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What to Know Now
Today begins another rough week for the business travelers crisscrossing the country as winter storm “Quantum” plods through the American south. As of last night, more than 1,000 flights were canceled at DFW alone — as the storm pushes east, Atlanta, a large Delta hub, could be in for trouble.
Reports from the underground are already suggesting that phone wait times can be over an hour, so do yourself a favor, check up on your itinerary and get your business in order before heading out this week. If your flights go…. south…. T+L’s Amy Farley has a good primer on how to get things back on track.
Social Quote of the Day
Want to reach United without a two-hour wait (or any wait at all)? Call 800-537-2999 and press #1.
Delta Has a Short-Term Fix for Late Baggage Problems: Delta Air Lines Inc. is hoping to make waiting on your bags a little less annoying with a new on-time delivery guarantee. The catch: It’s not permanent. Read more at Skift
South African Airways Investigates Allegations Against Suspended CEO: The board of South African Airways is to convene a formal disciplinary inquiry into the conduct of suspended Chief Executive Officer Monwabisi Kalawe. Read more at Skift
Roundup: The Blowback From Delta CEO’s Open Skies Escalation: U.S. airlines have been sparring for several years with fast-growing Persian Gulf rivals that seem to be poaching passengers from the Americans. Now, a CEO’s comment that dragged 9/11 into the debate has escalated the fight. Read more at Skift
Air Canada Named Leading Airline in Customer Loyalty: Air Canada has been named the leading airline in customer loyalty according to an annual survey conducted by Brand Keys, a New York-based market research firm. The Brands Key 2015 Customer Loyalty Engagement Index (CLEI) interviewed 36,605 consumers in the U.S. and Canada and included 540 brands in 65 categories. Read more at FlyerTalk
The White House’s Dream for Better U.S. Airports for International Arrivals: From mobile apps to automated passport control kiosks and separate lanes for visitors who only arrive with carry-on bags, the U.S. federal government has abundant plans to overhaul the international arrivals crunch and meet the U.S. goal of welcoming 100 million international travelers by 2021. Read more at Skift
The New Dogs Behind the TSA’s New Explosive Sniffing Effort: The Transportation Security Administration has shown off dogs that are being used to detect explosives and explosive components at Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Romulus. Read more at Skift
Airports told to curb drinking after surge in ‘air rage’ attacks: Airports have been told to impose tougher restrictions on the sale of alcohol after figures showed a tripling in “air rage” incidents in three years. Read more at The Times
World’s Top Airports for Passenger Experience and Traveler Satisfaction: As the world’s largest airports battle to claim the “world’s busiest” title it’s often smaller airports serving fewer than 20 million annual passengers that are better positioned to provide superior service to travelers. Read more at Skift
Interview: Hipmunk CEO on Online Travel’s Race to the Middle: Adam Goldstein, co-founder and CEO of four-year-old metasearch site Hipmunk, sees competitors rushing to be more like online travel agencies, and online travel agencies starting to offer metasearch results on their own search results pages. Read more at Skift
Priceline Group to Acquire Rocketmiles for $20 Million: The Priceline Group will acquire Rocketmiles for around $20 million, according to the Wall Street Journal. Read more at Skift
Starwood’s Room Growth Fell Short of Its Competitors in 2014: Major hotel groups are in an arms race to introduce new rooms and enter new markets in a fight for the growing number of international travelers. Read more at Skift
The Biggest Hotel Group You’ve Never Heard Of: Destination Hotels is the largest independent hotel operator in North America, yet most travelers have never heard of it. Read more at WendyPerrin.com
The Next Generation of Hotel Wi-Fi Is Finally Coming on Line: There are few things more annoying to travelers than paying for hotel Wi-Fi that only works when and where it wants to. Read more at Skift
How Can I Get VIP Perks at a Hotel? Let’s face it: hotels favor certain guests over others. Some will always be offered the biggest rooms with the best views, the extra attention, and all the perks (welcome gifts, on-site credit) that make staying at a hotel a little bit nicer. Read more at Travel + Leisure
The lovely Anna Brones has a new book out on Fika, the art of Swedish coffee breaks. Find it here.
Tips and Comments
Can be sent to gm[at]skift[dot]com or to @grantkmartin