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What to Know Now

As the merger between American Airlines and US Airways continues, the landscape for business travelers is shifting quickly. Earlier this month the airlines announced that miles from either carrier would accrue in each frequent flyer program and as of this morning, codeshares are in place. It’s now possible to buy US Airways tickets via the American Airlines webpage (and vice versa) and there’s even a 50% bonus for American passengers flying on US. Now all we need is reciprocal upgrades and the masses will start moving between carriers.

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Airlines cite high fuel costs as they raise faresTop Story

Late last night, a Southwest Airlines 737 headed for Branson, MO identified the wrong airport on approach and ended up at a tiny general aviation airport several miles away. With a tiny runway, the aircraft skidded to a stop only 40 feet from the edge of a cliff. Scott Schieffer, a Dallas tax attorney and CPA live tweeted the entire event from passenger and crew interaction to the whole calamity of reaccommodating passengers; since the runway is so short the aircraft can’t take off with a full load again. Luckily, everyone is safe and sound.

Social Quote of the Day

 This should be interesting RT @ghimlay: The @SouthwestAir 737 that landed at the wrong airport in MO will leave later today.

— @airlineflyer, Jason Rabinowitz, reporter for @Airchive and @AirlineReporter

A United Airlines plane with the Continental Airlines logo on its tail, sits at a gate at O'Hare International airport in ChicagoAirlines

United Airlines Lost Track of Hundreds of Pilots Because of Computer Problems: United Airlines is suffering a computer system malfunction that stranded pilots and caused canceled flights, evidence the company is still struggling to integrate Continental Airlines more than three years after the merger closed, people with knowledge of the matter said. Read more at Skift

50% Bonus for Crediting American Flights to US Airways, or US Airways Flights to American: American and US Airways have begun phasing in codesharing. In conjunction with this, both US Airways and American Airlines are incentivizing their frequent flyers to credit flights on the other carrier to their home mileage account. No need to book a codeshare flight, just credit a US Airways flight to American — or vice versa — and earn 50% bonus miles. Read more at View from the Wing

Delta Introduces $2 In-Flight Wi-Fi Passes for Smartphones: Delta Air Lines introduced a new in-flight Wi-Fi product Wednesday. The new in-flight Wi-Fi Mobile Pass is available for as low as $1.95 on flights shorter than two hours. The price increases depending on the length of flight and route. Read more at Skift

India's financial capital unveils revamped airportAirports

Adding Up Last Week’s Airline Delays in Chicago and New York:  There’s no question that the airlines handled things differently, and for that reason, CrankyFlier thought it would be fun to walk through how it went. (Warning: Excel wonkiness ahead): Read more at The Cranky Flier

Airlines Submit Bids for American Air’s Slots at D.C. National: Airlines have submitted bids seeking to purchase takeoff and landing rights at Reagan National Airport that American Airlines Group is required to sell under an agreement with the U.S. government, two sources familiar with the matter said. Read more at Skift

Delta Takes Away Elite Access to Many International Lounge Delta sent out an email announcing a big price increase for lounge membership and instituting a policy that everyone accessing their lounges via premium credit card would have to pay a fee to bring in guests. Read more at View from the Wing

Mumbai’s New Terminal Is Dedicated After More Than Three-Year Wait: After countless delays and cost overruns, Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport finally opened its new terminal. The four-story “T2″ was scheduled to open in 2010. It was inaugurated on Jan. 10 by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Read more at Skift

Ryanair's CEO O'Leary attends a news conference at the Scandic Grand Central hotel in StockholmTech

What Google’s Partnership With Ryanair Really Means to the Future of Booking:
Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary notoriously doesn’t mind stirring things up and he did so over the weekend in an interview, where he said that Google wants to launch a price- comparison service, with Ryanair participating, that will “blow comparison sites like Skyscanner out of the water.” Read more at Skift

Airfares and Fees Are Set to Jump in 2014: Have you checked the price of oil lately? It hit $100 a barrel in late December (though it’s dropped down again since then), and oil is the big reason I predict fares will jump between four and five-and-a-half percent by the end of 2014. This will be after several airline price-hike attempts, a half-dozen of which will succeed. Read more at Skift’s Best of CES Awards: With CES now behind us,, a division of USA Today, takes a look at the best technology from the show. Read more at

Loews HotelHotels

Interview: Loews Chairman on Renovating the Hotel Brand: It was two years ago when Tisch and his cousins charged with running what is now the smallest subsidiary of Loews Corp. decided it was time to up the ante, bring in an experienced and respected CEO in Paul Whetsell and grow the company further in U.S. gateways. Read more at

New NYC Marriott is USA’s tallest hotel building:  A new Marriott in New York City is claiming to be the tallest single-use hotel building in North America.  The Courtyard-Residence Inn Central Park is 750 feet high, according to Marriott spokeswoman Nina Herrera-Davila. Read more at USA Today

Hotel Boss Says Airbnb Should Be Regulated Like Traditional Hotel Companies: Fast-growing internet companies such as Airbnb should be subject to the same regulations as traditional firms, the chief executive of InterContinental Hotels Group has said. Read more at Skift

Your Turn

Tim Stevens, the former head editor at Engadget and current tech reporter at CNET emerged strong from CES and now is on the ground at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. He’s producing some great tweets of the year’s upcoming vehicles on his Twitter feed, which you can check out here.

Tips and Comments

Can be sent to and @grantkmartin. We publish the Business Newsletter twice a week on Monday and Thursday.

Photo Credit: A US Airways Express plane (foreground) departs from a gate past an American Airlines plane (background) at the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington County, Virginia. Mike Theiler / Reuters