»»It is Official: Qatar Airways to Join Oneworld Alliance

Qatar Airways will join oneworld airline alliance, it was announced today at a press conference in New York. The Doha-based airline will be integrated into the alliance over the next 12 to 18 months.
It is the first of the three major airlines based in the Gulf to join one of big global airline alliances.

Named Airline of the Year for the past two years by the Skytrax independent airline quality rating agency, Qatar Airways has a high-quality network serving 120 destinations in 70 countries in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, North and South America, Asia and Australasia — fifteen of its destinations and three countries will be new to the oneworld map.

It covers many oneworld hubs including: Amman, Berlin Tegel, Buenos Aires Ezeiza, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, London Heathrow, Madrid, Melbourne, Moscow Domodedovo, New York JFK, Osaka Kansai, Sydney, and Tokyo Narita. That will substantially strengthen oneworld’s customer offering.

Qatar Airways, which already code-shares with oneworld member Malaysia Airlines, will explore opportunities to expand its code share partnership with more airlines in the alliance as it prepares to join.


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»»Emirates Offers Mobile Phone Service on A380 Flights

Passengers aboard Emirates’ A380 aircraft will now be able to make phone calls while inflight.

OnAir, the Emirates connectivity partner, provided the airline with a system enabling passengers to use their own mobile phones to make and receive phone calls and send text messages inflight, using EDGE/GPRS connections through their mobile service provider.

The OnAir mobile system will be available on all Emirates’ A380.
The first Emirates A380 offering the service departed from Dubai international Airport to Munich International Airport on October 2.

Emirates A380 aircraft is already equipped with OnAir WiFi service.


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- in: Airline  in: Mobile Devices

 

»»Business Travelers Rate the Best Airlines and Hotels – 2012 Condé Nast Traveler Survey

Virgin America is the top U.S. airline for Premium Class in 2012, according to Condé Nast Traveler’s 2012 Business Travel Poll, an annual survey — rating hotels, hotel brands and airlines — conducted among business travelers.
The survey also ranked Singapore Airlines the best airline in Asia for Premium Class.
Virgin Atlantic and Emirates took the top honors for the same category in Europe and in Africa/Middle East respectively.

- How Condé Nast Traveler’s 2012 Business Travel Poll works.

An independent firm — Global Market Insite, Inc, asked over 46,000 Condé Nast Traveler readers identified as business travelers to rate hotels, hotel brands, and airlines on a variety of criteria. Final scores (out of 100) represent the percentage of readers who rated a hotel, hotel brand, or airline excellent or very good — other rating options include good, fair, or poor.

Below is a summary of ranking — including final scores — of Airlines for Premium Class by region.
North America: Virgin America, 87.9; Hawaiian Airlines, 81.2; Sun Country Airlines, 72.5.
Asia: Singapore Airlines, 91.4; Cathay Pacific, 90.5: Air New Zealand, 89.1.
Europe: Virgin Atlantic, 86.9; Swiss International Air Lines, 84.0; Lufthansa, 81.6.
Africa/Middle East: Emirates, 91.0; Etihad Airways, 87.0; El Al Israel Airlines, 85.1.

Below is the Condé Nast Traveler’s Hotel Brands ranking:
Auberge Resorts, 94.4; Montage Hotels & Resorts, 93.7; Oberoi Hotels & Resorts, 93.3; Peninsula Hotels, 92.9; Four Seasons, 92.4; Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, 91.6; Trump Hotel Collection, 91.6; Ritz-Carlton, 91.1; St. Regis, 90.8; Mandarin Oriental, 89.1; Raffles Hotels & Resorts, 89.1; Wynn Resorts, 89.1; One&Only, 88.6; Shangri-La, 87.4; Regent, 87.1.

Full ratings of Condé Nast Traveler’s 2012 Business Travel Poll can be found here.


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»»Hilton HHonors Fall Promotions for Delta Elite & Emirates Frequent Fliers

Hilton HHonors launched a promotion offering Delta frequent fliers the chance to elevate their SkyMiles status faster.

Members who sign up for this offer will earn 250 Medallion Qualification Miles, plus double miles when they book and complete a two-night stay from October 1st, 2012 through December 15, 2012 at any participating hotel or resort within the Hilton Worldwide portfolio.

You must select Delta Air Lines as your preferred Double Dip Points & Miles Partner in your HHonors profile. Registration — online at HHonors.com/deltamqm — is required.

Another fall promotion just launched by Hilton HHonors will offer 5000 Emirates Skywards points after two stays at participating Hilton hotels between October 1st and December 31, 2012.

To qualify for this offer you must register at hiltonhhonors.com/skywards5000.
HHonors members who choose Fixed miles award will receive 500 base Skywards Miles for each of the two stays, plus 4,000 bonus Skywards Miles after their second stay only. Members who choose Variable Miles award, will earn one Skywards Mile per one USD spent, plus 4,000 bonus Skywards Miles after their second stay only.

Also, this promotion offers those who are not HHonors members and who subsquently will enroll in the programme an additional 1,000 Hilton HHonors bonus points upon registration.

Last Sept. 26 Hilton HHonors launched a promotion for Virgin Atlantic frequent fliers (see details).


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»»AirTran’s U.S. Destinations Sale – Book by September 28

AirTran is offering a fare sale for travel through February 14, 2013.

A 10-day advance purchase is required; to get these discounted airfares, you have to purchase the tickets from September 18 through September 28 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific time.
Blackout dates include: November 16 – 21 and 23 – 26, December 20 – 23, and December 26 – January 2, 2013.

Below is an example of discounted fares AirTran is offering inclusive of all government taxes and fees (airports flying out of including min – max fares).
Akron/Canton $99 – $208; Aruba $182 – $207; Atlanta $69 – $177; Austin $81 – $177; Baltimore $69 – $221; Bermuda $163 – $200; Boston $69 – $204; Branson $90 – $203; Buffalo/Niagara $102 – $211; Cabo San Lucas $196 – $196; Cancun $175 – $231; Charlotte $68 – $202; Chicago (Midway) $94 – $194; Columbus $69 – $190; Dayton $69 – $211; Denver $120 – $195; Detroit $116 – $221; Flint $82 – $210; Ft. Lauderdale $69 – $203; Ft. Myers $80 – $192; Grand Rapids $118 – $203; Houston (Hobby) $87 – $220; Indianapolis $69 – $221; Jacksonville $69 – $198; Kansas City $96 – $208; Key West $79 – $207; Las Vegas $94 – $221; Los Angeles (LAX) $150 – $208; Memphis $95 – $204; Mexico City $133 – $192; Milwaukee $68 – $195; Minneapolis/St. Paul $69 – $203; Montego Bay $150 – $241; Nassau $179 – $235; New Orleans $79 – $173; New York (LaGuardia) $99 – $204; Orange County $88 – $165; Orlando $69 – $190; Pensacola/Gulf Coast $69 – $203; Philadelphia $99 – $208; Phoenix $130 – $221; Pittsburgh $69 – $194; Portland $111 – $204; Raleigh/Durham $69 – $221; Richmond $69 – $208; Rochester $69 – $208; San Antonio $113 – $204; San Francisco $88 – $209; San Juan $89 – $185; St. Louis $69 – $194; Tampa $69 – $192; Washington, D.C. (Reagan National) $79 – $204; West Palm Beach $90 – $174; Wichita $147 – $208.
Details of the sale are available here.


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