What to Know Now

Last year when United announced its “Fly the Friendly Skies” campaign I promptly went to my bookshelf, found my marketing 101 textbook and shredded into bite sized, digestable pieces. I’ve been slowly sending back the entire book in the United Explorer Credit Card business-reply envelopes that I receive nearly weekly in the mail.

Why the passive agressives? Because “Friendly Skies” means nothing. Every airline – every passenger and flight attendant – has bad days, and its impossible to sugar coat an entire product with a meaningless, rainbow moniker. One might as well call United the most not un-palatable airline for millenials. It would be just as vacuous.

It disappoints me thus to see that Delta has plans to launch a campaign for the “Most Trustworthy” airline. How is Delta — or any company trustworty? How are they not? Unless you’re Enron-ing your way through business practices it’s all a matter of good faith operations and profitability — which I hope you’re sticking too. And if you’re not, there’s much more to worry about than your ridiculous marketing campaign.

Here’s a freebie for you Delta, presented without sarcasm. “North America’s Premium Carrier.” It highlights your target market and based on your cabin upgrades and mileage program its also factually accurate. But most of all, it’s genuine. Maybe after that campaign, you can pick up the “America’s Most Genuine Airline” tagline.

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Top Story

Prepare to pay more for your airline tickets. Following orders from congress, the TSA is raising the 9/11 security fee that it currently adds to all passenger itineraries. The new fees will more than double to $5.60 for each one-way journey, and if multiple layovers are in place there will be an additional charge.

As we all know, the TSA’s policies are hotly contested. Not a week goes by without some celebrity or hotshot complaining about the agency’s policies, and the only metric for success that we have is incidents that didn’t happen. But it’s hard to blame the TSA for increasing fees when congress built in the changes to their belt-tightening budget. Indeed as the LA Times reports, passengers are more irritated about lines and delays then they are about the actual fees. If the agency can use this money to help build out prescreening and make everyone’s lives at security more efficient then I’m all for it. Fingers crossed that it’s money not squandered.



Expect an extra $5.60 in #TSA fees starting next month. No, you’re not the only one annoyed by that http://klou.tt/1ty4rv3w3204u

Miriam B. Weiner, Lead Editor of US News Travel



U.S. Travelers Don’t Mind Fees, It’s the Lines and Delays They Hate: Here’s a surprise. Most air travelers wouldn’t mind paying more in fees if it helps cut lines at airports. Read more at Skift

British Airways Cabin Crew Strike May Add to Europe’s Summer Transit Woes:  British Airways is facing the threat of renewed strikes after cabin crew said they are prepared to take industrial action after their pay claims were rebuffed. Read more at Skift

Why All-Business-Class Airlines Always Seem To Fail: Earlier this week that French company La Compagnie unveiled plans to become the world’s next all-business-class carrier trying to operate between the United States and Europe. It’s not the first time that this feat has been attempted, nor even the first time that La Compagnie’s founders have tried to start an airline of this variety. If La Compagnie gets off the ground and becomes profitable, however, it will be the first time that the all-business-class model is successful. Read more at Skift

Delta Escalates Transcon Battle with Lie-Flat Seats: The battle for the hearts, minds, and pocketbooks of transcon flyers heated up this week with Deltaís announcement that it had completed upgrading BusinessElite seating on the three B757-200s used on its New York-Los Angeles flights. Read more at Frequent Flier


TSA to Raise Fees for Security Screenings at Airports: Airline passengers are about to pay more for security screening. Following orders from Congress, the Transportation Security Administration is poised to raise the fee to $5.60 each way. That’s up from $2.50 each way for a nonstop flight and $5 for a trip including connections. Read more at Skift

Booming Mexico City Planning on New Airport With 6 Runways by 2018: Mexico is reviewing design plans for a new 120 billion peso ($9.23 billion) Mexico City airport which will eventually have six runways and should begin operating by 2018, according to sources familiar with the plan. Read more at Skift

Atlanta Airport Is Adding Sleep Suites in Its International Terminals: International travelers will soon be able to pay for a quiet place to take a nap at the world’s busiest airport, when Hartsfield-Jackson opens sleep units in international concourses E and F. Read more at Skift

Anti-Heathrow Campaigners Turn to YouTube to Argue Against a Third Runway: Children, pets, grandparents, and animated characters have entered the battle against a third runway at London’s Heathrow Airport. Read more at Skift

French Air Traffic Controllers Vote in Favor of Six-Day Strike This Week: France’s two biggest air traffic controllers’ unions have voted to go on strike from Tuesday in an announcement which will infuriate millions of holidaymakers. Read more at Skift



British Airways Is Embracing Slow TV for In-Flight Entertainment: British Airways planes will screen a seven-hour film showing a rail journey through Norway in real time as its first foray into so-called Slow TV, a genre it says should appeal to long-haul passengers seeking relaxing viewing. Read more at Skift

5 New Travel Startups That Cater to Businesses and Travelers: This collection of travel startups is unique in that offer both customer-facing and business-facing solutions. Bridging the gap between B2B and B2C is important for startups who want to build a brand while attracting enough customers to make money and build a viable business. Read more at Skift

Hertz Having Discussions About Teaming With Uber: Hertz, the second biggest U.S. car rental firm, is looking to broaden its business and could allow its cars to be rented via Uber and its controversial smartphone app, Group President Michel Taride told Reuters. Read more at Skift



Trivago to Launch Hostel and Shared Room Search: Trivago, the Germany based metasearch site that’s been advertising heavily in the U.S., this week plans to debut globally a feature enabling users to focus their search on shared rooms. Read more at Skift

Marriott to Open Mumbai’s First Ritz-Carlton in Shanty Town Area:
Oberoi Realty Ltd. will team up with Marriott International Inc. to open Mumbaiís first Ritz-Carlton hotel as part of a slum redevelopment that includes luxury homes. Read more at Skift

A Deep Data Dive Into How Airbnb Is Changing London Lodging: Airbnb is a website that’s fast becoming the bane of the hotel industry. Read more at Skift

Your Turn

Hey, Best Western has a new blog called You Must Be Trippin. Go ahead and give it a read here.


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: A passenger waits for his flight near a Delta Air Lines logo at Detriot Airport. Sim Wei Yang / Reuters

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