What to Know Now

Samantha Shankman touches on the important topic of technology adoption in the hotel world in an article about hotel CEOs this week. In her article, management ruminates on what tech truly means to young travelers — whether it’s the latest gadget on the planet or whether it’s the application of the latest gadget on the planet to make the consumer experience better that makes the biggest difference.

There’s an important distinction to draw here between the two concepts. On one hand, hotels that poorly attempt to market to millennials always seem to end up throwing every technical gadget and overused stock model they can at the wall. Those that end up properly attracting millennials, however, may only need to apply technology subtly and professionally to make a lasting impression. Read Sam’s article above to get an idea of which CEOs are getting the idea right.

Social Quote of the Day

Ok, I need an explainer on Meerkat. Last few days I thought it was that bird-carrying-weasel/meerkat meme. Turns out, well, I am an idiot.

@rafat | Rafat Ali, Skift Founder

 British Airways patent proposed Business class suite, isometric view


Delta’s New Fares Mean Choice for Passengers and $1.5 Billion for the Airline: Delta Air Lines introduced branded flight products over the weekend and CFO Paul Jacobson estimates they will generate $1.5 billion annually in incremental revenue by 2018. Read more at Skift

New Seat Designs From British Airways That We Really Hope Will Fly: British Airways has filed a patent application for a number of seating innovations which could revolutionize the design of aircraft cabins. Read more at Skift

Emirates Argues Why It’s Good for Europe’s Economy: Emirates said its airline operations added a 6.8 billion-euro ($7.6 billion) annual windfall to the European economy, as the Dubai-based carrier seeks to blunt mounting criticism from rivals that it receives market-distorting state subsidies. Read more at Skift

Virgin America Wants to Start Flying to Honolulu This Year: Virgin America CEO David Cush said the airline will have the capability to start flying from Los Angeles to Honolulu later this year, although it has yet to make a decision about the route. Read more at Skift



American Airlines President Regrets Not Fighting Harder Over Dallas Love Field: There’s one nagging thing that American Airlines Group president Scott Kirby regrets about the 2013 settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice that cleared the way for the US Airways-American Airlines merger — the airline gave up too much at Dallas Love Field. Read more at Skift

New Food Options Coming to a United Club Near You! Domestic airline lounges in the USA do not have the best reputation. A place to get a drink and sit out your flight delay in a dark, cigar lounge atmosphere? United does not like that thought, and they have decided to do something about it. Read more at Airlinereporter.com

Obama Signs Bill Funding Homeland Security and the TSA: President Barack Obama has signed a law funding the Homeland Security Department through the end of the budget year. Read more at Skift

Guests wait outside at the Hilton, New York's largest Hotel, on Sixth Avenue


How 5 Top Hotel CEOs Are Using Tech Power to Drive Personalization: Not every consumer wants to see the hotel check-in process ditch the human interaction in favor of apps, i-Beacons, and touch screens. Read more at Skift

Hyundai lets owners control their cars with smartwatches: Hey, Hyundai owners, it’s finally here: the Blue Link companion app for smartwatches that the automaker promised back during CES this year. And yes, you can use it to remotely lock/unlock doors, start/stop the engine, flash lights or honk any Blue Link-enabled car’s horn, even if it’s as old as the 2012 Sonata. Read more at Engadget

The Data People Surrender to Use Their Favorite Travel Apps: Between booking yurts on Airbnb through an iPhone to tracking traffic in real-time on Waze, mobile apps have completely changed the way we travel. Read more at Skift



Starwood Loyalty Program Gains Value While Others Drop Fast: Despite the hand-wringing, good things keep happening to SPG. In addition to the award-winning Crossover Reward Program that the hotel kicked off with Delta (as well as a similar program with Emirates) last year, the group is now teaming up with Uber to let travelers earn Starwood points for every ride they book. Read more at Skift

Marriott Sees Moxy Brand Leading European Growth: Marriott International Inc. said it plans to double the number of hotel rooms it has in Europe within five years to take advantage of growth in tourism and business travel. Read more at Skift

InterContinental Hotels Puts the Brakes on Russian Expansion Plans: InterContinental Hotels Group Plc plans to slow property openings in Russia as the country’s economic crisis deepens. Read more at Skift

Your Turn

Apparently Scott Jordan, the founder of SCOTTeVEST, is making a bid to revive the defunct SkyMall. Or at least get some press for his ideas about it. Read about the journey he wants to take here.

Tips and Comments

Can be sent to gm[at]skift[dot]com or to @grantkmartin

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Photo Credit: A Beijing hotel lobby at night. Guy Sie / Flickr