• Industry trends

Travel Weekly, 25 May 2018: Luton airport baggage handlers strike called off
A planned bank holiday strike by baggage handlers at Luton airport has been called off at the last minute. Members of the Unite union, employed by Menzies Aviation, were due to strike from 3am on Saturday until 2pm on Sunday. A spokesman for the union said that following “productive talks” yesterday with Menzies, strike action planned for the bank holiday had been suspended. A new ballot will be held on a new offer over the coming days, “with a recommendation to accept the proposed deal”, he said. Passengers due to travel on one of the busiest weekends of the year had been warned to expect delays after workers voted to take part in industrial action as part of a pay dispute. Additional strike action which was due to be taken by Luton airport staff such as fire fighters and security guards was postponed last week.

Travel Daily, 22 May 2018: Keep calm and carry on spending: 20% of Brits will spend more on holidays in 2018
This national optimism may seem incongruous to the national stereotype but new data shows that despite the gloom and doom of recent years — through various social and financial crises as well as the Brexit shenanigans (either way you look it, the operational side has not been handled well) – and two-thirds of Brits (66%) feeling gloomy about the economy, and almost half (47%) admitting they have had to change their spending habits, 60% would rather spend, spend, spend than save, save, save! This is good news for the hospitality and leisure industry, as 21% of participants say they are unwilling to give up luxuries and nearly 20% are expecting to spend more on their holidays this year.

The survey of 2,000 UK adults carried out by research agency Future Thinking reveals leisure time remains an important concern to British consumers. Spending intentions are surprisingly positive with 28% planning a two-week break this year – an increase of 1% compared with 2017. Accommodation represents one key area where people are prepared to spoil themselves, the proportion of consumers worried about their spending in this area has dropped 7% year-on-year. Also, noteworthy is a 10% decrease in those worrying about the cost of travel.

Travel Bulletin, 23 May 2018: New research reveals Brits’ bank holiday trends
With the bank holiday weekend coming up, research from American Express reveals how much Brits spend on bank holiday getaways. Key findings include a total spend of £8.6billion and more than half (59%) of Brits plan to travel for longer than two hours to reach their getaway destination. The research also reveals that the majority (64%) will travel by car and Brits spend on average two and half times more when they go away compared to when they stay at home (£407 Vs £116). Top costs for those on bank holiday getaways include accommodation (£92), travel (£61) and dining out (£40).

Mail Online, 22 May 2018: Costs for term-time holidays soar: Parents who take their kids out of school for a getaway are forced to pay up to £739 more compared to 2016
Parents who take their children out of school for a cheaper getaway are paying up to £739 more for their holiday compared to two years ago, a new investigation has found. Holiday prices have inflated by as much as 32 per cent for term-time holidays, meaning savings made by travelling off-peak are being squeezed – but are still substantially less than in the official school holidays. Of the four popular destinations analysed it is the holiday island of Tenerife that has seen the highest price hike since 2016, with the average family trip increasing by 32 per cent from £2,299 during term time in 2016 to £3,038 in 2018.

  • Airlines

Travel Mole, 22 May 2018: BA to launch Heathrow-Marrakech service
British Airways will launch new flights from Heathrow to Marrakech this autumn. The service will operate four times a week – on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays – from Terminal 5 starting on October 28. Return fares start from £132 in Euro Traveller and from £332 in Club Europe. BA already flies to Marrakech from Gatwick eight times a week. The airline is also increasing schedules from Heathrow this winter to Prague (27 to 34 per week), Budapest (20 to 23) and Barcelona (46 to 53), as well as increasing the frequency to winter sun destinations such as Gibraltar (9 to 13), Larnaca (7 to 10) and Malaga (4 to 6).

TTG Media, 23 May 2018: Jet2 becomes first airline to win Which? Travel Brand of the Year
Following a “disastrous, turbulent year” for the airline sector, Which? said Jet2 stood out for its cheap tickets, good customer service and timely payment of compensation. “Jet2 has proved it’s possible to provide cheap tickets and good customer service,” it said. Which? also singled out Jet2’s tour operation, Jet2holidays, for the quality of its package holiday products, noting how customers spoke of “premium service” at budget prices.

TTG Media, 22 May 2018: Norwegian launches temperature-based search function
Norwegian has launched a new feature on its website that allows users to find destinations based on their preferred temperature. The airline claims the feature is a first from a low-cost airline in the UK. Users can select a temperature range in the filter menu which ranges from -15 degrees celsius to 30+ degrees celsius. The route map also supports temperature in fahrenheit. Users can also filter destination results based on month of travel, budget limit and type of destination.

Thomas Ramdahl, chief commercial officer at Norwegian, said: “We’re delighted to be the first low-cost carrier in the UK to allow consumers to choose from destinations based on their preferred temperature. By investing in enhancing our website, our new digital route map can not only make our expanding global network and lowest fares more visible to customers but also makes it much easier to decide where to fly with us next.”

·         Competitors

Travel Bulletin, 22 May 2018: It’s Time for Tunisia
The Tunisian National Tourist Office has launched its UK advertising campaign with a mixed media online push – including social media with digital activity across Facebook, Instagram and YouTube – running until the end of the year. An ‘out of home’ campaign is also planned to run from this September. Creative themes highlighting different aspects of Tunisia’s rich culture, scenery and the diversity of its holiday experiences will be linked with the strapline: ‘It’s time for Tunisia’. Wahida Jaiet, director for the tourist office, said: “We are delighted that British tourists have returned to Tunisia. Tour operators are reporting strong sales and we thought it was time to start showing our British guests what Tunisia has to offer, beyond its beaches. I think people will be surprised by just how much there is to see and do in Tunisia.”

  • Travellers

TTG Media, 24 May 2018: Ryanair warns it may change cabin baggage policy again
Ryanair may reconsider its cabin baggage policy again as too many people are now opting to check in bags at the departure gates. Addressing investors on Wednesday (May 23), chief executive Michael O’Leary said the airline was having to put as many as 120 gate bags in the hold free of charge ahead of some flights. Ryanair last shook-up its cabin baggage policy in January. Non-priority customers (free) can take two carry-on bags to the gate, the larger of the two (maximum 10kg) is then checked into the hold before boarding. Priority customers (£5), meanwhile, can also take two carry-on bags to the gate, both of which can be taken onboard so long as the larger bag does not exceed 10kg or 55x40x20cm. O’Leary though said this was starting to case a “handling issue” at busy times with many passengers opting not to pay in advance to check a bag in and simply doing it at the gate. Ryanair recently revealed it makes around £5m a day in fees from its various additional charges, such as on hold luggage



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