It’s another week with yet more exciting new airport news stories from around the globe. And it’s been quite an interesting week, so today we have a lost appeal, a boy that out-smarted all security checks, a study into spreading diseases and a roaming bull.
As another busy airport week is ending we have snow, strikes, brains, one exotic animal and new and exciting airport art for you. But first, the most exciting day in the history of airport news must have been Monday when we launched our reader campaign for you to vote for the Airport News of the Year. Make sure you check it out, we’ve secured some awesome prizes for a lucky few!
Only seven more days remain in 2011 and it’s therefore time for us at LateDeparture to pack up and enjoy a little (well deserved?!) break. But of course, we won’t leave you before we put another, final round of airport news in front of you. Besides that, you should already get excited for coming back to LateDeparture in January as not only will we continue to review airports and bring you weekly airport related news, but also we will be presenting you with the very first Airport News of the Year Award in early January. The best of all this is, that you can vote for the news you liked best and as a result win some awesome prizes! So stay tuned and get ready for a big 2012!
It’s surely been a week from hell for many travellers in Australia and New Zealand as the ash cloud from the Puyehue volcano, high in Chile’s Andes, disrupted air traffic first in New Zealand, then over in Australia in Hobart (IATA: HBA), Melbourne (IATA: MEL; LD reviewed) and Adelaide (IATA: ADL; LD reviewed) before moving further east and affecting Perth in Western Australia (IATA: PER) later in the week. Interesting was that there were massive differences whether flights were cancelled or not depending on the individual airline. Qantas took the cautious approach and grounded most of its flights on affected routes whereas its competitors Virgin Australia and Tiger Airways argued they could take routes avoiding the ash or fly below the cloud. In an email to its frequent fliers, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce backed his airlines decision on the fact that “unlike the meteorological authorities in Europe, Australia’s [Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre] VAAC does not have the ability to calculate ash density so we are unable to access definitive measurements.”
The media this week mainly focused on the developments of Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant. With that there were various reports about Tokyo’s International airport (IATA: NRT) becoming overwhelmed with people wanting to leave the country. Also we heard of several airlines (e.g. Lufthansa and Air China) stopping services to the country’s busiest hub altogether and of the opposite where airlines increased their capacities to fly their people out (e.g. Air India). But there even was “Japan nuclear” news from well outside Japan: On Thursday the Chicago Tribune reported that passengers on a flight from Tokyo had set off radiation detectors at O’Hare International Airport (IATA: ORD).
It seems as marketers are increasingly often utilising airports to promote their products and services in a “hands on way”. Remember that “Hello Kitty” gate at Taipei International? This time it’s the hotel chain Courtyard by Marriott showcasing their redesigned hotel lobbies in three US airports:
Travelers looking for a better place to sit than the terminal chairs, and whose laptops (and bodies) could use a little recharge are in luck when making a stop at Chicago, Atlanta and Denver airports. To promote their new lobbies, Courtyard has built full sized lobby replicas complete with comfy couches, booths, electrical outlets, HD TV’s and GoBoards (touch screen televisions with local news and attractions) that travelers are invited to experience firsthand. They will be up until mid-November and will be staffed 24 hours a day by a brand ambassador who can help with any questions people may have.
So make sure to head to one of these areas and relax for a few minutes while your laptop gets that long awaited recharge. Currently you find the first of the 3 lobbies at Chicago’s O’Hare airport (IATA: ORD) and later in the week they will also come to Atlanta (IATA: ATL) and Denver (IATA: DEN).
Here is the original press release:
Courtyard Brings New Hotel Lobby to Frequent Flyers
Weary travelers now have place to relax and recharge in three of the nation’s busiest airports
Chicago, Illinois – September 15, 2010 – Courtyard by Marriott is creating an airport oasis for stressed out air travelers at Chicago O’Hare International Airport. For the next two months, the deep exhales and soothing sighs of relief you’ll hear at O’Hare will be frequent flyers relaxing and recharging in Courtyard’s new lobby. In addition to O’Hare, the lobbies have been recreated at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson and Denver International airports.
At O’Hare, the popular lodging brand has brought the new Refreshing Business lobby to the main corridor of the ticketed area at Terminal Two. The lobby provides travelers with the perfect place to sit and relax or catch up on work while powering up their laptops before the next flight.
Courtyard by Marriott wants air travelers to experience the new design and sample amenities that can be found at 190 Courtyard hotels across the U.S., which has received rave reviews from business and leisure travelers.
The program brings the lobby zones to places where travelers congregate. It was launched on September 7th at an event in New York City’s Grand Central Terminal featuring a special performance by six-time Grammy Award winner John Legend.
The design is contemporary and stylish, and gives travelers options and flexibility to make the most of their time on the road. Courtyard by Marriott designed the lobby to be an environment for guests to work, relax or socialize, whether traveling alone or in groups.
Some of the Courtyard by Marriott Refreshing Business lobby amenities featured in the airport lobby zones include:
- flexible seating options including a communal table and more private media booths with high-definition televisions
- ample electrical outlets so guests can plug-in and charge their mobile devices and laptops
- the brand’s exclusive, interactive GoBoard® technology – a 55-inch LCD touch screen packed with local news, business and sports headlines from USA Today. Guests can also navigate the touch screen mapping feature to find restaurants, local attractions and print directions.
“Guests who have stayed in Courtyard hotels with the Refreshing Business lobby have raved about the new concept,” said Janis Milham, vice president and global brand manager, Courtyard by Marriott. “Our goal with this lobby zone program is to make travelers who have yet to experience it aware of our new product, and what better way to reach these travelers than at major airports.”
By the end of this year, our owners will have spent nearly $190 million to put the new lobby into nearly 260 Courtyard hotels. The brand expects to have 500 hotels with the new lobby by the end of 2011.