A summary of travel news snippets from the industry during September 2018.

Spain – 5.6% drop in UK tourists compared to 2017

Tourist figures for July confirm that UK holidaymakers are switching to the Eastern Mediterranean  destinations of Greece, Croatia and Turkey. It’s the first fall in overall visitors to Spain for 9 years, the country still welcomed 9.98 million tourists of which 2.2 million arrivals were from the UK. The international visitor figures for Spain were down by 4.9% and the UK market down by 5.6% in July 2018, in comparison to July 2017.

Ryanair – Backtrack on new bag policy

Ryanair have released a statement confirming that any non-priority passengers who booked before the end of August 2018, will be able to check in a 10kg bag free of charge after the 1st November 2018.

WOW – Icelandic airline to launch flights from UK to Florida

Budget conscious travellers will have a new low cost route to fly from the UK to Orlando International airport from the 18th December 2018. Wow plan to introduce 3 flights a week via Reykjavik from London Gatwick and Edinburgh. One way fare prices start from under £130, with a travel time of up to 14 hours, including the stopover in Reykjavik. The airline will be flying the route with Airbus A321neo aircraft and are introducing a new Premium service aimed at business travellers.

WOW CEO and founder Skuli Mogensen commented: “As our 16th destination in North America, this is an important marker of our continual mission to push the price point to fly across the Atlantic as low as possible.

“In addition to flying in comfort in one of our luxurious ‘Big Seats’, Premium passengers now get extra checked baggage, free food and drink on board, fast track security when departing or transiting in Iceland and the freedom to change bookings free of charge.

Jet2 – Summer 2019 expansion at London Stansted

Jet2 airline and Jet2holidays are adding 100,000 seats with 12 aircraft based at Stansted next summer. The additional capacity will fly to the Canary Islands, Cyprus, Turkey, mainland Spain, Balearics and Portugal.

For the Canaries both Lanzarote and Tenerife will have daily and double daily flights, Gran Canaria 5 times and week and 3 times a week to Fuerteventura.

Chief executive Steve Heapy said the expansion came in response to demand in the south and south east of England. “Continued demand means we are adding extra aircraft and increasing capacity by more than 100,000 seats, giving local holidaymakers even more choice and flexibility with our award-winning airline and package holiday business.”

easyJet – Spring 2019 on sale

Flights until 23rd June 2019 are now available, including Easter school holidays, May bank holidays and summer half term.

Walt Disney World – Date based pricing for park tickets from October 2018

Walt Disney World tickets will change from the 16th October 2018 to a calendar system, where you can choose the lowest prices for your dates.

“This approach to pricing tickets by date is modelled off of consumer demand and is part of our effort to better distribute attendance throughout the year to improve the guest experience,” Disney commented.

Speculation is that pricing will be higher for peak time holidays in Florida. Now might be a good time to buy your Disney 14-Day Ultimate Ticket for 2019!

Ryanair – CAA expediting enforcement action against Ryanair following strike action Fri 28th Sept 2018

The Civil Aviation Authority confirmed yesterday that they are taking action against Ryanair for “for persistently misleading passengers with inaccurate information regarding their rights in respect of its recent cancellations”.

Approximately 1 in 10 of the airlines passengers due to travel today have been affected by flights grounded by the strike. A last minute decision by German pilots to join the strike increased the total number of cancelled flights to around 250. The majority of the 35,000 passengers affected were only given up to 3 days notice of the disruption.

The CAA stated yesterday that “the airline has again failed to provide customers with the necessary and accurate information relating to their passenger rights, particularly around rerouting and care and assistance entitlements, which includes expenses.” Airlines are obliged to compensate passengers for cancellations made within two weeks of their departure date unless the reason is out of the airline’s control.

Ryanair ague that they have no control over the events as the strike action involves crew from other airlines, and as such no compensation is due.