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What to Know Now

The process of combining the reservation systems of American Airlines and US Airways begins this Saturday and runs for 90 days. One of the largest components of the ongoing merger, it’s also one of the most complicated — so prepare for a rocky few weeks.

To the airline’s credit, it’s brought in nearly 2,000 employees and learned lessons from other carriers. But as with all IT problems, no transition is seamless. Few will speculate on the scale of the calamity in store (though general consensus is that it should be far smoother than the UA-CO merger) but the Skift Business Travel team will have updates from the field. We’ve got American flights on both Thursday and Sunday.

Social Quote of the Day

Every time I arrive into the UK I wonder what it would be like if we had a world class airport and border service.

– @thatjohn | John Walton, Airline and Aviation Journalist




The Essential Guide to the Weirdest Airline Seats Ever Conceived: Zodiac Aerospace’s proposed bee-hive cabin lay-out for its HD31-3 seat concept has leaked in patent land. Read more at Skift

Airlines Were Hot, Now They’re Not as Lawsuits, Probes and Price Wars Loom: Airlines have been in unfamiliar territory of late: They’ve been earning money for their investors. Don’t count on it lasting. Read more at Skift

Ryanair to Sell Aer Lingus Stake, Focus on Own ‘Successful’ Strategy: Putting an end to possible delays from legal disputes over its shares in rival Aer Lingus, Ryanair’s Board has voted in favor of accepting IAG’s offer to buy Ryanair’s 29.8% stake of the flagship Irish carrier, subject to regulatory approval from the European competition authorities. Read more at Skift

Good Taste and High-Tech Make Swiss’ New Cabins a Haven for All Classes: Award-winning design firm PriestmanGoode, London, has revealed its designs for SWISS Airlines’ new high-tech cabins, bringing comfort and rich luxury to all, from the nose of the plane to the tail. Read more at Skift

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What American Airports Can Learn From the Rest of the World: After Vice President Biden called out LaGuardia for being a third-world experience, it placed a media spotlight on what most regular business travelers already knew: the state of American airports is dire. Read more at Skift

Protests at Heathrow expansion forces a runway closure: The Plane Stupid group today caused chaos at London Heathrow Airport when 13 of their protesters breached a security fence, and chained themselves together on a runway – in a protest against Heathrow Expansion. Read more at Economy Class and Beyond

Bali Is Managing Its Own Volcanic Ash Cloud Moment: Bali’s international airport reopened Saturday morning after being closed since late Thursday due to a volcanic eruption that left thousands of travelers stranded. Read more at Skift



Reddit’s New CEO Is Also Hipmunk’s CTO, For Now: Reddit’s gain is Hipmunk’s half-loss — or that’s how the parties are spinning it. Read more at Skift

Is This the Airbnb of Car Rentals? Going peer-to-peer with your next car rental? Think about whether you want to have an alternative ready to go. Read more at Conde Nast Traveler

U.S. Senate Leader Pushing Bill to Weaken Rental Car and Rail Safety: A transportation bill introduced by a Senate committee chairman would allow car rental companies to rent recalled vehicles that haven’t been repaired and eliminate any hard deadline for railroads to start using long-sought technology that automatically stops trains to prevent crashes, safety advocates say. Read more at Skift



What 8 Hotels in Cyprus Can Tell Us About Tourism’s Impact: Finding a destination suffering from the impacts of mass tourism doesn’t require a large-scale man-hunt, unfortunately. Read more at Skift

Another Chef Turns His Back on New Trump Hotel Project: Chef Geoffrey Zakarian is canceling plans for a restaurant in a new hotel being developed in Washington by real estate mogul and presidential candidate Donald Trump. Read more at Skift

InterContinental Continues Asset Sell Off With $938 Million Hong Kong Deal: InterContinental Hotels Group Plc agreed to sell the InterContinental Hong Kong to a group of investors advised and managed by Gaw Capital Partners for $938 million. Read more at Skift

Your Turn

Chris Elliott of fame has a new website (and book)! Read more about How to be the World’s Smartest Traveler here.

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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