A brief sampling of industry news that caught my attention today:
- I certainly didn’t see this route coming. British Airways today announced new nonstop Austin-London service using Boeing 787 Dreamliners. Five-times weekly flights begin March 2014, with daily service commencing in May.
- In negative British Airways news, a passenger bought a promoted tweet after the airline lost his father’s luggage. The tweet appeared prominently to BA’s 300,000+ followers, and now millions of others given the publicity. Brilliant move!
- United Airlines is offering up to a 60 percent bonus on purchased miles through a new “People Power” promotion. It can be a good deal if you’re looking to top-up your mileage for a planned award redemption.
- Norwegian will launch new service from Scandinavia to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Orlando beginning May 2014. Flights will be operated with the airline’s new Boeing 787 Dreamliners.
- We all know your Facebook life is rather public, even with privacy settings enabled, but an Air New Zealand flight attendant was ordered to fork over bank records in addition to her Facebook info when the airline investigated her time-off claim. Talk about privacy invasion.
- Over the weekend, Hilton opened the Capital Grand Abu Dhabi following a rebranding and refurbishment. The 281-room property features a spa and seven bars and restaurants.
- Detroit may be bankrupt, but hotel business in the city is reportedly booming. And the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center will undergo a year-long $30 million renovation.
- Routehappy issued its latest Insights Report (PDF) with an analysis of legroom comfort on U.S. airlines, as well as tips on how to find the best seats. It’s interesting to note that 40 percent of total flights in the U.S. offer enhanced legroom seats in coach (a la Economy Plus, Main Cabin Extra, etc.), and more than 100 domestic U.S. flights are operated with international-style aircraft. I particularly like their visual explaining angled-flat vs. lie-flat, as the average traveler might not be aware of the difference:
– Follow Darren Booth on Twitter, @FrequentlyFlyin, for more airline, hotel and travel industry news, reviews and opinions.