A sampling of industry news that caught my attention today:
- A new United Club at the San Diego airport opens tomorrow, coinciding with United’s move to Terminal 2 West, which includes a new ticketing lobby, baggage claim area, and improved dining and shopping. Check out the size of the globe logo on the club’s entry door and windows (I miss the tulip):
- Meanwhile at United, new seasonal service from Denver to Fort Myers using Boeing 737-800s begins December 16, with daily flights commencing January 7, 2014. The short-term seasonal flights will be discontinued as of April 7, 2014.
- American Airlines will begin year-round service from LAX to Palm Beach, Florida beginning November 21. Operated with a Boeing 737, the flight from LAX is a red-eye leaving at 12:05 a.m. (ouch!), but the return from PBI leaves at a more humane 8:50 a.m.
- As heavily reported, several airlines are beefing up their premium cabins on transcontinental aircraft, including American, Delta, JetBlue and United. If you’re interested in reading an in-depth analysis about competition on the lucrative JFK to Los Angeles and San Francisco routes, check out this Airchive.com article: The Transcon Wars: The Ultimate Airline Battleground. It’s a fascinating read.
- A former Marriott has been renovated and rebranded as the new Sheraton Memphis Downtown Hotel, featuring 600 guestrooms and suites. The SPG category 3 property is connected to the convention center near the Beale Street entertainment district.
- Free Wi-Fi will be arriving at St. Louis airport this November, though you’ll have to be speedy. Only 20 minutes of free access will apply before needing to pony up $7.95 for additional time.
- Whether you love Heathrow or not, the major airline alliances want to remain at London’s current aviation hub and would not move their operations to either Gatwick or a new airport that London’s mayor is backing.
- Finally, my Twitter feed contains virtually nothing but Hyperloop links, posts and opinions this afternoon, so I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least mention it. The futuristic transportation concept would allow for pod travel between Los Angeles and San Francisco in just 30 minutes via low-pressure tubes. Billionaire Elon Musk introduced his vision today, having previously called it a “cross between a Concorde, a rail gun and an air hockey table.”
– Follow Darren Booth on Twitter, @FrequentlyFlyin, for more airline, hotel and travel industry news, reviews and opinions.