Would you book a vacation through Amazon or Facebook?

Posted by - June 18, 2018

A STUDY has found that 44 percent of travelers would be comfortable booking a vacation on Amazon if it were to venture into the travel sphere.
The study was conducted by air travel intelligence company OAG to determine which nontraditional technologies and methods travelers would want to use to book and pay for trips.
How tech can shake up turbulence Technology has been a disruptive enabler in the travel industry since online booking platforms such as Booking.com and alternative app-based options such as Airbnb sprung onto the market.
Consumers have become used to fast payments and instant bookings in as little as five clicks on their smartphones.
“Convenience, speed, and customer experience rule the travel ecosystem – and the booking and payment process is no exception,”OAG chief technology officer Mike Benjamin said in a statement.
What do the results say? After surveying 2,164 US-based travelers, OAG discovered 28 percent of people would be comfortable booking through automated chat agents on the website. Another 25 percent said they would let mobile assistants such as Siri and OK Google do the research and book for them.
Another 20 percent said they would be happy to book a whole vacation via text messages and nine percent said they would trust social media messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.
Voice automated systems like Google Home also made it onto the nontraditional list with 18 percent of those surveyed saying they would book via IoT (Internet of Things) technology.
Individual technologies aside, OAG asked respondents which nonconventional platforms they would like to use to book trips.
That’s when Amazon shone through with 44 percent of travelers saying they would consider booking a trip with the e-commerce giant.
Facebook also got a worthy mention but only 14 percent said they would consider the social media juggernaut as an option.
“Travelers are already relying on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook for customer service,” Benjamin added.
“While we don’t expect a major shift in the travel booking market overnight, the threat of new startups and major tech players radically simplifying or transforming the experience should not be discounted.”
Drones deployed to help China restore the Great Wall Aside from booking methods, OAG also delved into payment options, with e-wallets making a big splash.
Of those surveyed, 49 percent mentioned PayPal as a payment method for trips and travel-related activities.
Apple Pay and Google Wallet also got a mention as trusted e-wallets.
“All eyes are on the travel booking landscape. Today’s consumers have more channels, technologies, and platforms to book travel through than ever before,” added Benjamin.
The post Would you book a vacation through Amazon or Facebook? appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

How Singapore has benefited from the Trump-Kim summit

Posted by - June 15, 2018

SINGAPORE is estimated to have gained over US$500 million in exposure as a result of hosting the Trump-Kim summit, according to media intelligence analyst Meltwater.
The talks on June 12, 2018, between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un edged the world closer to denuclearization.
The negotiation also played an important role in establishing Singapore on the world map.
Take a look inside the Trump-Kim Summit hotel Many people already know Singapore is an island nation near the Malaysian peninsula.
But others, including the press team at the US Department of State, think it’s actually in Malaysia.
Source: US Department of State.
However, thanks to the meeting, millions of people now know where Singapore is, as the query to its whereabouts was the most Googled search on the day.
“It places Singapore on the map for international audiences,” Singapore Tourism Board executive director of communications and marketing capability Oliver Chong told Reuters.
Meltwater estimates the recent focus on Singapore created a 38-fold return with the help from tourism, retail, and media exposure.
But it’s not all profit.
Singapore spent a considerable amount to match the summit requirements.
According to The Straits Times, around US$7.4 million was spent on security for the event which included a no-go zone around Sentosa’s Capella Hotel where the meeting took place.
An additional US$3.7 million was spent on media costs and undisclosed expenses.
However, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong told local press on Sunday it’s a cost they are willing to pay and that it’s “for a good cause.”
A post shared by TIMES NOW (@timesnow) on Jun 12, 2018 at 12:48am PDT
While the media exposure value doesn’t translate to cashable money, analysts agree that there’s potential profit to be made in the future from the legacy of the Trump-Kim summit.
Twitter is a significant player in the ongoing buzz following the historic meeting. Approximately four million Trump-Kim related tweets were published between June 1 and June 13 and #TrumpKimSummit is still trending now.
Also, according to The Straits Times, Kim Jong Un’s tour of Marina Bay Sands made the front pages of many newspapers, and the Singapore skyline appeared on many news bulletins, including that of late-night talk show host Trevor Noah.
#TrumpKimSummit: The delightfully Western-Asian fusion lunch menu The exposure could mean a boost in tourism and investments for the nation.
And Singapore Polytechnic retail and marketing lecturer Lucas Tok predicts tourism will grow thanks to the meeting. He told The Straits Times, “usually, after a place has received some traction, visitor numbers tend to go up in the next few months.”
A post shared by USA TODAY (@usatoday) on Jun 9, 2018 at 7:31am PDT
If you’re thinking of visiting Singapore, perhaps you’d want to stay in the now famous Capella Hotel. But you’re still not entirely sure with the tiny island nation is, don’t panic.
Look for the Malaysian peninsula that sticks out of southern Thailand and right at the very bottom is a little red dot; that’s Singapore.
The post How Singapore has benefited from the Trump-Kim summit appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

Hong Kong-China border: Scan WeChat to cross

Posted by - June 15, 2018

CHINA-OWNED tech giant Tencent Holdings is reportedly working with the country’s authorities for its popular WeChat app to replace travel documents.
This means travelers will simply need to a code on their WeChat app on their smartphones at the Hong Kong-China border.
Why is it a big deal for Taiwan to be listed under China? According to government data, the border between Hong Kong and China is one of the world’s busiest, with more than 230 million travelers crossing land checkpoints in 2016.
Although China, Hong Kong, and Macau are part of the same country, travelers are required to have special permits, similar to visas. Currently, Chinese citizens cross the border with passports and chip-embedded travel cards.
“The vision of the scheme is … allowing people to move freely between Guangdong, Hong Kong, and Macau with just a mobile phone in the future,” Tencent vice president Jim Lai said.
Using WeChat Pay on a smartphone to make a payment in a restaurant or any other establishment in China is not uncommon. Source: Shutterstock.
For the uninitiated, WeChat is a popular mobile messaging, social media and payments platform. The app currently has 963 million monthly active users, closing in on one billion users, most of them in mainland China.
Should the system, which has been approved by China’s Ministry of Public Security, be greenlit, it would make the app even more powerful.
It sounds simple to implement and do but the state of affairs is more complicated than that.
Hong Kong was never an independent country despite having its own system. Source: Shutterstock.
Hong Kong is a former British colony that was returned to China in 1997, but until today, it’s not entirely under Chinese rule.
The territory has a “one country, two systems” that gives it freedom and sets it apart from China. This includes independent judicial power and law enforcement.
Hong Kong has not immediately responded to Tencent’s proposal, but its Chief Executive Carrie Lam was present during the WeChat scanner demonstration at the border checkpoint.
If the “Scan-WeChat-to-cross-border” system is implemented, WeChat would be one of the most powerful apps of our time. Source: Shutterstock.
There’s also the question of privacy concerns, considering that the scheme required citizens to link their identification documents to their WeChat app.
Tencent CEO Ma Huateng is hopeful that Guangdong, Hong Kong, and Macau would consider the solution.
However, he didn’t say how far its talks with the Chinese authorities had progressed.
These Asia-Pacific countries are turning on facial recognition technology This is not the first time that Tencent is attempting to streamline traditional identification documents into WeChat.
In January 2018, China’s Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, backed by Tencent, announced that WeChat will replace traditional state-issued social security cards with digital version tied to users’ accounts, allowing government tasks to be performed in the app.
The programme was rolled out in 26 cities, including the southern coastal city of Shenzhen and Xi’an in the country’s northwest
The post Hong Kong-China border: Scan WeChat to cross appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

Would you fly on a windowless plane?

Posted by - June 13, 2018

EMIRATES AIRLINE’S newest fleet of aviation innovation is a windowless plane.
The airliner unveiled the new first class cabin suites on its Boeing 777-300ER aircraft which are equipped with virtual windows.
How airlines are preventing human trafficking on flights The standard transparent windows have been replaced with fiber-optic projected images of the outside world.
“Imagine now a fuselage as you’re boarding with no windows, but when you get inside, there are windows,” Emirates president Sir Tim Clark told the BBC.
According to Clark, the images are better than what can be seen with the natural eye.
However, the move to replace the windows isn’t solely for the benefit of the passenger.
The unveiling comes at a time when fuel prices are predicted to rise at the rate of 25 percent by the end of the year.
And fortunately for Emirates, the new design will make planes lighter and cut fuel costs.
“The aircraft is lighter, the aircraft could fly faster, they’ll burn far less fuel and fly higher,” Clark added.
A post shared by Emirates (@emirates) on Jun 4, 2018 at 7:57am PDT
The windowless design also eliminates 94 weak spots in the aircraft where the windows would have previously been.
So in the event of an unlikely crash, the fuselage will be stronger with less chance of breaking up.
“Now you have one fuselage which has no structural weaknesses because of windows.”
Currently, the image projection is only fitted in first class cabins but Emirates plans to roll the innovation out down the aircraft in the future.
But the new design doesn’t come without its disadvantages.
Is Garuda Indonesia’s Eco-Basic ticket right for you? If you’ve ever wondered why window blinds need to be up on take off and landing, it’s so cabin crew can spot an engine fire and know which side to evacuate the plane.
The windowless design won’t give crew this ability to check.
Also, the stifling fear of flying already affects around eight million people in the US and the prospect of clambering into a windowless metal cylinder may instill deeper worry.
However, Emirates is focusing efforts on making those in other classes as comfortable as possible for when the windows are disregarded.
A post shared by Emirates (@emirates) on Mar 4, 2018 at 11:51pm PST
Emirates plans to make its premium economy seats six inches wider than standard economy. It will also offer a private toilet and better food options.
This is to help stem the “leakage” of passengers who want more than a basic experience but can’t afford the luxury, Clark told reporters in Sydney on Monday.
Regardless of which cabin you fly in, most of the time in the sky is spent sleeping, watching movies or perusing the drinks and snacks list. So will anyone really notice the difference between plexiglass windows and projections?
The post Would you fly on a windowless plane? appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

Marriott has big plans for Sheraton brand

Posted by - June 8, 2018

MARRIOT INTERNATIONAL will be giving a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘home away from home’ for vacationers staying at one of its largest hotel brands: Sheraton Hotels and Resorts.
At the NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference earlier this week, the hospitality giant said its US owners and investors would be pumping US$500 million into a plan to transform all 515 Sheraton hotels around the world.
The focus, said a release on the announcement, will be on guest experience, hotel operations, and design philosophy.
Rewards galore: Asia’s best SME hotel programs “From the moment we closed the Starwood merger in late 2016, the revitalization of Sheraton has been a top priority for our company,” Marriott International president and CEO Arne Sorenson said in the release.
Marriott hasn’t wasted any time getting to work on revamping the struggling 81-year-old Sheraton brand, with renovations already ongoing at 25 percent of Sheraton hotels worldwide.
What’s the new look? Marriott International is centering the renovations on combining Sheraton’s rich legacy with a focus on being at the heart of the community.
New designs will establish the hotel beyond a luxury brand and enable socialization, productivity, and personalization for all guests.
For example, the hotel lobbies will resemble a town square feel: plenty going on but with a friendly neighborhood vibe.
The seating and desks will be communal with integrated lockable drawers for when nature calls or a coffee break beckons.
Smaller meeting rooms called “collaboration suites” can also be hired via Marriott’s app.
An original sketch for the future lobbies in Sheraton hotels. Source: Marriott International
Guestrooms are being given a contemporary makeover with height-adjustable desks, USB points, and insulated walls to reduce sound transmission.
“We kept most of the furniture simple, elegant and especially comfortable,” Lionel Sussman, vice president of global design strategies for Marriott told KiiiTV.com.
The new bathrooms will be larger with a six-foot shower and vanity mirror with adjustable LED lighting.
A post shared by Sheraton Hotels & Resorts (@sheratonhotels) on Jun 3, 2018 at 3:23pm PDT
A new dining concept is also being introduced to the Sheraton brand with the convenient and chic “Coffee bar bar” for those who want tasty food without the fuss.
The eatery doubles up as a coffee shop and an alcoholic beverage bar, hence “bar bar.”
Clock in to the coolest co-working spaces in Singapore “With our Sheraton transformation plan, we’ve put together all of the pieces of the equation to work cooperatively with our owners to set this iconic brand on a new, disciplined and successful path,” Sorenson added.
The post Marriott has big plans for Sheraton brand appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

How to beat the flight frenzy and win the luggage sprint

Posted by - June 7, 2018

AIRPORTS don’t have to be infuriating places full of delays, dawdlers, and expensive food.
These simple tricks are capable of turning your airport experience from a disgruntled clock-watching annoyance into a smug queue-beating activity.
How airlines are preventing human trafficking on flights Whether you’re traveling for business or leisure, the ingrained fear of your checked luggage “disappearing” in transit is something every flyer can relate to.
Perhaps you’re someone who rushes to the baggage carousel to avoid an accidental luggage swapsies.
Maybe the extended wait on the plane after landing annoys you, only made worse by the unnecessary shuffling of those in front with the occasional kid getting snagged on an armrest.
A post shared by STRESS-FREE TRAVEL w KIDS (@kooshykids) on May 31, 2018 at 1:29pm PDT
Whatever your pet peeve might be, master these methods to be among the first out the airport doors on your next trip:
How to be the first off the plane A post shared by April (@lovenotesbyapril) on Jun 6, 2018 at 5:51pm PDT
After a journey of any length, passengers are eager to get off the plane. But if you’re stuck at the back in economy class, you have to wait for the entire plane to disembark.
Yet a simple question to the cabin crew can change that. If you inform them you need to make a connecting flight, have to get out the airport quickly, or any other urgent reason, they might be willing to find you a spare seat at the front just before landing.
If the plane is full or you fluff your reason, you’ll probably remain at your designated seat.
Alternatively, pay a little extra for the perfect seat and guarantee to be the first into the terminal.
Getting your luggage first A post shared by Sujoy@9E3K (@9e3k) on Apr 16, 2018 at 4:03pm PDT
According to Travel and Leisure, there are two ways to increase the chances of your bag being first on the carousel.
The first and safest method is to ask the check-in assistant to attach a fragile sticker to your bag. Not only will it be handled with care, but fragile bags are usually loaded last and offloaded first.
The second method is a little risky: be the last to check-in. Technically, your bag will be last on the plane and first off.
But then again there is always the possibility of you missing your flight altogether.
It’s worth noting different airlines and airports have various operating systems, so it’s not a promised method, but worth a shot.
Smile for free stuff A post shared by Dani G (@dmc_lean) on Jun 28, 2017 at 5:51pm PDT
Many commercial airliners offer various ticket classes. So, you can bet your bottom dollar those at the front of the aircraft are getting preferential treatment – they’ve paid for it of course.
However, if the first, business and premium economy class seats aren’t full, that usually means there are some freebies going.
You’d be pushing your luck asking for an upgrade, but you can request an in-flight amenity pouch containing premium toiletries.
The trick is to flash a few smiles and ask politely, the worst the crew can say is no.
The post How to beat the flight frenzy and win the luggage sprint appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

Take a look inside the Trump-Kim Summit hotel

Posted by - June 6, 2018

A TWITTER announcement this morning ended weeks of speculation over the chosen venue for the Trump-Kim summit.
The winner, according to White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, is: Capella Hotel, Sentosa Island, Singapore.
UPDATE: The venue for the Singapore summit between @POTUS and Leader Kim Jong Un will be the Capella Hotel on Sentosa Island. We thank our great Singaporean hosts for their hospitality.
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) June 5, 2018
Can you guess where the world’s tallest statues are? Capella Hotel, on Singapore’s premier island getaway Sentosa Island, is synonymous with indulgence – a fitting venue for the historic handshake between US President Donald Trump and North Korea’s supreme leader Kim Jong Un on June 12.
If you don’t already know, this will be the first-ever meeting between a sitting US president and North Korean leader. Top on the agenda will be the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula – Trump wants to persuade the leader of the world’s most reclusive regime to shut down a nuclear missile programme that threatens US lives.
Capella Hotel is an ultra-luxurious property, boasting two presidential suites which are standalone, two-story manors and over 100 extravagantly furnished suites and guest rooms.
A post shared by Capella Singapore (@capellasin) on May 21, 2017 at 2:02am PDT
Lying adjacent to the hotel is The Club at Capella Singapore, an ultra-luxe serviced residence featuring 81 apartments, penthouses, and manors.
Capella Hotel is a perfect blend of new and old; think 19th-century colonial architecture, antique Asian artifacts and a rich interior that oozes comfort and modernity.
Besides the three outdoor pools, multi-award winning Auriga Spa, roaming peacocks and rainforest setting, the hotel offers maximum security because of its detached location.
A post shared by Kai Böcking (@kaireist) on Sep 18, 2017 at 11:06pm PDT
Sentosa Island is a human-made island off the southern tip of Singapore. It can be accessed via road, boat, or cable car, but can be better guarded than an innercity location.
A post shared by Capella Singapore (@capellasin) on Apr 15, 2018 at 8:21pm PDT
Measures are already in place to keep public spectators away. The Singapore government has issued a public order designating Sentosa and the linkway to the island as a special event area for the summit.
Drones are also banned in the area between June 10 and June 14.
A post shared by Capella Singapore (@capellasin) on Mar 19, 2018 at 2:45am PDT
However, the arrangement wasn’t an overnight decision. Kim Chang Son, director of North Korea’s state affairs commission secretariat, and White House deputy chief of staff Joe Hagin met at the hotel late last month to arrange security and logistics, Bloomberg reports.
The arrangements for the Trump-Kim summit have been a diplomatic rollercoaster from the outset.
Unless you’re a social media-skeptic, you’ll know Trump has fired off some offensive tweets about Kim Jong Un in the past:
Just heard Foreign Minister of North Korea speak at U.N. If he echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won't be around much longer!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2017
North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2018
But North Korea’s relations with the rest of the world began changing when North and South Korean athletes teamed up for the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in February.
When March rolled around, Trump had accepted Kim Jong Un’s invitation to meet and discuss nuclear disarmament.
Following the agreement, South Korea President Moon Jae-in held a landmark summit with Kim Jong Un. By late April, North Korea had confirmed suspension of nuclear and long-range missile testing.
Trump was chuffed:
North Korea has agreed to suspend all Nuclear Tests and close up a major test site. This is very good news for North Korea and the World – big progress! Look forward to our Summit.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 20, 2018
In early May, the Trump-Kim summit was confirmed, but by May 24 it had been canceled, in true Trump style:
A letter from the President to Chairman Kim Jong Un: “It is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting.” pic.twitter.com/3dDIp55xu1
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) May 24, 2018
Yet just a few days later, the meeting was confirmed again after a North Korean dignitary, Kim Yong-chol, convinced Trump the meeting should proceed.
Speaking after the convincing chat, Trump said: “We are going to deal, and we are really going to start a process. Remember what I say, we will see what we will see.”
The proof will be in the pudding, and on that note, it’s worth pointing out The Knolls restaurant at Capella Hotel has a fantastic selection of divine desserts.
The hotel is booked up for the duration of the historic summit, but you can stay at Capella Hotel another time for a cool US$465 average price per night.
The post Take a look inside the Trump-Kim Summit hotel appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

Qantas wants to operate the world’s longest direct flight

Posted by - June 5, 2018

QANTAS has set its sights on transporting passengers halfway around the world on a direct Sydney to London flight.
Should this estimated 20-hour flight route become reality, the Australian flag carrier will earn the crown as the airline that operates the world’s longest non-stop flight.
Currently, Qatar Airways operates the longest non-stop flight: from Auckland, New Zealand, to Doha, Qatar, at around 17 hours and 40 minutes.
Is Garuda Indonesia’s Eco-Basic ticket right for you? Looking for a larger slice of the long-haul-flight market, Qantas is now reportedly in talks with European planemaker Airbus SE and its Chicago-based rival Boeing for an aircraft capable of plying the Sydney-London route non-stop.
And it wants the plane delivered by 2022.
Such a plane doesn’t yet exist but with interest in the long-haul-flight market on the rise, Airbus expects to see a demand for between 50 and 100 such planes from other airlines, the firm’s chief salesman Eric Schulz told Bloomberg.
A post shared by Qantas (@qantas) on May 27, 2018 at 10:13pm PDT
While Qantas already operates a non-stop air route from Perth to London, the aim is to be the first to unlock Australia’s eastern border.
If the aircraft manufacturers are successful, airlines could open direct routes from Asia to South America and Australia to South Africa, leaving business travelers, expats and vacationers rejoicing across the globe.
Qantas’ specific aviation goal, Project Sunshine, is to make most of the world reachable for anywhere else.
Alan Joyce, Qantas CEO has been quoted saying the ultra-long-haul flights are the “last frontier in global aviation.”
According to Qantas’ international chief executive, Alison Webster the aircraft configuration will transport 300 passengers in four cabins.
Debunking myths: How to book a cheap flight But Qantas has competition.
As it prepares to introduce the world’s longest flight, Singapore Airlines has announced it will be reviving it 19-hour direct flight from New York to Singapore this October.
Originally launched in 2004 and ceasing operation in 2013 due to surging oil prices, Singapore Airlines is bringing the route back in true style.
A post shared by Magnus (@steeze_aviation) on Jun 4, 2018 at 11:24pm PDT
With reworked cabin features including lighting options to combat jet-lag, leg rests and bigger entertainment screens, it’s little wonder tickets are averaging US$1,500.
Despite the long-haul competition from other Asia-Pacific airlines, Joyce claims Qantas is “getting very confident” about such long-range flights.
The post Qantas wants to operate the world’s longest direct flight appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

Is Garuda Indonesia’s Eco-Basic ticket right for you?

Posted by - May 30, 2018

SINCE commercial aviation took off in the late fifties, airlines have been looking for ways to cut costs and fly more passengers.
Whether it’s taking an olive out of the salad or reducing seat widths to cram more people in, the imagination of airline bosses keeps evolving.
How to take the perfect passport photo Another way of reducing costs and ensuring passengers don’t expect any frills is by offering basic-budget-economy tickets.
Yep, these tickets are even cheaper than the standard economy class choices readily available on most airlines.
A post shared by Hank Mixed +852 +669 (@skyhank) on Apr 12, 2018 at 1:49am PDT
The big US airlines – Delta, American, and United – have also introduced this type of ticket. And now, Indonesia’s national carrier has launched its Eco-Basic subclass tickets.
According to Garuda Indonesia, the Eco-Basic tickets will sell for around 15 to 20 percent cheaper than standard economy class tickets.
The purpose is to entice those who wouldn’t typically be able to afford airfares and increase passenger numbers on each flight.
“It (the new class) is expected to add SLF (seat occupancy rate) to 10 percent of each route,” Garuda Indonesia Service Director Nicodemus P. Lampe said in a statement.
A post shared by Garuda Indonesia (@garuda.indonesia) on Feb 17, 2018 at 4:17am PST
But there are restrictions with it that some frequent flyers may not like.
Here’s everything you need to know about the new Eco-Basic ticket:
Only available on specific planes For the time being, Garuda Indonesia will only be issuing Eco-Basic tickets on its ATR 72-600 and CRJ 1000 NextGen planes.
For the benefit of aviation amateurs, these planes are manufactured by Bombardier. The ATR 72-600 are twin-propeller planes while the CRJ 1000 NextGen is a regional aircraft with two jet engines near the tail.
A post shared by @baixiaofan on Apr 20, 2014 at 11:44pm PDT
What are the Eco-Basic routes? There will be 44 Eco-Basic routes available to passengers; the exact routes are yet to be confirmed.
First come, first served Garuda Indonesia CEO Pahala Mansury told The Jakarta Post the Eco-Basic seats would be limited to 12 per flight on selected routes.
No children allowed A post shared by Handy Craft (@somaya.adinoto) on May 29, 2018 at 6:36pm PDT
The Eco-Basic tickets are reserved for adults only. If parents are flying with children, they will not receive a child discount.
Adults flying with babies under 23 months old will also not be able to purchase the Eco-Basic ticket.
Travel light Those flying on an Eco-Basic ticket will not be able to use the overhead lockers or book extra luggage.
An allowance for a 20kg carry-on is permitted, but it must be able to fit under the seat in front.
No dietary requirements allowed A post shared by Garuda Indonesia (@garuda.indonesia) on May 27, 2018 at 2:01am PDT
Garuda Indonesia isn’t going to starve you, but a condition of the ticket means flyers can’t request special meals.
Get to the airport early Although flyers on the Eco-Basic ticket don’t have any bags to drop off, they can only check-in at the airport.
It’s advisable to get there early to avoid long queues.
The world’s cheapest airlines are in Asia No premium priority It’s likely Eco-Basic tickets holders will be the last to board. Even if they’re members of Garuda Indonesia’s reward program, they will not be able to access VIP lounges.
Perhaps the only upside to these cheap tickets is the premium amount of smugness a flyer will get. After all, they’re going to the same destination as everyone else on the flight, for a fraction of the cost.
The post Is Garuda Indonesia’s Eco-Basic ticket right for you? appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

Rewards galore: Asia’s best SME hotel programs

Posted by - May 29, 2018

SMALL to medium enterprises (SME) are finally getting the break they deserve in the conference, events, and business travel sphere.
SMEs can be defined by the number of employees, annual sales, assets or a mixture of any of these.
The world’s cheapest airlines are in Asia Despite SMEs making up the majority of companies in many countries, they often to struggle to get funding and suffer through taxation.
Another part of the struggle is affording event spaces and staying in hotels which reflect the SME’s ambitions.
If you’re involved in business, or even an SME business owner yourself, you’d be fully aware of these struggles.
However, hotels around the world are offering an olive branch to SMEs in the form of targeted reward programs.
The customized programs allow SMEs to branch into growth territory by providing discounted rates for rooms and use of facilities.
Business owners can meet with prospective clients and investors in places that will undoubtedly impress.
Here are four of Asia’s best SME hotel reward programs, certain to get you excited for your next business trip.
Hyatt Leverage A post shared by Hyatt (@hyatt) on Oct 20, 2015 at 5:48am PDT
Hyatt may be new to the SME reward program scene but it’s certainly stamping its mark.
The Hyatt Leverage program provides eligible SMEs exclusive discounts of up to 15 percent off standard rates at any of the participating hotels worldwide.
In addition to this, SMEs will receive an extra five percent off selected Oasis properties.
Oasis is a quirky home rental service run by Hyatt which offer guests longer stays in more locations around the world.
Hyatt Leverage also gives guests access to the administration portal. Companies who are booking on behalf of an employee can use it to track bookings and make changes.
Clock in to the coolest co-working spaces in Singapore Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts A post shared by Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts (@shangrilahotels) on May 25, 2018 at 5:41am PDT
Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts is known for its opulence and unrivaled luxury which filters into business travel.
Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts’ Business Travel Program aims to rewards SMEs with preferential rates at nearly 80 properties worldwide.
The program starts with an online enrollment to ensure the SME is eligible, then everything can be managed through the Shangri-La app.
Upon registration, a unique identification code will be sent to the SME and any associates of the SME can use it to make discounted bookings.
Complimentary amenities will also be offered as part of the program.
Eligibility is simple:
Generate a minimum of 50 room nights per year bookings across all participating hotels. Does not currently have a corporate rate agreement with any Shangri-La, Kerry, Hotel Jen or Traders hotels. Is not a travel agent or wholesaler. Hilton Asia Pacific Local Business Program A post shared by Hilton Hotels & Resorts (@hiltonhotels) on Apr 28, 2018 at 8:01am PDT
Hilton is getting personal with its SME rewards, and we like it.
The luxury hotel brand offers different benefits to travelers depending on which region of Asia Pacific they’re in.
Australasia: Corporate members of the Local Business Program can enjoy 12 percent discount on rooms and Hilton Honours members will receive free WiFi. Greater China and Mongolia: It’s cool enough that Hilton has properties in Mongolia, but even cooler that it offers SMEs 18 percent off room rates and breakfast. India and Southeast Asia: Participating Hilton hotels properties in India and Southeast Asia offer 20 percent off room rates and a discounted and delicious breakfast. Japan and Korea: You guessed it, a sweet 15 percent discount on rooms and breakfast, because what’s a divine stay without a delightful breakfast? Marriott for Small Business A post shared by Marriott International (@marriottintl) on Apr 20, 2017 at 8:19am PDT
Whether you’re working, meeting or relaxing, Marriot understands the importance of a good stay.
“You’re a small business, but there’s nothing small about what you do. We understand. And, with a range of brands, services, and amenities, we’ve got what you need to make things happen,” Marriott’s website wrote.
From the best rate guarantee, mobile check-in and hotel flexibility to workspaces on demand and efficiently booking small meetings – Marriot has thought of everything.
But don’t take it from us, hear it from the guests.

The post Rewards galore: Asia’s best SME hotel programs appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.