check in

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 20 April, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 20 April, 2004, 12:00am

Take a seat The days of outrageous flirting or blatant begging at airline check-in desks may be numbered. British Airways has launched an online system that lets you request your seat when you book. Manage My Booking at allows you to scan and choose seats using an interactive map of the cabin, as well as request special meals, check travel plans and e-mail itineraries to anyone who may be meeting your flight.

If there are no more pre-allocated seats from which to choose, you can request a seat when

you check in online (24 hours in advance for Executive Club members, 12 hours otherwise), and again when you connect with any other British Airways flights.

Through the site, you can also view arrival and departure information, and enter your so-called advanced passenger information (API) details before travelling to the US, so you won't have to do it at the airport. Now, if you could only use the system to find out where the screaming babies and armrest hoggers will be sitting.

Villa thriller Travel on one of Cathay Pacific Holidays' Villas in Bali packages before June 30, and you can earn 5,000 bonus Air Miles on top of the 4,292 normally earned. The company is offering a range of four-day/three-night packages, with accommodation at 13 of the island's most exclusive resorts, including the Four Seasons Resort Bali, Begawan Giri Estate, Amanusa, Amandari and Amankila. Prices range from $6,990 to $17,130 (based on twin share) and include return economy tickets, transfers, three nights' accommodation and daily breakfast at all but the Amanresorts. Upgrades to business class are available for $1,150, one way (tel: 2747 4388,

Ain't life grand Operators of the new Grand Hyatt Mumbai say it is the largest lifestyle complex in the South Asia region. It's home to the Grand Hyatt Hotel, Grand Hyatt Residences and soon-to-open Club Oasis and Grand Hyatt Plaza. Located in the district of Bandra-Kurla, the development is spread over one million sqft and includes 547 guest rooms and suites, 147 serviced apartments, more than 100,000sqft of retail space, five restaurants, and a health club and spa. Rooms at the Grand Hyatt Hotel start at $842 a night, while the serviced apartments start at $33,991 per month

(tel: [91] 22 5676 2345,

Package delights Until October 31, SriLankan Airlines is offering package tours to Sri Lanka ranging from four-day/three-nights for $3,980, to eight-day/seven-nights for $5,140. Prices include return economy flights, accommodation at three- to five-star hotels and private car transport on the varying itineraries, which include visits to Colombo, Kandy, Negombo, Pinnawela, Wadduwa, Nuwara Eliya, Dambulla, Sigiriya and Polonnaruwa.

Also on offer until July 31 is a five-day/three-night package to the Maldives for $4,900, which includes return economy flights, speedboat transfers, accommodation at the four-star Club Rannalhi and daily breakfast. All prices are based on twin share. A high-season surcharge of $1,000 applies on certain dates (tel: 2521 0708;

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