We­b­jet com­mer­cial un­der fire

Travel Bulletin - - STATE OF THE INDUSTRY -

Travel Daily pro­voked a storm of con­tro­versy just af­ter Christ­mas when it high­lighted a new We­b­jet tele­vi­sion ad which was seen as crit­i­cis­ing the so-called lim­ited choice of air­fares pro­vided through bricks and mor­tar travel agents. The We­b­jet Face­book page went into melt­down with com­ments from out­raged agents, colour­fully brand­ing the OTA’S anti-agent ap­proach as “dis­gust­ing”, “dis­grace­ful,” “dis­ap­point­ing” and “stupid”. We­b­jet kept its head down through the dra­mas, and while AFTA ceo Jayson West­bury urged a fo­cus on di­rect air­line sales as a key threat to the in­dus­try, the Fed­er­a­tion has also writ­ten to the ACCC about the We­b­jet ap­proach claim­ing it’s in breach of trade prac­tices leg­is­la­tion be­cause it has mis­led con­sumers about the choice avail­able through travel agents. United Air­lines took this lucky group of Carl­son Wagonlit Travel con­sul­tants to the USA, where they vis­ited San Fran­cisco, Chicago and Seat­tle. The trip, which was also hosted cour­tesy of Mar­riott Ho­tels. in­cluded an ex­pe­ri­ence on the floor of the Boe­ing fac­tory, high­light­ing the fact that Aus­tralia is be­com­ing an move sig­nals the on­go­ing strength of the Aus­tralasian cruise mar­ket, which had long been seen as the grave­yard for Car­ni­val Cor­po­ra­tion ships, which made their way down un­der af­ter stints with more prom­i­nent north­ern hemi­sphere brands be­fore end­ing up on the scrap-heap. The new ves­sel will be P&O’S sev­enth all-787 Dream­liner desti­na­tion for United Air­lines. Pic­tured in front of Boe­ing’s 398th man­u­fac­tured Dream­liner are, from left: Clau­dia Stamiris, Sal­va­tor La Man­tia, Sam Smith, Brian Dou­glas and Alex Jack­son of CWT; Ver­ena Bil­lett from United Air­lines; Phoenix Mar­shall and Sarah Harnett of CWT; and Nils Wis­sange from Mar­riott. Aus­tralian ship, and with 4,200 lower berths will be more than dou­ble the size of the line’s next largest ves­sel, the Pa­cific Ex­plorer which joins the fleet next year. The growth of P&O has also been re­flected in the ap­point­ment of Sture Myrmell as its lo­cal pres­i­dent, with

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