Members' News

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UK: Contactless bank cards, mobile devices and Oyster cards will all be accepted on the fastest route between London Paddington and Heathrow Central from Tuesday 19 February. The quick and easy ways to pay follow the introduction of ticket barriers at Heathrow and on Platforms 6&7 at London Paddington.

With half of all pay as you go journeys in London now regularly made using a contactless card or mobile device, these payment options offer a quick and easy way to travel for the 17,000 passengers that use Heathrow Express each day, integrating it with paying for travel across all of the capital’s Tube, rail and bus network.

Children aged 15 and under travel free on Heathrow Express using their Zip Oyster card.

Using Contactless payment or Oyster costs the same as a Peak or Off-Peak Express Single, depending on the time of travel and is not included in daily or weekly fare capping. The best value Heathrow Express fares including return tickets and advance fares from £5.50 each way at weekends remain available online or via the Heathrow Express app. With barcode scanners on every ticket barrier, customers purchasing tickets online or via the app can also get on board quickly and easily.

Customers travelling in Business First class can also use Contactless or Oyster by touching in and purchasing an upgrade from the on-board team. Business First offers a more private, spacious environment with wider seating, tables you can work from and a selection of complimentary magazines and newspapers.

Working in partnership, Heathrow Express and Transport for London (TfL) have installed new multilingual ticket machines at Heathrow, which allow customers to easily purchase, top up or refund an Oyster card (up to £10) and makes paying for travel with Oyster simple and convenient.

Les Freer, Director of Heathrow Express said: “Speed is everything to Heathrow Express customers so the introduction of Contactless and Oyster offers quick and easy ways to pay for your journey. This also adds to our already wide range of ticketing options offering customers choice on how they make the most of our service on top of our advance tickets from £5.50 each way at weekends.”

Shashi Verma, Director of Strategy and Chief Technology Officer at TfL, said: “The extension of Oyster and the Contactless system to include Heathrow Express offers customers the opportunity to make their journeys more smooth and efficient – both are easier and quicker to use than paper tickets. We have also worked with Heathrow Express to provide new ticket machines at Heathrow, where customers can purchase an Oyster card to cover all their travel during their stay, making their visit much easier.
“Half of all Tube and rail pay as you go journeys are now regularly made using contactless payment because it is so quick and easy. We are committed to making paying for transport easier for everyone and this extension means that all rail services within Greater London now accept payment via Oyster and Contactless. We continue to work with the Department for Transport to support their aspirations to further expand the benefits of this world-renowned ticketing system to other key locations outside of London.”

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RUSSIA: 100,000 passengers paid for their Aeroexpress trips at the company’s turnstiles, using contactless payment options in 2018.

Contactless payments can be made at the Aeroexpress turnstiles with Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, and Union Pay contactless cards, Troika transport card, and mobile devices that support the functionality of payment options with Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Android Pay.

MasterCard turned out to be the most popular contactless payment option in 2018, with 45% of all transactions made with it.

“We have been constantly developing our sales channels and expanding the number of payment options so that our passengers could pay for their Aeroexpress journeys using any way that is the most convenient for them. As of today, our company offers cutting-edge payment options. An opportunity to purchase a ticket by simply touching a bank card or a mobile device onto a turnstile reader at the Aeroexpress terminal is one of them,” said Alina Bisembaeva, CEO of Aeroexpress.

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MALAYSIA: Sri Sutra Travel, a local travel agency in business and leisure travel, is partnering with Express Rail Link Sdn Bhd (ERL), the operator of KLIA Ekspres, the premium non-stop high-speed train service that connects the city centre to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA & KLIA2). Aside from purchasing KLIA Ekspres tickets at KLIA Ekspres ticket counters, website and app, travellers can now purchase tickets on Sutra.my and TravelCompute One-Stop Travel Technology platform.

Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Sri Sutra Travel is an online platform that provides airport transfers, accommodation, car hire, tailored tours, bus and rail ticket reservations, concert and sporting tickets and other related services to travellers. “We are definitely proud and excited to be partnering with one of Malaysia’s leading travel consultancies. Having been in the tourism industry for decades, Sri Sutra Travel has an extensive market both locally and internationally. “This partnership is important to ERL as it will expand KLIA Ekspres’ reach further within the Malaysian travel industry, and it makes it simple for travel agents to package the KLIA Ekspres with other local attractions and services,” said Noormah Mohd Noor, Chief Executive Officer of ERL.

Sri Sutra Travel CEO, Dato’ Syed Razif Al-Yahya also expressed his delight in the partnership. He said: “Sri Sutra Travel is committed to provide our customers with the best service for their convenience. Now, they can purchase KLIA Ekspres tickets after booking their flights so they can travel to and from the airport seamlessly and comfortably.”

To purchase the KLIA Ekspres tickets, simply log on to Sutra.my and click on “KLIA Ekspres”. You can select your starting location and destination (KLIA/KLIA2 to KL Sentral or vice versa), as well as the date. After selecting the number of Adult or Child (2-12 years old) tickets, fill in the contact details. Lastly, review your booking before you make the payment.

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Johannes Thunert, Co-founder & CBO of Distribusion Technologies GmbH presenting at the Global AirRail Conference 2018

MALAYSIA: Express Rail Link Sdn Bhd (ERL) continues on its aggressive digital partnership drive by partnering with Distribusion Technologies GmbH (Distribusion), a Berlin-based leading global distributor for airport transfer and intercity bus rides that enables travel retailers (travel metasearch engines, online travel agents, airlines, global distributors) to connect easily with airport transfer and bus operators worldwide.

This partnership marks a huge step for ERL in the expansion of its sales platform. Now with Distribusion onboard, KLIA Ekspres tickets will be available through their international network of partners of more than 30 retail partners, 8000 travel agencies across Europe and 20 airlines in more than 40 countries. This will help make KLIA Ekspres more visible and available to travellers globally.
 
Speaking on the partnership, Noormah Mohd Noor, Chief Executive Officer of ERL said, “We are definitely excited and proud to be partnering with Distribusion, a B2B company that connects retailers with travel agents and websites across Europe, Asian and the Americas. Through this partnership, we are able to expand our customer base globally and help travellers feel welcomed to the country by providing a comfortable and safe ride in the KLIA Ekspres”.
 
Founder and CBO Johannes Thunert of Distribusion on the partnership: “Following the high demand of our international retail network for fast and convenient airport transportation, we are delighted to partner with KLIA Ekspres. As an award winning airport transfer, KLIA Ekspres is constantly pushing the boundaries of service and reliability and we could not ask for a better partner than KLIA Ekspres.”

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UK: Heathrow Express has marked the 20th anniversary of sustainable service with a 36-metre long poster campaign created using some of the tons of rubbish left on its trains every year, telling the company’s sustainability story over the past two decades. The posters run along the breadth of the Heathrow Express walkway at Terminal 2.

Cups, plastic bottles and free newspapers found on Heathrow Express trains have been upcycled into mini works of art by award-winning illustrator and paper sculptor Rebecca Sutherland and photographed for the posters. Hundreds of thousands of travellers using the ‘Plane-to-Paddington at Heathrow’ service will now see the company’s sustainability achievements such as how the number of female drivers exceeds the industry average, how none of its waste goes to landfill, the fact that their fleet of trains are all-electric and that children travel for free.

One of the posters, highlighting the 500 hours of community work Heathrow Express has given, features a typically British plate of fish and chips crafted as a clever piece of up-cycled origami. Bottle tops have been repurposed as salt and pepper, a ring-pull used for the fish eye and there is a paper-folded knife and fork. Another, illustrating how the train service has helped youngsters find jobs, comprises a collage of tiny silhouettes and figures cut from newspaper pages, showing people at work.

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The campaign, which has been devised by brand purpose consultancy Given London, reflects the growing importance of sustainable travel amongst consumers – a reality increasingly recognised by travel providers. Hotel booking platform Booking.com’s 2017 Sustainable Travel Report found that 67 percent of travellers would be willing to spend more on travel options which were more sustainable and TUI has found that its sustainability certified hotels result in better client experiences.

Chris Crauford, Head of Commercial at Heathrow Express said: “We felt it was time we were more vocal and confident in our sustainability credentials and this has been our most ambitious attempt yet to engage passengers in them. Increasingly consumers are committing to more sustainable approaches to travel and are interrogating brand’s individual approaches. We think many people will be surprised about how conscious we are in our operations – from the waste we recycle to our gender diversity commitments.”

Heathrow Express’ sustainability strategy supports the Heathrow 2.0 strategy for sustainable growth. Each of the themes in the posters feed into the four pillars of Heathrow’s wider sustainability ambitions - being a great place to work, a great place to live, a world worth travelling and a thriving, sustainable economy.

The upcycled sculptures were created by illustrator and paper sculptor Rebecca Sutherland. Sutherland said: “My thinking was to create things that touched that sweet spot between being seen as refuse and a visually stunning image. It’s strange to say, but when I was clearing up from the project, I had around 15 cups left over. It seemed strange to throw them in the bin. They had been a resource all week. They had been as valuable as my pencil or my scissors.”

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