20 04 2015


WizzAir had its first flight to newly build hi-tech airport in Kutaisi, Georgia

27 09 2012

Hungarian based WizzAir is the first budget flight operator to have its schedulled flights to Georgia. Many lucky travellers landed today at newly build hi-tech airport in Kutaisi, Georgia.

As you may notice from photos the work is not completely finished yet, but airport is fully functional and ready to operate.

Works will continue according the schedulle, making Kutaisi international airport one of the best in Caucasus region and near east.

Other low budget operators also expressed interest to start schedulled flights to Kutaisi.

We are now entering the new era of low cost international travels. Hurry up, while few limited low cost 25 Euro tickets to Kiev are still available.

Kutaisi Airport (KUT) Goes hi-tech and green

26 07 2012

Not only it will be the greenest and Eco friendly airport in the region, but promises to have highly advanced terminal and one of the tallest ATC towers in the world (58 m). It will be clad with a transparent skin with the potential to change colour as air traffic fluctuates.

Airport designed by UNStudio will serve domestic and international flights, including low cost airlines to promote tourism in Kutaisi and nearby cities Senaki, Zugdidi, Poti, Batumi and so on.

Wizzair will begin it’s low cost flights starting September 27, 2012.

The design for the new terminal in Kutaisi focuses first and foremost on the experience of the traveller by creating an inviting, safe, transparent and user-friendly airport. The desire to provide for and communicate equally with both international visitors and the local community is paramount.

Ben van Berkel

The 4,000 m2 terminal building will house a central arrivals hall, a check-in area with lounge, cafe and car rental facilities, three gates for departure with retail, cafes, a CIP lounge area and exterior garden, an arrival area with customs and offices for the border police and an administration area with staff rooms and press conference facilities.

Georgia, a young state in the Caucasus which has undergone considerable development in recent years, is moving its Parliament from the capital Tbilisi to the city of Kutaisi. A new parliament building is currently under construction in Kutaisi and in 2012 the first parliamentary meeting will take place.

In recent years growing numbers of tourists have been discovering Georgia, a country with an ancient and engaging history. As a result there is increasing demand from airlines to fly to Georgia. By virtue of its geographical advantages and the nearby location of two of Georgia’s most important Unesco monuments, Kutaisi was selected as the destination for a new airport. The new Kutaisi airport will in addition provide an economic impulse to Georgia’s second city and its new seat of Parliament

Interested? Read more at PlusMood

From Dreams to Scams – The eDreams Story

5 01 2012

More and more people make bookings online, whether it’ll be flight tickets or hotel vouchers. Competition is harsh in this business and not all the players play the fair game. There are more and more booking websites popping up each day some of them trickier than others. One has to be very careful before making the commitment to confirm the booking and provide billing information and credit card details.  Today I want draw your attention on eDreams.com – the site that has caused a lot of fuss lately ripping off people and overcharging naive travelers.

Typical story about eDreams is very simple – You search the web for the best possible flight ticket fares and hotel offers and come across eDreams.com offering great deals! But hold it there, not so fast! Once you start booking your price increases gradually. Here is an example for – Tbilisi- Istanbul – Tbilisi flight – offer is operated by the budget airlines “Pegasus”. eDreams initial offer prices 115 Euros.

If we compare the details on the “Pegasus” website we will see the following picture. The fare is actually higher on Pegasus. One would wonder – how is that possible?

So where is the catch? Let’s go back to eDreams and continue the booking.  After completing all the personal information and going to final page where you actually have to pay for your ticket you see that your fair has suddenly increased. So called “service fee” is added to the total price and it is higher than offered on “Pegasus” website.

But the funny story does not end here. Even if you close your eyes on this little difference and make additional payment, you are not guaranteed that you will receive your confirmed seat on the plane. eDreams does not automatically confirm your ticket and ask for dubious additional details like photo copy of your credit card that has to be faxed or emailed to them. And after they check everything and grant you a ticket, they also mention that your booking fee has actually increased a little more…again! Now you are left with two options: to cancel the booking (another painful process) or  overpay, because you have already paid a great deal of money and you are already so fed up that you don’t give a damn about additional 10 or 20 euros to finally get your ticket. But have you noticed how wrong this paragraph really sounds? Normally, every airline gives you the instant confirmation when you make booking directly on their websites and does not ask for additional suspicions details. Additionally I must advise all the readers that sending credit card and billing details over internet is highly risky and not advised. Same rule applies faxes. This is very risky! Even the issuing banks won’t ask you to do that, because they know that this is a serious risk! This is the golden rule that you must bare in mind – if you are asked a photo copy of your credit card or credit card details to be emailed, stop right there and report the scamers to proper authorities. First of all contact your bank and tell them what happened. Ask them to check if there is money blocked and if there is ask them to release it.

It’s the same story when booking the hotel. Here is one interesting example from eDreams.com. A great deal for three star hotel in the city center instantly catches your attention, but don’t forget that some things are usually too good to be true!

I may not be the great mathematician but three times 31.05 does not equal  103.50, at least not in our dimension.  But even with this additional, let’s say “service fee” of  10.35 euros  it still seems a pretty good deal.  All other websites, including Booking.Com and Venere offer the same accommodation from 175 Euros.  So where is the catch now? Once you proceed you’ll learn that you never should have come to this web-site in the first place. Each time you try to book this hotel you will get the error message stating the failure of transaction. Heaven forbid if you’ve repeated this steps few times, because your credit card is actually charged each time you try to succeed in booking this offer. But you will never get the confirmation letter for this booking. Contacting eDreams by email  is absolutely useless, as much as you get the standard letter:

” Dear Customer,

First of all, we would like to thank you for your e-mail
and for getting in contact with eDreams.

Due to the nature of this matter, your query has to be dealt with
over the phone by calling our Call Centre and a travel agent will
be glad to help you with your booking:

0034 93 492 0533.

Our opening hours are:
Monday to Friday: 0900 – 2330 (Central European Time).
Saturdays: 0930 – 1800 (Central European Time).
Sundays: 1000 – 1900 (Central European Time). “

There are hundreds of people who struggled with customer service department of edreams. Here is the fine example of one of them:

“After 13 minutes waiting for someone to answer, the first customer service representative listened to my story, then transferred me to the booking department while I was screaming at him “don’t transfer me; I don’t want to book another flight with this company!” Not listening to me, I was transferred so he didn’t have to listen to me anymore.

At the beginning of the next call, I immediately began stating my case when the customer service agent told me that there was a “problem” in the line and to try calling back (although the lady and I had already exchanged names and greetings without her mentioning a problematic line). “ (Taken from ciao.co.uk)

So, what you should do? First of all avoid using this websites. There are hundreds of raging reviews about eDreams and all the stories are much alike. All these people can’t be wrong. I personally had a bad experience with this company and I would not recommend it to anyone. If you did not know about it and became a victim of this scam immediately contact your bank and cancel the transactions and block all the future transactions from this company. If you still get charged, report it to proper authorities. many credit cards are insured from such incidents.

Only safe way to book your flight tickets is directly from flight operator websites (csa.cz, airbaltic.com, lufthansa.de, aua.com, thy.com and so on …). Buy tickets from official websites only! When it comes to booking your hotel it is advised to use websites that are proven to be reliable and safe. Personally I prefer booking.com or Venere.com. Naturally, there are other good websites too, I can’t list them all, but the golden rule of thumb is that you have to Google the booking company before making your final commitment.

Flydubai announces Tbilisi as 45th destination

16 09 2011

Flydubai, Dubai’s pioneering low-cost carrier, has named the Georgian capital Tbilisi as the 45th destination of the airline.

In a statement on Monday, flydubai said it received an official seal of approval from the Deputy Minister of Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, George Karbelashvili, who hailed the entry of flydubai into Georgia as an important milestone in the development of relations between the two nations.

“Flydubai’s entry into Georgia is a momentous step in UAE-Georgia relations and I am sure flydubai’s connection between Tbilisi and Dubai will help to establish and strengthen ties between the countries. We have a number of common areas of interest such as banking, real estate, oil and gas and tourism; and this is the opportunity to step-up collaboration in these sectors while exploring new relationship avenues,” 
Karbelashvili said.

Located at the crossroads of West Asia and Eastern Europe, Georgia has one of the strongest and fastest developing economies in the region and in recent years has made foreign investment more attractive through reduced regulation and taxes. “We are grateful to the Georgian authorities for welcoming flydubai into Tbilisi. As Georgia’s largest city as well as its industrial, social, and cultural centre, Tbilisi is gaining prominence in the Middle East both as a business and leisure destination.  Also, improving air links between Dubai to Central and Eastern Europe is of great strategic importance to us,” Ghaith Al Ghaith, CEO, flydubai, said.

Flydubai currently operates five routes to former Soviet states, namely: Yerevan (Armenia) Baku (Azerbaijan), Yekaterinburg and Samara (Russia) and Ashgabat (Turkmenistan).

Thinking Canada?

27 07 2011

The fact that there is no Embassy of Canada here in Tbilisi makes it very uncomfortable for travelers to apply and get Canadian visa.

The nearest office where you can apply is in Ankara, but that does not meant you have to travel there and personally hand the documents. You can apply by commercial courier and send all documents, fee payment and application forms by courier.

Visit the website on how to apply. All the information on how to pay is available at: http://www.canadainternational.gc.ca/turkey-turquie/visas/processing_fees_frais_traitement.aspx?lang=eng

We wish you the best of luck in your Visa getting procedures and please share your experiences with us.

Georgia switching to Biometric passports. R U Ready?

1 02 2011

Change is always a good thing. Especially if it is progressive. New biometric passports promise to make our lives  easier when crossing the boundaries between the countries.  In the near future this will contribute to our seamless and hassle free transitions. This is especially important if you are a frequent traveler. But, before dreaming of a trouble free future, don’t dream away too far and get ready for the present reality!

I, myself have applied  for a change of my passport recently and would have avoided useless troubles should I have been told the correct information. As a decent citizen before rushing to the civil registry I have called their hotline and made inquiries asking for all necessary papers that I should have with me.  I was told word by word that I should – ” have Just valid ID and money, 100 Gel” –  with me – “That’s all you need. All necessary payments will be done on place. We will even take your biometric photos on place” – I was told with a joyful voice of a female operator. Boy that’s easy, I thought to myself and hurried down the nearest civil registry office.

On place I found out that service fee  had to be payed in the bank and I should have brought the payment confirmation with me.  Not a word was mumble by the operator about that. Just as I had to have additional 3Gel with coins to get photographed. Normally one would assume that this is already included in a service fee. So why make separate payments and make this so complicated?

So knowing all that you can simply avoid a headache and burden of standing in multiple lines and suffer hours of waiting.

So what you actually need?

1. Go to any bank and pay 100GEL (standard speed. Expedited is more expensive) for civil registry and indicate that this is a passport fee.

Take the payment confirmation and go to a nearest civil registry office.

2. Have 3 GEL with coins.  Automated Photo Cabin only takes 1GEL or 2 GEL coins. You can try as many times as you please and shoot the desired photo before you actually decide to print. That was the only good experience at the civil registry office and I was pleasantly surprised.

3. Go to the operator with your photo, payment confirmation and your ID.

After you sign some papers and have your fingerprints captured you are free to go and wait about 10 days for a new, improved biometric passport.

For those of you abroad there are online services to apply for your new passport. Civil registry promises to have such services for local users as well.