Notable Airline, Hotel and Travel Industry News: February 19, 2013

  • Hilton has upset a lot of loyal HHonors members today (self included) with their announcement of 2013 Hilton HHonors Program Changes. They’re increasing hotel categories from eight to ten, adding seasonal pricing (read: higher redemption rates) and trying to soften the blow by adding a 5th Night Free for elites staying 5-nights or more. I’m dropping from Diamond to Gold this year regardless, and won’t even accrue enough stays for 2014 status. The devaluation is sort of rightly timed for me, but painful to swallow. The changes take effect March 28, 2013.
  • A diamond heist was pulled off at Brussels Airport Monday night. $50 million in precious stones were taken from the cargo hold of a SWISS Fokker F-100 flight from Brussels to Zurich.
  • I’m not a huge fan of the Asiana Business Class lounge at Seoul’s Incheon Airport and now there’s a new Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge that Star Alliance Gold elites can enjoy. It opened today and I’ll be keen to review it on my next trip through ICN.
  • A new coach airline seat architecture design has debuted sporting overhead fixtures with drop-down tray tables, screens and other gadgets. I doubt we’ll ever see it in actual use as FAA safety certification seems unlikely given the minimal overhead clearance in the event of an evacuation, not to mention the additional floor space (16 percent) it would occupy. Airlines want more seats in coach… not less.
  • Finally, if you haven’t read fellow blogger Matthew’s account of being kicked off a United Airlines flight for taking a picture, please do. It sounds like the flight attendant was hyper-sensitive, as seems to be the case with U.S. airlines and onboard photos. Will my future United trip reports be in jeopardy?

Related posts:

Notable Airline, Hotel and Travel News: February 18, 2013

Notable Airline, Hotel and Travel News: February 15, 2013

Notable Airline, Hotel and Travel News: February 14, 2013

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