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Sixt continues UK expansion


Sixt has announced the opening of a new branch in Edinburgh, which is their second outlet to open in the city.

The new rental-location is situated at Abbeyhill in the Royal Mile area and near the historic Palace of Holyrood and offers a full range of vehicles to suit both personal and business needs.

The branch’s fleet will feature a range of vehicles for hire, including economy and family cars, convertibles and premium brands such as Mercedes and BMW, to people carriers and vans.

Paul McLoughlin, managing director of Sixt UK, said: “The opening of a second branch in Edinburgh underlines our commitment to provide greater mobility in a bustling and lively city.

Compare Car Hire in the UK“We are very pleased to be able to offer a more extensive service in Edinburgh and provide even more convenience and flexibility to our customers.”

Car Hire Assistant compares prices with up to 550 rental companies, including Sixt, Avis, Hertz, Alamo, Enterprise, National and Budget, as well as a range of local or regional car hire operators to find the best deal on a rental car. Car Hire Assistant covers 175 countries, with more than 30,000 locations. The service is free to use and nothing is added to the rental price.

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10 tips on how to save money on your next rental car


 1.      Shop aroundCar Hire Comparison with Car Hire Assistant

The internet can be your best friend when looking for a rental car. All of the major car rental brands have their own websites that provide instant prices. In addition, many smaller, independent operators will also have an internet presence, although the quality of the websites and ability to provide an instant quote will widely vary. In addition, there are a number of excellent car hire comparison sites, most of which will provide instant prices from a broad cross-section of rental companies including well known brands, national and local car rental companies.

2.      Book early

Yes, contrary to popular opinion, booking your car early will save your money. Rental fleets are a finite resource and when there is a shortage, prices rise quickly. The same principal applies for peak periods, if you want to save money and maximise choice, then book early. Remember, smaller vehicles tend to go first, therefore, unless you want a larger car, together with the premium that accompanies it, get in early.

3.      Vary hire dates and periods

Rental operators have a day rate, weekend rate and weekly rates. If you want to hire a car for 4 or 5 days, check also for their weekly rates, it may actually work out cheaper overall. In addition, renting your car on a weekday rather than a weekend can also alter the price in your favour. Experiment with dates, you may be pleasantly surprised at the results.

4.      Vehicle Choice

Although it may be tempting, avoid being seduced into opting for a vehicle larger than you need. The difference between smaller, compact cars and their larger counterparts can be considerable. Because smaller cars are in demand, there is always the chance that the rental company will offer to upgrade you on arrival. Although they will try and sell you the upgrade, if you refuse to budge, you can often get a premium car for no extra money.

5.      Avoid the headlines

Unless you are adept at discovering the ‘catches’ or have a lot of time on your hands, avoid being drawn in by the promise of a rental car for a few Pounds (or Dollars) per day. Few of the companies running these offers ever substantiate these bold claims. These headlines are designed to entice prospective customers to enter their lair. Once there you will quickly discover that the price quoted will not deliver you a fully insured car on the dates you want at the location you need. Any rental company or broker that makes these misleading claims are not worthy of your time or your money.

6.      Avoid airports

Airports are an expensive place to run a business and this is always reflected in the prices of rental cars. It is not unusual to see an “airport surcharge” on your rental quote. Although some companies claim that there are no surcharges, the reality is, these charges have already been factored into the rental price. Check the price of the rental car at your destination airport and then compare it with nearby locations. In return for a little inconvenience, you could save a huge amount on the rental charges.

7.      Understand insurance and waiversCar Hire Excess Insurance Waiver Policy

If you are going to get caught out on anything, it will inevitably be insurance. Whilst the vast majority of rental operators will include some form of insurance, the types offered vary widely. Be sure that, at the very least, your insurance includes Collision Damage Waiver and Theft Waiver Insurance. In some countries it may also be sensible to have some form of Loss Damage Waiver, which covers the hirer for any loss of earnings the rental company may suffer when a vehicle can’t be hired due to damage or loss. However, this is a two-part process; insurance is only half of the story.

Although rental companies love to use the term “waivers” when referring to insurance, this does not include any excess, which will be your responsibility. The excess passed on by rental companies can be huge, maybe as much as $3000 (£2000). There also appears to be some correlation between the low headline price and the amount charged for an insurance waiver to cover the entire excess. No surprise there then!

If you are going to be paying by credit card, check with your issuer because, if you are going to pay for the car by credit card, some will offer some form of cover for these eventualities. Alternatively, if you want to be certain, purchase a standalone ‘car hire excess insurance’ policy. These pay and claim policies are offered by specialist insurers and can be purchased for a fraction of the price charged by rental companies. For example, you can expect to pay anything up to $25 (£13) per day for ‘excess waiver insurance’ from your rental company, whilst a specialist insurer could offer you an annual policy for under $65 (£40). It is not unusual for hirers to claim that their rental price increased threefold after they were sold “essential” insurance policies at the rental counter. You have been warned. This is probably the most common complaint amongst disgruntled hirers.

8.      Price Premiums

With very few exceptions, most car hire comparison sites receive their income from the rental companies in the form of a commission. Although some comparison sites may charge a ‘booking fee’, those that don’t will make this very clear at the outset. Price comparison sites can only succeed if they consistently provide the best prices for the consumer and this mean the final price, not the headline price.

9.      Avoid extras or go prepared

Want a SatNav or child seat? You can expect to be charged up to $12 (£8) per day for either of these items. It is the “Gillette Effect”, you pay a few Dollars for a razor and then get charged an exorbitant amount for the blades. However, unlike razor blades, you have a choice.

If you have your own portable SatNav, upgrade the mapping software and take it with you. Alternatively, SatNav’s with local maps can often be purchased for around $75 (£50), this is a viable alternative to a weekly rate of $80 charged by rental companies. In addition, you maybe be able to sell it on an auction site when you get home, thereby recovering at least half of your investment.

Most airlines will allow you to take a child seat free of charge. If this option is available to you, then consider this rather than paying $75 (£50) a week to the rental company. You can also consider ‘booster seats’, these can often be purchased locally for less than $20 (£13) and are a viable alternative. Another possibility is to consider hiring an MPV or people carrier, most of these have integrated child seats and, it may prove to be a cheaper option.

10.   Fuel: Know the rules

Every car hire company will have their own variation on fuel policy and knowing the rules is absolutely essential if you don’t want to get hit with a surcharge or penalty. If the rental company provides you with a full tank, then you must return it with a full tank and that means full tank. Don’t be tempted to short-change the rental company, this is a false economy and you could be hit with a fixed charge as well as having to pay a premium for the fuel added. If you are provided with a car which has a full tank of petrol, you can expect to be charged for this in the form or a deposit or a pre-authorisation on your credit card.

If you are given the option of having the car provided with a full tank, you can expect to be charged a premium for the service and, if you don’t expect to use all of the fuel, it can be a very expensive option.

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The most important advice that can be given to any prospective hirer is to be fully cognisant of the terms and conditions of the hire. Terms vary between operators and you can’t assume that because you are hiring through a well known brand that there terms and conditions will be less onerous or more upfront. The main areas to look at are; insurance, mileage, fuel policies and penalty fees, for example if a vehicle is returned a few minutes later than agreed. You also need to understand if you are expected to pay some form of deposit and/or if your credit card is pre-authorised for any amount because this could have a bearing on your available money whilst away from home.

Many rental companies, car hire comparison sites and brokers offer a cancellation policy. In most cases, as long as it is not within a few days of the hire, there is no penalty. If you have read the terms and you are not happy, don’t be afraid to vote with your feet!

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Airline, British Airways launches video for nervous flyers


British Airways is launching a brand new instructional video for nervous flyers on its in-flight entertainment system from September 1.

The film, presented by British Airways pilot and course leader Captain Steve Allright, takes information from the British Airways Flying with Confidence course – the airline’s one-day fear of flying programme.

In the video, Captain Allright explains the technical side of flying, how an aircraft operates and other areas that can give some customers cause for concern, such as turbulence. The video also gives advice from clinical psychologists on the course including relaxation techniques, and how best to deal with anxiety and feelings of panic.

The airline has also put a preview clip from the video on its YouTube site for customers who would like to know more about the course ahead of their flight:

Customers will be able to watch the complete video on the British Airways Well Being channel, one of the hundreds of options on the airline’s extensive in-flight entertainment system.

British Airways Captain Steve Allright, who flies Boeing 747s, said: “The British Airways Flying with Confidence course has helped more than 45,000 people over the past 25 years.

“I really hope that we can reach, and help even more people with this video – whether they’re flying for business or for their holidays.”

Customers who go on the British Airways Flying with Confidence course will, in addition to tackling their fear of flying, also qualify for a 10 per cent discount on any British Airways flight, for up to nine people – in any cabin class.

Passengers who prefer to go by car can compare car rental prices with Car Hire Assistant, The Car rental Price Comparison Site. Search up to 550 suppliers in 175 countries, with 30,000 rental locations. Car Hire Assistant also offers, Car Hire Excess Insurance Policies, Travel Insurance, Hotel and Airport Transfers, a large selection of Tours, Attractions and Things to do as well as a price comparison service for UK Airport Parking.

 
 

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JAL Group revises route, flight frequency and fleet plans for FY2012


Japan Airlines (JAL) today announced revisions made to its route, flight frequency and fleet plans for the remaining of fiscal year 2012, the year ending March 31, 2013, highlighted by the launch of two new routes using the latest Boeing 787-8, and also the deployment of this revolutionary aircraft on existing routes to raise service levels and profitability.

On its international network, as was announced, the 787-8 will be used to inaugurate the world’s first and only nonstop flight between San Diego (USA) and Asia with the service from Tokyo (Narita) commencing in December, and to start direct flights between Narita and Helsinki (Finland) in March 2013. More imminently, the 787-8 will be used for the additional daily service between Narita and Singapore slated to begin from October 28, 2012, increasing weekly flights to the city-state from 14 to 21. On the other hand, to meet the thriving demand for flights to and from New Delhi, JAL will increase flight frequency from 5 to 7 weekly round-trip flights along with upsizing the aircraft used on the Narita=New Delhi route to 777-200ERs. To more closely align supply with demand, adjustments are also made to the aircraft assignments for flights to and from China and Taiwan.

Domestically, flight frequencies on certain routes will be modified to match demand and the changes in travel patterns of customers influenced in part by the change in seasons. Additionally, current services between Tokyo (Haneda), as well as Osaka (Kansai) and Ishigaki will become nonstop both ways after the official opening of the New Ishigaki Airport.

Car Hire Japan. Price Comparison Site, Car Hire Assistant compares prices on car rental in Japan, including all major seaports, railway stations, airports and cities. The booking search engine used on the Car Hire Assistant website can interrogate up to 550 suppliers based in 175 countries.  In addition, Car Hire Assistant can provide insurance against the car rental excess imposed by car hire operators. Find Tours, Attractions and Things To Do in Japan.

 

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Tourism Australia unveils new marketing push in Asia


Compare Car HireTourism Australia has confirmed plans to accelerate its marketing activities in Asia, with four key strategic projects to be funded this year under the Australian Government’s new Asia Marketing Fund.

The new funding, worth up to A$48.5million over the next four years, aims to generate higher visitor numbers and improved economic returns from Australia’s fastest growing tourism region. It is expected to deliver A$19 billion in annualised tourism spending by the end of the decade.

The fund is in addition to Tourism Australia’s total annual marketing effort that sees Australia competitively positioned in 18 markets overseas, including the fast growth countries like China, India, Indonesia and South America as well as traditional markets such as the UK, Europe, and the Americas.

The first year’s funding of A$8.5 million will be in addition to A$37.5 million already allocated to Asia within Tourism Australia’s marketing budget for 2012/13.

Tourism Australia Managing Director Andrew McEvoy said the new resources would go towards new or further extended marketing initiatives as well as targeted research.

The first year of the new Fund will focus on four strategic projects:

  • Accelerating Tourism Australia’s existing China 2020 Geographic Strategy to target China’s secondary cities, to include emerging cities of Qingdao, Chengdu and Chongqing;
  • Strengthening its ongoing efforts to rebuild the Japanese inbound market;
  • Increased aviation cooperative partnerships between Tourism Australia and airlines serving Australia from Asia; and
  • New Tourism Research Australia (TRA) research, designed to help the industry better understand and engage with Asia.

Mr McEvoy said visitor numbers from Asia had tripled since 1990 while spending by Asian visitors in Australia had grown by 64 per cent since 2000, further highlighting the continued importance of Asia as the key driver of Australia’s immediate future international tourism growth.

This new fund provides an unprecedented opportunity to further drive existing and new marketing initiatives in our fastest growing and most valuable inbound visitor markets, McEvoy said.

“Based on Tourism Australia’s long term commitment to Asia and the positive response we’re getting to our marketing activities, this new fund will help bolster the growth and remain competitive with the more than 100 destinations trying to get the same business.”

Tourism Australia will target three new secondary cities in China – Qingdao, Chengdu and Chongqing – in a move which will accelerate its existing geographic strategy of targeting that country’s fast growing secondary cities.

“Working alongside our State and Territory tourism partners, our initial focus will be to establish a solid distribution platform, including educating and training up a qualified base of travel agents, airlines and operators able to confidently sell Australia. Once this is in place, we will roll out our There’s nothing like Australia campaign, which is already performing strongly in other cities in China where we have already established a stronger presence,” Mr McEvoy said.

The new campaign creative launched in Shanghai in June has been viewed online more than 20 million times in Greater China alone.

Part of the Fund will also go towards strengthening Tourism Australia’s ongoing efforts to rebuild the Japanese market, which is showing signs of a return to growth off the back of strong marketing and an improved aviation environment. Plans include developing a There’s nothing like Australia-themed broadcast initiative to engage with Japanese consumers and encourage them to travel to choose a holiday in Australia.

In line with its ongoing commitment to market Australia with ‘one voice’, Tourism Australia will seek to partner with third parties, including State and Territory Governments and private tourism enterprises to maximise the impact of Fund.

Car Rental Price Comparison Site, Car Hire Assistant can compare prices on rental cars in Australia and Asia. Provides instant prices with no premiums added for the search. Car Hire Assistant also provide independent Car Hire Excess Insurance, offering substantial savings over the excess waiver insurance offered by most rental companies at the point of sale.

 
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Posted by on 20/08/2012 in Tourism News

 

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Enterprise and National named official car rental partners of American Express


Compare Car HireEnterprise Holdings, owner and operator of the Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental brands, announced that it is the official rental car partner of the American Express savings at work program. Through this partnership, American Express Corporate Cardmembers can receive a five percent discount off Enterprise rentals and fifteen percent off National rentals when booking through Savings at Work.

The Savings at Work program is an exclusive benefit of being an American Express Corporate Card client and gives mid-sized companies seamless access to pre-negotiated discounts and savings on everyday business spending, including travel, dining, shipping and now car rentals. Savings at Work was created in 2002 to help mid-size companies who often seek but can’t secure the lower rates usually reserved for large corporations.

“We’re excited to partner with American Express through the Savings at Work program,” said Brad Carr, vice president of business rental development for Enterprise Holdings. “This is yet another way we offer exceptional service and value to frequent travelers looking to maximize their return on investment while on the road. Whether utilizing National’s premium service at the airport or Enterprise Rent-A-Car’s neighborhood convenience, American Express Corporate Cardmembers will be able to count on us to provide the transportation solution they need.”

“We’re thrilled the award-winning Enterprise and National car rental brands have joined the Savings at Work program,” said Joshua McKay, vice president, Global Corporate Payments, American Express. “With this partnership, we’re able to offer our Cardmembers valuable discounts on the services they need most and help mid-size companies get more mileage out of every dollar they spend on business travel.”

Last year, National earned the“Leading Edge Awards” from Executive Travelmagazine, recognizing the company as the top rental car service in the travel industry. In addition, National Car Rental’s Emerald Club was selected as the winner of the 2011 Best Rental Car Loyalty Program in the second annual Editors’ Choice Awards by SmarterTravel, the largest online travel resource of independent expert advice for the budget-conscious traveler.Known for its extensive network of locations, everyday low rates and outstanding customer service, Enterprise Rent-A-Car won Budget Travelmagazine’s 2010 and 2011 Readers’ Choice Award as their favorite rental car brand for customer service around the globe.

Compare many of the national, international and local car rental operators using Car Hire Assistant, The Car Rental Comparison Site. Car Hire Hire Assistant can compare up to 550 suppliers with operations in up to 175 countries. Free to use and nothing is added to the rental price. Car Hire Assistant also offer an insurance policy to cover Car Hire Excess Insurance charges.

 

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Compare Car Hire – NH offers free WI-FI in all its rooms worldwide


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From August, the Company’s hotels, located in 26 different countries, will have free WiFi both in common areas and in all the rooms. • The Company has therefore responded to a frequent customer request, once again demonstrating NH Hoteles’ commitment to quality and customer service

In line with its Wake Up to a Better World claim, which is about positioning the brand in terms of quality and customer service, NH Hoteles has announced that from the 1st of August all its guests will have access to free WiFi both in all the rooms and in common areas in its establishments.

Just three months ago, Tripadvisor published a study which revealed the importance of WiFi to travellers when booking a hotel room, pointing out that for more than 90% of them it has become a determining factor in choosing their accommodations. Furthermore, an article recently published in the travel section of The Telegraph, reported that only a third of hotel establishments around the world offer this service completely free of charge, and of that percentage many are independent hotels.

Make huge savings by purchasing your Car Hire Excess Insurance before you leave and not with the rental operator. World-wide cover.

NH is therefore the first international hotel chain to offer this service globally in all its hotels under the claim “We-Free your world at NH Hoteles”, remaining clearly committed to innovation and satisfying its customers’ requests both through Socail Media and the internal Quality Focus On-Line system, with one in every five comments related to WiFi.

During the first phase, starting on the 1st of August, 361 out of the 400 hotels located in the Group’s different Business Units in all the 26 countries will have this service which will be progressively implemented in the remaining establishments where a viability plan has already been introduced to guarantee adequate coverage and speed.

“Free WiFi is now one of the main services requested by our customers and increasingly affects their booking decisions. Although NH Hoteles has been offering this service free of charge in its lobby for some time, we have wanted to extend it to our rooms for a single purpose: to satisfy our clients’ needs and make them feel at home, so they can connect to their relatives without paying anything extra or work comfortably and effectively as if they were in their own office”, commented Mariano Pérez Claver, Chairman of NH Hoteles.

 
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Posted by on 10/08/2012 in Hotels

 

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