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Despite stalled growth in China, Brazil and Russia, a wave of newly middle-class travelers from the BRICs and beyond will start visiting international destinations in the coming decades — dwarfing the numbers we’ve seen thus far.
What to Know Now
As a heads up, the cost of award tickets on Southwest Airlines goes up in seven days, adding more fodder to the worldwide devaluation of all points and miles this year. Book your tickets now before the price goes up!
“We deeply regret that we have to assume beyond any reasonable doubt that MH370 has been lost and that none of those on board have survived..we must now accept all evidence suggests the plane went down in the Southern Indian Ocean.”
Sombre news this morning on projected path of missing flight MH370: aircraft scouring a zone deep in the Indian Ocean west of Australia have spotted more debris floating in the water. While the exact remnants haven’t been identified, Malaysian authorities acknowledge that the material is likely from MH370, and they’re chartering an aircraft to fly families down to Australia right now. More news is expected in a briefing tomorrow. In the meantime, the Guardian has a great rundown of recent events.
Social Quote of the Day
– @petchmo Ian Petchenik, Educational technologist, freelance aviation writer, social media strategist.
US Airways Service Workers Threaten Strike Over New American Air Contract: The merger of American Airlines and US Airways was unusual when it was proposed last year because it seemed to have the support of all the major employee unions involved. Read more at Skift
Add Corporate Travel Planners to List of Those Unhappy With Delta’s Loyalty Changes: Corporate travel managers worry that changes to Delta Air Lines’ frequent flier program will cost their companies money, with employees booking higher-priced tickets in order to nab bigger rewards. Read more at Skift
Finnair Celebrates 90 Years of Flying With Lie-Flat Seats on Long-Haul Flights: To celebrate, the airline (the sixth oldest in the world) announced last week that they were installing new full-flat seats to most of their long-haul aircraft during 2014. From 1 April the new seats will be in use on aircraft flying to Tokyo and New York, and from 1 May also on flights to Beijing and Seoul. Read more at Skift
Designs for New Orleans International Airport’s New Terminal Include a Giant Solar Array: Designs for New Orleans International Airport’s New Terminal IncluThe sweeping curves and glass walls of Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport‘s planned new terminal building have defined that project since the design was released last month, but the futuristic architecture is not the only forward-looking aspect of the project.e a Giant Solar Array. Read more at Skift
New York’s Port Authority Is Being Outwitted by Area Birds: The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey‘s efforts to remove birds and other wildlife that could pose a threat to aircraft safety have had no significant impact, according to a newspaper analysis. Read more at Skift
Federally Mandated Runway Fixes Will Bring Delays at San Francisco Airport This Summer: Bay Area travelers should anticipate new headaches at San Francisco International Airport this summer, when runway construction will lead to delays of departing flights. Read more at Skift
Heathrow’s Terminal 2 Is Close to Becoming the UK’s Best Airport Terminal: Over the past few years, thedesignair.net team based in London have seen the 1955 version of Terminal 2 get knocked down and rebuilt ready for 2014, and its now starting to become one of the best examples of terminal architecture the UK have seen for a while. Read more at Skift
Gogo Teams with Samsung in Free Wi-Fi Promotion for a Year: Gogo has done a ton of promotions with airlines over the years for free or discounted Wi-Fi, but now it has partnered with device-manufacturer Samsung to offer airline passengers a years’ worth of free onboard Internet with the purchase of a tablet. Read more at Skift
Microsoft Just Exposed Email’s Ugliest Secret: It came out yesterday that the company had read through a user’s inbox as part of an internal leak investigation. Microsoft has spent today in damage-control mode, changing its internal policies and rushing to point out that they could have gotten a warrant if they’d needed one. By all indications, the fallout is just beginning. Read more at The Verge
Redesigned MacBook Air Model to Arrive With Exciting New Features: Apple may launch a brand new MacBook Air version this year, a Weiphone poster has revealed, sporting some exciting features including a 12-inch screen that would position it between the existing 11.6-inch and the 13.3-inch models. Read more at Yahoo
Westin Feels Good about Itself With Launch of $15 Million Well-Being Campaign for Guest: Westin, the hotel brand that brought you the Heavenly Bed, wants guests to “Sleep Well” in it, and is putting $15 million behind a year-long well-being campaign to reinforce its lifestyle brand image. Read more at Skift
How Much Is an Airbnb Listing Really Worth? Unlike many darlings of the startup scene, Airbnb has plenty of revenue coming in. But is there enough to justify a value that puts it above the market caps of Hyatt, Accor, Wyndham, InterContinental Hotel Group, and Choice Hotels, not to mention the public and profitable HomeAway? Read more at Skift
Courtyard by Marriott Used South by Southwest to Debut New High-Tech Look: The Courtyard by Marriott chain of hotels chose the festival to debut its top-to-bottom makeover — a multimillion-dollar project that will, over the next several years, transform guest rooms at each of its nearly 1,000 properties. Read more at Skift
Users Give Small Luxury Hotel Brands Better Reviews Than Big Competitors: As a group, smaller luxury hotel brands get slightly better online guest reviews than the big luxury brands, according to a new study. Read more at Skift
Ezra Klein‘s new pet project with Vox Media is off to a roaring start with a fancy new design and story on Obamacare’s individual mandate. Love or hate the politics, you have to admit, the design is gorgeous.