Travel firms accused of fixing hotel prices
British holidaymakers are likely to have been overcharged for hotel rooms because of a price-fixing scandal involving some of the world’s biggest online travel companies, the Office of Fair Trading said yesterday after an investigation by The Daily Telegraph.
The consumer regulator disclosed yesterday that it is poised to punish take action against a number of online travel companies and major hotel chains for conspiring to fix the cost of rooms.
Hotels were effectively banned from selling rooms cheaply, with the huge global online travel agents accused of illicitly setting a minimum price to stop their prices being undercut. Hotels refusing to use the minimum price were threatened with removal from the sites.
Olympic travel chaos: Thousands of spectators left stranded after fire
Services on a key transport route to the Olympic Park were suspended today after a fire alert.
The problem meant no trains were running on a section of the Tube’s Central line which serves the Olympic Park station of Stratford.
To add to Olympic travellers’ difficulties, rail services in and out of Liverpool Street main line station were affected by a signalling problem.
The Central line was suspended between Liverpool Street and Woodford/Newbury in both directions.
Four Seasons Hotels Expands To Africa And Luxury Safaris
Launched in Toronto in 1960, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts has become one of the greatest luxury hospitality brands in the world, managing about 87 hotels and resorts, almost all of which earn the Forbes 4 or 5-Star ratings.
While its hotels boast extremely luxurious and well-appointed rooms, top eateries and first-class facilities – usually with stand-out spas – the brand is probably best known among its peers for its incredibly high service standards and rigorous management training, resulting in a consistency of customer service few – if any – hotel brands can rival. The company moves significant numbers of experienced staffers in every department and senior management to each new opening, even if only on a temporary basis for the first few months, and as a result, I’ve been to several Four Seasons properties immediately after opening, the period when almost all hotels at any price point struggle, and they typically break this rule and hit the ground running like a precision machine. I’ve written here at Forbes.com in detail about the company’s pre-eminent hotel, the swank George V in Paris, for my recurring “Hotels I Love” column, and thanks to properties like Paris, New York, Hong Kong, Beverly Hills, and the forthcoming new Toronto flagship, Four Seasons is best known as an urban chain, despite its numerous resort properties.
A sale on airline fees? American discounts preferred seat charge
Los Angeles Times
For a limited time, American Airlines will take 25% off the cost of choosing to fly in a preferred seat (just the seat fee, not off the cost of the ticket). The sale price of preferred seats — usually aisle and window seats at the front of the plane — start at $3 per flight for a limited time.
The deal: The savings sound small on this deal, but they can add up. American doesn’t divulge the top price for preferred seats on its website; it just says the cost varies by itinerary. Airfarewatchdog says the valued seats range from $4 to $59 a flight without the sale.