What to Know Now
Passengers cried bloody murder after both Delta and United changed their loyalty programs to revenue-based models, but it seems that after American’s transition the grumpiness is worse than usual.
On Flyertalk, there are 118 pages of American customers stewing over the new program, while in private groups on social media, elites are bemoaning the changes and promising to drop their loyalty to the airline. Even the diehards are losing steam.
American isn’t doing anything above and beyond what its competitors did, but the recent merger with US Airways already has both employees and customers on edge and as many point out, unlike Delta and United, AAdvantage was one of the best things about the carrier.
If the angry mob doesn’t settle soon, American may soon have a pretty big problem with customer retention.
Social Quote of the Day
Oh weird. Turndown service tied my USB cables into decorative bundles.
Emirates Hires Ex-Malaysia Airlines CEO to Be Its New Chief Digital and Innovation Officer: Christoph Mueller, previously chief executive officer at Malaysia Airlines, joins Persian Gulf carrier Emirates this month in a newly created position that will see him play a significant management role at the biggest airline by international traffic. Read more at Skift
I fly 747s for a living. Here are the amazing things I see every day: I’ve loved airplanes for as long as I can remember, but it wasn’t until my late 20s that I started training to become a commercial airline pilot. Read more at Vox
Trading your excess airline luggage-allowance: A week ago, Gulliver took a trip to California. His credit card allowed him to check in a bag free, but southern California doesn’t require much bulky clothing in late August so he made do with a carry-on. Still, in this era of luggage fees, it felt almost wasteful to let a baggage allotment go unfilled. It is probably no surprise to hear that there’s an app for that. And there’s money in it, too. Read more at The Economist
EasyJet, IAG CEOs Say Market Overreacted to Brexit: Little has changed for the UK’s airlines since the country signaled in June it would leave the European Union, and carriers do not expect to markedly alter their models even when the UK withdraws, the CEOs of EasyJet and International Airlines Group said Thursday in London. Read more at Skift
JetBlue Braces for Battle With Delta on Atlanta-Boston Route: JetBlue Airways Corp. plans to increase daily flights from Boston by about 40 percent, including new service to Atlanta as the carrier steps up competition with Delta Air Lines Inc. Read more at Skift
San Jose airport completes new fencing to keep trespassers out: The airport’s security was called into question after trespassers scaled the perimeter fencing numerous times in recent years. Read more at the San Jose Mercury News
London City Airport flights disrupted by Black Lives Matter protesters: Nine Black Lives Matter protesters have been arrested after they occupied a runway at London City Airport this morning, claiming the “climate crisis is a racist crisis”. Read more at The Independent
Radiologist Offers App for In-flight Medical Emergencies: Stepping up to the call in the air “Is there a doctor on board?” can quickly overwhelm even experienced physicians confronted by unfamiliar conditions in even more unfamiliar surroundings, but a Peoria doctor has developed an app to help. Read more at Skift
Major Changes Coming to Wireless Networks in Europe and Beyond: Major changes are coming to cell phone plans and data rates soon that will make many people quite happy. Last June, the European Commission voted to completely scrap roaming fees while traveling within the continent starting in 2017. In the meantime, roaming charges are capped at €0.20 (22 cents) per megabyte of data, €0.60 per text, and €0.50 a minute per call. Read more at The Points Guy
Business Travelers Want Free Hotel Wi-Fi and Smart Power Outlets More Than Anything Else: Hotel companies looking to get more customers to book through direct channels may have a not-so-secret weapon, at least with business travelers: free Wi-Fi. Read more at Skift
Hilton Dishes Up New Experiential Food-Pairing Program For Conferences: Everyone who’s ever attended a conference knows that feeling around mid-afternoon when your energy crashes and your mental focus starts lagging. Read more at Skift
Marriott Partners With TED Talks for In-Room, Social Media and Live Programming: Marriott is making it easier for its guests to access TED Talks while they’re on the road. Read more at Skift
The BBC just pushed a mini documentary on the lost streets of Chicago — my home town. Check it out here.
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Can be sent to gm[at]skift[dot]com or to @grantkmartin