ARTA Daily Newsletter - Thursday, August 9, 2012
ARTA Daily Newsletter
Thursday, August 9, 2012
News To Use
ARTA's Al Anolik Offers Legal Advice For Small Agencies
When you advertise an airline fare that does not include all mandatory taxes and fees in the total amount, you could end up paying a fine of up to $27,500 per infraction. Under the U.S. Department of Transportation's new price advertising rule, which took effect on Jan. 26, carriers and ticket agents must show the total price, including all government taxes and fees, in every advertised fare, but not ancillary charges for baggage or special assigned seating. As examples Travelocity was fined $180,000, Philippine Airlines was fined $80,000, Trip Advisor was fined $80,000 and Pacific for Less (a ticket agent) was fined $20,000. Although we consider most of these businesses very large, any business that violates the rule is liable. Anolik is representing two agents, one home-based agent and another who had advertised a fare in a church bulletin, who have received notices from the DOT charging them with violating the rule. Independent agents using a host agency would be responsible if they used an unbundled fare suppled by the host agency as both would be held responsible. To comply with the DOT's new rule you must check to make sure the fare includes all mandatory taxes and fees before advertising that fare to clients and it must be the first fare that clients see. The DOT says it reviews ad copy and websites from airlines and agents who want to make sure they are in compliance. To make sure you are in compliance contact the Department of Transportation, Office of Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings, C-70, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE, Washington,
D.C. 20590. Agents also can reach a DOT attorney at 202-366-9342 if they need a quicker response on a fare question.
Turks and Caicos Islands To Get Airport Improvements
Providenciales International Airport will get a $10 million redevelopment of passenger
facilities. The planned expansion will nearly double the size of the terminal to better
accommodate the 500,000 passengers who pass through the Airport each year. It will
increase in size from 51,462 to 92,321 sq ft. Work is scheduled to begin later this year and be completed in 2014 and will ensure that the TCI's airport meets the International Association of Travel Agents criteria for Level C Class facilities. Once completed, passengers will be able to enjoy expanded check in counter areas and self check in facilities, additional bathroom facilities, larger retail space for shops and restaurants, and improved medical amenities. The first phase of works will include the construction of a new traffic circulation system, an extension to the existing west car park, and extension of the departure Lounge. The second phase will continue with the extension on the international check in area, security check point as well as the arrivals hall. The third and final phase will include the domestic departures and arrivals area, completion of car park and aesthetics, including water features.
Dreamworks Plans Tourist Attraction In Shanghai
Dreamworks Animation is planning to build a $3.2 billion "entertainment zone'' in
Shanghai. The studio's newly-formed China joint venture, Oriental DreamWorks, is set to open the tourism attraction in 2016. The project, called the Dream Center, will nclude entertainment facilities, animation exhibitions and commercial developments including hotels and shopping areas in Shanghai's Xuhui district. The announcement comes after Disney broke ground on a planned $3.7 billion theme park in Shanghai last year. That part is scheduled to open in 2015.
Nepal Bans Independent Trekking For All Tourists
The Nepalese government has banned independent trekking for all tourists, effective in September 2012. The new measure will require individual travelers, who were exempt from restrictions, to hire guides for all treks in the country. The move was prompted by an increasing number of crimes targeting trekkers, especially females. The new regulations will increase costs for travelers, especially those in small groups.
Up In The Air
Lufthansa Flight Attendants Threaten Strike Action
Their union says the flight attendants may strike if the German flag-carrier fails to make an improved wage offer next week. UFO, which represents more than 12,000 flight attendants and pursers in Germany, said on Wednesday 97.5% of workers who participated in a ballot have already voted for industrial action. The strike threat comes just as Lufthansa plans to cut 3,500 jobs, about 3 percent of its global workforce of 117,000, to help improve earnings by €1.5 billion by 2014 and to offset soaring fuel prices and fierce competition from low-cost carriers and Middle East airlines. UFO said Lufthansa is due to present a new wage offer on August 16, after more than a year of negotiations, and said it would decide after that whether to go ahead with a strike.
US Aviation Capacity At Lowest In A Decade
According to OAG, North American domestic scheduled air capacity is at its lowest for a decade while global services continue to grow, particularly in the Middle East. The OAG FACTS for August has revealed there will be 21,401 fewer flights within North America compared to the same month in 2011. However, while consolidation and capacity cutting is taking place in the US, the biggest growth in the sector is being seen in the Middle East, particularly in Dubai. The OAG data shows there will be a million more seats and 4,000 more flights offered to and from the region in August this year compared to the same month in 2011. Only three of North America's top 10 hubs (San Francisco, 7%, Charlotte, 5% and Toronto, 4%) will show significant growth in seat capacity this month, while capacity at Chicago O'Hare will drop by 3%. International capacity from the US will increase 2% but this is far behind growth in the Middle East. There flight operations will grow by 7% and seat capacity by 8% to 64,252 and 14.2 million respectively. The Middle East region's key hubs are all experiencing strong year-on-year growth, with Abu Dhabi seeing seats increasing by 248,896 (up 17%), Doha by 244,470 (11%) and Bahrain by 114,560 (11%). But the strongest performer in the region is Dubai, with 782,544 additional seats and 2,694 additional flight operations compared with August 2011. Beijing's 8% increase sees it close the gap on Atlanta as the world's largest hub in terms of seats while Heathrow's nearest challenger for third spot, Tokyo, will see a 375,000 seat or 5% increase in August. Worldwide, airlines have increased flights by 16,948 and seats by 9,608,208, taking the total scheduled flight operations for August to 2,789,437 and the total of seats offered to 361,193,356
American's Pilots Reject Labour Agreement
The announcement of the pilot's rejection of the agreement came just minutes after two other American labor groups, mechanics and store clerks represented by the Transport Workers Union, approved their tentative agreement. The pilots voted by 67% to reject the agreement. The APA said in a statement that its board of directors and union leaders are meeting now at its Fort Worth headquarters to discuss the next steps. Voting by one last American union, members of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, on the airline's "last, best and final offer" ends on Aug. 19. Next week, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Sean Lane is scheduled to rule on American's request to reject its current unresolved labor contracts under Section 1113 of the federal bankruptcy code, Last week, American officials confirmed that if allowed by the judge, it would toss out old union contracts and impose tougher terms outlined in March for any union that rejects the company's latest contract proposals. Pilots could face stricter terms should the judge overseeing American's bankruptcy case now allow the carrier to end its current contract with the pilots union.
The Shipping News
Silversea to Upgrade To Pratesi Bed Linens
Silversea Cruises said it will upgrade its bedding with Pratesi custom-made linens from Italy. The company, founded in 1860, is known for supplying the Italian and other European aristocracy. Pratesi linens will be in every Silversea suite beginning with Silver Spirit's Sept. 3 voyage, followed by Silver Cloud in November. Pratesi bedding will then be rolled out to the rest of the Silversea fleet in 2013.
Ernesto Caused No Structural Damage To Costa Maya Pier
Mexico's Puerto Costa Maya reports no structural damage to its cruise pier following Hurricane Ernesto on Tuesday night and clean-up has begun. The port manager said everything is in gear to receive the first ship back on Aug. 21. There was some damage to the facility's thatched roofs and broken glass. The port missed two cruise calls due to the storm, Disney Fantasy on Tuesday and Carnival Dream, which will drop Thursday's call. Disney Fantasy is scheduled to be the first vessel back, on Aug. 21.
Panama Canal Toll To Increase
Following the recommendation from the Board of Directors of the Panama Canal Authority, the Cabinet Council of the Government of the Republic of Panama has approved the proposal to restructure the Panama Canal's pricing system. The authority said "The new tolls structure was conceived in accordance with the commercial value that the route offers its users. We look forward to working alongside the industry to continue offering a reliable and competitive service," The new tolls were postponed to October 2012 and October 2013, respectively.
Recent Firm Media Appearances