Malaysia Airlines new retrofitted lie flat business class seats are now available on its daily services between Auckland and Kuala Lumpur. Each of the 27 seats transform into a 76-inch fully lie flat bed at the push of a button. There are three seat configurations, across six rows, within the new layout (1-2-2 or 1-2-1). All seats on the left side of the cabin are single, the middle row are two – with each direct aisle access and the right side alternate between one or two seats.
Agents on the recent Malaysia Airlines famil to Kuala Lumpur test drove the new seats and had no complaints. The consensus was there was enough privacy between the seats if you wanted to switch off; the seats reclined seamlessly and they liked the three discreet lights so no other passengers need be disturbed. A good selection of beverages was offered and everyone said the satay starters were the best.
For inflight entertainment, the latest release movies, tv series and Asian/Indian options as are available for viewing from the 16-inch touch screen. The headphones are not noise cancelling, so it’s still best to take your own if you really want total immersion.
Milena Bossa, Malaysia Airlines sales executive, took the group into the KLIA Satellite business class lounge at Kuala Lumpur airport. Overlooking the tarmac, the expansive area has a separate bar area, barista coffees, a buffet serving hot and cold meal options, prayer room, plenty of showers and a spa treatment room (charges apply).
The lounge is to undergo a complete refurbishment/upgrade before the end of the year. Full details of the layout, style and if the lounge will continue to remain open or be relocated during the refurbishment are still to come.
'Great wine, great food and great mates' was the theme of Starwood's Christmas gig in Auckland this year. Wholesale partners were hosted by Starwoods's #teamsamoa and #teamfiji at uber cool Ponsonby venue, Mr Toms.
The Michael Flatley production, Lord of the Dance captivated Auckland travel wholesalers this week when Tourism Ireland hosted them to the performance at the Civic Theatre. Pre event was drinks and dinner was at Elliot Stables before being captivated by the troupe that included New Zealand dancer connection Siobhan Connolly.
In Auckland for the first time in over 10 years, exhibitors from Las Vegas mixed and mingled with agents last night at the Crowne Plaza Auckland. The news is that Vegas is ‘hot’, and Kiwis are heading there. Kelly Sawyer from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority says the hotels and business partners asked to include Auckland in the annual Australia roadshow due to the growth they are registering from this market. ‘Once we decided to come, the 120 invites to the trade were snapped up – we have actually oversold. It shows that agents want to know about the destination and the state. Vegas is always evolving and while for the last couple of years we have been refurbishing and rebranding properties, we are now building. A 3,500 key Resorts World property is being built on the site of the old Stardust Casino, and there are more in the planning stage.’
Sawyer says the delegation will be back in force for Visit USA in 2016, ‘to keep the memento going.’
Pre book Cirque Du Soleil
‘Kiwis stay longer, spend more and list shows as a priority when in Las Vegas’, says Cirque Du Soleil director of tourism and international travel, Matthew Boone. ‘For this reason we are making available to the New Zealand trade (via the wholesaler) the ability to pre book any of Cirque Du Soleil’s eight Vegas live shows. This new facility allows visitors the ability to choose what show, date and seats they want before they depart NZ. The shows are extremely popular, with ‘O’ at 90% capacity every night, so it will be a great bonus all round.’