What to Know Now

In the giant sandbox that is the U.S. airline industry, on time performance is the latest and greatest toy. Better on time performance obviously means fewer missed flights and happier customers — but it’s also a pretty solid marketing tool. In September, Delta went so far as to brag that its performance is better than American and United’s. United is now changing its scheduling to improve its own metrics. And though nobody will admit it, American is now boarding flights solidly before the “30 minute window” in order to keep the wheels greased.

Until this recent push it’s been hard to beat Hawaiian’s on time performance due to the perennial good weather in Hawaii and the ease of keeping flights on schedule in that environment. According to the most recent numbers though, Delta may have actually done it, edging Hawaiian out last month by delivering 85.5% of flights on time. It’s an impressive feat for a massive and widespread airline — let’s see how that holds through the winter.

Social Quote of the Day

Really good job turning @Delta 672 at DCA today. In spite of everything, we got out of there roughly ontime. @Delta is an ontime machine.

@MJonTravel | MJ on Travel, Boarding Area Blogger

Fact Check FAA Furloughs

Airlines

Southwest Looks Abroad to Expand After Four Decades of U.S. Growth: Since its start in 1971, Southwest Airlines Co. has stuck to its knitting, emphasizing discounts, short U.S.-only flights and cattle-call boarding. The strategy worked: It’s been profitable for 42 straight years. So why mess with success? Read more at Skift

Can Airline Alliances Still Deliver Value to Passengers? If you’re wondering whether there’s any added value offered to passengers from alliances in the age of diminishing returns on loyalty programs, you’re not alone. Read more at Skift

Ultra-Low Cost Carriers Are Breeding a New Kind of Passenger Hate: Spirit is one of a new breed of airline called ultra-low-cost carriers that also includes Frontier Airlines and Allegiant Air. They have grown rapidly by luring travelers with cheap base fares that undercut the big airlines, and boast among the best operating profits margins in the business. Read more at Skift

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Airports

Heathrow Reveals a Vision for Its Third Runway Expansion: Heathrow Airport has released renderings and a video revealing its vision for the airport with a third runway expansion. Facilities include a new central terminal, hotels, and a business park. Read more at Skift

8 Charts Showing the World’s Largest Airport Megahubs: Some 22 U.S. airports, among the world’s busiest for passenger traffic, are on OAG’s list for the top 50 largest global megahubs for the number of connections they offer. Read more at Skift

Asia’s Busiest International Airport Has to Wait 10 Years for a New Runway: Hong Kong has a plan to counter growing competition from airports in North Asia. It starts in 2023. Read more at Skift

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Tech

The Mounting Risks Behind Uber’s Ambitious Plan for World Domination: Uber Inc’s aggressive global expansion is looking costlier and riskier than ever as the company struggles with regulatory and competitive obstacles in major markets. Read more at Skift

Adobe’s New Digital Tool for Removing Tourists From Your Photos: The problem with being a tourist is that by the time you’ve reached your sightseeing destination, every other tourist is there too. Not exactly great for vacation photos. Read more at Skift

Ride-Hailing Apps Face Private-Car Ban in China: China’s transport ministry is drafting rules for online car-hailing services to protect passenger safety by banning the use of private cars. Read more at Skift

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Hotels

U.S. Business Travelers’ 2016 Hotel Rates Will See Largest Increases in a Decade: It’s become a given that hotel rates for U.S. business travelers will climb each year, but many companies won’t take respite in next year’s projected year-over-year increase of 6.5 to 7.5%–the largest in nearly a decade. Read more at Skift

Vienna’s New On-Demand Coworking Hotel Is the Future of Hospitality: When travelers book a room online at the new Hotel Schani in Vienna, they book the actual room they’ll be staying in, just like people do when they book flights and their specific seats. Read more at Skift

Holiday Inns in Rural Canadian Towns Attract Private Equity Firm: Cerberus Capital Management and Westmont Hospitality Group are betting on small Canadian hotels in regions hit hardest by the slide in oil prices. Read more at Skift

Hyatt Regency Tells Guests That Not Being at Home Can Be a Good Thing: Hyatt Regency announced on Tuesday a multimillion dollar integrated global marketing campaign “It’s Good Not to Be Home,” an idea that speaks as much to the perceived freedom of travel as the benefits of hotels over other options. Read more at Skift

Your Turn

Turns out that Anthony Bourdain’s first collaboration with Matt Goulding and the Roads & Kingdoms team is a food guidebook. Read more about it here.

Tips and Comments

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

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Photo Credit: A Delta plane at Salt Lake City airport. Aero Icarus / Flickr