News and notes from around the interweb:
- United will again allow planes to taxi while waiting for takeoff weights. Other airlines do it, United used to do it, now they won’t delay at the gate until receiving final computer calculations anymore.
- Philippine Airlines plans to launch Los Angeles – Cebu service three times weekly. (HT: Reid F.) Philippine Airlines flights are the business class awards to Asia you can always get.
They’re partners with ANA (Amex transfer partner, call to book and try to find an agent familiar with it) and with Etihad (Citi transfer partner, has a stake in the airline). But I haven’t heard anything about replacing business class seats on their Airbus A340s, which will operate the route — I seem to recall they aren’t even angled flat but old-style recliner business seats!
- Chinese Hackers Hit American, Sabre
- Delta loves to tell its own story, but frequent flyers don’t believe all they hear. The argument is that for all of the amazing progress Delta has made as an airline, their frequent flyer program undermines the brand and reputation.
The influential blogger Gary Leff, best-known for coining the dismissive sobriquet “SkyPesos” for SkyMiles, has relentlessly covered Delta’s shenanigans.
Leff’s critiques caught the eye of Ron Lieber, the savvy personal-finance columnist for The New York Times. His blast at Delta went viral, even earning Delta a derisive retweet from CNN correspondent and frequent flyer Jake Tapper.
Does bad press about one awful component of an otherwise well-run airline impact the carrier’s reputation and ability to become the “investment-grade” company Anderson so wants Delta to be? A half-dozen branding experts I consulted in recent days think so. More telling, five responded with some variation of “awful frequent flyer program” when I asked them for the first thing they thought of when they considered Delta.
- The Renaissance Cleveland Hotel was ground zero for Republican candidates in their primary debate
- Delta’s new inflight safety video: