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Track your flight stats
Apr 7th, 2014 by elisa

Want to know how many times you’ve flown around the world? A new online tool by British Airways shows customers how many times they would have flown around the world according to the total miles they’ve flown with the airline.

‘My Flightpath’ is available to members of the British Airways Executive Club and displays a timeline of all their flights since they joined. Members can also see where they’ve flown to, where they fly to most, and how many miles they’ve travelled.

Included in the site is ‘My Passport’ which awards stamps to customers when they reach certain milestones in their travels, such as the number of countries they’ve visited or number of miles flown. The stats can also be shared via social media.

Ian Romanis, head of customer engagement, said: “We wanted to give customers something that would help them to capture the magic of flying and we’re sure they will enjoy sharing their travelling milestones with their friends.”

Anyone with a BA booking can join the club free of charge and start tracking their stats.

2013 round up
Dec 30th, 2013 by elisa

It’s nearing the end of 2013, so it’s time for our annual round up of travel news and features covered in this blog over the year.

January is normally the time when you start to examine your finances after the Christmas splurge, and this year was no different for the travel news. A Sunday Times report that found customers were seriously losing out on foreign currency exchange rates when purchasing their travel money at airports.  We also looked at the financial benefits of flying to an airport further from your destination and driving the rest of the way. Meanwhile, Spain was voted the best value destination for 2013, and Eve told us why she thought Spain was a great winter destination.

However, it was all about Greece in February! With its award-winning beaches and Thomas Cook trend survey that revealed a huge increase in bookings during the month. The month ended with a warning to check your travel insurance small print, as many travellers were reported to have fallen foul of clauses in their insurance, which meant they wouldn’t get a pay out on claims.

In March, a woman successfully smuggled a dog onto a plane; we looked at the biosphere reserve that is Menorca; and BA started selling tickets for flights on its ‘red carpet route’ to Los Angeles in its new super jumbo A380. Easyjet installed new, lighter, seats on its aircraft in an attempt to save on fuel and CO2 emissions. Bitter weather threatened to blight travellers’ Easter holidays, but this didn’t stop Peter Rabbit visiting children at Heathrow.

The bizarre law in Florida that all British Citizens must carry an International Driving Permit in the state was repealed in April. Samoa Air launched its controversial pay by weight flights and we looked at the facts about turbulence.

Easyjet began testing its volcanic ash cloud detection technology in May. We found that trillions of air miles are going to waste; and there was the slightly disturbing report of a flight being diverted because the pilot got locked out of the cockpit. There was good news for Harry Potter fans going on holiday in Florida, as the Universal Orlando Resort and Warner Bros. Entertainment announced the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter-Diagon Alley “environment”.

A US ban on using a laptop during take off on flights was lifted in June.

Tenerife enjoyed at 14% rise in arrivals from the UK in July. It was also discovered that many English families were flying from Scottish airports to save up to £500 on their holiday travel costs. It may have been one of the hottest summers we’ve had in years, but this didn’t stop large numbers of Brits leaving for even sunnier holiday destinations in the last weekend of July. We gave advice on how to avoid common pick pocketing scams as the Foreign Office issued a warning about pick pockets in Switzerland.

As August enjoyed more of the heatwave, Ryanair had a drop in flight bookings; it also took legal action against an unfavourable Dispatches programme “Ryanair: Secrets from the Cockpit”.

Etihad Airways launched its “flying nanny” service to look after passengers’ children in September. Helly Kitty planes took to the skies with Taiwan’s EVA Air, and a computer glitch in US Airways system sold $0 flights on its website. Spain enjoyed record visitor numbers over the summer, proving the predictions earlier in the year.

In October, Manchester was announced to be the UK’s first Airport City; and Ryanair announced that it would work on a better customer service.

It was all about the measure of happiness for travel in November, and BA introduced interactive billboards to remind people of the magic of flying.

The Northern Lights in Norway topped Brits’ “must see” list in December. Britain also endured wide-spread bad weather with winds of up to 140mph battering parts of the country, and flooding hitting others.

That’s the round up for 2013, make sure to follow this blog for more travel news and articles in 2014, and book your holiday villas at a wide range of destinations on Villaseek.

Promoted tweet criticises BA
Sep 8th, 2013 by elisa

Airline lost your luggage? One person was so annoyed that he paid Twitter $1,000 to promote his tweet about it across the UK and US leading it to go viral. 

Hasan Syed used Twitter’s self-service ad platform to tweet about British Airways losing luggage on a flight from Chicago. The tweet received 76,000 impressions in a couple of days and was picked up by news sites including CNN in the US and ITV in the UK. Promoted tweets appear in feeds and can be retweeted by any Twitter users.

Syed, Twitter handle @HVSVN, followed up the tweet with a series of posts accusing BA of allegedly losing his parent’s luggage on a trip to Paris.

It took BA four hours to respond to Syed via direct message: “Sorry for the delay in responding, our twitter feed is open 09:00-17:00 GMT. Please DM [direct message] your baggage ref and we’ll look into this.”

A BA spokesperson said: “We would like to apologise to the customer for the delay in receiving his bag. We contacted the customer and delivered his bag yesterday.”

Syed, widely admired for the bold tactic, tweeted: “I got what I wanted. I win.”

 

BA new ‘hand baggage only’ fares
Feb 20th, 2013 by elisa

In an attempt to give customers the “kind of flying they want”, British Airways is introducing a ‘hand baggage only’ fare at Gatwick.

The new fare will be available on five selected destinations to start: Amsterdam, Dubrovnik, Jersey, Tunis and Turin with tickets from £39 one-way available from 19th February, for travel from 26th February.

Customers choosing this option will be able to carry on a good-sized case (56cm x 45cm x 25cm), plus a handbag or laptop bag. Customers who still wish to check in luggage will also be able to do so, for the same price they pay currently.

Peter Simpson, director of Gatwick for British Airways, said: “The introduction of our hand baggage only fare is all about giving our customers more freedom to choose the kind of flying they want.

“Many British Airways customers on Gatwick short-haul breaks choose not to check in a bag as they’re already taking advantage of our generous two-bag hand luggage policy. Those who still want to check in a bag will simply pay the same price they do now.”

The airline plans to extend the initiative to the rest of the Gatwick short-haul network over time.

Virgin Atlantic announce Manchester – London flights
Aug 21st, 2012 by elisa

Virgin Atlantic has announced its decision to launch domestic flights between Manchester and London three times daily using Airbus A319 from March 31st 2013.

The move means that people in the north, whose closest airport is Manchester, will be able to fly to London Heathrow and connect to a larger number of international flights. It will also give competition to rival British Airways.

Chief executive of Virgin Atlantic, Steve Ridgway said: “Flying between Heathrow and Manchester is just the start for Virgin Atlantic’s new short haul operation. We have the means to connect thousands of passengers to our long haul network as well as to destinations served by other carriers. Our new service will provide strong competition to omnipresent BA; keep fares low and give consumers a genuine choice of airline to fly to Heathrow and beyond.”

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