easyJet – new allocated seating service.

Please note that EasyJet is rolling out its new pre-allocated seating service in phases starting next month. The new service will allow passengers to pre-book,
for a fee, the seat number of their choice.

Starting on November 13th, passengers flying from London Gatwick (South Terminal), Luton, Southend, Bristol & Glasgow will be able to pre-assign a specific seat number.
The service is then rolled out for flights departing from London Gatwick (North Terminal), Milan Malpensa, Rome Fiumicino & Paris CDG on November 20th.

Finally, passengers flying from the following airports can pre-assign their preferred seat nos : Belfast, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Basel, Geneva, Lyon,
Nice, Youlouse, Paris Orly, Madrid, Lisbon & Berlin Schonefeld.

It is also worth noting that if when flying with easyJet you normally pay for Speedy Boarding and a bag to go in the aircraft’s hold, you are actually better off buying an
Easyjet Flexifare. Flexifares entitle you to unlimited free date changes within a 4 week period, 1 piece of hold luggage, Speedy Boarding and no admin or credit card fees.

Finally, easyJet also offer easyJet Plus for regular travellers for £149. easyJet Plus entitles the card holder to Speedy Boarding on every flight you take and use of the
dedicated Speedy Boarding checkin desks.

British Airways News.

British Airways and Japan Airlines (JAL) have recently announced the start of a joint business agreement which will involve both airlines sharing revenue on certain flights between Europe and Japan. 

The joint business will benefit customers by providing better links between Europe and Japan, greater choice of flights to more destinations, enhanced frequent flyer benefits and the potential to launch new routes as well as improved transfers for customers to destinations in Europe and within Japan, through enhancing and expanding the codeshare network beyond the two airlines’ respective hub cities. 

As a result of the joint business, JAL will offer new codeshare destinations to Belfast, Helsinki, Frankfurt and Gothenburg on British Airways operated flights. British Airways will extend its reach to more destinations in Japan by codesharing on flights to Kansai, Okayama, Izumo, Okinawa, Nagasaki, Hiroshima and Kagoshima. 

Customers participating in JAL and British Airways’ loyalty programmes will continue to enjoy reciprocal benefits as customers of oneworld®, and are expected to further benefit from future opportunities to earn and redeem miles on each airline’s flights more easily as a result of the increased codesharing and joint promotions.

Complimentary Porter Trial – British Airways is currently running trials of a complimentary porter service for all First and Gold card holders flying from London Heathrow Terminal 5. The trial has aleady started and will finish on October 17th, if successful the service will be made permanent.

New Alicante Route – British Airways is launching another new route from London Gatwick, with the start of services to Alicante from 31 March 2013.

The London Gatwick to Alicante services will commence from the beginning of the Summer 2013 season, in addition to the 3 services per week already operating during the Winter 2012 season from London Heathrow.

Services are already on sale.



Qatar Airways To Join Oneworld.

Qatar Airways has officially announced that it will join the Oneworld airline alliance after weeks of speculation.

The Doha-based carrier is the first of the three major airlines based in the Gulf (the others being Emirates and Etihad) to sign for any of the global airline alliances.
The implementation will take 12-18 months to complete and British Airways will serve as Qatar’s sponsor.

Qatar Airways will be Oneworld’s second member airline based in the Middle East, alongside Royal Jordanian, which became the first airline from the region to join any
of the global alliances when it became a member in 2007.

Qatar Airways’ network serves 120 destinations in 70 countries in the Middle East, Europe, Africa, North and South America, Asia and Australasia.
Fifteen of its destinations and three countries – Iran, Rwanda and the Seychelles – will be new to Oneworld.

Once Qatar Airways’ implementation is complete, and of most interest to business travellers, frequent flyer card holders of other Oneworld airlines will be able to earn and
burn when flying with Qatar and access their lounges.

Kingfisher Airlines Suspends All Flights.

Indian airline Kingfisher has suspended all flights due to employee unrest as a result of being unpaid for many months.

Operations have been suspended until Thursday 4th October at the earliest. The decision came as a result of an announcement made by the country’s civil aviation minister, Ajit Singh, that the airline would not be allowed to operate if safety rules were not being observed.

Kingfisher said in a statement that it had been forced to make the decision because of a series of incidents, including violence and criminal intimidation.

National Strikes in Italy.

Local public transport strikes may affect travel at short notice in the main Italian cities of Milan, Rome, Florence, Naples, Turin and Genova tomorrow,
Tuesday 2nd October.

The strike will start at 08:30 to 17:00 and from 20:00 until end of service, with commuters guaranteed public transport during peak travel times
in the morning and evening.

National Strike in Belgium.

Belgian unions have announced a national railway strike on Wednesday 3 October.
The strike is due to start at 22:00 on Tuesday 2 October and will last for 24 hours. Apart from national trains, this strike will also affect Eurostar services
between Lille and Brussels-Midi. If the strike goes ahead as planned, the first train affected will be the last Eurostar from London to Brussels (service 9156)
on Tuesday 2 October.

During this period of industrial action, Eurostar services to and from Brussels will terminate and commence at Lille Europe station. In addition, Thalys trains
to Paris, Amsterdam and Cologne will also be hit by the strike.

Purple Parking – New Instructions for Heathrow Airport.

With effect from Thursday 27th September, the arrival instructions for customers dropping their cars off with Purple Parking, at London Heathrow’s terminals 1 & 3
will be changing. Confirmations have been changed to reflect these new instructions, however, if you are a regular customer please note these changes.

Please find the new instructions below which are effective immediately.

Follow the signs to the Short Stay Car Park 1 (entrance on the ground floor)
At the entrance barrier, take a ticket (there will be nothing to pay)
Keep to your right and immediately take a first left down to the lower ground floor
Turn right and drive all the way to the end and then bear left, after the portacabin until you are facing the opposite direction
You will see our Off Airport Meet & Greet parking bays immediately to your right
Park your car in one of these bays,
Lock your car and give the keys and parking ticket to our Handover Captain

Follow the sign to the Short Stay Car Park 3
At the entrance barrier, take a ticket (there will be nothing to pay)
Drive up the ramp and exit at level 3
Follow the road all the way round until you reach Rows A and B at the far end of the Car Park
You will see our Off Airport Meet & Greet parking bays opposite the lifts
Park your car in one of these bays
Lock your car and give the keys and parking ticket to our Handover Captain

Super Typhoon Jelawat.

Super Typhoon Jelawat is forecast to bring rain and heavy winds to Taiwan and China’s eastern coastal areas over the next couple of days. When last tracked yesterday, Jelawat’s center was located about 770 kilometers southeast of Taiwan’s southernmost point, moving northwest at 15 kilometers per hour.

Strong winds are forecast to begin hitting Taiwan as well as coastal Fujian province during the next 24 hours. The Washington Post has also reported that the typhoon could hit Okinawa before a possible encounter with mainland Japan, depending on how the storm tracks.
Jelawat is currently a Category 4 storm, however, it is expected to gradually weaken because of decreasing water temperatures and should be a Category 1 or 2 storm as it nears the vicinity of Okinawa on Saturday, before weakenning further to a minimal hurricane or tropical storm with a possible landfall south of Tokyo on Sunday and into Monday.

As Jelawat may cause flight delays or cancellations travellers are advised to monitor local media and remain aware of further devleopments.

Aer Lingus Staff to Strike.

Aer Lingus staff belonging to the SIPTU union are to go on strike next Monday 1st October over planned changes to their pension scheme.
Members who work at Dublin Airport Authority are also taking part in the industrial action.
SIPTU said the decision had been reached following the failure of both companies to put forward any meaningful proposals to resolve the dispute.
Flights and services at Dublin, Shannon and Cork airports could be affected.

Whilst we (GTM) will be informing anyone whose flight is affected, please do not hesitate to contact us hould you have any concerns.