Travel Podcasts to Get You Through Your Summer Vacation - Transport - 24 July 2017
In all likelihood, your summer vacation will involve a boutique hotel, a low-cost airline, loyalty points, destination research, or booking something online. So we selected some of our favorite 2017 episodes of the Skift Podcast to give you an insider’s look at those sectors. While you wait in the inevitable line — at airport security, at Disneyland, or at Shake Shack — maximize your time and give these a listen.

The Airports of the Future Are Taking Shape - Transport - 23 July 2017
No matter how well-regarded a particular airport happens to be, the slog from curb to cabin is pretty much the same wherever you go. A decades-old paradigm of queues, security screens, snack vendors, and gate-waiting prevails—the only difference is the level of stress. Transiting a modern hub such as Munich or Seoul is more easily endured than threading your way through the perpetual construction zones that pass for airports around New York.

Small Luxury Ships Give Passengers a Close-Up View in Alaska - Transport - 22 July 2017
If you think of Alaska as the Last Frontier, you might be surprised to find it overrun by fanny-packing cruisers, all scurrying from one Disneyfied shore excursion to the next. After all, tiny towns such as Ketchikan, Hoonah, and Valdez are welcoming upwards of a million passengers a year—despite having as few as 760 local residents.

Tips From a Road Warrior: Never Eat on Planes and Always Carry Pepto-Bismol - Transport - 22 July 2017
Melissa Biggs Bradley is the founder of luxury travel firm Indagare. The membership-based travel club is the secret weapon of 1 Percenters, known for planning and arranging near-impossible trips from chartering planes and yachts to overnights at billionaires’ private islands. When not planning others’ jaunts, Biggs Bradley herself spends between 3½ and 4 months on the road each year, flying around 200,000 miles. “I’m not really loyal to any airline—to me the most important thing is the convenience of the time,” she says, though she recommends Delta domestically and the premium cabins of Air France and Cathay Pacific.

JetBlue Seeks Investors for Proposed New York JFK Terminal - Transport - 21 July 2017
JetBlue Airways Corp. is looking for investors and developers to help build a new Terminal 6 at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, with possible expansion to include a second facility. JetBlue holds exclusive rights to develop the site of JFK’s previous Terminal 6, which was torn down. The project also may involve the replacement of Terminal 7, which was built in 1972, the New York-based airline said in a statement Friday.

The UK's Transport Secretary Doesn't Agree With Ryanair About the Impact of Brexit - Transport - 21 July 2017
U.K. Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said there’s no chance that planes will be grounded when Britain leaves the European Union in 2019 and that any transitional arrangements on border controls are likely to be contingent on maintaining maximum access for airlines. The notion that jets could be forced to stop flying once Brexit is implemented shouldn’t be taken seriously, Grayling said in an interview. Airlines including Ryanair Holdings Plc have said it’s possible flights could be curtailed for weeks or months if negotiators fail to make early progress on the issue.

The UK Wants to Develop a New Aviation Strategy - Transport - 21 July 2017
Britain’s strategy for boosting the aviation sector will seek to enhance connectivity as it quits the European Union, tighten noise and pollution curbs, tap new anti-terrorist technologies and improve the travel experience with everything from personal baggage collection to smoother border controls. The plan would also seek to safeguard Britain’s aerospace manufacturing base, advance the development of a homegrown space industry and encourage new developments such as drones and personal “flying taxis” while maintaining a rigorous regulatory regime, according to a call for evidence issued by the Department for Transport Friday.

United Airlines Is Disappointing Investors With Its Mediocre Outlook - Transport - 20 July 2017
United Airlines’ promise to catch up to Delta’s profits may be haunting the carrier as some investors grow impatient that the target may be slipping away. Analysts grilled United managers about their plan for fast growth and their disappointing outlook for the third quarter. The shares fell the most in almost a year.

U.S. Steps Up Electronics Screenings on Inbound International Flights - Transport - 20 July 2017
Travelers flying to the U.S. from nearly 300 international airports, including those in Mexico and Canada, are now subject to stepped-up security measures that include stricter screening for electronic devices larger than cellphones. The regulations could include asking passengers to present larger electronic devices for inspection and prove that they can be powered on.

Airports Still Await Takeoff of Air Traffic Control Privatization - Transport - 20 July 2017
A plan to privatize the nation’s air traffic control operations has hit turbulence in the House, raising questions about whether one of President Donald Trump’s infrastructure priorities can survive. The concept of splitting off air traffic control from the Federal Aviation Administration faces even longer odds in the Senate, but supporters were counting on backing from the president and House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., to move the legislation forward and keep prospects for privatization alive.

Air France-KLM Thinks the World Needs an Airline for Millennials - Transport - 20 July 2017
Air France-KLM Group will start flights this autumn of its Joon reduced-fare brand that will target millennial customers as Europe’s biggest carrier seeks to fend off growing competition from discounters such as Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA. Joon, previously code-named Boost, will initially offer medium-haul services from the airline’s Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport base and begin long-haul routes in mid-2018, the company said Thursday in a statement, reiterating earlier plans. The unit, which the carrier describes as complementary to the Air France mainline brand rather than a low-cost airline, will be led by digital-services and direct-sales executive Jean-Michel Mathieu, 48.

Wizz Air Is Cutting Carry-On Bag Fees as Profits Soar - Transport - 19 July 2017
Wizz Air Holdings Plc, Eastern Europe’s biggest discount airline, plans to stop charging customers for carry-on luggage, bringing it into line with rivals Ryanair Holdings Plc and EasyJet Plc as low fuel prices boost earnings. While Wizz had allowed customers to bring aboard small items and laptop bags for free, it imposed a fee of between 10 and 35 euros ($11.50-$50) for standard-sized cabin luggage, depending on the time booked. Those levies will be dropped from Oct. 29, allowing free carriage of bags up to 50 percent bigger, it said Wednesday.

Travel Habits of Americans: U.S. Travelers Shun Airline Loyalty Programs - Transport - 19 July 2017
Many airlines have changed their loyalty programs in recent years to make them more profitable and offer attractive incentives to their most loyal customers. But many travelers never collect points when they fly and don’t participate in airline loyalty programs, Skift learned as part of a recent survey.

New Cathay Pacific CEO Admits 'Disappointing' First Half Financial Performance - Transport - 18 July 2017
Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd.’s operating environment remained challenging in the first half of the year, Chief Executive Officer Rupert Hogg said, dashing expectations of an early recovery for the carrier that’s cutting jobs following the first annual loss in eight years. “We said that we expected the operating environment in 2017 to remain challenging,” Hogg said in a statement the premium airline sent to the stock exchange Tuesday. “This has been the case. Our airline’s performance in the first half of 2017 continued to be disappointing.”

U.S. Airline Passengers Increasingly Buy One-Way Tickets Rather than Roundtrips - Transport - 18 July 2017
Everyone knows it’s cheaper to buy round-trip plane tickets than one-way fares. But increasingly, everyone is wrong. Travelers are purchasing more one-way flights as the price premium declines compared with round trips, according to Airlines Reporting Corp., which analyzes fare data. One-way jaunts have expanded to 42 percent of air travel so far this year, up from 29 percent three years ago, ARC said.

The Business of Loyalty: Alaska and American Drastically Reduce Their Frequent Flyer Partnership - Transport - 18 July 2017
When Alaska Airlines acquired Virgin America last year, regulators feared the combined entity might have too much power — not because it would be so large — but because of its commercial partnerships with American Airlines and Delta Air Lines. But less than a year and a half later, that’s nearly moot. Having already cut its frequent flyer relationship with Delta, Alaska said earlier this month it is drastically reducing its collaboration with American. With the changes, Alaska and American will act more like competitors than partners.

Argentina Is Seen as the Next Hot Market for the Airline Industry - Transport - 17 July 2017
The skies over Argentina have airline industry veterans lining up planes. The nation’s vast territory and a young working population in Buenos Aires with links to faraway hometowns are two attractions. Join those with a government willing to open virtually untapped markets — currently served almost exclusively by state-run Aerolineas Argentinas SA — and the potential is huge. That’s what Michael Cawley is betting on. The former Ryanair Holdings PLC chief operating officer sees similarities between Argentina now and Poland in the early 2000s, countries with comparable populations where high fares and limited competition prevail. After low-cost carriers entered, air travel in Poland tripled.

Interview: Viva Aerobus CEO on Why Half-Standing Seats Still Intrigue Him - Transport - 17 July 2017
If he could, Viva Aerobus CEO Juan Carlos Zuazua might install half-standing, half-sitting seats on his airline’s Airbus A320s. Several manufacturers have shopped them over the past decade, saying there’s no reason passengers must be fully seated for short flights. Not many airline executives admit they want to cram so many passengers on each plane. But Zuazua, CEO of Mexico’s only true ultra low-cost carrier, said most of his customers — every day about 22 percent fly for the first time — want only the cheapest prices. Comfort, he said, is less of a concern.

Robot Helps Passengers Navigate Seattle-Tacoma Airport in 6 Languages - Transport - 16 July 2017
A robot named Tracey is greeting passengers at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, providing tips to get them smoothly through security checkpoints. The red and white human-sized robot carries a large electronic sign and can speak to passengers in six different languages. Airport officials say the robot isn’t designed to replace human workers, but to allow them to spend more time on critical security work.

Delta Holds an Edge Over Competitors by Dominating Less-Competitive Markets - Transport - 14 July 2017
While all U.S. airlines have benefited from consolidation and tame fuel costs, the biggest carriers have become the real cash cows. But even among the rarified Big Three, there can only be one at the top. Currently, Delta Air Lines Inc. sits as king of the profit hill. The years of bankruptcies and bailouts are a distant memory. These days, cheap fuel and strong demand are pouring billions of dollars into airline coffers. Recently, the robust profits at Delta have surged, eclipsing its two legacy rivals. On Thursday, Delta reported a $1.2 billion net income for the second quarter with a profit margin of almost 19 percent.

EasyJet to Launch New European Airline to Shield Itself From Brexit Restrictions - Transport - 14 July 2017
EasyJet Plc will create a new airline based in Vienna that will shield its routes within the European Union against any fallout from Britain’s negotiations to exit the bloc. The approval process for an air operator certificate that has been filed with Austria’s aviation regulator is “now well advanced,” with clearance expected in the near future, Luton, England-based carrier said in a statement Friday.

Delta Says Travelers Still Love Airline Credit Cards Even Though Miles Are Worth Less - Transport - 14 July 2017
Airline customers love to complain that miles aren’t worth what they used to be — and in almost all cases, that’s true, thanks to some impressive recent inflation — but travelers still love airline credit cards, Delta Air Lines executives said Thursday. During its second quarter earnings call, the airline said it’s on-track for its fourth consecutive record year of new credit card acquisitions through its partnership with American Express. The company has been Delta’s credit card issuer since 1996, with the sides re-upping their deal most recently in 2014.

Foreign Governments On Notice To Share Security Data or Face U.S. Travel Sanctions - Transport - 14 July 2017
The clock has started to tick on a 50-day deadline for foreign governments to meet new U.S. standards for passports and sharing information about their citizens. Failing to meet the deadline risks having some categories of nationals banned from traveling to the U.S. The State Department on Thursday sent a cable to all U.S. embassies and consulates instructing U.S. diplomats to inform their host governments that the 50-day period has begun for them to meet the new criteria, devise a plan to meet them or face the possibility of travel sanctions. The seven-page State Department cable was obtained by The Associated Press.

Should Qatar Airways Give Up On its American Airlines Investment Idea? - Transport - 13 July 2017
With his disparaging comments, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker could be dubbed the Michael O'Leary of the Middle East. If Al Baker's strategy was to endear himself to American Airlines, then CEO Doug Parker beat back that overturn with a sledge hammer. Neither boss has distinguished himself.-Dennis

United Has a New Way to Make Money From Overbooked Flights - Transport - 12 July 2017
This week, United Airlines Inc. is quietly unveiling a new technology platform that it will use to manage the problem of oversold flights — and, in the same breath, turn them into a profit opportunity. With the help of its new Flex-Schedule Program, the airline is piloting a way to buck the trend of involuntary bumping — the term for kicking passengers off oversold flights — without necessarily offering four-figure payouts to passengers at the gate, or curbing their practice of overselling inventory.

Norwegian Cruise Line Is Sending a Second Ship to Cuba as Demand Stays Strong - Transport - 11 July 2017
While individual Americans won’t have an easy time traveling to Cuba under new restrictions announced last month by President Donald Trump, cruise ships are allowed to keep sailing. And one cruise operator just announced that it is doubling its presence on the island next year. Norwegian Cruise Line said Monday that it will send a second ship to Havana as of May 2018. The Miami-based cruise line started visiting the island in May of this year with the 2,004-passenger Norwegian Sky, which sails four-day itineraries from Miami. Norwegian promotes the sailings as “all-inclusive” because they include unlimited free drinks.


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