What to Know Now
Lost a bit in the United Mileage Plus ruckus last week was a small service upgrade to American and US Airways operations: Reciprocal elite upgrades. According to Examiner, the upgrades started on June 11th and are limited to 24 hour availability — so normal elite upgrades prior to checkin will go on unmolested.
It’s a small step to create peace among the ranks prior to full mileage program integration in 2015. And since American and US Airways are the only two legacy loyalty programs remaining that don’t have a minimum spend requirement, now’s the time to stock up on elite status. Rumor has it that changes for them will come for the 2016 loyalty year.
Priceline continued its buying spree last week by announcing that it’s acquiring OpenTable, the tool for making dinner reservations around the world. How is this relevant to business travelers, you ask? It’s all about packaging. Like TripAdvisor, Priceline aims to be the one-stop-shop for all of your travel needs, where you can book a flight through their engine, kick down to a hotel booking (with a hefty discount for you and a commission for them thank you) and then bounce over to a few dinner reservations — all without leaving the Priceline mansion. Soon they’ll be packing your bags too.
The acquisition is still in motion, but expect tighter integration between OpenTable and Priceline in the coming months.
Social Quote of the Day
Two HUUUUUGE deals in travel this week: Priceline Buys OpenTable / Skift Buys Gadling. I hear the 2nd one is a much bigger deal.
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Delta’s Big Plans to Dominate Seattle Hub: Delta Air Lines Chief Executive Richard Anderson has ambitious plans to build up Seattle as the airline’s West Coast international gateway and its eighth domestic hub. Read more at Skift
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Singapore Changi Airport to Lure More Flights by Cutting Airlines’ Fees: Changi Airport Group the management company for Changi Airport, Singapore, has announced that it will commit S$100 million additional funds through various initiatives and take measures to reduce the cost to airlines of flying to Changi. Read more at Skift
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Location-Sharing Startup Glympse Secures $12 Million in Funding: Location sharing startup Glympse raised a fresh $12 million round of funding, the company announced. Read more at Skift
Earin’s Tiny Wireless Earphones Recharge While They’re in Your Pocket: A group of former Sony Ericsson and Nokia engineers reckon they can create two miniscule, music-dedicated buds with independent batteries and AptX-compatible wireless receivers. Read more at Engadget
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Peninsula Hotels Turns to YouTube to Make a Statement About Its Brand History: It’s not often that we see a global hotel brand publish a full-length documentary about itself on YouTube, so the release of The Peninsula Hotels‘ well-produced video caught our eye. Read more at Skift
Passport Health, the folks that provide all of your immunizations before traveling deep into the Borneo jungle, turns 20 this year. Here’s to another 20 years of malaria dreams.