Throughout the week we post dozens of original stories, connecting the dots across the travel industry, and every weekend we sum it all up. This weekend roundup examines aviation.

For all of our weekend roundups, go here.

>>Delta and Starwood’s crossover program got even better last week for hotel elites with no airline status. Low-tier Delta elites however, may now face more competition for their premium seats: Delta Opens Upgrades to Top-Tier Starwood and Marriott Elites

>>For the past five years, Mark Schwab has tried to manage a complex alliance of nearly 30 airlines. Given the number of differing opinions involved, Schwab has had one of the more difficult jobs in the airline industry: Star Alliance CEO Interview: Member Airlines Don’t Strive For ‘Homogeneous’ Service

>>Now that the regulatory and legal hurdles are out of the way, Alaska is free to gobble up Virgin America. But what will be left behind? Alaska’s Acquisition Of Virgin America Moves Forward — Skift Business Traveler

>>The basic aircraft cabin has not changed in decades. Airbus wants to give airlines flexibility to innovate, and that’s impressive. But let’s be honest. It is unlikely carriers will ever adopt Airbus’ new platform: Airbus Wants Airlines to Radically Rethink the Passenger Experience

>>JetBlue may be a customer favorite, but if the airline loses its cost advantage over United, Delta, and American, it will be in trouble: JetBlue Hopes Passengers Won’t Notice Its New Focus Cutting Costs

>>Alaska got what it wanted, and it’s now among the strongest U.S. airlines on the West Coast. But the hard part is still to come: Alaska Completes Virgin America Acquisition But Changes Will Come Slowly

>>North America’s airports will never match some of the best in Europe or Asia, where nations are more likely to invest in infrastructure. But airports in North America are slowly improving: New York LaGuardia Is North America’s Least Favorite Airport

Photo Credit: If Airbus can make modular cabins possible, an airline might be able to install sleeping pods on some longer flights, and remove them for shorter ones. Airbus