Road & Rail

Road & rail wrap: Europcar fined over credit card fees, Railway Adventures’ Sri Lanka initiative + MORE!

Toot toot, chugga chugga! It’s the road and rail wrap! Get amongst all the latest overland news and deals while we desperately try to avoid being sued by The Wiggles for using their trademark toots and chuggas.

Europcar fined for excessive credit card fees 

Europcar has been fined $350,000 after the Federal Court of Australia found it charged its customers excessive fees for using credit and debit cards to rent a car.

The rental car company admitted it shared Visa and Mastercard customers fees that were higher than the cost of processing payments in 2017 after the ACCC took the company to court in July last year, the The Australian Financial Report reported.

Railway Adventures encourages Aussies to come back to Sri Lanka

Viceroy Special on bridge_HERO

Railway Adventures is encouraging Australians to contribute to rebuilding the tourism industry in Sri Lanka, after recent incidents caused a major downturn in numbers, by joining the company’s owner as host on the 15-day ‘Sri Lanka on the Viceroy Special’ tour.

Departing on November 5, this roundtrip from Colombo includes travelling on the highly acclaimed steam train, the Viceroy Special, and includes a selection of art workshops and creative experiences by Sri Lankan-born Australian artist and art tutor, Chan Dissanayake who will accompany the group on this adventure.

This tour is priced from $10, 475 per person twin share and includes accommodation, mostly five star, with daily breakfast and many local meals,  luxury charter coach with luggage transport on rail travel days, entry fees on a vast variety of guided sightseeing excursions and even includes all tips and gratuities plus visa fees (if applicable) Airport transfers may be included on select flights from Australia.

Rail Europe releases two-for-one France-Spain connections 

Carcassonne

For a limited time only, Rail Europe is offering two-for-one deals on selected France-Spain High Speed connections between the two countries.

The connections are between Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Carcassonne, Valence, Aix en Provence, Avignon, Nimes, Montpellier and Madrid, and Barcelona.

Bookings must be made by 10 September 2019 and travel completed between 5 September and 14 December 2019. There are no black-out dates, but terms and conditions apply.

15 per cent discount off overland journeys that actively avoid overtourism hotspots

Whilst overtourism is a relatively new term, Dragoman has been fighting against the very essence of it for the past 38 years.

Avoiding the typical tourist trail is part of its DNA, and they have been taking curious travellers off the beaten track since starting way back in 1981.

With the spotlight firmly on sustainable and responsible travel and a strong push to discourage travellers from places heavily affected by overtourism, overland travel has once again come to the forefront.

Dragoman is taking this opportunity to further encourage travellers to step away from the norm and support the fight against overtourism by offering a 15 per cent discount on 15 of their more remote Overland journeys.

New Budapest-to-Prague private train Tour unveiled

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On this new private train journey being offered by MIR Corporation, guests will enjoy the pleasures of Old World rail travel aboard the luxurious Golden Eagle Danube Express from Budapest to Prague.

On the way, they’ll stop in Slovakia’s capital, Bratislava, to admire the imposing Bratislava Castle, explore Vienna’s historic centre, visit Krakow, tour four UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and end the tour at a five-star hotel in Prague. This Budapest to Prague private train tour is scheduled for 5 to 12 July 2020. Prices range from $6,895 to $21,995 per person.

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Aviation

Canberra Airport closed as fire services use airfield to fight “out of control” bushfire

Canberra Airport has cancelled departures and arrivals as its airfield is used by aviation fire services to facilitate aerial firefighting efforts.

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Hotels

Hotel Wrap: Accor’s new rideshare partner, Melia Hotels International opens first Thai hotel + MORE!

Welcome to the Hotel Wrap. This week’s addition features some gobsmackingly wonderful properties which we warn could cause a severe case of FOMO.

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Road & Rail

Road & Rail Wrap: Railbookers and Amtrak sale, Indian Railways to introduce pod hotel + MORE!

Planning your next overseas trip but riddled with flight shame? Bury some of it on receipt of this week’s Road & Rail Wrap.

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Tourism

Leading demographer says purpose is defining modern-day travel

by Christian Fleetwood

Purpose, aspiration, and the pursuit of authentic experiences are defining the way we travel, according to a well-known Australian demographer.

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Wholesalers

The Excite Holidays news that agents didn’t want to receive

by Huntley Mitchell

The first creditors meeting about the collapse of Excite Holidays has revealed the wholesaler’s debt is estimated to be up to $35.1 million, and the news gets worse.

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Destinations

Tourism Australia launches ‘Holiday Here This Year’ campaign to boost bushfire recovery

It’s yet another campaign from Tourism Australia. Hopefully this one won’t need to be pulled like the Kylie ad.

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Technology

Webjet boss scores massive pay rise, as sale speculation lingers

by Huntley Mitchell

John Guscic’s salary has almost doubled, meaning he’s probably down at his local Maserati dealership right now purchasing a new sports car or few.

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Cruise

Viking unveils new online trade marketing centre

Do you find selling Viking is a bit of a breeze? Well, prepare to put both feet up and recline your office chair thanks to the cruise line’s newest offering.

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Aviation

Velocity Frequent Flyer’s CEO to fly the coop

Karl Schuster will be shedding a tear or two over his impending departure, as he prepares to kiss goodbye unlimited Velocity Frequent Flyer points and free stays on Sir Richard’s private island.

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Aviation

Flight diverted after passenger takes off pants, kicks chairs and hits flight attendant

According to fellow passengers, the man’s girlfriend also got involved by spitting at them and threatening legal action.

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Aviation

Boeing: Judge orders pilots suing manufacturer over 737 MAX to reveal their names

by Christian Fleetwood

Pilots suing Boeing over lost wages have been given an ultimatum: reveal their names or withdraw the case.

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Travel Agents

Failed travel agency issued customers fake plane tickets before going under

Yet another travel agency has filed for liquidation, this time after issuing customers with fake plane tickets.

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