In brief: A new use for Google Earth
Flight reductions for small and mid-size cities, travel perks for credit card holders, a new use for Google Earth, and more. Here are the stories that travellers are buzzing about:
Delta's Memphis service reduction could exemplify a larger problem
Delta recently decided to cut 25% of its flights from the Memphis hub after this summer and the Cranky Flier broke down which cities will bear the brunt of the slashing. Service to most large cities will see few changes, but seven mid-size and four small cities will experience reduced service, and eight small cities will have service cancelled entirely. The reductions in Memphis are just the latest example of a wide spanning problem for travellers in smaller US cities. Hubs in small and mid-size cities have been shrinking and disappearing for years, and CNN speculates that Cleveland could be next to suffer a similar fate as United and Continental continue to integrate. However, despite rising airfares and shrinking service, US airlines will enjoy a slight increase in the amount of travellers flying this summer, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Plenty of options to earn travel rewards
With an array of reward credit cards available, it can be difficult for travellers to choose a card with benefits best suited for their needs. In an interview with Tim Winship, publisher of FrequentFlier.com, the New York Times provided some tips, such as information about cards that cut mileage requirements, offer airport lounge access and waive bag-checking fees. Among the most interesting tips, was that people who earn more miles with their credit cards than by flying should use a non-airline rewards cards that will help earn free tickets without facing restrictions, rather than a card associated with a specific airline.
Founding Orbitz CEO unveils Travel Game
Google Earth is a great tool for getting directions or scoping out the neighbourhood of a prospective hotel. Now, Google Earth has a new use: it will be the gameboard for Touristo and Skydiver, as well as possible future games from the company Travel Game, a project from Jeff Katz, the founding CEO of Orbitz. With a hopeful public launch date in the fall, Touristo players will use clues to fly a helicopter to different locations to compete for virtual prises. A pay version of the game will also offer the chance to compete for real prises. Just as it sounds, Skydiver offers virtual skydiving over various locations like Times Square or Las Vegas.
"I've been here for 10 years and we've been through 9/11 and SARS and this is by far the worst."
Takayuki Yamano, marketing manager of Tokyo's Tokyu Hotel, discusses the 50% decline in foreign guests as CNN examines the troubled state of Japanese tourism.