News and notes from around the interweb:
- Up to 9500 free miles from oneworld member airberlin for referring friends to their frequent flyer program.
- Uber is rolling out new features for drivers
These include making it possible for drivers to pause incoming requests if they need a break, offering drivers ride discounts, and allowing drivers to receive earnings immediately following completing a route through the use of Uber-branded debit cards.
The company is also expanding its “Destinations” feature, which lets drivers input the place they’re already going and then pick up riders only on that route. This tool can be used twice a day, such as when a driver is heading to work and going home.
- SkyTeam member Aeromexico is offering status matches. That’s great for airport priority and baggage when flying Delta but note that SkyTeam elite status doesn’t get you lounge access on domestic U.S. itineraries.
- Solomon Airlines shuts down saying they’re owed too much money by the government of the Solomon Islands.
- Stephanie Rosenbloom at the New York Times covers airline attempts to segment pricing, offer up cheap fares to compete with ultra low cost carriers but not allow those fares to combine pricing tickets that business travelers might buy — and in the process raising fares far more than intended.
Gary Leff, an airline industry expert and the author of the blog View From the Wing, said the issue, in a nutshell, is that to compete with ultra low-cost carriers, like Spirit Airlines and Frontier Airlines, the major airlines are selling cheaper tickets in certain markets. What they don’t want, however, is for travelers to get creative and piece together a couple of cheap fares from, say, San Diego to Dallas plus Dallas to Orlando, Fla., because the airlines never intended to offer rock-bottom fares from San Diego to Orlando. The fare rule changes rolled out in the spring were meant to prevent that sort of frugal workaround from happening. But in the process, some multicity and open-jaw fares went through the roof. “They don’t have the perfect strategy yet and they’re trying to learn,” Mr. Leff said of the airlines. “It’s new territory for them.”
…Mr. Leff, who wrote about the tightening of American’s fare rules on his blog on BoardingArea.com in March, said that such glaring price discrepancies are not as prevalent as they were even two months ago.
“What we’re seeing is testing in limited numbers of markets,” he said, adding that it took the airlines a little while to catch on to the fact that the changes they made to solve one problem unintentionally created another: eye-popping multicity fares. “It was taking a jackhammer to swat an ant.”
- New app gets you a free drink at a bar every day
- Ben Sclappig from One Mile at a Time and I appeared on Fox News “Happening Now” yesterday to talk changes to American AAdvantage.