Skift Take

This week we had airline loyalty on the brain. Most airlines are slashing loyalty perks except for the ultra-elite. Redeeming miles has never been so crazy and elusive.

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.

>>KLM may not be a perfect airline, but it’s surprisingly spunky considering it’s owned by a giant French company that also controls Air France. The two airlines couldn’t be more different: CEO Interview: KLM CEO on Why His Airline Still Feeds Passengers for Free

>>Alaska’s Mileage Plan program continues to get stronger with a new series of incentives aimed at west coast Virgin America customers: Alaska Launches Promotions Just for Regional Loyalty Program Members

>>Are old-school U.S. airlines too focused on short-term profits and competing against low-cost carriers to deliver a quality product to their loyal passengers? Business of Loyalty: The Assault on Redemptions and Airline Loyalty

>>What would the Casper or Warby Parker of the aviation world look like? A Passenger Wish List When Designing an Airline From Scratch

>>Panama’s Copa Airlines is not well-known in most of North America, but it’s among the most profitable airlines in the Americas. Its secret? Like Southwest Airlines, it keeps its model simple: Interview: Copa Airlines CEO on Building the ‘Hub of the Americas’ in Panama

>>In today’s airline landscape, legacy carriers generally offer between 30 and 32 inches of seat pitch. Discount airlines give customers 28 or 29 inches. American Airlines had planned to shrink some seats to 29 inches, but customers complained. The plan is off. That’s good news: American Airlines Reverses Plan to Shrink Legroom on Some Planes

>>To the average flyer this makes little sense. Why would a Scandinavian airline build a new airline with the same name in Ireland? But many consumers expect to pay 30 or 35 Euros to fly from Copenhagen to London. If an airline is going to offer those prices, it needs to control costs: Why Scandinavia’s SAS Is Creating a New Airline With the Same Name in Ireland

>>What have we learned from this investor conference? Americans are cheap. Some travelers probably do win when buying these fares, but United says as many as 40 percent of customers are choosing them. Surely, some don’t know what they’re buying: United Says Customers May Dislike Basic Economy But They’re Buying It


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Tags: aviation, Travel Trends, trends roundups

Photo credit: United Airlines CFO Andrew Levy said as many as 40 percent of economy class customers are buying a new no-frills fare. Pictured here are economy seats on a United Express plane. United Airlines

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