outside of a narrowing norm, and simple economic viability. The danger is that airlines will continue to squeeze us into ever shrinking seats, and charge all but the shortest, thinnest passengers a premium for extra room.”

Many airlines charge significant premiums for seats with extra leg room; for example, Qantas charges an additional $160 on some flights for an exit seat. When targeting taller travellers looking to go overseas, airlines might benefit from dropping fees on the more-popular long-haul routes–like flights to Thailand –as these fees could raise the cost prohibitively for some taller travellers.

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The World’s Biggest Spenders: Tourists Who Splash The Cash

Flight comparison site Skyscanner investigates which countries like to flash their cash the most when they travel – the Germans are in the lead, but China is hot on their trail. With the world economy apparently on the road to recovery, tourism will play a huge part in many countries’ income and competition is high to capture the biggest share of that market. International tourism is on track for a rebound with growth of 3-4% projected for 2010 – a welcome recovery after 2009’s slump.

But when it comes to international travels, who spends the most and where should travel and tourism organisations be targeting their marketing budgets to attract the big spenders?

At number one, it’s the Germans who spend over $90 billion a year on their travels, a disproportionate amount compared to their population which numbers just over 80 million, less than a third of the next biggest spenders – the USA, who splash $79.7 billion a year on holidays. Known for tipping big in restaurant and bars, Americans certainly know how to spend.

In third place it’s the UK who splurge $68.5 billion to escape the UK on cheap flights each year. No doubt the lure of sun and sand plays a huge part in the mass exodus, with Spain by far our favourite holiday escape. This is also backed up by recent Skyscanner stats, with cheap flights to Malaga topping the most popular searched in January. France, which is also the world’s most popular country in terms of tourist arrivals, empty their wallets of $42.1 per year, whilst the Chinese spend $36.2 billion annually on their travels.

China is part of a new force of international tourists. The country’s huge economic boom over the last decade has created a new middle class and with travel restrictions now a distant memory, more and more Chinese are taking advantage of their new found wealth and travelling the world – normally in tour groups.

Italy, Japan, Canada, Russia and the Netherlands made up the rest of the ten big spenders list.

Barry Smith, Skyscanner co-founder and business director commented:
“It will be very interesting to see how tourist spending changes since the downturn. So far, the latest figures show that only the Japanese spent less on international tourism than the previous year. China is fast rising, spending 21% more on their global travels, and are likely set to grow even more. Meanwhile, it’s the Germans who remain the world’s biggest spending tourists, and there would have to be significant change for anyone else to catch up with them.”

1. Germany – $91.0 billion (+2%)
2. USA – $79.7 billion (+4.4%)
3. UK – $68.5 billion (+4.4%)
4. France – $43.1 billion (+9.6%)
5. China – $36.2 billion (+21.4%)
6. Italy – $30.8 billion (+4.9%)
7. Japan – $27.9 billion (-7.9%)
8. Canada – $26.9 billion (+8.4%)
9. Russia – $24.9 billion (+11.8%)
10. Netherlands – $21.7 billion (+9.2%)

Via EPR Network
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13% Happy To Sleep With Strangers On Flights Says Skyscanner

13% of people would be happy to share a Skycouch with a stranger they met in queue, according to the latest poll from flight comparison site Skyscanner.

13% Happy To Sleep With Strangers On Flights Says Skyscanner

The Skycouch, which has been developed by Air New Zealand, works by converting a row of three airline seats into a bed. It is being heralded as the first ‘lie-down economy bed’, and the first major improvement in economy class travel comfort in 20 years. Three seats must be purchased together, with the third seat offered at a discounted rate. Each of the seats has a cushion that folds up from beneath and arm rests all tuck away, creating a flat mattress that will allow two adults to stretch out.

The seats on relatively cheap flights in Economy class have always lacked severely in comfort compared to their Business class counterparts but with this new innovation the gap has been significantly bridged for long haul flights such as cheap flights to Sydney from the UK.

73% of the people who voted in Skyscanner’s poll said that they would happily pay the extra for a Skycouch, of which 60.5% said they would only share with their partner. 25% said that they wouldn’t pay the extra and would rather save their money.

Nearly 500 people voted in the poll, and the overall results show that Air New Zealand’s innovation is a winner with long haul flyers and a lucrative move for the airline.

Barry Smith, Skyscanner co-founder and director said:

“We applaud Air New Zealand for making long haul flying more comfortable. We knew people would like the idea, but we were amazed that so many would be happy to share the Skycouch with a stranger they’d only just met at the airport. It could lead to new relationships blooming at twenty thousand feet, although Air New Zealand have stressed that Skycouches should not be used to join the ‘mile high’ club.”

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Skyscanner Flight Trends January 2010

Top Ten
Spain dominated January’s search rankings, with five Spanish cities in the top ten. Faro and Dalaman also made the hot list, suggesting that sun and sand are still top priorities for British travellers, although the presence of
flights to London, New York and Amsterdam shows that city breaks are also popular.

Skyscanner Flight Trends January 2010

Medium and Long Haul
The most popular medium and long haul destinations searched for during January were:
flights to New York (7th), Bangkok (11th), Orlando (15th), Sharm el Sheik (24th), Dubai (30th), Sydney (36th), Johannesburg (43rd), Las Vegas (45th), Delhi (48th) and Hong Kong (49th).

Most Popular Countries
Overall, Spain remains the most popular country for British travellers, despite fears that less favourable euro exchange rates would lead to a switch to non-euro countries such as Turkey, which has three destinations in the rankings, including a high number of searches for
cheap flights to Dalaman. Despite being the UK’s closest neighbour, France is notably scarce in the top 50, with only one French city ranking, possibly due to the increased popularity of the Eurostar over flying.

Skyscanner Says
Barry Smith, Skyscanner co-founder and business director commented:

“Following a year of economic stress in 2009, we’re waiting to see which locations rise from the ashes of recession in 2010. Spain is still the top dog by a long shot, but Portugal, Italy and Cyprus have a significant slice of the market and Turkey and Thailand are nipping at its heels. Orlando should do well this year due to the opening of Harry Potter’s Wizarding World, and South Africa will also see a spike due to the World Cup.”

The following rankings are based on the number of searches for cheap flights during January 2010 on the Skyscanner website for UK departures.

January 2010 Top 10 Destinations
1. Malaga (Spain)
2. Alicante (Spain)
3. Tenerife (Spain)
4. Faro (Portugal)
5. Palma (Spain)
6. London (UK)
7. New York (USA)
8. Lanzarote (Spain)
9. Dalaman (Turkey)
10. Amsterdam (Netherlands)

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