What to Know Now

The 787 Dreamliner has finally come to American Airlines. Last week, inaugural service started operating between Dallas (DFW) and Chicago (ORD). Once its familiarization tour is wrapped up in June, the aircraft is scheduled to permanently go into service from Dallas to Beijing China.

With this service, American becomes the second legacy US carrier behind United to operate a Dreamliner within its fleet. Delta will be the last legacy carrier to adopt the new composite aircraft with its 18 aircraft still on order.

Those interested in checking out the Dreamliner service without the hefty international fares may want to keep an eye out for 787 service from DFW-ORD in the coming month. As the business class cabin is configured for international service, the premium experience (and upgrade probability!) is quite lavish.

Social Quote of the Day

Yesterday I spent ALL day w/ @AmericanAir & flew the #b787 #AADreamliner #AAinaugural flight – see my experience here http://bit.ly/1EipXfT

@doublewidesfly | Rocky Horan, Travel Blogger @ upgrd.com

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Airlines

Turning Airline Amenity Kits Into Brand-Building Weapons: Australian creative firm, Buzz Products, makes high-end amenity kits well worth flying for, but the company’s brand-building power really shows with its children’s gifts. Read more at Skift

Flyers Don’t Have to Stow Electronics During Takeoff and Landing, Court Rules: A federal appeals court says aviation officials acted within their authority in clearing passengers to use cellphone and other electronics during takeoffs and landings. Read more at Skift

Malaysia Air CEO Vows to Do Anything to Save the Struggling Carrier: The new CEO of Malaysia Airlines said its financial situation is more challenging than anticipated and it will shrink in size as it tries to overcome a tarnished image with the travel industry and the public. Read more at Skift

United Increases Passenger Capacity and Sees More Empty Seats: United Airlines and United Express added flights faster than they increased passenger traffic in April, leading to more empty seats. Read more at Skift

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Airports

New York Shouldn’t Close LaGuardia Airport: I’ve argued that the New York LaGuardia Central Terminal replacement won’t happen anywhere close to on schedule. There’s little question in my mind that the project will be a boondoggle. But that doesn’t mean, as an op ed in today’s New York Times suggests, that LaGuardia ought to be shuttered and air traffic sent farther outside the metropolitan area. Read more at View from the Wing

Boingo and Sprint Partner to Make Wi-Fi Seamless at 35 Major U.S. Airports: Boingo and Sprint have partnered to provide seamless auto-authentication on Boingo’s managed and operated Wi-Fi networks at 35 major U.S. airports. Read more at Skift

Fly Direct from Anchorage (ANC) to Russia’s Remote Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky (PKC): After a two year hiatus, this summer you can once again fly west from Anchorage (ANC) to Russia via Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky (PKC) airport. The flights will be operated by Yakutia Airlines on Saturdays from July 11th through August 29th aboard B737-800 aircraft. The flight time will be approximately 4 hours and 20 minutes. Read more at Point me to the Plane

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Tech

Report: Uber Is Bidding for Nokia’s Here Mapping Unit: The New York Times is reporting that Uber has bid up to $3 billion for Nokia’s Here mapping unit. Read more at Skift

Priceline CEO Says Mobile Won’t Solve Every Problem: The Priceline Group’s customers made more than 100 million reservations on smartphones over the last 12 months but CEO Darren Huston isn’t necessarily buying into a mobile-only or mobile-first strategy. Read more at Skift

Priceline Acquires PriceMatch to Improve Hotels’ Backend Technology: The Priceline Group added to its technology solutions for hoteliers and acquired PriceMatch, a revenue management startup that had raised more than $10 million. Read more at Skift

Yelp Is Exploring a Sale, Reports Wall Street Journal: Yelp Inc., the consumer-review website, is working with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to find a buyer, a person with knowledge of the matter said. Read more at Skift

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Hotels

Choice Hotels Says It’s Reinvigorating Its Lagging Comfort Inn Brand: Choice Hotels has pushed the reset button on its Comfort Inn brand during the past year which it thinks will get the company’s overall room growth back to where it belongs, Choice CEO Stephen Joyce said this week. Read more at Skift

Grateful Dead Fans Are Upending Chicago’s Hotel Market This Summer: Chicago hotels had a record 11-fold increase in reservations the day the shows were announced, according to Orbitz Worldwide Inc. The surge in demand — the capacity at Soldier Field is 71,000 for the concerts — boosted the average room rate to $282 as of this week, up 86 percent from a year earlier, according to the online travel company. That’s the biggest increase on record for a July 4 weekend. Read more at Skift

New Generation of Backpackers Realizes This Is Not Their Father’s Youth Hostel: Introducing the flashpackers: millennials in their 20s and early 30s who are choosing upmarket hostels rather than traditional hotels to swap travel tips over craft beers in trendy bars before retiring to a spotless dorm room. Read more at Skift

Your Turn

Andy Murdock had a nice piece on the value of digital travel mementos over at Lonely Planet last week. Check it out here.

Tips and Comments

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

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Photo Credit: Economy Class on American Airlines' Dreamliner. American Airlines