The balance between crowded airport lounges and the incremental revenue realized from selling access reached a tipping point for Delta Air Lines. Effective immediately the carrier no longer sells single visit passes. Annual membership costs will also increase in 2019.
Etihad Airways wants to give passengers a bit more comfort on board. The new Etihad Economy Space offering delivers extra leg room for economy class passengers at a relatively low price. All ten of the A380s will carry the new product by December 2018.
“Tokenized cryptorewards” and other buzzwords flew around the room at Loyalty Live in Chicago last week. Fortunately the hype was (eventually) countered by a bit of loyalty program reality. Blockchain will not save or even truly transform loyalty programs. But it has a role and we were fortunate to discuss that for 20 minutes on stage.
Reports out this week have Emirates and Etihad once again circling around a potential merger. The politics behind such a deal are interesting but the airport terminal issues are massive. And Hyperloop might be the answer, a solution just crazy enough that it could work.
Peace is possible between the airlines and GDS platforms! Air France/KLM and Amedeus agreed to waive distribution fees in some cases, benefiting passengers in the near term. But it is the longer term plans around NDC content distribution that hold real potential for an improved passenger experience.
More planes are flying with wifi than ever before. Added bonus: It is generally more useful and cheaper, too! Some great data out in the 2018 edition of the Routehappy wifi report, released this week.