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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
More updates are inbound from the world of premium air travel as Asiana Airlines just revealed their new A380 cabin designs. The new aircraft will feature twelve first-class suites as well as sixty-six business class seats, now awkwardly branded to “Business Smartium.” Not awkward enough for you? Perhaps some onboard magicians will help ease your fears. Our own Marisa Garcia has a profile of the new service at Skift.
While we’re on the topic of premium cabins, today’s link-bait hopper brings us a few new roundups of the best first and business class products. Business Insider suggests that Etihad and Air France have two of the best first class products out on the market (although they don’t exist yet). Blogger Gary Leff discards that review and proposes his favorite cabins in both first and business — though he admits that he hasn’t flown every single airline. My take? Anything with a lie-flat seat should do the trick for me — my best first class flight is one in which I’m asleep the entire time.
Social Quote of the Day
Survey reveals some loyalty programs are rigged to make you lose: http://usat.ly/1gGPucO
Asiana Airlines Reveals Their New A380 with Clean Lines, Open Spaces, and a Bit of Magic: Asiana Airlines has revealed what they’ve had up their sleeve for their A380. With clever sleight of hand they’ve worked some nifty magic in the skies. Read more at Skift
Fewer Than 2% of Flyers Try to Get Compensated for Delays: Last summer, Mark Wilson waited in a Rome airline terminal for a connecting flight to London on his way home to New York. And waited. And waited. By the time he arrived in London four hours late, the final New York-bound flight had departed. Read more at Skift
Spirit Air Executives Are Still Trying to Explain Their Fares to Consumers: On a Spirit Airlines flight, passengers should expect less legroom and narrow aisles. They shouldn’t expect WiFi or personal television screens. Any luggage brought along or beverage consumed will cost extra. The fares, however, are on average 40 percent cheaper than other carriers, even with the extra fees. Read more at Skift
Qatar Air Boss Says Heathrow Noise Complainers Are ‘Fussy’: Britons make an “excessive” fuss about noise levels from aircraft flying over their homes, a board member of Heathrow Airport has claimed. Read more at Skift
The UK’s Longest and Shortest Airport Baggage Wait Times: Air travellers coming into the UK picked up their suitcases quickest at Manchester Airport – waiting 16 minutes 15 seconds. Read more at Skift
Stunt Marketing Arrives At Airports: Heathrow To Be Rebranded As Terminal Samsung Galaxy: Samsung will rebrand Heathrow’s Terminal 5 for two weeks as ‘Terminal Samsung Galaxy S5′ to mark the launch…Samsung will take over the signage, wayfinding, website and all 172 digital screens at the terminal. JCDecaux Airport believes this is the first time an advertiser has rebranded a terminal for a major product launch. Read more at Skift
Olset Raises $1.1 Million in Effort to Personalize Business Travel Search: Olset wants to make travel better for the business workers tasked with planning their own trips through online travel sites. Read more at Skift
Gadget Companies Want FCC Clearance So Passengers Can Make In-Flight Calls: Makers of smartphones and networking gear urged U.S. regulators to end a ban on in-flight calls, adding their voices to an issue that’s roused public cries against noisy airplane seatmates. Read more at Skift
The Well-Designed Chair That Could Make Flight Delays Less Painful: Flyers across the U.S. saw the worst flight delays and cancellations in years this winter after snow storms ravaged even the most unlikely of airports. And most flyers, without access to members lounges or unable to buy a few hours in a hotel, were stuck sitting and sleeping on rigid airport chairs and floors. Read more at Skift
Current Hotel Loyalty Program Promotions: Just in time for summer travel, the major hotel chains have announced their latest promotions. Read more at Frugal Travel Guy
Marriott overhauls room service: The Marriott hotel chain is experimenting with a newfangled room service model that could make ordering a meal in your room cheaper, faster and more appealing. If the new system catches on, it could spread to other Marriott hotels, a Marriott general manager said today. Read more at Barbdelollis.com
The Suitest Is the Coolest Way to Book Your Next Hotel: The Suitest scours multiple online travel agencies and hotel websites just like Kayak and other meta search engines, but in addition to prices they have photos and detailed amenities. Then they crunch all the data to make it easier to search for just the suite you want. Read more at Hack my Trip
Wendy Perrin, who just left Conde Nast to head out on her own, got the cool kids together for a WendyPerrin.com launch party late last week with cameos from Scott from the AP, Gary from View from the Wing and everyone’s favorite PR person, James Boyd. Based on the Facebook photos it looked like quite the party — I’m sorry I missed it.