Want to be treated extra special when flying? American Airlines’ newly expanded Five Star Select service adds Flagship Lounge Dining, private car transfers to the plane, and even Blade helicopter transfers between the airport and downtown locations. All for a price, of course.
Just six months ago United Airlines introduced a not-quite-Basic Economy fare option for transatlantic travels. Next week the company will complete the transition, formally rebranding the offering as Basic Economy. NOt surprisingly, the new version is even more restrictive than before.
United Airlines passengers will soon have the option to pay more for assigned seats on board. These are not the Premium Plus premium economy nor the Economy Plus extra legroom seats. The “Preferred” seating section will sit behind those and be an option for selection starting in Q4 2018. This news was obliquely referenced in today’s announcement of the new United Corporate Preferred program at GBTA in San Diego.
Can the Bahamas pay for the necessary and significant airport upgrades without raising taxes or passenger fees? It seems that’s unlikely. And so the growth of the island nation’s tourism sector is at risk. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Hear from the Minister Tourism & Aviation Dionisio D’Aguilar on how the country plans to address these challenges.
How can global alliances increase their relevance to member airlines? Better data sharing is good but enabling ancillary sales on top of that is great. SkyTeam’s SkyLink Digital Spine delivers that new connectivity and sales opportunity.
Fares are going up across the Pond. All three major alliance JVs now offer some sort of Basic Economy for transatlantic travel. The Star Alliance A++ group launched its version this week, with sales starting 5 June 2018. No checked bag, no changes and no upgrades are the main limits, though there is more nuance in the details.
The Skyrider is back. After disappearing for a couple years the infamous saddle seat returned at AIX 2018, brighter than ever. And just as unlikely to ever be on your airplane.
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.
Air Canada joins the ranks of Basic Economy airlines this week. The carrier now has five fare families for its economy class passengers and this rollout may be one of the most advanced we’ve seen to date.
Is Premium Economy or Basic Economy a bigger deal for American Airlines? The short answer is “yes” though President Robert Isom offers some interesting stats to consider about the profits the company is seeing from the two products today and where they are expected to go.