What to Know Now

Wyndham has always been a bit of a rogue in the loyalty program space, perhaps because it can’t woo the traditional business traveler following a-la Hilton or Marriott or perhaps because it doesn’t want it.

In 2013 it carpet bombed Wyndham Rewards, making space for a new program geared towards simple, socialist award nights — one that so far has resonated well with travelers. Now, Wyndham is expanding its Rewards program, adding extra elite tiers and free local activities to an already solid line of offerings. It’s a step that seems geared towards casual (read: not business) travelers but one that — if successful — may put the program in a category of its own.

Keep an eye on Wyndham Rewards — at this pace, the program may soon become very valuable to a wide swath of travelers.

Social Quote of the Day

So as an elite I can get free Wi-Fi AND the Jacuzzi suite at Super 8 ? Do I still get color TV and HBO for free ?

DaninMCl @ View From The Wing

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Airlines

Singapore Air is Closely Watching Virgin Australia Developments: Singapore Airlines Ltd. said it’s “closely” monitoring developments at Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd. after the carrier’s biggest shareholder Air New Zealand Ltd. said it may sell its stake. Read more at Skift

American and United Have New Fares They Hope Spirit Air Passengers Will Love: Stung by competition from ultra-discount carriers, American Airlines Group Inc. and United Continental Holdings Inc. are striking back with cheap, no-frills tickets of their own. Read more at Skift

U.S. Airlines Are Replacing Old Planes With Second-Hand Jets: It’s a tale that could be dubbed “From Russia to Love.” Read more at Skift

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Airports

U.S. Senator Wants Dogs to Help Ease Pressure on TSA: U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer is urging the Transportation Security Administration to put more dogs on the passenger-screening line to reduce long delays for travelers going through security at New York City airports. Read more at Skift

TSA Promises to Expedite Hiring of Airport Security Screeners: The U.S. government hopes to expedite the hiring of more than 500 security screeners to stem the long wait times expected at airports this summer. Read more at Skift

TSA Administrator Says Bad Predictions to Blame for Severe Security Line Delays: Members of the United States House of Representatives questioned Transportation Security Administration (TSA) administrator Peter Neffenger once again on Thursday, this time tying reports of internal misconduct to the current staffing breakdon that is affecting flyers across the U.S. Read more at Skift

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Tech

CEO Interview: Paul English on Going Mobile-Only in Travel Booking: The inspiration behind Kayak co-founder Paul English’s newest project lies in the relationship between road warriors and the executive assistants who book travel for them. Read more at Skift

Google Translate Updates Could Benefit Travelers: Need a translation app for your vacation but don’t want to get slammed with a big data bill? New updates to Google Translate, including the addition of another major language and a pop-up translation feature, can help. Read more at The New York Times

Starwood’s New Instagram Video Ad Brings Waikiki to Your Smartphone: Starwood was the first travel brand to advertise on Instagram, as well as one of the first to leverage the Instagram Carousel ad unit when it launched in 2015. Read more at Skift

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Hotels

Hotels in San Francisco Are Cultivating Roof-to-Table Honey: At the Clift Hotel in San Francisco, there are more than 370 rooms inside and 100,000 bees buzzing above in rooftop hives outside. Read more at Skift

Wyndham Rewards Adds Experiences to Its Loyalty Program: Wyndham Rewards, the revamped loyalty program from Wyndham Hotel Group, is adding two new features to its program: member levels and experiences. Read more at Skift

Interview: HRS CEO on the Problem With Hotels and Airbnb for Business Travel: Skift spoke to Ragge about consolidation in the hotel world, the push for direct bookings, Airbnb as an option for business travelers, and the changing expectations of millennials. Read more at Skift

Why the Tourist Brochure Is Still Surviving in the Hotel Lobby: A new survey conducted by the Center for Marketing Technology at Bentley University suggests print isn’t dead — at least not when it comes to providing visitor information to hotel guests. Read more at Skift

Your Turn

Two of my favorite airline nerds, Scott Mayerowitz and George Hobica are on the Skift Podcast last week debunking airline myths. Check it out here.

Tips and Comments

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

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Photo Credit: Wyndham's evolving loyalty program has rolled out alongside a advertising campaign featuring its Wizard pitchman. Wyndham Worldwide