I regularly get lots of inside travel information, and I would like to share some of it with my readers.
Going to Southeast Asia: Doctors are warning tourists against downing complimentary cocktails which could contain enough methanol to blind them. The warning comes after a 19-year-old New Zealand backpacker suffered permanent eye damage after drinking up to 10 of the cocktails just hours before she flew home from Indonesia. The cocktails were probrably tainted with home-brewed arrack, also spelled arak, a coconut flower, rice and sugar cane-based spirit common in Indonesia.
Rocky Mountaineer announces first U.S. departure: Canadian rail operator Rocky Mountaineer has launched a rail journey from Seattle to the Canadian Rockies, marking the first time the luxury train service has connected the U.S. and Canada. The ten-day coastal passage route goes from Seattle, up to the Pacific Northwest coastal shoreline to Vancouver, and then east into the Canadian Rockies, with stops in Kamloops and Jasper. Guests then switch from rail to motor coach to travel to the Columbia Ice field, Lake Louise, Banff, and Calgary.
Jungfrau Railway celebrates 100 years of service: The Jungfrau Railway has Europe’s highest altitude railway station. To celebrate the centenary, 48 flares were lit on the north walls of the Eiger and Monch, showing the route of the historic railway through the two mountains. More than 750,000 people visit this European railway station every year.
Southwest computer glitch caused multiple billing for tickets: Southwest had some very angry customers when a computer glitch caused multiple tickets to be issued and billed multiple times. Some customers had their credit card billed 36 times.
The first new riverboat on the Mississippi in l7 years: American Cruise Lines, operator of the newest fleet of riverboats and small cruise ships is celebrating the launch of Queen of the Mississippi, the first new, authentic paddle wheeler built for the river in many years.
American Airlines will launch luggage delivery service: Passengers on American Airlines flights will be able to have their luggage delivered to their home, hotel or office under the carrier’s new ancillary service. The fee starts at $29.95 for a single bag, with an extra $1 charge per mile for locations 41 to 100 miles from the airport.
Avalon Waterways will add five new voyages next year: Tulips of Northern Holland will be an 8-day vacation.
Nepal bans independent trekking for all tourists: The Nepalese Government has banned independent trekking for all tourists effective in September 2012. The move was prompted by an increasing number of crimes targeting trekkers. The new regulations will increase costs for travelers, especially those in small groups.
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. Abu Dhabi is up l7%.
Two first-class passengers throw a hissy fit: According to Qantas Airlines, two passengers flying from Los Angeles to Melbourne refused to fly on the plane because they had run out of the extra large first class pajamas. The passengers had a good laugh when the Captain told them about it.
Royal Caribbean to stop pre–printing baggage tags: Unless you are a Royal Caribbean Crown member, or purchase a Grand Suite, you will be printing your own bag tags.
India Authorities to Increase Regulation of Wellness Facilities: India is receiving an increase in tourists arriving for medical treatments and the government is taking steps to regulate the industry and protect the reputation of health tourism in the country.
Hertz and Dollar Thrifty announce merger: Hertz will acquire Dollar Thrifty for $87.50 per share in a transaction valued at approximately $2.3 billion.
Icelandair to Fly Non stop from Anchorage to Zurich and St. Petersburg: Flights will begin May 2013.
Kiel Canal lock has another breakdown: The busy waterway links the Baltic and the North Sea will be out of service for 2 weeks. At times, up to 20 ships are awaiting at Kiel to enter or leave the canal with wait times exceeding 12 hours.
Reopening of the Nile River creates new itineraries: Now that there are an additional 465 miles open to allow riverboats to sail between Cairo and Luxor it opens up an extended cruise opportunity to many new sites.
Maureen Jones is president of All Horizons Travel at 160 Main Street in Los Altos. Members of her staff are experts in business travel, cruises, and all types of leisure.