Week in Review
The long Memorial Day weekend is upon us indicating the unofficial start of summer. To shepherd in the busy travel season, The Economist reports on the perils of checking work emails while on vacation.
U.S. airlines and airports are spending millions on added workers to curb long security lines, as the coming Memorial Day weekend kicks off what’s expected to be a record year for summer travel, according to Bloomberg. Travel is supposed to increase by 4 percent this summer because of low airfares. With long lines at airports leading to traveler frustration and no apparent end in site, the TSA has removed its head of security, Kelly Hoggan, from his post, according to USA Today. The TSA said the move was not for any wrongdoing, but because the agency wants to take a “different approach.”
Experimental TSA screening lanes have opened for the first time according to CNN. The new lanes debuted at Atlanta’s Hatsfield-Jackson Airport and are aimed at curbing this year’s excessive wait times. Frequent Business Traveler reports that the TSA’s PreCheck program has been expanded to four additional airlines. The four new airlines participating in the program are Aeromexico, Cape Air, Etihad and Seaborne. The long TSA screening lines made 70,000 passengers and 40,000 bags booked on American Airlines miss flights this year according to Reuters.
Airlines are responding to one of the biggest complaints of the flying public: being stranded at the airport because of bad weather, the Wall Street Journal reports. New computer systems like Delta’s Viper and Southwest’s The Baker help rebook passengers, gives travelers alternate travel choices for new flights and can tap unpublished routes.
Digital Trends is reporting that a hacker stole close to $2 million in airline tickets through an email phishing scam. A Cameroon-born hacker was extradited to the U.S. after being arrested for targeting employees of several different airlines and travel companies in the U.S. with fake emails that requested their login credentials. Using the stolen credentials, he allegedly issued numerous flight tickets that he either used himself or sold to travelers in West Africa at a fraction of their actual cost.
Best Western is doubling down on its virtual reality marketing, according to Skift. By this summer, all 2,200 Best Western-branded hotels in North America will have a “Best Western Virtual Reality Experience” whereby travelers can see each property’s rooms, lobbies, and amenities virtually online before they even arrive at the hotel. Best Western has been working with Google Street View to develop the product over the last three years.
Lower Manhattan’s redevelopment is starting to compete with Midtown for the city’s healthy population of business travelers according to USA Today.
With close to 330 million licensed drivers, the car rental business in China is expected to grow by leaps and bounds according to the South China Morning News. There are currently 124 million private cars in China, and car rental companies and private car hailing companies are expected to fill the gap in the near future.
Your list for this week comes from Skift: