What to Know Now
United can’t catch a break (well, except for today’s earnings report). First it loses its CEO to a ridiculous scandal involving secret flights for shady politicians and then the new CEO, Oscar Munoz, falls ill after only a few weeks at the job.
The airline’s acting CEO while Munoz is on the mend will be general counsel Brett Hart. And at the top of his priority list? Stability. United’s shares have been taking a beating on the stock market while the latent operational and union issues for the airline are still burning hot.
Fingers crossed for a speedy Munoz recovery. The fate of the airline may well rest on it.
Social Quote of the Day
Just got out of the #MSP state of the airport luncheon.
Highlights: Plans approved for attached airport hotel.
Passengers Get What They Pay For Says IATA’s Outgoing CEO: As he prepares to leave his post at the head of the world’s largest airline organization, IATA’s Director General, Tony Tyler, shared some wisdom with Skift on the sources of customer dissatisfaction with airlines, and what passengers have to look forward to over the next 20 years of aviation. Read more at Skift
Lufthansa Is Latest Airline to Leave Russia as International and Domestic Flights Slump: Russia’s airline connections to the outside world are diminishing as an economic slowdown hurts demand and renders more and more routes unprofitable, with Deutsche Lufthansa AG and SAS AB the latest to join an exodus led by discount carrier EasyJet Plc. Read more at Skift
Hawaiian Air’s New Premium Cabin Gets Lie-Flat Seats and More Room: Hawaiian Airlines has revealed a luxury upgrade to its A330 premium cabins, with the introduction of bespoke lie-flat seats from Italian independent aircraft seat manufacturer Optimares. Read more at Skift
Lufthansa Eyeing Berlin as Its New Low-Cost European Hub: Deutsche Lufthansa AG may offer long-haul flights from Berlin for the first time in a decade as Europe’s second largest carrier expands its low-cost arm. Read more at Skift
Inside TWA’s Iconic JFK Terminal Before the Hotel Conversion Begins: Thousands of visitors were expected at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport on Sunday to get a last look at the iconic architecture of the Trans World Airlines Flight Center before the futuristic 1960’s building is converted into a hotel. Read more at Skift
Virgin America Adds Spotify and New York Times as Latest Perks in In-Flight Wi-Fi Race: After the launch of its high-speed ViaSat InFlight Wi-Fi connection and the announcement of Netflix streaming service onboard, Virgin America has raised the stakes once again by announcing a partnership with Spotify and New York Times, which will offer the airline’s passengers a wider variety of tunes and news to enjoy onboard. Read more at Skift
Expedia Hopes to Get Competitive Edge by Helping Customers Better Understand Airline Fees: Expedia’s online travel sites are introducing tools designed to show the true cost of flying. Read more at Skift
An App for Gay Travelers That Focuses on the Social: For gay travelers, a GPS-enabled dating app can prove quite useful when away from home. Land in Miami or Madrid, fire up Scruff or Grindr and, voilà, immediately find a bunch of guys in the area who are available for dates or casual hookups. But with its latest update, soon to be released, Scruff is more fully incorporating travel with the introduction of a feature called Scruff Venture. Read more at The New York Times
Gogo CEO Doesn’t Care Whether the Future of Wi-Fi Is Free or Not: Gogo CEO Michael Small believes the future of in-flight Wi-Fi will be a “smart platform” that connects passengers to “everything,” and from a business standpoint Gogo doesn’t care whether airlines offer free or fee-based Wi-Fi to their passengers. Read more at Skift
InterContinental Hotels Earnings Reveal Room Revenue Growth Everywhere but China: InterContinental Hotels Group Plc, the world’s largest provider of hotel accommodation, said third-quarter room revenue rose as the owner of the Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza brands saw increases in all its regions except Greater China. Read more at Skift
Building a Business Hotel in Brooklyn for the Creative Class: Over the past three years, the Wythe Hotel has grown its reputation through word of mouth and by providing a safe haven for international creatives in Brooklyn. Read more at Skift
Yessss: Aloft Hotels Introduce Emoji Room Service!!! I know what you’ve been thinking — “why can’t I order room service using emojis?!?!” Read more at One Mile at a Time
There’s still a week left in National Book Month. See a schedule of events (sadly, centered around New York City) here.
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Can be sent to gm[at]skift[dot]com or to @grantkmartin
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Photo credit: At least the food in the United lounges is consistent. United Airlines