Traveler Values and Communication Habits in a Post-App World Sponsored This content is created collaboratively with one of our sponsors.
What to Know Now
Uber and Lyft are the taxi companies that you just hate to love. They’re cheap — my weekly commute from home to ORD is half the cost of a Chicago taxi — and it’s more reliable and cleaner. It’s easy to use and it’s easy to file expense reports. I can’t stop using it.
But as companies, man, they’re really stressing me out. The latest debacle involves Uber employees calling 5,000 fake rides into Lyft drivers and then canceling the fare — wasting the time and money of their competitors. Not to be outdone, Uber now claims that Lyft has called and cancelled over 13,000 rides. And each carrier is offering wild incentives for both driver and passenger to swap service. It’s enough to make a tired business traveler give up the whole game… until he can’t find a cab at 5 AM next Monday.
Let’s hope these teething problems don’t last.
A new crop of airport lounges is coming to market and if we’re lucky, they may help raise the bar across the board. This week, American Express opened its third Centurion Lounge in New York LaGuardia’s central terminal. You need not be an elite flyer to access the lounge, you just need an AmEx card. There’s also a $50 fee to enter unless you have a Platinum or a Centurion credit card.
For the fee you’ll get booze and a light meal — far better than the cheese and pretzels that you’d expect at a domestic airport lounge — as well as a quiet, well-designed place to work and relax prior to your flight.
Already the legacy airlines and their respective lounges are running scared. Two days ago, Delta curiously ratcheted up the offerings at their SkyClubs, despite there only being three AmEx lounges around the country. Expect more improvements as the Centurion lounges spread.
Social Quote of the Day
the uber / lyft counter-accusations (and asserted behavior) are just bizarre. feels like junior high school to me.
European Leisure Carriers Keep Rowdy Passengers Calm with Extra Comfort Features: As the fever pitch of aircraft interiors arms race reaches the European leisure carrier market, the venerable travel institution since 1841, Thomas Cook, proves that it’s up-to-date with the latest trends by giving passengers more legroom and in-flight entertainment. Read more at Skift
Finnair Reveals Its Cabins for Its New Long-Haul Airbus Fleet: Just after the A350XWB aircraft touched down at Helsinki Airport for a quick hello, national carrier Finnair announced its interiors cabins for this new aircraft. Finnair is the European launch customer for this new Airbus aircraft model. Read more at Skift
Startup Airlines Try to Edge Into an Impossibly Competitive Market: You might expect scrappy start-ups to steer clear of an industry plagued by bankruptcies, rising costs and accusations of monopolistic behavior. But the tough times facing the US airline industry have inspired a new crop of small carriers, all gunning to be the next JetBlue or Southwest. Read more at Skift
Southwest’s $550 Million Integration of AirTran Still A Work in Progress: More than three years after Southwest acquired AirTran for $1.4 billion, the integration of the two carriers is a work in progress, although it is expected to be completed by the end of 2014. Read more at Skift
What RelayRide’s Latest Funding Reveals About Ground Transport at Airports: Flyers arriving at some U.S. airports are turning their back on taxis and traditional car rentals in favor of a new kind of transportation. Read more at Skift
United Airlines Rewards Its Best Employees by Lowering Its Standards: At United Airlines, you don’t necessarily have to be the early bird to get the worm. You only need to be somewhat punctual. Workers at Chicago-based United Airlines will get bonuses for hitting its monthly on-time rate goal in July, but only because the airline changed its own target. Read more at Skift
American Express Unveils New Lounge Concept at LaGuardia Airport: While lifestyle hotels are embedding themselves inside neighborhoods to add the local touch to their lobbies and events, American Express is attempting to do likewise, to a certain extent, at its new Centurion Lounge at LaGuardia Airport. Read more at Skift
Gogo’s Plan to Bring In-Flight Entertainment to Flyers’ Own Devices: Gogo Vision, the mobile connectivity company’s wireless in-flight entertainment (IFE) product is cleared for take-off as a stand-alone service in the U.S. Read more at Skift
India’s Newest Airline Launches First on Social Media: Air Vistara, a Tata Sons-Singapore Airlines joint venture, has launched its brand on social media. Read more at Skift
A Step by Step Guide To Getting Cheap Rental Cars: Renting a car can be a confusing, frustrating, and oftentimes, an expensive experience. I know, because I’ve felt this exact way the first few times I booked rental cars. But little by little, as I started to pick up more secrets and insider info, I put together a system that I now use each time I book rental cars. Read more at Extra Pack of Peanuts
Lyft Accuses Uber of Playing Dirty Yet Again: Lyft, a San Francisco-based ride-sharing startup, on Monday released data that said employees of rival Uber have ordered and canceled more than 5,000 Lyft rides nationwide since October. Read more at Skift
With Collapse of Revel Hotel, Atlantic City’s Revival May Be Officially Dead: With Collapse of Revel Hotel, Atlantic City’s ReviWith Collapse of Revel Hotel, Atlantic City’s Revival May Be Officially Dead val May Be Officially Dead. Read more at Skift
Hotel Room Boom Leads to Dubai’s Weakest Occupancy Month in 18 Years: Dubai’s hotels had their lowest occupancy in at least 18 years in July, standing more than half empty room supply increased while demand fell, according to industry researcher STR Global. Read more at Skift
Hotel Chain Launches a Campaign To End Hidden Charges: Hotel guests can sometimes end up paying $40 for a bottle of water at luxury establishments that have minimum-charge policies in guest rooms, bars and restaurants. Even if guests order nothing more than a light snack or a drink, they often must pay a hefty minimum fee, unless they buy enough food or beverages. Recently, the United Kingdom-based Thistle hotel chain launched a new campaign urging the hospitality industry to abolish such policies. Read more at FlyerTalk
The Tourists Who Enjoy Getting Trapped in Rooms at Popular Destinations: Getting locked in a room for an hour and figuring out an escape is now a popular way for tourists to spend part of their day. Read more at Skift