One of our select group of community service partners is Garden to Table which we congratulate for celebrating its 10th Anniversary this year. They’re celebrating by offering the perfect Christmas stocking filler for you!  Founder and Chair Catherine Bell has written Bounty, a cookbook to celebrate the work that GtoT does in Primary Schools now across the country, and it’s about all things vegetables! As Catherine points out it’s not necessarily a vegetarian cook book and suggests meat or fish accompaniments. Order the entire family copies. It’s also available at a number of good book stores.  Profits go to Garden to Table.

Advance seat assignment woes! Frequent flyers are usually particular about their seating on board an aircraft. With many of our travellers having completed their airline loyalty membership application years back, it pays to re-visit this and to make sure it still reflects where you’d like to sit (e.g. aisle or window). Please also ensure that your personal Traveller Profile held by our Travel Consultants was filled out with the same request. We all know that your seating preference is subject to the Airline’s decision at the end of the day but we can help to influence the right seat for you. Note though that flights such as a Domestic Air New Zealand flight to Wellington or a Qantas morning commuter flight to Sydney at peak times can have 100 per cent of the passengers with Gold status and a request for the 3 or 4 seats considered ‘forward aisle’ – so 95% of the passengers will be disappointed unless you book well in advance! Note also that we pre-seat you for Agency Assisted bookings made by one of our Travel Consultants. For self-help bookings made in our Serko Online/Zeno system, you or your company travel arrangers has to take care of your seating.

London authorities have not granted Uber a new license to operate in London. Uber was described as ‘not being fit and proper to hold and private hire operator license’, citing a pattern of ‘failures and unauthorised drivers exploiting vulnerabilities…’ Having said that London Taxi Black Cabs and its drivers are the bench mark for taxi drivers worldwide, are knowledgeable, they know where they are taking you including all the short cuts and pay a significant amount of money to hold their licenses. Pricing is also regulated.

By contract Uber now offers a helicopter shuttle between mid-town Manhattan and JFK. The tab will be between US$200-US$225 for the eight minute flight. No check–in luggage permitted, just one carryon. We have heard the next target destination for Uber Copters is Melbourne airport.

Medical and travel security and support company International SOS has released its risk travel map for 2020. The most dangerous destination continue to be countries plagued by instability and are in Africa and parts of the Middle East – we have the list if you’d like it. Conversely amongst the world’s least dangerous destinations is Iceland, Greenland, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Slovenia, San Merino, Switzerland, Seychelles, Palau and the Marshall islands.

Christmas / New Year Holiday: Our office will be open as usual, aside from the New Zealand statutory holidays. On the business days from Thu 19 December we operate reduced Summer hours 0900-1700hrs. Normal business hours from 08.00am resume Monday 20 January 2019. Our Emergency Travel Service is available after hours and the number is noted on our main switchboard line or your ATPI New Zealand travel itinerary