Upgraded: Airline mergers, speculated and real
Like the swallows returning to Capistrano, it’s the time of the year when speculation arises again that US Airways and United will merge. How many times have we heard this before? Six? Nudge me when it actually happens.
In the non-hypothetical realm, British Airways and Iberia have actually merged.
Upgraded: Speculation of pay toilets on Ryanair
Another recurring story: Ryanair pursuing pay toilets again. Yawn. I feel like Ryanair’s PR department has a timer, to see how long it’s been since they’ve been in the news. It’s been a few months! Quick! Roll out the pay toilet idea again!
Downgraded: Kayak hotel search
Kayak has made it harder for fans of a particular hotel loyalty program to search for their brands of choice. As Ric Garrido points out, it’s no longer possible to, say, search for Starwood hotels.
Downgraded: PDA in Dubai
Just another warning for tourists heading to Dubai: Don’t kiss in public. Add that to your other Dubai related warnings, like not bringing melatonin along on your trip to fight jet lag if you want to stay out of jail.
Downgraded: Voluntary bumps
Most travelers want to get from point A to point B at the scheduled time. Others want to get bumped, to collect the voluntary denied boarding (VDB) vouchers. And according to the NYT’s profile of a frequent bumpee, the airlines have gotten better at predicting who will show up for a flight. Add to that the fact that planes are really full these days, and people are decreasingly likely to volunteer for a bump. Involuntary denied boarding, interestingly, is going up.