What to Know Now

Everybody. Hates. Newark airport. Teasing New York City’s third airport is as much of a pastime for business travelers as is ribbing the TSA about the precheck program, but there’s now a quantified reason to stay away. This summer, NJ Transit is shutting down and repairing its train connection between terminals and the regional rail network, leaving passengers few (and expensive) options to reach the airport. The airport is furthermore shutting down one of their runways for much-needed repairs, no doubt backing up traffic and causing further delays.

Johnny Jet has a nice profile of the disaster here. The AirTrain is scheduled to be out of service from May 1 to July 15.

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Top Story

JD Power just named Marriott as the top hotel loyalty program, ranking it slightly above IHG (Holiday Inn etc) and Delta Hotels. At the bottom of the list? Best Western and Hyatt. Sam Shankman has a nice breakdown in her profile of the awards this week.

There seems to be a lot of subjectivity in naming a naming a “best” hotel loyalty program. JD Power’s rankings were based on a few variables including account management and ease of redeeming and earning points, but for the business traveler there are many other considerations. Gary over at the View from the Wing prefers Hyatt, partially because of their generous upgrade policy. I like Starwood for their generous credit card benefits and the ability to transfer points between multiple programs. And as far as hotel quality? Well, they’re all about the same to me.

Point is, when selecting a preferred hotel program it’s best to take a look at your needs as a business traveler (use of points, hotel locations, credit card etc) and pick something that fits your needs. While JD Power’s report is a great start, there’s so much more to consider.

Social Quote of the Day

I’m one of them RT @grantkmartin: @Delta’s Frequent Flyers Want to Take Their Loyalty to New Airlines: http://skift.com/2014/04/15/deltas-frequent-flyers-want-to-take-their-loyalty-to-new-airlines/

@davidfarley David Farley, Food/Travel Writer

A passenger talks on her phone at a Delta Airlines gate at the Salt Lake City international airport


Delta’s Frequent Flyers Want to Take Their Loyalty to New Airlines: For business flyers like Adam Kubryk, who is on the road about 200 days a year, one of the perks of flying often and using the same airline regularly is getting upgraded from coach to business class when a seat is available.  But now when he flies on Delta Air Lines on some of his more frequent work-related routes, he has lost that key perk and it is making him mad enough to ditch the airline and take his frequent flyer miles elsewhere. Read more at Skift

Will the New Warm and Fuzzy Ryanair Be Enough to Slow EasyJet? At the center of Ryanair Holdings Plc’s ethos stands O’Leary, a wiry Irishman who likes to claim that customers would “crawl across broken glass” for low fares. The concept of glamorous air travel is a romanticized image of a bygone era, he says, with low prices opening the skies to everyone, from drunken U.K. stag parties infiltrating Poland’s nightlife to migrant plumbers jetting the other way.  Then last year, cracks started appearing in O’Leary’s frugal fortress. Read more at Skift

Spirit Airlines Is the Most Profitable and Complained About U.S. Airline: Two studies out in the past several days show the flying public’s complicated relationship with Miramar-based Spirit Airlines: While the low-cost carrier is an industry leader in terms of complaints, it also soars above the competition in profitability. Read more at Skift



First look: London Heathrow’s new Terminal 2: London’s Heathrow Airport will officially open its new Terminal 2, known as The Queen’s Terminal, on June 4, 2014.  Consisting of a main building and a satellite terminal (Terminal 2 B) connected by a passenger tunnel, the $4.1 billion terminal will eventually be the home of 23 Star Alliance airlines that serve Heathrow, as well as Aer Lingus, Germanwings and Virgin Atlantic Little Red. Read more at USA Today

Istanbul on Track to Overtake Frankfurt for Europe’s Third-Busiest Airport:  Istanbul’s Ataturk airport lured more travelers than Frankfurt and Amsterdam in the first quarter, setting the Turkish Airlines base on course to establish itself as Europe’s third-busiest air hub this year. Read more at Skift

Heathrow Airfares to Jump More Than $300 Without a Third Runway, Says Report: The average airfare at London’s Heathrow Airport may jump by more than 200 pounds ($336) by 2030 if it continues to operate with only two runways, according to a report commissioned by the airport. Read more at Skift

Southwest WiFi is easy to access and just  all day, per device.


Tiered Wi-Fi Becomes Industry Standard at Full-Service Hotels: After seeing complimentary Wi-Fi service become ubiquitous at limited- and select-service hotels, owner-operators of full-service properties are now facing growing pressures from consumers and brands to provide a tiered program that features free, property-wide basic service while charging for premium broadband access. Read more at Skift

Here’s What Apple’s CarPlay Will Look Like in Your Next Car: Volvo, Mercedes-Benz, and Hyundai are all launching vehicles with CarPlay support this year. Read more at The Verge

Airlines Shouldn’t Count on Millennial Travelers to Pay for In-Flight Wi-Fi: Airlines are rushing to equip aircraft with Wi-Fi believing passengers will demand connectivity onboard. But who are those customers? More importantly, do they really intend to pay for it? Read more at Skift



Interview: How Starwood Hotels Sells Luxury to a Diverse Consumer Base:  The hotel luxury sector is undergoing seismic shifts in terms of product development, service culture and brand communications, driven by new emerging source markets and a broader diversity of luxury travelers than ever before. Read more at Skift

Marriott Rewards Named Top Hotel Loyalty Program in the U.S.: Marriott Rewards beat out loyalty programs at all other large hotel brands including Starwood, Hilton and Hyatt to be named the best rewards program in hospitality. Read more at Skift

SkiftStudio CEO Interview: HotelTonight Gets Predictive About Next Week’s Rates: HotelTonight has been all about same-day hotel bookings, but now it is taking a page from Farecast (RIP), and making some modest predictions about the following week’s hotel rates.Read more at Skift

Your Turn

Courtesy of Jason Rabinowitz, this is what the person who cooked your in-flight meal was probably wearing.

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


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Photo credit: Marriott hotel in downtown Los Angeles. Fred Prouser / Reuters

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