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The fish market in Hoi An
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From my desk in the office

I now have a ball and chained attached!! Yes I know but not sure for how long. Nothing overseas planned until my Mera Peak climbing trip in October (see below). But, there is enough in the office to keep me going until then. In this newsletter I have given you some great ideas for your next trip as well as some titbits about the travel industry. To view them please just click on the Colinthescot link.

In March I spent about 10 days in Vietnam (3rd visit) visiting friends who are living in Hoi An. I also enjoyed one night in Saigon and partook in a Vespa tour of about 5 craft beer breweries. You sit on the back and they drive! Then a 17 hour overnight train trip up to Danang. Some photos below to get you inspired.

So if you are hungry for a trip then let me continue to tell you where to go!

"Whit's fur ye'll no go past ye."
Cycling around Hoi An in Vietnam
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Check out Qatar's revolutionary business class

At Qatar Airways, we strive for excellence in everything we do. It is our attention to detail and unparalleled level of service that has made us who we are today. Home to one of the most innovative and modern fleets in the world, our spacious and comfortable seating, delectable cuisine and extensive entertainment options, make flying with us a truly remarkable experience. And now, exclusive to Qatar Airways Business Class, we introduce a new level of innovation. colinthescot.

How to lose thousands by trying to save ten

Nobody cares about your smooth, glitch-and-accident-free holiday stories. They're boring. Bring on the disasters and schadenfreude kicks to produce a fascinated audience. So this is an unhappy travel story about how you can lose thousands of dollars by trying to save tens.

It is a story of a double shafting, first by a dodgy online travel agency, then by an expensive, "reputable" travel insurance company. Yes, yet another case of the full insurance premium not resulting in full coverage, but first it's a warning not to trust third-rate foreign online travel agencies masquerading as Australian operations.

Vehicles one sees in Vietnam.

Overview of Australian travel agents

AFTA produces a monthly publication called AFTA Travel Trends which provides stakeholders interested in travel and tourism a snap shot of the latest International Arrivals and Departures to Australia. The publication also details information on market shares of airlines and the underlying purpose of international travel. colinthescot.

Take a virtual tour of Scotland now!

Online agents misleading customers; report!

EU consumer watchdogs say the online travel agents, which show bargain prices for flights, accommodation and other travel services, are failing customers on a number of levels, the most significant of which relates to the discrepancy between an initial price for a service and its final cost. colinthescot.

Breakfast stop Vietnam.

Join me on Mera peak (6476m)

Mera Peak is one of the most alluring trekking peaks in Nepal as it involves a culturally stimulating journey through remote picturesque villages and forests - followed by a gentle climb to the summit.  It is perhaps best known because it is Nepal’s highest trekking peak.

The climb of Mera comes at the end of a week-long trekking and acclimatisation programme designed to give you the best possible chance of an enjoyable yet successful journey. Start date is 9 October.

Virgin Australia to Hong Kong!

Last month Virgin Australia announced their new direct service between Australia and Hong Kong following an ACC interim approval of alliance agreement with HNA Aviation, Hong Kong Airlines and HK Express.

Virgin Australia has revealed that Melbourne will be the Australian city servicing these direct flights with flights commencing from the 5 July 2017. Virgin Australia will operate five return services per week between the two cities, using dual aisle Airbus A330-200 aircraft. Services will operate Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Virgin Australia’s proposed alliance with HNA Aviation and Hong Kong Airlines will enable customers to connect through Hong Kong to 13 destinations in mainland China. It will also allow guests from Hainan Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines, Capital Airlines and Tianjin Airlines to connect onto Virgin Australia’s expansive domestic and trans-Tasman network. The Virgin Australia flights are on sale subject to obtaining final regulatory approval from the ACCC.
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13 reasons to road trip in Scotland!

Flying to the US with Emirates

From 25 March 2017, customers travelling on flights from Dubai International airport to the US can't carry large electronic devices in the cabin. In response, it has launched its device packing service to customers in every class, so you can carry your devices through security to use up until boarding.

Simply hand your devices over at the gate, and they will package and label them, give you a unique claim tag, and load the devices onto the same flight for you to collect in the baggage hall upon your arrival. colinthescot.

Hoi An cycling

Explore Hong Kong aboard a restaurant bus!

The Crystal Bus provides you a combination of scenic city tours with specialty lunch or dinner in a double-decker bus with a cozy environment. This will get you closer to the culture, cuisine and scenic spots of Hong Kong. With Crystal Bus, you will explore and understand the history of Hong Kong, the Pearl of the Orient. colinthescot.

The Bamboo Bridge.

Beer brewed to be drunk at 35,000ft

At Cathay Pacific, they are always looking for new ways to help you travel well. That’s why they have created the world’s first beer brewed specially for 35,000ft. Fusing science with traditional brewing techniques, they have crafted a unique brew that tastes great anywhere, especially up in the air. colinthescot.

Call for cash compensation as airline delays take-off!!

Airlines often overbook flights as they assume that some passengers simply won't turn up for their flights. But that doesn’t always happen. Just ask (former) United flyer David Dao!!

CHOICE is calling for airlines in Australia to provide fixed financial compensation to travellers who have flights delayed or cancelled for reasons within the airline's control such as turnaround delays or mechanical problems.
The call comes as CHOICE research reveals 23% of passengers experienced a problem with a flight delay or cancellation in the last 12 months, topping the list for problems associated with domestic and international flying. colinthescot.

Airlines should be allowed to overbook; IATA

In the wake of the drama involving a United passenger being dragged off an overbooked flight, IATA has weighed in on the debate, claiming airlines should be allowed to continue “long-established overbooking practices”

Director General and CEO of IATA, Alexandre de Juniac, has also weighed in on the debate, attempting to distance United's shady actions and poor apologies from the overall aviation industry.

In a paper from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), it stated its position on overbooking policies, they discussed governments considering regulations that would restrict the current practice.

“The airline business is unique in that once a flight takes off, the seats on that flight are no longer available for sale; it’s a time-sensitive, perishable product,” the paper said. colinthescot.

A barge full of sand.

Business class fares to Europe

Business class fares are much more affordable than you may think. You can fly to Europe with Finnair for about $5220 per person including tax. You fly with another carrier to Asia or the Americas and then Finnair to your destination via Helsinki. In fact if you have time I can think up a very creative itinerary for you. colinthescot.

Economy fares to Europe

If you want to go to Europe and are willing to go off-season then you can get airfares for about $1500 including tax. This will suit those with family rather than those going for a holiday. And just to confuse you there are a few airlines offering year-round fares (yes high season times as well) but you have to be quick and flexible. And they have strict restrictions.

Air NZ brings Dave the Goose to Buenos Aires

Air New Zealand has brought its favourite frequent flyer, Dave the goose, to Buenos Aires in the latest iteration of its ‘Better Way To Fly’ campaign. The one-minute TVC spot features Dave the goose exploring Buenos Aries’ culture, food and wine. colinthescot.

Boat building in Hoi An
Beer tasting in Saigon

The design that will make you love the middle seat!

An aviation design company has been working on an innovative way to make the middle seat more comfortable for passengers. The middle seat has long been an undesirable seat to be stuck with on a flight (especially a long-haul flight), what with being wedged between two other passengers. colinthescot.

Sea Kayaking in Japan

The Seto Inland Sea or Seto-nai-kai is one of the most scenic parts of Japan; the Seto-nai-kai National Park was one of the first to be registered in Japan in 1934. On this tour, you will enjoy two opportunities for sea kayaking on the Seto Inland Sea - first off the lovely fishing village of Tomonoura and then off Miyajima, a UNESCO World Heritage island. You will also have a unique traditional detox bathing experience on Sensui-jima Island. colinthescot.

And finally

The UK has opened its first Divorce Hotel in York, which aims to help spouses ‘consciously uncouple’ while having a weekend away. The hotel, whose motto is “A Positive New Start”, says it gives ex-lovers a chance to hash out the details of their divorce on “neutral ground” in a relaxed environment with all the comforts, but without the distractions of other family members. colinthescot.

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