Virgin Australia customers flying to locations in Australia and New Zealand are now able to check in their bags remotely at two of Sydney’s biggest cruise ship terminals. The newly launched pop-up baggage check-in service is aimed at disembarking cruise passengers, however, anyone flying with Virgin to destinations in Australia and New Zealand is welcome at the counter. The service created by Off Airport Check-In Solutions uses cloud technology to remotely link up with Virgin’s travel systems, allowing the airline to securely transport and track baggage from check-in counter to terminal. The new service is available at the Overseas Passenger Terminal and the White Bay Cruise Terminal; and Virgin plans to roll the system out at conference venues, hotels and sporting events. “It’s geared more for people who don’t want to be carrying their bags around during the day and there is no easy solution to store them,” Virgin Airlines Australia group executive Rob Sharp said.
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Hong Kong’s thriving arts scene will be on display from March 1-30 for Hong Kong Arts Month. The celebration will feature acclaimed events, neighbourhood exhibitions and community performances throughout Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. Hong Kong Arts Festival will be the premier event to kick off the month and will feature more than 1700 international and local artists across 130 performances. Highlights include the National Theatre of Great Britain’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and American Ballet Theatre’s Whipped Cream.
Art Basel Hong Kong, a renowned art fair in its sixth year, will be held March 29-31 featuring 248 galleries from 32 countries, with 28 exhibitors from regions including Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Americas participating for the first time.
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Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi – the world’s first ever Warner Bros. branded indoor theme park, due to open mid-2018, has revealed the rides and characters of two of its six themed lands – Metropolis and Cartoon Junction. Metropolis will transport guests to a modern cityscape known as “The City of Tomorrow”, a Manhattan-like skyscraper city that will be protected from villains by DC Super Heroes like Superman and other members of the Justice League. Rides will include Green Lantern: Galactic Odyssey – a 4D flying theatre experience. Cartoon Junction will feature characters from Looney Tunes and Hanna-Barbera, such as Tom and Jerry, Scooby-doo and Bugs Bunny. Rides and attractions will include Tom and Jerry Swiss Cheese Spin coaster and a haunted ride through Scooby-doo: The Museum of Mysteries. Once completed, the park located on Yas Island will offer 29 rides, interactive family-friendly attractions and live entertainment across six immersive lands.
Consumer group Choice is calling on the Federal Government to establish an airline ombudsman funded by the industry as research shows travellers are increasingly fed up with unresolved complaints.
The latest data from Choice’s flight delays and cancellations tool, complane.com.au, found Jetstar was the worst offender when it came to leaving passengers stuck at the gate, with 40 per cent of total complaints. Qantas made up 26 per cent, while Virgin Australia had 20 per cent.
“The data also found that 30 per cent of passengers who complained weren’t given a reason for the delay or cancellation, or weren’t sure why they were left grounded,” Choice head of media Tom Godfrey said.
Choice identified numerous issues with airline complaints handling, including restrictions on consumers’ ability to seek remedies when something went wrong. And if they did want to pursue their complaint, consumers would have to take federal court action, facing thousands of dollars in filing fees.
“The airline industry is failing to keep travellers grievance free,” Godfrey said.