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What to Know Now

This past week, AT&T quietly pulled out of the in-flight internet race that they awkwardly entered earlier this year. It was a surprising move when they launched — the company planned to use an air-to-ground network to supply speeds similar to what’s currently on the market — except everyone else had fully mature products and was innovating past that.

Between the cost of implementation and other business developments, apparently AT&T decided that in-flight Wi-Fi wasn’t worth the bother. For the current providers that’s great news, and Gogo, which currently manages the lion’s share of business in the US is probably ecstatic.

For the consumer, our only concern should now be focused on price. As a person who just paid $6.99 for (United/Panasonic) service between SFO and SEA, my concern is that we’ll someday be exposed to the monopolistic tendencies of one belligerent airline or signal provider. We all have to get work done inflight, but how much is too much?

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I just boarded a tiny ancient toothpaste tube that is apparently also a United plane.

@TheBrockJohnson  | Ben Johnson, host of Marketplace Tech

South African Airways


Etihad Has Already Booked Its $20,000 Flying Suite’s First Ten Trips: The $20,000 ‘Residence’ suite on Etihad Airways PJSC’s first Airbus Group NV A380 superjumbo, featuring three rooms and a dedicated butler, is already sold out for the first 10 flights, the Gulf carrier said. Read more at Skift

Take a look at the new Delta domestic First Class seat: It’s an interesting design, and I’m more of a fan of this than the previous dull blue one. Read more at The Forward Cabin

South African Government Orders South African Airways to Hire Recovery Experts: South African Airways was ordered by the government to appoint turnaround specialists and complete overdue financial statements in a quest to return the state-owned airline to profitability. Read more at Skift



U.S. Airlines Sue Port of Seattle Over Airport Workers Wage Hikes: U.S. airlines are suing the Port of Seattle to block planned pay increases for airport workers, in the latest legal battle over efforts to better compensate workers in a state with the highest minimum wage in the country. Read more at Yahoo News

People Express Told to Leave Newport News-Williamsburg Airport Terminal: The Peninsula Airport Commission gave People Express notice to leave the Newport News-Williamsburg International Airport terminal Monday because the company has not paid the airport approximately $100,000 in passenger facility charges. Read more at the Daily Press

New Options for Delta Flyers at SFO: Delta flyers at SFO can now take a yoga break, partake of local organic food and wine or check out a cool museum space at SFO. Read more at Travel Skills



AT&T Scraps Plans to Introduce In-Flight Wi-Fi: AT&T Inc., the second-biggest U.S. mobile-phone carrier, is scrapping its plans to introduce 4G LTE wireless Internet access on commercial flights to conserve cash as it expands internationally. Read more at Skift

Tourists to Encounter Higher London Transit Fares Next Year: London underground and bus fares will increase by an average of 2.5 percent across the city’s public transport network next year, while all-day tariffs for Oyster card holders will decline by as much as 31 percent. Read more at Skift

Mobile Will Rival Desktop for Digital Travel Research by Next Year: eMarketer projects 2015 will be a major turning point for how travelers research their trips, predicting nearly half of digital travel researchers will check out flights, hotels and more not only on a desktop or laptop but also, or only, via mobile. Read more at Skift



Fairfield Inn Brings Games and Social Media to NYC Streets: Fairfield Inn & Suites brought its new “Stay Amazing” campaign to life last month for two days in New York City’s Flat Iron neighborhood, sparking a consumer-led social boost. Read more at Skift

CheckMate Gives Hotels a New Way to Connect With Guests Before Arrival: Hotels using the CheckMate guest engagement platform potentially can start to make some inroads in reaching out to those customers through deals that CheckMate has signed with Expedia, Kayak, Travelocity, Orbitz, Sabre’s TripCase, and Concur, says CheckMate co-founder and CEO Drew Patterson. Read more at Skift

Headless Pineapples, Paper Hats and More Small Ways Hotels Go Green: New York’s Waldorf Astoria is known for its historic significance and old-school luxury, but behind its well-maintained decor is an innovative approach to environmental and social responsibility. Read more at Skift

Your Turn

Lest you think the Skift Business Traveler is too soft on Gogo, Cory Doctorow from BoingBoing has a pointed story on how hard it is to cancel their recurring service. Take a read here.

Tips and Comments

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

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Photo Credit: Gogo's promotional jet at Austin's SXSW in March 2014. Gogo