What to Know Now

Good news is on the horizon for American Airlines passengers: the airline announced this past weekend that they’re investing deeply in the passenger experience. That means new seats, better in-flight entertainment (especially on long haul routes) and refurbished airports.

Part of this is actually an extension of the already-existing plans to overhaul the long haul and freshen up the domestic fleet, but it’s nice to see the marked shift in focus away from the merger and towards the consumer experience. After all, American is getting getting walloped by Delta and United (let alone Virgin America and Jetblue) in the inflight entertainment category.

Point is, the worst may be over for American fliers. Let’s get some more of those lie-flat seats in circulation.

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SOCIAL QUOTE OF THE DAY

I think @AmericanAir quietly dropped a # PaxEx bomb. Looks like its upcoming 787s will include a “Business Suite.”

@airlineflyer | Jason Rabinowitz, RouteHappy data research manager

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Airlines

Etihad Revamps In-Flight Amenities Without Ignoring Coach Class: Etihad Airways has introduced new in-flight service products from nose to tail, with some tasty touches to please all passengers. Read more at Skift

Travel Agents Accidentally Sold 900 Singapore Air Business Class Seats at Coach Prices: Singapore Airlines Ltd. is working with travel agents in Australia to recover the difference in fares on about 900 business-class tickets that were mistakenly sold at economy-seat prices. Read more at Skift

American Air to Spend $2 Billion on Upgraded Seats, Entertainment: American Airlines Group Inc. will spend $2 billion on new aircraft seats, in-flight entertainment and onboard power outlets as it chases its rivals led by Delta Air Lines Inc. in updating amenities for passengers. Read more at Skift

Ryanair Keeps Improving on Its Already Great Year: Europe’s biggest budget airline announced its third profits upgrade of the year Thursday on the back of unexpectedly strong winter seat sales. Shares surged more than 9 percent to above 9.50 euros ($11.70), a record high and nearly 50 percent above the stock’s price a year ago. Read more at Skift

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Airports

Philippines Prepares for Typhoon With Cancelled Flights: The Philippines moved thousands of people to safer ground and stockpiled food, with flights canceled as the country prepares for Super Typhoon Hagupit, a category-5 storm expected to make landfall tomorrow. Read more at Skift

Changi Airport Breaks Ground on the Terminal of the Future: Changi Airport and its project partner CapitalMalls Asia, have broken ground on the 3.5 hectare site of the future Jewel Changi—a multi-use complex at the heart of the airport, in front of Terminal 1. Read more at Skift

North America’s Most Frustrating Airports, as Ranked by FlyerTalk Members & Bloomberg: Bloomberg Businessweek surveyed its readers and FlyerTalk members to compile an index of the most and least irritating airports in North America. Read more at Flyertalk

Airports Around the World Aren’t Skimping on Holiday Celebrations: It’s difficult to imagine anything easing the pain of cramped coach seats, overpriced airport food and cancelled flights over the busy holiday period, but airports worldwide are pulling out all the stops in attempt to brighten flyers’ travel experience. Read more at Skift

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Tech

Lyft Hires New Finance, Marketing Executives in Car-Booking Competition: Lyft Inc. named a new chief marketing officer and chief financial officer, filling out its executive ranks as it competes in the car-booking market with Uber Technologies Inc. Read more at Skift

The Promises That Led to Uber’s $40 Billion Valuation: Can a company that didn’t exist five years ago, an upstart with a knack for angering regulators who could close it down, really be worth $40 billion? Read more at Skift

 

Hotels

The Content Marketing Strategy Behind Kimpton Hotels’ Website: Over the last decade, many of the boutique/design and smaller luxury hotel brands have been at the forefront of content marketing trends, mainly because they’ve always positioned themselves as lifestyle experiences. Read more at Skift

Interview: Montage CEO on Delivering an Ultra-Personalized Guest Experience: Montage Hotels & Resorts is a luxury hotel and resorts management company that’s built its reputation on ultra-personalized service in warm weather destinations in Hawaii, Mexico, and California. Read more at Skift

InterContinental Keeps Divesting, Sells Le Grand Hotel in Paris for $405 Million: InterContinental Hotels Group Plc, Europe’s second-largest publicly traded hotel operator, accepted a 330 million-euro ($405 million) cash offer from Constellation Hotels Holding Ltd. for Le Grand hotel in Paris. Read more at Skift

Your Turn

Volume 10 of The Best Women’s Travel Writing from Lavinia spalding just hit shelves. Check it out here.

Tips and Comments

Can be sent to gm@skift.com and @grantkmartin. We publish the Business Newsletter twice a week on Tuesday and Thursday.

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Photo Credit: American Airlines is cleaning up its cabins. American Airlines