The Takeoff Episode 03: Why Team and Culture Matter for Travel Startups Sponsored This content is created collaboratively with one of our sponsors.
What to Know Now
What’s up with Uber? The former darling of black car services is stirring up all sorts of trouble as it expands across the world, and it’s making their loyal user base very uncomfortable. The company’s problems started late last year when livid New Yorkers were charged outrageous surge pricing during a winter snowstorm, and the dialogue has gotten more rancorous by the week. Valleywag did what Valleywag does and called Uber’s CEO Travis Kalanick a “condescending asshole,” and brokee the news that the company’s New York office has been shadily trolling competitors.
Of course, with great growth comes great liability, but Uber has to get its act together and that has to come from the top. Perhaps a team-building ropes course is in order.
Business travelers in San Francisco are about to get a treat as the airport’s new Terminal 3 prepares to open this week. There was a well-attended public reception over the weekend where fancy people in the airline community Twittered away their zeal, and United, the new tenant, put on quite a show.
Hyperbole aside, this is a great update to San Francisco International. Virgin America and American have been reaping the benefits of a remodeled terminal for the past two years, and now that United has similar digs is should get better traffic. Everybody in San Francisco wins.
Social Quote of the Day
@united @flySFO #T3E is stunning. UA’s passengers are in for a treat. #paxex #travel
FAA To Order Safety Checks on Boeing 767 Aircraft: U.S. aviation regulators plan to order safety checks of more than 400 Boeing Co 767 jets because of movable tail sections that may jam and possibly cause some pilots to lose control of the aircraft, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal on Sunday. Read more at Skift
Here’s a 777 Made out of Manilla Folders: We all loved paper airplanes in our youth. But for one young man, a paper airplane has turned into a labor of love that caught our attention—and millions of others across the world. Read more at Boeing Blogs
Could American Help Alaska Face the Delta Threat? Something is potentially going on between Alaska and American Airlines but Alaska executives won’t say exactly what it is. Delta (DAL) is engaged in an effort to bulk up its flying into Alaska’s Seattle hub and plans to compete with Alaska on a variety of key domestic routes. Read more at The Street
San Francisco Airport Offers Sneak Peek of New Terminal 3 Area: Travelers who recall the old American Airlines wing at Terminal 3 in San Francisco International Airport won’t believe what’s happened to it. Read more at Skift
RCMP Arrest Passenger Allegedly Involved in Mile High Act: RCMP received a call regarding two passengers who were allegedly involved in a sexual act on a flight from Toronto. As the investigation began, the woman became very agitated and disruptive and was eventually placed under arrest for Causing a Disturbance. Read more at Haligonia
Traxo Delivers Hotel Recommendations Based on a User’s Loyalty History: Traxo, the itinerary management service and loyalty program tracker, began delivering curated and personalized hotel recommendations based on travelers’ loyalty status, past bookings, submitted hotel reviews, and a variety of other factors. Read more at Skift
Smartphones to Replace Room Keys at Some Starwood Hotels: Guests arriving at the Aloft Hotel in Manhattan or one in Silicon Valley will soon be able to do something hotels have dreamed about offering for years: walk past the check-in desk and enter their rooms by using a smartphone as a room key. Read more at Skift
Travel The World From Your Web Browser With This Beautiful Instagram Hack: French hacker Benjamin Netter recently released a cool hack called Somewhere, an addictive jukebox machine for travel destinations using Instagram, Foursquare and Wikipedia data — the most impressive part of this simple hack is that people are spending 13 minutes on average on the website. Read more at Tech Crunch
Skift Q&A: How JW Marriott Is Targeting the Accomplished Traveler: Luxury brand JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts is all about attracting the “Accomplished” traveler, and exercising their “passion points,” which global brand manager Mitzi Gaskins describes as “culture, culinary and wellness.” Read more at Skift
Hilton HHonors Launches Weekend Rewards Promotion February-April 2014: Hilton HHonors has just opened registration of its first 2014 promotion. The “Weekend Rewards” promo runs February 1-April 30. Members will earn 1,000 bonus points for every night they stay and an additional 5,000 bonus points for every weekend stay of two nights or more. Read more at The Points Guy
Europe’s Budget Hotels March Upwards One Small Success at a Time: Many years ago I used to watch in wonderment as British tourists in France carried their pillows as they went to their rooms at their hotel. Often they were also carrying their kettle and makings for tea too. Nowadays there will be a TCMF in the room, along probably with a choice of pillows, and no longer just a bolster. Read more at Skift
Over at Wandering Aramean, Seth has a ridiculous story of a Chinese trickster booking a business class fare solely for the free dinner at the airport — and then rebooking it 300 times for free meals over the entire year. Some serious commitment, but who has time for that?