Thursday Briefing: Hurricane Nicole to Strike Bermuda, Four Seasons’ New Florida Hotel

hurricane nicole
Photo by Mark Tatem/AP/via Newscred

A major Caribbean hurricane and Four Seasons’ new Florida hotel are among the travel industry headlines to follow today. 

Hurricane Nicole to Strike Bermuda

Hurricane Nicole, currently a Category 3 storm, is expected to bring high winds and flooding rain to Bermuda through Thursday, reports. The storm had attained Category 4 status Wednesday night, marking the first time that two Category 4 hurricanes, Nicole and Hurricane Matthew, occurred in the Atlantic basin during the month of October. Nicole is also a rare storm in that hurricanes do not often pass this close to Bermuda — only seven major hurricanes have come within 40 nautical miles of the destination since records began in 1851. 

Delta is allowing travelers who wish to cancel their trip to/from/through Bermuda as a result of a flight cancellation or significant delay to receive a refund for the unused portion of their ticket, or to make a one-time change to their ticket without fee. Travel must have been booked for October 13 - 14, and the ticket must be reissued on or before October 18 for rebooked travel to begin no later than October 18. 

American Airlines is also allowing customers to change their trip with no fee if they bought their ticket to/through/from Bermuda by October 11 for travel October 12 - 14 and are able to travel October 14-18. Customers cannot change their origin or destination city and must rebook in the same class or pay the difference. 

Finally, JetBlue has announced it is waiving change and cancellation fees and fare differences for customers traveling October 13 and 14 to or from Bermuda. Customers may rebook their flights through October 18 prior to the departure of their originally scheduled flight. 

Introducing Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club, Surfside, Florida

In luxury hotel news, Four Seasons has announced a new project in Florida: the Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club, Surfside, Florida

Set to open March 27, 2017, the hotel is being billed as a reimagining of The Surf Club and Miami’s nostalgic past, according to a statement from General Manager Reed Kandalaft. Expect architecture by Richard Meier and interior designs by Joseph Dirand, as well as 77 guest rooms, including five cabana-style accommodations. Other amenities will include three pools, 900 feet of white sand beach, cabanas, a spa and wellness center, a kids’ club and oceanfront dining. 

U.S. Travel Agency Air Ticket Sales Down Three Points in September

In air travel news, ARC reports that the consolidated dollar value of airline tickets sold by U.S.-based travel agencies decreased nearly 4 percent compared to 2015, and that September 2016 ticket sales were down 2.6 percent versus September 2015. Ticket transactions, however, were up 4.9 percent in 2016 versus 2015. 

Electronic Miscellaneous Document (EMD) sales, which include ancillary air products sold by travel agents, comprised $32.4 million of the year-to-date sales vs. $12 million in 2015, and $5.7 million of the September 2016 sales as compared to $1.9 million in September 2015. EMD transactions increased 330.8 percent to 500,497 so far in 2016 vs. 116,173 in 2015.

Hotel Manager Saves Dog From Elevator

Making the rounds on social media today is a nice story about the fast-acting general manager of Greenville, South Carolina’s Rodeway Inn, Ben Duke, who saved a leashed dog that had wandered out of a hotel elevator while its owner was still inside, reports. 

The dog, who was still attached to his owner via the leash, was dragged upward as the elevator ascended before Duke was able to detach him, preventing the animal from strangling.

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