What to Know Now
The traveling public may have gotten a reprieve from basic economy fares this past week with news United plans to push back its integration. According to Skift’s Brian Sumers, the airline told employees that training on Basic Economy fares has been pushed back “several months,” citing “changes” to the product.
Exactly what those changes are is anyone’s guess, but Sumers points out that the executive suite at United is currently going through the washing machine, so the airline may be taking its time to get things right.
Either way, this now means that basic economy fares — at least on United — are a bit further off and that budget travelers can still enjoy the perks of their loyalty program without the airline nipping at their heels.
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American Airlines Finally Finishing Post-Merger Pilot Integration: American Airlines is poised to clear one of the final major hurdles in the integration of US Airways on Oct. 1 when it meshes the flight operating systems of both carriers in a move that travelers shouldn’t notice. Read more at Skift
United May Delay Plans to Introduce a Basic Economy Fare: United Airlines has apparently delayed plans to introduce a new, low price, no-frills economy fare class to complete with discount airlines like Spirit Airlines and Frontier Airlines, according to a recent message to employees. Read more at Skift
Lufthansa to Double Eurowings Fleet Size to Compete With Ryanair, EasyJet: Deutsche Lufthansa AG said its Eurowings discount arm will enter a new phase of growth as the wholesale transfer of dozens of jets from Air Berlin Plc and Brussels Airlines NV doubles the size of its fleet and sidesteps union opposition to expansion. Read more at Skift
Allegiant Air and the FAA Agree the Airline Is Dealing With Its Safety Issues: Federal aviation officials are satisfied that Allegiant Air is taking steps to address problems that inspectors found during a three-month review of the low-cost airline. Read more at Skift
London Heathrow Makes New Pitch to Add More Flights: London Heathrow airport said it could make room for 25,000 more flights a year in the run up to construction of a new runway, improving global links at a time when Britain is likely to be exiting the European Union. Read more at Skift
JetBlue and Alaska Fight Over Rights to Fly to Havana: JetBlue Airways is tweaking rival Alaska Airlines by asking the U.S. government to take away Alaska’s right to fly to Havana from Los Angeles and award it to JetBlue, which would use it to fly from Boston. Read more at Skift
Points Gurus Agree: Elite Frequent Flyers Are Disenchanted With Program Changes: Travel loyalty program experts George Hobica, founder of Airfare Watchdog, and Brian Kelly, founder of The Points Guy, suggested that recent changes to the airline loyalty game have caused many flyers to become disenchanted, leading to attrition and defection within program ranks. Read more at Skift
Priceline Exec Says Virtual Reality May Make Travel Planning Obsolete: The future traveler to London, Paris or Jerusalem may easily plan a trip on the go, avoid changing currencies, and don augmented-reality goggles to see how the bustling alleyways of the Old City looked 200 years earlier. Read more at Skift
Ford-Backed Self-Driving Car Startup In Talks for Big Funding Round: NuTonomy Inc., a self-driving car startup backed by Ford Motor Co. Chairman Bill Ford and Singapore’s government, is in discussions with potential investors for a new round of funding as it works toward a full commercial launch in 2018. Read more at Skift
Facebook Doesn’t Want to Be Middleman Between Travel Brands And Consumers: As Facebook makes it easier for its 1.6 billion users to make purchases and its advertisers, such as travel brands, to get their ads in front of those users the social media monolith doesn’t want to be the middleman in the equation. Read more at Skift
Donald Trump Thought His Presidential Campaign Would Be Good For His Hotels: Donald Trump suggests in a videotaped deposition released Friday that his presidential campaign could boost business at his hotels and increase the value of his personal brand. Read more at Skift
Seeking Scale, Best Western Debuts a New ‘White-Label’ Brand: For the first time in its 70-year history, privately held Best Western Hotels & Resorts is getting into the franchise business by applying a traditionally retail business — white labels — to the hotel industry. Read more at Skift
This Is What Hotels Can Learn From Airbnb — and Vice Versa: What is hospitality? How do you define it, and more importantly, how do you deliver it? Those are two questions at the heart of the multi-billion-dollar hospitality industry as a whole, and two questions Chip Conley has tried to answer in his work at Airbnb. Read more at Skift
Marriott CEO on Loyalty, Airbnb and Direct Bookings: Last Friday, when Marriott International finally announced it had closed its $13 billion acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, the bigger news wasn’t necessarily about the creation of the world’s new largest hotel operator. Read more at Skift
West Elm Is Checking Into the Hotel Business: Brooklyn-based home furnishings retailer West Elm, which is owned by Williams-Sonoma, is checking into the hotel business. Read more at Skift
Johnny Jet and his wife Natalie just had a baby. Wish them well over here.
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Can be sent to gm[at]skift[dot]com or to @grantkmartin