Airlines prefer to keep the compensation rules murky. It helps them wheel and deal at the departure gate when necessary.
Consistently getting upgrades requires cold-hard cash and the loyalty that brings from the airlines.
It's becoming clear that airlines are not done with their loyalty experimentation.
Airlines like to strike a delicate balance with on-time performance. They want to be reliable, but they don't necessarily want sky-high on-time rates. An always-punctual operation is expensive.
With American Airlines capitulating, in-flight entertainment on all three legacy carriers is now completely free. The next phase of competition will likely revolve around the quality of that content with each airline trying to out-do the other.
A good operational meltdown like Delta's should make travelers nostalgic for the good old days, when carriers regularly cooperated to help each other's passengers.
Buying labor peace is costly, but it something American believes is vital to its long-term interests.
Savvy travelers know they can't just board a plane and fly to Cuba. But do casual tourists? They may not know all that is required, which could cause problems for airlines.
It's never easy know whether pilots are actually concerned about new guidelines, or if they're talking safety to try to pressure management to make other changes.
Airlines tend to follow each other, so expect more carriers to defer orders for big jets in the near future.