Travel News: December 30, 2014 – UK Expecting Tourist Boom, United Airlines sues 22-year-old and China Blocks Access to Google’s Gmail

Westminster London UK

Tourists to UK ‘to spend record levels in 2015’
BBC News

Spending by tourists visiting the UK is expected to reach record levels next year, the government has said.

Spending by overseas visitors will top £22bn for the first time, according to forecasts by tourism body VisitBritain.

Tourists spent £21bn in 2013, while this year’s total is forecast to be about £21.3bn.

There has also been a surge in the number of Chinese tourists and the amount they are spending. They spent £492m in 2013, up from £184m in 2010.

 

United Airlines sues 22-year-old who found a way to get people cheap plane tickets
fox8.com

A young computer whiz from New York City has launched a site to help people buy cheap plane tickets. But an airline company and its travel partner want to shut him down.

United Airlines and Orbitz filed a civil lawsuit last month against 22-year-old Aktarer Zaman, who founded the website Skiplagged.com last year.

The site helps travelers find cheap flights by using a strategy called “hidden city” ticketing.

The idea is that you buy an airline ticket that has a layover at your actual destination. Say you want to fly from New York to San Francisco — you actually book a flight from New York to Lake Tahoe with a layover in San Francisco and get off there, without bothering to take the last leg of the flight.

This travel strategy only works if you book a one-way flight with no checked bags (they would have landed in Lake Tahoe).

 

China Blocks Access to Google’s Gmail as Ban Escalates
Bloomberg News

China blocked access to Google Inc. (GOOG)’s e-mail service through third-party applications, adding Gmail to the list of services from the search company banned in the world’s largest Internet market.

Traffic volume for Gmail dropped about 85 percent on Dec. 26 before falling further the following day and remains near zero today, according to data posted on Google’s Transparency Report page.

While Gmail’s website had already been blocked, the latest restrictions cut off users of third-party services including the Mail app built into Apple Inc. (AAPL) iPhones and iPads. Those e-mails can no longer be accessed while messages sent to and from Gmail to Chinese domestic e-mail services haven’t been bounced back.

 

AirTran Airways makes its final flight
USA Today

AirTran Airways’ final revenue flight – Flight 1 – took off Sunday night from Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta Airport at 10:25 pm EST headed for Tampa Bay International Airport, carrying 117 passengers.

The flight followed the October 1993 inaugural route of ValueJet, the discount carrier later renamed AirTran, and when it landed in Tampa, AirTran – and its Citrus call sign – officially left the skies, making the scheduled integration of AirTran and Southwest

By: Matt Long

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