A brief sampling of industry news that caught my attention today:
- JetBlue experienced an IT outage today delaying a majority of its flights. The problem was fixed by midday, though the airline said further delays could continue throughout the day.
- United Airlines will reportedly honor the $5-$10 tickets it issued yesterday during a fare loading mistake. Someone in revenue management isn’t having a good day. And maybe I shouldn’t feel so guilty for jumping the upgrade queue last week.
- Delta Air Lines introduced a new Smart Travel Pack bundle where SkyMiles members can get a free checked bag, priority boarding, discounted Economy Comfort seats and a 20% mileage bonus. Oddly, it isn’t an annual subscription and the $199 fee only covers travel through January 5, 2014.
- Southwest Airlines joins the ranks of other carriers today by implementing a no-show policy where you lose the value of your nonrefundable ticket if you don’t cancel it within 10 minutes of your scheduled departure. On the plus side, the full value of your ticket (no $200 change fee here!) can be applied to a new reservation.
- It’s been a very quiet day on the hotel front, so why not check out a couple of my latest room reviews: Washington Dulles Marriott Suites, Hilton Tokyo Narita Airport and Hilton Boston Logan International Airport.
- Are passenger “protections” getting a little ridiculous? The DOT reportedly sent out a letter to travel agencies and OTAs requiring them to discontinue stating “no flights are available” if, in fact, there are flights on an airline they don’t have loaded into their system. The new rule goes into effect in November, and I imagine this will make it difficult for smaller agencies who have no feed or limited access to Southwest Airlines flights since they don’t participate in most GDSs.
– Follow Darren Booth on Twitter, @FrequentlyFlyin, for more airline, hotel and travel industry news, reviews and opinions.