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Just like the Fed finally decided to budge on raising interest rates, the end of the era of no snacks in coach may finally be upon us. Last week, lost in the mishmash of premium economy fanfare, United Airlines announced that it would be reversing its policy on free snacks in coach, bringing a range of savory snacks including stroopwafel back into circulation.
The return of free snacks is a good indication of the general health of the airline (and the industry in general) — and consumers should be thrilled, until they think back to the free meals that used to come on Continental. Perhaps if airlines keep up their highest profits since 2006 even meals will return.
Social Quote of the Day
Here are the free snacks you get on every airline (in coach): http://on.mktw.net/1RIEyv0
Why Premium Economy Is Overrated: The newest class on flights varies wildly from airline to airline—are you getting a good deal behind that curtain? Read more at Conde Nast Traveler
Scandinavian Airlines’ Focus on Cheap Fuel and Business Travel Brings It Profits: Scandinavian Airlines parent SAS AB returned to full-year profit as it benefited from lower fuel prices and a sharper focus on business travel, sending the stock to its biggest gain in 11 months. Read more at Skift
How Does American’s New Premium Economy Stack Up Against Competition? American Airlines launched a new international premium economy product last week, the first domestic carrier to design a cabin succinctly between standard economy and business class. Read more at Skift
10 Air Travel Advances That Will Make Flying Better in 2016: Air travel might be a hassle, at times, but in many important ways it’s getting better. Really. Read more at Skift
American Airlines app helps you shop and eat at O’Hare: Whether you arrive at O’Hare with a hankering for a Rick Bayless torta or need to squeeze a bathroom break into the mad dash to your gate, American Airlines’ new app might help. Read more at the Chicago Tribune
Airports: The Unlikely New Scene of Pop-Ups and Parties: During the busiest travel time of the year, brands are offering interactive, pop-up experiences inside airport terminals. The idea is to capture the attention and funds of happy, eager-to-spend travelers waiting for their flights. Read more at The New York Times
Google Launching Company for Self-Driving Uber Rival in 2016: Google Inc. plans to make its self-driving cars unit, which will offer rides for hire, a stand-alone business under the Alphabet Inc. corporate umbrella next year, a person briefed on the company’s strategy said. Read more at Skift
Video: Mindtree’s CMO on “How Digital is Transforming the Traveler Experience”: Mindtree’s Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer, Paul Gottsegen presented a workshop at Skift Global Forum along with Scott Nason, a Tourism and Hospitality Consultant on the transformative power of digital within the traveler experience. Read more at Skift
Car Rentals in Europe Are Getting Cheaper for Americans: A new study from Auto Europe finds that car rental rates are on the decline around Europe for U.S. travelers, according to the company’s car rental data. Read more at Skift
French Hoteliers Kill Airbnb Deal With Country’s Largest Travel Booking Site: Airbnb Inc. felt the wrath of France’s hoteliers after a deal for customer referrals with the country’s most-visited travel-booking website was killed amid pressure from unions. Read more at Skift
Starwood Has a New CEO Until Marriott Acquisition Complete: Hotel operator Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. named Thomas B. Mangas as CEO to replace the departing Adam Aron, who is taking the reins of the theater chain AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. Read more at Skift
Marriott CEO: Job Cuts at Combined Starwood-Marriott Will Start at the Top: Marriott International CEO Arne Sorenson appeared on Fox Business News’ Sunday Morning Futures With Maria Bartiromo to talk jobs, growth, and his company’s impending merger with Starwood Hotels and Resorts. Read more at Skift
Carolyn Kremins, formerly from Condé Nast, has joined Skift as our President. Welcome aboard!
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Can be sent to gm[at]skift[dot]com or to @grantkmartin