News and notes from around the interweb:
- Hertz earn 1000 – 4000 Air Canada Aeroplan miles per rental
- Will BA face a backlash over cuts to inflight food service? Probably not a backlash, but they’re reducing the difference between themselves and ultra low cost carriers. That lets them better compete on price – albeit with a higher cost structure – but may reduce any revenue premium they could earn. Surely the former head of IAG low cost carrier Vueling who now runs BA believes the balance tips in his favor.
- A Washington Post writer visits the new Trump hotel in DC and drinks Mexican tequila from the minibar. He orders up a Koran from housekeeping and met them wearing his bathrobe that was made in China.
I disagree with the author’s negative assessment of Trump Winery’s champagne (provided he was drinking the stuff from the former Kluge winer in Charlottesville), though note that the hotel’s Arabic website doesn’t yet promote the DC property but does still actively promote Muslims coming to the US to visit 6 other Trump hotels.
- IHG Rewards Club will send you 1000 points on your birthday — but you have to set it up in your account. I just this missed this, d’oh!
- The servingware and plating of United’s new Polaris business class soft product looks pretty good, a real upgrade (albeit not so much for breakfast it seems).
- The pilot who stole a secret Soviet fighter jet
- Reasonably amusing: (HT: Point Me to the Plane)
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If the goal is to drop the airfare down a few pounds to compete for price-sensitive consumers then how much money can actually be saved by not providing free food? I mean, seriously, what’s the actual cost of a business-class meal consisting of an appetizer, main course, cheese and dessert? Maybe $10?
United’s new business-class is extremely tempting until you realize the new seats and hard product won’t be fleet-wide until 2021. That’s a very long time. In the meantime, you never know what you’ll receive and airfares will be priced as if every aircraft is equipped with the new Polaris product. Imagine expecting to receive it, paying the couple thousand bucks and then ending up stuck in United’s dreaded 2x4x2 business-class product.
Low cost airline competition is much fiercer in Europe than in America these days. Most everyone would prefer to fly the traditional, “full service” airlines, but not many will pay much extra to do it. I know that I’ll book the traditional carriers on an intra-Europe flight when they match Easyjet and Ryanair’s prices, but I probably wouldn’t pay more than $25 extra to fly them — and that’s with elite benefits! So what choice does BA have other than to cut costs and be more competitive?