Business traveller: New tweeters @Dubairport
Dublin Airport has launched a new Twitter account for customer service queries, @askDUBairport. This is the airport's second account on the social network -- its flagship news-orientated handle @DublinAirport has been a runaway success since its founding just under three years ago, with almost 50,000 followers and a spate of awards to its name.
The new account is in its infancy but given the airport's solid track record on Twitter, should become a useful way for travellers to get their queries answered quickly and easily. It will be staffed from 9am to 5pm. Already @askDUBairport has clarified that the airport's busiest day tends to be Friday, and that knitting needles are definitely permitted in carry-on bags.
MARRIOTT EXPANDS ON-LINE CHECK-IN
There's nothing more annoying than arriving at a hotel after a long flight and being forced to wait in a long queue at check in. Thankfully, some hotels are investing in new technology to speed up the process.
Following in the footsteps of budget airlines around the world, Marriott is expanding its online check-in facility. The service, already in place at 300 Marriott hotels in the US and Canada, has just been introduced at another 20 hotels in 19 countries including the UK. The company aims to have the service in place at all of its 500 directly owned hotels by June 2014. The hotels in question include Marriotts in Bristol, Brussels, Prague, Zurich and Grosvenor Square in London. In Ireland Marriott manages the day to day running of the Shelbourne Hotel, though no plans for an online check-in service at the Shelbourne have been announced.
According to a recent study by market research company GroupM Next, 57pc of business travellers aged 21-39 use their smartphone to book a hotel.
To access the service, users must download the company's app and join its reward recognition system. Then they are free to check-in through a smartphone as early as 4 pm the day before arrival, receiving notification when the room is ready. On arrival, guests go to an expedited mobile check-in desk where a key card will be ready and waiting.
The hotel management chain is now planning a check-out service too.
STAFF DON'T TRUST QANTAS BOSSES
Management at Australian airline Qantas, a popular choice for Irish travellers flying Down Under, have come under heavy public criticism -- from their own staff. Just 1pc of engineers and pilots at Qantas "trust the people running the company", according to a new survey of more than 2,200 of the industry employees. The study also found that just 3pc thought the airline will improve in the next twelve months. This result came in marked comparison to that of rival Virgin Australia, where 84pc of engineers and 91pc of pilots said they expected improvement.
The results will come as a blow to the airline's chief executive Alan Joyce, who recently wrote to the country's prime minister for help. The airline is under growing pressure from Virgin, which is undercutting its domestic routes, limiting Qantas' ability to expand its long-haul operation.