Archive for the ‘airlines’ Category

WalletHub Study: 2016 Best & Worst Airlines

May 21, 2016
AZ-Flagstaff_100315_04e2(c) Karen Rubin

Flying American Airlines into Flagstaff, Arizona © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

WalletHub has just announced its list of 2016’s Best & Worst Airlines in order to help consumers prepare for the busy summer travel season.

“Everyone can compare airlines based on price, but it’s much more difficult to weigh your options when it comes to other aspects of the air travel experience. WalletHub’s report therefore focuses on quantifying those aspects – delays, baggage issues, pet care, passenger comfort and more – in order to help travelers make more-informed decisions.”
Among the highlights:

  • Best & Worst Overall: Virgin America (soon to be part of Alaska Airlines) and JetBlue top the list of 2016’s best airlines, while United, American and ExpressJet are the worst.
  • Most & Least Reliable: Delta is the best airline for avoiding cancelations, delays and mishandled luggage, while ExpressJet and Envoy Air are the worst.
  • Most & Least Comfortable: JetBlue offers the most comfortable in-flight experience, while Spirit and Frontier are the least comfortable.

For the full list of 2016’s Best & Worst Airlines, visit:
http://www.wallethub.com/edu/best-airlines/20916/

For CardHub’s report on 2016’s Best & Worst Frequent Flyer Programs, visit:
http://www.cardhub.com/edu/best-frequent-flyer-program/

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Norwegian Air Moves to Institute New Cockpit Policy, in Wake of Germanwings Tragedy

April 2, 2015

In the wake of the Germanwings tragedy, Norwegian has decided to change its cockpit procedures so that two crew members always are present in the cockpit.

“Norwegian has been looking into changing its cockpit procedures for a while,” the company said. “However, in light of the tragic Germanwings accident, we are speeding up the process so that two crew members always are present in the cockpit. This means that if one of the pilots leaves the cockpit, one crew member must replace him/her during this time. Our passengers’ and crew’s safety always comes first, which is why we have decided to change our procedures, in line with US regulations.”
Today, there are no European regulatory requirements stating that two crew members must be in the cockpit at all times.

The new procedures will be implemented as soon as Norwegian has received an approval from the Norwegian Civil Aviation Authority.

Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA, commercially branded “Norwegian”, is a low-cost airline listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange. Norwegian is the second largest airline in Scandinavia and third largest low cost carrier in Europe. The company reported its highest ever passenger figures in a single year with almost 24 million passengers in 2014.

Norwegian has a route portfolio that stretches across Europe into North Africa and the Middle East, as well as long-haul flights to the US and Southeast Asia. The company has a total of 424 routes to 130 destinations and employs approximately 4,500 people in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, UK, Spain and Thailand.

The company has 258 undelivered aircraft on firm order. Norwegian was founded in 1993 and its headquarter is in Fornebu, Norway.

Norwegian offers better leg room than most competitors, in-flight WiFi on short haul, world-class punctuality and a fleet of 96 aircraft with an average age of only four years. In 2013 and 2014, Norwegian was voted Europe’s best low-cost carrier of the year by the renowned SkyTrax World Airline Awards. In 2014, Norwegian also won three prizes at the prestigious Passenger Choice Awards for Best Airline in Europe, Best Inflight Connectivity & Communications and Best Single Achievement in Passenger Experience for its moving map on the 787 Dreamliners. In addition, Norwegian was awarded Europe’s best low-cost airline by AirlineRatings.com for the second year running.

 

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JetBlue to Offer ‘Mint Experience’ Flying from JFK to Barbados

March 19, 2015

Beginning November 7, JetBlue will offer its popular “Mint experience” from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to Barbados (BGI), one of the top Caribbean routes for the airline. Travelers from the Eastern region of the U.S. will have a premium travel option at an affordable fare with Mint, giving jetsetters a new reason to head to the sun-drenched island.

Between November 7, 2015 and April 30, 2016, JetBlue will operate one roundtrip on Saturdays to Bridgetown, Barbados. And between December 19, 2015 and January 4, 2016 the airline will operate one roundtrip flight daily for the busy holiday travel season.

“This is an amazing win for the island of Barbados,” said Petra Roach BTMI, Director, USA. “Barbados has a long history with luxury airline offerings.  We were the only leisure destination to host Concorde service from London for many years and now to be the first home of JetBlue’s Mint service outside of the US is a reflection of the strength of our burgeoning partnership and JetBlue’s continued support of Barbados as a destination. We are thrilled to be a part of this new way to fly with JetBlue where the customers’ premium vacation experience starts the moment they step onto the plane.

Available for booking on JetBlue.com today, roundtrip flights from JFK to Bridgetown are:

 

JFK-BGI                                9:20 a.m. departure, 3:02 p.m. arrival

BGI-JFK                                4:15 p.m. departure, 8:30 p.m. arrival

Since launching on transcontinental routes in June 2014, Mint has quickly become recognized for its whole new take on flying, which includes private suites, the widest seat and longest fully-flat bed in the U.S. domestic market, tapas-style dining, custom amenity kits and 15-inch flat screen televisions with free entertainment. With Mint service to the Caribbean, JetBlue will become the only U.S. carrier to operate regularly scheduled service with lie-flat seating to the region.

Barbados is one of the most popular Caribbean travel routes on JetBlue’s growing route map, and one of more than 80 destinations throughout the U.S., Caribbean, and Latin America. With incredible on-island musical performances, epicurean driven festivals, and motor sport tournaments, 2015 marks the perfect year to travel to Barbados immerse oneself in the distinctive culture and one-of-a-kind events the island has to offer.

JetBlue’s Mint experience to the islands will add a Caribbean twist to some customer favorites, including the tapas-style menu curated by New York City restaurant Saxon+Parole, organic desserts by Blue Marble Ice Cream, a sweet treat from Mah-ze-Dahr Bakery, and customized amenity kits from Birchbox.

“Ever since we launched Mint, customers have been asking us where we will take it next,” said Marty St George, executive vice president commercial and planning, JetBlue. “We re-invented transcontinental flying with Mint, and we anticipate demand for an enhanced product will be equally strong for these Caribbean destinations.”

The A321 Customer Experience

JetBlue offers Mint on its new Airbus A321 aircraft, which features a completely redesigned onboard experience throughout the entire cabin.

“Mint is a remarkable new way to fly, but true to our mission of inspiring humanity, we’ve also taken the same thoughtful approach throughout the aircraft,” said Joanna Geraghty, executive vice president customer experience, JetBlue. “Our completely redesigned A321 interior offers the best experience to Caribbean-bound customers no matter where you’re seated.”

While the Mint experience has set new premium standards, the core experience leads other airlines’ offerings as well. Features of the A321 core interior include 10-inch television screens offering free entertainment, comfortable seats with the most legroom in coach** and power outlets accessible to all customers. JetBlue’s popular marketplace, a self-serve station full of snacks, sodas and water for customers to enjoy at their convenience, is also available throughout the flight.

Extend the Experience With a JetBlue Getaways Vacation Package: Customers looking for the complete package can book Mint seats in conjunction with hotel, car rental and other amenities and activities through JetBlue Getaways. JetBlue Getaways packages to both Barbados  offer access to the very best resorts and island experiences with the convenience of one booking process. Call 1-800-JETBLUE to book.

Barbados, an Authentic Caribbean Experience

The island of Barbados an authentic Caribbean experience with its exceptionally rich culture and history rooted in remarkable landscapes.  Rated as one of the world’s sexiest beaches in 2008 by Concierge.com; Barbados’ Crane Beach in St. Philip stands as a premier destination for travelers.  Barbados is also the first Zagat-rated Caribbean island and is known as the culinary capital of the Caribbean.

Accommodations range from picturesque plantation houses and villas, to quaint bed and breakfasts and award-winning, five-star resorts. Grantley Adams International Airport offers even more non-stop and direct service from a growing number of U.S., making Barbados the true gateway to the Eastern Caribbean.

Barbados was voted eighth in the World by Trip Advisor’s “2008 Travelers’ Choice Destination Awards” in its Top 100 Destinations category.

For more information on travel to Barbados, visit http://www.visitbarbados.org, follow on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/VisitBarbados, via Twitter @Barbados.

Jetblue: New York’s Hometown Airline

JetBlue is New York’s “Hometown Airline” and a leading carrier in Boston, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Los Angeles (Long Beach), Orlando, and San Juan. JetBlue carries more than 30 million customers a year to 87 cities in the U.S., Caribbean, and Latin America with an average of 825 daily flights. Upcoming destinations include: Cleveland on April 30; Reno-Tahoe, Nev. on May 28; and Grenada on June 11, 2015 (subject to receipt of government operating authority). For more information visit JetBlue.com.

 

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JetBlue Launches Nonstop Flights From New York’s JFK to Reno-Tahoe on May 28

January 22, 2015
JetBlue Airways is giving New Yorkers a direct connection to the blue waters of Lake Tahoe, with its new direct flight from JFK to Reno-Tahoe International Airport © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

JetBlue Airways is giving New Yorkers a direct connection to the blue waters of Lake Tahoe, with its new direct flight from JFK to Reno-Tahoe International Airport © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

New York is getting direct service into Reno-Tahoe International Airport, making it more convenient than ever to enjoy Reno, Lake Tahoe, Truckee, Eastern Sierra Mountains and Yosemite and such top-notch mountain resorts as Heavenly, Northstar, Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows and the spectacular blue waters of Lake Tahoe.

JetBlue Airways, New York’s Hometown Airline™, just announced it will be the only airline to offer nonstop service between Nevada’s Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO) and the U.S. East Coast as it launches service from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) on May 28, 2015.

Reno-Tahoe will be the airline’s 89th destination and is among a number of new JetBlue routes in the West.

“A nonstop link between Reno-Tahoe International Airport and New York City is long overdue. We’re eager to bring the JetBlue Experience to Reno-Tahoe so customers can enjoy our superior customer offering that includes the most legroom in coach, personal screens in every seat with live TV, unlimited snacks and soft drinks, and great service offered by JetBlue’s award-winning crewmembers,” said James Hnat, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Government Affairs, JetBlue.

“Landing non-stop daily service on an incredible airline like JetBlue is an example of what this region can do when it works together for a common goal,” Marilyn Mora, President/CEO of the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority, said. “We are bringing the Biggest Little City and the Big Apple together. We are bringing JetBlue to the blue waters of Lake Tahoe.  It’s a great day for the Reno-Tahoe region.”

As New York’s Hometown Airline™, customers from Reno-Tahoe will be able to easily connect to JetBlue’s large network at its own Terminal 5 at JFK, including access to the largest network to the Caribbean. With Reno-Tahoe, JetBlue will offer nonstop routes to 66 destinations across the U.S., Caribbean and Latin America.

 

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Low-Cost Carrier Norwegian Air, Expanding US-UK Service, Nominated for Passenger Choice Awards

August 26, 2014
Norwegian celebrates its first ever flights between the U.S. and London Gatwick. the first flight between Los Angeles and London Gatwick, Norwegian’s first flight between New York’s Kennedy Airport and London and its inaugural flight from Fort Lauderdale to London. All the flights are almost full.

Norwegian celebrates its first ever flights between the U.S. and London Gatwick. the first flight between Los Angeles and London Gatwick, Norwegian’s first flight between New York’s Kennedy Airport and London and its inaugural flight from Fort Lauderdale to London. All the flights are almost full.

Norwegian Air, which has expanded service between the US and Europe, has received seven nominations in the highly acclaimed Passenger Choice Awards 2014. Norwegian is represented in more than half of the categories, including “Best in Region: Europe” and “Best Overall Passenger Experience”. The Passenger Choice Awards has become one of the industry’s most significant award programs for the airline industry.

Norwegian has previously won the Passenger Choice Awards in the categories “Best in Region: Europe” and “Best Inflight Connectivity and Communications”. This year, Norwegian has been nominated for the same categories, in addition to “Best Overall Passenger Experience”, “Best Inflight Publication”, “Best Inflight Video”, “Best Ground Experience” and “Best Single Achievement in Passenger Experience” for Norwegian’s interactive ‘Geotainment’ moving map.

“Norwegian’s decision to establish links to key cities in North America including New York and Los Angeles offers passengers real choice and affordable travel,” Stewart Wingate, CEO of London Gatwick said. “The launch also demonstrates the game-changing nature of the Dreamliner aircraft, which has less seats than older generation aircraft and therefore less reliance on transfer passengers. A two-runway Gatwick will best meet the needs of our rapidly changing aviation market, which looks very different today than it did even ten years ago. All of the signs point to Gatwick being the obvious choice for expansion.”

Flight schedule

London – Los Angeles twice a week from July 2, 2014
Norwegian operates two weekly flights between London (LGW) and Los Angeles (LAX) – on Wednesdays and Sundays. The introductory fare is £199 one way.

London – New York three times a week from July 3, 2014
Norwegian operates three weekly flights between London (LGW) and New York (JFK) – on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The introductory fare is £149 one way.

London – Fort Lauderdale twice a week from July 4, 2014
Norwegian operates two weekly flights between London (LGW) and Fort Lauderdale (FLL) – on Mondays and Fridays. The introductory fare is £179 one way.

Norwegian’s long-haul operations In 2013
Norwegian commenced its long-haul operation by becoming the only low-cost carrier to offer flights between Europe and the US. Norwegian will have a fleet of 17 Dreamliners, whereof seven are currently in service and one more will be delivered in 2014. The company is planning to expand its long-haul fleet with even more 787 Dreamliners.

Norwegian offers long-haul flights between the following destinations:

Routes from New York (JFK): Oslo (OSL), Stockholm (ARN), Copenhagen (CPH), Bergen (BGO) and London (LGW)

Routes from Fort Lauderdale (FLL): Oslo (OSL), Stockholm (ARN), Copenhagen (CPH) and London (LGW)

Routes from Los Angeles (LAX): Oslo (OSL), Stockholm (ARN), Copenhagen (CPH) and London (LGW)

Routes from San Francisco (OAK): Oslo (OSL) and Stockholm (ARN)

Routes from Orlando (MCO): Oslo (OSL)

Routes from Bangkok (BKK): Oslo (OSL) and Stockholm (ARN)

As for the Passenger Choice Award nominations, Thomas Ramdahl, Norwegian’s Chief Commercial Officer, said, “It is a great pleasure that Norwegian’s employees’ hard work is valued so high among our passengers. To be nominated in seven categories together with many of the leading airlines of the world shows that our product, service and innovative way of thinking is highly appreciated. This is fantastic news.”

The Passenger Choice Awards has become one of the industry’s most significant award programs for the airline industry. This is because winners are chosen based on customer feedback. The Passenger Choice Awards comprise 13 individual categories and were created to give the flying public a voice in the passenger experience. The survey is open each May and June at http://www.passengerchoiceawards.com, and passengers are encouraged to vote every time they fly.

The winners will be announced at the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) Awards Ceremony on September 15, 2014, in Anaheim, California, USA.

Norwegian was recently awarded the title “Europe’s best low-cost carrier” for the second year running by the renowned SkyTrax World Airline Awards, where the passengers themselves decide the winners. Norwegian also came third in the vote for “World’s best low-cost carrier”, only beaten by AirAsia and AirAsia X.

Norwegian is nominated in these Passenger Choice Award categories:

Best Overall Passenger Experience 
EMIRATES
ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES
GARUDA INDONESIA
NORWEGIAN
VIRGIN AMERICA

Best in Region: Europe
AUSTRIAN AIRLINES
IBERIA LINEAS AEREAS DE ESPANA
NORWEGIAN AIR SHUTTLE ASA
TURKISH AIRLINES
VIRGIN ATLANTIC

Best Inflight Publication
AVIANCA
ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES
GARUDA INDONESIA
GULF AIR
NORWEGIAN

Best Inflight Connectivity & Communications
ALASKA AIRLINES
EMIRATES
JETBLUE
NORWEGIAN
VIRGIN AMERICA

Best Inflight Video
EMIRATES
ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES
GARUDA INDONESIA
NORWEGIAN
VIRGIN AMERICA

Best Ground Experience
ALASKA AIRLINES
AUSTRIAN AIRLINES
EL AL ISRAEL AIRLINES
NORWEGIAN
VIRGIN AMERICA

Best Single Achievement in Passenger Experience (recognizing a specific achievement – rather than a general improvement – which an airline has successfully implemented)
Air Canada: Air Canada 787 GUI
Air France KLM: IFE upgrade with next generation GUI
Delta Air Lines: Delta Air Lines ’80s and Holiday Safety Videos
Norwegian: Interactive ‘Geotainment’ moving map
Virgin America: The NEW Safety Video

Founded in 1993 Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA, which is headquartered in Fornebu, Norway, is a low-cost airline listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange. Norwegian is the second largest airline in Scandinavia and third largest low cost carrier in Europe. More than 20 million passengers fly on its network per year. Norwegian has a route portfolio that stretches across Europe into North Africa and the Middle East, as well as long-haul flights to the US and Southeast Asia. The company has a total of 417 routes to 126 destinations and employs approximately 4,500 people in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, UK, Spain and Thailand. The airline has 258 undelivered aircraft on firm order. In 2013, Norwegian was voted Europe’s best low-cost carrier of the year by the renowned SkyTrax World Airline Awards. Norwegian boasts of offering better leg room than most competitors, in-flight WiFi, world-class punctuality and a fleet of 96 aircraft with an average age of only 4.8 years.

For more information, visit norwegian.com.

 

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AirBerlin offers super deals to Europe this winter; book by Dec. 16

December 10, 2013
airberlin jet at Kennedy International Airport, NYC © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

airberlin jet at Kennedy International Airport, NYC © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Travel to Europe is more affordable this winter with airberlin, Germany’s second largest airline. Through December 16, airberlin is offering an early booking sale with fares starting as low as $599 from New York to Budapest, Milan or Oslo via airberlin’s hubs in Berlin or Dusseldorf. The special offer also includes fares from Chicago to Helsinki, Krakow or Warsaw from $759, from Miami to Helsinki, St. Petersburg or Zurich for $799 or from Fort Myers to Copenhagen, Dusseldorf or Milan for $859. Other destinations and city pairs are also included at slightly higher fares. The sale is valid for travel periods from January 6 through March 30, 2014.

Air travel to Europe also makes a great gift!

airberlin provides European style service on board one of the youngest fleets in the air today. As a member of the award winning airline alliance oneworld® you also can accrue and redeem mileage with any airberlin oneworld partner.

To book visit airberlin.com, contact your travel agent or the service center at 866-266-5588.

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AirBerlin Has Fare Sale Through Sept 30

September 14, 2013

Effective September 14th through September 30th, 2013 airberlin, Germany’s second largest airline is offering some of the lowest fares of the season for fall and winter travel. Destinations offered include Chicago to Warsaw from $699, Miami to Zurich from $799 and New York to Budapest from $649, these sample roundtrip fares include taxes. The sale is valid for travel for departures from October 24th through December 14th, 2013 and January 13th through March 21, 2014.

With this fare special airberlin guests can explore the wonders of Europe in fall and winter and take advantage of seasonal festivals and celebrations, such as the Dresden Jazz festival in November or Christmas markets throughout Europe starting the last week of November for holiday shopping. For the sports enthusiast, skiing and other winter sports abound in Austria, Germany and Switzerland.

To book contact your travel agent, visit airberlin.com or call the service center at 1-866-266-5588.

airberlin is one of Europe’s leading airlines and flies to 151 destinations in 40 countries. The second largest airline in Germany carried more than 33 million passengers in 2012. airberlin offers a global route network through its strategic partnership with Etihad Airways, which has a 29.21% share in airberlin, and through membership of the oneworld® airline alliance. The airline with the award-winning service operates codeshare flights worldwide with 14 airlines. The fleet has an average age of five years and is among the most modern and eco-efficient in Europe.

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Virgin Vacations Offers Tuscany, Amalfi Car-Hotel Packages Priced From $429 for 6 Nights

August 14, 2013

The fall months–when weather cools down and fewer tourists abound–are perfect for visiting Italy.  Virgin Vacations  is offering two different hotel-car packages for independent travelers who want to spend a week exploring Tuscany or Italy’s Amalfi Coast in depth, at their own pace.  Priced from $429 land only (from $1,419 with air from New York), the packages include 6 nights accommodations, a 7-day manual car rental with unlimited miles, and breakfast daily.

Travelers stay at the same hotel each night, using it as a base for day excursions, so there is no need to pack and unpack daily.  Depending on individual preferences, travelers can develop their own plans, or choose from Virgin Vacations’ suggested day itineraries.  Suggested drives range from 40 – 160 miles, round trip, with estimated driving times ranging from 1 ½ to 4 hours.

Tuscany Fly & Drive: From $449 land, $1,419 air inclusive

Travelers fly to Pisa, an hour’s drive from Montecatini, where home base is the modern Tuscany Inn in the center of town. Known for its spas and its historical significance in World War II, the town is just 30 miles from Florence.  Virgin Vacations’ travelers can drive or take the train into Florence, and drive to a number of medieval towns, only 50 miles or 2 hours roundtrip.  Or, for a longer itinerary, Siena and San Gimignano are a four-hour drive, or 160 miles.

Per person prices for the 6-night Tuscany Fly & Drive package begin at $449 land only, for departures through March 2014, depending on date selected.  Prices for 8-days, including air, start at $1,419 from New York, depending on departure date. Prices range up to $579 land only, for December 25 departure, and $1629 with airfare for December 18 departure.  Hotel upgrades are available beginning at $10 per person, while car upgrades begin at $109 for the 7 days. Automatic transmissions cost an additional $375 for the 7 days.

Amalfi Coast Fly and Drive: From $429 land, $1,479 air inclusive

Virgin Vacations’ travelers fly into Naples, and then drive 1.5 hours to the four-star Villa Romana, home base for the stay.  Located only 2.5 miles from Amalfi, Villa Romana is a two-hour drive, or 50 miles roundtrip, to Pompeii and to Positano; and 3 hours (110 miles) to Ischia, largest island on the Bay of Naples.

Prices for 6-nights begin at $429, land only, based on November departure dates; or from $1,479, for 8 days with air fare from New York, based on January 7, 2014 departure.  Prices range up to $789 land only, and to $1979 with airfare departing December 24. Hotel upgrades begin at $10, while car upgrades begin at $109 for the 7 days. Automatic transmissions cost $375 for 7 days

The Fine Print

Round trip add-on air fares are available from cities nationwide. Prices are per person, based on twin occupancy.  Air fares include airline taxes and fuel charges. Car rental prices include Third Party Liability Insurance (RCA), Collision Damage Waiver Reduction (C.D.R.), Theft Protection Reduction (T.P.R.), airport charges, and local taxes (VAT).

About Virgin Vacations

Virgin Vacations offers a wide selection of escorted tours, river and sea cruises, and independent packages worldwide, available with or without air fare on Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia and Virgin America, as well as other international airline partners.  Virgin Vacations travelers can enroll in Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club or Virgin America’s Elevate frequent flyer programs, and earn points for the land portion.

For information on other worldwide destinations available through Virgin Vacations, visit www.virginvacations.com.  As a member of the U.S. Tour Operators Association, Virgin Vacations protects travelers’ payments up to $1 Million through the USTOA Travelers Assistance Program.

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Virgin Vacations Offers London Theatre Package From $1,499 for 6 Days, with Air

August 14, 2013

Virgin Vacations is offering theater lovers a one-week London-based vacation package beginning at $1,499 per person, including air fare from New York.  Round trip air fare is also available from a variety of gateways throughout the U.S. via Virgin Atlantic and Delta Airlines, beginning at $59 additional for Boston.

Designed for independent travelers, the packages are part of Virgin Vacations’ UK Collection, with prices ranging from budget to luxury.

From Budget to Luxury: Virgin’s London, Culture & Theatre Tour, 6 days from $1,499

Highlights of this package include a London Theatre Passport, exchangeable for one best-available ticket to participating musicals and plays.  Also featured is a full day excursion to Bath, Windsor, and Stonehenge, plus a half-day Vintage Open Bus sightseeing tour of London.  Travelers stay 4 nights at the Ambassadors Hotel in Kensington, with breakfast daily and transfers to and from Heathrow Airport.  Price includes round trip air fare from New York on Virgin Atlantic. Depending on departure date, price begins at $1,499 per person.

In addition to the 6-day package, a longer version, Virgin’s 8-day London Theatre Experience,
features 6 nights accommodations with breakfast, round trip air on Virgin Atlantic from New York,  Heathrow transfers, the theatre pass, London sightseeing tour, full-day excursion to Bath, Windsor, and Stonehenge, plus an additional all-day tour to Oxford, Stratford, Warwick, and the Cotswolds.  Depending on departure date, price begins at $1,759 per person.

Virgin Vacations participants can upgrade hotel accommodations beginning at $30 and ranging to $610 per person, depending on the hotel; as well as select from optional arrangements such as a ride on The London Eye, beginning at $30. Both packages are available until late October.

Sample add-on fares from other gateways:
Atlanta + $214
Boston + $59
Dallas/Fort Worth + $229
Los Angeles + $192
Miami + $127
Minneapolis/St. Paul + $ 231
San Francisco + $ 235
Washington, D.C. + $26

Airfare is available from other cities nationwide.  With the new Delta Airlines-Virgin Atlantic code share, Virgin Vacations guests can now fly from 45 U.S. cities to London.

All prices are per person, and based on twin occupancy. Airline taxes and fuel charges are included. For more information and to book a UK Collection vacation, visit www.virginvacations.com, phone 1-877-740-4302, or see your travel agent.

Virgin Vacations offers a wide selection of escorted tours, river and sea cruises, and independent packages worldwide, available with or without air fare on Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia and Virgin America, as well as other international airline partners.  Virgin Vacations travelers can enroll in Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club or Virgin America’s Elevate frequent flyer programs, and earn points.

For information on other worldwide destinations available through Virgin Vacations, visit www.virginvacations.com.  As a member of the U.S. Tour Operators Association, Virgin Vacations protects travelers’ payments up to $1 Million through the USTOA Travelers Assistance Program.

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www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

http://www.examiner.com/international-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

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Virgin Vacations offers Harry Potter Fans 7-Day London Package Featuring Behind-the-Scenes Warner Bros Studios Walking Tour

July 23, 2013

Virgin Vacations is offering Harry Potter fans three opportunities this fall to take a 7-day package to London featuring a behind-the-scenes walking tour at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, where the iconic movie series was made.

The independent package, titledVirgin’s 7 Day London with Warner Bros. Studio Tour – The Making of Harry Potter,” includes round trip Virgin Atlantic flights from New York to London, 5 nights at the five-star Grange Tower Bridge Hotel in the City of London, airport-to-hotel transfers from Heathrow, daily breakfast, the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, and guided London sightseeing by vintage bus followed by a Thames River cruise.

Departures are available September 18, October 9, and 23.  Cost is $1,669 per person, based on double occupancy.  For Boston departures, add $63, Chicago $108, Washington, D.C. $27, San Francisco $272, and Los Angeles $193.  Round trip airport transfers from Gatwick Airport are available at an additional price.

In addition to the Harry Potter and London city tours, travelers have two full free days in London to take in the sights or to select from optional activities such as a full afternoon tea at Fortnum & Mason, priced from $79; or a day at Bath and Stonehenge, priced from $92.

The guided Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter walking tour takes travelers behind the scenes, to discover the special effects and the huge film sets behind the famous movies.  On the walking tour, visitors go inside the actual Great Hall, see video screens of interviews with the cast and crew about the making of the films, and learn about how green-screen technology helped create some of the most memorable sequences.   A visit to the Creature Effects Workshop reveals some of the giant animatronics such as Fawkes the Phoenix, while props such as Hagrid’s motorcycle, and the purple triple decker Knight Bus seen in Harry’s London Escapades make the movie come to life.

Prices are per person, and based on double occupancy. Airline taxes and fuel charges are included. For more information and to book, visit Virgin Vacations, phone 1-877-740-4302, or see your travel agent.

For information on other worldwide destinations available through Virgin Vacations, visit http://www.virginvacations.com.  As a member of the U.S. Tour Operators Association, Virgin Vacations protects travelers’ payments up to $1 Million through the USTOA Travelers Assistance Program.

For more travel features, visit:

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

http://www.examiner.com/international-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures