Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lufthansa Pilots Vote to Strike Next Week

FRANKFURT — Pilots for Lufthansa and two of its subsidiaries voted Wednesday to hold a four-day strike next week, raising the prospect of delays and cancellations for customers of the largest German airline.
The Cockpit Association, which represents about 4,500 pilots at Lufthansa and two subsidiaries, said that 94 percent of members had voted to strike from February 22nd - 25th 2010.
Work would cease from just after midnight Monday to midnight Thursday and affect flights by Lufthansa as well as the Lufthansa Cargo unit and the no-frills carrier, Germanwings.
The airline and the union broke off talks in December after failing to reach agreement on the pilots’ demand that Lufthansa promise not to lay off any cockpit crew.
The pilots said that the airline, which uses Frankfurt International Airport as its main hub, wants to shift passengers to subsidiaries like Austrian Airlines and British Midland, which pay their flight crews less.
Jörg Handwerg, a pilot and spokesman for the union, said that the pilots would consider forsaking a pay raise in return for job guarantees. “For us job security is crucial,” Mr. Handwerg said during an interview by
telephone. “We want to keep the jobs in Germany.”
Lufthansa said in a statement that it is ready to offer assurances on jobs, but that pilots made other unacceptable demands. “The union also insisted on a greater say on fundamental entrepreneurial issues, equating to intervention in business management at the airline,” Lufthansa said. “That demand cannot be accepted.”
Both sides said they remained willing to bargain.

The strike vote comes as Lufthansa continues to suffer declines in bookings and profit. In the first nine months of 2009, its last reported period, the company lost €32 million, or $44 million, compared to a net profit of €529 million in the period a year earlier. Sales fell 13 percent to €16.2 billion.

A Lufthansa spokeswoman, Claudia Lange, said that it was too early to say how severely the strike would disrupt air traffic. The airline may be able to partly compensate by using partners or other carriers.
Passengers will be able to rebook flights without paying a penalty, Ms. Lange said, and will also receive full refunds if they choose not to fly during the strike period or if their flights are canceled.

Passengers who are already booked on a Lufthansa flight during February 22 to 25, 2010, and wish to change their travel plans can rebook once free of charge to another Lufthansa flight -- provided their ticket is issued before February 18, 2010 and their new travel date is before March 31, 2010. Their departure and arrival destinations must also remain the same.
Applicable rules for flight cancellations caused by strike action:
Should the purpose of a journey become null and void because of a flight cancellation, passengers can annul their flight booking free of charge.
Please contact us for any further information or questions!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Starting March 20, 2010: ESTA registration required for passengers traveling to the U.S. on the Visa Waiver Program

Starting March 20, 2010, entry requirements for passengers traveling to the U.S. that were initiated in January 2009 are becoming more stringent for airlines: passengers traveling to the United States without a visa under the Visa Waiver program is prohibited if the passengers have not received an electronic entry permit from the U.S. authorities prior to departure. Registrations can be completed online via ESTA, the electronic system for travel authorization.
As of March 20, 2010, if a passenger is not registered at the time of check-in for the flight into the U.S., they will be refused entry into the United States.

Since registration is free of charge and remains valid for two years, we recommend that you register early at This website also provides more information about U.S. entry regulations. Please also note that registration can also be completed by a third party, such as a family member or a travel agent.

Until further notice, travelers to the U.S. must also fill out the green I-94W arrival form, in addition to registering with ESTA. This form is given out at the airport upon arrival or on board your flight to the U.S.

Registration is not required for persons traveling to the U.S. with a visa, American and Canadian citizens as well as passengers with a residence permit (Green Card) for the United States.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Viva Las Vegas

I (Amy) recently came back from a weekend trip to Las Vegas and I have to say I never stayed in a nicer hotel in Vegas then the “Signature at MGM Grand".

The "Signature @ MGM Grand" lets you revel in the luxury of Junior, One-Bedroom, and Two-Bedroom Suites in three 40-story towers, each with 576 suites. Located next to MGM Grand, The Signature’s separate entrance brings you into this secluded enclave near the heart of all the action. Many suites boast a private balcony with view. All suites offer 24-hour Concierge, pillow-top beds, lavish bathrooms featuring Jacuzzi® tubs, upscale linens, and gourmet in-suite dining around the clock. Additional amenities: an exclusive heated pool complex, personal check-in/check-out privileges, HDTV flat-screen TVs with DVD/CD players, I Pod docking stations, high-speed Internet access, Fitness Center, Business Center and much more.

Nightly resort fee of $20.00 per night, plus 9% Hotel tax affords Signature guests' with the following luxury amenities and hotel services: access to the fitness center at The Signature, free local and 800# calls, in-suite private label coffee, and two bottles of water per day.
We booked the Nonstop Travel (not Hotel) rate which is 15% discount off of the Best Available Rate. So even cheaper then the rates that the hotel offered themselves. So don’t forget to call us for your next trip!

Gated entrance to the resort - Valet parking only – absolute separate check–in to the MGM Grand - no lines at check-in – extremely friendly service and then all our Nonstop Travel amenities kicked in:
  • Continental Breakfast for two Daily available through Delights Delicatessen (which we could also use for room service)
  • $50 Entertainment Credit, per Suite, per Stay. Credit may be redeemed at Tabu Ultra Lounge, Studio 54, Rouge, Zuri, Crazy Horse at MGM Grand or KA, by Cirque du Soleil. (Restrictions apply)  
  • Free room upgrade (if available)

So instead of our booked Junior Suite we got a 1-bedroom-suite with balcony overlooking the strip and the mountains in the background! Stunning! We felt like kings.

You can walk down to the strip through the MGM Grand Casino or through the gates one block down the street.
I really wanted to see the new City Center Complex on the strip! Pretty amazing.
With the grand opening in December 2009 it is the newest attraction on the strip! So far only the Aria, the Vdara and the Mandarin Oriental and the Crystal with high-profile shops and restaurant are open.

It is designed to have all commodities for daily life, featuring a 4,000-room hotel and casino (Aria), two 400-room boutique hotels (The Residences at Mandarin Oriental, with 227 residential condo units, and the Harmon Hotel and Spa), a purely residential offering (Veer Towers), a condo-hotel (Vdara Condo-hotel) and a 500,000 sq ft (46,000 m2) retail and entertainment district which will house the first grocery store directly on the Strip. The multi-use project makes extensive use of green technologies, such as using reclaimed water and an on-site power plant.
We decided to see the Cirque du Soleil Show “LOVE” with music from the Beatles playing at the “Mirage” for a 25% discount through the Mirage website!

My first Cirque du Soleil show… and honestly I didn’t know where to look at first. Overwhelming as there is so much going on stage. But I loved it. Great show!

When we picked up the tickets for the show we also received 2 for 1 voucher for the “Revolution Lounge” just next to the “LOVE” theatre. We still had time before the show began, so we went! Revolutionary in design and atmosphere, this ultra-lounge features cutting edge, interactive experiences to create a psychedelic sensory environment and a contemporary interpretation of The Beatles.

But the best were the VIP tables! By using infrared technology, they are letting guests create tabletop artwork, which is then projected onto amorphic columns scattered throughout the room. The application of this technology cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Have a look here!
All in one it was a great weekend which ended with a late check-out at the hotel and the buffet at the “Bellagio” Do I need to say anything more?

Click here if you need more!

Oceania Ship Inspection

We, Chris, Christiane and I (Yvonne), recently visited the beautiful Regatta/ Oceania, while stopping in Los Angeles before cruising to the Mexican Riviera.


When we boarded the ship for an afternoon, we could feel the upscale, warm feeling which you usually experience in a boutique hotel.

I was very impressed with all the public areas on the ship. From the entrance, to the library, the lounges, the bars, the small casino, the Terrace Café, the dining rooms… it all made you feel like you are in a country club. Yet, not stuffy, rather a relaxed elegance that the ship has to offer. So you can leave the evening gowns and tuxedo at home.

We were invited to lunch at the grand dining room. The food was so delicious, we could not believe our own eyes, what they had to offer. The grand dining room has a sophisticated elegance about it and even though it is called grand, it felt very comfortable and cozy to eat there. I was able to look at the dinner menus, to make sure they don’t just butter up their travel agents, and I was utterly impressed by all the delicious choices guests were about to experience.

The ship offers 24 hours room service, but with 6 restaurants to choose from you might not want to stay in your cabin all the time.

With so many entertainment and enrichment options, there is never a shortage of things to do on an Oceania Cruises vacation.

The Regatta can hold 684 guests and employs 400 staff members to cater to every whim, with highly personalized service.

It is definitely an upper premium cruise line and with the ships being smaller, they are able to offer unique itineraries. We currently offer exclusive promotions with our Signature Travel Network. Please do not hesitate to contact me or one of my colleagues with any questions you might have. Getting a first hand look at this beautiful ship, tasting the cuisine, lounging at the impressive public areas such as the Martini bar, the theater and the library as well as being able to inspecting all cabin types makes it so much easier to tell you all about this cruise line. We feel very happy about selling Oceania cruises to our valued clients. It is a great cruise line for your vacation!

Also when you book through Nonstop Travel you will enjoy these special ameneties and added values:

· Free Air
· 2-for-1 Cruise Fares
· Up to $2,000 Savings
· Up to $100 per Couple Shipboard Credit

Click here to find out more!