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United to resume service of their 777’s

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has cleared United Airlines for the return of 52 Boeing 777s grounded after an engine failure in February 2021. The planes represent 10% of United’s current capacity. (more…)
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Dealing with the self booker

Most of us have encountered the "do-it-yourselfer" who researches and books everything themselves online. Estimates are that as high as 61% of some demographic groups at least research travel online (more…)
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JetBlue launches hostile takeover bid for Spirit Airlines

Countering an earlier rejection by Spirit Airlines of an offer to buy Spirit, JetBlue has launched a hostile takeover bid to motivate shareholders of the low-cost airline to reject a proposed acquisition by Frontier Airlines which has offered $2.9 billion. (more…)
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American Airlines expanding service to Dublin, Ireland

Taking advantage of the surge in demand, American Airlines is dramatically increasing its service to Dublin, Ireland with new flights from Charlotte, Chicago, and Dallas through October 29. (more…)
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Here come the guests – Wedding travel on an upward but pricey trend

A recently released Priceline “Wedding Travel Report” indicates travel for weddings will surge this year as people make up for two years of lost time. The report estimates that Americans spend more than $2,700 on average to attend a wedding “out of town.” (more…)
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Flights Canceled As Jamaican Air Traffic Controllers Walkout

Air Traffic Controllers in Jamaica went on strike for several hours on Thursday, resulting in the cancellation of dozens of flights, forced to turn around mid-flight or canceled at their points of departure. (more…)
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The Travel Institute and AmaWaterways announce new bonus commission for certified graduates

The Travel Institute and AmaWaterways have launched a new, additional $50 bonus commission for all travel professionals who successfully graduate with their CTA, CTC, or CTIE in 2022 and subsequently book and deposit a new AmaWaterways river cruise within 90 days of their certification date. “Certification from The Travel Institute...
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Passenger Satisfaction with North American airlines declines

Higher prices, delays, cancellations and bigger crowds are taking a toll on the satisfaction rating passengers assign their airlines. Load volume is up, and prices are up, but according to the J.D. Power 2022 North America Airline Satisfaction StudySM, satisfaction is down. (more…)
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Make No Mistake?

Mistakes get a bad rap.  Experience may be a rough teacher, but you tend not to forget the lessons. My father consoled me with one of his aphorisms: “If you are not making mistakes, you are not trying hard enough.

When we make a mistake, we are taught to apologize.  Good advice.  If we are not smart enough to admit our mistakes and apologize for them, we implicitly explain their origin all too clearly.  But simply apologizing for mistakes under-values their worth. Read the rest of this entry »

After months of isolation that have made people long to reconnect, a number of industry players are launching new services designed to bring travel advisors—from top sellers to brand new entrants—together in new and unique ways.

The biggest is The 1000, an ambitious effort to find, honor, and support 1,000 of the nation’s top-producing travel advisors (think $1.5 million minimum in annual sales).

Founder Jeff Sirota—whom many know from his past life on both sides of the industry, at Protravel and at Small Luxury Hotels of the World, now a partner at hospitality representation company J.MAK—says leisure salespeople have such a broad customer base that it’s “really difficult to drill down in a sea of advisors to find the top producers.”

Often salespeople “blindly comp or do favors for” advisors who win awards from their consortia, Sirota said—“but when Read the rest of this entry »

Remembering Russia

I had been eagerly looking forward to interviewing Robert Drumm, CEO of Alexander + Roberts, to hear his views on current events from his perspective as head of the company that has done more than any other to promote American tourism to Russia since the 1950s.

As explained elsewhere, Alexander + Roberts, under its previous name General Tours, was the first American tour operator to offer tours into Soviet Russia in the 1950s. It began in the early years of the Cold War, while there was a Red Scare blazing in the United States. Popular figures at the time were being blacklisted, prevented from earning a living, for even the suspicion of sympathies with the Communist Party at any time in their lives. It took a lot of courage for Alex Harris, the founder of General Tours, to launch tours to Russia in that climate.

Bob Drumm started working with Alex Harris in the ‘80s, and in the 1990s Harris passed the baton to him to head General Tours. Drumm continues to head the company today Read the rest of this entry »

Client Onboarding

Your prospect said YES! They are ready to work with you. You’ve successfully turned a lead into a prospect, and that prospect is now a new client. Woo-hoo!

So, what’s next? Now that the customer is excited to work with you and is ready to sign on the dotted line, how do you get them on board and well-positioned to become a loyal, long-term client?

Do you have in place a process to welcome him to your business? After you’ve booked his trip, do you have a way to manage how you communicate with him, to make the most of your time, and to get the most from this new relationship? If you don’t, or if you think your existing process could be improved, coming across this article is, indeed, a lucky find! Read the rest of this entry »

Avalon Has ‘New’ Leadership

Normally, promotions at a river cruise company wouldn’t be something we’d publish. But in this case, we’re pleased to see that Pam Hoffee has taken the helm of Avalon Waterways. We’re pleased because Pam’s passionate about river cruising. Under her leadership we expect even better things to happen for one of the world’s most popular river cruise companies.

Pam tells us that she will be 100 percent focused on Avalon, instead of dividing her time between Avalon and other duties. “I am so thrilled about it as the brand is growing so much and deserves this attention,” she says. “I am very excited for the future with Avalon.”

Yep, we agree. Avalon is doing some wonderful things. We’ll be reporting on what is setting Avalon apart in future posts here on River Cruise Advisor.

Here’s the official press release … Read the rest of this entry »

Have you ever stopped to consider why multi-millionaire entertainers and business people take the time to appear on late-night talk shows for just a few minutes?

Their pay (if any) for doing so is probably less money than they paid for lunch that day.

So why does every celebrity you can think of try to get themselves booked on talk shows? The reason they want their faces blasted across the airwaves is simple.

They realize that regardless of who they are—and what they may have accomplished to date—if they are out of the public’s sight, they are out of the public’s mind. Read the rest of this entry »

We are all connecting with our prospects and clients via email, right? After all, it is a low-cost, simple way to keep in touch. You may have some standard emails saved to copy and paste at the most basic level, but hopefully, you have invested in an email service like Constant Contact, Mail Chimp, or AWeber.  In my opinion, the only marketing expense that gives a greater return is the old-fashioned business card. But are you using your broadcast email service to its capabilities? The services vary a bit but below are some common features you should use to make sure your business is growing and not stagnating. Read the rest of this entry »

If you’ve ever used a Kodak Retina folding camera or a Rolleiflex twin-reflex, you’ve been obsessed with photography for a long time.

Retinas were to Eastman Kodak what Cadillac was to General Motors. For 55 years, from 1934 to 1969, these German-made 35mm folding bellows cameras were at the top of the camera food chain. They had f2.8 or f3.5 50mm lenses—just like many cameras made today—and were the ultimate choice for vacationers seeking a camera they could take to Europe or the family cottage. Retinas could fold up to fit in a jacket pocket or purse. Models in good condition can take great photos today with 35mm film. Read the rest of this entry »

Riding with VIA Rail Canada

Trains have been an iconic part of modern history since 1804. They have carried important goods to well-known cities and remote areas. Trains gave a vitality to the journey of travel, shortening trips— letting the traveler enjoy the scenery of vast forests of green and mountains that dominate the landscape. Today, the experience of these journeys are no less relevant. Which is where VIA Rail Canada steps in to keep everything on track.

VIA Rail (or VIA Rail Canada) started up operations on January 12, 1977, in Montreal. Soon after, they introduced a new way of uniting Canadians with many firsts, one being the transcontinental train. They were established as a Crown Corporation, merging the passenger networks of the Canadian National and Canadian Pacific railways. Later, in 1981 Read the rest of this entry »

With interest in UK-bound travel gathering pace, I’ve put together a collection of commission-generating ideas for you to offer your clients.

As some of them might have been hoping to go to this year’s Chelsea Flower Show, entice them with a tour that includes the Royal Horticultural Society’s Flower Show at Wisley along with Downton Abbey and the royal garden at Highgrove House.

I’ve created a programme based around the hugely popular Jane Austen Festival in Bath (think of all those clients who are riveted by the many costume dramas on the TV) and a Girls Getaway which brings together a major Antiques Fair with London’s Markets.

Meanwhile, in Scotland Read the rest of this entry »

Rochelle Zemke and Stephanie Cavelli are two travel professionals who saw a need common to many, if not all, travel advisors and set out to meet it. The challenges they faced will sound familiar to anyone who has decided to build a web application on their own.

TRO: Rochelle and Stephanie, thanks for the opportunity to speak to you about My Fam Trip. I certainly want to get into the capabilities and functionality of your brainchild, but give me a little bit of background on the two of you. Read the rest of this entry »

6 Places to see in Greenwich, London

While London attracts most visitors with its iconic sights of Big Ben, The London Eye, Harrods, and more, there is a place in South-East London that will offer you the time of your life – literally. It is Greenwich home of the prime meridian line and Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). Together with other sights, Greenwich is worth taking the train or boat rise to see. Read the rest of this entry »

Untouched wilds have always been a draw in Canada’s north. With glass-like lakes surrounded by thick forests of coniferous trees and the snow-covered landscapes of mountains and the arctic tundras, northern Canada is an adventure of scenery. The addition of watching polar bears in their natural habitat, or hanging out with beluga whales, and northern lights that illuminate the skies make for a one-of-kind trip. This is particularly true on VIA Rail Canada’s adventure route, which provides a panoramic dome for maximum viewing pleasure. Read the rest of this entry »

Portugal’s Island Paradise: The Azores

Lagoa do Fogo

Island vacations are a true escape, one that feels the furthest from our everyday lives. Nothing but you, the beach, and long stretches of ocean to create distance from the daily grind and worries of life. About 870mi west of Lisbon, Portugal is the opportunity to visit just that place—the Azores Islands. A place that not only provides a remote getaway, but prides itself on sustainable tourism.

Officially named the Autonomous Region of the Azores, the Azores is an archipelago of 9 islands. Being volcanic in nature, the fertile earth of the islands sprang up a paradise. Lush green fields, forests, and mountains cover the terrain. Particularly São Miguel, the largest island in Read the rest of this entry »