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The big trend among airline loyalty programs these last few years has been “the rich get richer.” Thanks to stronger economies, fewer seats and elite bloat premium passengers are swelling across the airlines, so now they’re culling their herds.

Etihad’s approach this week has been slightly more balanced, though to be fair, it wasn’t very generous with awarding miles to begin with. The announced changes reduce the number of miles earned on their “lowest ‘Breaking Deals’ Economy and Business class fares” while increasing miles for several of its higher fares. Interestingly, the airline also raised the number of earned miles on their deepest economy (T) fare from 0 to 0.25.

Redemption options have also changed, basically making premium award tickets a bit more expensive.

Etihad’s full changes can be found on their site here. For those who have taken advantage of one of the numerous fire sales on Etihad this year, it’d be a good idea to check out the updates.

Social Quote of the Day

Etihad to Alitalia: “We’re done with these A330s. You can have them now.”

Alitalia to Passengers: “Look how awesome these A330s are!”

@AirlineFlyer | Jason Rabinowitz, @Routehappy data research manager

Germany Lufthansa Pilots


Spanish Millennials Are Loving Iberia’s Last-Minute Ticket Auctions: Iberia Airlines is encouraging Spanish twenty-somethings to make last-minute bookings with on its new auctions portal for Spain. Read more at Skift

Lufthansa Group to Add Surcharge For Flights Booked on Other Sites: Tired of the fees it pays to distribution companies such as Amadeus, Sabre and Travelport, the Lufthansa Group announced that beginning September 1 it will charge consumers and travel agents an extra $17.80 (16 euros) per ticket for flights booked beyond Lufthansa Group websites, service centers and airport ticket counters. Read more at Skift

Delta Pre-Loads Carry-On Bags as Airlines Speed Boarding Process: Airlines are trying to save time by speeding up a part of flying that creates delays even before the plane leaves the gate: the boarding process. Read more at Skift

The New Hot Trend for U.S. Airlines Is Fewer Seats and Flights: The largest U.S. carriers may trim their plans to expand domestic seating capacity after Delta Air Lines Inc. said its benchmark revenue gauge probably will decline more than forecast. Read more at Skift



TSA Boss Reassigned by Homeland Security Chief Following Screening Failures: Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on Monday reassigned the leader of the Transportation Security Administration and directed the agency to revise airport security procedures, retrain officers and retest screening equipment in airports across the country. Read more at Skift

Japan Airlines Installs the One Thing at Airport Gates That Every Flyer Needs: Japan Airlines would like to give flyers their dignity back. Read more at Skift

TSA Security Failures Are Likely Worse Than Previously Thought: Federal undercover investigators who sneaked prohibited items with alarming ease past Homeland Security Department airport screeners have also smuggled simulated bombs and weapons aboard planes during tests as far back as September 2002, U.S. audits show. Read more at Skift



Hyatt Invests in Onefinestay to Figure Out Sharing Economy Appeal: The CEOs of Hyatt and Hilton Worldwide are as miffed as any of their peers about sharing economy companies skirting local regulations but they are both embracing some of the positives of the trend. Read more at Skift

What Top Hospitality Execs Think About Millennials, Mobile and Mergers: Behind every hotel CEO contemplating millennials, mobile, and mergers and acquisition activity is undoubtedly a leader of a hospitality advising company coaching CEOs on how to best tackle these opportunities in the workplace and in the guest room. Read more at Skift

The Best Gear for Travel: Traveling well can be one of life’s great pleasures, whether you’re alone or with friends and family. But what does it mean to travel well? The Wirecutter staff offered a few themes. Read more at The Wirecutter



Room Service Isn’t Dead, It’s Just Evolving Says Hilton CEO: Every full-service Hilton Worldwide property has room service, or a variation of it, but the particulars of the offering will increasingly depend on the market. Read more at Skift

New York’s Hotel Boom Is Good for Travelers, Worrisome for Bond Market: New York is experiencing an explosion in hotel construction. Read more at Skift

What’s Top-of-Mind for Hotel CEOs of Hilton, Hyatt, Accor and Wyndham: Hotels CEOs from some of the biggest chains in the world are doing a lot of thinking and talking about attracting Chinese travelers, simplifying the visa process, coping with the sharing economy and dealing with online travel agencies. Read more at Skift

Your Turn

Drew Patterson’s CheckMate, which gives hotel guests a new mobile communication platform (without downloading another dumb hotel app), launches today. Find it here.

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