News and notes from around the interweb:
- 50 free Starwood points? Presumably only if you aren’t already opted-into emails.
- Instant Starwood Gold after 1 stay, account must list Asia Pacific residence.
- United is working on introducing pre-order meals in first class and for economy buy on board. American has had pre-order in first class for three years. (HT: MileCards)
- American Airlines will pay to build 5 new gates to the end of Chicago O’Hare’s terminal 3 L concourse. Those will be some long walks from the far end of the H and K concourses!
- Qatar Airways plans to buy a stake in Italy’s second largest carrier, Meridiana. Gulf rival Etihad is the deep pocket keeping Italy’s Alitalia afloat. So there’s apparently jealousy over who can light the most money on fire, surprising given declining natural gas prices (Qatar) and oil prices (UAE). Qatar already owns a stake in the parent of British Airways and Iberia.
Qatar is also rumored to be interested in buying Pakistan International Airlines which is on the verge of privatization (though the IMF is signaling the government can delay this). We’ll see if employee violence and IT incompetence scares them off.
- Inside an empty (no seats, even!) Boeing 787 (HT: Paul H.)