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Category Archives: Airlines

MH 17 Crash

Min Algemene Zaken I56A9636

MH17 Crash

The Netherlands was shocked when it learned Malaysian Airplane, Flight MH 17, crashed in Ukraine. Presumably the crash was caused by Russian backed rebellions who fired an anti aircraft rocket to it. Of the nearly 300 passengers and crew almost 200 fellow Dutchman died in the crash. There were 80 children amongst them.

In an earlier speech the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs thanked the UN Security Council for adopting a resolution that condemned this act.

Wednesday July 23 was a day of National Mourning in the Netherlands. The first 40 bodies came home…

Iceland Volcanic Ash Disrupts European Air Travel on an Unprecedented Scale

Hazardous volcanic ash
I captured the above photo from a series of three documentary videos on Youtube [That since publication have disappeared]. The picture and the videos show the dangers of volcanic ash for air travel best: It abrazes not only the paint, but also the aluminum of the aircraft heavily.

The dangers are:

  1. Pilots can’t notice it, because, apart from areas near an eruption, it is very fine. Even near an eruption pilots can’t notice it on on board flight radar, because there is not enough moist in a cloud of volcanic ash
  2. Volcanic ash is very abrasive as the above photo from the tail of flight BA 009 shows: Almost all paint was stripped from it.
  3. when sucked into a jet motor, it can cause immense damage and cause the motor to stop. On 1982 flight 009 over Indonesia all four jets stopped and luckily the pilots were able to restart the engines when they had flown out of the ash cloud and prevent a crash..


The beauty of the eruption that causes all the problems:
This is a fantastic photo of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland by Örvar-Atli that causes a huge cloud of volcanic ash to spread all over Europe that is bringing almost all air trafic to a stand still as of yesterday. It will continue today and it wouldn’t surprise me if it will continue for a couple of more days.

It is a very wise decision to ground almost all air traffic in view of the above indicated hazards.

Ash influences hotel stays
Guests from Canada are stuck in London and had to cancel their stay at my hotel last minute. Do I charge them a late cancellation fee? Off course not.

Commercially viable? Maybe, maybe not.

I could claim a late cancellation fee and have them claim their loss from their travel insurance company. However I wouldn’t like to add that as an extra burden to them while they are already burdened with all the uncertainties and changes of plan due to these extra ordinary circumstances

..and you know what? I expect my guests to be and think a bit like I do myself. I hate to claim something from an insurance company, because I believe I should only claim when there is an extraordinary cost I cannot reasonably bear myself. I was once bailed out by a travel insurance company when I was stuck with a car in a foreign country that could not be repaired that country. Not only did they repatriate my car to The Netherlands and paid for the car repair, they also let me continue our travels with a rented car that I delivered here in The Netherlands. Almost no loss of holiday pleasures.

And our guest wrote me: “Thank you so much! When we rebook our trip you will be our first choice to stay with. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your kindness.”

iFly – KLM Royal Dutch Airline’s new interactive online multimedia Inflight Magazine (Dutch Design 48)

ifly
Recently, after a testing 6 months with 3 numbers, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has launched number 4 of its interactive multimedia on-line in-flight magazine iFly. It is available in the Dutch and English language.

It is not KLM’s intention to scrap the paper magazine (yet?), but it is an interesting experiment. The topic presented to the viewer are based on the viewers behavior and interests, for instance the time a viewer spends on a certain topic.

An very interesting format for future blogs and hotel sites as well. Media gurus love the clickrate and time spent on the site….

Update.

I was a bit surprised not having found more on the subject.

Then I found this post of Junta42.com.

After each new issue they send an e-mail to their subscribers.

* After their third issue, KLM has found that iFly is their best marketing tool ever used to sell repeat tickets.
* The average reader spends 20 minutes reading the magazine.
* 20% read the entire magazine.
* Frequent flyers are heavy users of the magazine.
* The click-through rate of iFly is higher than any other online campaign from KLM.

Exciting Twitterday at Travolution’s #travsummit

There was a really hilarious video about airline surcharges, but now it’s taken away from Youtube [ed July 2010]

Originally I was planning to attend the Travolution Travel Summit in London today. However, some wonderful guests from Down Under had booked in my hotel, so I couldn’t afford to hop over to London, but in between I could have a look into the stream and sometimes throw in a thought or question.

As Twitter is the trend in conferences nowadays – you see rows and rows of people with laptops, blackberries and Iphones Twittering away- you almost don’t have to attend them in Real life.

Just sift through under 1,000 tweets at Search.Twitter.com/#travsummit and you know almost all.Note my clever little trick in altering the number of Tweets in the search url from 50 to 100. So you have only to scroll through 10 pages of Tweets. Also remind that after a certain period Twitter seems to flush its search caches.

Some notes from the #travsummit stream some of which I have to check out more in depth:

  • On a personal note, if I would have attended, I would have been torn between Looking and listening, posting Tweets and making photos. At the next conference I will attend, I will be making photos only. I missed catching the faces today.
  • The word boring is becoming Cool. “Just keep your eyes on the ball” as Bill Marriott says it in an recent interview with startup Hoteliers Magazine and do what you are good at is a wise advice in the present economic circumstances
  • Everybody points to USG (User Generated Content), but it is my experience that only 40% of my guests produce USG in the form of writing into my guest book and only 5% write a review online.
  • Google top 5 tips for conversion: -No doubt. -Simple check-out. -Limit steps. -Limit warnings. -Quarantine check-out (thinking about redesigning my hotel website).
  • Travellers typically make 12 searches on 22 websites over 29 days before making their first booking says Google.
  • Home Away vacation rentals is growing very fast.
  • MS demonstrated an interesting huge new touchscreen Surface. Go see the Demo video taken at Sheraton Hotels and Resorts. European price approx UK PND 11,000.
  • Together with Photosynth (also from MS) Surface has some cool features

Other Travel Bloggers:

  1. Jeremy Head is one of the first posting about the summit at his Blog Travel Blather Travolution Summit: 7 things I learned today
  2. Worldreviewer is a good second who posts about the summit.
  3. Stephan Ekbergh posted about it
  4. Ben Colclough of Trailbeater posted about it
  5. I almost forgot Hotelblogs who devoted several blog posts on the summit:Business Leaders on Stage, Update from Ailines, Innovators in Digital and online Travel and some more

Latest Update April 22, 2009 17,00 hr … It took me almost 12 hours to find the video back. And at Travolution you will find more coverage. Rest my post further:-)