The title has nothing at all to do with direct channels, but after flying from Warsaw to Riga this morning on an ATR 42 I experienced something new – sitting in business class and being seated in the final row of the cabin – row 12 in this case. The concept took me by surprise, but it actually worked pretty well in this instance. My visit to Riga is totally unrelated to anything on direct channels, but it is business nonetheless. After my last two posts on reviewing 2009 predictions and then coming up with 2010’s predictions, today’s should be much easier to write.

Riga, LatviaAs I’m looking for an easy post, I’ll recount a few of the things I’ve been reading lately. A list of 5 ways to avoid a la carte fees has it’s first recommendation being to buy packaged deals – not sure I agree with that one, but I did predict rebundling would be a trend for 2010. I also found myself disagreeing with most items from a list of 7 trips you should never book online eg. I have written before about around the world travel being bookable online; but maybe the idea about not booking a honeymoon online has merit as then you can both blame the travel agent rather than each other if it turns out bad!

That much hated hotel practice of resort fees received some great comments from readers here. I also found some interesting data regarding travel applications on Facebook meeting with an underwhelming response from users. And to kind of sort of bring it back to where I started, I saw this news from Finnair:

The airline recently received its fifth A330, which has been equipped with a business class seat that reclines to a fully horizontal position. A new layout has also been designed for the plane, reportedly offering more privacy.Markku Remes, Finnair’s customer experience development manager, said: “The seats have been arranged so that nearly 90 per cent of passengers have direct access to an aisle.    

There is one thing I haven’t yet started reading, but which a thoughtful reader of this blog gave me as a Christmas gift. I was very impressed that the hint I dropped a while ago on this blog found it’s way to me in the form of what I am sure will be a very interesting read. A public thank you – you know who you are.

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