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turbulence t ravel ne ws th at wi l l e xc it e y o u

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Welcome to THE June Edition! It’s hard to believe that we are halfway through 2014 already. Where does the time go? If you are planning a trip to Europe, Asia, South Africa or the USA, don’t miss the great deals this month with Cathay Pacific, flying in their great value Premium Economy cabin. A little extra on your airfare buys you more space and a much more refreshed arrival at your destination. Also check out the great deals from our partners at QUEST hotels. Like you, we are madly working towards the end of the financial year, make sure you have your medical insurance!! And if you need to get that last minute gift for someone special, make sure you check out the incredible range on offer at Bockers & Pony. They offer some very interesting gift ideas, Highly recommended! Enjoy




Melbourne to the world via Hong Kong London Paris Frankfurt Rome Milano New York

$3,812.32 $3,440.02 $3,483.12 $3,413.22 $3,400.02 $4,304.92

Terms and conditions: Ticket must be issued prior to 30 Jun 2014. For travel between 11 August 2014 and 03 October 2014. Subject to availability. Prices correct as at 10 June 2014. Booking and credit card fees may apply.



From $1080(AUD) per night in a Superior Room

This luxurious Bonus-Choice package entitles you to choose one of the following value-added benefits, in addition to complimentary internet access, daily American Breakfasts and late check-out until 4pm. Choices include the following: - - - -

2 x 75 Minute Spa Treatment EUR 225 dining credit at L’Abielle EUR 225 dining credit at Shang Palace EUR 300 credit for Room Upgrade upon arrival

Terms and conditions 1. A minimum stay of two nights is required. 2. The unused portion of the selected benefit is not transferable and will not be refunded to the hotel bill. 3. Dining credits may be used for all meal periods, except banquet functions, on food only (excluding beverages) and not applicable at the following outlets “Shangri-La Rooftop Lounge” and “La Terrasse d’été”. 4. Shang Palace will be closed from 15 to 20 August 2014 (both dates included) 5. L’Abielle will be closed 15 July 2014 and from 27 July to 25 August 2014 (both dates included) 6. Subject to availability. Prices correct as at 30 May 2014 and can change without notice. Booking and credit card fees may apply.

Contact Sean Simmons Travel today to inquire and make your reservation!

CONTACT The Sean Simmons Travel CONSULTING TEAM ON: Phone: +61 3 9429 3294 (local) Fax: +61 3 9429 3293 Suite 6, 53 Coppin Street, Richmond VIC 3121 ABN 48153795129

Toll Free: 1300 391 590 (interstate) Email: seansimmons

TCF 10343 TRAVEL AGENT LICENSE VIC 33025 IATA 02-3 6275 4

Introducing Quest Wodonga – The brand-new 4.5 star hotel right in the heart of Wodonga’s CBD. Comprising 80 tastefully decorated studio, 1, 2 & 3 bedroom apartments. Quest Wodonga is your perfect home away from home with Apartments featuring all you would expect from a 4.5 star hotel including, 42” LCD TV, WIFI, iPod dock & multi-unit charging stations, Foxtel, R/C Air-conditioning, full kitchen & private laundry facilities (Excluding Studios). Guests will also enjoy access to our onsite gymnasium, 20 meter outdoor swimming pool, BBQ Area & Business lounge. Complete your stay with us by enjoying an unforgettable food & drink experience at our onsite restaurant & sports bar Huon Hill. Quest Wodonga would like to offer subscribers of Turbulence a complimentary upgrade to the next available room type when booking a studio, complimentary wifi, a complimentary cooked breakfast at On-site restaurant Huon Hill on the morning of your departure* & And enjoy a night out at the Hot House Theatre with 2 exclusive open night tickets to their latest production*. Offer value $122 *Conditions: Maximum of 2 cooked breakfast per room booked. Hot House tickets only available on Opening Nights. Subject to availability. Credit card and booking fees may apply.


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As well as the typical baggage x-ray and walk through metal detector (or body scanner), you could be in for a pat down, a manual baggage search, explosive trace detection or a once-over with a hand held metal detector – or even all of the above. For this reason, if you notice upon checking in for your flight that your boarding pass is adorned with ‘SSSS’, we suggest heading directly to the security checkpoint because your screening time will take longer than usual.

‘SSSS’. It’s a seemingly random set of letters on the boarding pass for your domestic US flight, but it means you’re in for an extra security screening by the TSA agents. The letters themselves stand for Secondary Security Screening Selection, although neither the TSA nor the airlines have revealed the criteria on which passengers are chosen. So what does it mean when you see those letters appear on your boarding pass?

Once you’ve been through those extra checks and have been cleared, a TSA officer will apply some distinctive markings to your boarding pass – in the photograph shown, this is the handwritten ‘SSSS-10’ and the three stars next to ‘SSSS’, although the markings change frequently and vary from airport to airport. Those annotations on your boarding pass indicate that you’ve been screened appropriately to airline staff at the boarding gate. It’s a good idea to make sure that these annotations have been made once you’re finished with the additional checks – if your boarding pass lacks them, you won’t be able to board until you’ve been re-screened.


Bockers & Pony are a local, Richmondbased company who do the most luxurious designer gifts and hampers. They deliver next day Australia-wide, and also have a trusted same-day delivery service in the Melbourne metropolitan area for orders placed before 1.30pm. Their gifts and hampers are super-stylish, beautifully presented and are perfect for all occasions. We choose Bockers & Pony gifts when we want to say congratulations, happy birthday, welcome to the world or even bon voyage.

“Just take a deep breath.” “Don’t think about it.” “You’re more likely to die in a car wreck on the way to the airport than you are in a plane crash.” These are just a few of the many helpful tidbits of advice given to people with a fear of flying. But as Tom Cruise playing Lt. Daniel Kaffee in “A Few Good Men” said, “I get sick when I fly because I’m afraid of crashing into a large mountain. I don’t think Dramamine will help.” But there’s an app that just may. The VALK Foundation was one of the first centers for research and fear-offlying treatment in the world and is the organiser of three world conferences on fear of flying. They have a helpful app aimed to assist people with their fear of flying. The foundation said the app, called “Flight App VALK,” is the first scientifically-developed, web-based treatment for people who suffer from mild to moderate fear of flying. “The fear of flying application we have created aims to transfer all of the knowledge we have developed

through our therapy program over the last two decades into a mobile application that will help ease travellers’ fears,” said Dr. Lucas van Gerwen, director of the VALK Foundation. Dr. van Gerwen is also an aviation psychologist and professional pilot with more than 30 years’ experience. The foundation said up to 30 percent of adults are fearful fliers. The Flight App is designed to help relax passengers before and during flights by educating users about aerodynamics, flight safety and turbulence. It explains the sounds and sensations they can expect during departure, flight and landing. And, if a passenger’s flight stress reaches a panic level, they press a special “panic button” which provides audio and written information to help decrease stress levels.

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But wait, there’s more – one lucky order will also win this stunning ‘Brownie’ chocolate hamper valued at $149! Everything in this chocolate hamper is delicious. We couldn’t think of any other chocolate product on earth that would make your little chocolate lover happier. This gift can’t get any more perfect with products from Valrhona, Michel Cluizel and Zokoko.

Perhaps most importantly, the Flight App can be used during the flight in the airplane mode. Once downloaded, the program does not require internet connection in the air.

CONTACT The Sean Simmons Travel CONSULTING TEAM ON: Phone: +61 3 9429 3294 (local) Fax: +61 3 9429 3293 Suite 6, 53 Coppin Street, Richmond VIC 3121

Bockers & Pony have offered Sean Simmons Travel an exclusive deal to Turbulence subscribers between now and 15 July 2014. To receive 10% off all gift purchases simply enter the code TURBULENCE10 at the checkout when ordering online at

Toll Free: 1300 391 590 (interstate) Email: seansimmons

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as a member to get access to exclusive travel deals and discounts on branded luggage


Industry news

Thailand’s military has lifted the nationwide curfew it imposed in three major resorts - Phuket, Koh Samui and Pattaya – in order to restore tourist confidence The nightly curfew that kept both tourists and locals indoors was imposed following a military coup on May 22. It initially took effect between 10pm to 5am but was later shortened to between midnight and 4am. It has now been lifted in three beach resorts that are “peaceful and free from political protests”, according to the AP news agency, but will remain in Bangkok and elsewhere in the country.


Visitor numbers to Thailand have been down as a result of the coup, prompting concerns among tourist industry officials. Tourism accounts for about 7 per cent of the country’s economy. On Koh Phangan, a Gulf Coast island with a party reputation, Wannee Thaipanich, president of the Tourism Promotion Association, sent a letter to the local army asking them to ease the curfew to allow a full moon party on June 12 to continue all night, according to a report in the Bangkok Post. But the island, while it is next to Koh Samui, has not been named as one of the three areas that are now outside the curfew. The popular beach resort of Phuket however has been made an exception by the military. The streets and beaches have been quiet in the last few days, probably as much to do with the coup as the arrival of the rainy season.

Etihad Airways is set to unveil its new Business Studio on-board its first Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, when it takes delivery of the new aircraft later this year. A total of 70 next-generation Etihad Airways Business Studios, arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration, will be located on the upper deck of the A380, while the B787 will have 28 Business Studios, all with aisle access and a fully flat bed of up to 80.5 inches, offering Business Class guests a space where they can work, rest and play. The Business Studios also offer plenty of storage space for personal items as well as ample side-furniture

convenient for resting laptops, tablets and books, and features contemporary Arabian-inspired design and different lighting options. Further to this, Etihad Airways is also introducing the latest Panasonic EX3 entertainment system across both fleets, providing more than 750 hours of on-demand entertainment. “We are confident this new product will meet the diverse needs and highest expectations of today’s business traveller who will experience the Business Studio onboard our new A380 and B787,” Etihad Airways chief commercial officer Peter Baumgartner said.


“All the beach bars and restaurants are trading but they’ve told me they are quieter than usual,” said Lee Cobaj, our Phuket expert, yesterday. “We’ve still not seen any military, though,” she added, “and have had foreign TV channels almost the entire time.” Some national and international television channels were temporarily banned from broadcasting in some parts of the country. The midnight to 4am curfew will remain in the capital Bangkok for the time being, to the disappointment of hotel, bar and restaurant owners. Five-star hotel owners in the city told Lee Cobaj that they were running at about 30 per cent occupancy. “They’ve also had to close some of their restaurants as they just can’t fill them,” she said. “The curfew is really hitting the hospitality industry hard up here.”

Virgin Atlantic is introducing a limited edition “onesie” for business class passengers to wear on long-haul flights.

Troops and police were deployed into central Bangkok on Sunday to stop anti-coup protests, which were mostly limited to small gatherings held around shopping malls.

The airline will trial the unisex clothing item on select services from mid-June.

The military has banned political gatherings of five or more people.

It marks the first time that an airline has brought in a onesie.

The latest advice from the Foreign Office ( foreign-travel-advice/thailand) warns British tourists to be wary about making political statements in public.

The bespoke black onesie has a slogan, “sleepy head”, on the back. Fay Burgin, Virgin Atlantic’s head of global public relations, said: “We are passionate about new innovations such as bringing our Upper Class passengers the first ever airline onesie.

Some protestors have begun adopting a three-fingered salute as a sign of protest against the coup, which is similar to that used by characters in the film the Hunger Games. A spokesman for the military reportedly said today it would consider taking action against those using the salute in large groups.

“OnePiece onesies are the original and best and our design teams have been working tirelessly to create a onesie that offers the perfect combination for a satisfying slumber on one of the longest, fully flat, beds in business class.”

The Foreign Office’s website advises: “It is illegal to criticise the coup and you should be wary of making political statements in public. Some anti-coup demonstrations are taking place in Bangkok and some other cities. These could become violent. “You should exercise extreme caution and remain Continued next page

CONTACT The Sean Simmons Travel CONSULTING TEAM ON: Phone: +61 3 9429 3294 (local) Fax: +61 3 9429 3293 Suite 6, 53 Coppin Street, Richmond VIC 3121 ABN 48153795129

Toll Free: 1300 391 590 (interstate) Email: seansimmons

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as a member to get access to exclusive travel deals and discounts on branded luggage

Industry news (Continued)

Costing £8.50 a day, it will also have cross-border connectivity and, in a car hire industry first in Europe, no roaming charges.

alert to the situation. If you’re in any doubt about your safety, stay in your accommodation. You should avoid all protests sites, political gatherings, demonstrations and marches.”

Mark Servodidio, managing director at Avis UK, said: “Every year 6.78 million business people make a trip abroad from UK airports to attend that allimportant meeting or seal a business deal, so being able to stay connected is an essential part of any business trip.

Authorities have advised that the curfew does not apply to those travelling to or from airports, but departing or arriving travellers should have their passports and tickets with them for presentation.

VIRGIN AUSTRALIA FREQUENT FLIERS TO EARN POINTS AT AUSTRALIA POST Members of Virgin Australia’s Velocity Frequent Flyer will soon earn points on bill payments made through Australia Post. From June 6, every bill payment of $50 or more through MyPost Digital Mailbox earns 50 Velocity points – although regular bill payments made through Postbillpay aren’t part of the offer. A free service of Australia Post, MyPost Digital Mailbox allows customers to securely receive letters, documents and to pay bills from anywhere in the world, earning Velocity points at the same time. Sweetening the deal and encouraging paperless billing, Velocity members can also earn a bonus 1,000 points when signing up for a digital mailbox from June 6 to July 6, 2014. Telstra, AMP, Sydney Water and Brisbane City Council are among those already using the MyPost system, launched just last year. Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti said: “While Australia Post is one of Australia’s oldest companies, it is now leading the way with innovative self-service tools and maintains a strong affinity with its loyal customer base. These are values that align closely with Virgin Australia as we continue to drive innovation through our loyalty program.” Later this year, travellers will also be able to receive their monthly Velocity statements through the MyPost system.

QATAR UNVEILS ‘MY Q-TAG’ Qatar Airways has introduced a time-saving system that allows passengers to print their baggage tag online. The My Q-Tag lets passengers arrive at the airport and proceed directly to the “web check-in bag drop counter”, where their already-labelled luggage is processed. The process is currently available to 103 destinations flying from Doha’s Hamad International Airport. After checking-in online, passengers need to select “Enter baggage details”, input the number of bags they plan to carry, and then print off a form that folds into four quarters. This is then placed into a plastic wallet that is available at the check-in desk. Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker said: “Qatar Airways passengers will be thrilled to take advantage of our new My Q-Tag service, along with the comfort and functional design of the new airport, and the exceptional shopping and dining choices it offers.” Qatar Airways claims it is the first within the Gulf region to implement the online system on international destinations.

AVIS LAUNCHES MOBILE WIFI UNIT IN THE UK Car hire company Avis has now launched a mobile wi-fi unit across Europe. The device allows Avis customers to connect up to five devices, including smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other wi-fi-enabled gadgets, simultaneously.

“With approximately £4.2 billion spent by European business travellers in 2012 just on connectivity, we wanted to make people’s lives easier, and give our customers a cost-effective, seamless experience from door-to-door, and a convenient way of staying connected – not just whilst they are in the car.” The wi-fi unit will give travelers access to 1GB a day worth of internet access and a download speed of 21.6mbps. It would be awesome to see this fantastic innovation reach Australia!

STAR ALLIANCE: WHAT AUSTRALIAN FREQUENT FLYERS NEED TO KNOW Despite being the largest of the three global airline networks, many Australians are less familiar with Star Alliance than with its competitor Oneworld. After all, Oneworld counts Qantas as a cornerstone member but Star hasn’t had an Australian member since the collapse of Ansett almost a decade ago. Several international Star Alliance members remain active in the Australian skies, however. And two of these – Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines – are partners with Virgin Australia, which provides Virgin passengers the chance to earn points with those airlines rather than Virgin’s own Velocity program. So here’s a rundown on Star Alliance for Australian frequent flyers and even infrequent flyers. Think of it as ‘Star Alliance 101’. Star has 26 member airlines on its books, with Air India set to join their ranks in July. Of those airline, nine currently fly in Australian skies: • • • • • • • • •

Air Canada Air China Air New Zealand Asiana Airlines EVA Air Singapore Airlines South African Airways Thai Airways International United Airlines

Each of these offers direct flights from Australia to their home hubs, which then puts scores of connecting flights at your fingertips. Some Star Alliance members are handily located close by – for example, both Lufthansa and SWISS fly to Singapore, which means that a trip to the Lion City opens up your options for heading straight to Frankfurt and Zurich respectively.

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The reason is that Aegean has a very low threshold of miles you need to fly before achieving Gold status in its own frequent flyer scheme. However, once you’ve pocketed that Aegean Gold card it unlocks Gold-grade privileges and perks - such as lounge access, additional checked luggage, priority baggage and even a better chance of an upgrade – across all other Star Airlines.

DEMAND FOR MIDDLE EAST AIRLINES LEAPFROGS OTHER CARRIERS’ GROWTH RATES Middle Eastern airlines, led by Gulf carriers, continued their supremacy in 2014 as they posted the world’s strongest growth rates for the fourth consecutive month for international passenger demand, data issued by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) revealed on Wednesday. During the first four months of 2014, global passenger traffic demand has grown by single digits while Middle Eastern carriers have seen double-digit growth rates. International passenger demand in April was up 8.5 per cent compared to a year ago, with all regions recording growth. Capacity rose 6.9 per cent and load factor climbed 1.2 percentage points to 79 per cent, said a statement issued by the industry body. “Middle East carriers’ demand soared 18.6 per cent in April, easily the strongest growth for any region. Capacity climbed 13.1 per cent and load factor jumped 3.8 percentage points to 80.8 per cent. Airlines in the Middle East continue to benefit from the strength of regional economies and solid growth in businessrelated premium travel,” IATA said. April was the strongest month yet in 2014 for the Middle East airlines. They saw 18.1 per cent growth in January, and hit a low of 10 per cent in March. February growth was 13.4 per cent. “April’s demand growth was a pleasant surprise in the face of the moderating trend of recent months but it is not clear whether the acceleration in demand is sustainable in view of global economic trends including slower growth in China,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO. Latin American airlines ranked second in terms of international passenger demand, rising 8.2 per cent, followed by European carriers at 7.9 per cent. African airlines posted the weakest traffic growth of 3.9 per cent. “The strong demand for air travel recorded in April reinforces aviation’s importance as an enabler of global economic growth and job creation, while the slowdown in Japan’s demand growth illustrates the sensitivity of the sector — and the economic benefits that it provides to taxes,” Tyler said.

The two Star Alliance tiers: Silver and Gold The top tiers of each member airline’s frequent frequent flyer schemes line up against the Star Alliance tiers of Silver and Gold, so your status is recognised by other airlines in the Star family. Star Alliance Silver members don’t get a whole lot across the entire alliance: priority reservations waitlisting and priority airport standby don’t add up to much. Star Alliance Gold cardholders, by contrast, enjoy a raft of benefits: priority reservations waitlisting, airport standby, check-in, boarding and baggage, plus extra luggage allowance (20kg or one extra bag), and access to the Star Alliance Gold lounges. There’s a natty trick to fast-tracking Star Alliance Gold status which can shoot to the top of the frequent flyer food chain with as little as one flight.

CONTACT The Sean Simmons Travel CONSULTING TEAM ON: Phone: +61 3 9429 3294 (local) Fax: +61 3 9429 3293 Suite 6, 53 Coppin Street, Richmond VIC 3121

This involves joining the free Miles&Bonus frequent flyer program of Greece’s Aegean Airlines, which is part of the Star Alliance family, and list your Miles&Bonus number as the account to be credited for your next international flight with any Star Alliance airline – especially if you’re in business or first class.

Toll Free: 1300 391 590 (interstate) Email: seansimmons

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as a member to get access to exclusive travel deals and discounts on branded luggage

Turbulence June 2014  
Turbulence June 2014  

Travel news that will excite you!