What to Know Now
When Marisa Garcia published an article on loyalty program fraud last week, I’ll admit that I wasn’t the first person running down the street screaming. But sure enough, scarcely a week later, there’s news that Hilton’s HHonors program has been hacked. Members of the program have been reporting random charges on their HHonors credit cards and points being stolen from their accounts. Apparently, some hackers are getting some nice free vacations in Bora Bora.
Social Quote of the Day
Nice! @Uber & @AmericanExpress offering *free rides* SF to SFO today to celebrate new #TheCenturionLounge. Details: http://bit.ly/1y4j6nO
Air Berlin CEO Voluntarily Steps Down After Two-Year Turnaround Effort: Germany’s second-biggest airline, Air Berlin, says its chief executive will step down in early 2015 after two years piloting the company’s turnaround effort. Read more at Skift
Virgin America’s IPO Could Not Be Better Timed: Virgin America is going public at a particularly fortuitous time for U.S. airlines: Fares cost more, jet fuel costs less, and exuberant demand from travelers hasn’t tempted a crop of new competitors into the fray. Read more at Skift
Americans Are Officially the Unhappiest Air Travelers on Earth: A survey conducted by aviation IT specialists at SITA has found that passengers in the Americas are the unhappiest flyers globally, with 28% expressing dissatisfaction with their air travel experience. Read more at Skift
NYC & Company Expands Neighborhood Campaign to JFK Airport: Six months after taking the helm of New York City’s tourism organization NYC & Company, CEO Fred Dixon is rolling out a series of initiatives whose success will help define his influence moving forward. Read more at Skift
The TSA Has a New Record for Guns Found at Airport Checkpoints: As in 2012 and 2013, the number of guns discovered at airport security checkpoints by the Transportation Security Administration surpassed the number of guns discovered in the previous year. The 2013 tally was 1,813 weapons found, 1,477 of which were loaded. In 2012 the total was 1,550. Read more at Skift
TSA chief says popular Pre-check will expand next year: The head of the Transportation Security Administration voiced confidence Tuesday in Pre-check to scrutinize the riskiest travelers the most, but he said the key to longevity for the program is whether there is criticism after another potential terrorist attack. Read more at USA Today
Heathrow’s New Scent Dispenser Helps Passengers Get in the Mood to Travel: What’s the scent of an exciting holiday in Rio? How does a day wasting away on the beach in Phuket smell? Will a Tokyo shopping spree be appeal to your nose? Only Heathrow Airport knows. Read more at Skift
Understanding the Digital Habits of Millennial Business Travelers: When Millennials travel for business, they use mobile devices more often than their other colleagues. In a recent survey, among the 75% of travelers (representing multiple age groups) who indicated that they use smartphones for business and personal reasons during travel, respondents 18–30 years old were the most likely to do so. Read more at Skift
Self-Service Will Soon Be the Standard at International Airports: Self-service kiosks, self-bag drops and self-boarding services are going to appear more frequently at international airports, according to the 2014 SITA/ACI Airport IT Trends Survey. Read more at Skift
Confused Hotels Are Slow to Sign Up for TripAdvisor Instant Booking: Best Western and Choice Hotels are the big-name hotel brands that have been participating in TripAdvisor Instant Booking, but the pace of signing up additional chains has been slower than TripAdvisor expected and some of the hotels are confused about the feature. Read more at Skift
Hilton HHonors Hit by Hackers, Points Stolen & Credit Cards Charged: Hilton HHonors is at the center of a security crisis. According to reports and testaments from FlyerTalk readers, hackers are finding their way into HHonors member accounts, stealing points, and using registered credit cards to make unauthorized purchases of more points and hotel stays. Read more at Flyertalk
For those interested in the new AmEx Centurion lounge coming to San Francisco, The Points Guy has a nice preview.