WHAT TO KNOW NOW

Over on Flyertalk last weekend the was a thread full of flabbergasted SkyMiles members sifting through a batch of deeply discounted award tickets like miners panning for gold.

They’re right to be confused: Ever since Delta removed its award chart, most changes to the Skymiles program have been generally bad. But recently, in addition to releasing award seats at decent prices, Delta is actually releasing them in decent volumes.

Perhaps change is on the horizon for Skymiles. Or perhaps, like Delta’s recent problems displaying partner inventory, it’s just a glitch. Either way, now’s a good time to start shopping for award tickets.

SOCIAL QUOTE OF THE DAY

Credit where credit’s due: it’s hard to find fault with this one. This is the first evidence that there might be an upside to the new SkyMiles pricing scheme for those of us with flexibility.

BenA @ Flyertalk

 

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AIRLINES

Emirates Can Soon Claim Fame to the World’s Longest Commercial Flight: Emirates airlines has announced that it will launch in February 1, 2016 what will be the world’s longest non-stop flight, between Dubai and Panama City, Panama. Read more at Skift

Delta and American Air Are Fighting to Fly Hollywood’s Jetsetters: Airlines are fighting for business at Los Angeles International, the largest destination airport in the U.S., renowned for wealthy, celebrity passengers paying full fare and the highly lucrative New York-to-L.A. route. Read more at Skift

Latin American Airlines Consider Mergers to Help Them Rise out of the Doldrums: With Latin America’s biggest airlines in the process of reporting another lackluster quarter, the case for further consolidation may get a nudge. Read more at Skift

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AIRPORTS

Salt Lake City Airport Facing Challenges Over New Smoking Rooms: Anti-smoking groups are pushing to ban smoking at Salt Lake City’s airport, one of last of the nation’s busiest airports to still allow smoking indoors. Read more at Skift

Need a Taxi to the Airport? Options Expanding Beyond Uber: When it comes to ride-sharing and car-pooling, apps and services are mushrooming. Read more at The New York Times

Seattle’s Airport Is Straining Under the Weight of Too Many Passengers: Four million passengers passed through Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in June, breaking a monthly record set in 2014 but straining services and creating long lines at security checkpoints. Read more at Skift

FAA Is Now Blaming a Software Update for Saturday’s Air Traffic Meltdown: A technical problem at an air traffic control center in Virginia that caused hundreds of flights to be delayed or canceled along a large swath of the East Coast was possibly caused by a software upgrade, according to a statement from the Federal Aviation Administration on Sunday. Read more at Skift

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TECH

Uber Floats the Possibility of Uber China Going Solo on Chinese Stock Market: As Uber Technologies raises money from private investors for its Chinese business, the ride-hailing company says the offshoot could one day list shares on the stock market in China. Read more at Skift

United Just Released a Fancy New Mobile Update: United Airlines updated its mobile app last Thursday, introducing a number of new features that will assist users in navigating its Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark, San Francisco and Washington hubs. Read more at Flyertalk 

Vacation Rental Pricing and Payment Woes Offer Opportunities to Innovate: Nightly rates have the potential to make or break the performance of a vacation rental. If rates are too high or too complex, fewer travelers will book the home. If rates are set too low, owners are likely to leave money on the table. Read more at Skift

Airbus Has a Tech Accelerator That Could Make Flying Better for Everyone: Airbus’ new BizLab technology accelerator program has announced its selection for the first five start-ups which will participate in a six-month mentoring program to grow ideas into businesses. Read more at Skift

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HOTELS

W Amsterdam Designs Guest Suites as Groovy Event Spaces: With the opening of the new W Amsterdam next month, W Hotels has shifted the design of the larger guest suites to be more like event spaces with full bars, retro fireplaces, extensive seating options, and sophisticated entertainment systems. Read more at Skift

5 Charts That Show Where U.S. Hotels’ Opportunities Are in 2015: Room demand and revenues this year have hit all-time highs at U.S. hotels, but deciphering how and why this happens is anything but simple. Read more at Skift

Hotels Are Thrilled Government Workers Have $6 More to Spend: The U.S. government’s General Services Administration has increased its lodging allowance for government workers traveling in the continental U.S. during the next fiscal year. The increased spending will likely provide a revenue boost for domestic hotel brands. Read more at Skift

What It’s Like to Stay With Francis Ford Coppola, Boutique Hotelier: This deliciously languid, come-as-you-are ease is rarely the province of a five-star European hotel, especially one with a celebrity pedigree. But this hotel is owned by Francis Ford Coppola, Hollywood’s most legendary family man, and he wants you to make yourself comfortable here in his ancestral home of Bernalda, smack in the middle of boot-heeled Italy’s arch. Read more at Skift

YOUR TURN

Pam Mandel has a series of great black and white photos from this past weekend’s Book Passage Travel Conference over on her Instagram page. Take a look here.

TIPS AND COMMENTS

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

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Photo Credit: The tail of a Delta Boeing 767-300ER (76Z). Delta Air Lines