A brief sampling of industry news that caught my attention today:
- Earlier this week, American Airlines offered a fast-track to elite status that was quickly removed by the airline after it became apparent that many non-targeted travelers were successful in registering for the campaign. AAdvantageGeek got the lowdown on whether those who signed up will still qualify, even if they weren’t targeted. (The short answer is yes.)
- The nose gear of a United Airlines Boeing 767-300 collapsed while the aircraft was parked at a gate at Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport. NYC Aviation posted some pictures in the linked article, and United said there were no passengers onboard, nor were any employees injured.
- Many people think that Southwest Airlines serving a particular market brings airfares down, but a new study shows that JetBlue, Allegiant and Spirit have a greater impact in lowering ticket prices where they fly.
- While they may not be growing at a similar (exponential) rate as those at airlines, add-on fees and surcharges at hotels are increasing with U.S. chains alone expected to collect $2.1 billion this year.
- Independent hotels are restructuring their loyalty programs to become more point- than perk-based, citing a growing need to compete with the major chains. The goal is to attract more leisure and group travelers who prefer a points-based system.
- There’s a new website where you can voice your complaints about the U.S. Customs and Border Protection system. The U.S. Travel Association launched travelersvoice.org to capture and report on the biggest gripes travelers experience when entering the U.S.
- Security at London’s Heathrow Airport has been ramped up after credible intelligence claims al-Qaeda is plotting attacks on flights from the airport using suicide bombers with explosives contained in breast implants.
- Finally, if you didn’t catch it earlier today, check out my Vintage Airline Seat Map – Air France Concorde post… a truly vintage and missed airliner!
– Follow Darren Booth on Twitter, @FrequentlyFlyin, for more airline, hotel and travel industry news, reviews and opinions.