Complimentary Giants of Golf tickets with Etihad Airways

Golf fans planning to attend the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship may consider flying to Abu Dhabi with Etihad Airways as the two have partnered to offer guests of the airline free admission when they produce their boarding pass, reports Abu Dhabi city guide. The tournament is being held between January 26 - 29th and Etihad guests travelling in December or january qualify for the free admission offer:

German Martin Kaymer will be back to defend his title and will take on the top players in the world, including world number one Luke Donald, Major winners Charl Schwartzel (US Masters), Rory McIlroy (US Open) and Darren Clarke (British Open), along with former world number ones Lee Westwood and Tiger Woods.
Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways’ Chief Commercial Officer, said: “The Championship is now positioned as one of the leading sporting events in the Middle East and we are very pleased to be offering our guests the opportunity to see the game’s best players right on our own doorstep.
“With the incredible line-up the Championship organizers have announced, we are expecting a huge amount of interest in this promotion. The chance to see these players for free is no doubt going to be an offer too good to miss for many golf fans.”
The Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship is a European PGA Tour-sanctioned event, with a US$2.7 million prize fund on offer, making it the richest purse in the region.
Launching under ‘The GIANTS of golf are coming’, organizers have revealed an improved program of entertainment and events in the expanded Championship Village.
Peter German, Tournament Director praised Etihad's long time support of the event and hoped that their partnership would bring the event to a wider audience. Attendance in 2011 was up 20% on 2010 and it is hoped that 2012 will see record crowds on the National course at Abu Dhabi Golf Club.

Those that don't acquire tickets through the Etihad Airways promotion can get them through the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship official website as well as other places such as and Phone bookings can be made through the ITP toll-free hotline 800 4669, or for international visitors, +971 4 210 8943.

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Historical Holidays in St. Petersburg

Russia’s second largest city, St. Petersburg was once the center of imperial Russian culture. The “Venice of the North” is filled to the brim with gorgeously ornate décor, lavish architecture, and UNESCO World Heritage sites. With several world-class museums and art galleries to explore, St. Petersburg is a treat for the curious and cultured traveler.
Here are some of the best historical attractions to visit in the city:
City Centre

The Hermitage Museum

The amazing State Hermitage Museum is one of the largest and oldest museums in the entire world, as it was founded by Catherine the Great in 1764. Don’t try to take in the entire collection in one day, as there are three millions items! The impressive collection is housed within six historic buildings which are all spread along the Palace Embankment. Don’t miss the fascinating collection of Prehistoric Art which dates back all the way to artifacts from the Paleolithic Age which were excavated from all over Russia and the former Soviet Union.

Peter and Paul Fortress

This was the original citadel of the city, and was founded by Peter the Great in 1703. The church here is where nearly all of the Romanov Czars of Russia from Peter I to Alexander III have been buried, with the exception of Peter II. After you have viewed the historical buildings, in the summer you can relax on the sandy beaches underneath the fortress walls.

The Russian Museum

This is the largest collection of Russian fine art in St. Petersburg, and many of the halls retain the same Italianate décor that they had when it was an imperial residence. Strolling through these opulent interior palace halls is an experience that you will never forget. Be sure to also check out Saint Michael’s Castle which is a former royal residence also assigned to the Russian Museum and located in the historic centre of the city.
St Petersburg Hotel

Saint Issac’s Cathedral

This impressive cathedral took nearly 40 years to construct, and when it was completed in 1858 it was the tallest Eastern Orthodox Church in the world. As you enter inside this impressive building, look up at the 101.5 meter dome which is plated with pure gold. It is decorated by beautifully delicate angel sculptures, carved by the Austrian artist Josef Hermann Tautenhayn. This amazing building is extravagant, excessive, and truly a must-see during your stay in St. Petersburg.

If you are planning a city break to soak up the atmosphere of St. Petersburg, why not stay at the Park Inn Pribaltiyskaya? It is located in a prime position on the Gulf of Finland and places you right within walking distance of many of St. Petersburg’s most historical attractions. With so many beautiful buildings within such close proximity, the Park Inn Pribaltyskaya is the ideal located for a culture-soaked weekend getaway filled with museums, galleries, and strolls through historic St. Petersburg.

Flight Cancellations Help Heathrow Run Smoothly During the Strike

 Source: Heathrow Skyport

Dozens of planned cancellations from airlines helped Heathrow deliver normal operations, reports the Heathrow Skyport:

BAA's contingency plans requested carriers to halve the number of passengers on flights landing at Heathrow as well as cancel flights, which resulted in 33 services being called off.

Airlines including Emirates Airlines and Etihad Airways withdrew numerous services from operations and rebooked passengers on alternative flights before and after the one-day industrial action, which involved immigrations and customs staff.

Three Etihad flights were cancelled to spare the airline's customers from the predicted disruption and long delays in waiting to clear immigration, which were expected to take up to 12 hours.

Of these, two were inbound services from Abu Dhabi and one outbound from Heathrow.
Etihad said guests booked on these flights were being rebooked onto alternative flights.

Also at the request of BAA, the airline operated reduced passenger capacity on flight EY011 from Abu Dhabi to Heathrow on Wednesday.

Emirates stopped two flights, one inbound to Heathrow and a return flight to Dubai.
The article continued...
With these type of cancellations, crowds at the airport were heavily reduced as thousands of passengers were prevented from flying into and out of Heathrow, resulting in a strangely quiet and empty airport, shorter queues and happier travellers.

Other airlines including British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and United Airlines operated a full schedule.

A BAA spokesman said: "Due to the effective contingency plans we put in place with airlines and the UK Border Agency, immigration queues were running at normal levels throughout the day.

"We are expecting Thursday to be busier than usual and we have put extra customer services staff on standby to support passengers."
In fact, in my region, when a news reporter went to the airport to guage passenger reactions, most that travelled seemed to be fairly happy.