What to Know Now
I am loathe to give Ryanair more press for a botched campaign to build out transatlantic service, but following last week’s hopeful news for more competition and cheaper fares, a followup was due. In short, Ryanair’s recent episode to bring $15 fares between the EU and U.S. was either a ruse or a mistake and the airline is backtracking on the whole damn thing.
This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone given the airline’s history of crummy marketing and PR campaigns, but it should be a disappointment. With competition in the budget transatlantic market heating up and U.S. carriers growing increasingly petulant, there’s plenty of room in the market for another player to shake things up. Perhaps now this opens up space for a classier carrier to fill the void.
Social Quote of the Day
The Other Open Skies Debate: U.S. Carriers Jockey for Position in China: Even before the heated debate on Open Skies policy between the big three U.S. airlines and the big three Gulf airlines over transatlantic routes, a curious dynamic has been brewing with U.S. carriers wishing for Open Skies extensions over the Pacific. Read more at Skift
Yet Another Lufthansa Strike Strands Thousands of Flyers: Thousands of international travelers were stranded Thursday as a strike by Lufthansa pilots was extended to long-haul flights, and Germany’s largest airline said it was preparing for even more cancellations on Friday. Read more at Skift
Ryanair Now Says It Won’t Begin Low-Cost Transatlantic Service: Ryanair may travel across the Atlantic one day. It may not. It’s not sure. It’s pretty sure it won’t. Read more at Skift
American Airlines Ditches the Muzak for Indie Rock During Boarding: American Airlines passengers have noticed one recent improvement during boarding, and after landing: the music is better. Specifically, the airline—now the world’s largest, following its merger with US Airways—has switched to indie rock and pop, away from its previous format of piano muzak covers of top-40 hits. Read more at Skift
The ACLU Sues for Access to the TSA’s Behavior Detection Program: A civil rights group is trying to force the federal government to turn over information about airport “behavior detection” programs designed to spot passengers who are potential threats. Read more at Skift
Cebu Air Plots Expansion Through Small Tropical Island Airports: The family of Philippine billionaire John Gokongwei, which owns Cebu Air Inc., wants to branch out to airports in tropical destinations to boost regional flights. Read more at Skift
Airports Track Your Smartphone To Enhance Passenger Experience: Blip Systems has introduced such systems at various airports, from Amsterdam Schiphol to Geneva and they’ve publicized the results of the implementation at Cincinnati’s CVG. Read more at Layovers
Google Glass Isn’t Dead, It’s Being ‘Made Ready for Users’: After Google stopped selling its wearable Glass device in January this year, many people speculated that the controversial gadget was on its way out for good. However, Google’s executive chairman Erich Schmidt has said that the technology behind Glass is too important to throw away, and that the program has been put under the control of Nest’s Tony Fadell to “make it ready for users” in the future. Read more at The Verge
6 Rewards Programs That Make Award Travel Easy: These programs might not necessarily offer extreme rewards, but they do offer the best return for the least amount of time and effort. Read more at The Points Guy
7 Hotel CEOs on Empowering Employees Who Work With Guests: Last month we released our second e-book. It was devoted to 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
U.K. Hotels Are Officially the Worst in Europe When It Comes to Service: A recent analysis of more than six million reviews on Hotel.info gives British hotels the unfortunate honor of being some of the most unfriendly in Europe. On a rating scale of one to ten, the U.K. scored 7.92. Finland emerged as the best on the continent, with a score of 8.62. Read more at Flyertalk
Hawaii Hotel Occupancy Falls as Visitors Opt for Other Choices: A new report says Hawaii’s hotel occupancy in January fell statewide except for on Maui. Read more at Skift
A very happy birthday to Robert Reid, a legend in the the travel writing community, who finally turned 29 today.
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Can be sent to gm[at]skift[dot]com or to @grantkmartin