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June 2014 Travel News & Alerts

01 June 2014

India Visa Application Changes

All Indian Business visa applications now require the applicant to attach a Business card or Name card with immediate effect. 

For more information, please visit the following website www.vfsglobal.com/india/singapore or call the helpline number 62260021 (Mon-Fri between 0830 to 1730 hrs) or email info.insg@vfshelpline.com.

Alternatively, please contact your Travel Manager

Delta and United new Carry-Ons Measurements

Delta and United Airlines have imposed new carry-on limits. These reduction in sizes may not be prominent but before packing for your upcoming trip, please take note of the new dimensions that are allowed on-board.  

Delta’s New Guidelines:

  • Baggage may not exceed 45 linear inches (or 114 cm) in combined length, width and height, including any handles and wheels
  • Baggage must fit easily in the Carry-on Baggage Check (approximately 22" x 14" x 9" or 56 x 35 x  23 cm), which is located near the check-in counters 

carryon

United’s New Guidelines:

  • Maximum dimensions for a carry-on bag are 9 inches x 14 inches x 22 inches (22 cm x 35 cm x 56 cm), including handles and wheels
  • Maximum dimensions for your personal item, such as a shoulder bag, backpack, laptop bag or other small item, are 9 inches x 10 inches x 17 inches (22 cm x 25 cm x 43 cm)

Previous policy from United was no dimension over 22 inches and total over dimension no bigger than 45 inches. According to United, the new policy enforced will help eradicate time wastage during the boarding process and now all passengers can board smoothly.

Bags that are debatable will be put into a sizer at the counters before the gates. Expect the airlines to collect checked baggage fees from passengers who do not observe the new policy.

 

For further information please visit

Delta Air Lines Official Website 

United Airlines Official Website 

Flight Cancellations and Delays due to Karachi Attacks

Cathay Pacific Airways is cancelling their two flights to Karachi from 28th June indefinitely. The Hong Kong-based airline who initially suspended their flights following the 8th June terrorist attacks at Jinnah International and resumed operations on the 13th June had made the decision after travel warnings were issued.

There are 37 fatalities after a group of Taliban fighters attacked Pakistan’s biggest airport. Pakistani Taliban said they executed the attack on the airport as a mark of retaliation to air strikes in their strongholds near the Afghan border. The militants issued a warning to international firms and airlines to wind up their business in Pakistan or face attacks in the wake of a Pakistani military offensive launched the day before.

A spokeswoman in Hong Kong, where the airline is headquartered, added: “Because of commercial reasons, we have decided that the last flight leaving Hong Kong to Karachi will depart on June 28”. Cathay operates four flights a week between Hong Kong and Karachi. All these flights operate via Bangkok.

In a statement on its website the airline would operate 14 more flights to and from Karachi before operations cease.

Find out the remaining flights here.

Singapore Airlines Fare Revisions

With effect from 10 July 2014, Singapore Airlines (SIA) will be revising its Suites / First Class, Business Class, and Economy Class Market fares to selected destinations.

For further information please contact your travel manager.

Japan Eases Visa Requirements for Indonesia, Vietnam and Philippines Nationals

Following 17th June Ministerial Council’s meeting on the Promotion of Japan as a Tourism-Oriented Country, the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs decided to implement the following relaxations of visa requirements for nationals of Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam, in cooperation with these partner countries. The objectives of these measures are to promote Japan as a tourism-oriented country with the even higher goal of attracting 20 million foreign visitors, to contribute to growth strategies as well as the promotion of people-to-people exchanges. The details of the measures including the beginning date of application are currently under consideration.

(1) For e-passport holders of Indonesia, visas will be exempted based on prior registration at the Embassy or Consulates General of Japan in Indonesia.

(2) For nationals of the Philippines and Vietnam, multiple-entry visa requirements will be substantially relaxed, and requirements for single-entry tourism visas will be relaxed to a quasi-exemption-equivalent level when applied via specified travel agencies. These measures will also be applicable for nationals of Indonesia in addition to the above.

For more enquires on your country’s visa requirements to Japan, please visit their Singapore consulate’s webpage here.

Changes in Frequent Flyer Programs for Thai Airways, United Airlines and Qantas

There will be changes to Frequent Flyer Programs to the following airlines, Qantas, Thai Airways, and United Airlines:

Qantas

For travel on or from 1st July 2014, Qantas will change the way you earn Qantas Points and Status credits^ on Qantas and Jetstar to more closely align the number of Qantas Points and Status credits earn with your ticket price and the route travelled instead on the mileage system. 

Flyers will earn more Qantas Points on most Qantas fares in Flexible Economy, Premium Economy, Business and First. However, lower fares in Discount Economy and, in some cases Economy, will continue to earn points but at a reduced rate to other Economy options.

Qantas also introduced more Frequent Flyer earn categories for travel in Economy, Premium Economy and Business. This means travellers will earn more Qantas Points and Status credits than usual on many of the more flexible fares. Some booking classes have been moved into higher earn categories to more fairly recognise higher fares.

Find out how the new Frequent Flyer categories align with Qantas and Jetstar Airlines domestic and international booking classes here

 

Thai Airways

New mileage requirements for Award travel on THAI take effect for all Award bookings from 1st September 2014 onwards.

For Award bookings and ticketing made up to 31st August 2014, and for travel up to 1 year after this date, please refer to current THAI Air Award Charts.

New Award Charts have been simplified, displaying miles for one-way travel. For roundtrip travel simply double the miles required.

If Award travel is multi-sector, for example London-Bangkok-Taipei, please consult the THAI mileage table to calculate the total distance in miles to determine the relevant Award Zone.

For more information please read here.

 

United Airlines

United Airlines announced on 10th June 2014 that the company will make changes to its MileagePlus program in 2015. Members will earn award miles based on their ticket price rather than distance flown.

Beginning 1st March 2015, members will earn award miles based on the price of their ticket – specifically the base fare and carrier-imposed surcharges – and their MileagePlus status. Members will earn five miles for every dollar spent, while those with MileagePlus Premier status will earn the following on their base fare and carrier surcharges.

Read more about the new point system here

Emirates Fuel Surcharge Increase

Please be informed that Emirates will be revising airfares on selected destinations from 1st July 2014. To ensure current rates still apply, all tickets must be issued by 6pm on 30th June 2014.

For further information please contact your travel manager.