What to Know Now
Don’t plan on traveling anywhere on Lufthansa this week. Pilots at the Cologne-based carrier are striking starting April 2 in protest of their retirement plans. Already the airline has cancelled 3,800 flights, and if the strike continues, that number could rise. And as Lufthansa is the biggest carrier in the EU, the volume of disrupted passengers is going to be significant. Happy spring!
Today is the day for airline alliance and reward shuffling! Starting today, US Airways officially moves to the oneworld alliance, so passengers from British, American, (some of) Qantas and a handful of other airlines can now earn miles on the carrier.
South and Central American travelers who fly on TAM or LAN Colombia can now celebrate that their airlines are also joining the oneworld network.
If Southwest is your flavor, today is the day that airline awards officially get more expensive.
Social Quote of the Day
Seeing the #oneworld #airline alliance logo by @USAirways’ will take a little getting used to after US’ nine years in #StarAlliance
US Airways Gets New Airline Loyalty Partners with Exit from Star Alliance: US Airways frequent fliers will have a new set of foreign airlines with which to earn and redeem miles for travel, starting Monday. Read more at Skift
Qantas Timing on Changes to Frequent Flyer Program ‘Truly Appalling': Qantas has grossly miscalculated the feelings of its customers by announcing snap changes to its Frequent Flyer program and must brace for an angry backlash, analysts say. Read more at the Daily Telegraph
Lufthansa Pilot Strike to Cancel Hundreds of Flights April 2 to 4: Pilots at Lufthansa , Germany’s largest airline, will hold a three-day strike from April 2 to April 4, their union said on Friday, as they seek to pressure the German airline in pay and contract negotiations. Read more at Skift
Oneworld Alliance Members Team Up for Better Europe-Japan Flights: Oneworld partners Japan Airlines, British Airways, and Finnair have announced that they will begin a joint business arrangement, starting April 1, 2014, for flights to and from Japan and Europe. Read more at Skift
Delta and American Battle Over NYC-London Business Flyers: Delta Air Lines has been making inroads in the dogfight over the lucrative market for business travel between New York and London, but the newly merged American Airlines Group is fighting back. Read more at Skift
Los Angeles Airport Uncovers Ring of Baggage Thieves Among Outsourced Handlers: An investigation into a baggage theft operation at Los Angeles International Airport has grown rapidly, and authorities now say as many as 25 baggage handlers may ultimately be detained in the case. Read more at Skift
EasyJet’s New Deal With Gatwick Will Make it the Airport’s Dominant Carrier: EasyJet has signed a new deal with London’s Gatwick Airport, underpinning the budget airline’s intention to grow at Britain’s second busiest airport. Read more at Skift
Japan’s Hoping Tourism Gets Big Boost After Major Tokyo Airport Upgrade: Haneda Airport’s 40 additional landing slots for international flights are set to give a boost to Japan’s tourism wave, which helped to push foreign visitor arrivals past a record 10 million last year. Read more at Skift
Uber Goes After Asia’s Wealthiest Travelers in International Expansion: Uber Technologies Inc. plans to introduce its car-booking application to cities including Hong Kong, Beijing and Jakarta this year to tap growing demand from wealthy travelers. Read more at Skift
Power Outlets Coming to An Airport Near You Thanks to a New Initiative From United Airlines The hunt for power outlets at the airport is about to get easier, at least for the passengers of United Airlines (the second largest carrier in the US). Read more at Frommers
High-Speed Rail in Texas to Fill Void Left by Removal of Love Field Restriction: Texas Transportation commission chairman Ted Houghton of El Paso notes that high-speed rail could fill a void left by airlines. Read more at Skift
Marriott International Wants to Turn Employees Into Content Creators: Marriott International has more than 333,000 employees at properties worldwide, and in the eyes of Jay Hamilton, Marriott’s head of digital corporate communications, that’s a whole lot of content creators. Read more at Skift
Milk the Mini-Bar for All It’s Worth at The Loews Regency Hotel: Ah, the hotel mini bar: source of $5 candy bars and regret. We predicted last year that this amenity was on its last legs and bid it a hearty good riddance, but now The Loews Regency Hotel has just introduced a twist on the normally overpriced service that we can get on board with. Read more at HotelChatter
InterContinental Hotels Seeks to Expand Traveler Appeal with Amadeus Technology Partnership: InterContinental Hotels Group wants to get deeper into all phases of the travel cycle — not just the planning and booking part — so it entered into a strategic technology relationship with Amadeus to further those ambitions. Read more at Skift
Matt Gross, Editor at BonAppetit.com and author of The Turk Who Loved Apples participated in a Guinness Book of World Records chili-eating competition this weekend and offers this sage advice to the Skiftiverse:
If you ever have the opportunity to participate in a chile-eating competition involving Carolina Reapers, just don’t. I speak from experience.
Safe travels and plenty of yogurt in your future, Mr. Gross.