What to Know Now

With over 100k miles scheduled on American this year I’ve been flying on United for the past few months, so I’ve only heard (and written about) the most recent changes to their catering by proxy. In summary, first class passengers on American are furious about the airline cutting down on meal service. Monitoring the Executive Platinum group on Facebook is like watching a crowdsourced temper tantrum, and many elites are thinking about jumping ship to other carriers.

Well, this past Friday I flew American between San Francisco and Dallas, and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by the meal. Maybe I was expecting the worst after all of the bad press, or maybe I’m just thick skinned — but my macaroni and cheese with beef was fantastic.

Suffice it to say that there may still be hope for the domestic first class meal.

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Top Story

A story in The New York Times ran late last week lamented the decline of the mileage run, those quick trips taken solely for miles to earn elite status. They’re right: with United and Delta ushering in new programs next year that focus more on consumer spend rather than distance flown, it’s going to be far more difficult to game the system for status.

But the fat lady has not yet sung. American still has their mileage program in tact (lo, I just booked a $186 ticket from New York to Sicily) and evolutions of the mileage run will always exist. Yes, the future may involve running for the last $6 short of $10,000 or for extra miles purely for redemption. But there will always be a community of bargain hunters looking for the cheapest path to the highest tier. I plan on playing this game for a long, long time.

Social Quote of the Day

In fairness, Southwest’s old livery was also very ugly, whereas AA gave up something beautiful and iconic.

@jbarro | Josh Barro, Reporter for The Upshot at The New York Times

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Airlines

Sky-High Summer Airfares Lead to Fall Tourism Boom: Destinations are enjoying an unexpected rise in tourism during the fall months after sky-high airfares have pushed many travelers to delay their summer vacations. Read more at Skift

The Transparent Airfares Act’s Future is Unclear in the Senate: The Transparent Airfares Act managed to pass the House in July, but take-off is anything but certain in the Senate as it sits in the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. Read more at Skift

EasyJet Turns to Actor Hugh Laurie for New Business Class TV Campaign: EasyJet Plc will begin airing commercials tomorrow featuring the voice of “House” star Hugh Laurie in the airline’s first television advertising effort aimed at business flyers. Read more at Skift

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Airports

France’s Airports Quiet Today as Pilot Strike Cuts Half of Air France Flights: At least half of Air France flights around the world were canceled Monday as pilots kicked off a week-long strike, angry that the company is shifting jobs and operations to a low-cost carrier to better keep up with rivals. Read more on Skift

San Diego’s Airport Won’t Allow ‘Stinky’ Cab Drivers: Cab drivers in San Diego are upset that they’re being subject to body odor tests as one of the criteria that they have to pass in order to work from San Diego’s Lindbergh Field. Read more at Jalopnik

Heathrow ‘running normally’ despite strike: London Heathrow is today “running a normal operation” despite a strike by ground handling staff at the airport. Read more at Business Traveller

The Virgin Galactic SpaceShip2 glides towards Earth on its first test flight over Mojave, California

Tech

Expedia’s Updated Tablet Apps Streamline Hotel and Flight Search in Single View:
For travelers who get frustrated navigating their way around an app from flights to hotels, Expedia.com has streamlined the process in its tablet apps, and is showing flight- and hotel-search results side by side. Read more at Skift

Virgin Galactic Delays Flight Launch Again to Early 2015: Virgin Galactic has again pushed back its timeline for launching space-tourism flights from southern New Mexico’s Spaceport America. Read more at Skift

TripAdvisor Levels the Playing Field for Hotels in its Apps:  Hotel metasearch sites such as TripAdvisor, Kayak, and Trivago are dominated by online travel agency participants, but now TripAdvisor is enabling hotel properties to undercut the booking sites — and even TripAdvisor itself. Read more at Skift

Hotels

How One Luxury New York Hotel Caters to Independent Chinese Travelers: A favorite spot for celebrities such as fashion designer Marc Jacobs and actress Sarah Jessica Parker, New York’s Hotel Plaza Athénée serves as an intimate Upper East Side retreat for well-heeled clients searching for a niche luxury abode. Read more at Skift

If You Use The Hotel Iron To Cook Food, You’re Doing It Wrong: Once upon a time, we called the in-room hotel iron one of the most useless hotel amenities. As it turns out, other travelers are using the iron for crisping up too. Just not for button down shirts and linen pants. Read more at HotelChatter

Your Turn

Wendy Perrin has a new, fantastically designed site. Read her most recent article about the site redesign here.

Tips and Comments

Can be sent to gm@skift.com and @grantkmartin. We publish the Business Newsletter twice a week on Monday and Thursday.

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Photo Credit: Mileage runs may not be dead, but they are changing. American Airlines