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I’m one of the few people on the planet with a soft spot for New York’s LaGuardia airport. It’s small and easy to run through when you’re late for your flight. It’s got a great AAdmiral’s club. There’s a secret taxi line at the edge of the central terminal that’s almsot always empty. You hop in a cab and be in a bar in Brooklyn Heights within 25 minutes. And the Expressway Visual to 31! Perhaps the best landing pattern in the United States.
I digress. Fact of the matter is, New York’s second airport needs an overhaul, and thanks to some aggressive lobbying by one Vice President Biden, those upgrades are finally on the way. If everything goes right, the overhaul should cost $4 billion and take three years to complete, though most expect things to be well behind schedule.
At the very least, the Expressway Visual will still stay in tact. Improvements break ground in 2016.
Social Quote of the Day
There are bad days and then there are days involving LaGuardia. Please, Gov. Cuomo. AS FAST AS YOU CAN.
Delta Is Putting Its Most Loyal Flyers on Private Jets: Delta Air Lines is cooking up what may be one of the most appealing flight upgrades yet: one that allows you to bag a commercial flight altogether and board a private jet. Read more at Skift
KLM Gives Its Dreamliner Interiors a Dose of Dutch Design: KLM has revealed the sharp and cool interiors of its new 787-9 Dreamliner Cabin, which will go into service on routes to Bahrain and Abu Dhabi in October of this year. Read more at Skift
The Best New Way to Fly Around the World: Star Alliance recently launched its newest booking tool, which allows passengers to travel around the world in premium economy on its 28 partner airlines. Read more at Condé Nast Traveler
Etihad Says Its $32,000 Suite From New York to Abu Dhabi Is a Hit: Even at $32,000, people are lining up to book Etihad Airways PJSC’s three-room suite between Abu Dhabi and New York. Read more at Skift
Lufthansa Tries to Lure Back Passengers With Easier Business Class Upgrades: Deutsche Lufthansa AG plans to entice passengers to pay for business-class upgrades on European routes by offering deals when people book economy class tickets and then again when they check in. Read more at Skift
Kuala Lumpur’s $1 Billion Terminal for Low-Cost Carriers Is Sinking: Kuala Lumpur International Airport’s new budget passenger terminal is sinking, with cracks appearing in the taxiway and water forming pools that planes must drive through. Read more at Skift
Delta to Rebuild LaGuardia After the City Demolishes Existing Airport: New York’s LaGuardia Airport, consistently ranked among the worst in the U.S. in cleanliness, design and delays, will be torn down and rebuilt with help from Delta Air Lines Inc. Read more at Skift
What Will It Take to Bring U.S. Airports Into the Future? Only $4: The more than welcome news that a $4 billion investment will rebuild New York’s LaGuardia airport from the ground up raises questions of what it would take to improve the nation’s airport infrastructure. Read more at Skift
Top Business Travel Concerns: Sharing Economy Growth, New Airline Surcharges: Proliferating sharing economy options in accommodations and transportation, as well as the Lufthansa Group’s pending implementation of surcharges for bookings made outside its channels are high-priority issues for business travelers, travel agencies, and corporations as representatives began gathering for the Global Business Travel Association meet-up. Read more at Skift
China-Backed Hackers Breached United Airlines Passenger Data: The hackers who stole data on tens of millions of U.S. insurance holders and government employees in recent months breached another big target at around the same time — United Airlines. Read more at Skift
Skift Global Forum 2015: Bluesmart CEO on Crowdfunding a Travel Startup: Travelers can track virtually every aspect of their trip via their mobile device, so why should luggage be excluded from that capability? That’s a question Diego Saez-Gil, CEO and co-founder of Bluesmart, a connected travel products company, asked when setting out to crowdfund and design luggage that travelers could know the location of at all times using a mobile app. Read more at Skift
Google Adding 21 AccorHotels Brands to Its Instant Booking Product: AccorHotels, which is Google’s largest hotel customer outside the U.S., plans to let guests of its 21 brands book on Google without having to navigate to Accor websites. Read more at Skift
6 Words You Should Never Hear At Hotel Check-In: Some hotels are really stingy with elite benefits, while others aren’t. Some hotels only reluctantly “buy” into the loyalty program business model, while others are huge supporters of it, and see the value in treating guests who are loyal to the chain (as opposed to just the individual hotel) well. Read more at One Mile at a Time
9 Charts That Show the State of International Travelers Staying at U.S. Hotels: International travelers are gradually decreasing their stays at U.S. hotels when visiting for business or leisure as home-shares and rentals become more available with more ways to book them. Read more at Skift
Hilton Announces Plans for New Midscale Hotel Brand: Hilton, which operates brands including DoubleTree and Homewood Suites, said in April that it’s starting a new midscale label. On Wednesday, Chief Executive Officer Chris Nassetta said the new brand, set to debut in early 2016, will target customers that the company’s current properties aren’t capturing and eventually may be larger than Hilton’s Hampton chain. Read more at Skift
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Can be sent to gm[at]skift[dot]com or to @grantkmartin