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There was much ado about the sale of the Waldorf-Astoria in Manhattan to Chinese investors last year, partially because of the transition of a legendary property but more ominously because it has traditionally been used by heads of state, including many U.S. presidents, and Chinese owners could present a security concern.
As of last week, the State Department is officially moving its business away from the hotel, but I wonder how worried the American community should be at large over Chinese-owned hotels. With so much data passing through hotel Wi-Fi and phone systems and so little oversight, would anyone know if there was someone listening in? And considering the disclosures of massive wiretapping by the U.S. and UK governments, shouldn’t travelers assume that they’re being listened to by someone all the time?
Social Quote of the Day
Hello Kitty arrives to @iah. To cheering. And to Michael Jackson. Kinda rad. #HelloKittyEva
Airline Fares in the U.S. May Go Up, Which Makes the Stock Market Happy: Most airline stocks have lost altitude in 2015, but they rallied Friday on signs that carriers may soon raise fares at the same time that energy prices are heading lower. Read more at Skift
Allegiant Air’s Board Grapples With Labor Issues and Cancelled Flights: Issues continue to circle overhead for low-fare Allegiant Air as directors gathered in the profitable company’s Las Vegas headquarters Thursday for a shareholder meeting. Read more at Skift
La Compagnie: Hot Airline, Tepid Loyalty Scheme: France-based La Compagnie launched service less than a year ago between Paris and Newark, adding flights between London and Newark in April of this year. Read more at FrequentFlier
Singapore Air Working to Regain Title to World’s Longest Flight: Singapore Airlines Ltd. is impatient to restore nonstop flights to the U.S. Read more at Skift
Thailand’s Aviation Industry Still Too Lax on Safety Says UN Agency: Thailand has failed to meet a deadline for addressing safety concerns about its oversight of its airlines and has been added to a list of nations whose aviation authorities fall short of international standards, the U.N. body regulating world air traffic said Friday. Read more at Skift
Dallas Sues U.S. Over Southwest and Delta Gates’ Dispute at Love Field: The city of Dallas has asked a federal court to settle a long-running fight over which airlines can operate out of its local airport. Read more at Skift
Star Alliance CEO Says There Too Many Airline and Airport Apps: A topic of discussion at the SITA Air Transport Technology Summit in Brussels this week was whether air travelers now have too many airline and airport apps cluttering their smartphones and tablets. Read more at Skift
France’s Taxi Unions Threaten Huge Strike Unless Uber Crackdown Happens: Uber is bracing for a political storm in France that adds to the turmoil it already faces across Europe. Read more at Skift
NYC Drops Proposal to Require Uber to Seek Approval for App Updates: New York City dropped a plan requiring Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing services to get approval for upgrades to their smartphone apps after technology companies including Facebook Inc. protested. Read more at Skift
3 Ways the Internet of Things Will Make Flying Less of a Hassle: Beware buzzwords—there be monsters! But, as we experienced walking round the exhibits at the SITA Air Transport IT Summit (ATIS) in Brussels this week, at least one popular buzz-phrase promises to make air travel much less nerve wracking. Read more at Skift
U.S. Diplomats Won’t Stay at Chinese-Owned Waldorf Astoria NY: The new Chinese owners of New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel are getting a lesson in troubled Sino-American relations stemming from what the U.S. says are activities by China-based hackers and other forms of electronic espionage. Read more at Skift
Hotels Look to Adaptive Reuse to Create Better Local Connections: There is now widespread acceptance and understanding in the hospitality industry around the business impact of attracting the local community to a hotel. Read more at Skift
Tourists in Greece Stuff Hotel Safes With Cash in Case Economy Collapses: Greek resort manager Kostas Dimitrokalis’s customers have started asking in recent weeks about an amenity often ignored in an age of online and credit card payments: reliable hotel safes to stash their money. Read more at Skift
How Archer Hotels Builds the Human Element Into Its Brand: Archer, always the consummate host with equal parts deference and flair, is the mysterious persona behind Archer Hotels, which opened its first property in New York’s buzzy Garment District last spring. Read more at Skift
The third episode of Skift’s excellent new podcast is now out, where you can learn about the cozy relationship between the travel writing community and PR. Find it here.
Tips and Comments
Can be sent to gm[at]skift[dot]com or to @grantkmartin