What to Know Now

No business traveler in his right mind would ever fly on Ryanair if given the choice, what with the murderous legroom, legion of extraneous fees and borderline obnoxious marketing campaigns. Instead the airline’s planned entry into the transatlantic market may bring tidings of another sort: competition.

We’ve seen the same thing from Norwegian over the past few months. The Scandinavian low-cost carrier expands into a new U.S. market like Fort Lauderdale or Oakland and legacy carriers drop their prices on those routes in kind. With any luck, once Ryanair starts their service, British, Delta, Virgin and all of the other fancy carriers will start dropping their fares to the UK too.

Cross your fingers. Service on Ryanair is still a good five years away.

Social Quote of the Day

Fly Transatlantic with @Ryanair for only £10… looks like we’ll be providing the in-flight entertainment then http://ebay.eu/Ipads #YOLO

@eBay_UK

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Airlines

Delta Updates SkyMiles Program Again With Partnerships, Cheaper Mileage Redemptions: The SkyMiles program run by Delta Air Lines is going through an overhaul of sorts as it transitions from a distance to a revenue-based program. Read more at Skift

Singapore Air May Take a Stake in South Korea’s Jeju Air: Singapore Airlines Ltd. said it held discussions regarding an investment in South Korean carrier Jeju Air Inc., as the city-state’s flag carrier expands overseas amid competition with budget airlines at home. Read more at Skift

Thus the Fight Begins: Ryanair Is Coming to the U.S.: We have predicted that it was only a matter of time and aircraft before Ryanair committed itself to transatlantic service. Now, just in time for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, Ryanair has made its intentions clear. Read more at Skift

Lufthansa Faces 12th Pilot Strike as Benefits Fight Persists: Deutsche Lufthansa AG faces its 12th strike by pilots over retirement benefits despite concessions in a conflict that has hurt earnings at Europe’s second-largest airline. Read more at Skift

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Airports

Video: 50 Years of Airport Evolution From the Field’s Leading Architect: French architect and airport designer Paul Andreu responsible for, among many other creations, creating Paris’ Charles de Gaulle, joined Alastair Gordon at the Harvard Graduate School of Design earlier this month to discuss the evolution of airports over the past fifty years. Read more at Skift

Austin Bergstrom Airport Tweets Its Southern Hospitality During SXSW: With over 70,000 guests expected to attend the 28th edition of South by Southwest Music Conference and Festival (SXSW), Austin Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA) is on deck to inform and entertain flyers. Read more at Skift

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Tech

Marriott’s Apple Pay Play Is Part of a Bigger Mobile Strategy: Last week, Marriott announced the next phase of its digital strategy involves mobile payments, beginning with Apply Pay this summer at a dozen U.S. hotels spread across different brands ranging from Courtyard by Marriott to Ritz-Carlton. Read more at Skift

Uber CFO to Leave E-Hail Service: Uber Technologies Inc. said Chief Financial Officer Brent Callinicos is leaving the car-hailing startup. Read more at Skift

IHG Hopes Its Smartphone Language App Will Translate to the Apple Watch: As top hotel groups created smartphone apps to enhance the guest experience, Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG) created a separate app to arm international travelers with thirteen languages. Read more at Skift

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Hotels

The Struggle to Get Faster Wi-Fi in Hotel Rooms: The struggle of in-room Wi-Fi is in the headlines almost daily–guests want free, fast Wi-Fi and many hotels haven’t changed their business models (some can’t even claim to provide reliable connectivity). Read more at Skift

Behind the Redesign of the New Hilton Paris Opera: A few weeks ago, the newly reflagged Hilton Paris Opera opened inside the hallowed Haussmann-style building following a $50 million renovation. Read more at Skift

The Trouble With Branding: Is It a Lifestyle Hotel or a Condom Brand? If you’re a global hotel chain without a new lifestyle brand, the conventional wisdom is that your brand family is missing something. Read more at Skift

Hilton Expands Its Chinese Traveler Program to 110 Properties: Hilton Worldwide announced yesterday that it’s expanding the global scope of its four-year-old Huanying program, which will now provide added amenities for Chinese travelers at 110 Hilton properties in 30 countries worldwide. Read more at Skift

4 Luxury Hotel Brand CEOs on What Their High Net-Worth Clients Really Want: We recently released our second e-book about the Future of the Guest Experience — an unprecedented collection of 28 interviews with the CEOs of virtually all of the world’s top hotel groups including 11 global brands, 13 luxury and lifestyle brands, and four hotel marketing organizations. Read more at Skift

Your Turn

There’s an interesting article about our love/hate of travel hackers over at OneMileataTime, all personified into one larger-than-life character calling himself a Jew Jetter. Definitely worth a look, if not some introspection.

Tips and Comments

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

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