What to Know Now

Oneworld’s least appreciated airline Airberlin has been quietly building a following in the United States over the last several years with reliable if not basic service from several major hubs into Germany. With oil low and basic economy fares on the rise though, this might be their time to shine.

Starting next year, Airberlin plans to expand service from their hub in Berlin out to Boston, Dallas and San Francsico, nearly doubling their footprint in the US. That’s good news for not only budget-minded international travelers but also partner passengers on American Airlines and British Airways, who can take advantage of codeshares and loyalty points. Hopefully the new competition drops airfares on those routes even further.

Social Quote of the Day

Today is an intense day — our LAST day of filming on @mythbusters. Let’s do it together, shall we? #mblast

@donttrythis | Adam Savage, Mythbusters host

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Airlines

Details Leak on a New American Airlines Loyalty Program: Frequent flyers have been dreading an update to AAdvantage, American Airlines’ loyalty program for months. Last week, the other shoe finally dropped. Read more at Skift

Airlines Can Profit from Being Smart, But Being Smarter Can Help Them Own the Journey: Terry Jones wants airlines to follow him down a new path, which, he says, could help airlines move beyond being transport providers to single-source travel services companies, by capitalizing on the inherent flaws of the travel search process. Read more at Skift

Three Meals in Four Hours: The Luxe Life of JetBlue’s Mint Class: Legs up, blanket on, and keep the food coming: inside the inaugural trip out of country for JetBlue’s Mint class. Read more at Conde Nast Traveler

EasyJet Launching Flight Club, a New Kind of Loyalty Program: EasyJet Plc said it will roll out a loyalty offering for frequent flyers next year, as Europe’s second-biggest discount carrier targets repeat customers. Read more at Skift

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Airports

United and Delta Deal at Newark Airport Hit With Federal Lawsuit: The U.S. sued United Continental Holdings Inc., seeking to block its acquisition of takeoff-and-landing rights from Delta Air Lines Inc. at New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International Airport, saying the deal threatens to raise prices for passengers. Read more at Skift

The Only Threat to Growing Gulf Carriers Is Crowded Skies Over the Region: Gulf airlines’ once unstoppable expansion is being tested by the peninsula’s congested airspace and airports, according to industry leaders. Read more at Skift

Tech

Singapore Airlines Will Offer High-Speed Broadband Wi-Fi on World’s Longest Flight: The return of the world’s longest flights between Singapore and New York will include high-speed broadband connections to help pass the time. Read more at Skift

Google Maps Goes Offline With New Features: With an update for Android phones Tuesday, you’ll be able to search nearby businesses and get driving directions, including turn-by-turn voice prompts, even if your Internet connection is spotty or non-existent. Google says a version for iPhones will come soon. Read more a Skift

Interview: The Future of Truly High-Speed In-Flight Wi-Fi: In-flight Wi-Fi has been, to put it frankly, stuck at the boarding gate during the past five years and even when it was cleared to board, it often felt like it never made it to the aircraft cabin. Read more at Skift

Gogo CEO Says Better In-Flight Internet Is Almost Here: Internet access in the sky for international airplane passengers is about to get a lot faster, for only a handful of flyers on select planes. Read more at Skift

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Hotels

Starwood Adds Design Hotels to Its Loyalty Program and Brand Family: Starwood Hotels & Resorts announced Monday the signing of SLS Vegas to its Tribute Portfolio, the company’s soft brand of independent properties, in Starwood’s largest hotel rooms deal in North America since before the 2008 depression. Read more at Skift

It’s Time to Put the Kibosh on Hotel Resort Fees: Mandatory resort fees are a gouge and a misrepresentation, a sleazy way to keep published prices low while forcing consumers to pay higher rates. They should either be outlawed altogether, or, what amounts to the same thing, folded into the published room rate. Read more at Skift

Video: Hyatt Hotels’ CEO on a New Perspective on the Hospitality Industry: Mark Hoplamazian, CEO of Hyatt Hotels, spoke at the Skift Global Forum about bringing a new perspective to the hospitality industry. Read more at Skift

Israel’s New Plan to Add 50% More Hotel Rooms Over Ten Years: Israel on Wednesday outlined plans to bring down the cost of vacationing in the country by increasing the number of hotel rooms by about 50 percent. Read more at Skift

Your Turn

Our own Jason Clampet was on CNBC a couple of days back. Check out the segment and admire his dashing looks here.

Tips and Comments

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Photo Credit: Airberlin's mobile boarding pass for the Pebble Smartwatch. Airberlin