In other airline, hotel & travel industry news last week…
- Earlier this year Singapore Airlines announced they would be getting into the low cost carrier market using a combination of narrowbody and widebody aircraft, including refitting some of their existing Boeing 777 aircraft. Exact details have yet to be released, but it’s being reported Singapore’s advertising agency, TBWA, purchased the domain name scootairlines.com in late June. I think it’s actually a catchy name and even sounds low cost, in a good way.
- Taking a cue from Singapore Airlines and many of the hotels in Las Vegas, British Airways will be introducing a “signature brand scent” in aircraft cabins. Aromas of cut grass and ocean already exist in their lounges at London’s Heathrow airport, so if they want to maintain consistent branding, I’d imagine the same scent to be selected for the cabins. Personally, I think cut grass is disgusting.
- Marriott Hotels has released a long-awaited mobile app for iPhone, iPod Touch and Android devices. Previously only available to Blackberry users, this new app offers complete functionality to search hotels, book rooms, check existing reservations and manage your Marriott Rewards account.
- United Airlines announced last week they will deploy 11,000 iPads to all United and Continental pilots to replace paper flight manuals. Quantifying the move, United claims it will save 16 million sheets of paper and 326,000 gallons of jet fuel a year. The additional space in crew bags will certainly be welcomed by pilots, not to mention the ease of downloading updates.
- Boeing and Delta Air Lines confirmed last week that the airline has placed an order for 100 737-900ERs, valued at more than $8.5 billion. Deliveries will begin in the second half of 2013, continuing through 2018. According to Delta’s president Ed Bastian, “The 737-900ER is the perfect airplane to replace the older, less efficient airplanes in our single-aisle fleet.”
- Citing poor revenue performance and competition from US Airways and JetBlue, Delta will drop the Boston to Pittsburgh route effective November 1, 2011. Southwest Airlines will officially begin service from Atlanta February 12, 2012 with flights to Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Houston and Austin. The carrier states this is new service and not the replacement of existing Air Tran flights.
- The Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) announced the first ancillary airline product was successfully processed through the firm. It was an Electronic Miscellaneous Document (EMD) for a Preferred Seat on an American Airlines flight the customer purchased above and beyond the regular airfare. ARC claims to have been ready to accommodate ancillary charges since 2010.
- Finding the cost of renting a car beyond your budget? A writer for the St. Petersburg Times found it was far cheaper to rent a U-Haul for a one-way split city trip than a car rental. He saved approximately $800 to $900 by renting a 16-foot truck after his wife made an offhand remark jokingly suggesting the U-Haul route.