Week in Review
Remember the computer glitches and delays from this past summer? They’re back! Reuters reports thousands of passengers faced delays worldwide after a United Airlines computer glitch late Thursday night. According to The Independent, the problem was resolved as of 3 a.m. ET, but led to the delay of at least 60 flights.
Bloomberg states airlines are turning to the US government for antitrust immunity to retrieve $3.8 billion trapped in Venezuela. Venezuelan officials are preventing revenue from past ticket sales from leaving the country, prompting airlines to look for alternative solutions.
UK tourism saw a record month in July, with 3.8 million people visiting Great Britain throughout the month and spending more than $3.05 billion USD. TravelPulse reports the record month is undoubtedly a result of the fall of the pound following Brexit. Buying Business Travel finds some UK airports are offering less than one euro to the pound, charging travelers as much as 26 percent commission.
According to Bloomberg, Britain announced an agreement to more than double the number of flights allowed to operate between UK cities and China. The deal will enable carriers to fly a combined 100 weekly roundtrips instead of just 40 currently. The same source reports a record number of Chinese tourists are visiting Australia, prompting Qantas Airways to resume daily flights between Sydney and Beijing for the first time since the global financial crisis. In other regional news, three of China’s largest cities plan to limit the pool of drivers for ride-sharing services. Skift claims the proposals would rule out more than 80 percent of ride-sharing service Didi’s cars in Shanghai alone.
USA TODAY reports Qatar Airways and Boeing have finalized an aircraft deal worth $18.6 billion involving 100 aircraft. The deal is estimated to support around 104,000 jobs. Business Traveler shares China’s Southern Airlines has also finalized a deal with Boeing for 12 787-9 Dreamliners, adding to their fleet of 700 aircraft.
Flight schedules resumed as normal this week following the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew in Florida and the coastal Southeast region. USA TODAY notes airlines canceled nearly 5,000 flights spanning from Wednesday to Sunday. According to Business Traveller, London City Airport introduced full-body scanners with an open plan design that allow for quick screening processes.
Business Insider shares findings from a data research firm that suggests Airbnb is not hurting the hotel industry after all. The data finds Airbnb has more than double the listings than Marriott and Hilton combined, but it’s not replacing hotels. Those who stay in an Airbnb listing are looking for a different experience than those who choose to stay in hotels.
According to Tnooz, Marriott unveiled a hotel-based innovation lab in Charlotte, North Carolina to test products and services like keyless entry. Skift notes Marriott intends to use “Beta Buttons” to collect guest feedback on concepts that will define the future of the industry. The buttons will be placed next to new concepts throughout the hotel, and guests will be able to express their approval by touching the button to signify a “like.”
Booking.com is launching a new loyalty program for business travelers that offers 10 percent discounts on certain hotels in addition to other perks, reports Skift. Booking.com also recently launched a service intended to cater to business travelers whose companies lack a formal travel policy.
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