What to Know Now
Welcome to the business travel game for 2016, dear readers. The next twelve months bring the end of earning miles based on how far you fly, the sunset of more than one beloved hotel brand and the continued, global erosion of loyalty programs across the board. It’ll be a leaner year for budget travelers for sure, but have no doubt: the travel economy will be strong and there are still many ways to thrive.
We look forward to spending the year with you. Our first flight: Monday afternoon from San Francisco to Phoenix to Las Vegas.
Social Quote of the Day
Second flight of the year is now the first delayed flight of the year.
One Flight Attendant on 5 Decades of Flying: Carol Andrews, a United Airlines flight attendant for 52 years with more than 10 million miles under her belt, was showing no signs of slowing down on a recent afternoon as she addressed a lady’s group while dressed in her 1960s United uniform. Read more at Skift
FAA Targets 767 Escape Slides That Deploy When They Aren’t Supposed To: Federal regulators have proposed changes to Boeing 767 jets operated by U.S. airlines and cargo carriers to prevent accidental deployment of the emergency escape slides. Read more at Skift
Tips on how to avoid paying for hand luggage and excess baggage fees: The lengths to which passengers go to avoid paying for over-sized hand luggage has been revealed – and frankly, it’s embarrassing. Read more at the Sydney Morning Herald
Delta’s Pilots Say It’s Their Turn To Cash In: The union representing Delta Air Lines Inc.’s pilots wants raises of almost 40 percent compounded over three years, attempting to reverse some of the pay and benefit cuts adopted in the early 2000s. Read more at Skift
Cuba Travel Spurs Key West Airport To Expand Customs Facility: The customs facility at Key West International Airport is being expanded to process dozens more passengers per hour. Read more at Skift
First Scheduled Airbus A350 Flight Landed in US Today: While the plane officially launched from the US with a JFK departure on December 10, this is the first regular scheduled flight. As of now, the A350 will fly from PHL to Doha every day of the week. Read more at The Points Guy
4 Charts Showing the State of Airline Flight Schedules Around the World: If your flight home for the holidays seemed longer or shorter than usual, that probably wasn’t a coincidence. Read more at Skift
Wi-Fi Hotspots in NYC Will Replace Payphone Relics: A 9-foot-tall, narrow structure installed this past week on a Manhattan sidewalk is signaling a plan to turn payphones into what’s billed as the world’s biggest and fastest municipal Wi-Fi network. Read more at Skift
Business Travelers’ New Year’s Resolutions: Get Healthier, Have More Fun: For some business travelers, the start of a new year offers an opportunity to take stock of ways to improve travel habits. Read more at Skift
Interview: Hipmunk CEO on the Simplicity of Mobile Apps: Adam Goldstein, CEO and co-founder of Hipmunk, spoke with Skift earlier this fall about the challenges of enticing consumers to download – and continue to use – travel-based mobile applications. Read more at Skift
Hotels Tried To Eliminate the Traditional In-Room Desk But Created a Backlash: Marriott and Holiday Inn Express experimented with removing the traditional desk inside guest rooms and the moves triggered a backlash. Read more at Skift
Investigating the secret life of a luxury hotel mystery inspector: Being a mystery inspector is not a vocation or a vacation. I am not paid for my inspections. Rather, I am reimbursed for my expenses at the hotel, and I must get there on my own dime. I only receive one night – two, if it’s a remote location – to answer all the questions on the forms, and I’m kept very busy putting the hotel through its paces. I note everything, even if the floral arrangements are fresh. There’s no time to rest. Read more at The Globe and Mail
Paris Hotel Bookings Are Down for New Year’s Celebrations: Hotels and restaurants in Paris are still suffering in the wake of last month’s Islamist militant attacks with bookings for New Year celebrations down 30-40 percent, a hotel federation said. Read more at Skift
Skift’s co-founder and oracle Rafat Ali has a nice piece out on how we got off the VC wagon and thrashed our way to profitability. Read it here.
Tips and Comments
Can be sent to gm[at]skift[dot]com or to @grantkmartin
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How Far Will Google Take New Hotel and Environment Claims?
It's a nice step for Google to provide more information about hotels' sustainability practices in search results. But will the company have the guts to get "political," in the eyes of some, and push hotel listings higher or lower based on environmental practices?
Dennis Schaal | 5 days ago
Expedia Consolidates 3 Loyalty Programs With New Rewards for Vacation Rentals
With Marriott Bonvoy making loyalty inroads, and subscription programs having a moment, Expedia Group is consolidating its far-flung loyalty programs in a move that coincides with its strategy to simplify its operations.
Dennis Schaal | 6 days ago