As per media reports this morning, Tuesday 22nd March, there have been two explosions at Brussels Zaventem Airport. Currently the airport is being evacuated and all flights have been grounded. The Belgian authorities are advising passengers not to travel to the airport until further notice.
British Airways has today, Wednesday 9th March 2016, made some changes to its European ‘fare families’. However, there is an important distinction to be made firstly, between choosing an HBO (hand-baggage only) fare and a fare including checked luggage.
For regular business travellers, fares including checked baggage, whilst ever so slightly more expensive, offer far more flexibility and benefits than HBO fares; definitely a case here of being penny wise and Pound foolish.
European fares including checked baggage now offer free advance seat assignment 48 hours prior to a flight’s departure, and should you wish to change your return flight at anytime, for example, BA have now waived their standard £60 change fee; although a difference in the air fare may still apply.
All in all, some great changes which will benefit business travellers greatly.
Global Travel Management is very proud to announce that we have been shortlisted for three categories in this year’s 2016 Toast of Surrey business awards.
The three categories are: International Trade, Companies with a turnover of more than £5m & Director of the Year. The awards will take place at a black-tie event on 28th April 2016 at the HG Wells Centre, Woking.
We hope to be able to report that we have won at least one of the aforementioned categories on the 29th April!
Effective immediately, the United States has today (21st January 2016) began implementing changes under the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015 (the Act). Under the Act, travellers in the following categories are no longer eligible to travel or be admitted to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP):
- Nationals of VWP countries who have traveled to or been present in Iran, Iraq, Sudan, or Syria on or after March 1, 2011 (with limited exceptions for travel for diplomatic or military purposes in the service of a VWP country).
- Nationals of VWP countries who are also nationals of Iran, Iraq, Sudan, or Syria.
From 15 March 2016, Canada is introducing a new entry requirement, known as an Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA), for visa-exempt foreign nationals travelling to Canada by air. Exceptions include U.S. citizens and travellers with a valid visa.
All eligible travellers flying to Canada from 15 March 2016 will need to apply online for an eTA before travel. This requirement includes all British citizens. The cost of the eTA is C$7 per passenger, and the validity of the eTA is five years, or until the passengers passport expires or is renewed.
You can find out more and apply online at Canada.ca/eTa
Qatar Airways is currently running a Business Class 2-for-1 offer, but be quick, the offer expires on 17th January 2016! Please call us for further details and both passengers must travel together at all times.
British Airways has once again launched its Club World to First upgrade offer. This is available to both the general public and members of BA’s On Business corporate loyalty programme.
You can also book BA’s semi-flexible Club World fares for the best value for money, and still receive a one-way upgrade to First. Bookings must be made by 2359 on 11 March and all travel must be completed by 16 April 2016 (your flight must land in the UK on and no later than this date).
Executive Club members will be awarded Tier Points & Avios for the cabin/class of travel in which they fly.
Belgian Strike 6 and 7 January 2016
Due to strike action on the Belgian rail network on 06/07 January 2016, Eurostar services on the Brussels route will only be able to operate to and from Lille Europe on this day.
The impact of this means that Eurostar will be working to an amended timetable between London and Lille Europe.
There will be coaches operating in both directions between Lille Europe and Brussels Midi.
The last train from London St Pancras on 5 January will be changed as follows:
Train 9158 departing London St Pancras at 19:34 local time, will now terminate in Lille Europe.
If your clients are travelling to Brussels on the 9158, they will be re-accommodated onto train 9148 departing London St Pancras at 17:04. Please ask them to check in at least 45 minutes before their new departure time.
The following services on 6 January 2016 have been cancelled:
From London St Pancras:
9116: 08:55 – 12:05 – passengers automatically re-accommodated to 9126 departing London St Pancras at 10:58 and Ebbslfeet 11:15, arriving into Lille Europe at 13:26.
9158: 19:34 – 22:38 – passengers automatically re-accommodated to 9054 departing London St Pancras at 20:01 and Ebbslfeet 11:15, arriving into Calais Frethun at 21:56 and Lille Europe at 22:24.
From Lille Europe:
9113: 07:56 – 08:59 – passengers automatically re-accommodated to 9117 departing Lille Europe at 10:00 and Calais Frethun at 10:31 arriving London St Pancras at 10:27.
9149: 16:56 – 18:06 – passengers automatically re-accommodated to 9153 departing Lille Europe at 18:36 arriving Ebbsfleet at 18:45 and London St Pancras at 19:05.
The following services on 7 January 2016 have been cancelled:
From London St Pancras:
9116: 08:55 – 12:05 – passengers automatically re-accommodated to 9126 departing London St Pancras at 10:58 and Ebbsfleet at 11:15 arriving Lille Europe at 13:26.
From Lille Europe:
9113: 07:56 – 08:59 – automatically re-accommodated to 9117 departing Lille Europe 10:00 and Calais Frethun at 10:31 arriving London St Pancras at 10:27.
9149: 16:56 – 18:06 – automatically re-accommodated to 9153 departing Lille Europe at 18:36 arriving Ebbsfleet at 18:45 and London St Pancras at 19:05.
Customers affected by the suspensions can apply for a full refund or free exchange to an alternate date within 60 days. However, we are strongly advising customers to do so before Sunday 3 January 2016.
Please note that if you are travelling through Guarulhos Airport Sao Paulo to another country, EG. an international connection, from 1st February 2016, then you must be in possession of an onward ticket.
Alternatively, a transit visa may be required depending upon a traveller’s nationality and whether their country/s do, or do not, have a visa exemption agreement with Brazil.
This policy also applies to travellers who commenced their journeys as of 1st October 2015.
Please note that British Airways is in the process of standardising check-in and bag drop closure times at airports across its network.
The new standardised time for UK domestic and short haul customers to clear check in, and drop their bags, is up to 45 minutes before departure. Whilst the new standardised time for long haul customers to clear check in and drop their bags is up to one hour before departure.
Global Travel Management recommends that passengers allow plenty of time for check-in, or bag-drops, particularly during peak travel times. GTM customers can access either our itinerary management app, or the BA app, to assist them.
Lastly, GTM recommends that all travellers flying with British Airways ALWAYS check in online for their flight/s.
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