What to Know Now

Upgrades across the board have been harder to secure over the last half-year due to fuller flights and a bumper crop of inexpensive business class fares. If Delta Air Lines has its way though, those upgrades are going to get even more uncommon. According to the airline’s most recent investor call and a widely circulated deck projecting first class sales, Delta plans to spend more of its time hate selling (er, upselling) economy passengers and selling open seats rather than leave the inventory open for upgrades. In the end, the silver lining is that regular consumers may get cheaper access to first class — but the elites will pay.

Social Quote of the Day

As long as Delta continues to offer a substantially superior [hard and soft] product to United and American, they can pretty much do whatever they want loyalty program wise.

Justin @ View From the Wing

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Airlines

Delta to Buy Up to 40 Jets to Reinvigorate Its Aging Fleet: Delta Air Lines Inc. plans to add as many as 40 jetliners to refresh its fleet, reviving a plan that was scuttled earlier this year when pilots spurned a new contract agreement. Read more at Skift

TAM Is the First Airline in the Americas to Get Airbus’ Next-Gen A350: TAM Airlines, Brazil, has received the first Airbus A350 XWB ever delivered to the Americas, and becomes the fourth airline in the world to operate this next-generation, energy-efficient aircraft. Read more at Skift

Why So Many American Flight Attendants Hate Providing You Service: Delta manages it consistently (and they have better on-time performance than American does..). Yet American flight attendants have been inconsistent at best at offering this. Read more at View from the Wing

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Airports

Chicago Airports Planning for More That 4 Million Passengers Over Holidays: More than 4.6 million travelers are expected to pass through Chicago’s two airports during the holidays. Read more at Skift

U.S.-Mexico Expand Air Travel Opportunities in New Agreement: The United States and Mexico have agreed to open their air markets so that airlines from both countries can operate the routes they want with no restrictions. Read more at Skift

Orlando International Airport Is Having Another Record Year: More than 38 million passengers passed through Orlando International Airport in the past year, making it the busiest year ever for the airport. Read more at Skift

Virgin Australia’s Convertible Check-In Desks Do Both DIY and Full-Service: Virgin Australia has installed SITA’s new flexible passenger check-in technology at its new domestic terminal at Perth Airport. Read more at Skift

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Tech

Uber Model for Flight-Sharing Struck Down by Federal Court: Private pilots can’t offer flight-sharing services to the public using an Internet model similar to those developed by Uber and Lyft, a federal appeals court ruled Friday. Read more at Skift

3 Hoteliers on the New Technology They’ll Give Employees in 2016: The past year saw plenty of new technology hitting the hands of travelers — from keyless hotel entry to Apple Watch flight notifications — and many brands let their employees join in with this new gadget and mobile love. Read more at Skift

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Hotels

Landmark Hotel at Grand Canyon Will Get Renovation in 2017: A landmark hotel at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon will close for a few months in 2017 for a major renovation. Read more at Skift

Hilton Worldwide To Spin Off Hotels Like Marriott Did Years Ago: The Wall Street Journal reports that Hilton Worldwide plans to spin off 147 properties that it owns or leases into a real estate investment trust and, because Hilton already sought IRS approval for the spinoff, Hilton would be grandfathered in and protected against an expected government tax clampdown on such spinoffs in a bill that the U.S. House of Representatives is considering this week. Read more at Skift

Your Turn

The Points Guy appears to be launching a (web?) TV show. Watch the YouTube trailer here.

Tips and Comments

Can be sent to gm[at]skift[dot]com or to @grantkmartin

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Photo Credit: The elusive prize. Delta Air Lines