News and notes from around the interweb:
- Delta is eliminating telephone booking fees and fees for ticketing at airports and ticket offices (except in some European locations). These fees used to make sense to push customers towards online booking which is less expensive (airlines used to offer bonus miles for web booking, too!). Now booking online is the default, and complicated itineraries or a limited set of customers uncomfortable with online booking are most of what’s booked in other forms. This makes Delta more competitive reaching this segment of the market, while it’s no longer necessary to push customers to self-service.
- American is now serving Laurent Perrier Grand Siecle champagne in international first class. A very good choice indeed, and a bigger budget than they’ve ever given Ken Chase before (other than as a one-off)!
- IHG Rewards Club is running a 50% off sale on awards at certain properties in Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean. Book by noon Eastern on May 2 for stays between April 29 and June 12 for 50% fewer points. They’ve offered this before at a similar time when rates are so low it can still be worth paying cash instead of using points, even at 50% off points.
- Qatar Airways Privilege Club is making negative changes to the program that they’re telling members are actually good. It doesn’t surprise me in the least that CEO Akbar al-Baker‘s loyalty program doesn’t play it straight with members.
- Avios, whose currency is used by British Airways, Iberia, and soon Royal Air Maroc, has shared some financials. It’s actually smaller than you might think.
101 billion Avios points were issued in 2015
There are 7.7 million Avios accounts across all partner airlines
Avios Group Ltd made a profit of roughly £135 million last year, representing a margin of roughly 20%. A quick bit of maths means that revenue was around £675 million.
- Telling someone you make $4 million a year and have a 176 IQ isn’t going to get them to back down from a fight. In fact, saying this pretty much proves you do not have a 176 IQ.