What to Know Now

Airline elitists of the world this week wanted you to know that the most expensive domestic airfare currently available for sale — MOST EXPENSIVE — is  $8,000 and comes with SHRIMP. Shrimp I say!

Or, that’s according to Bloomberg and the American Airlines marketing people. The service is part of first class service in the transcontinental product that American offers between New York and California, and while the service is good, F. Scott Fitzgerald isn’t going to be writing a novel about it. I’ve taken the flight in business and read the reviews, and while most conclude that it’s the best transcontinental service, few believe that it deserves the glowing review that Bloomberg produced.

And the price tag? Highly variable. I dug up a round trip ticket in November for just over $3,600 and there are plenty of other deals out there.

Let’s recall that this is the airline that’s trimming meal service to a wide range of flights and cutting it altogether from others. This latest news about fancy beds and shrimp is just lipstick on a slowly fattening pig.

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Top Story

Buried in a Chicago Tribune story about TSA Administrator John Pistole visiting the Tribune board is some good news for the winos in the Skift Business Traveler community. According to the agency boss, they’re looking to an eventual end to the ban on liquids over 100mL or 3.4oz.

There’s a caveat, of course, and it’s that only those with Pre-check will be able to bring the liquids — so if you haven’t paid for the service or grandfathered in through other means you’re still stuck with your tiny toiletries. There’s also no timeframe set for when the liquids rule will be relaxed, so the change could come next month or next year. But hey, we’re slowly earning our rights back.

Social Quote of the Day

Huh. “Almost half of U.S. airline passengers passed through the TSA’s PreCheck program this summer.”

@danfrommer | Dan Frommer Tech, travel, and food. Tech Editor at @Qz, founder of @CityNotes, co-host of @NeedleAndMouse



What the Most Expensive U.S. Domestic Fare Buys Travelers: For $8,000, American Airlines treats select Los Angeles passengers to private berths, three-course meals boasting shrimp scampi and even vented compartments that can house socialites’ chihuahuas. Read More at Skift

Qantas Cost-Cutting Includes Life Raft Removal on Domestic Flights: Qantas Airways Ltd., Australia’s biggest carrier, plans to remove life rafts from 38 planes that fly mainly domestically in a bid to save fuel. Read More at Skift

JetBlue CEO David Barger Will Be Replaced by Current President Robin Hayes: After nearly a year’s worth of speculation of when JetBlue CEO David Barger would leave — not if — the airline announced today his departure on February 15, 2015. Read more at Skift

Behind Spirit Airlines’ Yellow and Black Rebranding: Spirit is the latest low-cost carrier to revisit their branding, just a few days after both Frontier and Southwest, following a trend that TheDesignAir predicted last week. Read more at Skift

Transportation Security Adminstration (TSA) Administrator John Pistole speaks to members of media at John F. Kennedy Airport


Air France Pilots to Extend Strike To September 26: Air France pilots are prolonging a walkout that has grounded more than half the airline’s flights all week. Read more at Skift

 TSA chief: Passenger pre-screening to be new standard: Almost half of U.S. airline passengers this summer passed through expedited security, a sign that pre-screening is becoming the norm, the chief of the Transportation Security Administration said Wednesday in Chicago. Read more at the Chicago Tribune

Major Newark Runway Closing for 10 Days: Newark’s primary runway will be closed for 10 days as the airport wraps up a $97 million improvement project. Read more at FlyerTalk



Amtrak Funding Reauthorization Bill Still Keeps High-Speed Rail Plans on Track: Amtrak is preparing to receive less funding from Congress for new construction, but that isn’t deterring plans for high-speed rail service along the northeast corridor in the future. Read more at Skift

Travel Habits of Americans: Only 10 Percent of Americans Travel Frequently For Business: For all the attention paid to business travel worldwide, the absolute number of frequent business travelers remains small. Read more at Skift



Marriott Wants You to Vacation on a Virtual Beach: Marriott Hotels is betting the future of travel will be, at least in part, virtual. The hotel brand is rolling out Oculus Rift technology at select hotel locations to enable guests to virtually explore the black sand beaches of Hawaii or the city of London. Read more at NBC News

Room Mate Hotels Enters Apartment Rentals Game With BeMate Launch: This week, Room Mate Hotels launched BeMate.com, a site travelers can use to book apartments managed by the hotel in select cities in Europe and North America. There are 2,500 apartments in 10 cities so far, including New York, Miami, Mexico City, Florence, and Amsterdam. By the end of 2015, BeMate plans to expand to 200 cities and will also launch an app for iPhone and Android users. Read More at Skift

Redesign of the Year: Reinventing an Old-School Lake-Side Motor Inn: Revitalizing an old school lake house and modernizing the Adirondack experience for guests, that was the big challenge for Lake House, a 44-room hotel located in the heart of Lake Placid, New York, a town famous for hosting the Olympics (twice) while maintaining its small town charm. Read More at Skift

Your Turn

The University of Michigan’s plans to fly a drone over last weekend’s football game were smacked down by the FAA. We can’t get a break this year.

Tips and Comments

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: The existing TSA liquids warning. Grant Wickes / Flickr

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