A brief sampling of industry news that caught my attention today:
- The United Club “enhancements” I wrote about previously are here. As far as booze, United today launched an expanded premium beverage menu at U.S. club locations, which consists of a wider selection of beer, wine and spirits. This page on Flyertalk has some of the new pricing.
- The U.S. Department of Transportation fined Virgin America $150,000 for failing to make its inflight safety video accessible to passengers with hearing impairments. Either open captioning or an inset for a sign language interpreter is required.
- Meanwhile at Virgin America, Elevate frequent fliers can earn double points for first class and main cabin select fares, plus up to 25,000 bonus points based on total qualifying points earned, from now until December 31. Registration is required.
- British Airways is rolling out a lifetime elite status program, beginning with Executive Club Gold after earning a cumulative 35,000 Tier Points. As Ben points out in the linked post, Gold is presently the only level offered, so it remains to be seen if lifetime Silver or Bronze status will eventually be added.
- The new Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) at Los Angeles International Airport will officially open September 18, complete with a ribbon cutting ceremony of some sort that was in part decided upon by the public.
- Starwood Hotels & Resorts is developing a dual-branded property near LaGuardia Airport set to open in September of 2015. Both a Four Points by Sheraton and Element hotel will occupy the Queens location.
- Also from Starwood, The St. Regis Istanbul is scheduled to open in the first half of 2014 featuring 118 rooms, including four suites and a 2,000 square foot presidential suite.
– Follow Darren Booth on Twitter, @FrequentlyFlyin, for more airline, hotel and travel industry news, reviews and opinions.