Skift Take

If you were planning on an upgrade on your next United flight, it may be best to just pack a snuggie.

What to Know Now

Airlines have been beating the revenue horse into a pulp over the last few months as they look to please investors, and this week it was United’s turn at bat. In a call on Monday, CEO Oscar Munoz and a phalanx of executives heralded good progress on the airline’s turnaround and better targets for revenue — all towards convincing investors that United’s a solid bet.

That revenue, unfortunately, comes via new basic economy fares that effectively charge fees for everything north of an airplane seat, but as long as the bottom line is above water, investors don’t care.

In truth, more investment in United will only lead to more innovation (see: United’s new Polaris product) and better competition, so all is not lost for the American consumer.

Social Quote of the Day

@solarimpulse’s transatlantic flight was expected to take 4 days, but they will land in Seville in the coming hours after just 3 days.


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DOT Auditor: Government Should Scrutinize Frequent Flier Program Changes: The U.S. Department of Transportation should more closely monitor and regulate frequent flier programs, the agency’s inspector general charged in a recent report. Read more at Skift

First-Class Fares Drop While Free Upgrades Become Harder to Find: With competitive fares in hand, first-class fares will end up selling more aggressively, but as a side effect, the current structure for processing upgrades may end up being disrupted. Airlines like American looking to sell last second first class fares now have a strong incentive to change how passengers get upgraded and at what point prior to travel. Read more at Skift

Brexit Is Bad News for Europe’s Low-Cost Carriers: The possibility of the UK leaving the European Union hangs heavy over the world, and Europe’s low-cost carriers could be severely affected by changes to border crossing regulations and other legislative changes. Read more at Skift

HOLM Frankfurt


Atlanta’s Airport Begins a 20-Year, $6 Billion Upgrade: Atlanta’s airport — the world’s busiest — has now started a 20-year plan for growth known as “ATLNext.” Read more at Skift

Air France Pilots Decide Not to Strike Again After Management Offers Deal: Air France-KLM Group pilots canceled a strike scheduled for Friday after chief executive officer-designate, Jean-Marc Janaillac, offered them a deal, the principal unions said. Read more at Skift

The Airport City That Wants to Be the New Model for Meetings and Knowledge Sharing: Frankfurt International Airport has been expanding over the last decade into a self-described “airport city” to meet growing passenger demand, expected to jump from 61 million people today to as high as 73 million by 2021. Read more at Skift

United Airlines Polaris Seat


The Unexpected Micro-Revolution Behind United Airlines’ New Business Class Seat: In creating the new United Airlines business class cabin, called Polaris, designers at Acumen, a London-based consultancy that also delivered Etihad’s Residence suite, did something few thought possible. Read more at Skift

Priceline Founder’s New Startup Will Pay Business Travelers to Be Flexible: One of the main challenges for frequent business travelers is balancing the financial needs of the company with their need for comfort while traveling for work. Read more at Skift

What the Brexit May Mean for International Travelers: All eyes are on the European Union as the U.K. approaches its controversial Brexit vote. Read more at Skift



NH Hotel’s CEO and Board Members Ousted in Fight Over HNA’s Pending Purchase of Carlson: Angry shareholders of Spanish hotelier NH Hotel Group have forced out its CEO, Federico González Tejera, as well as four of its board members, in a move aimed directly at the company’s largest shareholder, HNA Group, the same Chinese company that announced its plans to buy Carlson Hotels for an undisclosed sum in April. Read more at Skift

Figuring out the Tech Solutions to Airbnb’s Racial Discrimination Problem: Airbnb is facing a lot of challenges these days, whether they be regulatory clampdowns in major cities like New York City and Berlin to the growing awareness of the potentially discriminatory pitfalls of its peer-to-peer platform. Read more at Skift

Your Turn

Fodor’s Travel guides, a nearly legendary pillar of the guidebook community, has been sold to Internet Brands, the same group that owns Flyertalk. It’ll be interesting to see how the products collide.

Tips and Comments

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

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Photo credit: United is looking for more ways to make money now, but it's still keeping its recently announced free in-flight streaming entertainment free. United Airlines

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