The Takeoff Episode 03: Why Team and Culture Matter for Travel Startups Sponsored This content is created collaboratively with one of our sponsors.
What to Know Now
Not more than a few days go by without another story about airport security, whether it’s Skift complaining about PreCheck or some other prima donna complaining about the lines in a random airport around the world.
There is, of course, some value in picking up dispatches from pawns around the world, but without global insight, our stories are only part of the game. A new report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office helps fill in those gaps. If you’re interested in a nice long read, the 76 page report concludes that programs such as PreCheck are helping passengers at large, through there are clear opportunities for improvement. It’s nice to know that despite all of the mixed press we’re at least headed in the right direction.
Is America ready for a new airline? Well, part of it is. PEOPLExpress aims to start operations out of Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport later this month, serving Newark, Boston and Pittsburgh. The low-cost carrier is actually using airplanes from Las Vegas based Vision Airlines and though some have seen the exterior of their new aircraft, nobody has seen the cabins. Call it a quiet start, or maybe a rocky one — at least the airline seems to be headed towards launch.
As to whether any business passengers will be willing to fly the new carrier, I have my doubts. With no reward program and limited service, there doesn’t seem to be a big incentive for business travelers to regularly fly PEOPLExpress — but hopefully they’ll help keep those routes competitive. And that’s good for everyone.
Social Quote of the Day
Why airlines lose money: http://bit.ly/udt01Q PeopleExpress founder: the brightest go into tech or medicine, not airlines.
Singapore Airlines and JetBlue Airways to Launch Codeshare Operations: Singapore Airlines and JetBlue Airways have filed an application with the US Department of Transportation for a bilateral codeshare agreement which would give Singapore Airlines customers access to 16 destinations in the US, and JetBlue customers access to five cities in Europe and Asia. Read more at Skift
Cathay Pacific Mulls Letting Passengers Bid for Upgrades: The Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific is considering hosting internet auctions – in a similar way to eBay – in a bid to boost revenue and fill seats, the South China Morning Post reports. Read more at Skift
How In-Flight Entertainment Saved JetBlue: What many don’t know about the big JetBlue sale of its LiveTV to Thales in March of this year, which earned the airline $400M, is that it’s actually been a complex IFE (in-flight entertainment) hot potato tossing contest from the beginning, aimed at ensuring that the technology would not fail before it had a chance to take off. Read more at Skift
Trusted Travelers: Programs Provide Benefits, but Enrollment Processes Could Be Strengthened: CBP has designed and implemented trusted traveler enrollment processes, but could improve key areas to enhance and assess consistency and efficiency in those processes. Read more at the US Government Accountability Office
What Happens When Commercial Air Service Returns to a Small U.S. Town: When the first 50-seat jet airplane from United Airlines takes off around 1:15 p.m. June 5 from the Jamestown Regional Airport, it will signal the return of regular commercial passenger airline service to the airport for the first time since February. Read more at Skift
Aussie Airport Wants Flyers to Rate Experience While in the Terminal: Brisbane Airport will roll out touch-screen, interactive customer feedback systems across the terminal to enable passengers to provide real-time feedback at various steps of their journey through the airport. Read more at Skift
Hipmunk Raises $20 Million in Funding But It May Not Be Enough: Travel metasearch player Hipmunk has raised $20 million in Series C financing with Oak Investment Partners leading the round. Read more at Skift
Travelers Worldwide Don’t Leave Home Without a Device: Travel is an experience that can’t be satisfactorily re-created in the virtual world. But digital technology and connectivity have changed the way most of us travel. Read more at Skift
Iberia On Board App Shows Trailers for Upcoming Flights: The Iberia On Board app shows passengers precisely what in-flight entertainment will be available on upcoming flights, including the entire movie lineup replete with trailers. Read more at Skift
Sabre Bets on Big Tech Changes at Major Hotel Chains: Travelocity parent Sabre’s smallest and fastest-growing business is its Sabre Hospitality Solutions business, and the company is betting on big changes at major hotel chains, a segment it has yet to penetrate in a meaningful way, to carry the business forward over the next few years. Read more at Skift
Wyndham Expands Budget and Long-Stay Brands in the Middle East: Wyndham Hotel Group has indicated it will expand its Hawthorn Suites brand in KSA and its Days Inn brand in Dubai, having established success in the region with powerhouse brand Ramada. Read more at Skift
Meth Makers Pose a Serious Challenge for Indiana Hotel Owners: Gone are the days when making meth on the go was confined to low-end hotel rooms. The drug’s cooks are now finding their ways into hotels that any family might choose for road trips or weekends at various lake communities in the area. Read more at Skift