News and notes from around the interweb:
- How airlines assign flight numbers and why they’re running out also this older piece on how Southwest does it (HT: Brian B.)
- Increasingly Asian frequent flyer programs are more lucrative than US ones — ANA Mileage Club, JAL Mileage Bank, Asiana Club, Korean Air SKYPASS to name a few. Membership growth and revenue upside is increasingly moving to that side of the Pacific as well with JAL reporting 31 milloin members — and Air China reporting Phoenix Miles has 50 million (with 9 million co-brand credit card customers), China Southern with 38 million as of the end of 2016, and China Eastern with 26 million at the end of 2015 (Airline Weekly, January 15, 2018).
- Sun Country is eliminating their elite status program as they transition to becoming an ultra low cost carrier
- Vietnam Airlines is looking to launch U.S. non-stops this year, either to Los Angeles or San Francisco
- Why it’s fun to travel around China (beyond Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen…), (HT: Marginal Revolution)
Those who haven’t ventured far beyond Shenzhen, Shanghai, and Beijing underestimate the sheer number of totally random stuff that happens to you. In stores, traffic, restaurants, and on the streets, I regularly come across behaviors and fixtures that I had no idea were a thing. You might be driving along miles of farmland, when suddenly a massive high-tech factory with the logo of a well-known foreign company looms up on the horizon; in a restaurant, I was asked one time to help with the cooking because chefs had to go out to buy more ingredients; you never know who might come up to you and tell you an interesting story. The lack of professionalism in nearly all things is sometimes frustrating but mostly hilarious.
- Emirates claims to have the best economy class in the world in this new commercial (‘don’t upgrade your seat, upgrade your airline’), though I disagree we’ve seen cuts in Emirates economy and Singapore Airlines clearly offers the best economy. (HT: Traveling for Miles)
The video does illustrate plenty of ‘upgrade strategies that don’t work’ but that you see over and over in travel articles.