What to Know Now

Ever since Delta started taking an interest in Seattle-Tacoma airport, its relationship with Alaska Airlines has been frosty. The two carriers have been taking turns at eating each other’s lunch for the last two years as the partnership degrades, and now Alaska may be signalling that they’ve chosen a new comrade in arms.

Just last week Alaska announced that it would be expanding its partnership with American Airlines as that carrier onboards US Airways into its reservation system. The result will be a boon for Alaska frequent fliers who will now be able to earn more miles on more partner flights around the globe. American and Alaska also plan to start reciprocating on lounge benefits.

Social Quote of the Day

#MH370 debris identification a ‘breakthrough’, on @Flightglobal: http://t.co/VUlBOorz0O

– @e_russell | Ned Russell, Flightglobal reporter



United and Delta Choose a Popular Time to Ban Big-Game Trophies: United Airlines joined Delta Air Lines Inc. in banning big-game trophies as freight after the killing of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe triggered mounting global outrage. Read more at Skift

British Airways Begins Crackdown as Luggage Woes Go International: Ever since the inception of airline checked baggage fees there’s been a war between passengers and airlines over in-cabin bin space. Read more at Skift

The Next Great Untapped Airline Fee Is Getting off the Plane First: Some people wish they could fly like a bird but, as the song goes, you can’t always get what you want. Read more at Skift

Air Travelers With Disabilities See Some Improvements, Study Finds: The Open Doors Organization (ODO) has released its 2015 Market Study of the air travel experience for U.S. adult travelers with disabilities, finding airlines and airports have improved their accommodations for passengers with disabilities, though obstacles are still significant. Read more at Skift



The 6 Big Players in the $4 Billion LaGuardia Rehabilitation Plan: New York’s LaGuardia Airport is truly in a league of its own. Read more at Skift

Airport Uses “Happy Hormones” in Food to Keep Travelers in Good Mood: Feeling cranky and low? From now until the end of August, passengers can fill up on mood-boosting food at eateries at the airport. Read more at Flyertalk

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The Video Tech That Connects Travelers Virtually With Destinations in Real Time: Georama is a new video technology platform that connects large audiences—such as a ballroom full of meeting attendees or thousands of individual travelers online simultaneously at home—with a remote group of people traveling around a destination almost anywhere in the world in real time. Read more at Skift

11 Charts Showing the Changing Nature of U.S. Outbound Travelers’ Trips: Those fighting for the direct bookings camp can add another small victory to their feather caps as more U.S. outbound travelers booked directly with brands rather than online travel agencies last year. Read more at Skift

Will TripAdvisor Be the Next Airbnb? It Seems to Be Trying: While much of the attention in the past couple of weeks has revolved around TripAdvisor’s emergence as a hotel booking site, the company’s Flipkey unit has been quietly adding Airbnb-style room rentals to its existing portfolio of vacation rentals. Read more at Skift

IHG Holiday Inn Express


Guests Will Wait Until 2017 for InterContinental’s New Reservations System: InterContinental Hotels Group is making big technology investments as it partners with Amadeus in developing a cloud-based guest reservation system that the hotel chain plans to introduce at its properties in 2017. Read more at Skift

Restoration Hardware Will Open Its First-Ever Boutique Hotel in New York City: Plenty of boutique hotels look like they might be Restoration Hardware showrooms, but soon New York will be getting a boutique hotel that is a Restoration Hardware showroom. Crain’s reports that the luxury home furnishings company is getting into the hotel business with a 14-room boutique in New York City’s meatpacking district. Read more at Travel + Leisure
Hyatt CEO’s New Plan to Take Middle Class Travel Global: 
Emerging economies will see more tourism growth five years from now and Hyatt wants to be there when those tourists show up by taking its select service and extended stay brands on a major international expansion. Read more at Skift

Your Turn/h3>
Book Passage, the (highly recommended) annual travel writer hugfest, is coming up in the bay area this month. Check out the conference here.

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

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Photo Credit: Alaska Air and Delta planes at Long Beach Airport. John Murphy / Flickr