What to Know Now

United has finally settled its uneasy board after weeks of grumbling from some of its biggest investors. As part of the changes, CEO Oscar Munoz has agreed to punt on his role of chairman and release it to Robert Milton, the former CEO of Air Canada. Several other board members including the former CEO of Orbitz (who is also now the Chairman of Lola travel) are also joining.

What does this mean for business travelers? With the board now on sturdier ground, Munoz can now get back to turning around his company and improving both the employee and customer experience. Though the new CEO made solid progress in his early stint as head cheese, a brief hiatus and turmoil on the board have been heady distractions. With those behind him, it’s finally time to get down to business.

Social Quote of the Day

3/ Thanks to Oscar Munoz, Bob Milton, and the UAL board for recognizing the need for change and collaborating to move United forward.

– @altcap | Brad Gerstner, Founder – Altimeter Capital

U.S. Airways CEO Doug Parker announces the planned merger of AMR Corp, the parent of American Airlines in Dallas

Airlines

Malaysia Airlines CEO Announces Departure Less Than One Year In: Malaysia Airlines CEO Christoph Mueller will leave his job in September, way ahead of the end of his three-year contract, due to his “changing personal circumstances.” Read more at Skift

Senate Bill Would Mandate Refunds for Checked Bags That Arrive Late: From package delivery drones to bomb-sniffing dogs, a bill approved by the Senate on Tuesday makes extensive changes to aviation safety, security and consumer programs and policies. Read more at Skift

Skift CMO Interviews: Etihad and the Advantages of Building an Airline From Scratch: Etihad Airways has focused its brand on the concept of flying “Reimagined,” which has been the campaign slogan for its revolutionary cabin interiors products, and it is the platform on which the airline focuses its service and competitive strategy. Read more at Skift

American Airlines Is Working to Woo Corporate Travel Executives: With hundreds of corporate travel managers gathered a short drive away from its corporate headquarters Monday, American Airlines was not throwing away its shot to make a good impression. Read more at Skift
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Airports

O’Hare Officials Propose New Overnight Flight Plans: Flyers could soon see new flight patterns when flying overnight through Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), if the proposal is approved by both local residents and the Federal Aviation Administration. The Chicago Sun-Times reports the City Aviation Commission will put forward a new plan for overnight flights arriving into and departing from the airport. Read more at Flyer Talk

JetBlue makes it easier to catch some Z’s at JFK’s T5: Sleeping on an airplane is relatively easy. Especially if you’ve invested in one of those corny-looking but comfortable neck pillows. But napping sitting upright in a chair at the airport? Not so much. That’s why NYC-based JetBlue Airways has teamed up with MetroNaps to bring free napping pods to JetBlue’s Terminal 5 at John F. Kennedy International Airport. Read more at USA Today

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TECH

Hyatt Centric Turns to GrubHub to Help Reinvent Room Service: On-demand room service, facilitated by online food delivery services like GrubHub, Seamless and PostMates could soon be the future of hotel room service. Read more at Skift

Corporate Travel Struggling to Implement Mobile and Virtual Payments: In the world of business travel, virtual cards and mobile payments represent something of a holy grail. Theoretically, travelers are able to pay their expenses seamlessly, while companies and travel managers can track movements, reduce fraud, and overall exert more control over the spending of employees. Read more at Skift

5 New Travel Startups Making Business Travel Stress-Free: The biggest mistake a travel brand can make is assume that business travelers and leisure travelers are always different kinds of people. Read more at Skift

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Hotels

Hotels That Respond to TripAdvisor Reviews Will See Revenues Rise, Up to a Point: If you’re a hotelier or hotel manager, it pays, literally, to respond to online reviews, but only up to a certain point. Read more at Skift

Marriott Is Latest Hotel Chain to Offer Loyalty Members Branded Experiences: Marriott Rewards wants to make sure it is rewarding its most loyalty program members with three new offers and features that will be exclusive to its members. Read more at Skift

Wyndham’s Simple, Straightforward Approach to Loyalty Seems to Be Working: Nearly a year ago, Wyndham Hotel Group embarked on a massive revamp of its loyalty program to make it simpler and easier for members to earn points and redeem them for stays. Today, the company is seeing the rewards of its investment. Read more at Skift

Why Booking Direct Has Become a Focus for Major Hotel Brands: Hotels are getting more aggressive in their fight to get travelers to book reservations directly with them instead of through online travel agencies such as Expedia and Priceline. Read more at Skift

Your Turn

Jason won’t tell you, but he’s still tingling from his recent interview with Anthony Bourdain. Read it here.

Tips and Comments

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

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Photo Credit: United CEO Oscar Munoz appeared on CNBC to discuss the airline's Q1 earnings and the activist group that forced changes to the board structure. CNBC