A roundup of the most important stories of the day. I keep you up to date on the most interesting writings I find on other sites – the latest news and tips.
Delta, American and United for three years have argued that the US government needed to take a protectionist stance against Emirates, Etihad, and Qatar. They’ve argued it’s unfair, they shouldn’t have to ‘compete against governments’ which is a rather strange position. Because if they can’t even compete against government airlines what good are they?
After failing to get what they want over the course of 3 years, Delta’s CEO in an interview appears to shift focus — arguing we shouldn’t lump the 3 Gulf airlines and that Qatar’s business model is different.
Delta announced that starting March 1 they’ll be requiring new advance documentation for passengers bringing ’emotional support animals’ on board their aircraft.
Basically they say the whole fake emotional support thing has gone too far. Delta carries 250,000 service and support animals each year — up 86% since 2016. And we’re not just talking about trained dogs, “[c]ustomers have attempted to fly with comfort turkeys, gliding possums known as sugar gliders, snakes, spiders and more.”
Qantas is launching a new route on September 1, 2018: San Francisco – Melbourne on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday, operated by a Boeing 787-9.
Qantas rarely makes business class award space available, however on this new flight awards are wide open on the days of the week it operates. Some flights have as many as 6 business class award seats available.
Two weeks ago Hyatt was pricing several hotels below their normal published cash and points award prices. Then at the beginning of the week more hotels were identified offering an unpublished award sale.
Now premium rooms and suites on sale, some standard reward nights and others cash and points.
American is offering “52 new nonstop flights and enhanced schedules” in its 2018 schedule Only 8 are actually newly announced today. Like United, American Airlines is beefing up service to smaller markets where there’s less competition from ultra low cost carriers like Spirit and Frontier, and consequently less fare pressure.
In addition starting April 4 Chicago – New York LaGuardia is being upgraded to a ‘shuttle’ product along the lines of New York LaGuardia – DC and Boston
United is telling its employees that it will launch a premium economy cabin called ‘Premium Plus’ later this year.
Here they follow American and Delta which have both started offering the international cabin between economy and business class, similar to domestic first class.
United failed to open a single Polaris business class lounge in 2017. As American opened four of its own business lounges between June and December, United was left only with its first Chicago outpost.
At the end of the year the airline even removed the timetable for Polaris lounge openings.
When Hyatt hired Mark Vondrasek – formerly of Starwood – as Senior Vice President for loyalty and business platforms it was announced he would circumvent the CMO and report directly to the CEO. At the time I noted how unique that was.
Though Hyatt tried to dissuade me of the significance that their head of loyalty wouldn’t report to the Chief Marketing Officer the handwriting seemed to be there.
American Express gained exclusivity to issue Hilton co-brand credit cards in the U.S. We’ve known they had huge plans for the products and benefits — and now that the cards are live it’s clear that Amex has come out swinging.
All four products are now available. In this post I’m going to focus on the business card, since it’s the first time there’s been a small business card product from Hilton and because it may represent the best ‘value’ out of the new cards.