Skift Take

Perhaps elite status, after all, is not completely dead.

What to Know Now

United hasn’t had the best relationship with its frequent flyers over the last few years as MileagePlus transitioned to a revenue based program and the airline straightened out its operations. With airlines now jockeying for the better revenue and a CEO bent on fixing United’s image through, frequent flyers may be getting their time in the limelight.

Last week, the airline launched a promotion aimed at pulling former elite members of MileagePlus back into the fold. And if relative revenue continues to fall, United may ratchet up its outreach.

Social Quote of the Day

Important intervention by @tfletcher, drawing parallel for Moscow btwn Berlin 1945 & Damascus today (from 01:36:40)

– @matthewteller | Matthew Teller, Writer, broadcaster, journalist, documentary-maker

smisek united


United’s Final Bill for Getting Rid of Its Lousy CEO Adds Up to $36.8 Million: Jeff Smisek walked away with $36.8 million in severance and benefits from United Airlines after he was ousted as chief executive officer last year. Read more at Skift

Delta is rolling out RFID luggage tags by the end of summer: In an honorable attempt to make air travel slightly less terrible, Delta announced a new program this week that will track of checked baggage via paper RFID tags. Read more at Engadget

Why do Airfares Rise or Fall? Flight Length, Costs or Population Density Don’t Provide Answers: Deciding exactly when to buy a plane ticket, and whether it’s a “good” price when you do, has thrown up a cottage industry around consumer doubt. Just like in a casino, passengers suspect they are the players and airlines are the house. And we all know who wins that one. Read more at Skift



U.S. Airports Pander to Dogs That Need Relief: A federal regulation will require that all airports that service over 10,000 passengers per year install a pet relief area in every terminal by this August. Airports that already have them include Dulles International outside Washington D.C., Chicago’s O’Hare and Seattle-Tacoma International. Read more at Skift

New carriers bring more flight options to LAX: New carriers to Los Angeles International Airport are bringing routes to England, Iceland and European cities — mostly at budget prices. Read more at The LA Times

The TSA Is Struggling to Fix Its Internal ‘Culture of Misconduct’: Transportation Security Administration (TSA) whistleblowers testified this week in front of the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that the organization’s leadership problems are deeply entrenched and have led to problems that erode the ability of the TSA to provide effective security. Read more at Skift

American Express and MasterCard credit cards are shown in Washington


Inside the Risky, Jet-Setting World of Credit-Card Churning: Churners can be secretive about their hobby, worried that its growing popularity will cause the card companies to turn off the flow of freebies. But the basic idea is to take out credit cards simply for their rewards, squeeze as many perks as possible out of each one, and then move on to the next, often accumulating dozens of cards in the process. Read more at Skift

OpenTable Wants to Own the Entire Dining Experience But Personalization Will Come Later: OpenTable describes its app update in iTunes as a product customers use to “discover, explore, reserve, and manage restaurant reservations free and instantly — anytime, anywhere” — emphasizing “discover and explore” before “reserve.” Read more at Skift

Priceline CEO Resigns After Disclosure of Personal Relationship With Employee: Priceline Group CEO Darren Huston has resigned from his position, effective immediately, following a disclosure of a “personal relationship” with an employee, the company said today in an SEC filing. Read more at Skift

Sheraton New York Times Square


London’s Luxury Hotels Have Their Worst Year Since 2009: Jitters about everything from the risk of terrorism to Britain’s membership of the European Union are battering London luxury hotels as the world’s wealthiest travelers stay away. Read more at Skift

Starwood’s Timeshare Spinoff Is Delayed: Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ planned spinoff of its timeshare business, Vistana Signature Experiences, to Miami-based Interval Leisure Group (ILG) has encountered a bit of a delay. Read more at Skift

Host Hotels Has Confidence in Marriott-Starwood Merger, Owns Properties in Each Chain: Host Hotels & Resorts, the Bethesda, Maryland-based real estate investment trust (REIT) spun off from Marriott in 1993, delivered an owner’s perspective on what the upcoming Marriott acquisition of Starwood could have on its portfolio. Read more at Skift

Marriott Posts Strong Global Growth While Gearing Up for Starwood Integration: After a first quarter involving one of the most bizarre and unexpected bidding wars of the year, Marriott International emerged victorious, having kept Starwood from the likes of Anbang and seeing an increase in its revenues, room rates, and occupancy rates. Read more at Skift

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