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8 UPDATE


March 2017 Travel News


Tour operator’s clents ask for more! Jet2holidays resort check-in success


service trialled last year. M


The major award-winning tour operator, which operates a comprehensive programme from Belfast International Airport, has increased its resort flight check-in service to include more destinations and hotels this summer.


Jet2holidays says its aim is to help customers to make the most of their last day on holiday and is including more destinations and hotels this summer. The announcement follows phenomenal levels of take up and satisfaction from customers after the service launched in selected hotels last summer. The free service allows customers to securely check in their bags at the hotel on their day of departure, leaving them luggage free for the rest of the day and at the airport. The only UK holiday operator to offer the service, Jet2holidays launched Resort Flight Check In across 60 hotels in Benidorm, Majorca and Tenerife last summer.


In response to huge popularity, the package holiday specialist is now making the service available to customers in more than 150 hotels across a number of additional destinations this summer season. As well as introducing it to more hotels in Benidorm, Majorca and Tenerife, customers heading to Lanzarote, Cyprus and the Costa Blanca will also be able to take advantage of the service. It is estimated that 25 per cent of all Jet2holidays customers will be able to use the service this year.


The Resort Flight Check In process is simple.


ORE please! That's the message from clients of rapidly expanding tour operator Jet2holidays in response to the company's resort check-in


Jet2holidays’ reps greet customers at their hotel on the day of their return flight and check their baggage in on the spot.


The special ground operations team then transport the bags securely to the aircraft, carrying out all standard security checks. This allows customers to enjoy their last day on holiday without the worry of having to look after their luggage, and it improves their experience at the airport as they can head straight through to security.


Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays said: “We have been inundated by customers contacting us to say thank you for introducing our exclusive and free Resort Flight Check In service, and we have taken the decision to expand it to more hotels and destinations so that more Jet2holidays customers can experience its benefits.


“Allowing customers to check their bags in at the hotel means that they can extend their valuable holiday time, as they are luggage-free and can breeze through the airport later on.


“As the only UK holiday operator offering this free service, we are very proud to be making every second of our customers’ holidays count.”


As Jet2holidays says as it wraps everything up in one package, customers are also given access to great value package breaks across thousands of 2-5 star hotels, with Jet2.com flights, industry leading 22kg baggage allowance and airport transfers included, through a £60 per person deposit.


Offering full ATOL protection, Jet2holidays includes free infant places on all holidays as well as 0% credit card fees.


Customer review award for cruise line


FRED. Olsen Cruise Lines has been awarded the coveted ‘Gold Trusted Service Award’ by independent review site Feefo, for the fourth year running. To date, Fred. Olsen has received over 19,000 customer reviews, with 95 per cent of these being in the ‘Good’ or ‘Excellent’ categories. This important Feefo accreditation highlights those companies that have delivered consistently excellent customer service, based on independent feedback received directly from genuine customers. Justin Stanton, Sales and Marketing Director for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said: “It means such a lot


to all of us to have been awarded Feefo's 'Gold Trusted Service Accreditation’ once again. It is a true and reliable guide to the Fred. Olsen experience.”


At the end of their cruise holiday, Fred. Olsen guests are invited to leave a rating and review of the destinations they have visited and the service that they have received during their time on board; it is this rating that is used to identify the level of accreditation. To gain Feefo’s top ‘Gold Trusted Service’ status, an average service rating of between 95 per cent and 100 per cent must be achieved.


Resort check-in - more and more Jet2holidays customers are using resort check-in (see left) Dublin Airport targets drone users


DUBLIN Airport has launched a safety awareness campaign specifically aimed at drone users. To protect the airfield, signage has been mounted on the airport’s perimeter fence indicating that Dublin Airport is a No Drone Zone and highlighting that it is illegal to operate a drone in the vicinity of the airport. “Safeguarding the airfield at Dublin Airport is a key priority for us,” said Dublin Airport’s Chief Police Officer, Pat Bracken. “Drones are becoming an increasingly popular way to film the countryside, however, they can cause serious damage to an aircraft,” he added.


“We have been working with the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) to keep the airfield safe from drones and signs have now been mounted on the airport’s perimeter fence to ensure we keep Dublin Airport a No Drone Zone,” Mr Bracken said.


Drones are forbidden from the airport and the airport vicinity due to the risk of a drone colliding with an aircraft or being ingested into the aircraft’s engine. The IAA’s Director of Safety Regulation Ralph James said it very much welcomed this development at Dublin Airport. “It’s essential that the general public


understand that drone activity is prohibited from taking place within the vicinity of an aerodrome for safety reasons,” Mr James added “There have been a couple of incidents of people using drones close to Dublin Airport, which have disrupted operations and drone users need to be aware of the rules for the safe operation of drones.”


All drones over 1kg must be registered with the IAA through its website www.iaa.ie/general- aviation/drones. The IAA encourages drone operators to familiarise themselves with the rules for drone operations to ensure that they operate their drone in a safe and responsible manner.


Dublin Airport, which is the key gateway to the island of Ireland, facilitated a record 215,000 aircraft movements in 2016.


Last year, passenger numbers at Dublin Airport increased by 11% to a record 27.9 million, which is more than four times the population of the island. Dublin was the fastest-growing major airport in Europe in 2016. Dublin Airport has direct flights to 185 destinations in 41 countries operated by a total of 47 airlines.


NEW WAVE OF LUXURY LOUNGES ON THE WAY FOR HEATHROW...


A NEW wave of luxury lounges is set to hit London Heathrow Airport thanks to an expansion by Plaza Premium Group.


Plans have been announced for two new lounges to be opened by the group, the industry leaders in providing premium airport services; both to feature landside in Terminals 3 and 4. The two additions will join the already impressive roster of lounges that Plaza Premium Lounge already has available including a lounge in Terminal 2 arrivals which opened in 2014. The arrivals lounge in Terminal 4, which is due to open late March has a capacity of 75 people and features a lounge and bar area, a multi-function room which is ideal for meetings before flying out of Heathrow and 25 luxury shower rooms. Details for the lounge in Terminal 3 are still under wraps with a planned opening later in the year.


Family fun at Alton Towers and a new Irish Ferries offer Family-friendly deal to Alton Towers


IN partnership with Staffordshire’s Alton Towers Resort, Irish Ferries has announced a family-friendly deal to mark the reopening of Britain’s top theme park for the 2017 season on March 25 next. The offer, valid for travel until May 20, sees two adults and two children under 10 enjoy a three- night stay with breakfast at the nearby Holiday Inn Express for just


EUR439, inclusive of return car ferry crossing and one full day at Alton Towers.


Two new children’s features – the interactive ‘Furchester Hotel Live Show’ and ‘Go Jetters Vroomster Zoom’ ride bring to 14, the number of attractions now on show at the popular children’s ‘CBeebies Land’ exhibit.With an extended line up of rides,


attractions and live entertainment, children can now look forward to meeting new characters such as Elmo and Cookie Monster along with traditional favourites that include Postman Pat, Mr. Bloom, Justin’s House and the ‘In the Night Garden Magical Boat’ ride. Bookings can be made by phone direct with Irish Ferries or on the company's website. *


Mr Song Hoi-see, founder and CEO of Plaza Premium Group, said: “The concept of the Plaza Premium arrivals lounge was driven by a desire to do something for the majority. Having arrivals lounges benefits not only travellers both before and after their flight but also family and friends who are waiting for someone to arrive into the airport.”


“Our arrivals lounges are designed to bring convenience, comfort and value to passengers who are looking to combat travel ailments, awaken their senses and revitalise their mind and body after a long flight. Our goal is to make every journey enjoyable not only on departure, but also upon arrival.”


The lounge will also feature a new, unparalleled airport dining experience which is unique to Plaza Premium Group, Flight Club. Flight Club is a herbs and seeds inspired healthy dining concept specifically designed for travellers who are renowned for eating


unhealthy whilst travelling.


Song Hoi-see added: “Our Flight Club concept is something that we are very proud of and have seen huge success with when it initially launched in Kuala Lumpur last year. We want to encourage people to embrace a healthy lifestyle, even if they are frequent travellers.”


Plaza Premium Lounges offer a stylish airport experience which is open to all passengers whether they are flying economy class or business class. Priority Pass and Dragon Pass are accepted as well as independent travellers who can pay on entry with no prior booking needed.


Plaza Premium Lounges already operate airside in Terminals 2 and 4 and landside in Terminal 2.


New Virgin to Barbados


VIRGIN Atlantic is to operate the only direct Heathrow-Barbados flight this winter. The twice- weekly service will launch on December 12 and seats go on sale on Saturday February 25 at virginatlantic.com.


The new flights will operate on Tuesdays and Saturdays as part of the winter 2017 schedule using an Airbus A330. This new service means that Virgin Atlantic will now offer up to 11 Barbados flights per week from three UK Airports.


Travellers from Belfast can access the new direct Heathrow-Barbados flight via two Belfast-Heathrow connections from Belfast City Airport - British Airways and Aer Lingus. Return fares for the Heathrow-Barbados flights start from £649 per person including tax.


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