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Last Friday, Air Canada made a series of changes to their 2016 mileage program that will effectively cut back on many of the benefits for elites. Among their changes are stricter rules for mileage accrual, additional fees for award tickets and fewer lounge benefits.
For their part, the folks who run their mileage program seem unapologetic, suggesting that giving free upgrades to elites “cheapens” the experience for paid first class passengers.
Though a kick in the shin to Canadian business travelers, the changes unfortunately seems to be a growing trend among mileage programs. As the profits keep coming in, airlines are taking every opportunity they can to cut back on costs and transfer power away from the consumers. Today it’s in Canada. Tomorrow it will be in the US.
Social Quote of the Day
@Aeroplan Why must you make your program less attractive every year? Shouldn’t it be the other way around?
Virgin Atlantic Unveils Its Dreamliner to Keep Its Cool, But Profits Elusive: Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd. flew its first Boeing Co. 787 to the Atlanta base of U.S. shareholder Delta Air Lines Inc. yesterday, with the cabin pounding to live music from a synthesizer-wielding dance duo. Read more at Skift
Here’s Why Those Stories Claiming Ticket Prices are Cheaper on Sundays are Completely Wrong: You might have heard about a report put out by the Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) saying that plane tickets are cheapest when you buy them on Sunday. In short, you’re NOT going to save money by booking on a Sunday. I’ll explain why that’s the case below. Read more at Cranky Flier
Air New Zealand Taps Hobbit Celebrities for New Safety Video: Air New Zealand is one of several international airlines whose brand recognition has exploded in recent years thanks to viral digital videos. Creating ads and safety videos that star celebrities and make potential customers laugh is a trend that’s significantly improved airlines’ marketing strategies. Read more at Skift
How To Complain To Airlines On Twitter (And What You’re Doing Wrong). There’s plenty of value that a consumer can take out of correctly using social media — especially when phone lines are jammed and the trip is already underway. To be most effective, however, it takes discipline and practice. Here are are a few steps towards turning the tide in your direction. Read more at Forbes
Newark Airport’s Ebola Response Called ‘A Frenzy of Disorganization: A nurse who tested negative for Ebola said officials at Newark Airport in New Jersey appeared confused and disorganized, and provided her only a granola bar for food while she was detained for more than six hours after she arriving from Sierra Leone. Read more at Skift
A Private Tour of the Eerie Abandoned Terminal at JFK: Few paragons of architecture are more exalted and less accessible than Eero Saarinen’s Trans World Airlines (TWA) Flight Center at John F. Kennedy Airport. Last weekend, we hopped a Howard Beach-bound A train for one last chance to experience this sublime offering to the gods of the Jet Age in its original form. Read more at NeedSupply
Maglev Train Company Wants to Take Riders From NYC to DC in 40 Minute: Magnetic levitation, or maglev, trains are something of a scientific marvel. Like planes, the trains start their journey on wheels and end up in the air. When they’re going fast enough, the magnetic force pushes and lifts the trains above the tracks. Without the friction between train wheels and tracks, they’re able to travel at hundreds of miles an hour. Read more at Skift
Hertz Shows the Future of GPS Navigation With its New Tour App: Getting travelers from Point A to Point B is a steadfast goal of car rental companies, and the industry is shifting towards giving travelers an experience along their route, rather than only offering global positioning system navigation. Read more at Skift
Yahoo Mail Now Caters to Travelers: Users of Yahoo Mail for iOS and Android now have access to services that will help them make all their flights and meetings on-time. The latest update, which is viewed as Yahoo presenting direct competition with Google Now, offers users personalized event and travel notification. Read more at FlyerTalk
Marriott Uses its Own Staff to Recruit Employees in New Campaign: Every hotel wants to attract the best and brightest talent, and Marriott’s new strategy to recruit employees is spearheaded by people who know the hotel best: its own staff. Read more at Skift
Courtyard by Marriott Lures Millennials with Wine, Dance and … Dogsleds? On the homepage of the newly redesigned Courtyard by Marriott website, the full-screen slideshow shows a barefoot girl alone in bed with her laptop, a girl drinking wine with a handsome guy, another girl drinking wine with another handsome guy, and a girl drinking craft beer with two handsome guys. Read more at Skift
Shangri-La Hotels to Raise Up to $674 Million in Rights Offer: Shangri-La Asia Ltd., one of Asia’s biggest luxury-hotel operators, will raise as much as HK$5.23 billion ($674 million) in a 1-for-7 rights offer to pay bank loans and fund capital spending. Read more at Skift
The new aviation news and culture website run by Brian Sumers (a Skift contributor!) is picking up steam. Check it out over on BrianSumers.com