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What to Know Now
“Better in Every Way.” I love how nonsensical marketing in the travel industry is. Just like “Fly the Friendly Skies.” That former slogan comes from Marriott, which just took a dump on members of its loyalty program by increasing the cost of 20% of its reward nights. This after swearing to the hotel gods that no big changes were in store.
Just another reason to switch over to Starwood — not for their room redemptions, mind you, but rather for their generous partner transfer options. Stay cool, SPG.
Still disturbing: we haven’t found MH370 yet. In the meantime, let’s distract ourselves by marveling at the business gymnastics that JetBlue has been pulling off in the last few months. They’ve now cut ties with American and made friends with JAL. They’re gunning hard for the business travel dollar by upgrading their cabins and status-matching loyalty members. They’ve even launched service to Detroit!
Keep an eye on their SkiftIQ score this year — JetBlue is on the move.
Social Quote of the Day
I’m no expert but up close this does look like a plane and an oil slick. … prayers go out to the families #MH370 and its like a mile away Pulau Perak, where they “last” tracked it 5°39’08.5″N 98°50’38.0″E but what do I know?
JetBlue Takes on Other Airlines’ Loyalty Programs With Its TrueBlue Match Offer: JetBlue, the New York-based low cost air carrier, today announced a status-match promotion aimed at members of competing carriers’ loyalty programs. Read more at Skift
Comparing Customer Experience Across the 3 Global Airline Alliance: Oneworld makes a strong showing, and as American Airlines continues to grow, it would appear to offer the strongest product of any of the three alliances. Read more at Skift
The World’s Biggest Commercial Jumbo Jet is About To Get Even More Crowded: Short of standing-room-only flights, there is little that most airlines can do to increase capacity on their current airframes; however, this week, a company that outfits the A380 for Emirates suggested a way to increase the interior volume. Read more at Forbes
JetBlue Announces Expanded Partnership with JAL on U.S. Domestic Routes: Shortly after American Airline’s announcement that it was breaking off its frequent flyer and interline partnership with JetBlue this March 15, oneworld partner JAL has just announced it will increase its codeshare cooperation with the trend-setting low-cost carrier. Read more at Skift
UK Says Goodbye to Its Hated Air Passenger Tax on Long-Haul Flights: U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said he will cut air passenger duty for long-haul flights to bring them into line with flights to the U.S. Read more at Skift
Controversial Report Says Airport Security Should Be Reduced: Months after an airport screener was killed in a shooting rampage at Los Angeles International Airport, a new report concludes that adding more security measures at the nation’s airports may not be worth the cost. Read more at Skift
Momondo Prices Airfares to Visit Facebook Friends and Puts Them All In a Compass: Momondo added a Friend Compass feature within flight search in its Android and iOS apps and, after connecting to Facebook, users can view how much it costs to fly to the closest airports near the current locations of each of their Facebook friends. Read more at Skift
Delta Air Lines Launches In-Flight Startup Mentoring Program For Entrepreneurs: It is becoming the in-thing with airlines now, riding on the coattails of the booming startup ecosystem. First British Airways came up with a head-scratching program to create “innovative ideas” in flight, then Turkish Airlines launched an onboard startup pitch competition. Now Delta Air Lines has come up with a new program called “Delta Innovation Class.” Read more at Skift
Google Makes Its Second Big Move In Wearables, Aimed At Smart Watches: Google Inc. on Tuesday announced the initial availability of its Android Wear operating system, a version of its framework for mobile devices that is designed specifically for wearable technology such as smart watches and allows for voice control of the technology. Read more at Skift
Dubai Says it Will Double the Number of Hotel Rooms it Has by 2020: Dubai plans to almost double the number of hotel rooms by 2020 as it expects a surge of visitors to the desert sheikhdom ahead of that year’s World Expo. Read more at Skift
U.S. Hotels Prepare for NCAA March Madness Team and Fan Requests: Hoteliers are used to the everyday requests for an extra ice bucket or softer pillow, but emptying out a ballroom so basketball players can run through their moves? Welcome to March Madness. Read more at Skift
Marriott Ups Awards Prices at 20% of Hotel: This year’s “changes to hotel categories,” announced today, are somewhat less horrific, but they’re another significant devaluation of Marriott Rewards program nonetheless. Read more at Frequentflier.com
Perennially jolly travel guys Colm Hanratty and Andrew Hickey are ramping up their new site Look Share Repeat focused on travel and social and things. Stop by and give it a spin, then ask Andy some hard and uncomfortable questions about his upcoming role at adventure.com.