News

Volcanos, acquisitions, typos and a strengthening AUD: Here’s what you missed over the break

Welcome back to the daily grind, travellers!

If you, like us, decided to spend your festive break focusing on important things (like wine and Netflix) and need to catch up on all the travel news that passed while you were otherwise engaged, we’ve got you covered.

We’ve rounded up all the most important stories that broke over the holiday period so you can get a head start to your New Year.

Here’s what you missed:

Father takes six flights over Christmas to be with flight attendant daughter10671574-3x2-940x627

A very devoted dad came up with a genius plan to spend new years with his daughter, despite her work schedule.

According to the ABC, Hal Vaughan accompanied his daughter Pierce on six flights over three days as she worked her job as a flight attendant for Delta Airlines over the holiday period.

“Long story short, I had missed a lot of time with Pierce this summer,” Vaughan told The New York Times.

“I just felt terrible thinking about her spending her first Christmas alone, even though she’s 25.”

Can we get an “AAAWWWW!!!”

Read more here.

Sydney Harbour’s New Years Typo

Those celebrating the New Year in Sydney were somewhat surprised to see the words “Happy New Year 2018” projected on the Sydney Harbour Bridge when the count down concluded.

Looks like somebody may be starting 2019 looking for a new job.

Read more here.

Bali’s Mount Agung is back at it again

Bali Mt. Agung volcano eruption

A volcano on Australia’s favourite Indonesian island shot a new burst of hot ash into the air on the day before New Years.

Mount Agung erupted for about three minutes, spewing white clouds of smoke and ash more than 700 meters into the air, according to SMH.

Ngurah Rai International Airport spokesman Arie Ahsanurrohim told SMH flights were operating normally and the air around Denpasar, the Bali provincial capital, is clear from ash.

Read more here.

Flight Centre expands in the US with new acquisition

On the 21st, Flight Centre announced new investments in the US with the acquisition of Silicon Vally-based Casto Travel Inc’s United States operations.

The travel giant has also bolstered its emerging in-destination travel experiences network (TEN) by signing a 10-year agreement to lease the four-star Camakila Legian Bali Hotel.

Graham ‘Skroo’ Turner, Flight Centre’s managing director said the new businesses were significant additions to the company’s diverse global network.

“Across our major geographies, we are investing in three key business sectors that we see as key future growth drivers globally,” he said.

Read more here.

Aussie dollar reaches three year low, but things are looking up

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After sinking to a three year low at the start of January, the Australian dollar appears to be recovering.

Falling as low as 67.15 US cents last Thursday, the currency experienced a surge on Friday, strengthened by a concoction of positive headlines, according to News Corp.

“If ever there was a case of a currency going from zero to hero in the space of 24 hours, it was the Australian dollar between Thursday and Friday,” head of FX Strategy at the National Australia Bank Ray Attrill told Business Insider.

“The AUD/USD was Friday’s best performing currency by far, adding 1.5 per cent to close above 0.71 for the first time since December 20.”

Read more here.

Venice introduces entry fee for day trippers

Tourists in the crowded the bridge in Venice.

The ultra-popular destination has won approval to introduce an entry fee for short stay visitors.

The new ‘landing fee”, specifically targetting day-trippers arriving on cruise ships, is expected to be set at between €2.50 (AUD $4) and €5 ( AUD $8) but could rise to €10 (AUD $16) at peak times.

Read more here.

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Cruise

Uniworld sues MSC over $18.5m in damages from Venice ship collision

by Christian Fleetwood

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises has levelled a lawsuit against MSC Cruises over massive damages sustained in a Venice ship collision last year.

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Travel Agents

Agent Wrap: Registrations open for RWC 2023, Counselling for agents impacted by bushfires + MORE!

This week’s Agent Wrap is full of everything you need on a Friday: news of agents on voyages around the world, plenty of pictures and, most importantly, a short word count.

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Wholesalers

Wholesaler launches flexible European coach-touring brand

The new brand combines the convenience of escorted tours and the independence of FIT, with guaranteed departures on all tours, regardless of their size.

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Aviation

Aussie influencer slammed after tricking airline into free business-class upgrade

by Huntley Mitchell

An Australian influencer has copped a swathe of criticism after wearing a moon boot to successfully con airline staff into a free business-class upgrade.

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Destinations

South Australian Tourism Commission warned ‘Old mate’ ads weren’t “child-friendly” months before launch

Just released documents have shown that the SATC was warned its now infamous ‘Old mate’ ads were inappropriate months before the campaign even launched.

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Tourism

Flavour of the Week: Ex-Liberals leader named Boeing’s new regional boss, CMV’s team expansion + MORE!

If this edition of Flavour of the Week was a marine animal, it would be a blue whale. In other words, this wrap is an absolute whopper.

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Aviation

PHOTOS: Coco the very good rabbit scores a seat in business class

Nobody freak out, but we’ve got some very important news: this very cute bunny rabbit wearing a bowtie just scored its own seat in business class, and the photos are SO CUTE!

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Tourism

Coronavirus poses bigger threat to Aussie airports than SARS: analyst

Meanwhile, China has placed more than 18 million people in lockdown overnight as the number of those infected climbs to 650, with 18 confirmed deaths.

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Wholesalers

Wendy Wu Tours’ Aussie boss exits after less than three months

Troy Ackerman’s sudden departure follows that of Wendy Wu Tours global CEO Joe Karbo in July last year.

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Aviation

Qantas, Virgin Australia update pet travel policies following dog deaths

by Christian Fleetwood

Australia’s leading carriers will introduce further precautions on their pet policies, in association with the RSPCA.

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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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