Maharashtra allows daily tickets for local train travel | Mumbai news


The state government had asked the railways to discontinue daily tickets and issue only monthly passes after resumption of the train services following the second wave of Covid-19

Passengers will be able to once again buy daily tickets for single or return journeys in the local trains on the suburban railway network in Mumbai and surrounding cities.

Following the demands from passengers, the Maharashtra government on Sunday permitted the Central and Western Railway to restart issuing of daily tickets on their suburban railway network for all those who are fully vaccinated and have completed the mandatory cooling period of 14 days after vaccination.

The state government had asked the railways to discontinue daily tickets and issue only monthly passes after resumption of the train services following the second wave of Covid-19. Only people working in the essential services were allowed to get daily tickets.

Also Read: Violinist Prabhakar Jog passes away in Pune at 88

“As one time ticketing was allowed on long distance passenger trains before too, this relaxation means that all fully vaccinated residents may travel in local and passenger trains on all routes and through all kinds of tickets that may be issued by railways including daily ticketing. Being fully vaccinated will be the only mandatory condition for issuance of any kind of tickets for travel in trains.” said a statement issued by Aseem Gupta, principal secretary, Disaster Management, Relief and Rehabilitation.

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Flight tickets on UAE sector still remain steep | Travel News


Abu Dhabi: Air fares on the India-United Arab Emirates (UAE) sector continue to burn a hole in the pockets of ordinary travellers. According to travel agencies, lack of adequate aircraft to meet the demand for seats has led to the situation. “The fares will come down to the normal levels only after airlines start regular services. At present, they are conducting limited services in view of the global pandemic,” said a travel agent.

High ticket rates
The lowest fare available on Monday, October 25, on the UAE sector is for the Kochi-Sharjah Air Arabia flight – Rs 19,500 to 20,800. At the same time, a seat to Dubai on the Fly Dubai service would cost Rs 26,900 to 28,200; on Air India Express Rs 28,500; Spice Jet Rs 38,500; Emirates Rs 48,500 and on Indigo’s connection flight Rs 40,000.

Travel agents said that a ticket to Abu Dhabi would cost an additional Rs 3,000 to 6,000.

Apart from the flight tickets, each passenger has to spend over Rs 3,000 on two PCR tests for COVID-19 in order to travel to the UAE. “In total, a four-member family flying to the UAE from India would have to pay over Rs one lakh for a one-way trip,” said the agent. In other words, a one-way ticket for a single traveller costs around Rs 25,000. Incidentally, before the pandemic struck, passengers from UAE could make a return trip to India at a mere Rs 15,000 during the months of October and November.  



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‘Buy Tickets Sooner Rather Than Later’


No one has had a better vantage of the airline industry’s ups and downs than OAG (formerly known as the Official Aviation Guide). The 92-year old company collects the world’s flight information and provides data to the travel market, including flight status, scheduling and in-flight options. I asked ​​Phil Callow, OAG’s CEO, to decode the last 18 months in the airline industry — and to help passengers understand what’s next.

How has the airline industry changed in the last 18 months?

COVID sent shockwaves across the market. Every industry talks about the pandemic’s impact. But how many markets were affected more than travel? Maybe one or two.

Related: CEO and customer service contacts for airlines

How have those changes affected consumers? 

We’re now seeing major shifts in airline economics, revenue models and network strategies. We’re also seeing more innovation and experimentation, with several airlines and tech companies using this period to test new routes, offer new services and seize market opportunities.

The impact on airlines is the tip of the iceberg. The cascading impact across the global market has been unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. 

Online travel agents, travel apps, car rentals, hotels, local tourism, events and business travel — the list of disrupted and connected business segments could go on forever. 

Down the road, the disruption will drive positive, long-term change for consumers. We’ve seen major investment to offer more flexibility, improve the passenger experience and create a more frictionless travel experience. Ultimately, this will provide passengers with more choice and control from booking to boarding.

Is there one change that has surprised you the most? 

Probably how resilient and innovative the travel industry stayed. Very few airlines failed, and many were able to raise capital in what should have been a challenging market. The same is true for major hotels, tech and connected players. Of course, governments played a role here, but that speaks to how essential travel is to local and global economies.

We also saw a major acceleration in how the travel leaders adopted modern technology and increased their reliance on data. Supporting this shift has been core to our mission throughout the pandemic. 

I’ve also been impressed with how adaptive and creative airlines have been in terms of charting new routes and developing new services and offerings — all of which point to better travel experiences and choices in the future. For an industry that’s typically conservative and risk-averse, the COVID challenge has stimulated major, long-term change and innovation that will make the future of travel even better.

Was there ever a moment when you thought that the airline industry as we know it might not survive the pandemic? 

No. The aviation industry is no stranger to disruptive events. From 9/11 to SARS to the Gulf War, the industry has always bounced back and returned to normal within nine months or less. While the depth of the pandemic’s impact has surely surprised us all, the airline and wider travel industry is central to the global economic recovery.

The pandemic also shined a light on how much consumers want to travel. That craving is only growing stronger. Once this is finally under control, we expect to see the market take off like never before. We saw early signs of this before the delta variant created hesitancy. The future is actually quite exciting, believe it or not.

As you look to the holiday season and beyond, what should air travelers expect, in terms of fares and availability? 

We expect to see a sharp rush of pent-up demand for consumer travel, followed by a return to a normal demand profile. 

Air travelers should expect a very busy holiday season. We recently surveyed over a thousand travelers and found that of those who typically fly for the holidays, the percentage of that group that will fly this year is more than double compared to last year. Planned capacity for Thanksgiving week tells a similar story; Currently, there is 47% more domestic capacity than last year.

What would you do now if you were planning to fly somewhere for Thanksgiving, Christmas or in 2022?  

My advice to travelers is to buy tickets sooner rather than later if they are flying for the holidays. Tickets will be expensive, but not quite at the peaks seen prior to COVID. The same is true for peak travel weeks and destinations.

I would also strongly consider buying tickets right now for flights in 2022. Prices for non-peak travel days are incredibly low in many markets. That’s likely to swing back in the other direction once COVID transmissions start declining and travelers feel comfortable taking to the skies. 

With all the industry turmoil, how did a company like OAG survive?

We started by putting the needs of our customers first.

We know that good data is the backbone of the travel industry — in good times and during periods of massive change. COVID created unprecedented levels of uncertainty and an endless number of flight changes and cancellations. Access to fast, reliable and actionable data became more essential than ever.  

Our customers needed us. The challenges they faced gave us the impetus we needed to accelerate our own digital transformation so we could help our customers manage the uncertainty and capitalize on the recovery.

Our amazing team was also foundational to our resilience. I’m proud of how our team stepped up. We had countless unsung heroes who went the extra mile for each other and customers.

OAG isn’t just being used by airlines and airports. Who else is using OAG’s data? 

While airlines and airports will always be important to us, OAG has transformed into a fast-moving data and technology company that’s evolved with the rapid development of the wider travel ecosystem. Our wide range of customers includes online travel agencies, meta-search engines, mainstream tech companies, travel app providers, hospitality partners and anyone who directs, innovates or consults in the industry — including financial companies, investors, infrastructure players, startups and local and federal government agencies. 

Our ability to blend complex datasets and generate new insights will also help us improve the environmental impact of air travel by providing up-to-the-minute information on passenger and industry carbon footprints.

You recently partnered with Snowflake to accelerate a shift to the cloud in your industry. What is Snowflake? Can you explain what that means to your customers and to air travelers?

We’ve invested heavily in talent and technology over the past 24 months. Our use of the Snowflake platform and OAG Labs team are powerful examples. 

Our customers are now able to directly access and analyze the freshest data in real-time. This leads to more creative use cases and helps businesses solve harder problems.

As part of our broader platform that includes new APIs, alerts and a deeper layer of data science, the Snowflake platform helps us unlock the power of our intelligence and create improved data, content and solutions — both derived and proprietary. 

Our data powers the systems that travelers use every day. Whether they’re booking a multi-stop trip, searching for the shortest flight time, finding the best connections, or rebooking, our solutions are improving the decisions travelers make. 

How does OAG’s data help you when you fly? 

Our data shares the why, where, when, and how we fly and travel. Airlines, airports, travel providers, hospitality and tourism make decisions every day based on our data. Questions include things like, “Should we add another flight on this route?,” or “Is there enough demand to start flying to a new location?” 

Do you have any insights from the data that our audience might find helpful?

For consumers, we help answer questions like, “Is my flight on time?,” “Will I have enough time to make this connection?,” or “What’s the probability that my flight will be delayed?” We also help ensure that the travel supply chain — from shipping to airline support services such as plane cleaning and maintenance — remains on track. All of this data fuels the innovators in the space who use it to solve some pretty incredible problems and create remarkable experiences. 

Travelers are eager to return to the skies, and we’re seeing leisure travel continue to hold strong. While there’s still an appetite for business travel, the road to recovery will take some more time. We handle over 150,000 schedule changes a day and over 4 billion flight status requests a year. Any change can impact viable destination choices, booking conversions, and traveler experience. So as flight data and the market continue to fluctuate, travelers and airlines can count on us for the freshest data whether they’re navigating recovery, looking for the best travel experience, or even making greener choices.

How can travelers access OAG data before their next trip?

OAG is a tech-driven data business that feeds corporate engines with the world’s flight information that travelers can use. But travelers may not even be aware that the flight options, schedules, status and more they search online or through online travel agencies is coming from OAG.

Our customers are travel providers, airports and tech companies like Uber and airlines that use our data to feed their existing systems – such as booking engines, travel and hospitality apps, airline apps, online travel agencies, metasearch, search engines, and flight tracking apps. Travelers rely on these companies, who rely on OAG’s data, to plan their upcoming trips.



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Amtrak Is Offering Tickets at 50% Off for a Limited Time




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Travel news: Tours for the adventurous, Broadway’s staging a comeback, tickets to Toronto


Not your average travel guides

Tour operator Exodus Travels is partnering with the non-profit Royal Canadian Geographical Society on a limited-edition series of itineraries for 2022, called “Exodus RCGS Quests.” The small-group trips will be hosted by notable adventurers: A 15-day Moroccan expedition, for example, will be led by TV host and environmental journalist Aliya-Jasmine Sovani (a familiar face from MTV Canada and NBC News). The ambitious options also include a 20-day, multi-country tour of Southern Africa, guided by athlete/explorer Mario Rigby (famous for his solo trek from Cape Town to Cairo — a two-year, 12,000-kilometre journey accomplished largely on foot).

Staging a comeback

As a sign of New York City’s tourist revival, Broadway is set to resume several blockbuster musicals as of Sept. 14. Crowd-pleasers slated to return that day include “Hamilton,” “Wicked,” “The Lion King” and “Chicago,” with tickets for all on sale now. More than 30 other Broadway shows are scheduled for previews or openings before the year is out.

Ride the rails

A view of the Rocky Mountaineer's "Rockies to the Red Rocks" rail trip, the company's first U.S. route.

Vancouver-based Rocky Mountaineer — known for operating luxury train trips through spectacular landscapes in Western Canada — has just launched their first route in the U.S. The two-day “Rockies to the Red Rocks“ rail journey travels from Moab, Utah, to Denver (and vice versa), with a midway overnight stay in the Colorado Rockies resort town of Glenwood Springs. From inside airy, glass-domed coaches, take in views of red sandstone cliffs, rugged ancient canyons and immense mountains. The route’s inaugural season will run until Nov. 19.

Tickets to Toronto

The new “Never Have I Ever, TO” campaign from Destination Toronto invites you to be a tourist in your own town. You can download their free mobile passport, My Toronto Pass, for deals on local attractions and experiences. Current discounts include 15 per cent off entry to the Royal Ontario Museum, 20 per cent off admission to the Aga Khan Museum, and 15 per cent off a foodie tour with Chopsticks + Forks.

Sign up at thestar.com/newsletters to get our weekly Travel Headlines newsletter in your inbox. Travellers are reminded to check on public health restrictions that could affect their plans.





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Travel news: Tours for the adventurous, Broadway’s staging a comeback, tickets to Toronto – parrysound.com



Travel news: Tours for the adventurous, Broadway’s staging a comeback, tickets to Toronto  parrysound.com



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One Expert Tip Can Save You Big Money When Shopping for Airline Tickets


Hispanolistic / iStock.com

Hispanolistic / iStock.com

Scott’s Cheap Flights founder Scott Keyes has the ultimate tip for saving on airfare — and its not the usual “book ahead” or “search on specific days” mantra that you’re used to hearing.

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Keyes recommends always comparing fares for the full group of your travel party to the price of just one or two seats on the same flight, reports CNBC. He claims that, typically, airlines sell their tickets in buckets, meaning that a flight could have 10 tickets available at $99, 15 available at $150, or 20 available at $200 — all for the same flight. When a cheap “bucket” sells out, customers are then shown the more expensive seats.

For a single traveler, this might not make a huge difference, but for a party of four, it could be a deal breaker regarding whether or not to take the trip at all. For a four-person trip, the airline’s ticketing system will show the tickets in the bucket that can still accommodate four seats. One way around this is to search for single or double tickets — regardless of how many people are in your travel party. It is possible that there are still cheaper tickets available on your flight, but perhaps not for the bundle you are searching for.

Related: Gas Prices Are Skyrocketing: 10 Ways To Save on Travel in 2021

Using this method, you could theoretically purchase one or two tickets that are still available in the cheaper bucket, thereby closing out that price section’s availability, and then purchase the rest of your tickets at the higher price.

An important thing to remember when using this strategy, Keyes said, is to call the airline after you make your reservation and ensure that you and the rest of your party are all on the same itinerary. This way, if flights change or get cancelled, everyone is handled together and, in the worst case scenario, not all booked on separate flights.

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Other strategies for cheaper airline bookings are avoiding the weekends and searching from different devices. The more you search a particular flight on your phone, the less likely you will be to catch a “hook you in” deal. Airlines are known to jack up prices if you keep searching for the same particular travel. One way to circumvent this is to search from different devices or a friend’s/spouse’s device to ensure you get the best deal.

More From GOBankingRates

Last updated: August 23, 2021

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: One Expert Tip Can Save You Big Money When Shopping for Airline Tickets



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You Could Win Two Tickets To Space, Here’s How


Billionaire and Virgin Group founder Richard Branson and five crewmates from his space-tourism company Virgin Galactic reached the edge of space last weekend. While Virgin Galactic plans to sell tickets for similar flights for hundreds of thousands of dollars per seat, Branson announced the spaceflight company will give away two seats on one of its next commercial flights to the lucky winner of a sweepstakes.

Branson explained in a video that he had “the most incredible experience of Earth from above” and that he is “thrilled” to give the opportunity to others.

The Edge Of Space

Here’s how Branson and his crewmates reached what’s known as suborbital altitude.

They were in a Virgin Galactic ship called the VSS Unity — carried by the winged ship VMS Eve. At an altitude of about 8.5 miles, Unity detached from Eve, fired its engine, and eventually reached speeds of more than Mach 3 — three times the speed of sound.

Unity reached a peak altitude above 50 miles, which is above the space demarcation boundary recognized by NASA, the U.S. military, and the Federal Aviation Administration, a Space.com article explains. Branson and the crew experienced three to four minutes of weightlessness and saw Earth’s curvature before gliding back to Earth for a runway landing.

“The whole thing, it was just magical,” Branson said, an Associated Press story reports.

Tickets To Ride

Virgin Galactic is now working with charity fundraising platform Omaze to give away two tickets for one of the VSS Unity’s first commercial flights. Proceeds will support the nonprofit Space for Humanity, which aims to send citizen astronauts of diverse racial, economic, and disciplinary backgrounds to space. 

“We all share this planet together — and we need to take care of it and we need to take care of each other,” Rachel Lyons, the executive director of Space for Humanity, says in a USA Today article. “By giving people around the world access to this experience and this perspective, we can begin to shift our relationship on a collective level with each other and with our planet.”

What You’ll Experience

Omaze explains that the lucky winner and their guest will “make history as you both live out your astronaut dreams on one of the first Virgin Galactic commercial spaceflights.” The winner and their guest will also “experience weightlessness and awe-inspiring views of Earth from space; join Sir Richard Branson for a personal VIP tour of Spaceport America; and be flown to the home of Spaceport America in New Mexico — hotel included!”

Although the full details of the sweepstakes winners’ flight have not yet been announced, Omaze CEO and co-founder Matt Pohlson says in the USA Today article that the winner will have an experience similar to Branson’s.

“You’re going with the full Virgin Galactic experience,” Pohlson said.

How To Enter

Entering the sweepstake is easy. You need to register online here, and while no donation is necessary, the minimum suggested donation is $10. Each $10 donation is equivalent to 100 entries, and there is a $300 donation cap.

Eligible participants must meet several conditions. Most notably, they must be at least 18 years of age, come from a worldwide jurisdiction that isn’t prohibited from participation, and they must provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination.

Know Before You (Hopefully) Go

It should also be pointed out that spaceflight is, obviously, inherently dangerous. Participants must also release the contest-holders from “all liability, loss or damage, or expense arising out of, or in connection with, participation in any experience or the acceptance, use, or misuse of any prizes.” What’s more, the contest winner and their guest must pass all medical tests conducted by Virgin’s medical staff.

You can find more information, contest rules, and register to win the space flight tickets here.

Related Reading: 



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Basketball Season Tickets on Sale Starting July 21 – Ohio State Buckeyes


TICKET INFORMATION  |  FULL SCHEDULE

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Season tickets for Ohio State’s 17 home games during the 2021-22 season will go on sale July 21. Season ticket renewals and new season ticket deposits will be available for all full season ticket holders, including eligible faculty and staff members.

Ticket renewals will be accepted online via customers’ Ohio State Buckeyes Accounts. All eligible ticket holders will receive detailed instructions via email to the address on record in their ticket account. These instructions will include ticket prices and renewal instructions. More information will be made available at https://ohiostatebuckeyes.com/tickets/mens-basketball-tickets/

“We look forward to being at capacity in all of our venues this upcoming season,” said senior vice president & Wolfe Foundation endowed athletics director Gene Smith. “As long as the trends with Covid 19 and the variants keep moving in a positive direction and we don’t see any spikes, we’re hopeful we can get back to where we were prior to last year. We encourage everyone to get vaccinated if you have not already done so.”


Mobile-Only Ticketing

Ohio State will employ mobile-only ticketing for all events moving forward, enabling contactless entry into the Jerome Schottenstein Center and other athletics venues. Offering greater convenience and safety, fans can access their ticket online, transfer to family and friends, utilize Buckeyes TicketExchange, or donate tickets to charity.


Complete Non-Conference Schedule

In addition to the previously announced non-conference games with Xavier (Gavitt Games), Duke (Big Ten/ACC Men’s Basketball Challenge) and Kentucky (CBS Sports Classic), the Buckeyes will host six other non-conference opponents.

The regular season opener will be against Akron on Nov. 9. The Buckeyes are 7-1 all-time against Akron and the teams last met in the opening round of the 2016 NIT in Columbus, a game in which the Buckeyes won in overtime 72-63.

Game two against Niagara on Nov. 12 will be the first meeting between to the two programs.

The Buckeyes will host another in-state foe in Bowling Green on Nov. 15 as part of the Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off. Ohio State and Bowling Green will be meeting for the seventh time overall and the first since 2008.

Following its road trip to Xavier on Nov. 18, the Buckeyes will head to Fort Myers, Fla., to compete in the Beach Division of the Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off on Nov. 22 and 24. Ohio State will play two games against either Cal, Seton Hall and Florida. Matchups and start times will be announced at a later date.

All games will be played at Suncoast Credit Union Arena on the campus of Florida SouthWestern State College. Travel packages are available and include tickets to each Beach Division game, hotel accommodations and parking at Suncoast Credit Union Arena. For complete travel package information, log on to www.fortmyerstipoff.com/travel.

The previously announced Big Ten/ACC Men’s Basketball Challenge matchup with Duke is set for Nov. 30. Then in the month of December, the Buckeyes will host Towson on Dec. 8, Tennessee Martin on Dec. 21 and New Orleans on Dec. 28. Ohio State is a combined 4-0 against those three teams.

This year’s CBS Sports Classic will be played on Dec. 18. The Buckeyes will take on Kentucky for the third time in event (2015 and 2019) and for the 22nd time overall. Ohio State has won the previous two meetings with Kentucky in the CBS Sports Classic, winning 74-67 Brooklyn, N.Y. in 2015 and 71-65 in Las Vegas in 2019. The Buckeyes and Wildcats will be the second game of the session, following North Carolina vs. UCLA which is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. ET. City and venue information will be announced at a later date.

Also in the month of December, the Buckeyes will open Big Ten play on the weekend of Dec. 4-5 and will play a second B1G game on the weekend of Dec. 11-12. The Big Ten previously announced this year’s opponent breakdown.


Vaccinations Important

Ohio State strongly encourages everyone who is eligible to get their COVID-19 vaccination if they have not done so already. The vaccine has been proven to be safe and effective. Vaccine appointments can be scheduled via the Wexner Medical Center by logging into MyChart. Individuals who are not patients of the Wexner Medical Center or those who do not have a MyChart account can call 614-688-VAXX (8299) for assistance. More information, including vaccination sites and frequently asked questions, is available on the Wexner Medical Center website.

2021-22 Ohio State Men’s Basketball Non-Conference Schedule
Nov. 1              Exhibition vs. TBA
Nov. 9              Akron
Nov. 12            Niagara
Nov. 15            Bowling Green (Fort Myers Tip-Off)

Nov. 18            at Xavier (Gavitt Games)
Nov. 22 & 24    vs. Seton Hall or Cal or Florida (Fort Myers Tip-Off in Fort Myers, Fla.)
Nov. 30            Duke (Big Ten/ACC Men’s Basketball Challenge)

Dec. 8               Towson
Dec. 18             vs. Kentucky (CBS Sports Classic at TBA)
Dec. 21             Tennessee Martin
Dec. 28             New Orleans

#GoBuckeyes



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