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What to Know Now
Is international travel safe right now? Even on Malaysian Airlines? Of course it is. Many have questioned the safety of air travel in light of the events this past weekend — some even zeroing in on Malaysian — but airline travel at large remains one of the safest forms of travel and there’s a long way to go on the MH17 and even the MH370 investigations. Sit tight and keep flying. It should be an interesting week.
Last Thursday, we lost another Malaysian aircraft with 295 people on board. Details on the event are still very cloudy, but consensus seems to be that the aircraft was shot down by Russian separatists in Ukraine. That same group is managing the onsite investigation (without Boeing’s consultation) in what many consider to be a messy coverup.
News on MH-17 is still developing with the Russians now claiming that a Ukranian fighter jet shot down the aircraft, and the Guardian is aggregating live updates on a hub on their site. In the meantime, most carriers are avoiding Ukranian airspace. Plan accordingly and hope for a swift resolution to this mess.
SOCIAL QUOTE OF THE DAY
Malaysia Airlines offering refunds on all tickets to any passenger who wants one. http://goo.gl/fb/lyOPW8 sad, I’d happily fly them any day.
America’s Airlines are the World’s Most Profitable, Least Comfortable: Buried within the American World Airline Awards, is a trend America’s coach class travelers may find vindicating: among the ranks of global airlines, their nation’s airlines boast the world’s most uncomfortable seats. Read more at Quartz
Inside the Economy Experience on Etihad’s New Fleet: “Amazing! It’s like being on the Orient Express” I instinctively say when seeing the designs for the Economy Smartseat of Etihad’s new fleet. My interviewees all smile at that comment. I guess that must be called ‘hitting the proverbial nail on the head.’ In our final part of our four-part series, we take a look at the ‘back of the plane’. Read more at Skift
Flyertalk and the Rise of Mileage Hacking in the Digital Age: For as long as loyalty reward programs have been in place, travelers have been creating ever-more-clever tactics to exploit them to their advantage. It wasn’t until the late 1990s that the numerous “mileage hacking” tricks began to formalize via online forums like the ever-popular Flyertalk, which helps travelers share deals and loyalty program knowledge. Read more at Skift
Turkey’s Second Largest Airport On Track for 24 Million Passengers in 2014: Istanbul’s second-biggest airport, sporting the fastest passenger growth in Europe, is weighing its first bond sale as it seeks more than a 25 percent increase in travelers this year. Read more at Skift
Palm Beach Airport’s Risky Bet on PEOPLExpress Airline: Palm Beach International Airport is pinning hopes and money on another start-up airline. Read more at Skift
Air France airport staff to strike 2 August: Ground staff at working for Air France at French airports are due to strike on Saturday 2 August at the height of the holiday season. The largest union at the national airline has issued a strike call to oppose subcontracting work. Read more at RFI
Japan’s New Cruise Train is a Luxury Hotel on Rails: Japan is already a global leader in train technology, so it would only follow that they’d be lapping the rest of the world in train design, too. Already, the country has produced gorgeous fleets of luxury trains with chic, retro stylings. Read more at The Verge
Rogue Business Travelers Are Misguided, Amex Partner Says: The business travel sector has been trying to rein in — or adjust to — the legions of road warriors who prefer to book their hotels and fights directly on leisure travel sites to get better deals, as well as points and miles, instead of using companies’ sometimes-stodgy corporate booking tools. Read more at Skift
Eurostar to Get First New Trains in 20 Years: Eurostar Group Ltd., the operator of high-speed trains under the English Channel, promises a “leap into a different league” with new e320 trains from Siemens AG that it expects to have in service by the end of next year. Read more at Skift
Edition Hotels’ Early Steps to Build Influence: Marriott’s partnership with boutique hotel pioneer Ian Schrager is called Edition Hotels has led to properties in London and Istanbul, and it is slated to open its third property in Miami this November. Read more at Skift
Omni Hotels CIO on the Evolution of the Guest Experience: For the past decade, technology has transitioned from the hotel back office to one of the most talked-about features in the guest experience. Read more at Skift
Travel photographer and writer Lola Akinmade Akerstrom has a new set of photos up at the National Geographic Creative library (call it Flickr on steroids). A beautiful selection of her outstanding work. See it here.