What to Know Now

Business travelers who fly complicated tickets with multiple legs may be used to booking “multi-city” itineraries, but if we’re careful, we may soon end up paying a lot more for our airfare. New pricing structures adopted by the airlines this week have changed how multi-city tickets are priced, leading many of the itineraries to jump 6 to 7 times in price.

The so-called source of the problem? Travel hackers. With many airlines pricing single legs at ultra-low prices to compete with low cost carriers, savvy travelers found out that by stitching multiple legs together into one multi-city trip (instead of one point-to-point trip with a connection) prices could be driven down. This change closes that loophole — and makes much of everything else more expensive in the process.

Not to worry though, according to multiple blogs, it’s still possible to get around the gouging by booking single one-way tickets from point-to-point.

Social Quote of the Day

It took @HillaryClinton five Metrocard swipes to get on the New York City Subway. Just like us.

– @mashable

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Airlines

Alaska Air Is Using Virgin America to Bulk Up Against Rivals: From an initial overture five months ago through a two-day bidding war last week, Alaska Air Group Inc. was determined to acquire Virgin America Inc. as a means toward national expansion — and protection from larger rivals. Read more at Skift

China Eastern Becomes Third Major Airline to Pull Its Flights From Qunar: China Eastern Airlines joined the other two members of the Big Three carriers, China Southern and Air China, in dropping out of Ctrip-controlled booking site Qunar because of customer complaints about irregular bookings on the site. Read more at Skift

Legacy Airlines Change Pricing Rules To Boost Fares on Multi-City Tickets: The three largest U.S. airlines have changed the way they price multi-city trips, forcing those who book such itineraries to pay hundreds of extra dollars in airfare. Read more at Skift

Embattled Malaysia Airlines Sees First Monthly Profit in Years: The chief executive of Malaysia Airlines said Wednesday that the carrier recorded a profit in February, its first positive monthly result in years, and is on track to return to the black by 2018. Read more at Skift

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Airports

On-Time Airline Arrivals Are on the Rise and So Are Complaints: More flights are arriving on time and airlines are losing fewer bags, yet more consumers are complaining about air travel. Read more at Skift

TSA Isn’t Doing Enough to Secure U.S. Airports From Rogue Employees: The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation held a hearing on transportation security Wednesday, with a specific focus on performing better vetting of airport employees. Read more at Skift

Airports, Designed for Everyone but the Passenger: Airports have been drastically transformed since the 1970s, when you could smoke anywhere, stroll leisurely through security and hug your loved one at the gate before boarding the plane. Read more at The New York Times.

United Airlines Abandons Plan To Buy Even More Slots at Newark from Delta: United Continental Holdings Inc. abandoned a plan to buy extra landing rights at New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International Airport, almost five months after the U.S. sued to block the deal due to the carrier’s already dominant market share. Read more at Skift

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Tech

Gogo Seeks Growth Outside of U.S. Where Demand for In-Flight Wi-Fi Is Strong: Gogo has released a study showing global demand of in-flight connectivity that states “the U.S. market has become saturated with in-flight Wi-Fi and wireless in-flight entertainment.” Read more at Skift

Facebook’s 360-Degree Travel Videos Offer Destinations a New Path to Marketing: For the first time, hundreds of millions of consumers around the world can watch 360-degree, virtual reality videos on Facebook via their own devices. It has helped that some travel brands have already spent millions to showcase their cities and landscapes on this new media platform. Read more at Skift

Drones Take the Place of Lasers as Top Concern for Airline Safety: The threat in recent years of pilots blinded by high-powered lasers may soon be superseded by this potentially more fearsome prospect: drones finding their way into restricted airspace around airports. Read more at Skift

The Future of Corporate Travel Is Slow Growth: A new research report and the latest update to the U.S. Travel Association’s Leading Travel Index show that corporate and managed travel in the U.S. is in what amounts to a slump. Read more at Skift

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Hotels

AccorHotels CEO: It’s Foolish and Irresponsible to Fight Against the Sharing Economy: Paris-based AccorHotels, the biggest Europe-based hotel operator, with more than 500,000 rooms worldwide, has been on a buying spree of late. Read more at Skift

MGM Resorts Launches New $100 Million Park on the Las Vegas Strip: MGM Resorts opened The Park this week on the Las Vegas Strip to answer growing demand for more outdoor social spaces from both leisure visitors and convention organizers. Read more at Skift

Bill Marriott Says ‘We Were Done’ if Anbang Had Made Another Starwood Bid: If Anbang’s consortium had followed through with its $82.75 per share all-cash bid for Starwood Hotels & Resorts, valued at nearly $14 billion, would Marriott have tried to outbid them? Today Marriott gave that answer: No. Read more at Skift

your Turn

The Wien family is responsible for a legacy of good flying and writing across Alaska and the continental US. Kent Wien, a U.S. pilot, penned the Cockpit Chronicles series for Gadling.com (now part of Skift). Kent’s grandfather, Noel Wien, started Wien Air (now part of Alaska Air) in 1927. Now Kent’s father, Noel Merrill Wein, is out with an autobiography. Check it out on Amazon here.

Tips and Comments

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

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Photo Credit: A United Airlines plane on the tarmac. Skift