Sunday, June 17, 2007

AGM & Your New Member Director

Home again having really enjoyed our 4 weeks in Tenerife, we are only home now for 8 days before we go to Venice prior to departing on the Members Cruise! It is 10 years since we last did a cruise when it was our 10th anniversary so when we saw it advertised by Sunterra we thought it looked good so we booked it to celebrate our 20th anniversary! We are away from the 22nd of June until the 2nd of July as we are spending the Friday night before the cruise and the Saturday and Sunday after the Cruise in Venice! Am I a romantic or what eh!

I spent the day in Blackpool and I enjoyed meeting a lot of you at the AGM. It was especially nice having so many members coming up and thanking me, it is much appreciated.

All in all it was a very simple AGM with nothing much raised from the floor and only 17 questions in writing compared to last years 70! Al Bentley confirmed that Stephen Cloobeck has asked him to stop on for another year which is good for the Club and the news was well received by the AGM attendees. It seems that at some date in the future the name will change to what Al expects to be Diamond Resorts International assuming the lawyers can agree all the brand issues. This will probably involve another EGM some time in the future as it did when we changed from GVC to Sunterra. There was a presentation by Sarah Hulme going through the various areas of Member Services followed by a presentation by Suzana Gomeric covering the resort refurbishments etc, this was finished by showing a DVD which looked great apart from being a bit too long.

The election for a new Member Director was won by Harry Taylor and I am sure Harry will do an excellent job for us and commiserations to the other candidates, unfortunately 4 of them didn't turn up so were ineligible to be candidates as you have to present yourself to the AGM. I think we deserve a bit more commitment than that don't we!

The votes were counted by Philip Broomhead and the individual candidates received the following votes.

Harry Taylor 2,736,100
Mark Harris 1,451, 200
Roger Jones 929,000
Roy Swainson 509,800
Colin Greenword 295,000
Vincent Howard 293,000
Martin Hening 125,000
Christopher Johnson 86,800
Roy McCaslin 41,500

Congratulations again to Harry and Happy Holidays everyone!

Advance passenger information: information for air travellers between the UK and Spain

This is very new and will affect many of us this year so it is important you are aware of it. At the moment it only affects you if you are going to Spain but it is to be brought in for the whole of Europe later this year!

Advance passenger information: information for air travellers between the UK and Spain

What is happening?

The Spanish Government have introduced new requirements meaning that air carriers have to provide certain personal information about all travellers on their aircraft to the Spanish authorities before the aircraft leaves the UK. This information is sometimes known as 'advance passenger information' ('API' or 'APIS' data)
When do the requirements come into force?

You can expect to be asked to provide this information any time. However, the full API regime will come into force from 19 June.
What information will be sent?

They will need the information contained on the photograph page of your passport - such as your full name, date and place of birth and passport number.
What will this information be used for?

The Spanish authorities will use the information for law enforcement purposes.
How will the data be collected?

The data will be collected either at the airport, when you check in, or in advance, usually when you make your booking. It will help to speed up the check in process if you provide your data before you arrive at the airport.
What if I have already made a booking?

Some carriers have made arrangements to collect your data in advance via a special web site. Please check with your carrier for full details. We strongly recommend you provide your API data on-line before you arrive at the airport, wherever possible. This will help to speed the check in process for you and other passengers.
Can I expect disruption at airports?

There may be some disruption at airports. If you are travelling to Spain, from the 19 June, you are advised to allow extra time to check in for your flight.

I am not a UK passport holder. Does this apply to me?

Yes. This will apply to all passengers leaving the UK and travelling to Spain, regardless of nationality.
I recently travelled from continental Europe to Spain and was not asked for this information. Why was that?

The requirement to provide API data does not apply to flights departing from countries within the Schengen free travel area. The countries within the Schengen free travel area are: Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Austria, Greece, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden.
What if I don't want to provide this information? Will I be allowed to travel?

Your air carrier is legally required to provide this information to the Spanish authorities. If you refuse to give this information the airline may refuse to allow you to travel.

More information can be found here