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.

>>This is a tough call. In some ways, what United is doing with preferred seats is unfair. It may make it harder for families to sit together. But at the same time, most of United’s competitors have similar fees: United’s Revenue Architect Plans to Add New Fees for Slightly Better Seats

>>Who says airlines don’t prioritize passenger comfort? As long as carriers calculate passengers are willing to pay for a better experience, they will provide it: Delta Will Fly Newest Jets With Fewer Middle Seats on Key Business Routes

>>Here’s another reminder that airlines are fiercely competitive. Until recently, U.S. airlines generally weren’t considering adding premium business class seats on domestic routes beyond New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. But a few years ago, JetBlue disrupted the market with its Mint business class, and now United is considering a similar move: Why United Is Considering Putting Flatbed Seats on New Domestic Jets

>>For years, travel insiders have figured all brands, including airlines, would make big money in China. That is almost certain to happen someday. But it’s not the case now, and with fuel prices rising, it makes sense that U.S. carriers are reevaluating their strategies: U.S. Airlines Once Considered China a Potential Gold Mine. Not Anymore.

>>As the Air New Zealand-Virgin Australia alliance on services across the Tasman Sea comes to an end, Virgin will not take the snub from its Kiwi counterpart lying down. It is already flagging improved services and better frequent flyer rewards and trying to block rival Qantas from working with its former ally: Battle for Air Supremacy on Key Australian Route Heats Up

>>JetBlue isn’t the largest or strongest of the U.S. airlines. But it is betting its Silicon Valley venture firm will help catapult it past its stronger rivals. It’s not a bad strategy: Video: Why JetBlue Is Betting a Revolution Is Coming for Short-Haul Travel

>>The revenue management industry picked an odd time to have an identity crisis, given the opportunity for additional profit that new rate-setting and distribution software could bring: Why Hotels Envy Airlines When It Comes to Managing Revenue

Photo Credit: United Airlines soon will charge extra money for what it calls preferred seats in economy class that do not have extra legroom or any other amenities, but are considered more desirable. United Airlines