News and notes from around the interweb:
- Lufthansa is designing a new business class seat which won’t debut until 2020 with the new Boeing 777-9. The idea is for Lufthansa, Swiss, and Austrian all to go with the new seat.
- United is bringing free snacks back to Economy in February. Stroopwafel and illy coffee sounds pretty good, actually.
- The DC metro train system is worse than you can even imagine even accounting for those of you who have a sense for how problematic it is. I lived in DC for 18 years, rode metro regularly, so the safety stuff should be most disconcerting. But, this:
The FTA discovered that train drivers regularly relieved themselves on the tracks because supervisors, due to inadequate training, weren’t comfortable taking the wheel to give them bathroom breaks.
- Star Alliance is adding low cost and ‘hybrid’ airlines to its network under a new ‘Connecting Partner’ model. Sounds like pretty weak sauce, confusing, and undermining consistent brand and marketing — but more mileage opportunities are at some level better.
Connecting partner airlines won’t have to offer all Star benefits — benefits will be in line with the carrier’s usual offerings. The first airline in is African carrier Mango.
[E]lements of the Star Alliance proposition that already part of the Mango product offering will be available to our Gold customers.”
There will also be an opportunity to earn frequent flyer points in your chosen Star Alliance airline scheme on Connecting Partner airlines, provided you are connecting from a Star Alliance flight.
- The TSA’s Director of the Office of Global Strategies is stumped when asked in front of Congress how to improve airport security
- IHG bought Kimpton hotels a year ago, but they haven’t incorporated Kimpton Karma Rewards into IHG Rewards Club. Indeed, Kimpton Karma Rewards gets one more year.
This is why I’m not worried about Starwood Preferred Guest in 2016, and am even hopeful about 2017.
- An American spokesperson tells me that American’s new premium economy seat “is an upgraded version of” the domestic first class seat that will go into American’s legacy US Airways Airbus A319s.