Carry On: News for business travellers
Inflight magazine goes online
It is now possible to read glossy airline magazines without having to fly. Cathay Pacific Airways says its inflight magazine, Discovery, has gone digital. It is available on all smartphones, iPads, tablets and desktop computers. In addition to the content of the print version, which will still be distributed onboard, the digital edition will offer interactive elements, such as embedded videos and high-resolution screenshots. While the magazine can be downloaded from the App Store, HTML 5 technology is employed to ensure Discovery will be available app-free across almost all devices from just about anywhere. The content includes snapshot guides to Hong Kong, including dining and hotels plus activity and entertainment options. “New and now summary” guides also cover 44 Cathay Pacific destinations. Discovery is produced by ACP Magazines Asia.
Prechecking spreads in US
Two million Americans have now registered under the Transportation Security Administration’s prechecking system. Called Pretick (with a tick symbol) or PreCheck, it is now available at 19 major airports around the country from five US domestic airlines. It allows travellers to keep their shoes, belts and jackets on, leave laptops and liquids in carry-on bags and walk through a metal detector rather than a full-body scan. To qualify, frequent fliers must meet TSA and airline criteria. Approved travellers who are in the US Customs and Border Protection's Global Entry programme are also eligible. By the end of the year, it is hoped PreCheck will be available at 35 airports and involve more airlines, with others following in 2013. But it is unlikely PreCheck will be available at all 450 commercial airports in the US.
Japanese charter flights doubled
Air New Zealand is doubling the number of charter services from Japan this summer, with 14 flights from seven Japanese cities (Nagoya, Fukuoka, Kagoshima, Hiroshima, Takamatsu and Shizuoka) to Auckland and Christchurch. The charters are on top of a 20% increase in capacity over the corresponding period last year in regular scheduled services from Tokyo and Osaka. Air New Zealand will operate six services a week from Tokyo in November and daily services from December along with three services per week from Osaka. Overall the flights are expected to bring up to 3200 additional Japanese tourists into New Zealand over the summer months.
Jetstar reinstates Hawaii service
Jetstar is restoring its Melbourne-Honolulu direct service as part of moves that will add 19,000 seats a month to three international holiday destinations. The Honolulu service will operate thrice weekly from December 15, using its 310-seat Airbus A330 aircraft. The airline will also increase Sydney-Phuket services to four a week and institute daily flights to Bali from Melbourne and Sydney. Hawaiian Airlines will start a Brisbane service in November and will add Auckland from mid-March next year.
Emirates A380 adds Amsterdam
Emirates keeps adding to its network on an almost weekly basis. This week it announced the start of daily services from Dubai to Phuket in Thailand and that you can now fly direct from Auckland to Amsterdam via Dubai on an Airbus A3980 superjumbo. The Dubai to Amsterdam flight leaves daily at 8.25am, connecting with daily A380 and its other services from New Zealand. Aside from Amsterdam, Emirates also offers A380 service direct from Auckland to five other European airports – London Heathrow, Manchester, Munich, Paris and Rome – with Moscow from December. The Phuket service will start on December 10 and Emirates’ second Thai destination after Bangkok. Emirates also operates a daily service to Bangkok from Christchurch via Sydney.
Beware Indonesia’s toxic cocktails
Medical professionals have warned tourists to be careful of welcome cocktails at holiday destinations in Asia. The latest issue of Emergency Medicine Australasia reports on the case of a19-year-old North American backpacker, who consumed 8-10 complimentary cocktails containing a mixture of Arrack and fruit juice contaminated with suspected methanol. After her arrival in Christchurch 35 hours later, she was suffering from shortness of breath and sought help at Christchurch Hospital when her vision began to fail, a sign of methanol poisoning. Although she survived, she has been left with permanent visual impairment. Methanol toxicity commonly occurs in third world countries as a result of home-brewed alcohol. In 2009, 25 died from just one methanol poisoning case in Indonesia and, in recent months, “an Australian nurse was poisoned by tainted arrack and another tourist died in similar circumstances,” say the authors (Drs Paul Gee and Elizabeth Martin, of Christchurch Hospital’s emergency department). Note: Arrack is a coconut flower, rice and sugarcane-based spirit common in Indonesia, which is produced commercially as well as illegally. It should not be confused with the Middle Eastern anise-flavoured liquor called Arak.