What to Know Now
Delta’s simultaneously most loved and most hated CEO just announced his retirement. He’ll be resigning his position in May to Ed Bastian, the airline’s current president.
Mr. Anderson led the airline through some remarkably tough times as the American economy slowed through a recession and oil hit all-time highs. Throughout, Delta led the way in profit from ancillary revenue while maintaining an updated fleet and brand, leading many to label it the best current airline for business travelers.
At the same time though, many of the changes implemented by Anderson’s Delta antagonized its competitors and frequent flyers. Delta has out-innovated others in charging extra for “branded fares” while SkyMiles, Delta’s loyalty program, has effectively been destroyed. Aggressive tactics in Seattle and the Middle East have also not made the airline popular with Alaska Airlines and Qatar.
In short. Delta’s shareholders are sad to see the CEO go while elite members and competitors are pleased. Either way, he was a hell of a businessman.
Social Quote of the Day
Say what you will about RA, he played a hand pretty similar to the cards Smisek was dealt and won the poker tournament. Smisek ended up having to borrow bus fare home from the casino.
Delta Air Lines CEO Retires After Leading Turnaround: Richard Anderson, who oversaw Delta Air Lines’ transformation into one of the world’s most profitable airlines, will retire this May. His right-hand man, airline president Ed Bastian, will take over as CEO, the Atlanta-based airline said Wednesday. Read more at Skift
Why 2016 Will Be A Terrible Year For Earning Frequent Flyer Miles: The world of airline loyalty programs is contracting this year, making it harder for travelers to both earn and spend their frequent flyer miles. Read more at Skift
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A Subscription Service for Unlimited Monthly Flights Is Here: Subscription-based commercial flight services haven’t really been attempted yet, for a variety of reasons. But flight booking start-up OneGo wants to attract small companies and business travelers by offering unlimited domestic U.S. flights for the price of a monthly subscription payment. Read more at Skift
Airlines Finally Realize They Can Afford to Give Free Snacks: After 15 years of near austerity, U.S. airlines are restoring some small perks for passengers crammed into coach. Read more at Skift
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New York City’s Uber Drivers Strike to Protest Fare Cuts: Uber drivers plan a strike outside the company’s New York City offices Monday to protest price cuts. Read more at Skift
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Marriott Executives Explain the Brand’s Internal Strategy Shift at MIT: Two of Marriott’s key executives responsible for driving the hotel group’s corporate culture turnaround spoke at the MIT Design Driven Innovation conference this week in Boston. Read more at Skift
Hotels’ Efforts to Keep Guests Healthier Expand to Meet Guests’ New Needs: Running concierges, a hotel mini bar stocked with produce from the local farmers market and a training wall that comes standard in every room. The hotel industry is moving beyond basement gyms and basic spa menus to accommodate guests’ growing requests to stay healthy while on the road. Read more at Skift
Hotel Loyalty and the Next Generation of Guest Personalization: One bedrock of building more long-term, “relationship-focused” loyalty relies upon hotels offering more personalized, customized experiences for loyalty travelers. Read more at Skift
The Points Guy TV kicked off this week. More on it’s success on Skift.
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Can be sent to gm[at]skift[dot]com or to @grantkmartin