U.S. airports are perennial losers when it comes to competing with some foreign airports but there are signs of a heartbeat and change is hopefully under way.
What to Know Now
Popcorn your way through any airport top 10 list and you’ll discover that almost every leading contender is outside of the U.S. Why is the U.S. so far behind? It’s partially got to do with the age of the airport (or the era in which the region needed the airport) but it’s also got to do with moxie.
Singapore, Abu Dhabi and Qatar are perennially at the top of their game. Singapore has a swimming pool. And Qatar proudly touted deep investment in the upcoming user experience just last week.
It’s not very hard to see the different trajectories.
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Alaska Airlines Brings Back Icelandair Partnership: There remain open questions on this one, but it’s certainly a net positive for frequent flyers if it only gives us the ability to earn useful (Alaska) miles when traveling on a paid ticket on Icelandair. Read more at Skift
Alaska Airlines’ Success is Fueled by More Travelers Visiting Hawaii: Alaska Airlines saw an opportunity in the Hawaii market nearly eight years ago that was too good to pass up. Read more at Skift
United Redirects Passenger Foot Traffic at O’Hare by Eliminating Moving Walkways: United Airlines has decided to remove its moving walkways at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. Read more at Skift
The Airline That Designed an Airport to Improve the Passenger Experience: In a presentation on designing the customer experience at the Aviation Festival in London, Qatar Airways SVP Customer Experience, Rossen Dimitrov, explained why refining passenger touch-points at the airport is as critical to the airline’s brand as it is in the skies. Read more at Skift
European Flyers Will Get Better Web Access From Inmarsat Deal: Europe’s flyers are set to get Web access on planes through a deal by satellite operator Inmarsat Plc and phone carrier Deutsche Telekom AG, as the companies seek to work with airline customers such as Deutsche Lufthansa AG. Read more at Skift
Freedompop launches free 4G mobile service in UK: A U.S. mobile operator offering a free 4G service has crossed the Atlantic to challenge budget providers such as TalkTalk and Tesco Mobile. Read more at the Telegraph
6 Things to Disinfect Every Time You Fly: Want to keep your family healthy when you fly? Better pack some hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes in your carry-on. Read more at About Travel
Discovery Is the Latest Media Brand to Join the Rush to Have Its Own Hotel Collection: For fans of Discovery Network, travel just got a whole lot more exciting. Read more at Skift
JetBlue in Partnership to Open Hotel in Old TWA Terminal at JFK Airport: JetBlue is an experienced hotelier, having opened a boutique hotel for employees in Orlando, and now it has struck a partnership with MCR Development to open a hotel as a minority partner in the old TWA Terminal at JFK Airport. Read more at Skift
Sheraton Has a $100 Million Marketing Campaign to Revive the ‘Tired Brand:’ Not long after the announcement of its newest premier-tier Sheraton Grand brand, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts launched a $100 million multi-channel marketing campaign, its most comprehensive effort since 2011. Read more at Skift
They Best American Travel Writing anthology 2015 edition comes out in two weeks and our dear friend David Farley is featured for a recent story in Afar. Keep an eye out for it on bookshelves soon.
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Can be sent to gm[at]skift[dot]com or to @grantkmartin
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Photo credit: Passenger poses by the rooftop swimming pool at Singapore's Changi Airport. Changi Airport