Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.

Hotels

IDEAS: IHG Hotels & Resorts Launches Experiential Winter Chalet Campaign

1 day ago

IHG Hotels & Resorts is getting into the holiday spirit with the launch of a new experiential winter campaign at a selection of its American properties. 

The Winter Chalet at Hotel Indigo Williamsburg
Credit: Roger Davies / IHG Hotels & Resorts

Select InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, Vignette Collection and Hotel Indigo properties will be transformed into ‘Winter Wonderlands’ for the holiday season by incorporating chalet-inspired installations and programming.

The 17 feet tall chalet structures, which will feature in the lobbies of select properties, have been designed and constructed by architect Tristan Al-Haddad and feature interiors curated by interior designer Corey Damen Jenkins.

Each installation features a bar that will serve seasonal beverages throughout the day and will include regular programming for the duration of the campaign.

Outside of the Winter Chalet installations, every hotel across IHG’s Luxury & Lifestyle Americas portfolio will provide guests with some form of winter inspired programming, including festive dining experiences and chalet inspired room activations.

The campaign will run from December 1, 2023 through February 29, 2024.


Skift Ideas uncovers the most creative and forward-thinking innovations happening across travel. We celebrate innovation through our Skift IDEA Awards and hear from leaders on our Ideas podcast.

You can listen and subscribe to the Skift Ideas Podcast through your favorite podcast app here.

Airlines

IDEAS: Qatar Airways Goes Organic with New Onboard Menu

2 days ago

Qatar Airways is introducing a range of new onboard menu items that have been sourced from organic farms in Qatar, in celebration of EXPO 2023 taking place in Doha.

Expo 2023 Doha, which is running through March 2024, celebrates the theme of ‘Green Desert, Better Environment,’ and aims to promote sustainable innovations.

Credit: Qatar Airways

As part of the new food and drink offering, passengers flying Business Class will now be greeted with bespoke beverages curated by food expert Ghanim Al Sulaiti – one of the founders of Qatar’s first entirely plant-based café – and will have access to an exclusive à la carte menu, featuring meals made from organic ingredients sourced from Safwa, a Qatari farm.

Continuing the horticultural theme, the inflight entertainment on Qatar Airways flights will also receive an update, providing passengers with the opportunity to watch a range of gardening-related shows, including Martha Knows Best, Homegrown, Vegetable Garden and more.

The new food and beverage offerings are available for passengers traveling from Doha until March 2024.


Skift Ideas uncovers the most creative and forward-thinking innovations happening across travel. We celebrate innovation through our Skift IDEA Awards and hear from leaders on our Ideas podcast.

You can listen and subscribe to the Skift Ideas Podcast through your favorite podcast app here.

Hotels

IDEAS: Kimpton Partners with Anthropologie on New Accessory Borrowing Scheme

1 month ago

We’ve all experienced that moment of dread when we arrive in our hotel room and begin unpacking our luggage, only to realize that we’ve forgotten to pack the star piece of one of our planned outfits.

Well a new partnership from Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants and Anthropologie aims to alleviate these feelings of ‘pack-xiety’.

A guest holding an Anthropolgie bag in a Kimpton Hotel room.
Credit: Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants/Anthropologie

The new partnership forms part of Kimpton’s larger Forgot It? We’ve Got It! program, and will now offer guests access to a selection of complimentary accessories – including bags, belts, and bracelets – that are available to borrow for the duration of guest stays.

Launched in the United Kingdom last month, the new service is accessed via an in-room QR code which directs guests to an online catalog that allows them to browse, borrow, and purchase items.

“Kimpton is a brand known for its thoughtful perks and unique personal touches that enhance the guest experience and leave lasting impressions. Knowing accessories are often the first items to get cut or overlooked while packing, this partnership and accessories collection with Anthropologie provides guests with a chic solution in the event they’ve forgotten that perfect clutch or want to add a little extra something special to their style or seasonal look – whether it’s for a weekend getaway, business meeting, rooftop concert or night out,” said Kathleen Reidenbach, SVP of marketing and commercial for IHG Luxury & Lifestyle Americas and Kimpton Global.

The service is available now at Kimpton Fitzroy London, Kimpton Clocktower Hotel in Manchester, Kimpton Charlotte Square in Edinburgh, and Kimpton Blythswood Square in Glasgow.


Skift Ideas uncovers the most creative and forward-thinking innovations happening across travel. We celebrate innovation through our Skift IDEA Awards and hear from leaders on our Ideas podcast.

You can listen and subscribe to the Skift Ideas Podcast through your favorite podcast app here.

Airlines

IDEAS: Finnair Set to Renew the Cabins of its Embraer Fleet

1 month ago

Finnair has announced that it will be giving the interiors of its Embraer aircraft a refresh in the coming years. 

The side, wing and engine of a Finnair Embraer aircraft.
Credit: Finnair

According to a release from the Finnish carrier, the new cabins will build off the familiar elements introduced in the carrier’s new long-haul aircraft cabins and will provide a ‘fresh and inviting interior’ for passengers. 

There are 12 jet engine aircraft in the Finnair fleet, which are used to fly Finnair’s domestic and European destinations, and the first renewed aircraft are expected to operate at the end of 2024 with the project due to be completed in 2025. 

“We want to improve travel comfort and provide our customers with a high-quality travel experience across our route network”, says Ole Orvér, chief commercial officer for Finnair. 

“We will bring similar elements and feeling to our Embraer fleet as we have used in our previously redesigned Airbus wide-body aircraft”.  

You can take a look at the new long-haul aircraft cabins in the video below:


Skift Ideas uncovers the most creative and forward-thinking innovations happening across travel. We celebrate innovation through our Skift IDEA Awards and hear from leaders on our Ideas podcast.

You can listen and subscribe to the Skift Ideas Podcast through your favorite podcast app here.

Airlines

IDEAS: Qatar Airways to Roll Out SpaceX’s Starlink on Select Routes

1 month ago

Qatar Airways has announced a new collaboration with SpaceX’s Starlink, which will see the carrier introduce complimentary high-speed internet connectivity onboard specific aircraft and routes. 

Credit: Qatar Airways

The new initiative, which is currently in the pre-launch phase, will allow passengers to enjoy Wi-Fi speeds of up to 350 Megabits per second, allowing internet-based services such as video streaming, gaming and enriched web-browsing with one-click access.

“Qatar Airways is proud to announce its agreement with Starlink to provide seamless and complimentary Wi-Fi to its global passengers. This exciting collaboration is not only in line with our industry-leading approach to technological adoption, but also serves as an unmissable opportunity to connect Starlink to our global passengers. We look forward to our passengers benefitting from this state-of-the-art addition to Qatar Airways’ in-flight experience,” said His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, group chief executive, Qatar Airways.

Qatar Airways is not the first airline to partner with Starlink, with the technology also being implemented by JSX, Hawaiian Airlines, airBaltic, and ZIPAIR. We also previously reported that P&O Cruises and Cunard will roll out the service.


Skift Ideas uncovers the most creative and forward-thinking innovations happening across travel. We celebrate innovation through our Skift IDEA Awards and hear from leaders on our Ideas podcast.

You can listen and subscribe to the Skift Ideas Podcast through your favorite podcast app here.

Airlines

IDEAS: Emirates Launches New Initiative to Support Neurodivergent Passengers

2 months ago

Emirates and Dubai International Airport are working with local schools, autism groups and key stakeholders on a new initiative in an effort to improve the travel experience for neurodivergent passengers. 

Credit: Emirates

The ‘travel rehearsals’ have been designed to allow neurodivergent passengers to practice their journey through the airport and onboard aircraft, during which they are provided boarding passes and taken through security, to recreate the full travel experience. 

Throughout the process the individuals involved are accompanied by family members and therapists, with the aim of empowering families when navigating the travel process, whilst also providing key learnings for Emirates and the airport.

Credit: Emirates

One example highlighted by the operator is ‘Emirates superfan’ Humza Dabab, who is autistic. 11 year old Humza recently flew from Melbourne to Dubai with his family, and was treated to a ‘a VIP experience from Emirates’ ahead of his flight.

The travel rehearsals join a number of initiatives Emirates and Dubai International Airport currently have in place to support travelers with additional needs, including enhanced employee training, autism friendly routes to navigate the airport, priority boarding, complimentary parking and the ability to pre-order meals.


Skift Ideas uncovers the most creative and forward-thinking innovations happening across travel. We celebrate innovation through our Skift IDEA Awards and hear from leaders on our Ideas podcast.

You can listen and subscribe to the Skift Ideas Podcast through your favorite podcast app here.

Hotels

IDEAS: Hyatt’s Noise-First Plan to Support Guest Wellbeing

2 months ago

Hyatt Hotels Corporation has expanded its partnership online healthcare company Headspace to provide hotel guests and World of Hyatt members with coloured noise content in order to support their wellbeing.

The new content, which was launched in conjunction with World Mental Health Day, includes a sample of exclusive content from Headspace’s colored noise collection, which has been designed to aid listeners in their efforts to drift off to sleep, relax or focus. 

“As a hospitality company focused on care, Hyatt takes pride in raising the bar on wellbeing in a rapidly changing world,” said TJ Abrams, vice president, global wellbeing at Hyatt. 

“Collaborating with industry leaders like Headspace allows Hyatt to better care for our guests, and I have personally experienced the positive, stress-relieving impact of mindfulness content during my recent stays at our hotels.”

The content is now available via the World of Hyatt app and in-room televisions at select properties across the U.S, Canada and Mexico.


Skift Ideas uncovers the most creative and forward-thinking innovations happening across travel. We celebrate innovation through our Skift IDEA Awards and hear from leaders on our Ideas podcast.

You can listen and subscribe to the Skift Ideas Podcast through your favorite podcast app here.

Ideas

IDEAS: Heathrow Trials Pre-Booked Security Slots

2 months ago

Heathrow has announced that it is trialing an initiative that allows passengers travelling through the airport to pre-book their security slots ahead of their journeys.

Credit: Heathrow

It is hoped that the service, known as ‘Heathrow Timeslot‘, will offer travellers more peace of mind when moving through the airport as well as helping to reduce queue times.

Currently live in Terminal 3, the trial is set to run for the next six months and will be open to passengers travelling with American Airlines, Delta, Emirates and Virgin Atlantic.

“Everyone is familiar with airport security, but at Heathrow we’re constantly thinking of innovative ways to boost the safety and streamline the experience for our passengers. This new trial will give passengers that extra added bit of certainty and reassurance ahead of their journey and we think it will be particularly popular for those with families or nervous travellers who may want a bit more confidence in their journeys. We look forward to seeing the data come in to give us some learnings on how we can roll this out more widely across Heathrow,” said Mark Powell, operational planning director at Heathrow.


Skift Ideas uncovers the most creative and forward-thinking innovations happening across travel. We celebrate innovation through our Skift IDEA Awards and hear from leaders on our Ideas podcast.

You can listen and subscribe to the Skift Ideas Podcast through your favorite podcast app here.

Ideas

IDEAS: TUI to Offer British Sign Language Interpretation for Customers

2 months ago

TUI has announced a partnership with SignLive to provide customers with the option to have their conversations with the firm interpreted into British Sign Language (BSL).

Credit: SHVETS production

In order to use the service customers will need to sign up for free to SignLive, at which point they will be able to call TUI via its online directory. Customers will then be paired with the TUI Accessibility Team and a SignLive interpreter, who will interpret the conversation in real time.

“At TUI we want to make traveling with us as easy as possible for everyone. SignLive has come to us with an amazing solution for our customers who use British Sign Language (BSL). This service means that these customers can have conversations with our team to ensure they book the perfect holiday for them and get any additional support they might need,” said Sue Bradley, director of customer experience, at TUI.

“Customers can speak to our contact center team about new or existing bookings all by signing up to SignLive for free for support with hotel information, navigating airports or booking accessible transfers in resort.”

The service is now live, and the video has been released to explain how the service works:


Skift Ideas uncovers the most creative and forward-thinking innovations happening across travel. We celebrate innovation through our Skift IDEA Awards and hear from leaders on our Ideas podcast.

You can listen and subscribe to the Skift Ideas Podcast through your favorite podcast app here.

Airlines

IDEAS: Emirates Launches Inflight Meal Pre-Order Service Across Europe

2 months ago

Emirates has expanded its inflight meal pre-order initiative across Europe, following the successful launch of the initiative on London to Dubair routes and the positive feedback received from passengers.

The inflight pre-ordering service is available to Business Class passengers, and allows them to reserve their main course up to 24 hours prior to their departure through the Emirates website and app. Onboard the aircraft, cabin crew will then use digital devices to view customer preorders.

Credit: Emirates

According to a release from Emirates, the new initiative forms part of an existing suite of AI-enabled customer preference tracking data and cabin crew reports onboard Emirates, which ‘facilitate menu planning, optimal food loading and waste minimization’.

Emirates joins a growing list of airlines developing initiatives that are designed to minimize food wastage and enhance the customer experience, including Virgin Atlantic, United and Lufthansa, among others.


Skift Ideas uncovers the most creative and forward-thinking innovations happening across travel. We celebrate innovation through our Skift IDEA Awards and hear from leaders on our Ideas podcast.

You can listen and subscribe to the Skift Ideas Podcast through your favorite podcast app here.

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