United Airlines to refund tickets to passengers aboard controversial flight

In an attempt to submerge the public fury against a recent incident of an airline passenger being forcibly dragged off a plane, United Airlines has announced on Tuesday that it is going to refund the tickets for all the airline travellers who were present on board the flight when the man was removed.

It has added that it would no longer request the police to remove the passengers from full flights.

The airline said that passengers on the United Airlines flight 3411 on Sunday would be compensated an amount that equals to the price of their tickets and could accept the compensation in cash, travel miles or even credit.

The man was dragged off the flight of United Airlines when the Sunday flight was completely loaded and was preparing to take off.

Videos captured by the other fellow passengers of the flight portrayed the man being dragged away and it sparked protests all across social media. Oscar Munoz, the CEO of United’s parent company said that he was ‘ashamed’ to notice the man’s video that showed him being forced off the flight and has promised to review the passenger-removal policy of the airliner.

He said that in future he would ensure that no law enforcement is involved in removing a ‘booked, paid, seated passenger’.

Munoz said that he incident is indeed a ‘system failure’ and that United Airlines needs to reassess its policies related with seeking volunteers to make its passengers give up their seats when a flight is full.

On Tuesday the US transportation department announced that it has started reviewing the events of Sunday to check if United violated rules on the overselling flights. The four top-ranking members of the Senate Commerce Committee asked the airline and also the Chicago airport officials for more detailed information about the course of events in this incident.

Source: http://www.travelandtourworld.com/news/article/united-airlines-to-refund-tickets-to-passengers-aboard-controversial-flight/

US Travel Ban Causes Uncertainty and Fear

Over 250 travel buyers were surveyed by Association of Corporate Travel Executives who voiced their concern about President Trump’s immigration ban on travellers who have citizenship in Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The ban also closed U.S. borders to all refugees from around the world for 120 days and halted immigration of Syrian refugees indefinitely.

Twenty percent of the companies responded saying the current US travel ban is causing their travellers difficulty. Of that group, 25 percent cite “fear of traveller harassment, fear of reprisals,” and “new uncertainty factors” as contributing to those difficulties. Thirty-nine percent of the 260 respondents stated the travel ban has the potential to reduce corporate travel

ACTE’s Executive Director Greeley Koch said that these percentages are way out of line for an industry that is constantly under pressure. He added, saying that business travel is about people and people with bone fide visas should not be subject to fear, delays, or harassment over their visa document.

On the lasting impact of the ban, 1 percent project cancelled contracts between U.S. and Middle Eastern companies, 22 percent are concerned about intensified threats against U.S. travellers abroad and 23 percent project complications with existing travel arrangements for a significant number of travellers.

Koch also shared his concern about the health of the industry that supports business travellers. He said that it has the potential to impact airlines, hotels, restaurants, ground transportation—all the travel infrastructure.

Source: http://www.travelandtourworld.com/news/article/us-travel-ban-causes-uncertainty-and-fear-among-travel-buyers/?utm_source=iContact&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Travel And Tour World&utm_content=US+travel+ban+causes+uncertainty

Dubai Shopping Festival 2017

Dubai Shopping Festival is celebrating its 22nd anniversary in 2017 and this time it is going to start a week earlier. Visitors will get unbeatable deals between December 26th and January 28th along with celebrity performances, raffle draws with cars to be won and plenty of amazing events to celebrate the emirate’s past time. Fireworks from two locations across the city will illuminate the night sky. http://www.visitdubai.com/en/dsf

Our 7 day Best of Dubai group tour has 1 full free day so travelers can enjoy the shopping festival. http://www.anatoliatravels.com/best-of-UAE-Tour.htm

For all other Dubai Tour Packages  please visit http://www.anatoliatravels.com/UAE-Dubai-Tours.htm






2017 Grand Balkan Tour Package

Is trip to charming Balkan countries on your bucket list? Anatolia Tours just launched 2017 Grand Balkan Tour with brand new itinerary. From Dalmatian coasts to the high mountains of Montenegro visit 6 countries in 13 days. Unbeatable prices starting from $1690 per person. More details at http://www.anatoliatravels.com/Grand-Balkan-Tour.htm

Please click to see all our Croatia Tour Packages.



World’s biggest family and leisure indoor park opens in Dubai

The world’s biggest family and leisure indoor park, IMG Worlds of Adventure, was opened on Wednesday in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum.

Sheikh Mohammed took a tour of the park, took around 36 months to complete, together with Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince, and Shaikh Maktoum Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai. The park was originally scheduled to receive tourists by the end of 2014.

The size of the park is 1.5 million square feet and can host up to 12,000 visitors per day. It was funded with $51.71 billion U.S. dollars and private equity provided by Ilyas and Mustafa Galadari Group.

Acknowledging massive development witnessed by the tourism, entertainment and hospitality sectors, Shaikh Mohammad pointed out that these sectors are key economic foundations that support UAE Vision 2021 and National Agenda, which aim to make the UAE the region’s capital for economy, tourism and trade

http://www.travelandtourworld.com/news/article/worlds-biggest-family-and-leisure-indoor-park-opens-in-dubai/?utm_source=iContact&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Travel And Tour World&utm_content=World%E2%80%99s+biggest+family+and+leisure



Balloons Over Atacama was launched in August 2016 now offering visitors a unique journey high above the Atacama Desert of Northern Chile. This is the first trip of its kind, an unforgettable way to soak up the drama of the desert. The daily flights take place at sunrise and last 45 minutes to an hour. With a vista of stark desert, stunning rock formations, all framed by a range of distant snow-capped volcanoes, passengers are in awe. Eastern safaris, the company behind Balloons Over Atacama, aims to bring an environmentally friendly form of travel to a unique, and fragile area. Classic and premium packages are available, and we’ll be happy to cater to greater groups as well. Can’t wait to get high up in the air? Contact us for further information and packages!
The Chilean Atacama desert is known to be the driest place on Earth! Yet sometimes, in the early Chilean spring, something remarkable happens to its arid landscapes: The desert starts to bloom and turns into a beautiful wildflower garden! The flowering desert is linked to the El Niño phenomenon and a result of unusually high rainfall during the months of July and August. The results can be enjoyed from September to November. Please click to this link for more information on our Guided Chile Tours 

Follow the Hollywood Scenes in Turkey

Every year hundreds of movies are shot, and luckily not all of them are filmed in front of the green cardboards in Hollywood studios. Some of them are shot in their actual environments giving us the opportunity to sense the real surrounding.

Just as a well played role would bring more business to the actors, so will a good movie to the small town or to the country it was filmed. Movies are one of the most effective ways in the presentation of a country or city. The film “Casablanca” had attracted many tourists to Morocco for years. Similarly thousands of tourists, in the footsteps of “Indiana Jones”, still travel to Jordan to see the treasury in the rock carved temple.

Sometimes you even might not enjoy the movie but the historic street you see at the background may snatch your attention and motivate you to learn more about the location the movie was shot. Or if you have already picked your next destination, why not watch a few movies filmed in that country to get into the groove?

If Turkey is one of your next destinations, here is the list of some well known movies that were shot in Turkey, mainly in Istanbul. These movies captured many touristy highlights as well as less known places which might spice up your itinerary:

  • The World Is Not Enough (1999) is the nineteenth movie in the James Bond series. The film was directed by Michael Apted and it is Pierce Brosnan’s third James Bond movie. Bosphorus and Maiden tower are the major places seen in the movie. “I’ve always wanted to have Christmas in Turkey.” is the famous quote said by James Bond.
  • Hitman is a 2007 film based on the same-titled video game series. An agent hired by a group known as ‘The Organization’ is trapped and finds him pursued by both Interpol and the Russian military as he treks across Russia, Eastern Europe and Turkey. In this movie you can see the backstreets of old Istanbul and crowded bazaar area.
  • Gallipoli is a 1981 Australian film, directed by Peter Weir and starring Mel Gibson and Mark Lee. It is about two Australian sprinters facing the brutal realities of World War I when they are sent to fight in the Gallipoli campaign in Turkey. Although the whole movie was shot in Australia it is about the place Gallipoli which is in North West Turkey and a district of Canakkale province.
  • The Accidental Spy is a 2001 Hong Kong martial arts-action film, starring Jackie Chan and directed by Teddy Chan. It all starts on one normal dull day, Bei a salesman at a workout equipment store follows his instincts to trail two suspicious looking men into an alley and this leads him to an adventurous journey from Korea to Turkey. The scene that Jackie Chan is running naked in the Grand Bazaar is the most haunting moment of the movie.
  • Topkapi (1964) is a film directed by Jules Dassin and the film is based on Eric Ambler’s novel The Light of Day. The film stars Melina Mercouri, Maximilian Schell and Peter Ustinov. The movie is about a man with passport problems gets mixed up with a gang of thieves plotting to rob the Topkapi museum in Istanbul.
  • From Russia with Love (1963) is the second spy film in the James Bond series with Sean Connery as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. In the film, James Bond is sent to assist in the defection of Corporal Tatiana Romanova in Turkey. Most of the movie was shot in Turkey and the major places are; Egyptian spice bazaar, Sultanahmet, Bosphorus and the Blue Mosque.
  • The Net 2 (2006) is a film directed by Charles Winkler and starring Nikki Deloach, Demet Akbag and Sebnem Donmez. The life of a computer systems analyst is thrown into turmoil when, after arriving in Istanbul to start a new job. This movie was also shot in Istanbul mainly Sultanahmet district and most of the actors are famous Turkish movie stars.
  • Head On (2004) is an award winning film directed by Fatih Akin. The movie is about a Turkish man called Cahit in his 40s who has given up everything in life and seeks solace in drugs and Sibel, another German Turk who has tried to commit suicide due to her conservative family. In this movie you can see the real local life in Istanbul.

Above list includes the major movies; however there are several other European, Hindi, Asian movies filmed in various parts of Turkey. If you are planning your next tour to Turkey why don’t you grab a few of above movies from your local video store and get ready for a Christmas in Turkey just like our old pal Bond.

Nil Aykut is the Marketing Manager of Anatolia Tours & Travel Co. offering private and escorted tours to Turkey, Greece, Morocco, Dubai, Oman, Egypt & Jordan. More information at http://www.anatoliatravels.com/

Tips for Untouristy Tourists: Istanbul’s Hidden Treasures

Istanbul is the jewel of Turkey, the land of exceptional cultural and natural treasures, country of contrasts and contradictions, history filled with epic episodes. If you already had chance to visit this beautiful city, probably you’re waiting for the day to go back. If you still haven’t, treat yourself with a trip to this amazing city, the crossroad of modern Europe and mystic Asia; Istanbul should be definitely included into your Turkey tour package.

Almost everyone who arrives in Istanbul begins with the classic Sultanahmet (old city) tour. Visit will include Topkapi Palace Museum and Haghia Sophia Museum along with other Sultanahmet highlights. Well known Topkapi Palace was the imperial residence of the Ottoman Sultans for four centuries and houses examples of Ottoman architecture, large collections of porcelain, robes, weapons, shields, armour, Ottoman miniatures, Islamic calligraphic manuscripts, as well as a display of Ottoman treasure and jewellery. Second major highlight Haghia Sophia, the “Church of Holy Wisdom”, was built by the Emperor Justinian in the 6th century. After 916 years as a church, in 1453, shortly after the conquest, Haghia Sophia was converted into a mosque. In 1935 it was transformed into a museum. These main museums will help you in understanding the country’s history and appreciating the richness of its culture.

However, there are numerous other treasures you can discover in Istanbul. For example The Archaeology Museum in Gülhane Park is a place not to be missed while in Istanbul and is only steps away from Topkapi Palace. It is certainly one of the best museums in Turkey and a must see for anyone with any interest in archaeology. A nice definition used by travelers for this museum is that it is country in nutshell. Turkey has many archaeological sites and the museum offers visitors a sample of what the country has to offer in terms of archaeological treasures, from the prehistoric times to the Ottoman period.  This complex is divided in three buildings, the Archaeological Museum, the Museum of Oriental Antiquities, and the Tiled Pavilion. The star attraction is the Alexander Sarcophagus which is remarkable for stunning carvings on the exterior detailing the battles and the life of Alexander the Great.

Another less known jewel is Chora (Kariye) Museum hidden in Edirnekapi district of Istanbul. The dictionary meaning of Kariye (Chora) is “outside of the city”, or “rural” in old Greek, probably stemmed for being located out of the ancient city walls; today it is located close to the Edirnekapi city walls over the Golden Horn.  Kariye Museum is the most important Byzantine monument in Istanbul after Haghia Sophia and houses the best examples of Byzantine mosaic art. The neighbourhood has a relaxed atmosphere, with narrow and steep alleys, traditional wooden and colorful Turkish houses and small cafes where you can enjoy a cup of tea.

Dolmabahce is another effulgent palace and museum at the shore; five million Ottoman gold pieces, the equivalent of 35 tonnes of gold was used at its construction. The Palace was the official residence of several Ottoman Sultans in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Dolmabahce visit is usually offered as optional in many itineraries, but you can also visit it on your own with a short taxi ride from Sultanahmet.

The other shore of the Bosphorus houses another palace, Beylerbeyi, the summer palace of the Ottoman sultans. After palace visit you can stop at the Beylerbeyi town center, a small fishing town where you can enjoy scrumptious sea food with the tranquilizing view of the Bosphorus.

Finally, make sure you pay a visit to the Basilica Cistern, also known as the “Sunken Palace”. Usually guides do not include it to their itineraries but it is conveniently located across St. Sophia, at the centre of the historic hotels. Cistern was constructed by Justinian in 532 to supply (water) the Byzantine Palace primarily. It is the largest of all Istanbul’s ancient cisterns; today the walkways have been constructed right through the cistern and subdued illumination lends the place a suitably mysterious atmosphere.

Istanbul is full of historic and cultural sights; it is a vibrant and colourful city offering surprises to its residents and visitors every single day. It was usually described as beautiful and flirtatious woman in the old poetry, seductive but variant. So next time you visit Istanbul, discover your own treasures, in other words, make sure you’ll have couple of free days to have Istanbul on your own way…

Nil Aykut is the Marketing Manager of Anatolia Travels. Anatolia Travels offer private and guided tours to Turkey, Morocco, Egypt, Jordan, Greece, Italy, Spain, Croatia, Dubai and Oman. More information at http://www.anatoliatravels.com/