What to Know Now

There’s sad news over this holiday season with the loss of another Asian aircraft in waters off of Indonesia. Air Asia Flight 8501 took off from Surabaya, Indonesia on the morning of December 28th and reported weather problems. Wreckage believed to be from the missing airplane was found on Tuesday.

For its part, Air Asia and its CEO have been quick to respond and provide updates through Facebook and Twitter, setting a new standard for communication by an airline in a crisis.

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Social Quote of the Day

It’s reckless to say a single incident with undetermined cause is a “Blow to AirAsia strategy”  http://bit.ly/1AZwXiX #QZ8501

@winglets747 | Will Horton, Analyst at CAPA

View of Qatar's second A380 and A350 XWB sharklet 2014-12-22 13.29.27 copy

Airlines

Why Continued Airline Fuel Surcharges Aren’t Always a Bad Idea: New York Senator Charles Schumer has always been relentless in defending the middle class (or at least in presenting himself that way), but his latest cause doesn’t make much sense. Last week, Schumer called for a Justice Department investigation into why airlines aren’t lowering ticket prices in tandem with plunging fuel costs. Read more at Skift

Can Qatar Airways’ New Plane Turn Doha Airport Into a Global Hub? During the reveal of the new Qatar A350XWB in Toulouse, Airbus’ Dr. Kiran Rao, Executive Vice President, Strategy and Marketing highlighted that adding this aircraft to its fleet helps Qatar position itself as global axis hub, out of its new Hamad International Airport in Doha. Read more at Skift

EasyJet’s Growing Success Leads Cabin Crew to Strike for Better Pay in France: French cabin-crew unions SPNC and UNAC are demanding a larger share of EasyJet’s profits after earnings were boosted by more than a fifth this year. The carrier ramped up its presence at key airports and targeted corporate travelers amid intensifying competition as full-service rivals faced strikes over their efforts to develop discount units. Read more at Skift

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Airports

Airline Industry Bemoans Current State of Air Traffic Control in U.S.: Airline passengers fret about the lack of free Wi-Fi on planes or the nuisance of reclining seats, an air traffic control issue looms much more quietly in the background. Read more at Skift

Millennials Worry Most That Airport Security Is Becoming Too Lax: After 13 years of post-9/11 airport security—the rituals of removing shoes and belts, unpacking electronics, putting tiny bottles of liquid in clear plastic bags—most travelers are still frustrated with it. Read more at Skift

The U.S.’s Largest Airport Solar Farm Is Now Online: Contractors have finished bringing online dozens of acres of solar panels at Indianapolis International Airport, solidifying its status as the home of the nation’s largest airport-based solar farm. Read more at Skift

New York City Transport Hubs Still a Mess After Failures by Governors and Legislatures: Governors Chris Christie and Andrew Cuomo declined to sign legislation passed unanimously in both of their state legislatures that would change the management structure at the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. Read more at Skift

Dan Rauch

Tech

Uber Moves to Patent the Surge Pricing Its Customers Hate: Uber applied for a U.S. patent last year for “dynamically adjusting prices for service” using mobile devices. The system measures supply (Uber drivers) and demand (passengers hailing rides with smartphones), and prices fares accordingly. Read more at Skift

Interview: Rocketrip CEO on What Business Travelers Really Desire: Rocketrip offers corporations a platform that provides rewards to employees for beating certain budgets on their trips. Tactics might include booking an apartment through Airbnb or staying with friends instead of at a hotel on a business trip. Read more at Skift

Google and Microsoft Team Up Against Hotel Industry on Wi-Fi Jamming: The battle over hotel Wi-Fi is not merely whether it is provided for free or for a fee: There is also a fight at the FCC that boils down to the issue of whether guests essentially will be forced to use a property’s Wi-Fi network or whether they can bring their own. Read more at Skift

Sir Rocco Forte

Hotels

Hyatt Introduces Free Wi-Fi Throughout All Its Properties: Hyatt Hotels announced today that it would begin providing free Wi-Fi in guest rooms and public spaces at all Hyatt hotels worldwide as of February 2015. Read more at Skift

Interview: How Sir Rocco Forte Builds a European Luxury Hotel Brand: Rocco Forte Hotels operates ten hotels in Europe that help define the luxury hotel experience in their markets with properties emblematic of their cities’ modern history. Read more at Skift

Inside Marriott’s Ambitious Homegrown Content Marketing Efforts: Marriott International is doubling down on content, and it has its own in-house team to prove it. Read more at Skift

Interview: Hilton CEO on Being Everything to Every Guest Everywhere: Hilton Worldwide is among the top U.S.-headquartered hospitality corporations that are quickly innovating to meet customers’ changing demands across technology, experience, and mindfulness. Read more Skift

Your Turn

Bloggers are reporting that they’ve been able to book Etihad’s new A380 apartments with as little as 40,000 frequent flyer miles. Get started over at Running With Miles

Tips and Comments

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

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Photo Credit: Malaysia's AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes speaks during a news conference at Forbes Global CEO Conference in Kuala Lumpur September 14, 2011. Bazuki Muhammad / Reuters