Week in Review
Just two weeks after a technical glitch caused thousands of delays and cancellations for Southwest Airlines, Delta faced a system outage that impacted flights earlier this week. The airline had nearly 2,000 cancelled flights and more than 2,400 delayed flights on just Monday and Tuesday, according to CBS News. USA TODAY reports an additional 250 flights were cancelled on Wednesday morning, though Delta was expected to resume normal operations in the afternoon.
In response, Delta offered passengers $200 travel vouchers and allowed those with flights on affected dates to make one change to their itineraries without paying the standard change fee, which can range from $200 to $500. Buying Business Travel reports UK passengers are entitled to cash compensation, as covered by EU law. Bloomberg marks this system failure as a wake-up call for the airline industry, in which outdated systems can strand thousands of passengers and lead to lost revenue. Aside from Southwest and Delta, American Airlines and United have both experienced malfunctions that disrupted travel within the past year.
Buying Business Travel shares findings that show nearly a quarter of the UK’s 1.9 million flights were delayed by at least 15 minutes. This research accounted for both arrivals and departures from the April 2015 to March 2016 time period, and total delays affected around 43 million passenger journeys. A data breach at Oracle’s MICROS point-of-sale division was reported earlier this week. Oracle’s MICROS point-of-sale systems are used at more than 330,000 cash registers worldwide, including more than 30,000 hotels, reports 4Hoteliers.
On a more positive note, Airberlin recently announced the addition of a business class to its German and European flights. American Airlines also announced the launch of complimentary, in-flight entertainment for all of its fliers. According to USA TODAY, all movies, TV shows, music and games will now be free for passengers on flights that offer in-flight entertainment options.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan is in favor of expanding Gatwick Airport, the city’s second-busiest airport, to show the world London is “open for business” in the wake of Brexit. Skift reports the expansion would provide the city with the extra aviation capacity it needs.
Montreal Gazette shares findings from GBTA’s Global Business Traveler Sentiment Index, which shows that 67 percent of Canadian business travelers believe their management considers business travel to be very important for their company’s financial performance.
A UK union strike is anticipated to disrupt Eurostar service this weekend, starting with the confirmation of two cancelled trains today. Bloomberg says a second strike is expected to take place at the end of the month for three days, from August 27 through August 29. Both strikes are a result of a failure to live up to a scheduling program for train managers. Buying Business Travel finds the strikes will have a limited impact on services, with the disruption representing only 4% of its services from Friday to Monday.
USA TODAY reports the Marriott-Starwood merger has been delayed by Chinese regulators. Marriott International and Starwood Hotels and Resorts have agreed to let China’s Ministry of Commerce extend its period of review of the $13.6 billion transaction.
According to Skift, hotel CEOS believe their direct booking pushes will position them for long-term gain. Hilton, Marriott, Hyatt, IHG, and Choice CEOs all weigh in on the various advantages of direct booking pushes, with the mentality that the short-term pain is worth the long-term gain.
This week’s list comes from Skift: