News and notes from around the interweb:
- Marriott 5 night travel package redemptions seem to be available again at least if you’re persistent.
- British Airways premium cabin cutbacks (and BA business and first class cabins already aren’t all that good.)
- New Newark Priority Pass lounge
- El Al 787s will have lie flat direct aisle access business class, no first class
- NPR: Basic Economy Fares May Not Be As Cheap As You Think
- Basic video on the economics of airlines. This was broadly shared last week but I didn’t get around to posting until prompted by Jan V.. There’s a lot here that’s either wrong (share of premium cabin revenue) or oversimplified, and much is left out (e.g. corporate travel). Still I think it’s worth sharing as a basic introduction.
“To be 100 percent clear, the airlines are not offering lower fares than they were offering before basic economy was introduced,” says Gary Leff, who writes the View from the Wing travel blog. He says the airlines may have initially offered basic economy to compete with the growing ultra-low cost carries such as Spirit and Frontier.
“They decided that they wanted to give you less — something approximating what those low-cost carriers were providing at that price point — in hopes that you would pay more to get the kinds of services that you were used to from those airlines,” Leff says.
He says the big three airlines are banking on convincing travelers to pay more for services that seem kind of basic: choosing your seat, making sure your family is seated together, and putting a carry-on bag in the overhead bin.
“It’s a strategy to raise the revenue that they’re earning off of every seat,” he says.