LATEST TRAVEL NEWS
Air France’s Airbus A330 aircraft will offer new seats, products and services in its economy and premium economy cabins from January next year.
On flights of between eight and a half and ten and a half hours, customers will be offered a ‘Bon Appétit’ breakfast bag containing snacks to take with them or to eat on board.
Economy cabin passengers will be able to stay connected with Wi-Fi throughout their flight as this functionality is progressively installed on all Air France aircraft. Each seat is equipped with an audio headset.
Premium economy cabin passengers will be welcomed with a hot towel to freshen up and a glass of champagne. Their meal will be served in new tableware and gourmet snacks will be available on a self-service basis on flights longer than eight and a half hours.
Alitalia will transfer all its domestic and international flights from Milan Linate Airport to Milan Malpensa between 27 July and 27 October 2019 while Milan Linate airport is closed for runway maintenance works.
Travellers already holding tickets from Milan Linate between those dates will be able to be rebooked on flights from Milan Malpensa without penalty, or they can ask for a refund.
Passengers on the Milan Linate-Rome Fiumicino route will be able to choose between Milan Malpensa or Bergamo Orio al Serio airport, from where the airline will operate four additional daily services to Fiumicino during the period.
British Airways (BA) has opened a new first-class lounge at New York JFK Airport’s Terminal 7 for gold cardholders and first-class passengers, while also upgrading the main concourse for all customers, adding extra seating in the gate areas and more power points for charging electronic devices.
Security and check-in zones have been redesigned to speed up travelling through the airport.
BA will complete its refurbishment of Terminal 7 in 2019 with the upgrade of the business-class lounge.
TIC TRAVEL INSURANCE
TIC has introduced a new car-rental excess waiver benefit to all its international products.
The new waiver offers reimbursement of the excess for which a traveller is liable if they are involved in an accident or if a hired car is stolen. The benefit is being introduced on TIC’s business products, as well as on its Leisure Comprehensive and Leisure Standard products.
Additional changes to TIC’s products include overall benefit limit increases on various products including medical and related expenses, pre-existing illness cover, cancellation cover, accidental death, travel delay, weather conditions, luggage cover and luggage delay.
The company’s travel delay benefit now also introduces reimbursement for lounge access costs. Missed events are included as insured events under journey cancellation and curtailment cover.
Senior cover is now available for up to 123 days and the denied visa benefit is restricted to SA passport holders only.
The Immigration Office at the Australian High Commission in Pretoria is receiving high volumes of visa applications leading into the peak season. The office has warned that the processing of visa applications may experience some delays.
Applicants are therefore advised to lodge their visa applications as early as possible. Furthermore, travellers who are planning to visit Australia for a holiday during Christmas and New Year must lodge their application before Friday, 30 November for planned travel between 21 December and 5 January 2019. Visa applications that are lodged late may not be processed until next year.
Incomplete applications are being identified as another cause of delays. In these instances, standard supporting documents, such as copy of passport, evidence of funds, evidence of employment, invitation letter and health insurance (required for travellers 75+) are missing from the applications, or requirements such as biometrics or medical examinations not being undertaken in a timely manner.
To meet the growing volume of visa lodgements within committed time frames, the immigration office will no longer request standard supporting documents to be attached or make multiple requests for biometrics to be undertaken. A client’s visa application will be decided on the information provided at lodgement, but the office has warned that it may be adversely affected by incomplete applications.
Airlink has introduced a third daily flight between Durban and East London, operating at midday on weekdays. The new flight will start on Monday, 22 October on the following schedule:
- Flights will depart Durban at 12h00, arriving at East London at 13h20.
- Return flight will depart East London at 13h45, arriving in Durban at 15h05.
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
The UAE will now grant visitors on visitor/tourist visas a 30-day extension twice (total of 60 days) without having to leave the country. There will be a charge of Dh600 (R2 343) per each additional 30-day period.
Previously, travellers had to leave the UAE after the expiry of their three-month visit visa or one-month tourist visa and then apply for a new visa in their country of origin to be able to return to the country.