The new nonstop flight to the Los Angeles airport from PBIA got a lot of notice when it was announced this summer, but the heaviest flow of passengers continues to be to and from New York.
American Airlines, which has the LAX flight beginning Nov. 21, also is adding two daily flights to La Guardia for the winter beginning the same day. PBIA passengers can catch a daily nonstop flight already on JetBlue Airways (JFK, La Guardia, Newark and Westchester County), Delta Air Lines (La Guardia), Southwest Airlines (Long Island) or United Airlines (Newark).
Delta is adding another year-round flight to La Guardia.
Two million passengers a year fly between New York airports and PBIA.
For all of you frequent flyers, PBIA launches a loyalty program this month called “Thanks Again.” A rewards program was identified in a marketing survey last year as something to build passenger loyalty to the airport. The program chosen already exists at numerous airports, so passengers flying to Newark, Atlanta and other participating airports can keep earning reward points. And it uses your existing credit card — you just have to register it. Joining is free.
Members earn frequent flyer miles or hotel reward points for purchases at food and retail shops in the airport and for parking. American, Delta, United, US Airways, Frontier and Alaska Airlines participate now, and Southwest Airlines joins this month.
“Whether paying for parking, buying a last-minute gift, or grabbing a bite to eat, travelers will be able to accumulate mileage with the airline they choose and that was what attracted us to this particular program,” county Airports Director Bruce Pelly stated in a news release.
Arrivals and departures
Looking ahead to the winter season, when PBIA traffic picks up considerably, airlines are already planning added flights, and at this point there’s no end-date on these routes.
In addition to American’s LAX flight, Bahamas Air adds a nonstop to Nassau three days a week beginning Nov. 10. That has a special introductory fare of $59 each way, but must be booked by Oct. 30.
Silver Airways is adding two nonstop flights to Orlando as of Nov. 21 with service through to Tallahassee. This is the airline that picked up the flights to Tampa when Southwest discontinued them, and it is really going for the intrastate market.
Silver also will fly to Freeport and Eleuthera, Bahamas.
Gigantic Titanic news
The South Florida Science Center and Aquarium landed a coveted exhibit and will bring Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition to the recently renamed science museum beginning Nov. 16.
CEO Lew Crampton told me earlier this year — back when the 8,000-gallon aquarium was just drawings on the wall — that the new exhibition space could pump the science center up to a regional draw and tourist attraction. It just needed some world-class traveling shows for the new 6,000-square-foot exhibit hall.
Titanic is on that level. It’s been on circuit for 18 years, and 25 million people have seen it, according to a news release from the science center. And there’s no reason to think it won’t be a draw here, especially with the recent $5 million renovation.
Advance tickets are on sale from Oct. 1 to Oct. 30 at a $2 discount. That’s $13 for adults and $9.50 for children ages 3-12; seniors 62 and older are $11.50.
“Many venues tack on significant special event fees when traveling exhibitions are on display and because of the great support of the Quantum Foundation, we are able to make this exhibit possible for a wide population, as we continue to live our mission to ‘open every mind to science’,” Crampton stated in the release.
Some highlights: Visitors receive a replica boarding pass of an actual passenger and see recreations of the first- and third-class cabins. At the end, you find out if your passenger lived or died when Titanic sank.
Bridge Hotel to reopen
Known for its top-floor restaurant with panoramic views of the ocean and Intracoastal, the Boca Bridge Hotel has been closed for renovations since spring.
It will reopen either later this year or early in 2014 as Waterstone Resort & Marina and is getting quite the overhaul, according to a spokeswoman. After spending $20 million to buy it last year, the joint venture owners AWH Partners and The Lane Organization brought in Spire Hospitality for operations.
The lobby has been bulldozed and is being rebuilt. Two restaurants are planned and the pool area was completely revamped. A 270-foot wraparound seawall and dock was installed as well.
The new hotel will emphasize its waterfront amenities.
CVB wins awards
The Convention and Visitors Center — soon to be known as Discover Palm Beach County, now isn’t that easier? — won two Flagler Awards.
Announced last month at the Governor’s Conference on Tourism — the governor was actually there and assisting — the CVB was recognized for its Rock the Vote concert, held in conjunction with the October 2012 presidential debate at Lynn University, and its Travel Rally Day Campaign.
CVB staff won the coveted Henry Award in Special Events — that’s the gold medal — for Rock the Vote, which included the Neon Trees concert and screening of the debate.
“The Rock the Vote campaign was a major opportunity for our organization to capture the attention of the country at a key historical moment,” CVB President and CEO Jorge Pesquera stated in a news release.
CVB staff got a Bronze Award in the tourism advocacy category for its May 2012 event that featured rallies in three locations to raise awareness of the importance of tourism in Palm Beach County.