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Travelling News from Kristina at WinWin Vacations [May, 2008]
Dear Safari Enthusiast,
 
I'm again travelling to Africa departing May 1st on NW Airlines via Amsterdam to Johannesburg. I will attend a travel trade conference in Durban, South Africa and visit Namibia, Botswana and South Africa. I will be open for business again on June 5th. While I'm in Africa, I will post to my blog whenever possible.
 
If you need help with travel while I'm gone, please contact Sharon Emerson at 206-367-7657 or email her at sharon@cruiseandtourplanners.com
 
 
 
The U.S. Ambassador to Kenya, Michael E. Ranneberger, has addressed an open letter to American travelers advising them to visit Kenya after the establishment of the new Grand Coalition government that followed post-election turmoil this past December.
"I can report that there have been positive developments that are opening up the economic climate and making Kenya once again the perfect locale for business and tourism," he wrote. "The country's rival political camps reached a landmark power-sharing agreement on February 28, and Parliament acted quickly to codify this through a constitutional amendment. President Kibaki and the Honorable Raila Odinga-now prime minister-are working closely together to forge this new coalition of parties in a new spirit of goodwill and unity."
Approximately 102,000 Americans visited Kenya in 2007.
Updates from the Friendly Skies
 
American Airlines, including American Eagle will start charging $25.00 for that second checked bag on May 12. JetBlue is charging $20.00. United, US Airways, Continental, Air Canada, Delta and Northwest are already charging $25 for the second bag. Alaska & Horizon will start charging $25 this summer. Spirit Airlines charge $10 for each bag/no free bag at all. The airlines are raising fares also at the moment up to $110.00 roundtrip. Ticket change fees are also up from $100.00 to $150.00 and calling your airline will also cost you more from now on.

A new rule to compensate passengers who are denied boarding because of an oversell by the airlines goes into effect next month. If you are involuntarily bumped you will/should receive up to $400 if you are rescheduled to arrive at your destination within two hours of your original arrival time or four hours for international flights, and up to $800 if you are not rerouted within that time frame. Look for the airlines to redefine the definition of "denied boarding".

The airline dilemma as I see it: 5 airlines, Aloha, ATA, Eos, Maxjet, Skybus and Nationwide (in South Africa) have gone out of business recently and mergers between the big ones, Delta & Northwest, United and Continental or USAir are looming, fuel costs are sky-rocketing, so expect higher prices and less space available in the crowded skies. The regional airlines are struggling too. With charges for snacks, earphones, alcoholic drinks, the second checked bag, preferable aisle and window seats, look for the airlines to start charging for early boarding to make sure your carry-ons find space in the overhead etc. This is annoying of course especially when getting less legroom, no pillows or blankets or magazines, but who said the airlines should not be allowed to make a profit? I want them to be profitable so they maintain their planes here at home and get us to our destination safely and with our checked luggage and on-time. What happened to the friendly skies? You tell me!
Please post your comments on my blog at http://www.KristinaSafari.blogspot.com  
 
 
 
 
Feel free to contact me with any questions at kristina.trowbridge@gmail.com
 
Sincerely,

Kristina Trowbridge
WinWin Vacations
 

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