What to Know Now
We’ve all been subject to the benefits and constraints of airline alliances, but most can agree that partnerships like Oneworld, Star Alliance, and Skyteam are good for the traveling public.
They empower passengers to earn benefits across multiple carriers allowing mileage accrual, checked baggage, lounge access and a variety of other perks to percolate across airlines. They also extend route networks far beyond the reach of one simple airline. And until now, the three big alliances were nearly infallible.
Abu Dhabi-based Etihad wants to change that. The airline that has tenuous partnerships with a few carriers around the world but no formal allegiance this week announced that they were forming their own anti-alliance with Air Berlin, Jet, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles and Darwin Airlines.
The alliance, simply called Etihad Airways Partners, will allow airlines to remain in their own home alliance (such as Airberlin in Oneworld) but will aim to simply operations across carriers through a variety of tools, including the mileage programs.
As to the exact details for how this alliance will shake out, few have been published. But if the partnership ossifies, the legacy alliances should have some fresh new competition.
Social Quote of the Day
Airbnb gets off easy in San Francisco. Hosts? Not so much… http://buswk.co/1o0jUue
Bangkok Airways Plans $430 Million IPO to Help it Modernize: Bangkok Airways Pcl, Thailand’s oldest private carrier, is seeking as much as 14 billion baht ($430 million) in the country’s third-biggest initial public offering this year. Read more at Skift
Virgin America Will Need to Raise Fees, JetBlue Poised To Do So: Passengers cherish Virgin America for its mood lighting, live TV, fancy cocktails and friendly flight attendants. That nice-guy approach to air travel wins awards and attracts a cult following, but may not fly with Wall Street. Read more at Skift
Air France’s Pilot Strike Cost the Airline at Least $631 Million: Air France-KLM says a 14-day pilots’ strike that grounded about half the airline’s flights cost the company 500 million euros ($631 million). Read more at Skift
President Barack Obama Says U.S. Will Tighten Screening for Airline Passenger: President Barack Obama, facing mounting public pressure to head off any chance of an Ebola outbreak in the U.S., said his administration will tighten screening protocols for airline passengers. Read more at Skift
Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport Is Psyched About Its New Tesla Taxis: If you think Schiphol’s new airport taxi video looks like a car commercial, it’s because, technically, it is. Read more at Skift
U.S. Homeland Security Ordered to Monitor Flyers for Ebola Signs: The Homeland Security Department has ordered agents at airports and other ports of entry to observe everyone coming into the United States for potential signs of Ebola infection, officials said Wednesday. Read more at Skift
Rival Hotel Chains Respond to Marriott’s Wi-Fi Blocking Practices: The controversy over hotels’ Wi-Fi fees grew last week as news spread that Marriott International had jammed conference attendee’s personal Wi-Fi networks at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee. Read more at Skift
How Technology Is Upending the Meetings Industry: The discussion revolving around event technology in destination meetings has exploded in the last year among hotels and tourism bureaus trying to come to grips with the exponential growth in demand for event tech and the onslaught of new tech providers. Read more at Skift
The Best Map App for Every Kind of Transportation: Many people use smartphone apps to map their drive to dinner or find a less-congested route to work. But did you know that you can use them for public transit, too? You can even access some maps offline, when you have a spotty connection or are in the subway. Read more at Skift
The New Generation of Extended-Stay Hotel Guests Is Getting Younger: The extended-stay guest is getting a lot younger, very fast. While the typical guest is in their mid-40s, the target guest for Residence Inn is 33 years old, says Diane Mayer, VP and global brand manager, Residence Inn by Marriott. Why? Read more at Skift
San Francisco legalizes short-term rentals amid housing squeeze: After months of debate and three public hearings lasting hours, San Francisco amended longstanding housing laws Tuesday to allow for short-term rentals through online services like Airbnb. Read more at The San Francisco Examiner
Barcelo Hotels Working to Balance Owned and Managed Properties: For hotels wanting to expand across large geographies and still maintain high quality, new construction and ownership isn’t always a viable route. Read more at Skift