UDAN (‘Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik’) is a unique Indian airline system developed to stimulate regional connectivity through a market based mechanism. The scheme was launched earlier this year and Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the first flight on April 27th from Shimla to New Delhi.
As much as I treasure traveling, the joy of flying often loses out to cancelled flights, inflated baggage fees, and poor customer service. Although recent regulations aim to protect the customer, including compensation for tarmac delays, we still have a long way to go before airlines take full responsibility for their actions. Airfare watchdog recently posted an article outlining the 12 Airline Regulations We Need Now. As #1 states: "If an airline changes its schedule before you depart on a trip, and such schedule change no longer suits your schedule, the airline must secure you transportation on another airline at your original fare." Yes, yes, and yes.
An important update for travelers visiting Nepal: We have received information from Nepal Association of Tour Operators and the Civil Aviation Authority Nepal (CAAN) regarding charging of Nrs. 1000 as the Airport Development Fee (ADF) from all passengers above two years old, departing from the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) to all international sectors effective July 17, 2014. As per the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, a decision regarding the ADF had been taken by the country's aviation regulatory and facilitating authority.
Hello, travelers! Namaste from Nepal. We have been having an epic experience the past few days in the Kathmandu Valley. Nepal never ceases to amaze me - the warmth of the people are just a small part of what makes this Himalayan country so inviting. Kathmandu is a short flight from Delhi or Varanasi, making it an ideal excursion from India. (It is also easily accessible from Paro, Bhutan.) Here are a few highlights from the journey that I highly recommend to all of our Sodha Travelers:
The Sodha Travel Spring Sale is on now for international flights to Asia, Europe and Africa! If you are traveling during the summer or Christmas break, now is the time to book. You can save up to $379 per person!
Dear Airline Industry,
I have written quite a few posts about travel insurance - the benefits, the policies, and why I always recommend coverage for clients. I also make sure to personally purchase a policy for each and every trip abroad. For the past two weeks, several of our clients have been met with unfortunate circumstances when traveling. All of the incidents have been associated with air travel, which is not surprising to us, especially this time of year. Flights are oversold, winter weather is unpredictable, and the busy holiday season makes it difficult for airlines to efficiently accommodate the passengers.
I was recently reading an article in the LA Times about a family emergency that required a costly flight change. Due to unexpected circumstances, the passenger lost over $800 and will most likely have none of it refunded by the airline. Although these experiences are frustrating, they are unfortunately becoming all too common. I often discuss the benefits of travel insurance, and this story is just one more example of why it is worth it.
These days, if you ask someone why they selected a tour package, destination, or travel operator, one word trumps all others: Value. However, value can mean different things to different travelers. For some, it implies a good deal or considerable savings. For others, the value is in the experience of visiting a new or exotic destination, or fulfilling a lifelong dream. Many travelers excitedly reserve a group tour based on the value of all of the above. The affordable price and enticing inclusions - international airfare, deluxe hotel accommodations, and comprehensive touring - are certainly tempting.
Many travelers are aware that the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is considered the busiest travel day of the year. However, this year there is the strong possibility of an even longer delay at airports. Several groups have announced plans to encourage travelers on Nov. 24 to opt-out of the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) full body scanner machines and opt-in for TSA's enhanced pat-downs. As a result, security check-point delays may occur at some airports.
Attention travelers: Per the latest Indian government guidelines, check-in counters at domestic airports will close 45 minutes before departure. If arranging independent airport transfers, please plan your commute accordingly. Presently, airlines allow passengers to check-in up to twenty minutes before departure. (In some smaller airports, even fifteen minutes is sufficient time.)