What to Know Now

The economy is improving, therefore more people are traveling, therefore more people are booking hotel rooms, therefore rates are going up. Logically, it all dominoes together  — though I wish I would have bought hotel stock at this time last year. Point is, you’re going to be paying more for your hotel room on your business trips this year — about 4.6% more to be exact. And if you have a richer taste in hotels, well, you’re going to pay about 5.5% more.

Fact of the matter is, demand for rooms has outgrown the rate of construction. Brands can’t build them fast enough (which is incidentally why Starwood’s most recent CEO was fired). For us, in the near term, that means more expensive hotel rooms as the economy balances out. For budget hotels and vacation rentals, this could also mean stronger profits as thrifty travelers downgrade. Plan accordingly.

Why didn’t I buy hotel stock earlier?

Social Quote of the Day

Life is about people. Not food/travel/money etc.

We should enjoy all the worldly clamors but people come first. http://t.co/06WFePqoM9

@andrewzimmern

Frontier Airlines

Airlines

Delta and Aeromexico’s $1.5 Billion Joint Venture to Improve U.S.-Mexico Flights: Delta Air Lines Inc. and Grupo Aeromexico SAB are seeking a $1.5 billion venture to boost flight options for travelers between Mexico and the U.S. Read more at Skift

Pilots at Low Cost Carriers Under Increasing Stress: Andreas Lubitz, the co-pilot who last week steered a Germanwings flight into a mountainside, had a history of depression so debilitating that he left his pilot training program for six months in the late 2000s, according to Germany’s Bild newspaper. Read more at Skift

Allegiant Air: The Most Successful Airline You’ve Never Heard of Is Growing Fast: With rock-bottom fares—and supplementary fees for just about everything—Allegiant may be the country’s most successful, least-known airline. Read more at Conde Nast Traveler

Too Many Empty Seats Means U.S. Airlines Are Off to a Terrible Start This Year: U.S. airline shares are off to their worst start since 2011 amid concern that carriers are offering too many seats, chipping away at one of the industry’s most closely watched measures of sales. Read more at Skift

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Airports

The Billions of Dollars Driving a Wedge Between U.S. Airlines and Airports: More than finding themselves at cross-purposes in the Open Skies debate, the lobbying groups that represent airlines, airports, and their professionals in the United States are engaged in an uncivil war over the funding of future of aviation infrastructure. Read more at Skift

Delta Must Make Tokyo-Haneda Service Daily, Or Else American Air Gets It: Delta Air Lines will be allowed to keep a route between the U.S. and Japan that was sought by American Airlines Group Inc., which is prepared to step in should the current carrier not provide daily service. Read more at Skift

Dufry to Acquire Control of World Duty Free for $1.4 Billion: Switzerland’s Dufry AG agreed to buy a majority stake in Italian airport retailer World Duty Free SpA for 1.3 billion euros ($1.4 billion) to expand globally. Read more at Skift

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Tech

Delta Hopes to Improve Its Pet-Fatality Reputation With New GPS Trackers: Delta Air Lines Inc. will offer what it says is the first pet-tracking device to reassure passengers who are separated from their beloved furry companions during flights. Read more at Skift

Virgin Australia Brings Google Street View Into Its Sydney Airport Lounge: Virgin Australia has collaborated with Google to create a new interactive tour of its Sydney airport lounge, letting passengers enjoy the facilities long before they reach the airport. Read more at Skift

Nevada Edges Closer to New Laws Allowing Uber, Lyft to Operate: Nevada lawmakers reviewed bills Monday that could lead to regulations specific to ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft, a prospect that cab and limo services criticize as a double standard that would harm customers and undermine the state’s tax base. Read more at Skift

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Hotels

U.S. Hotel Rates Rise as Room Demand and Revenue Hit All-Time Highs: U.S. hotels can’t keep up with room demand and that’s causing them to see lower occupancy increases as average daily rates and revenues continue climbing, hotel data company STR found. Read more at Skift

Blackstone Spends $1.3 Billion on Hotel Real Estate Others Are Shedding: Blackstone Group LP agreed to buy three high-end U.S. hotels for about $1.3 billion from a group led by Paulson & Co., according to a person with knowledge of the transaction. Read more at Skift

No Joke, This Hilton Hotel Has Its Own Karaoke Room: Located on the lobby level near the meeting rooms at the Hilton San Francisco Financial District, the Karaoke Room costs around $1,000 to rent out for several hours. You can have food and drink placed in the room as well, but at an extra charge. Read more at Hotel Chatter

Your Turn

For about 7 seconds yesterday I actually believed that Johnny Jet had been named People Magazine’s Sexiest Travel Writer. I’m an idiot.

Tips and Comments

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

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Photo Credit: The Loews Annapolis Hotel lobby. Loews Hotels