united-planeBy Joe Brancatelli

GREAT DESTINATIONS

More flights to Hawaii and Italy next year: Airlines often don’t like flying to Hawaii or Italy. It’s not that those two places are unpopular. Quite the contrary. They are among the favorite spots of vacationers and business travelers using free tickets earned with frequent flier miles. And that is the problem: Neither bargain-hunting holidaymakers nor free tickets actually make the airlines much money. But airlines are looking for any opportunity to generate revenue these days, so they are reexamining all of their assumptions. The result? Lots more service to Hawaii and Italy next year.

  • United Airlines says it will operate seasonal flights between Chicago/O’Hare and Rome between May 1 and August 31.
  • Delta Air Lines will add daily flights from San Diego to Honolulu on June 3. It will also resume Detroit-Honolulu nonstops, a route Northwest Airlines abandoned in 2004. The Detroit flights will run three times a week beginning June 2.
  • Continental Airlines, which announced new Hawaii flights last month, will add still more service next year. Four weekly flights between John Wayne/Orange County and Maui begin on March 7.
  • And US Airways, which begins nonstops between its Charlotte hub and Honolulu this month, will add Charlotte-to-Rome nonstops next year. The daily flights begin May 13.

HOTEL HOT SHEET

If less is more, more hotels must be insane … It cannot be said frequently enough: The global hotel situation is dire. Room rates and occupancy rates have plummeted, more hotels are behind on their mortgages or in default than homes and there is very little help on the way. In fact, things continue to worsen as more and more properties spill out of the development pipeline, which lags two to three years behind contemporary lodging trends. The end-of-the-year rush of new properties is especially startling since so many of them are in the upscale resort and luxury hotel segments, which have suffered the most in the current bad economic climate. Still, you should know that these new options now exist.

  • Mardarin Oriental has opened a 98-room hotel in Barcelona and a 392-room property in Las Vegas‘ new CityCenter development.
  • In China, Hyatt has opened a 491-room Grand Hyatt in Shenzhen’s Luohu District, the city’s primary financial center.
  • In Florida, Westin has opened the 254-room Westin Lake Mary Orlando North, just north of Orlando. It’s one of six properties Westin says that it will open between mid-November and the end of the year.
  • And Ritz-Carlton is opening three new properties this month: a 170-room resort in Lake Tahoe; the 250-room Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain north of Tucson, Arizona; and a 54-villa property in Krabi, in South Thailand.

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Joe Brancatelli is editor and publisher of JoeSentMe.com, a non-commercial Web site for business travelers. Copyright 2009 by Joe Brancatelli. Licensed by contract for Orbitz use.

Tagged: Business Travel, Europe Vacation, Flights, Hawaii Vacation, International Vacations, Road trip!, Travel news

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