Melia to launch Me brand in USA

The Casa Moderna Miami Hotel is to be replaced by new Me Miami, as Melia sets out to introduce its Me brand in USA. Set in Miami on the Biscayne Boulevard, the new 129-room Me Miami hotel is scheduled to launch next spring.

As the current property undergoes renovations, Me Miami will offer guests new dining, bar and event areas. Customers will also be able to take advantage of two rooftop swimming pools as well as relax in the hotel’s spa. Me Miami will also feature the brand’s first STK Rebel steakhouse and other dining options.

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Etihad announces first B787-9 Dreamliner routes

Etihad passengers travelling to Dusseldorf, Doha, Washington DC, Mumbai, Brisbane and Moscow are soon to enjoy an improved flying experience, as the airline is to introduce its new B787-9 Dreamliners on routes to the cities.

The airline’s first B787-9 Dreamliners will be launched on Dusseldorf and Doha routes in December. This will be followed by introducing the aircraft on Washington DC and Mumbai services starting from 01 January 2015 and on routes to Brisbane and Moscow from 01 June 2015.

The launch of the new aircraft will not only add capacity to the routes, but will also give passengers an opportunity to experience the airline’s new improved First, Business and Economy class.

Happiness blankets, revamped First Class check-in and more from BA

From unique ‘happiness blankets’ and ‘Slow TV’ to a revamped check-in area at Terminal 5, the recent innovations from British Airways are sure to impress even the most experienced travellers.

This summer the airline added an exciting new feature to selected services between London and New York, as it introduced fibre-optic blankets which change colour depending on passengers’ moods. The effect is achieved by monitoring passengers’ brain activity via specially designed headbands and is the first time such technology is used by an airline.

BA passengers looking for a more soothing flying experience also will not be disappointed. The airline has now extended its on board entertainment system to include ‘Slow TV’, with the famous 7-hour Norwegian programme showing the whole train journey from Oslo to Bergen now available on selected services.

The improvements do not stop there, with passengers travelling from Heathrow’s Terminal 5 now able to experience a renewed BA First check-in area. To set the tone for the premium flying experience, the new check-in now features pink thrones, a leather banquet bench, new coffee tables, additional power points and more.

Turkish Airlines awarded “Best Airline in Europe” fourth year in a row

Turkish Airlines has once again triumphed at the annual Skytrax World Airline Awards, receiving awards in four nominations, including being titled “Best Airline in Europe” for the fourth year in a row.

The award ceremony was held on 15 July 2014 as part of Farnborough International Airshow, with the results based on more than 18 million passenger surveys. At this year’s ceremony Turkish Airlines was also named “Best Airline in Southern Europe” and was recognised for its on board service with awards for “Best Business Class Onboard Catering” and “Best Business Class Lounge Dining”.

Heathrow Express service to shut for 36 hours this Saturday

Passengers planning to travel to or from Heathrow Airport by train this weekend might need to alter their travel arrangements. Heathrow Express will be suspending all services from 00:01 on 23 August until 12:25 on 24 August 2014. The 36 hour shut is necessary for Network Rail to carry out work on the Crossrail project.

During the 36 hours there will also be changes to the Heathrow Connect stopping service, which will only operate between Paddington and Hayes and Harlington. Before the service goes back to running as normal, travellers will be able to use a free 140 bus service from Hayes and Harlington to Heathrow.

BA moves to new Sao Paulo terminal

BA passengers travelling to Sao Paulo can now enjoy the facilities of Guarulhos Airport’s new Terminal 3, which provides more space than the airport’s other three terminals combined. BA moved to the new facility from Terminal 1 on 07 August 2014, with the airline’s daily service between Sao Paulo and London Heathrow now operating from Terminal 3.

The new facility has enough capacity to accommodate 12 million passengers a year and is now also home to the BA’s joint business partner Iberia, which offers a double daily service between Madrid and Sao Paulo.

Iberia announces new Germany services

Good news for passengers travelling to Germany as Iberia increases its European network with new four times a week Stuttgart and three times a week Hanover services. The flights, due to commence on 26 October 2014, will operate from the airline’s hub in Madrid which provides convenient connections with other Spanish destinations as well as with Portugal, Africa, Latin America and USA.

Kenya Airways launches first flights from new terminal

Kenya Airways commenced operations from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport’s new Terminal 1 with the launch of four departure flights to three destinations including Johannesburg (JNB), Tanzania (DAR) and Uganda (EBB). The departure flights have been available since 12 August 2014 with arrival services to commence after the terminal is fully completed in 2015.

More Preferred seats from Air Canada

Air Canada passengers travelling on North American services now have more opportunities to secure seats with extra legroom, thanks to an increase in the number of Preferred Seats on A320 and Embraer 190.

As a result of the recent reconfiguration, the number of Preferred Seats on the A320 increased from 16 to 36 and the Embraer 190 now offers 24 Preferred Seats in comparison to 8 previously. Air Canada’s Preferred Seats provide between two and four inches more legroom than Economy Class and are mostly located close to the front of the aircraft.

Marriott introduces mobile check-in for 11 additional brands

As Marriott International launches its mobile check-in app at 11 additional brands, the time-saving feature will gradually become available to guests staying at all Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Renaissance Hotels, Autograph Collection, AC Hotels, Courtyard, SpringHill Suites, Fair field Inn & Suites, Towne Place Suites, Marriott Executive Apartments and Residence Inn properties.

The service is currently available exclusively to Marriott Rewards members, allowing guests to check-in to their hotel independently from the day before arrival. The app also notifies users of their check-out times and saves guests time by sending the bill via e-mail.