What to Know Now

American Airlines confirmed yesterday that it’s moving forward with plans for a premium economy domestic product, following news earlier this year that an international cabin of the same variety is also in development.

According to a report from View from the Wing, American plans to launch the cabin in 2017, though it doesn’t know how it will be designed or even what perks will come along with it. If it’s anything like Delta’s premium economy product though, VFTW speculates that it’ll contain more perks rather than special seats or configurations — after all, entire new cabins would take more than a year to integrate.

Along with new basic economy fares, the introduction of premium economy spells somber times for American’s elite loyalty members, who will soon need to pay more for upgrades and fight harder for preferential treatment. But with the rest of the industry moving in the same direction, both American and the flying public really have little other choice.

Social Quote of the Day

The fruits of oligopoly, pure and simple.

Steve @ View from the Wing

 
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Airlines

Southwest CEO Says Pilots’ Labor Fight Threatens the Airline’s Growth: Southwest Airlines Co.’s growth plans may be jeopardized by a lawsuit filed by its pilots union over flying Boeing Co.’s newest 737 jetliner, Chief Executive Officer Gary Kelly said. Read more at Skift

Qatar Airways Is Using Jennifer Lopez to Annoy Delta Air Lines: The chief executive of Qatar Airways Ltd. — and chief antagonist of Delta Air Lines Inc. — has said that his new Atlanta-Doha route would “rub salt in the wounds” of his U.S. rival. Jennifer Lopez will be on hand to shake out the first dash. Read more at Skift

United Is Giving Away Even More Elite Status: Last month, United Airlines quietly launched a campaign aimed at bringing former elite customers back into the ranks of MileagePlus, the airline’s loyalty program. The scope of that effort now appears to be widening, as the airline now seems to be broadening its outreach campaign and proactively boosting members’ elite status without notice. Read more at Skift

American Airlines Will Stop In-Flight Gate Announcement Interruptions: You are now free to enjoy your in-flight entertainment, uninterrupted. The world’s largest airline, American Airlines Group Inc., plans to stop on-board announcements of connecting gate information as flights prepare to land. Read more at Skift

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Airports

Passenger Complaints About Airport Security Rose 10-Fold in March: Frustrated travelers are turning to the complaint box in growing numbers as long lines and delays getting through airport security result in missed flights. Read more at Skift

Brown: TSA has met the enemy — and it is us: The TSA seems to be preparing to again scapegoat the flying public for the agency’s own failure to anticipate and adequately staff for a seasonal surge in airline passengers, many of whom are leisure travellers carrying on their luggage to avoid fees for checked bags, which further complicates the screening process. Read more at The Chicago Sun Times

#IHateTheWait Hashtag Surges as Angry Passengers Socalize Long TSA Security Lines: Earlier this month in an effort to bring visibility to growing security lines snaking through American airports, Airlines for America (AFA), the trade group representing the major U.S. carriers, launched a website and a hashtag called IHateTheWait. Read more at Skift

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Tech

Google is Stepping Deeper Into Virtual Reality and Messaging: Google’s making move moves into the virtual reality and messaging worlds as the company revealed new products and updates at its Google I/O conference in Mountain View, California on Wednesday. Read more at Skift

Hotels Should Better Use TripAdvisor to Their Advantage: In its latest report, “Luxury Hotels: Regional Search Strategies,” New York-based brand consultancy L2 suggests upper upscale and luxury hotel brands should be looking to TripAdvisor more often than they are now. Read more at Skift

An employee walks past the logo of Lotte Hotel at a Lotte Hotel in Seoul

Hotels

South Korean Hotel and Duty Free Giant Plans IPO Amidst Family Power Struggle: South Korea’s Hotel Lotte Co Ltd plans a share sale worth up to 5.7 trillion won ($4.85 billion) next month, sources said on Wednesday, in what would be the world’s biggest initial public offering since late 2015. Read more at Skift

Skift Survey: Donald Trump’s Presidential Bid Is Bad for His Hotel Business: While it may be hard to quantify this in dollars, convention cities including Indianapolis and Charlotte know that you can put a price on political decisions after their state legislatures passed pro-discrimination legislation in 2015 and 2016, and meetings business began looking elsewhere. Trump Hotels may soon learn about the perils of politics, too. Read more at Skift

Hotel CEOs Reflect on the Oil Industry’s Business Impact: Oil prices may be recovering now, inching closer toward $50 per barrel, (although that’s well below a record high of $145 a barrel in 2008), but that wasn’t enough to help weakened oil-producing markets — or the hotels that serve them — especially during the first quarter of 2016. Read more at Skift

This Is 2016. Why Can’t We Still Book Specific Rooms in a Hotel? We get to pick our own airline seats (even if we often wind up with the middle seat), so why is it that we can’t do the same with our hotel rooms? This is something only one major hotel chain, Hilton Worldwide, and one hotel metasearch company, Room 77, which licensed its technology to Google two years ago, seemed to have figured out, to varying degrees. Read more at Skift

Your Turn

Zora O’Neill’s All Strangers Are Kin comes out on June 14. Preorder it here.

Tips and Comments

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

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Photo Credit: American Airlines' existing Main Cabin Select product. American Airlines