Skift Take

With the leaders so close, which program is best is such a personal issue — if loyalty matters at all to consumers.

What to Know Now

Skift’s hotel oracle Deanna Ting broke down the results from the recent American Customer Satisfaction Index last week to figure out which hotel chains have the happiest customers. The result: Hilton, Marriott, Hyatt, and Starwood (in that order) with scores of 81, 80, 79 and 78 respectively. The least happy customers in the study? Motel 6, with a score of 65.

With the monsters so close to one another in score, how is a business traveler to choose? For most, it’s about accessibility (or how many branded hotels are within their travel sphere) and loyalty. This year’s Freddie Awards, which rank loyalty programs, suggest that Marriott has the strongest following among general business travelers. And among elite business travelers, Hyatt takes the cake.

Now: apply the formula for accessibility to your own travels and voila: you have a new favorite hotel chain.

Social Quote of the Day

I am currently the most bullish on bitcoin I’ve been, and all my bitcoin friends are the most bearish. Hmm.

@sama | Sam Altman



Delta Makes a Big Commitment to Gogo’s Next-Gen In-Flight Wi-Fi: Delta Air Lines has made announced it will increase its future installations of Gogo’s next-generation 2Ku Wi-Fi “by at least 350 new aircraft”, which would bring the airline’s total commitment to the new technology to over 600 aircraft in its mainline fleet. Read more at Skift

How to Know When an Airline Owes a Refund: When traveling, mistakes happen—here’s what you can do about it. Read more at Condé Nast Traveler

Airline Fees Continue to Be a Big Issue for Passengers Chasing Cheap Fares: A low-cost, low-fare carrier such as Spirit Airlines Inc. makes its living on passenger fees. That those fees, known as non-ticket revenue, dropped by more than $2 per passenger in the first quarter, compared to a year ago, might suggest a shift in travelers’ tolerance for additional charges. Read more at Skift

atlanta security line


U.S. Airlines Want Flyers to Complain Online About Airport Security Delays: U.S. airlines have been pressing the government to act to reduce the intolerably long security lines at the nation’s airports. Now, they’re even asking passengers for help by sharing their frustration on social media. Read more at Skift

Heathrow airport at 70: from tents to terminals – in pictures: A new book, Heathrow in Photographs by Adrian Balch, celebrates 70 years of London’s largest airport. Read more at The Guardian

U.S. Airport Lines Grow as TSA and Congress Blame Each Other: There is broad agreement that U.S. airports will not be a pleasant place this summer as security screening lines swell and officials warn that delays will trigger missed flights and may even harm the economy. Read more at Skift



Boingo Reports $10 Million Loss But Exceeds Forecasts: Boingo Wireless Inc. on Thursday reported a loss of $10 million in its first quarter. Read more at Skift

Uber and Lyft to leave Austin after failed vote: When Uber and Lyft threatened to leave Austin if a vote over ridesharing rules didn’t work in their favor, they weren’t joking around. Both companies say they’ll shut down their Austin operations on the morning of May 9th after 56 percent of voters rejected Proposition 1, which would have prevented the city from demanding fingerprint-based background checks as well as banning pickups in traffic lanes. Read more at Engadget



Marriott Tells Shareholders More About Starwood Deal As Closing Draws Near: Marriott recently disclosed it spent a total of $8 million in transaction- and transition-related costs associated with its acquisition of Starwood for the first quarter of 2016 in recent U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings. Read more at Skift

Marriott Is Making Investments in the Urban Timeshare Market: While the majority of vacation timeshares are found in locations where you’ll find swaying palm trees, white-sand beaches, and waves, some vacation rental companies are branching out into major metropolises like New York City, Boston, and Washington, D.C. Read more at Skift

Qatar Reportedly in Talks to Buy Starwood’s St. Regis Hotels in New York and San Francisco: The Qatar Investment Authority is in advanced talks to buy the luxury St. Regis hotels in New York and San Francisco from Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., according to people with knowledge of the discussions. Read more at Skift

Ranking the Big Hotel Brands and Loyalty Programs by Customer Satisfaction: When it comes to delivering customer satisfaction to American travelers, Hilton, Marriott, and Hyatt are tops, according to the latest report from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). Read more at Skift

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Tips and Comments

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

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Photo credit: Promotional image for Hilton's HHonors program, which was ranked at the top of a latest customer satisfaction survey for loyalty programs. Hilton Hotels

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