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Are gimmicky safety videos the new secret airline marketing tool? Virgin, Delta and Air New Zealand have always been good at injecting a bit of humor into their videos, (how else can you help bored passengers pay attention?) but lately, the competition has been heating up. Delta’s recent 80’s video got the Twitters up in a flutter last week, and now Air New Zealand is coming out with a swimsuit themed edition. Too many of our ancillary baggage fees are being allocated to big-budget productions.

Stuff it. I suppose they are nice escape from Rhapsody in Blue.

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Nobody really enjoys flying out of the New York area airports, whether that’s because of congestion, weather or the general poor state of any of the airports at any particular time. Perhaps their largest opponent emerged last week when Vice President Biden compared LaGuardia to a third-world country.

Granted, there are some mawkish plans to kickstart some upgrades across the board, but those will do little to ease the congestion and the perpetual misery in the region.

My solution: this town needs a monorail.


Genius idea: Hotel booking site for smokers. Because you want to help your most loyal customers die faster http://t.co/NvA9PQAcxy

@JasonClampet, Head of Content @ Skift


airline industry


United Reaches Deal to Avoid Involuntary Flight Attendant Furloughs:
United Airlines reached an agreement on Friday with its union, the Association of Flight Attendants, to avoid involuntary furloughs at the airline. Without the deal, 688 of United’s flight attendants would have been left jobless in April. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Read more at Skift

American Airlines Offers Extra Legroom and Now US Airways Will Too: The airlines, which completed their merger in December, are finally hinting how they’ll settle one difference. In a message to employees this week, American Airlines Group Inc. leaders said they plan to go with American’s practice of providing extra legroom with a few seats in the economy cabin, and charging passengers more to sit there. Read more at Skift

U.S. Airlines Are Rescheduling Flights More Than Ever Before: Airlines say they have been making more schedule changes because there’s been so much turbulence in the industry—mergers and partnerships, planes getting pulled out of weak markets and sent to stronger routes, and the closing of hubs in cities like Cleveland and Memphis, Tenn. Read more at Skift

A Delta plane sits on a runway prior to takeoff at John F Kennedy International Airport in New York


Delta Raises Salaries of Low-Wage Airport Workers in NYC: Delta Airlines stands as a national model of good corporate citizenship with the company’s agreement to require higher pay for the low-wage workers who service its terminals at Kennedy and LaGuardia Airports. Read more at Skift

2,000 Flyers Riot in Chinese Airport After 5-Hour Long Shutdown On Feb. 6, more than 2,000 delayed passengers stormed check-in counters at an airport in Henan province, smashing computers and equipment, in response to the airport’s five-hour long shutdown because of snow. Photos posted online show police trying to calm angry crowds. Chinese state media described the incident as a “riot.” Read more at Skift

NYC’s New Mayor Defends LaGuardia Airport After Vice President’s Insults: Mayor Bill de Blasio doesn’t care for Vice President Joe Biden’s criticisms of New York’s LaGuardia Airport. Biden on Thursday likened the airport to “some third-world country” while touting more modern airports in places like Hong Kong. Read more at Skift
Yelp IPO


Yelp To Supply Listings and Reviews to Yahoo For Local Search: Internet portal Yahoo is partnering with consumer reviews website Yelp to beef up local results in its search engine, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday. Yahoo Chief Executive Marissa Mayer unveiled the news at an employee meeting on Friday, the newspaper said, citing a person present at the meetingRead more at Skift

NASA is Accepting Applications from Companies That Want to Mine the Moon: NASA is now working with private companies to take the first steps in exploring the moon for valuable resources like helium 3 and rare earth metals. Initial proposals are due tomorrow for the Lunar Cargo Transportation and Landing by Soft Touchdown program (CATALYST). One or more private companies will win a contract to build prospecting robots, the first step toward mining the moon. Read more at The Verge

Lonely Planet Buys Budget Travel Magazine: “It appears, subject to court approval that we may have been the successful bidder on Budget Travel,” Lonely Planet COO Daniel Houghton confirmed to Skift. “The acquisition is part of a continued strategy to improve the assets and resources that Lonely Planet brings to our consumers.” Read more at Skift

A man smokes a cigarette at a cafe in central Krasnoyarsk in Siberia


Data Breach Shows Industry Liability: A data breach at hotel owner, developer and management company White Lodging is raising new questions and concerns about the preparedness of the hospitality industry at a time when cyberattacks on business enterprises are increasing dramatically, according to sources. Read more at Hotel News Now 

Website Lets Travelers Book Smoking Hotel Rooms: Most U.S. hotels are going smoke-free these days. But there are 42 million American adults who smoke, and a new website is helping them find hotels that will still let them light up. Lake Forest, Calif.-based Smoketels.com has a database of more than 100,000 hotels worldwide with rooms in which smoking is allowed. Read more at USA Today


My friend and colleague Yobie Benjamin posted an interesting article on the psychological price of entrepreneurship, and the toll that founding a company can take. For me, as I sit jetlagged on a train to London Euston, that cost is sleep. Hopefully the load gets easier with practice.


Can be sent to [email protected] and @grantkmartin. We publish the Business Newsletter twice a week on Monday and Thursday (and occasionally Friday).


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Photo credit: Still from a behind-the-scenes video of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit in-flight video for Air New Zealand. Air New Zealand

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