If dogs could fly: ANA considering letting dogs on planes

August 24, 2016

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Dogs may soon be allowed to accompany their owners on flights with Japan‘s All-Nippon Airways, according to an article in the Japan Times.

This announcement follows a successful trial package tour conducted by ANA in late May of this year.

On that occasion, 87 passengers with between them 44 dogs were flown from Narita Airport to Kushiro in Hokkaido for a two-night stay.

According to the Japan Times, the basic package for two adults and one dog cost around ¥220,000 ($2,195 or €1,940).

What ANA’s trial flight demonstrated is that there is ample demand for services like this. Within just two days of going on sale, the tickets had already sold out.

Airlines usually require pets to travel in the cargo hold for domestic flights. For many pet owners this is a cause for serious concern, as they worry about the temperatures in the cargo hold.

This issue has also been acknowledged by some airlines.

The Japan Times article notes that ANA, for example, will not allow short-nosed dogs like bulldogs and chins to travel in the cargo area during the hot summer months, as these dogs are particularly prone to heat stroke and respiratory issues. 

On the ANA trial flight, however, dogs travelled in the cabin together with human passengers, albeit in cages strapped to the window seats.

There was also a veterinarian on hand in case any issues arose.

This is not the first time ANA has allowed animals to travel alongside human passengers. Prior to 2005, pets were allowed in the cabin on the airline’s international flights.

The service was discontinued, however, following complaints from passengers who suffered from allergies, or who generally felt uneasy in this environment.

The airline discovered an additional issue after the May trial. Specifically, that some passengers were reluctant to ride in an aircraft that had previously accommodated animals.

In response to this, ANA officials made clear that if the company does launch regular pet flights, it will do much more to inform customers about the way the cabin is cleaned after each flight. 

Despite this concerns, there are those in the tourism industry who expect great success if tours with pets do take off.

Professor of international tourism at Toyo University, Katsuhiko Shoji, who also happens to head a nationwide association promoting tours with pets, goes so far as to say that, “If long-distance travel becomes easier for them, Japan’s tourism industry will be revitalised.”

At the same time, Prof Shoji highlighted the need for cooperation from other actors in the leisure industry, such as hotels.

“Enabling pets to board the airplane is not the end goal. The cooperation of entities at the destination is also necessary,” he said.

 

Sources include: Japan Times

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NTT Introduces SIM Cards For Visitors To Japan

June 27, 2014

Good news for international travellers, no longer will you have to abandon your mobile phone when you enter Japan. Due to Japan having its own unique 3G mobile phone technology foreign visitors usually find their GSM phones are useless here and are faced with the option of going without mobile phone and internet access or the costly options of renting a phone for the duration of their trip or buying one outright.

However, NTT, Japan’s national telecom company, has announced an affordable solution. On June 25  NTT introduced a mobile phone SIM card for foreign visitors to Japan that will provide up to 100 megabytes of daily data traffic over a two-week period.

By inserting the card into their smartphones, users can gain access to the Internet through NTT Docomo Inc.’s mobile phone communication network, send up to 10,000 text messages and watch YouTube videos for about 45 minutes a day.

The card also enables access to public wireless networks provided by NTT group companies.

Japan Communications Inc. and So-net Corp. earlier developed and provided SIM cards for foreign visitors for the expected increase in tourists ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics.

NTT Communications said its SIM card sells for 3,500 yen ($34), tax excluded, offering a cheaper price than those of its predecessors.

Before departure from a foreign location, users may purchase their SIM card at http://www.prepaidsim.jp/item_detail. Upon arrival in Japan, the card may be picked up at one of several airport post offices (Narita, Haneda, Kansai, Chubu Centrair, New-Chitose, Fukuoka, Kagoshima or Naha) or certain hotels.

For those already in Japan, the prepaid SIM card may be purchased from a vending machine at Narita Excel Hotel Tokyu (http://www.tokyuhotelsjapan.com/en/TE/TE_NARIT) or at a XCom Global, Inc. (http://www.globaldata.jp/) counter at Narita, Haneda, Kansai or Chubu Centrair airport.

Sales in Hong Kong and Taiwan are planned from this summer. Additional purchase points, including vending machines, travel agents and hotels, are expected to be added.

As a further convenience, including unrestricted data, travelers are encouraged to apply for the Japan Connected-free Wi-Fi service (http://www.ntt-bp.net/jcfw/en.html), which provides access to about 18,000 free Wi-Fi hotspots around Japan, including at major airports, stations and shops. Japan Connected-free Wi-Fi is provided by NTT-BP, an NTT Group company.

Telephone inquiries about the SIM card can be made in English, Chinese and Korean. Instructions that come with the card are written in Japanese, English, Korean, Chinese and Thai.

Sources: The Asahi Newspaper, Yahoo.co.uk

TJC offers an extensive global network of professional & experienced multilingual translators, proof-readers and interpreters. We also have academic researchers, specialists and speakers, who are all native speakers of over 100 languages. Our expert translators and interpreters are based all over the globe and can assist you with projects of all kinds.

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Arctic Freeze blasts its way through Eastern USA and Canada…

January 7, 2014

Boiling water freezes in mid-air and lakes become like steaming hot-tubs. The record-breaking cold in the USA is truly a force to be reckoned with…

Over the past 48 hours, the Midwest and North East of the USA has been in the grip of a cold front, the likes of which has not been experienced for decades. The windchill and snow brought by The Polar Vortex, or “Polar Pig”, as it is also been known, has forced temperatures to as low as -50 degrees Celsius, causing power outages, school closures and major travel delays in parts of the United States and Canada.

The city of Indianapolis, capital of Indiana, was issued a RED weather warning making it illegal to drive except in an emergency. Toronto faced cold of up to -24C and Chicago broke records yesterday after temperatures plummeted to -27C. Even the Southern States have suffered. Yesterday, the temperature of Dallas, Texas was -4C, while that of Alaska was (ironically) closer to 1C. Snow storms abounded in St Louis, with up to 16″ of snow, and Atlanta reached -7C.

In some areas around the Midwest and Northern Plains, the cold was considered “life-threatening”. In temperatures like these, frostbite can occur within 10 minutes. The cold has now shifted Eastwards, and last night a code blue alert was issued by the Department of Homeless Services, New York, doubling the number of volunteers on the streets providing relief to those without shelter.

Utility companies added extra energy-generating capacity and repair crews, urging customers to limit power use and warning others that they’re likely to see higher heating bills. Xcel Energy faced such increased demand, it was forced to ask to ask 850 businesses in Minnesota and North Dakota to reduce their reliance on the utility and switch to propane tank supplies so the utility can meet higher demand from other customers. Monthly heating bills and the price of Natural Gas are expected to rise as a result of the bitter chill.

Although weather systems like this are common in the North of Canada, they rarely come as far down as the USA let alone its Southern regions. The unusual Southerly blast is thought to be down to a low pressure build up in the area and subsequent jet stream.

The end may be in sight, however, as flights, including some by company JetBlue, have been resumed, and it is expected that the “sub-zero temperatures and snow will virtually be gone by Wednesday”.

Sources Include: BBC News; USA Today; The Weather Network; The Guardian and The Telegraph.

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Ecky thump! Yorkshire named among top three regions in the world

October 31, 2013

Yorkshire has been placed among the top three regions in the world to visit, by popular travel guide Lonely Planet. The historic county of Northern England won out against other world-famous regions such as Zimbabwe and Zambia’s Victoria Falls and Texas, in the US, to claim third place in the Lonely Planet’s top ten world regions, behind Sikkim, in India, and The Kimberley in Australia.

Yorkshire is one of Britain’s most popular holiday destinations. Despite this, publishers at the Lonely Planet are concerned that the region is still underrated, and hope that the award will help to boost the county’s ratings, saying: “It’s only a matter of time before this rough-around-the-edges gentleman of the north gets the traveller attention it deserves.”

The travel guide made reference to Yorkshire’s “rugged moorlands, heritage homes and cosy pubs” in its explanation for awarding the county the bronze position. Other reasons for the region’s placing in the top three regions include the incredible contribution of Yorkshire athletes at last year’s London Olympic Games. Heptathlete Jessica Ennis, triathletes Alastair and Jonathan Brownlee, cyclist Ed Clancy and boxer Nicola Adams were among the large number of Yorkshire athletes who won seven of Great Britain’s 29 total gold medals. Indeed, Olympic athletes from Yorkshire bagged more medals than entire countries such as South Africa and Spain.

Gary Verity, chief executive of tourism body Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “Endorsements rarely come much better than this from a guide that has a worldwide reputation.This is massive for Yorkshire and our thousands of amazing tourism businesses, destinations and events.”

The accolade comes as less than surprising for citizens of the region: the town of Harrogate, near Leeds, was deemed Britain’s ‘happiest place’ by a poll in 2012. And next year, the prestigious Tour de France will make its grand départ from Leeds.

Other Lonely Planet top tens included Best Country (topped by 2016 Olympic host Brazil and swiftly followed by Antarctica), and Best Value Destinations, in which the Greek islands won out over Italy’s heel. Meanwhile, Denmark, Thailand and Belize were named the top three Family Destinations.

Sources include BBC News, The Guardian

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