What to Know Now
Everyone’s got a hot take on last week’s incident on United Airlines in which a passenger was forcibly removed from an airplane (Skift alone filed as many as 10 related pieces) but any way you look at it, it’s embarrassing.
It doesn’t get easier in light of another incident that got lots of national press over the weekend, although the nature of this one was different than the dragging issue.
It’s embarrassing that U.S. airlines and law enforcement let things get out of hand. It’s embarrassing that that passengers are so quick to hate airlines and not help their fellow travelers. And yes, it’s embarrassing that we’ve spent more time talking about it than actually working to create change.
In many ways, there is no clean solution to last week’s fiasco. But we can all start making a difference by turning the page and treating each other just a little bit better on our next trip.
Social Quote of the Day
Every take on @united incident has already been done, mine isn’t any original: United PR couldn’t have handled it any worst post-incident.
The New Alaska Airlines Could Be a Lot of Like the Old Virgin America: Alaska Airlines began in 1932 when Mac McGee, a former miner, truck driver, and dishwasher from the Midwest, decided to start a carrier in Anchorage. Since then, the airline has become a favorite for travelers in the Pacific Northwest, nurturing a following without such frills as mood lights or lounge music. That’s about to change. Read more at Skift
U.S. Airlines Getting Better Performance Marks But Are Passengers More Satisfied? Airlines still have a perception problem. It’s not hard to find passengers who complain about a miserable flight, a missed connection, or shabby treatment by airline employees. Comments like that abound on Twitter. Read more at Skift
British Airways and the Problem of Fees, Frills and Perspective: While British Airways might not be suffering as much bad publicity as some other airlines, a recent comment from its Chief Executive Alex Cruz has been jumped on as another sign that the carrier is going further downmarket. Read more at Skift
Delta Execs Downplay Importance of Basic Economy: Delta Air Lines executives downplayed the importance of basic economy fares on the airline’s quarterly earnings call Wednesday and said the jury is still out on how competitors’ bargain fares will affect its business. Read more at Skift
Airlines and Airports Look to Biometrics to Improve the Passenger Experience: Recently, passengers on some KLM flights departing Amsterdam haven’t shown a boarding pass to get on a plane. They haven’t needed to show their IDs, nor have they interacted with an agent at the boarding door. Instead, KLM has been using facial recognition software for a multi-month trial that began in February. Read more at Skift
White House Plan Could Include Airport Privatization: A program being considered by the White House could see airports in the United States go under private control, with an improvement plan that could exceed $1 trillion. Read more at FlyerTalk
Airports Installing Quiet Rooms for Autistic Children: Quiet rooms for children on the autism spectrum are popping up at airports. Read more at Skift
Good Airline News Today? You Still Won’t Be Able to Make Calls on Flights: U.S. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai wants to scrap a move to allow mobile-phone calls on flights, suspending a proposal that drew scornful comments from thousands of passengers aghast at sharing space with chattering seatmates. Read more at Skift
Virgin America’s Ex-CEO Talks Candidly About Google’s Pushy Strategy: It’s no secret that Google has been moving to profit more from travelers researching and booking flights. But it is rare to hear a top airline executive speak openly about the airline industry’s fraught relationship with the search giant. So ears perked up late last week when David Cush, former chief executive of Virgin America, talked candidly about this issue. Read more at Skift
Marriott CEO: New Digital Technologies, Not Walls, Are Key to the Future of Travel: Marriott International CEO Arne Sorenson has never been afraid to speak up on issues of importance that relate to the travel industry, including recently imploring then-President Elect Donald Trump to “disprove [his] critics” by investing in travel and transportation infrastructure and crafting “sensible” immigration legislation. Read more at Skift
Hyatt to Offer In-Room Streaming Entertainment Worldwide: Soon enough, you can start streaming Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and more when you check into a Hyatt property around the world. Read more at Skift
North Korea Thinks Its Newly Reopened Luxury Hotel Will Help Attract Tourists: North Korea’s most famous luxury hotel has reopened after renovations that modernized its 1980s, vaguely Soviet, style. Read more at Skift
Everything AccorHotels Has Acquired and Invested in Over the Past Year: If it feels to you as though AccorHotels has made a new deal every few weeks or days for the past year, you wouldn’t be far off the mark. Read more at Skift
Trump Hotels’ New Scion Brand Won’t Arrive in Dallas Anytime Soon: Plans have been shelved for a proposed Dallas hotel carrying the Trump Organization’s Scion brand, according to a city council member who met with the developer of the proposed $50-million project on Tuesday. Read more at Skift
Libby Zay, a Gadling alum, has a new collection of travel essays out called Miles Away. Check it out over on her site.
Tips and Comments
Can be sent to gm[at]skift[dot]com or to @grantkmartin