What to Know Now

Remember Monday’s Skift Business Traveler when I told you that economy cabin is about to get more cramped? Well fresh out of the AIX expo in Hamburg Germany, Southwest had news this week that they’re actually increasing their seat width by 0.5″. Or are they? Runwaygirl took a look at some of the numbers that the seat manufacturer is pushing and they determined that part of the seat width increase might be coming from slimming down the arm rests. One ruler here, another ruler there — I’m not sure who to believe. But I do know that American waistlines are getting wider and that airplane cabins aren’t.

Social Quote of the Day

 ‏So those new, “wider” seats Southwest just announced? They’re here at #AIX2015 but all media are oddly barred from seeing them. What’s up?

– @JetSetCD | Cynthia Drescher, Conde Nast and Jaunted

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Airlines

American Airlines Ups the Premium Passenger Ante With Points Promotion: It’s been an interesting year for premium domestic passengers as American, Delta, and United all try to jostle in front of one another in an attempt to be the prettiest princess on the block. The winner of the prize gets the most business from premium passengers, the crown jewel in the tiara of legacy airlines. Read more at Skift

What U.S. Airline Passengers Complain About Most When They Fly: Yesterday Brent Bowen and Dean Headley released their 25th annual Airline Quality Rating report, and it wasn’t good news for U.S. domestic airlines. Read more at Skift

Southwest Gives Flyers an Extra Half Inch of Seat Room: Southwest Airlines Co. will give passengers something extra with its newly designed aircraft seats — more than one-half inch of extra width. Read more at Skift

Delta Air Lines to Reduce International Flights Because the Dollar Is Too Strong: Delta Air Lines Inc. said it plans to cut seating capacity later this year on international routes as the strong dollar and declining oil prices damps overseas travel demand. Read more at Skift

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Airports

Automated Kiosks May Solve Miami Airport’s Passport Control Problems: Miami International Airport will be installing 44 more self-service passport control kiosks to help speed up the customs and immigration process. Read more at Skift

Heathrow, Gatwick Compete to Prove Which Needs Extra Space: At most businesses, when demand threatens to outstrip supply, the boss happily boosts capacity. If only it were that simple for London’s airports. Read more at Skift

No-Fly List Travelers Will Soon Get More Information About Their Status: Under legal pressure, the Obama administration will begin telling some suspected terrorists if and why they are on a list of tens of thousands of people banned from flying to, from or within the United States. Read more at Skift

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Tech

Another Billionaire Has Space Tourism Dreams: Billionaire Paul Allen sees cheap and convenient spaceflight unlocking a wave of innovation like the personal computing breakthroughs he fostered as a co-founder of Microsoft Corp. Read more at Skift

Global Passengers More Willing to Pay for In-Flight Wi-Fi Than U.S. Flyers: Air travelers around the world are even more eager to find Wi-Fi onboard than their U.S. counterparts, according to a Gogo study. Read more at Skift

The Seat That Offers a New Hope For Airlines in the Aircraft Space Wars: Passengers dreading crowded seats in crowded cabins of budget-conscious airlines (large and small) might find comfort in a new Premium seat design revealed by aircraft interiors underdog Acro Aircraft Seating, UK. Read more at Skift

The Seat That Erases the Line Between Business Class and First Class: A new Business Class seat introduced by Zodiac Aerospace at the Aircraft Interiors Expo this year has put so much First Class in the Business cabin that we’re assigning it the new label: VIP Business First Plus Cabin for One. Read more at Skift

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Hotels

Behind the Boom of New Hotel Brands From Major Chains: Today’s traveler faces a bewildering choice of hotel brands with similar-sounding and confusing names. Want to stay at a Hyatt? Take your pick. There’s Hyatt Regency, Park Hyatt, Grand Hyatt, Hyatt House, Hyatt Place and, coming soon, Hyatt Centric. Read more at Skift

JFK May Finally Have a Hotel Developer Ready to Take Over Iconic TWA Terminal: A group led by hotel company MCR Development LLC is in talks with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to revamp the former Trans World Airlines terminal at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport into a hotel, according to two people with knowledge of the matter. Read more at Skift

Putting Content Marketing First on Pullman Hotels’ App: Hotel apps are evolving with more features and functionality, including remote check-in, keyless room access and in-house communication. But few do a really great job with content to help consumers navigate the local destinations and engage with the brand. Read more at Skift

Your Turn

Good news, Southwest Airlines is now bringing book readings to the sky.

Tips and Comments

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

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Photo Credit: Existing slim seats on Southwest. Southwest Airlines