What to Know Now

Rumors have been floating around a potential exit for the floundering Starwood hotel chain for the entire summer. First Intercontinental was going to acquire the hotelsthen they weren’t. Then some Chinese investors showed up. Lots of them.

And then, this week, Chicago-based Hyatt emerged as a front runner for an acquisition. According to some sources, a deal is even close.

Investors are obviously having a field day, but so are frequent travelers. Hyatt has one of the best loyalty programs on the planet while Starwood has one of the most lucrative. Putting the two together could be a match made in heaven.

Social Quote of the Day

THIS WOULD BE AMAZING

View from the Wing on a theoretical Starwood acquisition from Hyatt

Spirit A319

Airlines

IATA Study Finds You Can’t Run an Airline on Happy Passengers Alone: Happy customers alone don’t make airlines profitable, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has found. Read more at Skift

Steaks on a Plane: Which U.S. Airline Spends the Most on Your Dinner? A look at the latest numbers on in-flight food from the U.S. Department of Transportation show a vast range in what individual airlines are investing in their kitchens. Read more at Conde Nast Traveler

Airfares Are a Bargain on U.S. Carriers, Thanks to Threat From Spirit and Peers: Travelers, rejoice. Bargain airfares on many routes have become the big story in the domestic airline industry, with the deals likely to continue well into 2016. Read more at Skift

ohare walkways united 2

Airports

United Begins Testing New Boarding Method at ORD: This week, United Airlines will be trialing a new boarding method at O’Hare International Airport (ORD) in an effort to reduce the amount of time passengers are standing in line. Read more at Flyertalk

Scottish airports ‘normal’ after air traffic control chaos: Scotland’s busiest airports have returned to normal after a day of disruption caused by an air traffic control failure. Read more at BBC News

Shangri-La-models-with-VR-headset

Tech

Interview: TripAdvisor CEO on What Instant Booking Means to Its Future: There’s an argument making that rounds that Google’s moves to implement a Book on Google feature, where consumers would book hotels in Google search or maps, is a lot of hype, or even a non-event, because Google would never want to alienate its largest travel advertisers: online travel agencies such as the Priceline Group and Expedia. Read more at Skift

How to Solve Hate Selling in Travel in 4 Simple Steps: Travel’s unique relationship with hate-selling — a combination of high-pressure sales and fear of missing out — puts travelers on the defensive when they’re just about to make a big purchase. Read more at Skift

Shangri-La Hotels CMO on Secrets to Developing a Virtual Reality Strategy: Shangri-La Hotels will officially announce tomorrow that it’s the first international hospitality brand to roll out Samsung Gear Virtual Reality (VR) headsets for each of its 17 global sales offices and 94 individual hotel sales teams. Read more at Skift

Icelandair’s New In-Flight Wi-Fi Study Is a Thing of Beauty: Wi-Fi service in the sky is a booming business, in high-demand by passengers, and a key driver in passenger experience satisfaction, we’ve heard. Read more at Skift

Bochum_-_Stadionring_-_Ramada_02_ies

Hotels

Hostelworld Prices Its IPO at a $270 Million Valuation: Hostelworld Group, which states it offers a lower-priced distributed channel than online travel agencies for hostels and other budget accommodations, priced its IPO in the UK and Ireland, valuing the company at $270.3 million. Read more at Skift

Extended Stay America Sees a Potential Partner, Not a Threat From Airbnb: Although some financial analysts and others view Airbnb as a threat to the incumbents in the extended stay category, Extended Stay America officials believe the two companies address different markets and downplayed the challenge. Read more at Skift

Wyndham CEO Views Growing its Midscale Brands as Huge Opportunity: Amid the whirlwind of lifestyle brands launched by most major hotel chains over the past couple of years, Wyndham remains focused on its economy and midscale brands to cater to a middle America that travel brands often ignore. Read more at Skift

Your a Turn

One Mile at a Time has a nice post up about what it’s like being married to a miles and points geek today. Some of you may relate.

Tips and Comments

CAN BE SENT TO GM[AT]SKIFT[DOT]COM OR To @GRANTKMARTIN

Subscribe to the Skift Business Traveler Newsletter

Photo Credit: Hyatt Regency Birmingham. Hyatt Hotels