A sampling of industry news that caught my attention today:
- Delta Air Lines will launch hourly Shuttle service from Los Angeles to San Francisco beginning September 3. It’ll reportedly be all Embraer 175 service with upgraded amenities, including free newspapers, beer and wine for all passengers. This bumps Delta’s frequency on the route up from 11 to 14 daily (Mon-Fri).
- United Airlines introduced new “Bistro on Board” fresh menu items in economy class today, including a tasty looking caprese baguette and Asian-style noodle salad.
- US Airways is offering up to a 100% bonus on purchased miles this month. You need to buy between 30k-50k miles for the full bonus, and they’ll eventually become American AAdvantage miles when the programs merge. (Hat tip: View from the Wing)
- American Airlines launched a codeshare agreement with LAN Colombia, opening up more destinations for both carriers. Later this year, LAN Colombia is expected to join oneworld and American will begin new Dallas-Bogota service, adding to its existing flights from Miami.
- Starwood announced its fall promotion whereby SPG members will earn double Starpoints on all eligible stays from September through December 15, as well as bonuses after every five nights stayed (up to 20 nights). There’s a big list of non-participating properties and registration opens at the end of this month. Check out Mommy Points for further details.
- A new Hyatt in downtown Chicago will open in 2015. Conversion of a former 22-story office building will begin later this year to become the “Hyatt Chicago The Loop,” featuring 257 guestrooms (including 38 suites) and a rooftop bar and lounge.
- A new common use lounge at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport has opened. The Club at ATL is located on Concourse F in the international terminal and has been designated as a PriorityPass lounge. Day passes can be purchased for $35.
- Google has updated its Flight Search functionality to include “tips” (shows alternate flight options +/- one day if cheaper, among other items) and “best flights” (most popular flights by other searchers). Perhaps I should pay a revisit to Google Flights since I haven’t been back since my initial scathing review.
- Hipmunk has added “Tonight Only” hotel deals to its iOS and Android mobile apps, joining the ranks of other sites offering last-minute hotel deals.
- The air traveling idiot of the day award goes to a female passenger onboard a Delta Air Lines flight last night from New York to Athens. The flight had to be diverted to Shannon, Ireland after her alleged abusive behavior resulted in those lovely plastic zip-tie handcuffs being required.
- Finally, as a reminder, always double check your reservations for errors online after booking over the phone. United made a mistake on my booking yesterday, which I quickly fixed by calling back.
– Follow Darren Booth on Twitter, @FrequentlyFlyin, for more airline, hotel and travel industry news, reviews and opinions.