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In this July 2010 issue:

1. INTRO: Reportage Cocktail Party - July 24th, 2010
2. SPECIALS: Summer Specials Normandie Hotel St. Barths
3. ARTICLE: "A New Role for Travel Agents" by Terrance Rey
4. SPONSOR MESSAGE: CheapoAir
5. NEWS ITEM: Airlines Set to Sell Majority of Tickets Directly
6. TRAVEL TIP: How To Find Affordable Travel Insurance
7. AGENDA: Closing Party at Maya's - Saturday, August 28th, 2010
8. ADVERTISEMENT: Save NOW For Your Next St. Barths Trip
9. CUSTOMER SERVICE: How To Book With AirStMaarten

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INTRO: Reportage Cocktail Party - July 24th, 2010
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Dear friends and clients,

We had another wonderfully successful cocktail party at The Normandie Hotel on Saturday, July 24th, hosted by Wendy, Eula and myself. Everyone had a great time and we have some nice photo's to record the occasion. 

Henry Herschaft, Terrance Rey & Wendy Carlton
Henry Herschaft, Terrance Rey & Wendy Carlton at the Cocktail Party
at The Normandie Hotel on July 24th, 2010

Relevant links:
Photo Reportage Cocktail Party at The Normandie Hotel held on Saturday, July 24th, 2010
Guest photos of the Cocktail Party at The Normandie Hotel
Forum posts and Party announcement.
AirStMaarten's Facebook Fanpage for Destination St. Barths

This month's newsletter features two interesting articles about the new role of travel agents in a world where airlines are spearheading more ways to sell their airline tickets directly to travelers. As AirStMaarten, I have foreseen this development and have anticipated this new vital role travel agents and charters brokers can fulfill by strategically positioning AirSXM.com as a direct seller. See the article and related news below.

Happy Readings!

Terrance Rey

Adformercial: Fired Travel Agent Reveals How To Get Dirt Cheap Airfare Tickets! I Was Fired By The Airlines, So This Is My Revenge! This Angry Ex-travel Agent Will Reveal The Deepest, Darkest Secrets Of The Airline Industry To Show How You Can Obtain Airline Tickets At Ridiculously Low Costs! Click here!

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2. SPECIALS: Summer Specials Normandie Hotel St. Barths
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Normandie Hotel room

Romantic Week-end
450 Euros (for two people)
with
(a) 3 nights at the Hotel; (b) Bottle of Champagne at arrival;
(c) Continental breakfast each morning;
(d) Complimentary wine each afternoon; (e) Rental car;
(f) Dinner for 2 at K’fe Massai on Saturday night.

Three or More Nights
Ask about our Special Rates
Room + Welcome Gift + Continental Breakfast + Afternoon Wine

Family Vacation Special
1200 Euros
for
2 adults and 1 or 2 children in connecting rooms for 5 NIGHTS;
Continental Breakfast each morning; Welcome Gift; Complimentary afternoon wine & soft drinks; Dinner one night at Le Bouchon;
Plus rental car.

Book via contact@normandiehotelstbarts.com.

Normandie Hotel St. Barths pool scene

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3. ARTICLE: A New Role for Travel Agents
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A New Role for Travel Agents

by Terrance Rey

Redefining the Travel Agency role with a Renewed Legitimacy in Aviation

With the present crisis in the airline travel industry with rising fuel costs, rising airline ticket prices and skyrocketing airport fees, a new role for Travel Agents is worth considering that would alleviate redundancy and improve efficiency in the aviation sector.

I would like to propose the Virtual Airline business model as the solution for improving efficiencies in airline travel industry and in the aviation sector and also as a means of countering the demise of the travel agency in the supply chain of airline reservations and ticketing services.

The Virtual Airline is a valid business model and allows airlines and charter companies to work together without the formal, bureacratic and complex rules and regulations regarding codesharing and interlining as set down by IATA. The key is in the reservations processing and ticketing.
 
For a virtual airline business model to work efficiently, you need 4 partners in the model:

  • an airline or charter company with landingrights;
  • you need an aircraft operator with an AOC (which is basically a license to fly);
  • you need an airport handling agent to handle the passengers and the luggage for you; and finally
  • you need a coordinating entity (in charge of reservations, ticketing and overseeing operations).

With the diversified and widespread island nations throughout the Caribbean with their own identities, cultures and national governments, it is hard to create a unified Caribbean airline. But with a virtual airline operation you can create a Caribbean-wide network by working with partners and be able to provide the same service of full-fledge airline company without the overhead, top heaviness and bureacracy.
 
An example of this is the Pan Caribbean Alliance (PCA) whereby Winair (WM), Curacao's Inselair (7I), Suriname Airways (SLM) and the Venezuelan Conviasa (V0) are attempting to create a network of seamless connections on all their flights and offering these connections as one flight on one ticket.
 
So one would be able to fly from St. Barths (SBH) to St. Maarten (SXM) on Winair and from SXM to Curacao (CUR) with Inselair and from CUR to Suriname or Venezuela with respectively SLM (PY) or Conviasa on one PCA eticket.

The problem is that these airlines have not yet nor can not yet decide who the coordinating entity will be (who will basically be the one in charge of PCA). I suggest that Travel Agencies fulfil this coordinating role. With a Travel Agency at the center of the Virtual Airline network operation the new position will help to redefine the role and give the Travel Agent a renewed legitimacy in the aviation sector.

Article source: http://www.airsxm.eu/page.php?page=74

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4. SPONSOR MESSAGE: CheapoAir
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Cheap Air Flightbanner

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5. NEWS ITEM: Airlines Set to Sell Majority of Tickets Directly
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Airlines on course to sell majority of tickets directly

~ Seeking to reduce role of travel agents ~

AIRPORT—Results published recently in the twelfth annual SITA/Airline Business IT Trends Survey show airlines which carry the bulk of the world’s air traffic, are on course to sell most of their tickets direct to passengers by 2013.

The record 129 airlines who responded to this year’s survey carry over one billion passengers and are currently selling 40.8 per cent of tickets directly to the public which breaks down as 25.8 per cent over the internet, 10.7 per cent through call centres and 4.3 per cent interlining.

These 129 airlines intend to bring their level of direct sales up to 55.1 per cent by 2013. While sales through airline call centres and interlining will remain largely static, direct channel sales through websites are expected to jump to 37.9 per cent.

“This year’s survey tells us there is a climate of increasing business confidence. Airlines are investing in IT to provide richer functionality to their online additional channels to market in order to increase the level of direct sales now that online distribution is almost universal.” SITA CEO Francesco Violante said.

In order to increase online sales, airlines are prioritizing the implementation of new functionality on their web sites in the following ways: online shopping tools (61 per cent have already implemented this), change/cancel/rebook (52 per cent), and frequent flyer redemption functionality (51 per cent).

This is in line with overall airline strategy to migrate passengers to self-service including a multi-channel check-in environment. The airlines stated ambition is to reduce the number of passengers processed via agent check-in from 50.7 per cent to 28.9 per cent by 2013.

Passengers’ use of kiosk check-in is expected to remain static at just below 20 per cent while web check-in options will grow from 21.6 per cent today to 35.5 per cent in 2013. Airline implementation of mobile check-in will advance from 28 per cent today to 80 per cent by 2013.

Although the proportion of passengers using check-in kiosks remains static, the survey confirms the important role of kiosks in a multi-channel environment. Some 47 per cent of airlines plan to increase the number of kiosks they deploy as they gradually move towards the next step of adoption by the adding new functionality for flight transfers and disruption management. The survey also found that 80 per cent of the largest airlines plan to use kiosks as sales points.

In addition, 70 per cent of airlines have a strategy in place to use the passenger’s mobile phone as a further distribution channel to sell air tickets. Currently, 18 per cent of airlines sell tickets over mobile phones and the ambition is to reach 70 per cent by 2013. Some 85 per cent of the largest airlines responding to the survey plan to offer such service by 2013.
Mobile phones will become an essential tool for airline travel by 2013 with 86 per cent of airlines planning to offer flight notification, 80 per cent online check-in, 76 per cent send electronic boarding passes to mobiles and 68 per cent using the mobile phone to target passengers with travel offers.

Airline IT Trends Survey is an independent poll of senior IT personnel working within the top 200 passenger carriers; 129 airlines responded to this year’s survey, including 14 per cent classified as low cost carriers; 81 per cent full service carriers; 5 per cent charter carriers.

Delta Airlines have already announced this week it would allow potential passengers to book flights via social networking site Facebook. 

Published in The Daily Herald on Friday, August 20th, 2010, on page 5.

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6. TRAVEL TIP: How To Find Affordable Travel Insurance
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Taking out Travel Insurance is a very wise thing to do. In fact, if you can afford to travel to St. Barths, you can afford Travel Insurance. You can find cheap travel insurance by searching online, getting quotes using the facilities provided on websites and securing yourself the insurance coverage for you at the best possible prices.

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7. AGENDA: Closing Party at Maya's - Saturday, August 28th, 2010
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Maya's Restaurant - St. Barths - Photo by Gregb | StBartsTalk.com 

 Closing Dinner Party at Maya's on Saturday, August 28th, 2010.
http://www.sbhdining.com

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8. ADVERTISEMENT: Save NOW For Your Next St. Barths Trip...
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... and earn 10% in savings.

Last year it was the United States economy. This year it is the European economy.  When will they get in sync and recover together?
 
Right now, you have an opportunity to save some money in anticipation of your next trip to St. Barths. (You know you will be coming again!).
 
Take advantage of the declining value of the Euro and lock-in your SXM-SBH-SXM travel cost now.
 
Buy a gift certificate for travel between November 15 and April 15 and save money.

  • Buy a $500 Gift Certificate and pay only $450
  • Buy a $1000 Gift Certificate and pay only $900
  • Buy a $2000 Gift Certificate and pay only $1800
  • Buy a $4000 Gift Certificate and pay only $3600
  • Buy a $5000 Gift Certificate and pay only $4500

Gift certificates must be used for purchases of single bookings of our shared charters or private charters.
 
Only the $500 gift cerficates can be used for single bookings for commercial tickets with Winair or St. Barth Commuter.
 
If you buy now, I will waive the regular 4% creditcard surcharge on all gift certificate purchases. If you buy $1000 or more, I will throw in a gift coupon for complimentary VIP Services worth $125.
 
Email us to place your order now.
 
Best regards,
 
Terrance Rey
 
PS: If you are a travel agent or villa owner, please email me via sales@airsxm.com for more information about our new incentive programme.

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9. CUSTOMER SERVICE: How To Book With AirStMaarten
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Booking Procedure & Reservation Information

Submit a reservation request online at www.airsxm.com. Once we receive your request, we will send you a Reservation Offer for your consideration. Once you accept our proposal, we will require payment. You can use our credit card form to send us your credit card information. We accept all major credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. You can also pay by bank transfer, check, cash or Paypal. Once payment is received, we will book the commercial flight or private charter and send you a Reservation Confirmation.

If you have requested additional services such as VIP Transfer Services, we will send you a Final Confirmation containing all details of your travel itinerary and services booked. And that's how you book with AirStMaarten.

Other Customer Service Resources:
Our Shared Charters concept explained in full detail
VIP Transfer Services through Princess Juliana Int'l Airport
Island Concierge Services on St. Maarten and St. Barths
Read what our satisfied clients are saying about our service
Ticket Insurance
We also accept payments via Paypal
St. Maarten Villa Rentals
St. Maarten Yachting and Sailing Charters
Sign up for our email newsletter service

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