Is There a Limit to the Basic Economy Price Increase and the Consequence of the Trump Travel Ban

News and notes from around the interweb:

  • The FAA argues Embraer ERJ190 software is unlikely to be hacked on the basis of ‘security by obscurity’ which is the reason most of us don’t have to worry too much about the government vaccuuming up all of our emails and geolocation data, no one will be interesting to look at data about us, but isn’t super-comforting with respect to aircraft.

  • Rumour: British Airways is working on plans to sell food stamps meal vouchers in advance of travel, which could speed up service and find a way for people who aren’t carrying credit cards to buy hot water for their tea bags.

  • Basic Economy fares are at root a price increase, albeit a complicated and sometimes opaque one. Cranky Flier notes that United has shifted the distances that correspond to buy up amounts to avoid Basic Economy restrictions, essentially reducing the fare increase in many markets. Has United found there’s a limit to how much they can raise fares?

    [W]e could guess that on the mid to longer-haul flights, people thought the spread was too much and weren’t buying up enough to Regular Economy. On the other hand, it could also be that when they expanded this to nearly all domestic markets, they just arbitrarily decided the best mileage cutoff for each split and that was different from the original test. I’d like to think it’s the former, and United is trying to learn from historical buy-up data. But in reality, I doubt that’s what happened.

  • American Airlines has an industrial butterfly garden

  • As I told Forbes the consequences of a travel ban go well beyond the specific people excluded by government policy, international understanding of what actual U.S. policy is and uncertainty how it will manifest itself in any given person’s arrival has a chilling affect on travel.

    “Barriers to travel are bad for the travel industry and for the economy. Uncertainty over whether visitors are welcome means less travel,” said Gary Leff, founder of aviation industry blog, The View from the Wing, in an email. “It’s the procedures necessary to come – hurdles to jump through, social media accounts demanded, potential for long interrogations – that make the juice not worth the squeeze for someone considering coming to the US.”

  • The CEO of IHG thinks their loyalty program has benefits it does not have via Skift:

    They get points. They get benefits. They get upgrades. They get early check-in. They get late check out. They get this and that so it’s just another benefit for our loyalty members, a substantial one and yes, they get a lower rate if they book direct and we think it makes sense for them and for us and for our owners.

  • Only the marketing geniuses at British Airways…? Has BA really taken away access to Concorde Dining at Washington Dulles from revenue-based Concorde Room cardholders?

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Love that statement
    Juice not worth the squeeze
    Going to use it lol
    Apparently the CEO of IHG has never used its IHG Rewards and its shabby benefits
    An upgrade is the room you book at the better properties like InterCon
    and don’t try and use your points overseas or be denied any possibility of a benefit or recognition
    Has he very tried calling his near worthless call center in the Philippines to receive a lack of help or assistance

  2. Islamic terrorism is bad for the travel industry and for the economy. Certainty over whether travelers are not terrorists means greater safety and security for U.S. citizens. It’s the procedures necessary to come – hurdles to jump through, social media accounts demanded, potential for long interrogations – that make the juice not worth the squeeze for terrorists considering coming to the US.

  3. Sorry, @Pete, but Trump’s policies absolutely discourage travel and inhibit the tourist business and not just from targeted countries. Surveys about Canadian travel for 2017 show that 18% of Canadians that were going to come here have decided not to come to the US this year for vacations. That is the US’ closest ally and largest source of foreign tourists and least likely to actually be targeted in a ban on travelers and Trump policies have cut 18% out of that business. The damage from other parts of the world is likely to be far worse. The extent of the damage to US tourism appears to be widespread and the damage is just beginning to be felt.
    Do you really think that someone who is planning to martyr (kill) themselves in service to their cause is giving to give a rats ass whether they have to go through long interrogations? On the other hand, do you think that someone who wants to bring their family to Disney World is going to put up with it, or will they just go to Disney Paris, Hong Kong, Tokyo, or Shanghai?

  4. IHG call center is great! when my hotel in Miami beach had to close they were going change us to another near by hotel , Fort Lauderdale. I had to say to the girl, Do you even know where Fort Lauderdale is in relation to Miami Beach? It is a long walk from the hotel to the beach. We got them to upgrade us to the Intercontinental for the same price (we used just points) .

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