Saturday, March 29, 2008

Airlines now charge $25 for a second bag

Two major airlines, United Airlines and US Airways, have recently announced a new baggage policy that will require consumers traveling in economy class to pay a $25 fee for checking a second bag. This new policy applies for tickets bought after February 4th (US Airways) or after February 26th (United) for traveling within the 50 United States, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands or Canada on or after May 5, 2008. Other carriers are expected to follow.

Delta hasn't felt the need so far to tell you that beginning May 1, the fee will go into effect. It doesn't matter whether you booked your flight well before that date; if you're flying after May 1, you're paying for that second piece of luggage. At Delta, the fee affects both domestic and international flights (though business- and first-class and SkyMiles holders won't have to pay).

Northwest Airlines today announced changes to its luggage policies for coach class customers traveling within North America. For coach class travel on or after May 5, 2008, Northwest Airlines is matching several other U.S. network carriers and implementing a $25 charge for the customer’s second checked bag. The fee is applied each way. Coach class customers may continue to check one piece of luggage free of charge. These policies also apply to Northwest Airlink customers flying on Mesaba, Pinnacle or Compass Airlines.
Northwest Airlines’ Silver, Gold and Platinum WorldPerks elite customers, SkyTeam elite customers and passengers booked in full fare classes (Y or B) may still check two bags free of charge. Customers booked in first class can continue to check up to three bags free of charge.

All airlines currently allow one free checked bag, one carry-on and a personal item, such as your purse or laptop computer.

Other changes include an increase to $100 for three or more checked bags. Don’t expect to cheat the system by just buying a bigger suitcase. These airlines also increased the fee for over-weight bags from $50 for each bag that goes over the 50 pound weight limit, to $100 per bag.

American Airlines announced on Thursday it may start charging $25 to check a second bag. American said it filed a notice with the Canadian government indicating it may change its bag fee structure in Canada. That country requires 45 days notice to review such a change.

Only Continental and Alaska Airline has not announced a similar charge ... yet.

I think the next hurdle will be the "Battle of the Overhead Bin" .... when will the airlines start to charge for priority boarding? Hmmm ..... to be continued!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A New Beginning as Peace is Restored in Kenya!

A New Beginning as Peace is Restored in Kenya!

The New Year did not start well for Kenya. Kenyans found themselves the center of world attention as civil unrest erupted following the disputed elections. But although this was a disastrous start, Kenyans celebrated when the news flashed around the world on 28th February that an agreement had been signed between the two Kenyan political leaders, President Kibaki and Hon Odinga, ending the political impasse and restoring peace and harmony to the country.

The power-sharing agreement brought the two opposing sides together in a coalition government on terms agreeable to all and was the result of the efforts of Kofi Annan who had performed the role of mediator in the preceding weeks. This has provided the political solution to allow the country to recover from the civil unrest and we are confident that it will soon restore Kenya to its position as one of the most stable and successful countries in Africa. Kenyans were delighted to see an end to the political stalemate and tension. The feeling of relief was evident among people everywhere and for the first time in weeks optimism was high as many Kenyans expressed their hopes for a better and brighter future.

Since the ending of the political crisis, things have quickly returned to normal as peace and calm have been restored. The wildlife reserves, safari camps, beach resorts and international airports had all continued operating normally throughout the crisis and the 70,000 tourists who were visiting Kenya were not affected in any way but many visitors had decided to postpone their safaris until they could be assured that peace prevailed.

Now Kenya is able to welcome visitors back with the assurance that once again they can feel confident that they will be safe and secure while on holiday in Kenya.

To welcome guests back, many safari camps, among them all four Porini Camps are offering great value safaris, representing big savings on the usual prices.

Porini offers two great value safaris for travel in June: Staying at the Porini Camps in Selenkay, Amboseli, Laikipia and the Masai Mara.

6 nights / 7 days PORINI WILDERNESS EXPERIENCE US$1850 per person

8 nights / 9 days BIRDS AND BIG GAME SAFARI US$2299 per person

* Accommodation are in spacious and comfortable tents with en-suite bathrooms
* Day and Night Game drives in open-sided 4x4 safari vehicles
* Highly experienced professional safari guides
* Sundowners at scenic viewing points
* Escorted walks with Maasai guides and visit to Maasai village
* All meals, house wines, local beers, gin & tonics, soft drinks and mineral water
* All internal flights & park/conservancy fees
* Valid for travel in June only
* Valid for bookings confirmed and paid by May 15th 2008

Porini camps are small and exclusive, so there is limited space available. I recommend that you book now if you are looking for a super value safari to some of Africa's finest wildlife reserves, with prices for 7 days starting at $1850 per person inclusive of local flights, transport, all meals and drinks, and a host of activities including escorted walks, sundowners, authentic Maasai village visit, game drives in 4x4 vehicles with our excellent guides and night drives to see the nocturnal animals.
June is a good time to visit as the parks will be green after the rains and many of the animals will have given birth to coincide with the availability of lush grazing. This is also a time when there are likely to be fewer visitors in the parks before the high season and school holiday period of July, August and September.

Kenya's tourism industry plays a vital role in creating jobs and livelihoods for Kenyans and visitors always receive a warm welcome from the moment they arrive. By choosing a holiday in Kenya in June you will be helping the country to get back to normal so you will find you are especially welcome!

Please call or email me if you need any more information and I will be delighted to assist in arranging your safari or beach holiday in Kenya.
Kristina at 206-297-7179 or toll free 877-297-7179