A brief sampling of industry news that caught my attention today:
- Allegiant Air announced huge expansion plans today, with a total of 18 new routes and 10 new cities. While a lot of the new service focuses on smaller airports surrounding larger communities (Allegiant’s overall strategy), it’s certain to get the attention of legacy airlines.
- Air Canada is making changes to elite earning and upgrade perks, the latter of which will require co-pays for long-haul routes on top of using an eUpgrade. Only full-fare and Super Elite 100K members will be exempt from the co-pay.
- Hyatt brand Andaz will open new properties in Costa Rica and Tokyo, as well as on Maui during the next year. First up is the 297-room Andaz Maui at Wailea this fall, followed by the 153-room Andaz Papagayo in Costa Rica by the end of the year, and a 122-room Tokyo location sometime next year.
- Kimpton Hotels plans to open a new property in Austin in early 2015. The 16-story, 322-room Hotel Van Zandt will be located in the Rainey Street Historic District. Be sure to request a fish at check-in!
- The Labor Day holiday here in the U.S. is obviously a peak travel period, and the AAA forecasts it’ll be the busiest since 2008 with increases in both air and auto travelers.
- A 24-year old man allegedly high on pot and ecstasy gained access to a private Airbus A319 and partied the night away by himself. He’s said to have used a fire extinguisher onboard, pulled one of the escape slides and danced on the wing before being caught. You just can’t make this stuff up.
- And while the following pales in comparison to above, the air traveling idiot of the day award goes to a man who attempted to open an exit onboard an AirTran flight from Baltimore to Austin last night. The plane diverted to Memphis and the apparently sober man was offloaded. Charges are pending.
- Finally, DC-10s took to the skies for the first time on this date in 1970. Be sure to check out the Twitter feed from @airlineguys today for some amazing pics. Here’s my contribution: 😉
— Follow Darren Booth on Twitter, @FrequentlyFlyin, for more airline, hotel and travel industry news, reviews and opinions.