What to Know Now

Airlines have been hotly competing over on-time performance for the last few years, equally to improve operations and to gloat over competitors. But a new effort coming up from American may be putting the airline’s operations at risk.

The warning comes from the chronically grumpy pilot’s union at American, which says that new efforts to massage flight schedules may be overextending crews and causing safety issues. Whether American’s high-jinks are above and beyond what other carriers are doing is still unknown.

Still, it’d be nice to see a little bit of slack built into the drumbeat of ontime performance. Last month on a flight of mine through Chicago O’Hare, a friendly gate agent offered to call the police on a fellow passenger if he raised a stink about missing our connecting flight. We had arrived at the gate two minutes before departure and the aircraft had already pushed.

Social Quote of the Day

When will AA learn that sending A321Ts to Boston on utilization runs keeps delaying the transcon flights? Cut it out

– @AirlineFlyer | Jason Rabinowitz, AvGeek researching and writing things about airlines, airplanes, transit and travel.

jetblue

Airlines

Ryanair Plans to Flood Market with Cheap Seats: Ryanair Holdings Plc surprised investors by sticking to its fiscal 2017 profit forecast with a plan to lower fares to lure more passengers even as Britain’s decision to quit the European Union and a string of terrorist attacks in major European markets weigh on demand. Read more at Skift

How United Airlines Is Turning Value Flyers Into First-Class Customers: United’s strategy is part of a larger movement from the legacy U.S. airline industry to better monetize premium cabins. In the past, first and business class have typically been priced an order of magnitude greater than economy cabins. Recently, however, airlines have changed tack to price the cabins more affordably, causing value-focused travelers like myself to consider the premium purchase. Read more at Skift

JetBlue will Add New Jets, While Eyeing Transatlantic routes: JetBlue Airways Corp. ordered 30 Airbus Group SE A321 jetliners valued at $3.6 billion as the carrier expands its premium cabin service and opens the door to trans-Atlantic flights. Read more at Skift

Southwest Won’t Pause its Growth This Year – and that Concerns Investors: Southwest Airlines Co. is resisting calls by some investors to pull back on planned expansion this year and raise fares, moves that could help stem declines in a key industry revenue gauge. Read more at Skift

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Airports

Flight Info Screens at Vietnam’s 2 Major Airports Hacked: Screens displaying flight information at Vietnam’s two major airports were hacked Friday to contain distorted information about the South China Sea and insult Vietnam and the Philippines, state media reported. Read more at ABC News

In Norwegian Air Spat, European Union will Request Formal Arbitration: The European Union’s Transport Minister is asking for formal arbitration with the United States to ensure Norwegian Air’s United Kingdom-based subsidiary may fly to U.S. airports. Read more at Skift

UK Airport alcohol sales to be ‘examined’ by Lord Ahmad: The way alcohol is sold in airports is to be examined after a number of recent incidents involving drunk passengers, the new aviation minister has said. Read more at BBC News

Virgin SpaceShipTwo

Tech

Can Spaceships and Startups Attract Conventions to Albuquerque? New Mexico is the birthplace of the atom bomb, the “Star Wars” missile defense system, Microsoft, and space tourism. The City of Albuquerque and the Visit Albuquerque tourism bureau are intent on leveraging that legacy of advanced industry expertise, and building on it, to attract more national conventions involved in various high-tech sectors. Read more at Skift

What to Do If You Get Sick Abroad: Getting sick can put a damper on any vacation, but it can be especially unsettling and even scary when it happens in another country. Here, Matthew Klapetzky, a registered nurse and the clinical director of Passport Health, the travel clinic at the University of Rochester School of Nursing, shares tips on what to do if illness hits you while abroad. Read more at The New York Times
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Hotels

How Much It Pays to Book Direct Depends on the Hotel Brand: While all the major hotel chains are trying to drive direct bookings by offering discounted loyalty rates, there are differences in their strategies and benefits to guests. Read more at Skift

How to Book an Airbnb at the Last Minute – Without the Hassle: Whether your meeting got bumped, your flight got canceled, or you’re looking for a getaway on short notice finding a place to stay at the last minute is never easy. Read more at Skift

Accor Profit Falls as Travelers Book Fewer Rooms in France and Brazil: Accor SA, Europe’s largest hotel operator, said first-half profit fell 4 percent after terrorist attacks in France and economic difficulties in Brazil hurt travel in those countries. Read more at Skift

Hotels Rush to Embrace Wellness Trends, Like ‘Forest Bathing’: Hotels are racing to help you unwind. At least, that’s what you’d be led to believe if you’ve been following the flurry of wellness news that is suddenly dominating the high-end travel industry. Read more at Skift

Your Turn

Skift just turned four! Read an update from our CEO, Rafat Ali, here.

Tips and Comments

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

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Photo Credit: An American Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner at Chicago O'Hare International Airport. Many airlines continually struggle with their on-time goals. Ron Jenkins / Associated Press/The Fort Worth Star-Telegram via