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What to Know Now
I’m not sure why as a business traveler I switched from Uber to Lyft earlier this year — maybe it’s because the latter seemed friendlier or because their drivers trolled SFO with more reckless abandon. Either way, Lyft is now my ride sharing tool of choice — and I’m not alone.
According to a recent report from Certify, Lyft is gaining ground on Uber’s massive marketshare, thanks largely in part to competitive pricing and, well, more rides by business travelers like you and me.
As Uber’s plateau reaches the horizon, its teething problems are also continuing. Thanks to a massive class action lawsuit and pressure from its drivers, the car sharing company is now warming to the idea of tipping (a feature long part of Lyft’s model) — only now, its challenge will be in warming its passengers up to the idea.
Short term, that may mean more business for Lyft and a wider corporate travel footprint. Perhaps Carl Icahn was right about Lyft’s path towards success.
Social Quote of the Day
Final results of Uber survey: 744 votes. 56% don’t tip, 44% do.
Things I learned: Uber website says no need to tip but tip is NOT included.
American Airlines Revives Deep Discount Fares: American Airlines eliminated its deeply discounted Advantage Fares during the first quarter but the airline has brought them back starting a few weeks ago because their absence negatively impacted revenue. Read more at Skift
Lufthansa Looks at SAS in Move to Accelerate Airline Consolidation in Europe: Deutsche Lufthansa AG Chief Executive Officer Carsten Spohr said the German carrier wants to play a role in the further consolidation of Europe’s airlines, while suggesting that full mergers aren’t the only option. Read more at Skift
United Airlines CEO’s First Interview Since Surgery: ‘We Need to Rebuild Trust’: United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz appeared on CNBC’s Squawk on the Street yesterday and gave his first interview since returning to the airline following heart surgery in January. Read more at Skift
Southwest Is Sending Its Oldest Planes to Early Retirement: Southwest Airlines Co. reported first-quarter profit that beat analysts’ estimates and said it would speed retirement of its oldest Boeing 737s to better manage pilot training for a new model of the plane. Read more at Skift
Belgium’s Prime Minister Does Not Appreciate a KLM Offer of Free Train Rides from Brussels: Belgium’s prime minister lashed out at KLM Royal Dutch Airlines for offering free train tickets to Amsterdam to lure passengers away from the bomb-crippled Brussels airport. Read more at Skift
Robots May Solve the Global Air Traffic Controller Shortage: The world’s airlines have ambitious plans to double the fleet of commercial jets during the next two decades as the number of air travelers approaches 7 billion. The trouble: There won’t be enough controllers to help those 44,000 planes take off and land safely. Read more at Skift
Virgin Galactic Team Returns to Spaceport America to Test New Tourism Space Ship: A team of pilots, ground crew and mission control specialists with Virgin Galactic is busy at Spaceport America, running a series of ground and air exercises in preparation for future commercial flights. Read more at Skift
Norwegian Air Continues Push for More Long-Haul Routes: Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA is seeking U.S. backing for an expansion of its U.K.-based long-haul operations that would allow the discount carrier to offer services such as South Africa to New York via London. Read more at Skift
Making Travelers Feel Important Again — Corporate Travel Innovation Report: Earlier this week, hundreds of travel managers, suppliers, buyers, and other members of the Association of Corporate Travel Executives gathered in Dallas to talk about the biggest issues they face. Some of the hot topics at the ACTE Global Corporate Travel Conference included keeping track of travelers, getting employees to comply with travel policies, utilizing virtual payments, using (or ignoring) sharing economy options such as Airbnb, and embracing mobile tools. Read more at Skift
In an Age of Privilege, Not Everyone Is in the Same Boat: Companies are becoming adept at identifying wealthy customers and marketing to them, creating a money-based caste system. Read more at The New York Times
Expedia Wants to Power Hotels’ Direct-Booking Efforts: If you can’t beat ’em, then join ’em — or at least get a piece of the pie. Read more at Skift
Turning Rust Belt Landmarks Into a New Generation of Luxury Hotels: Covington, Ky., a city of 40,000 across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, seems like an odd place for a high-end hotel. For Mario Tricoci, that’s a selling point. Read more at Skift
Despite Marriott Merger, Starwood Isn’t Easing Up on Element Hotel Rollouts: When Starwood Hotels and Resorts debuted Element hotels back in 2008, it was marketed primarily as a lifestyle-driven, eco-friendly, extended stay brand, just before an industry-wide sustainability movement took hold. Eight years forward, those core brand elements remain, and the brand’s global footprint continues to grow, despite — or perhaps propelled by — Starwood’s upcoming merger with Marriott International. Read more at Skift
Waldorf’s longest-tenured resident owed $1M when she died: suit: The Waldorf Astoria’s longest residing guest — the agent for celebrities including artist Andy Warhol and British film star George Sanders — owed nearly $1 million in rent and meal charges when she died, even though she was worth more than twice that. Read more at The New York Post
Marriott Expands Its Delta Hotels Brand Into the U.S.: Marriott International, which purchased Canada’s Delta Hotels and Resorts for $135 million in April 2015, introduced the brand to the U.S. for the first time with the official grand opening of the 241-room Delta Orlando Lake Buena Vista. Read more at Skift
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Can be sent to gm[at]skift[dot]com or to @grantkmartin