Skift

Skift Business Traveler: Two Airlines Battle Luggage PR Fiascos

@grantkmartin

Apr 21, 2014 3:45 pm


What to Know Now

The internets were aflutter this weekend after a video surfaced showing pair of Air Canada throwers mishandling checked luggage at Toronto Pearson airport. Sure, it’s not the way to treat luggage — especially within sight of the boarding passengers — but what were we expecting? Our packages from UPS and FedEx are thrown. Our mail is thrown. Surely our bags underneath the airport luggage carousel are thrown. This video is just more evidence that frequent travelers should always try to bring a bag that can be crammed into an overhead bin — even in a CRJ. Out of our hands, all bets are off.

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Top Story

More customer service weirdness from US Airways this weekend as a baggage representative from the airline apparently got into a tussle with a well-connected passenger. The exchange, which was tweeted quite thoroughly involved a lost bag from one Ms. Julie Anne Mosler and an unruly baggage contractor employed by US Airways.

Though nothing has been verified yet, Ms. Mosler claims the baggage contractor harassed her over SMS, calling her a “liar” over and over. US Airways is currently looking into the matter.

After last week’s skullduggery involving an ill placed tweet, one would think that anyone working customer service at US Airways would be on high alert, but apparently this employee didn’t get the message.

Social Quote of the Day

 @milky_way35 right? What a week! I’m ok. Maybe more people will download Waze out of curiosity ;)

@julie_mo Julie Anne Mosler, Senior Director of Comms at Waze

 

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Airlines

Air Canada Video Confirms Flyers’ Worst Fears About Checked Bags: A video shot by an Air Canada passenger this week is likely to increase reluctance to gate-check carry-ons. (Watch for the bags plummeting after being casually dropped from the stairs by the jet bridge.) Read more at Skift

Latest in the Alaska-Delta Feud: Higher Award Prices: Even in the midst of the very public, very acrimonious slugfest between Alaska Airlines and Delta, the two airlines have so far maintained their reciprocal frequent-flyer program relationship: members of Alaska’s Mileage Plan can earn and redeem miles for Delta flights; and Delta SkyMiles members can earn and redeem miles for flights on Alaska. Read more at Frequentflier.com

New Plane Design Puts Passengers Face-to-Face in Economy Cabin: If you thought airlines could find no new ways to squeeze more passengers into each plane, you are underestimating the resolve of the airline industry. Read more at Skift

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Airports

What Happens When a Capital City Loses One of Its Largest Carriers: The Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport is delaying security checkpoint upgrades and improvements to the concourse after a downgrading of its revenue bonds by Fitch Rating Service. Read more at Skift

Miami Airport Director Likens World Cup Preparation to a Military Operation: The director of Miami International Airport likens getting MIA ready to handle an extra 50,000 or so World Cup travelers this summer to a military operation. Read more at Skift

U.S. Get Its First Cross-Border Airport at San Diego, Tijuana Crossroads: U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Thursday that it has reached agreement with an investor group to clear the way for construction of the nation’s first cross-border airport terminal connecting San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico. Read more at Skift

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Tech

Facebook’s New Feature Makes It Easy to Meet Up at Airports: Facebook users in the U.S. will soon be able to see which of their friends are nearby using a new feature the company [launched] on Thursday. Read more at Skift

Behind the Economics of Travel Metasearch: In interviews with top travel metasearch officials, financial analysts and hoteliers, as well as an examination of financial reports, the following picture emerges about the economics of travel metasearch. Read more at Skift

Inmarsat Will Offer Airlines Free Tracking Using Its Satellite Communications: Satellite communications company Inmarsat ISAT.LN +0.07% PLC plans to offer basic tracking services free of charge to airlines, its chairman said, in the strongest sign yet of the aerospace industry’s intentions to enhance monitoring abilities for commercial jets after the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines 3786.KU -4.35% Flight 370. Read more at Skift

UberX Adds $1 ‘Safe Rides Fee’ to Fund Background Checks, Safety Features: San Francisco’s Uber said the fee demonstrates its “continued commitment to safety” and helps fund increased costs for background checks, motor vehicle checks, driver safety education, current and future safety features in its app, and insurance. Read more at Skift

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Hotels

Atlanta Airport Officials Mull Domestic Terminal Hotel After Winter Delays:
Atlanta airport officials say they’re studying the idea of building a hotel either inside or connected to the domestic terminal. Read more at Skift

3-Time Winner of TripAdvisor’s Dirtiest Hotel in the World Is up for Sale: What was once described as the world’s dirtiest hotel is now up for sale in New York. Read more at Skift

Los Angeles Reconsiders the Tax Breaks it Has Been Using to Lure Hotels Downtown: Nearly a decade ago, lawmakers in Los Angeles took an aggressive step to boost the city’s languishing Convention Center, granting tens of millions of dollars in tax breaks to spark construction of a 54-story hotel nearby. Read more at Skift

Your Turn

“After 6 incredible years at @Delta, today is my 1st day w/ the new @AmericanAir. I’m excited for the adventure ahead. #avgeek #changeisscary”

So says Leslie Scott, one of the industry’s favorite and most attentive media folks out in the community. Seismic changes Leslie, congratulations.

Tips and Comments

Can be sent to gm@skift.com and @grantkmartin. We publish the Business Newsletter twice a week on Monday and Thursday.

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