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
Say what you will about the income equality gap projected onto air travel, you have to admit, international business class is getting much better. Each new week it seems like another airline is releasing a ridiculous new cabin configuration, each with another geegaw or doodad that the competition hasn’t got.
Most recently, Qatar just unveiled a new interior design that should have OneWorld fliers drooling, while American recently showed off new 767 configurations. Check out DesignAir’s recent (decent) top ten list of International premium cabins if you want some Buzzfeed-like travel candy this afternoon.
The search for missing MH370 continues this week after a long week and weekend of speculation and little news. The latest thinking is that foul play of some sorts is involved, with theories ranging from pilot suicide to some sort of trickery by the chief pilot. Either way, investigators have narrowed down the search to two enormous arcs — one over the Indian Ocean and another over Central Asia. Neither option sounds great.
Social Quote of the Day
@United unveils its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner seat map http://bit.ly/OoB8R8
Touring Qatar Airways’ New Business and First Class Cabins : Over the past few weeks, Qatar Airways has announced a variety of new and upgraded products to add to their fleet. Read more at Skift
Private Jet Operator JetSuite Takes Advantage of Big-Name Investors and Facebook Fans: Private-jet operator JetSuite has achieved a measure of commercial air service fame from 40,000 friends who presumably check its Facebook page for a chance to book a thrifty flight on a 450 mph, four-passenger Embraer Phenom 100 jet. Read more at Skift
JetBlue and American Partnership Terminated Due to US Airways Strength in Philadelphia: The ending of the JetBlue-American frequent flyer and interline partnership is a byproduct of consolidation in the US industry that results in American, Delta and United focusing on maximising connectivity and revenue at their respective hubs. Read more at Skift
Beleagured Detroit Gets First New Airline in 9 Years in JetBlue and Fares Plummet: Now that discount airline JetBlue has started flying out of Detroit Metro Airport, you have a job as a traveler. Read more at Skift
International Arrivals Are Fueling Houston Airport Growth: The Houston Airport System, which has celebrated the addition of three new international carriers offering nonstop service over the past year, could welcome four more in 2014, director Mario Diaz said Thursday. Read more at Skift
London City Airport Making Moves to Begin Long-Haul Flights to Turkey and Russia: London City Airport Ltd., where a short runway has prevented operations with long-haul planes, said it’s in talks about flights to the Middle East, Turkey and Russia as new jets bring more distant destinations within reach. Read more at Skift
The Bogus Travel Voucher Scam Is as Healthy as Ever: In the age of phishing, digital Trojan horses, and massive computer hacks, it’s important to remember that some scams and schemes arrive the old-fashioned way: via the phone or mail. Read more at Skift
Apple’s Jony Ive: ‘We’re Surrounded by Anonymous, Poorly Made Objects’: In a rare interview, Apple’s VP of Design offers at least a little insight into both his thinking and how Apple makes its products. Apparently, it all starts with Jonathan Ive imagining what a new kind of product should be and what it should do. After that, the process moves on to what it should look like. Read more at Engadget
Lufthansa to Spin off Frequent-Flyer Program in Revamp: Lufthansa plans to spin off its Miles & More frequent-flyer program as a separate subsidiary in its efforts to boost the scheme’s revenue and profit, Germany’s largest airline said on Wednesday. Read more at Reuters
Double Your Hyatt Points Through May 31st at Select Properties: From now through May 31, 2014 Hyatt Gold Passport members can double their points on reservations made in advance with participating properties. The trick is that you have to book the reservation using a “Double Points” rate. Read more at Points, Miles and Martinis
Interview: Behind Belmond’s Rebrand of Iconic Orient-Express Nam: When the Orient-Express collection of hotels, trains and riverboats was rebranded as Belmond in February, more than a few people questioned or lamented the decision. Airbnb hospitality guru Chip Conley, for example, tweeted “What a branding mistake!!!” Read more at Skift
How to Get a Hyatt Diamond Trial: The basic requirements are (1) elite status with a competitor and (2) evidence of recent stays with that competitor. Read more at HackMyTrip
Word on the underground is that our friend Zach Honig, an editor at Engadget is starting up About.com’s page on Miles and Points. According to Mr. Honig the site should be live later this month, but their Twitter page just started cranking. Watch this space.