News and notes from around the interweb:
- Paypal co-founder and early Facebook investor Peter Thiel famously quipped his disappointment in Silicon Valley that, “we wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters.” Now the head of Airbus thinks they’ll have a prototype flying car by the end of the year.
- Read plenty of comments from Hyatt’s CEO on changes to Hyatt’s loyalty program.
Unlike the CEO of Aer Lingus who gaslights their former program to justify recent changes, Mark Hoplamazian acknowledges Hyatt Gold Passport worked well and was liked by members. He doesn’t hide the focus on ‘high-end travelers’ which is decidedly not the 25 stay Diamond. While they have different tactics for engaging members under World of Hyatt, it’s not at all clear how one program or another is more of an “engagement platform” as he suggests (let alone one that “build[s] community”).
Hoplamazian believes that “that the feedback overall has been quite positive” for the new program.
Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur Sky Lobby
- American plans to upgauge its Dallas – Joplin flight to a CR7 regional jet and eventually to a CR9. That’s not super interesting in itself (and neither is the article’s claim that “[b]oth the CRJ-700 and CRJ-900 are dual-class aircraft, meaning they will offer both business-class and first-class seating.”).
I did find this notable, however — the airport needs upgrades to be able to service larger regional jets.
[T]he Joplin Regional Airport will have to spend approximately $30,000 on support equipment such as power supplies and ways to load drinking water in order to service the larger aircraft that will begin serving Joplin this year.
- Wideroe to become an Embraer E190 operator. And here I thought Wideroe was just an online travel agency site for booking United tickets without fuel surcharges.
Back in the fall [of 2013] Wideroe was pricing most United tickets to Europe without a fuel surcharge. There was even speculation that once they had discovered the glitch that they were the ones behind spreading the word about it online in order to generate booking revenue from United.
- Emirates’s New Economy Blankets Are Made Out Of 100% Recycled Plastic
- United introduced a ‘performance guarantee’ for corporate customers that it wouldn’t perform worse than American in on-time flights and cancellations. It didn’t have to pay out in 2016. Now they’re adding guarantee categories for 2017: fewer mishandled checked bags and lower carbon footprint. (Technically the guarantee is that they will be better than American or Delta but they’re unlikely to beat Delta’s reliability.)
Some contend United ‘pads its schedule’ since flights take longer than they used to and they even schedule more time for overlapping routes than American does. I’d frame it differently: they’re realistic about when their flights are going to arrive.