Brian Sumers

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Brian Sumers

Senior Aviation Business Editor

Recent Stories from Brian Sumers:

Hopes Dashed for a Quick U.S. Airline Recovery Amid Coronavirus Spikes

Hopes Dashed for a Quick U.S. Airline Recovery Amid Coronavirus Spikes

Brian Sumers, Skift

The messaging about the U.S. airline recovery includes some, shall we say, irrational exuberance. Sure, some people will always want or need to fly. But many more want to manage their risk, and that's hard to do when the United States can't control a raging pandemic.

4 days ago

United Airlines Warns 36,000 Workers They Could Be Laid Off or Furloughed

United Airlines Warns 36,000 Workers They Could Be Laid Off or Furloughed

Brian Sumers, Skift

Since March, United Airlines has been the first U.S. carrier to sound the alarm on almost every major issue facing the airline industry. That is also the case here. Look for other global network airlines to make similar announcements in the coming weeks.

6 days ago

How Fraudsters Bilked American Airlines and Citibank in Frequent Flyer Schemes

How Fraudsters Bilked American Airlines and Citibank in Frequent Flyer Schemes

Brian Sumers, Skift

Airlines have complete control over their frequent flyer programs. They can take your miles for nearly any reason. It is probably not a good idea to try to defraud them.

7 days ago

KLM CEO Still Sees Slow Recovery Even as More Flights Resume

KLM CEO Still Sees Slow Recovery Even as More Flights Resume

Brian Sumers, Skift

KLM has a powerful brand and should be able to withstand this crisis. But it is not a good time for legacy European airlines that usually rely on lucrative corporate travelers.

2 weeks ago

U.S. Airlines Seek Revenue From ‘Visiting Friends and Relatives’ Travel

U.S. Airlines Seek Revenue From ‘Visiting Friends and Relatives’ Travel

Brian Sumers, Skift

U.S. carriers had identified travelers visiting friends and relatives as a bright spot, even amid the Covid-19 pandemic. But as cases continue to rise, some travelers may change their minds and cancel their plans.

3 weeks ago

Do U.S. Airlines Have a Legal Right to Bar Passengers Who Don’t Wear Masks?

Do U.S. Airlines Have a Legal Right to Bar Passengers Who Don’t Wear Masks?

Brian Sumers, Skift

Just wear a mask on an airplane. It's not that hard, and it keeps everyone safer.

3 weeks ago

How JetBlue Just Flouted Airline Industry Norms by Launching New Routes

How JetBlue Just Flouted Airline Industry Norms by Launching New Routes

Brian Sumers, Skift

Airlines are highly competitive businesses. Usually, the routes announced Thursday would engender a massive competitive response. But is there an appetite for that now? Hard to say.

4 weeks ago

Putting Europe’s Low-Cost Carriers in Peril Should Not Be a Lasting Legacy From Government in This Crisis

Putting Europe’s Low-Cost Carriers in Peril Should Not Be a Lasting Legacy From Government in This Crisis

Brian Sumers, Skift

Legacy airlines are in trouble. Many deserve bailouts. But let's not take it too far. There's no reason to penalize low-cost airlines. If they can make money with cheap fares, let them.

4 weeks ago

How Is United Airlines’ Loyalty Program Worth $22 Billion?

How Is United Airlines’ Loyalty Program Worth $22 Billion?

Brian Sumers, Skift

United opened some of the books for its MileagePlus program. It's a highly lucrative operation, based mainly on sales of miles to third parties, including credit card companies.

4 weeks ago

No Stroopwafels, Fancy TV Screens? How U.S. Air Travel May Change Beyond Tackling Health Concerns

No Stroopwafels, Fancy TV Screens? How U.S. Air Travel May Change Beyond Tackling Health Concerns

Brian Sumers, Skift

Covid-19 will change the flying experience for a long time, as people take precautions to avoid getting sick. But it'll also change flying for another reason. Airlines are taking on considerable debt, and they'll need to cut costs as they try to repay it, at least until revenues improve.

1 month ago

Alaska Airlines Owes Nearly $600 Million in Credits to Travelers That Could Hurt a Recovery

Alaska Airlines Owes Nearly $600 Million in Credits to Travelers That Could Hurt a Recovery

Brian Sumers, Skift

Several airlines have extended the length of time passengers have to use travel credits. Are they trying to be nice? Or are they trying to make sure passengers use credits over time, and not all at once?

1 month ago

American and United Diverge on Summer Recovery Expectations

American and United Diverge on Summer Recovery Expectations

Brian Sumers, Skift

American and United are taking different approaches in the Covid-19 recovery. Each has valid reasons for their strategies, which seem rooted in how they view the U.S. market's potential.

1 month ago