What to Know Now

A couple of weeks back we briefly touched on the operational challenges facing United and American this year. At the time, I suggested that all carriers have a steep hill to climb, but since then, United’s hill appears to have grown steeper. A new story from Bloomberg, paints this as the “Summer from Hell” for the carrier, pointing to continuous problems with operations and a June in which United had an unusually high volume of delayed flights.

It’s true that United has been the unfortunate recipient of a whole lot of bad weather and an equal portion of bad luck this year, but Bloomberg’s article seems to be asking what many of us are thinking: When is this going to get better?

Social Quote of the Day

‏At the end of the day, people want to use their iPhones to get rides without it being a political issue.

@ethanklapper | Ethan Klapper, Global Social Media Editor, Huffington Post on Uber, Lyft and the ongoing on demand shenanigans

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Airlines

U.S. Senator Sides With Booking Sites on Airfare Transparency: New York Sen. Charles Schumer is calling for a federal investigation of airlines who won’t allow their fares to show up on third-party websites like Expedia and Orbitz. Read more at Skift

Delta’s Latest Devaluation is Even Worse Than I Thought:  “I once believed that no matter what, a SkyMile would be worth at least a penny, and that drove my advice on earning miles. You can still certainly do better than a penny a mile in redemptions, but I’m not willing to claim that as a floor any longer.” Read more at View from the Wing

Moving Up to a Cozier Seat to Cost More Delta SkyMiles Next Year: Getting a comfy seat on Delta Air Lines jets may set you back a bit more next year, as the carrier boosts the number of award miles needed for premium travel. Read more at Skift

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Airports

Spaceport America’s Director Says Flexibility Will Save Its Space Tourism Plans: The head of the New Mexico Spaceport Authority told a powerful legislative committee on Wednesday she’s hopeful Virgin Galactic will begin commercial flights next summer, a key to ensuring the financial viability of Spaceport America. Read more at Skift

Pets Will Stay in Luxury at New JFK Terminal: Jet-setting stallions and high-flying hounds at New York’s Kennedy Airport can look forward to a new luxury terminal that will handle the more than 70,000 animals flying in and out every year. Read more at Skift

Heathrow’s Environmental Activists Are Getting It All Wrong: Rather than treat the industry as an antagonist, activists would be far better off trying to encourage its ongoing attempts to become more climate-friendly. Read more at Skift

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Tech

Uber Faces Trial for Claiming it is Safer and Faster Than Taxis: Uber Technologies Inc. must face trial over its boasts that its ride-hailing service is safer, easier and quicker than taxis. Read more at Skift

United Gives Millions of Frequent Flier Miles to Hackers Who Find IT Flaws: Two hackers have scored a million frequent-flier miles each on United Airlines for finding security holes in the airline’s computer systems. Read more at Skift

For First Time in U.S., Uber Is Now More Popular Among Business Travelers Than Taxis: Taxis are losing business travelers to ride-hailing services like Uber, a survey shows. Read more at Skift

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Hotels

MGM Resorts Runs Fountain Shows But Says It Saved 2 Billion Gallons of Water: Sin City may look like a lush water-waster as the state endures its fourth year of a severe drought, but casino-resorts say their fountains and greenery are well-crafted illusions. Read more at Skift

8 Ways to Spot a Crappy Hotel When Booking Online: Nothing can ruin a trip faster than arriving at your hotel to find it’s located in a sketchy ‘hood, falling apart, or plagued with one of these 99 problems. And that the amazing online deal you thought you got actually means you’ll be sleeping ON TOP of the comforter and with a chair propped in front of the door. Read more at Thrillist

Your Turn

Episode 7 of Skift’s highly lauded podcast hit the airwaves last Friday, run by the lovely Sam Shankman. This week: How In-Room Tech Is Changing Everything About Hotel Guest Experience.

Tips and Comments

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

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Photo Credit: United's app for iOS devices. Skift