News and Deals: 3/02/2011 – US Airways closes a loophole and adds new fee, Egypt invites Oprah to promote tourism, Omni Hotels Join Global Loyalty Program and Royal Travel Deals and Steals in London

US Airways closes a loophole — but opens a can of worms
Orlando Sentinel

A few weeks ago, Bob Johnson got an email from a US Airways employee that began, “They’re at it again.”

What was US Airways up to? At the beginning of the month, the carrier quietly added a new fee: Passengers who book a ticket through a travel agent but call the airline directly to make a change to their itinerary will now have to pay another $25 to speak with a phone agent. They were exempt from the fee before.

And here’s where Johnson comes in. Calling him a loyal US Airways customer would be an understatement. Johnson helped start a group called FFocus, which advocates for US Airways customers, particularly frequent fliers.

While he isn’t opposed to reasonable fees, he says this one makes no sense.

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Egypt invites Oprah to promote tourism
Bikya Masr

Egypt’s current Minister of Tourism Munir Fakhry Abdel Nour invited a number of celebrities, including talk show host Oprah Winfery, to visit the country in an effort to stimulate the slowed tourism industry, al-Sharq al-Awsat news agency reported. The newly appointed Egyptian minister announced his call at a press conference on February 27.

He added that while Egypt will not be a cheap destination to visit, it will offer excellent service and rewards both for tourists and tourism companies.

The tourism sector in Egypt has largely ground to a halt since a popular uprising took hold in the country in late January. The unrest forced millions of tourists to flee the country, bringing one of Egypt’s main sources of revenue to a grinding halt.

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Omni Hotels: Guests can earn VIP experiences at 300 hotels
USA Today

As of today, Omni Hotels customers can start earning loyalty perks whether they check into the Omni Berkshire in New York City, a Doyle Collection hotel in London, a Leela in New Delhi or a Kempinski in Prague.

For the first time in the hotel world, the newly created GHA Discovery loyalty program will unite 12 luxury chains and their nearly 300 hotels so that customers can book trips, be recognized and earn – and burn – rewards without hassles.

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Royal Travel Deals and Steals in London
ABC News

For die-hard royal wedding followers determined to make it to Prince William and Kate Middleton’s big day, navigating London on the cheap might seem intimidating.

Travelocity has some tips for those looking to make it to London for the big day:

Book Vacation Packages

Save money by booking the flight and hotel together as a packing instead of a la carte. Also, if you are willing to stay just outside the center of the city it can help save cash as well.

For about $930 per person, you can travel from New York to London for three nights and stay at the Holiday Inn Express Croydon in East London, which includes a breakfast buffet. If you were to book this hotel/flight package separately, it would cost about $1,100 per person

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By: Matt Long

Matt has a true passion for travel. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer. Also follow Matt on Twitter, Facebook and

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