Skift Take

We sound like a broken record, but this race to the bottom doesn't feel like it will end well.

What to Know Now

Ever since Delta introduced and expanded Basic Economy Fares to compete with the likes of Spirit and Frontier, we’ve been waiting for the other shoe to drop and American and United to follow suit. As of this week, those sleeping giants are finally starting to stir.

News has seeping through the grapevines all spring, in fact, but an uptick in executive statements about Basic Economy fares seems to indicate that an announcement is coming soon. Last week, United recommitted to rolling out their version of the fares in the “second half of this year,” which could ostensibly be inside of 30 days.

American, for its part, is taking to the soapbox about how passengers should be better differentiated into categories, effectively arguing that basic economy fares need to exist. Like United, American has also hinted that budget fares are coming in the second half of this year.

Together, American and United will soon join the ranks of Delta in offering none of the perks of today’s travel experience for the exact same price that we’re paying now. Congratulations legacy U.S. carriers: you’ve managed to make air travel even worse.

Social Quote of the Day

My new hero is the guy who flossed his teeth THE WHOLE TIME he was checking into this hotel.

@KenJennings | Jeopardy! fixture of yesteryear.



United Airlines on Track to Add Basic Economy Fares in 2016: Despite the drama surrounding the departure of United Airlines CEO Jeff Smisek and the delayed integration of new CEO Oscar Munoz, the company is still on track to roll out basic economy fares this year, in order to compete against its legacy carrier peers and low-cost carrier competitors in major U.S. markets. Read more at Skift

American Air President Says Airlines Should Price the Way Hotels Price: American Airlines President Scott Kirby says hotel chains like Marriott and Starwood are far better at differentiating product offerings than airlines are. Read more at The Street

Earn Up to 5,000 Bonus Airline Miles With Stays With Marriott Rewards — But…: From today through Wednesday, August 31, 2016, you can earn up to 5,000 bonus airline miles with stays — 1,000 bonus airline miles per stay — at participating hotel or resort properties; but you must register for this promotion and book your reservations by Friday, July 15, 2016. Read more at The Gate
A group of tourists walk through the streets in downtown Valencia


This Ultimate #AvGeek Video Explains How Airports Were Planned 60 Years Ago: This animated film by Ray Eames and Charles Eames explains the idea — how tragic they believed it was to walk long distances to gates, how revolutionary it would be to have “mobile lounges” that became the Dulles People Movers. Read more at View from the Wing

Airlines Worry That Demand Won’t Keep Up With Growing Global Capacity: Airline chiefs from around the world have begun gathering for their annual meeting against a background of increasing concern about a slowdown in demand just as carriers pile on capacity to exploit low oil prices. Read more at Skift

U.S. State Department Issues European Travel Warning: The United States warned its citizens on Tuesday of possible summer terrorist attacks in Europe, saying targets could include the European soccer championship in France, although a State Department official said there was no specific threat information. Read more at Skift


What London and San Francisco Know About Business and Innovation That Other Cities Don’t: London is the world’s best-performing city and San Francisco has the best long-term potential — in terms of economics, talent, culture, technology, well-being, and politics — according to the 6th annual A.T. Kearney Global Cities Index released today. Read more at Skift

New cars are still somehow being sold with defective Takata airbags: A Senate report released today on the ongoing Takata airbag debacle reveals that four automakers are still selling (or, inexplicably, plan to sell) vehicles equipped with airbags that are certainly defective. Read more at The Verge

Uber Grabs $3.5 Billion From Saudi Investment Fund: Uber is getting a massive cash infusion from Saudi Arabia. Read more at Skift

Interior 3


Branded Experiences Are Everything for Today’s Hospitality Brands: In hospitality, what defines one hotel from the next, or one brand from the next? Read more at Skift

Convergence of Fashion and Travel Leads to Rise of Micro-Influencers on Instagram: Many travelers look to social media influencers that travel brands flaunt for trip inspiration and advice. But increasingly, they also view themselves as influencers within their own groups of friends and followers and seek this recognition from brands. Read more at Skift

Rezidor CEO Says HNA Wants to Grow Brand, Possibly Combine it with NH Hotels: HNA Group Co., which in April agreed to buy a 51 percent stake in Rezidor Hotel Group AB, plans to turn the European lodging company into a “hotel chain on a global level,” according to Rezidor Chief Executive Officer Wolfgang Neumann. Read more at Skift

MGM Resorts Buys the Half of Atlantic City’s Borgata It Didn’t Already Own: Boyd Gaming said Tuesday it’s selling its 50 percent stake in Atlantic City’s top casino to MGM Resorts International, which owns the other half. Read more at Skift

Your Turn

Dennis Schaal’s amazing oral history of online travel is finally complete. 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: Low-cost carrier Spirit Air has provided the inspiration for old-school airlines to add very cheap, very restricted fares in an attempt to attract customers that book solely on price. Spirit Airlines

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