A brief sampling of industry news that caught my attention today:
- Delta’s Medallion Qualifying Dollar (MQD) tracking tool is now live and appears on the “My SkyMiles” summary and account activity pages. The revenue requirement addition to achieve each elite tier goes into effect January 1.
- United Airlines announced new daily nonstop service from Chicago O’Hare to Elmira, State College and Topeka beginning in early 2014. ExpressJet will operate the flights with 50-seat Embraer 145s.
- In other United Express news, all CRJ-700s will be reconfigured by reducing the allocation of Economy Plus seats, as well as adding an additional row to increase total capacity to 70, up from 66. There will still be six first class seats.
- Qatar Airways will officially join oneworld on October 30 after British Airways recently determined that the airline met all readiness criteria. It will be a Cathay Pacific-like gem for the alliance and a great use for American AAdvantage miles.
- A Thai Airways Airbus A330 skidded off the runway upon landing in Bangkok late yesterday. The AP initially reported that blackening out Thai’s logo and image on the airliner after the incident was a “requirement” of Star Alliance, however Star quickly made a clarification via Twitter:
- Meanwhile at Star Alliance, the new Star-branded lounge at LAX (TBIT) is set to open later this month. The renderings make it look phenomenal and there’s even a SkyDeck an open-air terrace complete with a fireplace and water wall.
- I won’t be staying at Hotel Quebec anytime soon – they sued a guest over a TripAdvisor review. A bed bug infestation was the focus of the negative critique and the property apparently felt litigation was a proper course of retaliation. Not so much.
- Registration for the Hyatt Gold Passport “Discover New Possibilities” promotion is now open. You can earn up to 50,000 bonus points after 20 qualifying nights, though bonuses begin after staying at least five nights. Check out Mommy Points for further details.
- The 470-room Chicago Marriott O’Hare completed its $40 million renovation with a majority of the upgrades coming to the lobby and other common areas. (h/t @cjmcginnis)
– Follow Darren Booth on Twitter, @FrequentlyFlyin, for more airline, hotel and travel industry news, reviews and opinions.