Corporate Travel’s Fear of Failure Dims Innovation

Corporate Travel’s Fear of Failure Dims Innovation

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It’s easy to point out what’s broken in corporate travel, but it’s much harder to figure out how to fix it.

At the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) Global Summit in New York City on Monday, the usual suspects from across the industry presented their thoughts on the technologies that will move the industry forward. As expected, a looming technological disruption will make the industry more connected and autonomous, even if no one quite knows how to get there.

As traveler behavior shifts and travel policy becomes more of a focal point for workers and their employers in a strong global economy, corporate travel giants should be taking advantage of their scale to gain an edge on competitors and create a better business travel experience in the process.

This year the buzzword big data seems to have morphed into personalization, although this smarter, more automated future remains at a distance. Machine learning, artificial intelligence, and neural nets are still kicking around as the business traveler experience remains the exact same year after year.

Pushing targeted content, deals, and incentives to travelers through mobile channels seems like a big opportunity. Why not remove all the guesswork a traveler goes through when booking?

“Searching for things and looking for them is absolutely ridiculous,” said Eric Bailey, global travel and venue group lead for Microsoft Procurement Group, during a panel. “Imagine if you had everything connected. This stuff will start coming to you.”

Fair enough, but even consumer travel sites haven’t really cracked this. Bailey also said that blockchain may become a powerful tool for travel managers, for a variety of reasons.

“We’re starting blockchain conversations with our suppliers,” said Bailey. “The challenge is we’re talking to an airline and we see blockchain could work for the reduction of costs, but it also could be a currency to use for frequent flyer points, or a way to get content or [connect information between different travel companies]. It’s all the same technology. What we’ve found is those four areas meet at the CEO, and the typical CEO is not looking at blockchain as a completely strategic thing across a whole organization.”

Bailey said Microsoft is experimenting with blockchain with one specific hotel using a “mockchain” to feel things out. Blockchain in corporate travel seems like a solution in search of a problem in most of these examples.

The bigger picture seems to be the inevitable merging of different data sources into a cohesive experience for business travelers and the managers that deal with them.

“It’s all about commoditizing the data you have and making them available to service partners; we’re now moving into the sharing data world,” said Johnny Thorsen, vice president of global travel strategy and partnerships of Mezi, on a panel. “Buyers need to learn to fail fast, because you need to try stuff and travel programs are not designed to fail fast. They spend three to five years in the same environment.”

Who can afford to fail, though, in an industry that rewards competence and stability instead of risk-taking? The innovation is coming from the bottom-up, in most cases, and these smaller players face a tough road against entrenched competition.

We’ve been tracking the consumerization of corporate travel, and the trend is impossible to ignore right now. Even if there is a new normal, at least in terms of understanding by stakeholders, the industry continues to shortchange business travelers by avoiding changes that present a potential risk to the status quo.

“The single most defining trend in our business is the consumerization of business travel,” said Evan Konwiser, vice president of digital traveler at American Express Global Business Travel, during a panel on the evolution of traveler behavior. “Our programs are looking more like business-to-consumer operations. More and more, work life and personal life are combining in the tools we use to execute our lives.”

The irony is that corporate travel companies have much more data available about travelers, ranging from spending habits on the road to behavioral insights, than consumer booking sites; this should position them to make major improvements to the business travel experience. So far, though, little has been done to leverage this position in a transformative manner.

Travel Managers Are Ambivalent About Change

Some new research announced during the conference also exposes the resistance many in the sector have towards experimentation.

ACTE and American Express Global Business Travel surveyed 200 business travel professionals in March about business traveler behavior and the problems they face with their programs.

Among those polled, 38 percent said their program suffers because of a lack of travel content, while 47 percent feel allowing travelers to book across multiple channels will weaken their program, while 20 percent think it will be beneficial.

More travelers are asking to include leisure travel in their business trip as well; 37 percent polled said they’d received increased inquiries about work-life balance; and 36 percent reported seeing an increase in travelers looking to combine leisure and business travel.

For all the talk about the importance of technology and the importance of innovation to the sector, the survey indicates travel managers don’t actually care. Just 36 percent of them said they plan to upgrade their technology.

Photo Credit: Personalization was the buzzword this year at the Association of Corporate Travel Executives’ summit in New York City on April 30, 2018. Jeremy Prout, regional security manager, International SOS and Control Risks, addressed attendees. Skift

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May 1, 2018 at 06:36AM

Why the Hotel Lobby Is the Perfect Antidote to Airbnb

Why the Hotel Lobby Is the Perfect Antidote to Airbnb

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Colin Nagy, head of strategy at Fred & Farid, a global advertising agency, writes this opinion column for Skift on hospitality, innovation, and business travel. “On Experience” dissects customer-centric experiences and innovation across hospitality, aviation, and beyond. You can read all of his columns here.

Keen observers of the hospitality space are obsessed with Airbnb and every business move it makes. The strategy departments of traditional hotel groups are working overtime to figure out differentiation as many of their paying leisure customers have fled into the well designed, savvy millennial platform. And, with their new offering, Airbnb Plus, it is now catering to the needs of a well-heeled business traveler with claims of consistency night after night that is an often-cited need for the category.

But hotels have a beautifully simple, obvious answer as they frantically search for ways to fight back against the highly valued platform. And it is core to the essence of what they do.

I wrote earlier about the Japanese bookstore working with residential developers to create engaging, convivial spaces that people want to spend time. There’s magic in the right space that makes you want to linger and turn your brain from digitally distracted trance into a receptive and aware state of being.

The hotel lobby, when magically done, is a reason to eschew a rented apartment and choose a more traditional lodging option.

Airbnb can be isolating: you’re an island on your own. Arriving late at night into an unfamiliar apartment building that hopefully lives up to the stylized photos. With a good hotel, the lobby serves as an inviting welcome and the central nervous system of experience. Where even if you’re alone you can be around others in an ambient sense. We are humans, after all, and like being around others (though we may claim that we don’t). Atmosphere counts for a lot.

An excellent hotel lobby is like a coral reef, refreshed every day or even every hour with new and incredible fish. There’s magic in the anonymity of people watching, there’s serendipity, there’s socializing and there’s revelry.

Making this space as compelling as possible makes it a reason to stay. And hotels must double down and figure out how to keep making this space more and more compelling in every category, from Claridges to a Midwest Courtyard Inn.

Here are some of the secrets along with the properties that do it well:

1. Multi-use and day to night transitions

Though this space may not sit well with everyone, the Ace New York lobby transitions from a morning reading room to a vibrant workplace to a place for celebration throughout the day. When you’re coming through, there’s a sense of electricity and vibrancy that adds to your stay.

2. Socializing

One of my favorite things about staying in the Middle East is the large, generous seating areas. Since not everyone is socializing around alcohol, more space is allocated to beautifully appointed areas to socialize and come together. The St. Regis in Abu Dhabi on the Corniche does this in particularly resplendent fashion.

3. Elegance

Something about a perfectly polished lobby makes you want to stand up straighter. The Carlyle in New York and Le Bristol in Paris are two examples of beautiful lobbies where the great and the good convene.

4. The Intangibles

In my interview with Austin based hotelier Liz Lambert, she mentioned a quote that inspired her: “Let people be the color in the room”. When it comes to design, this is incredible guidance. Let the coral reef of compelling characters be the color, and the design of the space should support and frame this.

5. Versatile eating

The lobby of the Girandole at Park Hyatt Tokyo

Girandole at the Park Hyatt Tokyo is an incredible example of a perfect hotel lobby restaurant: it is elegant and can be dressed up or dressed down. It is the ideal place for a more formal evening meeting or a late Sunday breakfast. The service is polished and impeccable.

6. Anticipation

A lobby should be in service to its guests. Small details like bottles of cold water placed outside to welcome back the early morning runners and great local workout maps are a plus. The Peninsula Tokyo does this well.

7. Community and Intellect

The Upper House team in Hong Kong regularly puts on salons and conversations from the worlds of fashion, literature, design and beyond. They have a particularly well-heeled guest who can have what they want in life and the hotel rightly realizes that if it can make people smarter, curate a conversation or bring likeminded people together than that is incredibly constructive.

8. Pure Awe

The lobby of the Middle House in Shanghai

Hotel lobbies can also be incredible showpieces that conjure up the real vibrancy and romance of travel. The Mandarin Oriental Bangkok is a timeless and great example of this. You are unsure what time you are actually living in, in the best possible way, while surrounded by flowers, scents and interesting people from around the world. On the newly opened front, the entryway to the Middle House in Shanghai features a stunning chandelier that begs guests to stop, stare and linger for a moment before heading out into the day. A far cry from the arrival to a far-flung Airbnb.

As a side note, the systematic removal of print papers from properties around the globe has to stop. A great lobby is a place to savor a printed copy of the FT Weekend or South China Morning Post and not be distracted by notifications and disruptions from a device. No amount of efficiencies or PressReader apps can replace this.

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May 1, 2018 at 06:00AM

Marriott, Accor, Southwest and Virgin Australia Voted In as Top Loyalty Programs

Marriott, Accor, Southwest and Virgin Australia Voted In as Top Loyalty Programs

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Frequent travelers voted for their favorite loyalty programs in the annual Freddie Awards last week.

Marriott Rewards and Southwest Rapid Rewards took home major hauls in the North American segment; Accor and Aeroflot dominated Europe; and Virgin Australia was the favorite air carrier in Asia/Oceania.

Marriott nearly swept its category for best hotel loyalty program in North America while Southwest did the same in airlines (with the exception of the award for best Elite Program — that went to American Airlines and AAdvantage).

Freddie Awards are unique because they take votes directly from frequent travelers to pick the best program. Winners are based on “value” through a system that basically measures a traveler’s level of happiness and engagement with a program; this also prevents behemoths with great brand power from simply buying votes by volume.

While that subjective methodology may be difficult for some to wrap their heads around, on the surface, the output is simple: Business and frequent travelers like these brands. And for anyone less interested in statistical wish-wash and more interested in some good miles or perks, the Freddie Awards draw some excellent conclusions.

Other winners and categories were reported by Skift last week.

For feedback or news tips, reach out via email at gm@skift.com or tweet me @grantkmartin.

— Grant Martin, Business of Loyalty Editor

Skift Stories and More Expert Insight

Hyatt CEO Wants to Woo the Global Middle Class: Luxury has increasingly become a flashpoint in hospitality but some hoteliers, including Hyatt CEO Mark Hoplamazian, realize that they can’t ignore the growing global middle class that includes more than three billion people.

Marriott Shows Strength in Loyalty But Skift Research Underscores Hospitality’s Challenges: The road to real customer loyalty is not a straightforward path. Today, there are completely contradictory data points as well as ongoing debates regarding the overall success of loyalty programs, the value they create, and their ability to drive true loyalty.

Who Is Pushing Business Travel Forward? The Skift 2018 Corporate Travel Innovators List was compiled with an eye on the most important trends defining the industry, and you should definitely take a look.

Airlines Would Prefer Passengers Stop Stealing Their Bedding: Next time you try to stuff that business class blanket or pillow into your carry-on, just know someone’s probably watching.

Hilton Will Let You Control TV, Lights, Temp in Your Room From Smartphone: It’s still light years away before hotels offer voice-controlled guest rooms, but Hilton Worldwide has taken a step toward that happy future by adding a feature to its mobile app that lets your smartphone act like a remote control for key room functions.

JetBlue Tweaks Its West Coast Route Map as It Focuses on Profit Margins: JetBlue Airways is tweaking its West Coast strategy, dropping flights from its long-time focus city in Long Beach, California, while adding coast-to-coast routes as it looks to compete with larger U.S. carriers, including new nemesis Alaska Airlines.

Why It Might Finally Be a Good Time to Own Norwegian Air Stock: You have to hand it to Bjorn Kjos, chief executive of Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA. His bid to build a globe-spanning budget carrier looked like it was going to end in defeat earlier this month when International Consolidated Airlines Group SA said it had built a 5 percent stake and was considering buying the rest.

United Picks Up Pace on Luxury Polaris Rollout, and Adds More Seats to Economy Class: It’s been nearly two years since United Airlines announced the launch of its Polaris long-haul international business class, with more luxurious seats, new airport lounges, and revamped in-flight service. But most passengers have so far only gotten a piece of that experience.

Southwest Airlines Says It Will Fly to 4 Hawaii Destinations: Southwest Airlines will eventually fly to four airports in Hawaii after the carrier launches its much-anticipated service to the state.

SUBSCRIBE

Skift Business of Loyalty Editor Grant Martin [gm@skift.com] curates the Skift Business of Loyalty newsletter. Skift emails the newsletter every Monday.

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May 1, 2018 at 05:32AM

Frontier Airlines Pilots Ask Feds for OK to Pursue a Strike

Frontier Airlines Pilots Ask Feds for OK to Pursue a Strike

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Union pilots at Frontier Airlines have asked federal authorities to take steps to release them from negotiations on a new contract, a request that, if granted, could lead to the first major U.S. airline strike in eight years.

In a letter dated Friday, the Air Line Pilots Association told the National Mediation Board, which governs airline industry labor relations, that the two sides were at an impasse, with little hope of reaching an agreement during ongoing mediation sessions. The pilot union accused airline management of “an approach that is inconsistent with good-faith bargaining.”

Strikes are rare at U.S. airlines because federal regulations make them difficult. Though Frontier’s pilots overwhelmingly authorized a strike last August, they can only legally walk off the job if federal regulators allow it. In this case, if the National Mediation Board agrees the sides are at an impasse, it would ask the union and the airline to settle the contract in binding arbitration. If one side declines arbitration, pilots could strike, though they would have to wait out 30 days before doing so. During that “cooling off period,” pilots and management might be more likely to reach a deal because stakes would be higher.

Almost always issues get worked out, which is why there hasn’t been a major pilot strike since Spirit Airlines pilots struck in 2010, after they were released from negotiations. The strike lasted less than a week, but it worked — pilots got their new contract, with wage increases, after the airline was forced to stop flying.

It’s not clear whether it will come to that at Frontier. In a statement, a Frontier spokesman said the two sides continue to talk, suggesting the airline doesn’t agree the sides are at an impasse. “We continue to be actively engaged in negotiations with our pilots for a new contract and continue to exchange proposals under the guidance of the National Mediation Board,” Frontier’s Richard Oliver said.

The National Mediation Board couldn’t be reached for comment late Monday.

There are, however, considerable similarities between Spirit, circa 2010, and today’s Frontier. In 2010, Spirit had recently become the first ultra-low-cost-carrier in the United States, and it was controlled by Indigo Partners, a private equity firm, which was preparing it for an initial public offering. In 2013, Indigo sold its stock in Spirit and bought Frontier. 

Indigo quickly turned Frontier into a discount airline like Sprit, slashing costs, adding fees, and lowering fares. About a year ago, once it had costs that roughly matched Spirit’s, Frontier announced plans for its own IPO. But it was delayed a few months later, and no longer appears imminent.

At Frontier, Indigo inherited a management-friendly contract, because pilots had made concessions in 2008, just a couple of months after Frontier filed for bankruptcy according to the pilot union.

Now, the union said, Frontier’s 1,200 pilots are the lowest-paid narrow-body pilots in the United States, and captains make 40 percent less than the industry average.

“Despite its industry-leading financial performance, Frontier Airlines has insisted upon a substantially-discounted pilot contract,” the union said in its letter to the National Mediation Board.

In the letter, the union suggested fear of a strike might make management more serious negotiators. “It’s clear that an agreement will only be reached with the added urgency of a 30-day cooling off period,” the union said.

Photo Credit: Pilots at Frontier Airlines have asked the government to release from mediation on a new contract. Pictured is one of the carrier’s Airbus A320s. Frontier Airlines

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May 1, 2018 at 03:03AM

Alaska Takes a Very Modest Approach Toward Overtourism at Popular Glacier

Alaska Takes a Very Modest Approach Toward Overtourism at Popular Glacier

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The U.S. Forest Service has unveiled a draft plan to deal with an increase in visitors at Alaska’s Mendenhall Glacier.

The Forest Service last week released the plan calling for a new 7,000-square-foot (650-square-meter) visitor facility, a boat and dock system to ferry visitors across Mendenhall Lake, new trails and a mobile visitor center near the glacier, the Juneau Empire reported.

The Forest Service has yet to release the full plan but said the objectives are to decrease crowding, enhance opportunities for locals, and “chase the ice,” meaning increase opportunity for visitors to get to the glacier.

The Cruise Lines International Association said a record-setting number of over 1 million cruise visitors are expected in Juneau this year. About half of those visitors are expected to go to the glacier. Projections released earlier this year estimate a 200,000 visitor jump for Juneau in 2019, a 19 percent increase.

Designers hope a new hub of a visitor center next to the main parking lot will help spread out the crowds. The idea is to create a natural flow of visitors to the new facility, where they’ll get information about what they want to do, and from there, disperse.

Corvus Design landscape architect Peter Briggs showed off the concept for the new visitor facility at the unveiling meeting on Thursday.

The new center would be built where a pavilion next to the parking lot currently stands, Briggs said, an ideal location for visitors arriving by bus. Building the center in that area would entail tearing down the old pavilion.

“The existing pavilion doesn’t necessarily serve its ideal purpose and it’s in this great real estate. So one of the ideas is that an existing visitor center would go where the pavilion is,” Briggs said.

Public input is being accepted for the next few weeks. The full plan will be posted afterward, and then the Forest Service will begin a National Environmental Policy Act review.

This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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May 1, 2018 at 02:35AM

Marriott Vacations Buys ILG in Massive Timeshare Deal

Marriott Vacations Buys ILG in Massive Timeshare Deal

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Marriott Vacations Worldwide has announced that it’s buying ILG Inc. for about $4.7 billion. The purchase will create one of the world’s largest luxury brands for timeshare vacation rentals, a purchase that is expected to save $75 million annually within two years.

According to The Orlando Sentinel, ILG has 40 properties and more than 250,000 owners between Vistana Signature Experiences and Hyatt Vacation Ownership portfolios.

Bloomberg says the combined firm will have about 100 resort properties around the world and 650,000 owners. Wyndham, another large player in the timeshare space says it has 900,000 owners and 220 resorts.

Because Hyatt Vacation properties were part of the deal, Marriott says it will have access to the World of Hyatt’s 10 million members, as well as those in the Marriott Rewards program.

Bloomberg reports that the new company will be able to develop, market and sell to seven upscale and luxury brands including Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, Sheraton, Westin, St. Regis and Hyatt.

“It really creates a portfolio of upper-upscale brands that’s unsurpassed in the industry,” Marriott Vacations CEO Steve Weisz told Bloomberg.

Featured image courtesy of Marriott’s Bali Nusa Dua Gardens.

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May 1, 2018 at 12:30AM

Earn up to 40% Bonus on World of Hyatt Point Purchases

Earn up to 40% Bonus on World of Hyatt Point Purchases

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The World of Hyatt is running an offer of up to a 40 percent bonus for members who are interested in point purchases.

The promotion is tiered, which means the bonus varies based on how many points you purchase in a single transaction.

  • 1,000 through 4,000 points: no bonus
  • 5,000 through 9,000 points: 30-percent bonus
  • 10,000 through 55,000 points: 40-percent bonus

As you can see, most members will receive the highest bonus, as long as you purchase 10,000 or more World of Hyatt points by May 23. Point purchases must be made in increments of 1,000 and are capped at 55,000 per calendar year.

Typically, Hyatt points will set you back 2.4 cents apiece, and you’ll spend $24 for every 1,000 you buy. With this promo, the cost per point drops to 1.71 cents as long as you take advantage of the 40-percent bonus.

Is This a Good Deal?

It could be. In many cases, it’s possible to get around 2 cents per point when redeeming points on Hyatt stays. So, if you’re purchasing points at 1.71 cents apiece, you can come out ahead.

However, I do not recommend making a speculative purchase just because you get a bonus. The best way to calculate whether you get a good deal or not is to have a specific redemption in mind and do the math for the numbers in front of you. If the value you get exceeds the cost, then yes, buy the points. You won’t receive a free stay in this case, but you’ll get a discount.

Keep in mind that Points.com processes all point purchases, which means that using your co-branded Hyatt Credit Card or any card with a travel category bonus will not result in bonus points.

If you’re looking for Hyatt points and are not The Hyatt Credit Card member yet, I recommend looking into this option. After signing up for the card and spending $2,000 on purchases, you’ll earn 40,000 bonus points that can be redeemed toward a stay at any hotel in the portfolio. Category 1 hotels cost just 5,000 points per night, and the highest Category 7 requires 30,000 points per night, so there are plenty of options.

 

Do you have a need to purchase Hyatt points? Where are you planning on redeeming them?

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May 1, 2018 at 12:03AM

You Can Now Check-In to Popular Las Vegas Resorts on Your Smartphone

You Can Now Check-In to Popular Las Vegas Resorts on Your Smartphone

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MGM Resorts International & Fueled announced Monday that guests can now check-in directly on their phones with the launch of a new resort app.

Guests at Bellagio, Mandalay Bay, Aria and the other 10 MGM properties can use the MGM Resorts app to check-in on arrival and unlock their rooms with the same app.  The app serves as a digital room key, so guests can unlock the door with just their phone. Or, you can scan the code at one of the key dispensers to print your room key. In a city that’s infamous for its hotel check-in wait times — some Vegas hotels take up two hours — the MGM app will definitely streamline the process. Guests can now go straight from the airport directly to their hotel rooms.  

The app also serves as a guide to attractions around Las Vegas. You can pull up dining and event suggestions based around current booking, in addition to allowing reservations to be made through the app.  

MGM’s check-in app comes amid a growing trend of hotels turning to smartphone technology to enhance customers’ experiences. Hilton also recently launched its “connected room” pilot, which allows guests to control the room’s features, such as room’s temperature, lighting, television entertainment, all through the Hilton Honors app on their phones.

The MGM Resorts app 5.0 update launches today and is available for download for iOS and Android for free.

If you’re itching to give the digital check-in a whirl, check out these Las Vegas discount packages as part of week four of the US Travel Association’s Daily Getaways promotion.

Featured Image by Westend61// Getty images.

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April 30, 2018 at 11:30PM

Exciting New Airline Routes for April 2018 and Beyond

Exciting New Airline Routes for April 2018 and Beyond

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Airlines around the world launch and announce dozens of new flight routes and service changes every month. Today, we’ll share just a few of the latest flights that have taken to the skies this month, or will in the near future. Keep in mind that exact flight details (like schedules and aircraft, among other things) may change.

NEW ROUTES LAUNCHED IN APRIL 2018

American Airlines Adds More Domestic Routes (launched April 3)

(Photo by Sean Pavone / Getty Images)
Flying to Philly from New York just got easier. (Photo by Sean Pavone / Getty Images)

Details — Earlier this month, American Airlines added six new routes to its network, with flights connecting New York (JFK) with Philadelphia (PHL) six times per day and New York (LGA) and Portland, Maine (PWM) twice a day — note that the equipment flown for both routes varies. Daily service between Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) and Oakland (OAK) with the carrier’s A320, Washington Reagan (DCA) and Little Rock (LIT) on the Embraer 175, Phoenix (PHX) and Oklahoma City (OKC) and Phoenix and Amarillo (AMA) — both being operated by CRJ-900 aircraft — are all welcome additions.

Schedule (daily):

  • AA850 Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) 8:58am Departure → Oakland (OAK) 10:48am Arrival
  • AA837 Oakland (OAK) 11:41am Departure → Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) 5:11pm Arrival
  • AA3911 Washington Reagan (DCA) 6:00pm Departure → Little Rock (LIT) 7:48pm Arrival
  • AA3496 Little Rock (LIT) 7:20am Departure → Washington Reagan (DCA) 10:50am Arrival
  • AA5950 Phoenix (PHX) 12:10pm Departure → Oklahoma City (OKC) 4:18pm Arrival
  • AA5880 Oklahoma City (OKC) 3:43pm Departure → Phoenix (PHX) 4:15pm Arrival
  • AA5863 Phoenix (PHX) 6:40pm Departure → Amarillo (AMA) 10:22pm Arrival
  • AA5882 Amarillo (AMA) 8:57am Departure → Phoenix (PHX) 9:13am Arrival

2x per day:

  • AA3973 New York (LGA) 6:55am Departure → Portland (PWM) 8:12am Arrival
  • AA3349 Portland (PWM) 5:50pm Departure → New York (LGA) 7:22pm Arrival
  • AA3349 New York (LGA) 3:59pm Departure → Portland (PWM) 5:24pm Arrival
  • A3973A Portland (PWM) 9:32am Departure → New York (LGA) 11:00am Arrival

6x per day: 

  • AA3878 New York (JFK) 12:45pm Departure → Philadelphia (PHL) 1:52pm Arrival
  • AA3810 Philadelphia (PHL) 6:30am Departure → New York (JFK) 7:40am Arrival
  • AA3817 New York (JFK) 6:15am Departure → Philadelphia (PHL) 7:29am Arrival
  • AA3571 Philadelphia (PHL) 10:10am Departure → New York (JFK) 11:27am Arrival
  • AA3845 New York (JFK) 8:20am Departure → Philadelphia (PHL) 9:34am Arrival
  • AA3809 Philadelphia (PHL) 4:59pm Departure → New York (JFK) 6:19pm Arrival
  • AA3807 New York (JFK) 10:55am Departure → Philadelphia (PHL) 12:03pm Arrival
  • AA3817 Philadelphia (PHL) 8:40am Departure → New York (JFK) 10:10am Arrival
  • AA3389 New York (JFK) 5:15pm Departure → Philadelphia (PHL) 6:34pm Arrival
  • AA3807 Philadelphia (PHL) 1:14pm Departure → New York (JFK) 2:32pm Arrival
  • AA3809 New York (JFK) 2:45pm Departure → Philadelphia (PHL) 3:58pm Arrival
  • AA3878 Philadelphia (PHL) 3:04pm Departure → New York (JFK) 4:21pm Arrival

Norwegian Launches Flights From Denver to Paris (launched April 9)

(Photo by Jon Sim / Twenty20)
April in Paris, anyone? (Photo by Jon Sim / Twenty20)

Details — If you already think Paris is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, imagine seeing it all decked out in springtime flowers. As of April 9, Norwegian is offering nonstop flights from Denver (DEN) to Paris (CDG) with its 787-9, making it easier and more affordable for folks in Colorado and the Southwest to reach the City of Light.

Schedule (2x per week on Monday and Friday):

Monday:

  • DY7176 Denver (DEN) 5:55pm Departure → Paris (CDG) 10:55am (+1) Arrival
  • DY7175 Paris (CDG) 2:00pm Departure → Denver (DEN) 3:55pm Arrival

Friday:

  • DY7176 Denver (DEN) 7:45pm Departure → Paris (CDG) 12:45pm (+1) Arrival
  • DY7175 Paris (CDG) 3:50pm Departure → Denver (DEN) 5:45pm Arrival

More Domestic Options on Southwest (Launched April 8 and 14)

(Photo by Davel5957 via Getty Images)
Escape to sunny San Jose, California. (Photo by Davel5957 / Getty Images)

Details — It’s been an interesting month for Southwest to say the least, with a tragic fatality due to engine failure, a diversion after dealing with terrifying turbulence and an emergency landing brought on by a bird strike. The airline has since vowed to inspect the engines of its 737s and despite all that, managed to launch a bunch of new domestic routes this month, including service from San Jose (SJC), San Francisco (SFO), Oakland (OAK), Sacramento (SMF) and San Diego (SAN) to various cities across the Midwest, Southwest and East Coast. As always, the flights will be operated by the carrier’s Boeing 737 aircraft.

Schedule (daily):

  • WN1732 Austin (AUS) 3:30pm Departure → San Francisco (SFO) 5:25pm Arrival
  • WN3392 San Francisco (SFO) 7:00am Departure → Austin (AUS) 12:35pm Arrival
  • WN2092 Sacramento (SMF) 6:30am Departure → Austin (AUS) 11:50am Arrival
  • WN608 Austin (AUS) 7:55pm Departure → Sacramento (SMF) 9:45pm Arrival
  • WN1517 Sacramento (SMF) 8:50am Departure → St. Louis (STL) 2:30pm Arrival
  • WN1093 St. Louis (STL) 1:40pm Departure → Sacramento (SMF) 3:45pm Arrival
  • WN1626 San Jose (SJC) 12:50pm Departure → Boise (BOI) 3:20pm Arrival
  • WN1958 Boise (BOI) 2:25pm Departure → San Jose (SJC) 3:05pm Arrival
  • WN1792 San Jose (SJC) 1:55pm Departure → Houston Hobby (HOU) 7:35pm Arrival
  • WN1770 Houston Hobby (HOU) 10:35am Departure → San Jose (SJC) 12:40pm Arrival
  • WN259 San Jose (SJC) 5:25pm Departure → Spokane (GEG) 7:25pm Arrival
  • WN1009 Spokane (GEG) 6:00pm Departure → San Jose (SJC) 8:05pm Arrival
  • WN1124 San Jose (SJC) 9:15am Departure → St. Louis (STL) 3:00pm Arrival
  • WN725 St. Louis (STL) 1:40pm Departure → San Jose (SJC) 3:50pm Arrival
  • WN390 Oakland (OAK) 8:00am Departure → Newark (EWR) 4:40pm Arrival
  • WN5589 Newark (EWR) 5:10pm Departure → Oakland (OAK) 8:25pm Arrival
  • WN642 San Diego (SAN) 9:35am Departure → Newark (EWR) 5:50pm Arrival
  • WN5401 Newark (EWR) 12:45pm Departure → San Diego (SAN) 3:45pm Arrival

3x per day:

  • WN6944 Fort Lauderdale (FLL) 9:30am Departure → Jacksonville (JAX) 10:50am Arrival
  • WN1962 Jacksonville (JAX) 10:40am Departure → Fort Lauderdale (FLL) 11:55am Arrival
  • WN5810 Fort Lauderdale (FLL) 1:55pm Departure → Jacksonville (JAX) 3:10pm Arrival
  • WN211 Jacksonville (JAX) 3:10pm Departure → Fort Lauderdale (FLL) 4:25pm Arrival
  • WN1382 Fort Lauderdale (FLL) 5:50pm Departure → Jacksonville (JAX) 7:05pm Arrival
  • WN1381 Jacksonville (JAX) 7:40pm Departure → Fort Lauderdale (FLL) 8:55pm Arrival

6x per week, every day but Saturday…

  • WN6209 Raleigh-Durham (RDU) 6:30pm Departure → Kansas City (MCI) 8:05pm Arrival
  • WN6201 Kansas City (MCI) 10:00am Departure → Raleigh-Durham (RDU) 1:20pm Arrival

…with a slight deviation on Sunday:

  • WN6212 Raleigh-Durham (RDU) 8:10pm Departure → Kansas City (MCI) 9:40pm Arrival 
  • WN6219 Kansas City (MCI) 11:15am Departure → Raleigh-Durham (RDU) 2:35pm Arrival 

1x per week on Saturday…

  • WN4452 Oakland (OAK) 11:15am Departure → Orlando (MCO) 7:25pm Arrival
  • WN4712 Orlando (MCO) 3:10pm Departure → Oakland (OAK) 6:00pm Arrival

…then daily starting July 15:

  • WN1420 Oakland (OAK) 9:00am Departure → Orlando (MCO) 5:15pm Arrival
  • WN4357 Orlando (MCO) 6:10pm Departure → Oakland (OAK) 8:40pm Arrival

1x per week on Sunday:

  • WN2157 Austin (AUS) 1:00pm Departure → Indianapolis (IND) 4:20pm Arrival
  • WN2129 Indianapolis (IND) 4:20pm Departure → Austin (AUS) 6:05pm Arrival
  • WN6207 San Jose (SJC) 2:05pm Departure → Albuquerque (ABQ) 5:15pm Arrival
  • WN2518 Albuquerque (ABQ) 1:50pm Departure → San Jose (SJC) 3:15pm Arrival
  • WN6331 San Jose (SJC) 12:25pm Departure → New Orleans (MSY) 6:30pm Arrival
  • WN3740 New Orleans (MSY) 9:00am Departure → San Jose (SJC) 11:35am Arrival

Fly to Myrtle Beach on Sun Country and Elite Airways (launched April 5 and 6)

(Photo by traveler1116 via Getty Images)
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is a fun place to visit all year long. (Photo by traveler1116 / Getty Images)

Details — Now through June 4, passengers in the Midwest can hop a 737 from Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) to Myrtle Beach (MYR) in sunny South Carolina thanks to Sun Country’s seasonal service, which officially began on April 6. Also making its way back to Myrtle Beach on April 5 for the first time since 2016 is regional operator Elite Airways, now offering nonstop service aboard its CRJ-200 aircraft from Albany (ALB) on Sunday and nonstop flights twice a week on Sunday and Thursday from Westchester County (HPN).

Sun Country (2x per week on Monday and Friday):

Monday:

  • SY212 Myrtle Beach (MYR) 8:30pm Departure → Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) 10:25pm Arrival
  • SY211 Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) 4:00pm Departure → Myrtle Beach (MYR) 7:40pm Arrival

Friday:

  • SY210 Myrtle Beach (MYR) 12:00pm Departure → Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) 1:55pm Arrival
  • SY209 Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) 7:30am Departure → Myrtle Beach (MYR) 11:10am Arrival

Elite Airways (1x per week on Sunday):

  • MNU62 Myrtle Beach (MYR) 10:00am Departure → Albany (ALB) 12:00pm Arrival
  • MNU63 Albany (ALB) 12:45pm Departure → Myrtle Beach (MYR) 2:45pm Arrival

2x per week on Sunday and Thursday:

  • MNU66 Myrtle Beach (MYR) 3:45pm Departure → Westchester County (HPN) 5:30pm Arrival
  • MNU67 Westchester County (HPN) 6:15pm Departure → Myrtle Beach (MYR) 8:00pm Arrival

Frontier Moves Forward With 56 New Routes (launched April 8 and 9)

(Photo by dennisvdw / Getty Images)
Colorful buildings in San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Photo by dennisvdw / Getty Images)

Details — Earlier this month, Frontier Airlines launched a whopping 56 new routes, among them two daily flights from New York’s Long Island MacArthur Airport (ISP) to San Juan (SJU) and Chicago (ORD). All flights will be operated by a mix of the carrier’s A319, A320 and A321 aircraft.

Launched April 8:

  • Atlanta (ATL) — Providence (PVD)
  • Austin (AUS) — Buffalo (BUF)
  • Austin (AUS) — Charlotte (CLT)
  • Austin (AUS) — Cincinnati (CVG)
  • Austin (AUS) — Columbus (CMH)
  • Austin (AUS) — Jacksonville (JAX)
  • Austin (AUS) — Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP)
  • Austin (AUS) — Portland (PDX)
  • Austin (AUS) — Tampa (TPA)
  • Chicago (ORD) — El Paso (ELP)
  • Chicago (ORD) — Long Island MacArthur (ISP)
  • Colorado Springs (COS) — Atlanta (ATL)
  • Colorado Springs (COS) — Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP)
  • Colorado Springs (COS) — Seattle-Tacoma (SEA)
  • Denver (DEN) — Grand Rapids (GRR)
  • Jacksonville (JAX) — Cincinnati (CVG)
  • Long Island MacArthur (ISP) — Detroit (DTW)
  • Long Island MacArthur (ISP) — San Juan (SJU)
  • Omaha (OMA) — Las Vegas (LAS)
  • Orlando (MCO) — Albuquerque (ABQ)
  • Orlando (MCO) — Tulsa (TUL)
  • Philadelphia (PHL) — Madison (MSN)
  • Raleigh-Durham (RDU) — Houston (IAH)
  • Raleigh-Durham (RDU) — Milwaukee (MKE)
  • Raleigh-Durham (RDU) — Providence (PVD)
  • San Antonio (SAT) — Orlando (MCO)
  • San Antonio (SAT) — San Jose (SJC)
  • San Jose (SJC) — Cincinnati (CVG)
  • Trenton (TTN) — Charleston (CHS)
  • Trenton (TTN) — Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP)
  • Trenton (TTN) — Nashville (BNA)

Launched April 9:

  • Atlanta (ATL) — Long Island MacArthur (ISP)
  • Austin (AUS) — Albuquerque (ABQ)
  • Austin (AUS) — Cleveland (CLE)
  • Austin (AUS) — Detroit (DTW)
  • Austin (AUS) — Milwaukee (MKE)
  • Austin (AUS) — Omaha (OMA)
  • Austin (AUS) — Providence (PVD)
  • Austin (AUS) — San Jose (SJC)
  • Austin (AUS) — Seattle-Tacoma (SEA)
  • Denver (DEN) — Buffalo (BUF)
  • Long Island MacArthur (ISP) — Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP)
  • Omaha (OMA) — Philadelphia (PHL)
  • Philadelphia (PHL) — Grand Rapids (GRR)
  • Philadelphia (PHL) — Indianapolis (IND)
  • Philadelphia (PHL) — Memphis (MEM)
  • Providence (PVD) — Charlotte (CLT)
  • Raleigh-Durham (RDU) — Cincinnati (CVG)
  • Raleigh-Durham (RDU) — Kansas City (MCI)
  • Raleigh-Durham (RDU) — New Orleans (MSY)
  • Raleigh-Durham (RDU) — San Antonio (SAT)
  • San Antonio (SAT) — Colorado Springs (COS)
  • San Antonio (SAT) — Cincinnati (CVG)
  • San Diego (SAN) — Oklahoma City (OKC)
  • San Jose (SJC) — Atlanta (ATL)
  • Trenton (TTN) — Jacksonville (JAX)

NEW ROUTES ANNOUNCED IN APRIL 2018

Norwegian’s Expanding Service to Scotland and Ireland

Fly from SWF to Edinburgh this winter daily on Norwegian. (Photo by Markus Keller / Getty Images)
Fly from SWF to Edinburgh this winter daily on Norwegian. (Photo by Markus Keller / Getty Images)

Details — Last month, we told you how everyone’s favorite low-cost carrier, Norwegian, was doubling its service from New York’s Stewart International Airport (SWF) to Dublin (DUB) later this year. Now we’ve learned that as of October 28, the carrier will be adding an additional daily flight from Providence (PVD) to Dublin, as well as daily service from SWF to Shannon (SNN) and Edinburgh (EDI), to its winter schedule. 

Schedule (daily):

  • DY1822 Providence (PVD) 9:00pm Departure → Dublin (DUB) 8:10am (+1) Arrival
  • DY1823 Dublin (DUB) 2:55pm Departure → Providence (PVD) 4:50pm Arrival
  • DY1768 Newburgh (SWF) 9:00pm Departure → Shannon (SNN) 8:15am (+1) Arrival
  • DY1769 Shannon (SNN) 2:40pm Departure → Newburgh (SWF) 4:40pm Arrival
  • DY1601 Newburgh (SWF) 8:45pm Departure → Edinburgh (EDI) 8:05am (+1) Arrival
  • DY1600 Edinburgh (EDI) 4:15pm Departure → Newburgh (SWF) 7:00pm Arrival

Southwest to Start Flying Between Baltimore and Cancun

Photo by Federico Scotto / Getty Images.
Cancun is calling. (Photo by Federico Scotto / Getty Images)

Details — Great news for anyone in the Baltimore/DC area who’s looking to plan a beach getaway: Starting August 7, Southwest will offer nonstop service aboard its 737 MAX 8 from Baltimore (BWI) to Cancun (CUN), making Mexico’s gorgeous white-sand beaches closer than ever. It also means you’ll be there in time to swim with the whale sharks, which can usually be found in waters off this part of Mexico until mid-September.

Schedule (daily):

  • WN1607 Baltimore (BWI) 8:55am Departure → Cancun (CUN) 11:35am Arrival
  • WN1608 Cancun (CUN) 12:35pm Departure → Baltimore (BWI) 5:05pm Arrival

Note that there’s a second already-existing flight on Saturday:

  • WN1611 Baltimore (BWI) 10:05am Departure → Cancun (CUN) 12:40pm Arrival
  • WN1620 Cancun (CUN) 4:25pm Departure → Baltimore (BWI) 8:55pm Arrival

Alaska’s Planning More Transcon Service for Later This Year

(Photo by Alexander Spatari / Getty Images)
Go for a stroll in NYC’s SoHo neighborhood. (Photo by Alexander Spatari / Getty Images)

Details — Traveling between the West Coast cities of Seattle (SEA) and San Jose (SJC) and New York City (JFK) is about to get easier. As of July 6, Alaska Airlines will offer more transcon service, including a third daily flight between SEA and JFK. Both new routes will be operated by the carrier’s A320 aircraft.

Schedule:

  • AS1036 San Jose (SJC) 7:05am Departure → New York (JFK) 3:43pm Arrival
  • AS1037 New York (JFK) 4:45pm Departure → San Jose (SJC) 8:23pm Arrival
  • AS1020 Seattle (SEA) 7:05am Departure → New York (JFK) 3:35pm Arrival
  • AS1021 New York (JFK) 6:55pm Departure → Seattle (SEA) 10:26pm Arrival

Delta to Launch More Flights Between the US and Europe

(Photo by Javier Melgar via Unsplash)
Admire the architecture along Amsterdam’s scenic canals. (Photo by Javier Melgar / Unsplash)

Details — On March 30, Delta launched a new route from Orlando (MCO) to Amsterdam (AMS), https://ift.tt/2I6lYzt the stage for the carrier’s April announcement of additional routes between the US and Europe coming later this year. You can expect daily service from Indianapolis (IND) to Paris (CDG) aboard Delta’s 767-300ER as of May 24 and flights from New York (JFK) to Lisbon (LIS) five times a week on Sunday, Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday aboard the carrier’s 757 starting October 27.  A nonstop flight between Los Angeles (LAX) and Paris (CDG) will operate three times per week on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, while service from LAX to AMS will run four times a week on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, with both routes being operated by the carrier’s A330 aircraft.

Schedule (daily as of May 24):

  • DL500 Indianapolis (IND) 6:12pm Departure → Paris (CDG) 8:35am (+1) Arrival
  • DL501 Paris (CDG) 1:10pm Departure → Indianapolis (IND) 4:26pm Arrival

5x per week as of October 27:

  • DL473 New York (JFK) 10:32pm Departure → Lisbon (LIS) 10:15am (+1) Arrival
  • DL273 Lisbon (LIS) 11:45am Departure → New York (JFK) 3:07pm Arrival

3x per week as of October 27:

  • DL156 Los Angeles (LAX) 11:52am Departure → Paris (CDG) 8:15am (+1) Arrival
  • DL157 Paris (CDG) 3:15pm Departure → Los Angeles (LAX) 6:51pm Arrival

4x per week as of October 27:

  • DL78 Los Angeles (LAX) 1:12pm Departure → Amsterdam (AMS) 8:30am (+1) Arrival
  • DL79 Amsterdam (AMS) 3:30pm Departure → Los Angeles (LAX) 6:43pm Arrival

Orlando to Amsterdam (daily as of March 30, with some variations):

Tuesday and Wednesday:

  • DL126 Orlando (MCO) 7:16pm Departure → Amsterdam (AMS) 10:35am (+1) Arrival
  • DL127 Amsterdam (AMS) 2:40pm Departure → Orlando (MCO) 7:09pm Arrival

Sunday, Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday

  • DL126 Orlando (MCO) 7:21pm Departure → Amsterdam (AMS) 10:40am (+1) Arrival
  • DL127 Amsterdam (AMS) 2:40pm Departure → Orlando (MCO) 7:09pm Arrival

Allegiant’s Adding More Domestic Routes Starting in June

(Photo by NeonJellyfish / Getty Images)
Sick of the cold? Hit the beach in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by NeonJellyfish / Getty Images)

Details — Allegiant Air announced earlier this month that it would be launching several new domestic flights on a mix of its A319s and A320s. New options include Monday and Friday service from Jacksonville (JAX) to Louisville (SDF), Sunday and Thursday service from JAX to Norfolk (ORF), Monday and Friday service from Myrtle Beach (MYR) to Kansas City (MCI), Sunday and Thursday service from Nashville (BNA) to St. Petersburg / Clearwater (PIE) and thrice-weekly service on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday from BNA to Syracuse (SYR).

2x per week as of June 8:

  • G4899 Jacksonville (JAX) 7:02pm Departure → Louisville (SDF) 8:44pm Arrival
  • G4898 Louisville (SDF) 4:42pm Departure → Jacksonville (JAX) 6:17pm Arrival

2x per week as of June 14:

  • G4943 Jacksonville (JAX) 6:14pm Departure → Norfolk (ORF) 7:46pm Arrival
  • G4942 Norfolk (ORF) 3:48pm Departure → Jacksonville (JAX) 5:29pm Arrival

2x per week as of June 8:

  • G41114 Myrtle Beach (MYR) 4:48pm Departure → Kansas City (MCI) 6:20pm Arrival
  • G41115 Kansas City (MCI) 7:05pm Departure → Myrtle Beach (MYR) 10:25pm Arrival

2x per week as of June 14 (year-round service):

  • G4857 Nashville (BNA) 3:07pm Departure → St. Petersburg/Clearwater (PIE) 5:47pm Arrival
  • G4856 St. Petersburg/Clearwater (PIE) 8:04am Departure → Nashville (BNA) 8:51am Departure

3x per week as of June 14:

  • G4868 Nashville (BNA) 9:36am Departure → Syracuse (SYR) 12:31pm Arrival
  • G4869 Syracuse (SYR) 1:16pm Departure → Nashville (BNA) 2:22pm Arrival

Which of these new routes are you most excited about?

Featured photo of the Louvre in Paris by Roman Slavik / Getty Images.

Travel

via The Points Guy https://ift.tt/26yIAN2

April 30, 2018 at 11:02PM