The legacy airlines flying on lucrative — but highly competitive — routes between New York-Los Angeles and New York-San Francisco are all rolling out upgrades to their in-flight seating and services this year, especially for premium travelers. And now the upstart carrier JetBlue might be preparing to take the competition up a notch with a new kind of premium seating option.
Air Travel News
A new small airline in California launched its inaugural flight last week with a unique business model: Customers pay a flat monthly fee to fly as much as they want — as long as they only fly in the carrier’s limited service area, and the flights they want aren’t booked up.
How loyal are you to your favorite frequent guest program? According to a new survey, many frequent stay members tend to demand perfection from their hotels or they’ll go somewhere else.
In news of hotel openings and rebrandings, four properties have opened their doors in Manhattan, while Chicago gets a pair of new hotels this month; overseas, four classic European properties have reopened following renovations; Riyadh gets a pair of new hotels; and Shanghai welcomes several new properties.
In news of international airlines, the SkyTeam global alliance plans to add another member carrier and some new airport lounges; British Airways this month begins to take delivery of two new aircraft types for its long-haul fleet; Turkish Airlines is said to be planning a change in its seating; and Singapore moves ahead on a major fleet overhaul.
In airport news, London Heathrow has released details about the planned opening of its new Terminal 2, now under construction; a new facility at Dallas/Ft. Worth gives travelers a private place for a nap or an overnight; Delta opens a new amenity for Sky Club members at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson; Indianapolis adopts an incentive program for airport parking; and IAH closes one of its TSA checkpoints.
Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport has opened up a new expedited procedure for some arriving international travelers that lets them move through Customs and Border Protection inspections more quickly.
In hotel news this week, Marriott plans to import a European brand to the U.S.; Virgin Hotels identifies its second planned property, this one in New York City; a leading business apartment rental firm will develop a lodging chain; and a major Hilton property causes a stir by ending a traditional guest service.
In news of U.S. airlines, Delta raises the fees for second checked bags on some international routes; it looks like American will stay with Citigroup for its AAdvantage credit card in its pending merger with US Airways; an Alaska Airlines upgrade lets boarding passes go into Apple’s Passbook; and American plans a new transatlantic route from its Miami hub.
Transportation Security Administration chief John Pistole said last week that the agency has given up on a plan to take small pocketknives and some other items off the “prohibited list” of things that passengers cannot carry onto an aircraft.