Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tuesday's Travel InsideOut

Cruise industry lifer Larry Pimentel was brought in by RCCL to right the ship(s) after Azamara Cruises' admittedly rocky start. The new president and CEO of Azamara takes on a task that is a daunting one for companies across the travel industry, and not just cruise lines: How do you build brand awareness for a perceived good product that has yet to enter the consideration set for the travelers you are targeting.

Travel Weekly: Azamara CEO's big challenge: Developing brand awareness: When it launched in 2007, Azamara Cruises seemed to have everything going for it.

The cruise line's parent, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., is the second-largest cruise company in the world. Its two R-class ships had a fan following long before the blue Azamara logo was emblazoned on their hulls. It was to be run by a Celebrity Cruises management team headed by industry veteran Dan Hanrahan. Read more


Holy noncompetition! Virgin Atlantic and British Airways colluded over certain fuel surcharges and the Virgin CEO admitted he was mixed up -- good choice of words -- in the scheme.

Wall Street Journal: Virgin Atlantic CEO Concedes Price Fixing: LONDON -- Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd.'s chief executive, Steve Ridgway, acknowledged Monday being involved in an alleged price-fixing cartel with British Airways PLC after his name was identified in court.

BA has already been fined a total of £269 million ($436 million) by U.K. and U.S. authorities over allegations that it colluded with Virgin Atlantic over fuel surcharges on long-haul flights between July 2004 and April 2006. BA pleaded guilty to price-fixing in a U.S. court in 2007. Read more


The fuel-surcharge issue aside, British Airways is keeping its eyes on the prize. The carrier remains adamant that going after business travelers with premium services, despite the economic downturn, will be essential for its viability.

Bloomberg: British Airways Says Won’t Budge From Business Focus: -- British Airways Plc won’t budge from its strategy of focusing on premium travel even as the recession saps demand for its most lucrative services across the North Atlantic, the carrier’s U.S. chief said.

Business-class only flights between London’s City Airport and New York start in September and a promotion begins today offering U.S. executives free travel to Europe to publicize their companies, Simon Talling-Smith, executive vice president for the Americas, said in an interview. Read more


I think a lot of hoteliers would take issue with the following story on how the lodging industry is grappling to come to terms with social media. But, certainly the story indeed reflects confusion at least among sectors of the hotel industry.

UpTake Travel Industry Blog: Social Media Baffles Travel Industry: Speakers at the Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC) and HSMAI’s Revenue Management & Internet Marketing Strategy Conference earlier this month admitted the unthinkable: As hotel VIPs, they still don’t know how to make social media work. They don’t know how to approach it (one person or every employee’s job?), and they don’t have a big-picture goal (boost sales, seal loyalty). Read more


Few would take issue with the view that United Airlines mishandled not only Dave Carroll's guitar, but its social media response to the issue. Socialmediatoday "pics" that response apart.

Socialmediatoday: United Airlines Online Public Response to Dave Carroll YouTube Video: By now, many of you have seen or heard about the Dave Carroll YouTube video and how United Airlines’ baggage handlers mangled his guitar. It once again demonstrates the power of authenticity, creativity and compelling content to grab attention and send PR executives reeling. Read more


As much as the travel industry would like the swine flu to go away, health officials believe it will be with us for awhile, and the industry will have to deal with it.

Reuters: New flu resembles feared 1918 virus: study: WASHINGTON - - The new H1N1 influenza virus bears a disturbing resemblance to the virus strain that caused the 1918 flu pandemic, with a greater ability to infect the lungs than common seasonal flu viruses, researchers reported on Monday. Read more


Travel InsideOut is a Dennis Schaal Blog daily feature. Get a thorough-going look at the day's travel industry top and tangentially interesting stories. Feel free to comment on them below.

Travel InsideOut is Copyright (c) 2009 by Dennis Schaal. All rights reserved.

1 comment:

Elliott Ng said...

Thanks for including our "Social Media baffles Hotel Industry" post from UpTake. I admit - it baffles me too, especially when my wife asks questions about why I'm always on the computer.