A sampling of industry news that caught my attention today:
- American Airlines will begin flying its new 3-cabin A321s between Los Angeles and New York on January 7, reports the L.A. Airspace blog. Initially, two of American’s daily flights on the route will feature the A321, increasing to six by January 31.
- Virgin America is giving away daily prizes and other chances to win rewards in celebration of its sixth birthday. The “Go Big Bingo” game and promotion runs through September 6.
- For any tennis fans, Delta Air Lines has a Twitter contest running where you can win a 2-night trip to New York to meet Serena Williams and battle her in a match of ping pong. Act fast, it ends tomorrow at midnight.
- Two Turkish Airlines pilots were abducted from their crew bus heading to a layover hotel in Beirut. There’s no word of their condition as of this posting. The remainder of the crew made it safely to the hotel.
- Rocketmiles has added JetBlue to its list of partners and is offering a limited-time first purchase bonus of 3,000 TrueBlue points until September 6. That’s in addition to the already high mileage “payouts” for booking hotels through their service.
- There has been a battle between some online travel agencies (OTAs) and hotel chains where smaller OTAs were pressured or contractually prohibited from offering lower pricing than their larger rivals, such as Expedia and one division of Priceline. An investigation in the UK is ongoing, but (competition stifling) rate parity restrictions appear to be on the way out.
- Ninety-six percent of luggage scales at New York’s JFK and LaGuardia airports are accurate, according to a recent sweep. Airlines have been instructed to recalibrate the 23 at JFK and five at LaGuardia that are out of compliance.
- Finally, check out this truly inspirational story about a Southwest Airlines flight attendant who drove a stranger from the airport to see her dying mother in a hospital two hours away. This one got me choked up given my mom’s recent health scare(s). Thanks to AAdvantageGeek for sending me the link!
– Follow Darren Booth on Twitter, @FrequentlyFlyin, for more airline, hotel and travel industry news, reviews and opinions.