Week in Review
Typhoon Meranti caused flight disruptions for China Airlines and Mandarin Airlines this week as it approached Taiwan, reports Business Traveller. According to Al Jazeera, Meranti hit southeastern China and is the third most violent typhoon on record and the strongest storm of the year globally.
The TSA is boasting reduced airport wait times, with nearly 92% of fliers waiting 15 minutes or less for screenings between Memorial Day and Labor Day. The quicker lines can be thanked in part to the 3.5 million PreCheck enrollees, as well as the employment of new TSA officers and improved technology at checkpoints. According to USA TODAY, the seven busiest airports in the U.S. had average screening wait times of less than 10 minutes. Air Transport World reports Southwest CEO Gary Kelly has also weighed in on the issue, claiming the TSA has made “remarkable progress” on checkpoint waits.
According to Skift, Red Lion Hotels Corporation (RLHC) is buying Vantage Hospitality Group in a $27.8 million deal. Washington-based RLHC is buying into 1,000 hotel properties including brands like Signature Inn, America’s Best Value Inn and Value Inn Worldwide. Concur has also announced its acquisition of hotel-metasearch website Hipmunk. Skift shares the acquisition is a result of Concur’s efforts to bring consumer tools to its business travelers.
Marriott has finalized the contracts of seven new hotels in China, their largest market outside of the U.S. Business Traveller shares opening dates have not yet been announced, but the signings are expected to add over 1,400 new rooms. Starwood has also announced the introduction of two new hotels to Singapore. Travel Daily Media states one of the hotels was originally constructed in the early 19th Century.
Garuda Indonesia is expected to resume flights to the U.S. following a recent change in the airline’s safety status. Buying Business Travel notes the airline now complies with safety standards recognized by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The same source reports Ryanair is increasing its capacity at Manchester Airport by 13% through the addition of five new routes from the city.
Skift reports Southwest Airlines will be offering its elite frequent flyers free same-day standby, an amenity that customers were originally charged for. Meanwhile, Emirates is taking a different route and will begin imposing extra fees for seat selection on 3 October. Business Traveller reminisces on a time when airlines provided advanced seat selection free of charge.
Atlanta has been named the world’s busiest passenger airport for yet another year. CNN reports over 101 million passengers passed through the airport in 2015. In other airport news, Malaysia is planning to spend $1 billion over the next five years to improve its congested airports following a surge in passenger traffic. According to Bloomberg, Boeing Co. projects the region will see 100 million new passengers annually. The same source shares Boeing Co. expects aircraft demand in China to soar over the next two decades, projecting demand for 6,810 aircraft valued at $1.025 trillion.
Certain businesses in the travel and hospitality industry have been using the fine print of their terms and conditions to bar customers from writing bad reviews. In response, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Consumer Review Fairness Act in a voice vote on Monday. Skift notes the bill would prohibit businesses from issuing contracts preventing customers from writing negative reviews and sharing displeasing photos.
Another week, another list from USA TODAY: