New Cabins for American Airlines
American Airlines recently announced the newly revamped Main Cabin Extra. Customers in Main Cabin Extra will enjoy complimentary beer, wine, and spirits, enjoy more space onboard with additional legroom an extra touch of comfort. Early boarding passengers can get settled sooner and enjoy easier access to overhead bins with Preferred Group 5 boarding.
British Airways offer a free upgrade to First
The First cabin from British Airways provides the opportunity to relax in exclusive First lounges and enjoy complimentary spa treatments before a flight. Once onboard, travellers can unwind in the comfort and privacy of a spacious suite with fully flat bed and dedicated service.
Giles Travel can now upgrade our customers to First, one-way on either the outbound or the inbound part of the journey. This offer is available on as many flights as you like when outbound travel is by 23 October 2018.
The offer is now available on flights between the UK and North America with partners American Airlines, subject to availability on selected flights.
GlobalStar Travel Management teams up with flight disruption claims company PaxFour
Claiming compensation can be complicated – and usually requires detailed insight into the legal interpretation of the rules, knowledge about the delay reason and other factors affecting the flight. This is why most companies do not claim airline compensation for their delayed employees – even though rules have been in place for more than a decade. So, there is an increasing demand for travel agencies to offer such a service to their corporate clients.
GlobalStar has entered into a strategic partnership with PaxFour, to avail of claim management for their corporate clients. PaxFour is a joint-venture between Scandinavia’s and Germany’s largest claim companies, supported by other claim company affiliates in Europe. PaxFour is already claiming compensation on behalf of some of Europe’s largest and most international companies. GlobalStar has branded this new offering as ClaimStar being part of their Star Suite of products and solutions.
“There are large potential savings to be made by companies with frequently flying employees,” explains Johan Fugmann, CEO of PaxFour. “A company with 30.000 annual travels has the potential to make up to 200.000 EUR in compensations. As claims as old as six years can be processed, the total claim during the first year could be worth more than 1 million EUR.”
“We chose to sign with PaxFour due to their long track record with corporate claims handling,” says Steve Hartwell, President of GlobalStar. “Their offering is unique, where the compensation is sent to the company as opposed to the passenger. During our recent Global Sales Meeting, our members showed great interest in this service, so we expect a quick roll-out of the offering to our corporate customers.”
EasyJet partners with Airportr
Easyjet has launched a partnership with home bag drop service Airportr, which will allow passengers travelling from Gatwick to check in their luggage online and have it collected from their home.
The service means passengers can travel luggage-free on the way to the airport, as Airportr’s drivers collect their bags and take them straight to Easyjet’s bag drop at Gatwick to be flown to their destination. Cases are then collected as normal at the destination’s baggage reclaim area. Passengers can check their luggage in online and choose a one-hour pick-up slot from £30. For those travelling in groups, the service also offers a £40 collection for up to four pieces of luggage within a three-hour window.
British Airways launches new US route
From 2 April 2019, British Airways will be launching a new service from London Heathrow to Pittsburgh. Flights to the Pennsylvanian city will operate 4 times a week, all year round. Flights will be on BA’s advanced Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft, departing on the BA171 service from London Heathrow on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 5pm and land in Pittsburgh at 8:15pm. The return service will leave Pittsburgh at 9.50pm and arrive at London Heathrow at 10.25am the following day.
Heathrow see ‘busiest ever’ first half
Heathrow airport has reported its busiest first half ever, seeing 38.1 million passengers so far this year. Traffic is up 2.5 per cent year on year, with growth seen across all markets served by the airport. New routes to China also helped a 2.2 per cent increase in cargo to 841,449 tonnes. The growth in traffic has boosted Heathrow’s financial results, with a 4.8 per cent increase in retail spend by passengers leading to a 2.3 per cent increase in overall revenues to £1.4 billion. Heathrow says it saw a slight increase in operating costs following investments in improving the airport’s security and service offering.
It has been given a ‘good’ accessibility rating and is currently testing new scanning technology at security checkpoints that could eventually eliminate the need for passengers to remove items such as liquids and laptops from their hand luggage. Heathrow has raised nearly £1 billion this year to invest in its infrastructure and has invested nearly £6 million to install more than 116 electric car charging points, with another 11 planned for the second half of the year.
The airport is preparing for expansion after MPs voted to approve plans to build a third runway at the London hub. It recently completed the first round of a request for proposals on building infrastructure for the new runway and will release a shortlist of potential partners for the project in late August.
Travelodge expand their SuperRooms to more locations
Travelodge’s new SuperRooms are now available at five more hotels including Manchester Picadilly, London Fulham and London Balham. The upgraded facilities offer in-room Lavazza A Modo Mio fresh coffee machines, a Hansgröhe Raindance 3jet adjustable shower and a choice of firm or soft hypoallergenic pillows plus 32” LED TV, USB charging and connectivity and a new bathroom design.
Radisson Red comes to the UK
The first Radisson Red in the United Kingdom opened in Glasgow as a new build. Radisson Red is all about casual service, contemporary design and an upbeat and fun vibe. The 174-room hotel has colourful accents, bold wallpaper and eclectic designs by Glasgow comic artist Frank Quitely. Red Sky Bar is the first rooftop bar in Glasgow where guests can share tapas and enjoy some music from the local DJs. Other features are the OUIBar + KTCHN for fresh food, the Event and Games studios for meetings and/or parties, and the optional self-check-in/self-check-out, key-less entry and the chat feature to connect with other guests.
Hotel St George, Helsinki
The Hotel St George in Helsinki opened it doors on the 2nd May 2018.
Situated by the beautiful Old Church Park in the heart of Helsinki. The 148 individually decorated rooms and five suites offer the guests moments of rest and tranquillity. The Hotel St. George is a full-service luxury hotel with holistic care for a healthy mind, heart and body.
Native to open London Bankside aparthotel
UK aparthotel operator Native is set to launch its new flagship property, Native Bankside, on 6 August. The aparthotel, which will add to Native’s portfolio of more than 25 properties across the UK, is located in Bear Gardens in an 18th-century tea warehouse. It offers 75 studios, one and two-bedroom apartments furnished by Conran Contracts. The property provides 24-hour check-in, free high-speed wifi and a communal workspace. Native is set to open a further two aparthotels over the next six months, including Native Glasgow launching this autumn and London Warehouse in Manchester opening in January 2019.
Rail Industry appoints first ombudsman
The Rail Delivery Group (RDG) has announced the appointment of the Dispute Resolution Ombudsman to address the rising number of complaints from passengers. Rail companies committed to creating an ombudsman last October to “build confidence in services”, according to RDG. The ombudsman is expected to launch in November and will be free to use for passengers. It will cover rail journeys across the UK.
Customers who are unhappy with the outcome of their complaints to rail companies will be able to refer them to be formally ruled on by experts in consumer rights. Decisions by the ombudsman will be binding and rail companies will have to take action if failings are identified. Rail minister Jo Johnson hailed the announcement, saying it is “vital that passengers get the redress they deserve” when rail companies fall short of their duty.
RDG says the new scheme builds on the work carried out by passenger advocacy groups Transport Focus and London Travelwatch.
VAT IT joins forces with GlobalStar ravel Management to reduce the cost of business ravel through VAT recovery
VAT IT, the world’s largest VAT reclaim specialist, has joined forces with multi-national travel management organisation, GlobalStar to offer VAT reclamation services, helping businesses navigate the complex world of VAT recovery and compliance for travelling employees.
The partnership will give GlobalStar access to the full range of products and services supplied by VAT IT, to help them to deliver significant savings to their clients. Companies can save up to 25% of their travel and entertainment spend. VAT can be reclaimed on employee expenses and their travel throughout UK, Europe, Canada, Australia, South Korea, New Zealand, Switzerland, Taiwan and Japan.
The qualifying laws and application procedures required are elaborate and vary from region to region. It is time-consuming to submit applications to the relevant tax authorities, and often language barriers make this even more difficult. Additionally, in order to get the full tax rebate benefit, companies need to devote significant time, money and human capital. The partnership with VAT IT will allow GlobalStar clients to access to VAT IT’s wealth of knowledge, experience and innovation to maximise VAT savings.
Sophia Sophos, Managing Director of VAT IT USA says “This is a key partnership for VAT IT. We’re always trying to help as many businesses claim what’s rightfully theirs and we believe a partnership with GlobalStar will help spread awareness that this foreign VAT can actually be recovered.”.
Steve Hartwell, President of GlobalStar added “VAT reclaim is often looked and the money is lost, but though our partnership with VAT IT we are able to add a valuable service to our clients – driving deeper savings and programme optimisation.