A brief sampling of industry news that caught my attention today:
- Alaska Airlines inaugurated new Portland-Atlanta nonstop service today, utilizing Boeing 737-800s. The airline is offering double Mileage Plan miles on Portland-Atlanta flights for travel between August 26 – October 31.
- A passenger aboard an Air India flight allegedly received a shocking message on her IFE screen after having troubles getting the system working. It read, “Lie low…Sit down you idiot!” She’s reported to have taken a pic of the message, though the linked article doesn’t include it. (Hat tip: Flyertalk)
- Have you heard of the term “gate lice?” If not, here’s a visual:
- The world’s largest Holiday Inn is scheduled for construction and development by parent company InterContinental Hotels Group. The 1,238-room Holiday Inn Makkah in Saudi Arabia is due to open in 2016
- Starwood Hotels and Resorts will open its 11th property in Turkey in late 2014 having announced the Sheraton Samsun, a 29-story new-build hotel overlooking the Black Sea featuring 200 guestrooms and 20 suites.
- Nine online travel agencies have been ordered to pay $246 million in unpaid taxes, penalties and interest to the State of Hawaii. A judge has ruled the OTAs failed to properly collect and pay fees for hotels booked online by consumers from 2000 through 2011.
- The first stretched version of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner has rolled out of the production hangar. Test flights are reported to begin this summer, with Air New Zealand taking the first 787-9 delivery in 2014. (Read more: Onboard United’s Inaugural Boeing 787 Dreamliner Flight)
- And in case you missed it, I reviewed the TAM Airlines Business Class amenity kit earlier today, which included the world’s softest earplugs (good!) and most potent moisturizing lotion (bad!).
– Follow Darren Booth on Twitter, @FrequentlyFlyin, for more airline, hotel and travel industry news, reviews and opinions.