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What to Know Now
French all-business-class carrier La Compagnie is officially off the ground after some nebulous delays and much speculation. The carrier is currently offering nearly-daily service between New York and Paris on a modified, 74-seat 757. And though it’s been difficult to get actual photos of the cabin, BoardingArea blogger Lucky took one of the early flights and wrote up this review.
In short? It’s alright. The service and amenities are fine and the seats don’t lie flat. But the price is great and the experience is unique. Perhaps the airline will indeed prove its skeptics wrong.
TWO new airline rankings just hit the books this past week to get your suit all up in a wrinkle. First, Airfarewatchdog just finished its annual rankings of American carriers and based on canceled flights, on-time arrivals, mishandled bags, denied boards and customer satisfaction…. named DELTA the top airline. Virgin America and Alaska followed in second and third place. American and United were last.
US New & World Report also finished its annual rewards programs rankings and placed JetBlue and Southwest at the top.
Any flawed methodology in there? Well, I’ll let you decide. What I will say is that preferred carrier is always location and spend-dependent, ie, a business class passenger in Omaha is much different than a leisure traveler in Savannah. Either way, there’s plenty to learn from each roundup.
Social Quote of the Day
La Compagnie: “If you think of it as paying economy prices for a sub-par business class product, you’ll be thrilled.”
Behind the Bid to Take Troubled Malaysia Airlines Private: Malaysia’s national carrier, kept afloat with billions from the government in the past six years, got yet another lifeline after two high-profile jet disasters this year left its image in tatters. Read more at Skift
American Reveals its Frequent Flyer Program Data to the SEC: Here’s What We Learn: American AAdvantage is the largest frequent flyer program in the world — including US Airways members, they boast more than 100 million members. At that scale, nearly all analysis can be done by the numbers, and fortunately American is more revealing about their numbers than most other carriers. Read more at View from the Wing
Etihad Just Finalized Its $2.4 Billion Lifeline for Struggling Alitalia: Etihad Airways PJSC signed a 1.76 billion-euro ($2.4 billion) deal to purchase 49 percent of Alitalia SpA, giving the Gulf company access to one of Europe’s biggest travel markets and providing a lifeline to Italy’s unprofitable former flag-carrier. Read more at Skift
Paris Business Class Airline LaCompagnie Seeks To Prove the Skeptics Wrong: LaCompagnie, which started operations July 21 with one used Boeing Co. 757, flies twice a week from Paris to New York. Keeping overhead costs at rock-bottom, LaCompagnie is able to sell round-trip tickets at about 1,300 euros, half that on Air France-KLM Group. Read more at Skift.
Dubai’s New Airport Is Growing Fast, Getting Crowded: Between April and June, DWC recorded 475,992 passengers, a sharp rise from 102,137 passengers that used the facility in the first quarter this year. Read more at Skift
Southwest Begins First International Service from West Coast: Southwest Airlines is offering fliers a new option for hopping internationally from one sunny location to another — that would be Orange County to Cabo San Lucas. Read more at Skift
How the DOT May Ruin In-Flight Electronics Use: The in-flight call ban could turn out to be a bigger headache for tech-savvy passengers than the phone calls it was drafted to prevent. Read more at Skift
Hacker Takes Control of Devices in Every Room at Shenzhen St. Regis: If your hotel room’s lights begin to flicker, drapes start to move, or the TV turns on and off, you might think there’s a ghost in the room. Or, more probably, someone like Jesus Molina could be working the room’s gadgets. Read more at FlyerTalk
The In-Flight Software That Can Unleash Everyone’s Inner Avgeek: Did it infuriate you as much as it did us, when onboard, we looked at the fleet information or route maps to find they were out of date, or the information wasn’t detailed enough? London based company Neutral have just launched their new software for airlines which will change the way we look at our moving maps and airline information again. Read more at Skift
Holiday Inn Is Fueling InterContinental Hotels’ Growth: In the global hotel industry, it’s all about lifestyle brands and boutique hotels, right? Wrong. Or at least that’s not what’s taking place at the InterContinental Hotels Group, where the mid-market and 62-year-old Holiday Inn brand family is spearheading the chain’s growth. Read more at Skift
Choice Hotels To Soon Decide Fate of Money-Losing Subsidiary: Choice Hotels created a subsidiary, SkyTouch Technology, in 2013 to offer cloud-based property- and rate-management services to third-party hotels, but the division is losing money and the chain will soon decide whether it will shutter the unit or keep investing in it. Read more at Skift
The Best Jobs on Earth: I’m a Hotel Running Concierge: People often dream of leaving it all behind and finding a job in the travel industry. At Yahoo Travel we are profiling people who work in all fields of the industry — small jobs, big jobs, any jobs. This week we talked to Chris Heuisler, better known as Westin’s Running Concierge, the man who helps you prep for races around the country. Read more at Skift