What to Know Now

The breaking news this morning is that Marriott is buying Starwood. This despite the near miss of Hyatt purchasing Starwood and the speculation around a sale for months now. Details of the purchase are still murky, but according to Scott Mayerowitz of the AP, the deal is supposed to close in mid 2016.

As to the fate of your point balances on either side of the equation, nobody is sure, but hotels have no reason to hurry. It could be months after the final sale before the loyalty programs get ironed out.

Meanwhile, Starwood is still moving forward as usual. Last week, the conglomerate announced the most recent addition to its spectrum of properties with Design Hotels, an ultra-boutique chain with nearly 300 member properties around the world, many in markets not yet represented in Starwood’s collection.

With Design and the gobs of other properties under the respective Marriott and Starwood brand umbrellas, the joint operation that’s looming on the horizon is going to have a massive competitive footprint. We’ll keep you updated on how the operation comes together.

More Coverage:

Social Quote of the Day

The ANA R2-D2 Jet In-Flight Experience Like No Other http://geekcu.lt/1lo6asL #StarWars

@GeekCultureCo

CEO of Lufthansa Carsten Spohr delivers a speech on the occasion of a baptizing ceremony of a Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental at the ILA Berlin Air Show in Selchow

Airlines

Lufthansa’s CEO Is Ready for a Long Fight With Unions: Deutsche Lufthansa AG Chief Executive Officer Carsten Spohr is digging in for the battle of his professional life. Read more at Skift

11 Tips for Sleeping Well on a Plane: A clinical sleep educator shares the best tips in her arsenal for successful in-flight snoozing. Read more at Conde Nast Traveler

Thai Airways Needs a Rescue Plan to Help It Compete in the Region: Thai Airways International Pcl has been losing more money even though tourism to Bangkok, Phuket and Chiang Mai is setting records. Thailand’s government just warned executives to finally fix the operations or face consequences. Read more at Skift

Passengers Aren’t Happy With U.S. Airlines’ Customer Service This Year: From mistake fares to tarmac delays, passengers responded with everything but silence as customer service-related complaints against U.S. airlines rose 33% during the past year. Read more at Skift

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Airports

Latest Cathay Pacific Lounge Focuses on At-Home Comforts: Cathay Pacific Airways has opened a new lounge for passengers traveling out of Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, with a special focus on personal comforts to help First and Business class travelers feel at home. Read more at Skift

JetBlue Unveiling Its Improvements to Boston’s Logan Airport: Logan International Airport is getting an update. Read more at Skift

European Airports Increase Security After Attacks in Paris: European airport operators and airlines sought to maintain business as usual following Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris that killed at least 120 people and led the French government to impose a state of emergency. Read more at Skift

British Business Leaders Urge Prime Minister to Act on Heathrow Expansion: Prime Minister David Cameron must urgently approve a new runway at London’s Heathrow airport and resist any further delays, 50 business leaders wrote in a letter to the Sunday Telegraph. Read more at Skift

china pollute

Tech

China Eastern Becomes First Chinese Carrier to Launch Global In-Flight Wi-Fi: China Eastern Airlines has become the first Chinese airline to offer high-speed Wi-Fi connections on international flights, through the installation of Panasonic Avionics eXConnect connectivity system and a partnership with China Telecom Satellite. Read more at Skift

How scents and smells influence our travel choices and experiences: Scents are incredibly powerful, and they can carry you around the world. Read more at the Sydney Morning Herald

Gogo’s Maturation Is Good News for In-Flight Wi-Fi: For years, people have cursed lousy, expensive Wi-Fi on airplanes, with most of the ire directed at Gogo, the largest player in the field. Read more at Skift

Moxy Hotels Taryn Southern

Hotels

Moxy Hotels’ New YouTube Series Is Not Intended For Mature Audiences: Moxy Hotels launched a new video campaign today called “Do Not Disturb” with YouTube queen Taryn Southern interviewing other online influencers, some of whom have a thing for black leather bullwhips and bizarre high-alcohol cocktails. Others just want to cuddle. Read more at Skift

Starwood Adds Design Hotels to Its Loyalty Program and Brand Family: Design Hotels has deepened its relationship with majority owner Starwood Hotels Resorts in a partnership that gives member hotels access to the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) loyalty program as well as Starwood’s consumer and corporate booking channels. Read more at Skift

The Welcome Return of the Posh Airport Hotel: Scan the lodging options around most big U.S. airports, and you’ll find an abundance of humble accommodations—along with a few best described as frightening. Read more at Skift

Your Turn

Yahoo! has a nice roundup of travelers sharing their memories of Paris. Find it here.

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Photo Credit: Will SPG Keyless be coming to Marriott properties? Starwood Hotels and Resorts