Skift Take

Will United's CEO be able to take advantage of the goodwill pointing in his direction?

What to Know Now

United’s CEO is finally on his way home after heart replacement surgery. In a note to employees last week, Oscar Munoz told his team that he “feels great” and that “it won’t be long before we are working side by side again.” United expects Munoz to return to work full time in the late first or early second quarter.

Whether he’ll be able to return to operational duties at full steam again is another question. Though the exective has been able to accomplish more in weeks than his predecessor did in years, the business of turning an airline around is no small task — and Munoz has mountains to move.

Fortunately, the economy is in good shape and the airline has some wiggle room. But as Bloomberg Businesweek concludes, things won’t be this rosy forever.

Social Quote of the Day

I hope you have a nice weekend.

– @kanyewest | Kanye West



American and British Airways Want Approval for Joint Venture With LATAM: American Airlines Group Inc. and British Airways parent IAG SA signed joint venture agreements with Chile’s Latam Airlines Group SA as they seek the closest level of cooperation available with the No. 1 South American carrier short of a merger. Read more at Skift

United CEO Tells Employees He Is Going Home Now After Heart Transplant: United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz says he is going home from the hospital nine days after a heart transplant. In a letter to employees that United released Friday, Munoz said his doctors have been impressed with his progress and expect a quick recovery. Read more at Skift

Decoding Airline Fare Classes to Make the Most of Your Miles: Do you know what a Q fare is? How about an X or a Z? When you browse for flights on an airline’s website, assorted letters appear in your search results. Travelers often miss them. Or see them but don’t factor them into their decision about which flight to choose. But these letters matter. Read more at The New York Times

State of Wi-Fi Report Shows Rapid Expansion of In-Flight Internet Service: An annual report from Routehappy reveals that in-flight Internet is a rapidly growing commodity among global airlines and that across adoption, American carriers are leading the way. Read more at Skift

Nashville Airport


Nashville Airport Set a New Passenger Record in 2015: More than 11.6 million passengers traveled through the Nashville airport in 2015, a new record in the facility’s nearly 80-year history. Read more at Skift

On-Time Arrivals and Complaints Rise for U.S. Airlines in November: U.S. airlines are doing better at staying on schedule than a year ago, but more passengers are filing complaints against the carriers. Read more at Skift

Istanbul’s Airport Beats Frankfurt to Become Europe’s Third Busiest Airport: Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport overtook Frankfurt to enter the European top three for the first time in 2015 as Turkish Airlines continued its rapid expansion and strikes at Deutsche Lufthansa AG hurt the German hub. Read more at Skift

china traffic


Report: Don’t Blame Uber and Lyft for New York City Traffic: A new report by New York City shows Uber and other ride-hailing apps are not responsible for a rise in Manhattan traffic congestion. Read more at Skift

Uber CEO Says China Is Out-Innovating Silicon Valley: Watch out, Silicon Valley. China’s out to eat your lunch. Read more at Skift

dd46 bartech


Hotel Minibars Try to Make a Comeback With Better Design and Local Products: The hotel minibar, long a repository of familiar goods at very unfamiliar prices may not be completely dead, but it is ailing. Read more at Skift

Are you messy? Cleaning up your hotel room for the housekeeper: I appreciate the housekeeping staff at a hotel. Which is one reason I would prefer they stay out of my room. I am messy. I deal with it. I would prefer that strangers keep out of the chaos. Read more at the Sydney Morning Herald

Hyatt’s Malware Breach Infected at Least 250 Hotels in 2015: Hyatt said Thursday that it found malicious software in about 250 of its hotels that may have exposed customers’ credit- and debit-card numbers and other information to hackers. Read more at Skift

Your Turn

San Francisco’s next Weekday Wanderlust session has been scheduled for February 3rd. If you’re in town, stop by for a visit.

Tips and Comments

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

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Photo credit: A premium economy seat on United. United Airlines

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