Monday, January 23, 2012

HEI Hotels & Resorts to Acquire Newark Airport SpringHill Suites

HEI Hotels & Resorts (HEI), a socially responsible investor and employer in the hospitality industry, has  announced that the company is under contract to acquire the SpringHill Suites by Marriott Newark Liberty International Airport for an undisclosed amount. The hotel will be the tenth acquisition by HEI's Fund III and the 13th hotel in the Marriott brand family in HEI's 42-property portfolio.

 The 200-room all-suites select-service hotel is located immediately north of Newark Airport, New York City's second-largest airport with more than 33 million passengers annually, and near Port Newark, North America's third-largest seaport.

The hotel offers three meeting rooms with a total of 1,900 square feet of function space. Additional amenities include lobby lounge with complimentary breakfast, indoor swimming pool and whirlpool, fitness facilities and a business center.

The hotel is currently in the process of receiving a substantial interior renovation involving all areas of the hotel seen and touched by guests, as well as, the back-of-house facilities used by the hotel's associates. Upon completion, the hotel will meet all SpringHill Suites by Marriott's most current design features. "Kills" The Priceline Negotiator (Nasdaq: PCLN) has revealed that it will kill off the popular Priceline Negotiator, a character played by William Shatner, in its new national TV campaign.

Mr. Shatner has been's celebrity spokesman for 14 years, and remains under contract to the company.  He first stepped into the role of The Negotiator in 2007. said it decided to kill off The Negotiator character in order to focus consumers' attention on its published-price hotel service, which is the fastest-growing segment of's hotel business. said it will continue to offer its Name-Your-Own Price® hotel service, which can save traveler up to 60% off published rates. 

To see the new spot, visit

Cleveland Airport Marriott

Leave your worries on the runway when you stay at Cleveland Airport Marriott. The Cleveland Hopkins airport hotel is the perfect hotel for guests looking for upscale comforts after their cramped flight. Just a few miles from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, Cleveland Airport Marriott offers a complimentary shuttle to and from the airport. Once you arrive, you can sit back, relax, and leave the rest to us.

Cleveland Airport Marriott has it all—from Cleveland airport lodging with guest rooms that surround you in style, to 23 meeting rooms to help you get down to business. Plus, the updated lobby has been designed to include flexible seating, super convenient access to power outlets and free wireless internet, a full sized pool table, restaurant table service to all lobby seating areas, and over 100 different bottles of beer, all so you can work, play or both. 

And the critically acclaimed AMP 150 restaurant combines local ingredients with local top chef, Jeff Jarrett, to craft flavors like none other. With award-winning cuisine to specialty craft drinks, AMP 150 creates tastes you won't expect to find in an airport hotel.
Find it all, including your morning cup of Starbucks coffee, right off the runway at Cleveland Airport Marriott.
Discover a revitalized hotel near Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and situated just miles from the airport, as well as downtown, IX Center, universities and sports venues—all at Cleveland Airport Marriott. A recently renovated hotel near Cleveland zoo, the Marriott includes 372 guest rooms that were transformed to include lush carpeting, stylish decor, upgraded bathrooms, refrigerators, 37-inch flat-screen TVs and Marriott Plug In technology. A premier business and leisure destination, this Cleveland, OH, hotel is convenient for travelers, offering a complimentary airport shuttle. After a day of meetings or sightseeing, retreat to this Cleveland, Ohio, airport hotel to recharge for the day ahead or visit the indoor pool and 24-hour fitness center to de-stress. Meetings and social events will feel at home in 16 meeting rooms and banquet halls in Cleveland, spanning 15,500 square feet, complete with on-site catering and certified event planners. Whatever the reason for visiting, the Cleveland Airport Marriott hotel welcomes guests with first-class service and a friendly staff!

For more information or to make a reservation, call 800-228-9290 or visit

United and Houston Airport System Begin Redevelopment Project

Houston Mayor Annise Parker and the Houston Airport System, in partnership with United Continental Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: UAL), broke ground on the first phase of a three-phase redevelopment project at George Bush Intercontinental Airport. Phase one of the project, to be completed in 2013, will create a new Terminal B south concourse dedicated to regional jet operations.

The $160 million south concourse project will replace the existing south side flight stations with a new 225,000 square-foot facility to accommodate United's regional aircraft. At nearly four times the size of the existing space, the new concourse will provide a better customer experience, as it will feature modern and expanded gate lounge areas, concessions and restroom facilities.

Travelers will access the new concourse from the terminal via a 95-foot-wide bridge with 13,000 square feet of food, beverage and retail concessions – a 500-percent increase in concession space over the current facility. The concourse will feature 28-foot-high floor-to-ceiling glass windows, offering expansive tarmac views from spacious central passenger lounge areas with durable and modern interior finishes.

New Hawaiian - JetBlue Partnership

Hawaiian Airlines (NASDAQ: HA), Hawaii's flag carrier, and JetBlue Airways (NASDAQ: JBLU), New York's Hometown Airline™, has announced a partnership agreement that will make it easy for travelers up and down the East Coast to enjoy the incomparable Hawaii travel experience. 

Mark Dunkerley, president and CEO of Hawaiian Airlines, and Dave Barger, president and CEO of JetBlue, signed the agreement at JetBlue's Terminal 5 at John F. Kennedy International Airport amid a festive Hawaii-themed celebration of Hawaiian music, hula dancing, fresh flower lei and other special gifts from Hawaii for travelers transiting the terminal.

Effective this week, customers will be able to purchase single tickets combining travel on both Hawaiian and JetBlue, allowing for seamless travel between the carriers' networks. Connections are available for immediate travel via Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), where Hawaiian offers multiple daily departures.
In the near future, Hawaiian intends to codeshare on JetBlue-operated flights, placing its HA code on JetBlue-operated flights

The carriers plan to further expand their partnership on June 5, when Hawaiian launches the only nonstop service between New York City and Hawaii with its new wide-body, twin-aisle Airbus A330-200 aircraft seating 294 customers.

Questex Travel Group Launches ULTRA for the Global Luxury Market

Questex Hospitality + Travel, the world's largest multinational media, event and eCommerce company serving the global hospitality and travel industry, has unveiled ULTRA, an exclusive invitation-only networking event set to launch in the first quarter of 2013.  ULTRA is set to be the place where luxury travel trends will emerge and where the world's most elite travel executives will engage through a truly transforming business experience. Attendees will be fully immersed in the world of luxury travel through interactive dialogue with today's top industry decision makers.

ULTRA will be hosted twice a year, once in North America and once in an international venue, and will provide an ultra-luxury experience as well as complete destination immersion.  A host venue for the inaugural installment is being solidified, and will be announced shortly.

The two-and-a-half-day event will feature 200 global luxury travel agency owners and managers, that will be hand-selected by the ULTRA Advisory Board and the Executive Editorial Staff of Luxury Travel Advisor, the monthly publication published by Questex Hospitality + Travel for the world's top sellers of affluent travel. An annual listing of the ULTRA 200 Advisors will also be featured once a year in Luxury Travel Advisor. ULTRA's unique format features one-to-one appointments, elegant networking functions and thought-provoking educational content.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Carnival Corporation & plc Chairman and CEO Statement Regarding Costa Concordia

This statement is from Micky Arison, chairman and CEO of Carnival Corporation & plc, parent company of Costa Cruises.

We are deeply saddened by the reports of additional deaths following the grounding of the Costa Concordia. On behalf of the entire Carnival Corporation & plc team, I offer our heartfelt condolences to all of those families affected by this tragedy.

Our immediate priority continues to be supporting rescue and recovery efforts and looking after our guests and crew members, along with securing the vessel to ensure there is no environmental impact.  My senior management team and I have been in continuous contact with the Costa executive team in Italy and we have our senior level technical experts on the ground to provide additional support for this tragic and highly unusual incident. 

While this is a terribly sad time for everyone involved, we want to recognize the tremendous efforts of Concordia's crew, who along with the Italian Coast Guard and authorities, helped to evacuate more than 4,000 passengers and crew members from the ship in very difficult conditions. And we continue to offer our deep gratitude to the Italian authorities for their support and ongoing efforts.

SOURCE Carnival Corporation & plc

NASA to Hand Over Shuttle Trainer 'Keys' to Seattle Museum

NASA's Johnson Space Center will officially handover the "keys" to the Space Shuttle Full Fuselage Trainer to the Seattle Museum of Flight in a ceremony at 8:30 a.m. CST Thursday, Jan. 19. News media representatives are invited to attend.

The ceremony will include an official signing of the Space Act Agreement that will transfer ownership of the trainer, which includes both a crew cockpit and shuttle cargo bay area, and was used to familiarize astronauts with shuttle cockpit controls and emergency exit procedures over the life of the Space Shuttle Program.
The museum will accept responsibility for the Full Fuselage Trainer, and its transportation to Seattle. By donating Johnson Space Center's shuttle training resources to outside partners, NASA hopes to find areas of common interest that will foster new technologies that improve life here on Earth, and pave the way for future human exploration in space.

JSC Director Michael L. Coats and Mission Operations Director Paul Hill will welcome guests, including the Museum of Flight's President Douglas King, who will provide remarks on the partnership agreement. The signing ceremony will be followed by a question-and-answer session for media.

To arrange for credentials, contact the Johnson Space Center newsroom at 281-483-5111 by 4 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 18.

For more information about NASA's Johnson Space Center, visit:

Thursday, January 12, 2012

American Eagle Goes All-Jet From Dallas/Fort Worth

FORT WORTH, Texas, Jan. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- American Eagle Airlines, the regional affiliate of American Airlines, is replacing all of its ATR turboprop aircraft operating from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. Fourteen markets throughout Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas will have all-jet service beginning Jan. 31. The airline will operate the daily flights with a combination of 37-, 44- and 50-seat jets.
"We are pleased to once again provide jet service to all Eagle destinations from our hub in Dallas/Fort Worth," said Gary Foss, Managing Director – Network Planning for American's regional network. "We know our customers will enjoy the comfortable, quiet ride of these Embraer jets, enhancing their overall travel experience."
These are the cities served from Dallas/Fort Worth that will switch to all-jet service on Jan. 31:

Daily Departures
College Station, Texas
Fort Smith, Ark.
Joplin, Mo.
Killeen, Texas
Lawton, Okla.
Longview, Texas
Lubbock, Texas
Monroe, La.
Shreveport, La.
San Angelo, Texas
Waco, Texas
Wichita Falls, Texas
Texarkana, Texas
Tyler, Texas