July 2014 Travel & Industry News

01 July 2014
New enhanced security checks for mobile devices

Effective immediately, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has advised that enhanced security measures will be implemented at a number of overseas airports with flights bound for the USA and Europe.

Security screen personnel will be asking passengers travelling on flights to the USA and Europe, whether direct or connecting, to turn on all electronic devices that are being taken onboard the aircraft. Checks may be carried out on devices including mobile phones, tablets, ebook readers, laptops or other electronic devices to demonstrate they function properly.

If devices are not charged or cannot be turned on, they will be confiscated and banned from being taken on the aircraft. The traveller may also undergo additional screening. Travellers may also see added security checks of shoes or other electrical equipment at the security check points or at boarding gates.

The new directive by the TSA is affecting flights out of Africa, the Middle East and Europe. However, FCm advises that all air passengers be prepared to meet this new level of security requirements.

Best airline in the world revealed

The annual World Airline Awards were released this week in the UK, with a few surprises in the top 10 line-up. The results were based on a survey conducted by research firm Skytrax, that involved some 18.85 million airline passengers from more than 160 countries. Cathay Pacific Airways took out the number one position for the fourth time, with last year's winner Qatar Airways dropping to second.

The world's top 10 airlines:

  1. Cathay Pacific Airways
  2. Qatar Airways
  3. Singapore Airlines
  4. Emirates
  5. Turkish Airlines
  6. ANA All Nippon Airways
  7. Garuda Indonesia
  8. Asiana Airlines
  9. Etihad Airways
  10. Lufthansa

Virgin set to increase flights to LA

Virgin Australia is upping the frequency on its Brisbane-Los Angeles route, by axing its Melbourne-Los Angeles route. Melbourne services will cease on 25 October and from 26 October, the current four weekly flights from Brisbane will rise to a daily service operated on three-class B777 aircraft, which offer seatback entertainment and fully-flat bed seats in business class. The Sydney-Los Angeles services will rise to twice daily from the same date, thanks to a joint venture with Delta Air Lines. Departure times from Sydney will be rejigged to allow an earlier arrival into Los Angeles, thereby offering a more convenient schedule for travellers. 

Qantas launches QView

Qantas is launching ‘QView’ in Qantas Clubs and Lounges across Australia. QView is a digital system that will deliver news, sport, weather and other content to traveller’s personal devices using in-lounge wi-fi, including real-time boarding notifications, gate walk times and destination weather. Passenger viewing choices will automatically shape the content displayed on digital screens in each lounge. 

Frasers Brisbane debut

Frasers Hospitality plans to open a new property in Brisbane’s CBD next year. The 239-room Capri by Fraser Brisbane will be housed in a former office tower at 80 Albert Street. The new apartment hotel, which will feature a restaurant and cafe, indoor swimming pool and gym will be the company’s fourth property in Australia. 

Qantas switches to Sky and Foxtel

Qantas will no longer feature Channel 9 news bulletins on its in-flight entertainment thanks to a new partnership with Sky and Foxtel. From 1 November, Sky News’ new international Australian news service will offer multiple news updates throughout the day on domestic and international flights, as well as being aired live in Qantas’ network of overseas lounges. Passengers will also be able to access Foxtel’s library of entertainment programs and Fox Sports. 

Conrad to open in London

Hilton Worldwide plans to debut its Conrad Hotels & Resorts-branded hotel in London. The 256-room Conrad London Westminster is set to open on 23 September.

SQ boosts Australia services

Singapore Airlines is increasing its frequency on routes to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. The temporary increase will see services to Sydney and Melbourne rise from 28 to 31 flights weekly, while Brisbane services increase from 21 to 23 flights weekly between 22 November and 31 January, 2015.

Langham offers new transport service

Langham properties in Sydney, Boston, Shanghai and Melbourne are offering a new transport service. The Langham, Sydney has a specially imported pink London-style taxi, with similar style vehicles available at other properties. The Langham, Auckland will also offer the service in the coming weeks. Guests can use the car and driver for short trips in and around the cities depending on availability.

Oneworld partner lounge

Alliance partners Qantas, British Airways and Cathay Pacific have opened a new, joint Business Lounge at Los Angeles International Airport. The lounge, which will be managed by Qantas, incorporates signature elements from each airline. It features a dining area, cocktail bar, coffee station with barista service, faster wi-fi, shower suites, a menu designed by Neil Perry, and offers service standards in line with Qantas’ partnership with Sofitel. The lounge currently caters for up to 400 passengers, but once all phases on construction are complete this will expand to 600.