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I spent some time touring through United’s new regional jet, the Embraer-175 at O’Hare this week. It’s nice, as far as regional jets go, but looking at the list of routes upcoming for the aircraft — including between San Francisco and Minnesota — I can’t help but worry about the future of medium-body, domestic flights. Sure, American is replacing most of their MD-80s with 737s and a range of Airbus, but they’ve also made a big Embraer order. Call me inefficient, but I’m going to miss those wide cabins and those warm meals.
Planning to travel on Thai Airways or through Thailand this week? You may want to come up with a backup plan. Earlier this week the country declared martial law as the leadership transitions away from the Shinawata regime. And just this morning, the military took interim control of the government. As Thailand’s leadership grinds to a halt, prepare for delays across the country.
Social Quote of the Day
Rule of thumb: if you wake up to the military saying a coup has not taken place, then a coup has taken place.
Study: Airplane Tray Tables Carry Much More Than Your Soda And Pretzels: We already know that planes are airborne petri dishes, and that one open-mouthed sneeze can spread influenza through a cabin faster than you can say “Blue Christmas.” But a new study suggests that it’s not so much what you inhale on planes that causes the really big problems, but what you touch. Read more at Forbes
Qantas Plans Will Stop Growth and Cut Jobs as Consumer Confidence Wanes: Qantas Airways Ltd., the Australian carrier that’s firing workers as it reels from losses, will halt capacity growth on local routes for the longest period since 2009 to curb a fall in fares amid weak consumer confidence. Read more at Skift
U.S. Proposes Rules Requiring Airlines to Disclose Fees: Passengers love the idea, but airlines hate it. The government wants to require that travelers be told upfront about basic services that aren’t included in the price of a ticket and how much extra they’ll cost. Read more at the New York Times
Jay Z Opens Outpost of HIs 40/40 Club at World’s Busiest Airport: 40/40 is open to ticketed passengers at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, according to spokeswoman Victoria Hong of Delaware North Companies, which partners with the rap mogul. The sports bar is in the airport’s Concourse D concessions area, Hong said. Read more at Skift
Surviving “Tourist Season” at the Airport: Chris McGinnis from TravelSkills walks CNN through tips for surviving the busy travel season: Read more at TravelSkills
JetBlue Ups the Airport Spa Game With a Huge New Facility: French spa chain Be Relax will expand to the New York area with a new full-service facility at JetBlue’s JFK Terminal 5, just in time for the peak summer travel season. Read more at Conde Nast Traveler
Why Rules on In-Flight Electronics Are Still Complicated: While passengers celebrate fewer restrictions on the use of Personal Electronic Devices (PEDs) onboard, some factors delay this policy becoming universal. Read more at Skift
Honda is Making a Luxury Jet With Really Weird Engines: To most, Honda is a maker of the everycar — affordable, safe, practical, fuel efficient road transportation that neither excites nor offends. To some, it’s also a maker of motorcycles. To a few, it’s the maker of Asimo, the perennially entertaining humanoid robot that makes appearances at trade shows. No one would peg Honda as a maker of futuristic jet aircraft, though. Read more at The Verge
New Train Cars in France Too Wide for Hundreds of Stations: Embarrassed French rail officials were trying Wednesday to explain why they ordered new train cars from a consortium that includes Canadian manufacturer Bombardier that are too large to fit through hundreds of regional stations. Read more at Skift
Donald Trump Plans to Return to Dubai After Failed Hotel Bid: Donald Trump, the New York real-estate mogul, is back in Dubai with plans for a golf course and 104 mansions three years after a plan to build a hotel tower bearing his name was scrapped in the desert sheikdom. Read more at Skift
The Upgrade Habits of Hotel Guests That Book Online: Men taking a vacation are the hotel guests most likely to accept an available upgrade, according to data compiled by upsell technology provider Nor1. Read more at Skift
Secrets to a Better Hotel Stay: How do you get better service at hotels? When a problem crops up, how do you get it fixed, pronto? Here are strategies from amateur and professional travelers: Read more at WendyPerrin.com