What to Know Now

With news this week that American and US Airways plan to merge operations through the course of this summer, many in the industry are now fastening their safety belts and bracing for turbulence. Thing is, there are a lot of moving piece in two merging airlines and it only takes one broken part to bring everything to halt.

Case in point: the United-Continental merger.

Fully realizing this, American and US Airways have been mercilessly dotting their Is and crossing their Ts — and they’re now a point where they think they can wind down the US Airways brand later this year. We’ll see what shakes loose.

Social Quote of the Day

Congrats to the team at @FlyEastern on receiving its FAA Air Carrier Operating Certificate today. Now the fun begins. #airline

@hharteveldt | Henry Harteveldt, Airline, hotel and travel industry analyst focusing on business/industry strategy, marketing, distribution and eBusiness topics

American Airlines 787 - Exterior

Airlines

Champagne in Coach Class as Singapore Airlines Plays Catch Up: Singapore Airlines Ltd. is selling a new premium economy version: Pay a fair bit more than standard economy and you’ll get champagne, a broad selection of wines and food, a bigger TV and seats that are as much as 1 1/2 inches wider. Read more at Bloomberg

American’s Plan to Avoid Post-Merger Tech Meltdown: American Airlines saw other carriers stumble after mergers when they combined reservation systems all at once, disrupting some flights. It’s trying something different. Read more at Skift

Frontier Air Was the Most Disliked U.S. Airline in Latest Rankings: Consumer complaints against airlines are rising even as the carriers get slightly better at staying on schedule. Read more at Skift

American Airlines Getting Ready to Kill US Airways Brand in July: After more than 75 years of flying, the end is near for US Airways. American Airlines plans to shut down the venerable carrier over a 90-day stretch that could begin as soon as July, which would mean a final departure around October. Read more at Skift

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Airports

Inside Virgin Atlantic’s Swanky New Lounge at Los Angeles International: Nobody likes LAX. Terminals are run down and disconnected, making arrivals, departures and transfers difficult. Traffic is a nightmare. Airport vendors gouge their customers. It’s just not a friendly place. Fortunately, the tide is starting to turn thanks to a slew of renovations coming to the airport. Virgin Atlantic’s new lounge is one of those bright spots. Read more at Skift

Report: TSA Fails to Properly Maintain Screening Equipment: A recent government report finds the Transportation Security Administration does not properly manage the maintenance of its airport screening equipment. Read more at FlyerTalk

Time to Have a Second Look at Airport Advertising: Airports Council International (ACI) once urged its members to aim to generate at least 50% of its revenues from non-aeronautical sources and while it is not so doctrinaire today it still recommends that they maximise that potential wherever possible. Read more at Skift

Delta, SkyTeam To Give Up Slots at JFK to Settle EU Antitrust Probe: SkyTeam’s Air France-KLM Group, Delta Air Lines Inc. and Alitalia SpA resolved a European Union antitrust probe by agreeing to give up landing and take-off slots on routes to New York. Read more at Skift

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Tech

The New Aircraft Design That Could Solve Boarding Nightmares: Boarding aircraft is probably one of the most tedious and stressful parts of air travel, but transport designer, Urgur Ipek, of Ugur Ipek Design, Germany, believes it’s all due to the impractical shape of cabin interiors. Read more at Skift

American Airlines’ In-Flight Indie Music Experiment Pays off in Social Media Love: American Airlines has revealed that its Indie music selection, available inflight and played to passengers as they board the aircraft has resulted in a seven-fold increase in positive Tweets about the airline in the first week of May. Read more at Skift

Revinate - Brand Loyalty

Hotels

Marriott Now Lets Guests Text the Front Desk: The latest advance in hospitality? Just text us, Marriott says. Read more at Conde Nast Traveler

Lenny Kravitz takes on new role as luxury hotel tester: Ahead of the grand opening of the Edition Hotel in the MetLife clocktower in Madison Square Park in New York City, owner Ian Schrager asked bestie Lenny Kravitz if he would go Schrager’s way to take up residence in an $8,000-per-night penthouse suite, complete with a 30-seat dining room and fabulous views, free of charge, to test out the facilities. Read more at Roadwarriorvoices.com

Unlocking My Starwood Hotel Room with Apple Watch: SPG Keyless takes Apple Watch functionality to a whole new level, serving as your room (and elevator) key during a stay. TPG Editor-in-Chief Zach Honig recently tested SPG Keyless in New York City. Let’s see how it worked. Read more at The Points Guy

Your Turn

Menguin, the online tuxedo rental startup that Justin Delaney (a former AOLer) started, just got a nice mention in Entrepeneur.com. Nice work Justin.

Tips and Comments

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

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Photo Credit: The tail sections of American Airlines (L) and US Airways aircraft are on the ramp at Dallas-Ft Worth International Airport. Mike Stone / Reuters