Thailand Extends Visa on Arrival Fee Exemption For Tourists From 21 Countries Including China & India

Thailand will be extending their Visa on Arrival Fee Waiver for tourists from 21 countries and regions, including China, India who can enjoy the visa-on-arrival fee exemption until late April this year.

The cabinet approved a proposal to waive VOA fees from January 13th to April 30th 2019 in a bid to attract foreign tourists during Chinese New Year and the popular Songkran Festival.

Sayonara: Japan Will Charge 1000 JPY Departure Tax Starting Next Monday, 7th January 2019

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From next Monday onward Japan will be charging a departure tax of 1000 Yen which will be charged to each international departure in order to fund tourism related expenses.

The ‘Sayonara Tax’ for departures will apply to both foreigners and Japanese travelers and incorporated in the ticket charges collected by the airlines similar to the already existing taxes and fees.

Happy Thanksgiving & Safe Travels From The LoyaltyLobby Team!

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It’s Thanksgiving Day again, one of the busiest travel periods in the United States that comes with both stressful situations but also good shopping opportunities in the travel sector.

Many hotels, airlines and their loyalty programs will have deals in the coming days so after having a nice turkey dinner in the circle of your family maybe you should look out what they have in store this year.

The Worlds Stinkiest Fruit Holds Up Passenger Plane Until Cargo Gets Unloaded From Aircraft

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A passenger plane loaded with two tonnes of Durian (also known as the worlds most stinkiest fruit) was delayed for over an hour after passengers revolted as the stench went from the cargo hold into the passenger cabin.

Durian is a very popular fruit in Southeast Asia and has many fans who love the flavor yet the smell of it can indeed be hard to endure, let alone two tonnes of it.

Are Airport Vending Machines The Worst Place To Buy a Local SIM Card Upon Arrival?

In order to save international roaming fees many travelers seek out a local SIM card when traveling abroad and airports / vendors have reacted in offering them from vending machines in the arrivals area if local laws permit.

Prices can vary greatly and it often doesn’t even make sense as it’s so expensive that you can just as well use a roaming option.

U.S. Switches Back From Daylight Savings Time – Reminder From Airlines To Check Departure/Destination Time

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The U.S. has just switched back (Nov 4th) to Standard Time from Daylight Savings Time and apparently airlines had experienced troubles with customers missing their flights in the past so many of them reminded this year to check the time carefully.

The departure times will remain the same but there might be a discrepancy with your airlines original schedule that was received when making the booking though in theory there shouldn’t be.

Thailand Introduces ‘Special Lane’ At Immigration To Select Chinese Visitors From Other Arrivals

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Following a few unfortunate incidents and media reports of problems with Thailand Immigration lanes where Chinese visitors got into arguments with other travelers the immigration bureau has now opened Special Lanes for Chinese Citizens.

The counters which have been declared as ‘VIP Lines’ are obviously anything but – instead of privileged treatment they are designed to keep the order in the immigration area and prevent rowdy behavior.

Three Chinese Shoppers (Smugglers) Battle Each Other Inside Duty Free Shop At Seoul-Incheon Airport

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Yep they did it again! There is a large thirst for Duty Free products from South Korea among mainland Chinese travelers who then smuggle these goods into the country and sell at a big profit and they made headlines for all the wrong reasons again starting a brutal fight inside one of Incheon Airports Duty Free Shops.

Three of these ‘shoppers’ or smugglers as I prefer to call them got totally out of control and video footage shows a man stomping on a woman’s head after she went to the floor following an initial fight with another female competitor.

Is Your Flight Too Hot Or Too Cold? Flight Attendant Union Introduces App To Track Temperature Trends

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Flight Attendant unions have unveiled a new called “2Hot2Cold” to track and report uncomfortable temperatures on flights which is now available for download in the app store for both iPhone and Android.

The data will apparently be used to develop a study and lobby the Department of Transportation for a general guideline on cabin temperature.

WSJ: Do Airline CEO’s Fly Economy Class? – Interview With Doug Parker (AA) & Ed Bastian (Delta)

There was an interesting article from the Wall Street Journal yesterday where they interviewed the CEO’s of American Airlines and Delta Air Lines about Economy Class and their own flying habits.

While the Parker and Bastian agreed to the interview to the Economy Class focused interview, United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz declined the interview – go figure!

Rimowa Discontinues Electronic Baggage Tag Feature Amid Lack of Consumer Demand & Airline Support

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The Electronic Baggage Tag that Rimowa introduced just a few years ago seems to be ending it’s existence prematurely as the manufacturer already took it out of the new series.

E-Tag luggage doesn’t appear in the most recent catalogue anymore, stores in Germany are having sales offering discounts on e-tag bags and rarely any airline is supporting the system.

Emergency: Stranger Attacks Security Staff At Duesseldorf Airport With A Knife

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An irate man has attacked security screening staff at Duesseldorf Airport with a knife and caused life threatening injuries to the man who is currently undergoing emergency surgery.

From news reports in German media the assailant jammed a knife into the mans head and then fled the scene until he could be taken down a short while later.

Fabulous Fridays: Sleeping Pods Charged By Hourly Rate For Short Time Naps

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Our Fabulous Friday topic this week is about an interesting concept I came across in Las Vegas where they had sleeping pods available at an hourly rate.

I found these ‘Napin Pod’s’ at Fashion Show Mall in Las Vegas and was very interested to see more though unfortunately there was no associate around to introduce the system.

New Zealand Eyes $35 ‘Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy’ For Most Foreigners Arriving

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New Zealand might very soon impose a $35 Tourism Levy on foreigners arriving in the country as per a current government proposal that is under consideration.

Also in the planning stage is an Electronic Travel Authority process (ETA) similar to the systems in place for visitors of Australia, Canada and the United States.

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