First Free Story (1 of 3)

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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.

>>American Airlines has the value of your loyalty down to a science. But can that data prevent elites from defecting to other carriers? American Airlines Turns to Data to Manage AAdvantage Members

>>It’s not easy to bring the ‘fail fast’ mantra to an airline. But through its innovation hub in Berlin, Lufthansa is trying to bring some tech-world principles to the airline business. That’s a good thing: Skift Forum Europe: Lufthansa Group’s Innovation Hub Is Its Hedge Against Disruptors

>>Don’t criticize airlines for segmenting their product. This is a basic business principle: Airlines want to sell customers the most expensive products they’re willing to buy: United Airlines May Introduce Domestic Premium Economy

>>Southwest doesn’t care if you pay with points or cash. That’s for good reason. Even if you pay with points, the airline often gets paid: Why Your Airline Award Flight Is (Often) Not Exactly Free

>>JetBlue’s not the most profitable U.S. airline. It’s not the most on-time. It doesn’t have nearly the selection of destinations as its larger competitors. But the airline has succeeded in disrupting the industry with its innovative business class product: JetBlue’s Popular Mint Business Class Disrupted All of Its Rivals

>>Do travelers care more about cheaper airfares or not having to schlep to a consulate, pay for a visa, and wait weeks or months for it to arrive? Many travel brands would say visa waivers are more important, and many travelers would agree. The U.S. doesn’t seem to be in the business lately of making it easier for travelers to visit, visa waiver program aside: Brazil Open Skies Deal Is Great But Incomplete Without a Visa Waiver Program

Photo Credit: United may introduce a domestic premium economy product. Bloomberg