News that has caught Chris' eye in the Travel World

Appeal for the Queen Mary Cruise Liner (21 March, 2017)


The magnificent original 1930’s Queen Mary cruise liner is so corroded that it’s at urgent risk of flooding or collapse. The price tag for fixing up the ocean liner could near $300 million dollars, according to a survey done by experts. It would likely take five years to rehab the ship, which is a tourist destination docked permanently in Long Beach Harbor south of Los Angeles.

During its heyday, the Queen Mary carried royalty, such as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, and dignitaries, such as Winston Churchill. Hollywood celebrities, such as Bob Hope and Elizabeth Taylor crossed the Atlantic onboard. But now, naval architects and marine engineers who compiled the survey warn that the vessel is probably “approaching the point of no return.”

The Queen Mary made Long Beach its permanent home in 1967. Now a floating hotel with shops, restaurants and event spaces, the ship attracts some 1.3 million visitors annually. In November, Long Beach approved $23 million to address the ship’s most urgent repairs, but the condition has become so dire that politicians in Scotland, where the Queen Mary was built, have called for an international fundraising campaign to restore the former Cunard liner. Here’s hoping they are successful – the Queen Mary is too gracious to send to the wrecker’s yard.

Air Canada Seat Upgrade Auction (15 March, 2017)

Air Canada is launching a new program that allows passengers to bid ‘auction-style’ on upgrades to premium economy and business class. The new program will be fully up and running by the summer, and is available for select destinations operated by Air Canada and Air Canada Rouge.

Air Canada will email eligible passengers who have booked directly on the Air Canada website, on the Air Canada mobile website or via Air Canada Reservations ten days prior to departure to invite them to make an upgrade offer. To see if they are eligible for an upgrade, travellers can also visit the airline bid upgrade website and enter their booking reference and last name to access the auction.

A sliding scale will be used to enter a bid, with a set minimum and maximum amount in place. A corresponding chart allows passengers to see the strength of their offer, which can be revised or cancelled at any time up to four days prior to departure time. Approximately 48 hours before departure, travellers will be notified by email as to whether or not their bid has been accepted. If so, their credit card will be charged and their flight re-booked to the applicable higher class of service. The acceptance of an upgrade offer will depend on several factors, including availability, the number of offers received and the amount each passenger is offering to be upgraded.

It’s an innovative idea from Air Canada and it will be interesting to see how popular this auction concept will become. To find out more visit  

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