Skift Take

What to Know Now

Delta has been on a multi-year effort transforming the airline into the premium American carrier (eviscerating their mileage program in the process). Their most recent update came early this week to their cabin experience. Coming soon, they’ll be rebuilding their cabins with new seats, architectures and branding throughout in a nearly complete overhaul.

The basics of the updates are in Delta’s newsroom and YouTube videos, but a few interesting things sift to the surface. The first is that Delta should now be bringing a much wider spectrum of products to the market, and that range of selection should really appeal to travelers. As part of that though, basic economy tickets are expanding, meaning that more ultra-budget travelers will be forfeiting their benefits (including upgrades) while traveling. For more in-depth analysis check out The Points Guy.

Either way, Delta is going to look much fancier on the surface in the coming years, and for the lion’s share of travelers, that’s a good thing. Everyone likes fancy.

Subscribe to the newsletter here and send tips to or @grantkmartin.

Social Quote of the Day

As of now, 235 flights have been cancelled. Please contact your airline directly for flight status and @511SFBay for traffic info. #SFO

@flySFO | San Francisco International Airport



SAS Airlines’ New Plane Is Tweeting Its Way Into Existence: SAS’ Viking is pretty excited over getting flash new interiors and fresh coat of paint. Read more at Skift

Korean Air Exec Quits Over Macadamia Nut PR Embarrassment: Heather Cho, daughter of Korean Air Lines Co. Chairman Cho Yang Ho, resigned after her decision to remove an employee from a plane over the service of macadamia nuts created a public backlash. Read more at Skift

Airlines Are Already Banking on a Stellar 2015, Thanks to Oil Prices: Airlines will post higher-than- expected record earnings this year and are likely to reap a further 25 percent gain in 2015, aided by economic growth and cheap fuel, the International Air Transport Association said. Read more at Skift

ostrich pillow


Why the TSA Just Had Its Best Year Ever: Outgoing head of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) John Pistole spoke at the George Washington University Homeland Security Policy Institute last week and received glowing reviews of his tenure. Read more at Skift

The 8 Best Bad Ideas in Air Travel for 2014: Every year brings good things, bad things, funny things, and silly things in aviation. This year was no different. Read more at Skift

The Asia-Pacific Airports Where Passengers Love Their Smartphones: Airports, airlines, and retailers are keen on learning how smartphone usage plays out at airports in the Asia-Pacific region given the prevalence of mobile booking throughout the area. Read more at Skift

ANA Takeoff App


Marriott’s New App Expands Mobile Check-ins: Marriott redesigned its iOS and Android apps and expanded its mobile check-ins, room-ready alerts and checkout capabilities to some 4,000 properties globally. Read more at Skift

Routehappy Secures $3.3 Million in Funding to Boost Airlines’ Ancillary Services: Routehappy, which started out building a flight and onboard amenity rating system, secured $3.3 million in funding as it seeks to build partnerships with airlines and distributors to help carriers organize, track and display their myriad ancillary services. Read more at Skift

FAA’s New In-Flight Device Rule Breeds Takeoff Relaxation App: It’s been one year since the FAA approved in-flight electronic usage during takeoff and landing, sparking a change in regulation in many countries worldwide.Airlines one-by-one announced the new rules with playful social media updates, but few have introduced new products to take advantage of the few minutes that passengers gained. Read more at Skift

Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park


2014 European Hotel Design Awards Favor Timeless Luxury: The winners of this year’s European Hotel Design Awards (EHDA), announced during Sleeper Magazine’s Sleep event in London last month, emphasized classic elegance and global hospitality chains. Read more at Skift

Marriott Opens First AC Hotel in North America, Imports European Sophistication: November marked a historic event for AC Hotels by Marriott. The Spanish hotel chain finally arrived in North America and opened its first location in New Orleans. Read more at FlyerTalk

Hotel Urbano Launches Short-Term Rental Site With Installment Payment Option: The Rio de Janeiro-based online travel agency, Hotel Urbano, has launched a short-term rental site to meet demand that hotels can’t meet in big cities and for international events, and has done so with a twist — guests have the option of paying for a stay in 10 installments. Read more at Skift

Interview: AKA CEO on Service at Luxury Extended-Stay Properties: In 1966 Larry Korman’s father realized that there was demand for furnished apartments with short-term leases as an alternative to traditional hotels. It started with just one apartment, which Korman started working at when he was ten years old. He later went through a training management program to learn the more “traditional formal art of hotel hospitality.” Read more at Skift


Our congratulations go out to the team at RouteHappy for raising $3.3M to continue their efforts to make air travel more comfortable and informative. Happy travels!

Tips and Comments

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

Subscribe to the Skift Business Traveler Newsletter

Subscribe to Skift Pro

Subscribe to Skift Pro to get unlimited access to stories like these ($30/month)

Subscribe Now

Tags: skift business newsletter, skift business traveler

Photo Credit: Delta's new Comfort+ seats. Delta Air Lines