First Free Story (1 of 3)Join Skift Pro
What to Know Now
Amid escalating tensions between airlines and passengers, another viral video surfaced this weekend of an American Airlines crew tussling with a passenger over a stroller — leading to the passenger’s eventual ejection.
Unlike the similar recent issue on United, however, people don’t seem to be filling the streets with torches and pitchforks. In part, that’s because American’s PR team got way out in front of the issue, engaging with media and passengers almost immediately after the incident. There’s also no doubt that the airline also learned from United’s missteps on its own journey through the PR washing machine.
If anything, events from the last few weeks only highlight how fragile the relationship is among airlines, employees, and customers. It may not be long until another incident boils over.
SOCIAL QUOTE OF THE DAY
You aren’t allowed to take strollers on airplanes as they don’t fit into the overhead compartments or under the seats. Every parent I’ve ever seen just checks them in or gate-checks them.
United CEO Oscar Munoz Will Not Automatically Become Board Chair in 2018: When Oscar Munoz joined United Airlines as president and CEO in September 2015, he was promised he would serve as chairman beginning this year. After he suffered a massive heart attack less than two months later, the board pushed it back one year, to 2018. Now, United said in a filing Friday, Munoz may never become chairman. Read more at Skift
Canada’s Largest Low-Cost Carrier Is Starting an Even Cheaper Airline: Canadian discounter WestJet Airlines Ltd. is arming itself for more fare wars by planning to start an ultra-low-cost carrier to fend off domestic upstarts. Read more at Skift
Opinion: What We Hate About Airlines Actually Keeps Fares Low: In short — passengers benefit from overbooking and other policies that seem to hurt travelers, even if they do not know it. Read more at Skift
TSA Video Seeks to Reassure Transgender Travelers: The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) released a video on YouTube this Thursday that walks transgender travelers through the airport screening process and potential steps they can take if they become uncomfortable or a security alarm is triggered. Read more at Skift
U.S. Customs Revoked Global Entry for Some Muslim Americans: U.S. Customs and Border Protection revoked the enrollment of people in the Global Entry program and other U.S. “trusted traveler” categories as part of the Trump administration’s travel ban on seven predominantly Muslim nations. Read more at Skift
Screening Company Clear Raises $15 Million: The biometric security company Clear has raised $15 million from T. Rowe Price’s New Horizon Fund. Clear says its traveler identity software is used in 21 of the largest airports in the U.S. and it expects to launch at Los Angeles International in the coming weeks. Read more at Skift
United Airlines President: Leaving New York’s JFK ‘Was the Wrong Decision’: In October 2015, United Airlines pulled out of New York JFK, moving all its flights from San Francisco and Los Angeles to Newark, where it has a hub. United’s public relations staff spent considerable effort spinning the move as a positive, promising “significant benefits” and an “overall higher-quality experience” for flyers. But a year and a half later, United’s new president, Scott Kirby, says moving the flights from JFK was a mistake. Read more at Skift
Video: Kayak CEO Says He Wants to Give Consumers a Choice: At Skift Forum Europe in London earlier this month, CEOs and top executives from Momondo Group, Skyscanner, Trivago, and Kayak spoke about the competitive landscape and their respective advantages over their rivals. Read more at Skift
Emirates President Insists Laptop Ban Will Not Crater Its U.S. Strategy: Emirates remains committed to the U.S. market despite plans to slash 20 percent of its flights in the wake of tougher security and visa measures put in place under the Trump administration, the airline’s president said Thursday. Read more at Skift
Bullet Train From L.A. to San Francisco Gets State Funding Despite Trump Opposition: California isn’t letting litigation or Donald Trump stand in the way of one of the most expensive and controversial projects in the U.S. Read more at Skift
Uber’s Growth Is Stalling Among U.S. Business Travelers: Uber’s huge expansion in corporate travel in the U.S. is trailing off, according to the latest data from expense technology company Certify, perhaps signaling that Uber will face new challenges in expanding its share of the business travel ground transportation market. Read more at Skift
How Extended Stay Hotels Are Pivoting Towards a New Generation of Travelers: Extended stay hotels are a particularly bright spot in an otherwise steady hotel industry, especially in the U.S. Read more at Skift
IHG Reveals Second Credit Card Data Breach Occurred in 2016: Last week, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) announced it had suffered a data breach at multiple IHG-branded franchise hotel locations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico during the period of September 29, 2016 to December 29, 2016. Read more at Skift
Banksy Hotel in the West Bank: Small, but Plenty of Wall Space: It has been just over a month since Banksy opened the Walled Off Hotel here — and unsurprisingly it is proving popular. Read more at The New York Times
What’s Really Behind the Hotel Industry’s Plans to Combat Airbnb: That action plan includes the launch of a new ad campaign called “My Neighborhood” that would feature testimonials from people negatively impacted by short-term rentals, as well as funding research that purports to demonstrate how Airbnb and other platforms are predominantly used by commercial operators, not everyday middle-class Americans. Read more at Skift
Tips and Comments
Can be sent to gm[at]skift[dot]com or to @grantkmartin