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On the Go – December 16, 2021

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December 16, 2021

Industry News – Click on the title to read the full article. Many of the sources below require a free registration to gain access to the article. If a paid registration is required, the individual source will be noted.

Airlines

Delta Invests $1.2B in Partners (Source: TravelPulse)
Delta Air Lines is investing about $1.2 billion in partner airlines Virgin Atlantic, Aeromexico and LATAM. The investments “will transform our ability to improve travel for our customers, enabling us to deliver a seamless travel experience alongside offering our customers an unrivalled network between North American and premier markets worldwide,” said Delta CEO Ed Bastian.

United, Virgin Australia Unveil Codeshare Agreement (Source: BNN Bloomberg)
United Airlines has formed a codesharing partnership with Virgin Australia, offering passengers connecting flights within Australia and US-bound travelers access to United’s network in the US, Mexico, the Caribbean and South America. “Our service to Sydney from San Francisco will allow many passengers to use SFO as a jumping off point from the US to numerous destinations throughout Australia,” said United spokesperson Maddie King.

United App Tells Passengers When Seat Options Open Up (Source: TravelMarket Report)
United Airlines’ mobile app launched a feature that alerts passengers assigned to middle seats when more desirable locations become available. A new feature on the United Airlines mobile app will warn you if you are in a middle seat and a better seat opens up prior to your flight, giving you the ability to change your seat prior to boarding. As long as you act fast, you’ll be able to get out of that dreaded middle seat if you’re using the latest version of the United app (version 4.1.36), released earlier this week.

Delta Air Lines Adds Service to Sweden (Source: Simple Flying)
Delta Air Lines will begin service in June between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and Stockholm, Sweden. It will mark the first time the airline has operated the route since 2017. Starting on June 1st, the airline will launch daily long-haul service to Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport (ARN). Delta will utilize a Boeing 767-300ER and run this route through the fall. This will be a return of the route, which has not flown for a few years, even before the crisis hit.

General Interest

Passport Renewals To Go Digital (Source: Travel Weekly)
President Joe Biden has issued an executive order directing the State Department to make passport renewals available online, though no timeline was announced. Biden also wants the Transportation Safety Administration to streamline airport security and check-ins.

Airports

JFK Airport Will Move Forward With $9.5B Terminal (Source: The Real Deal)
A new financing arrangement will allow construction of a $9.5 billion international terminal to go forward at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. The new facility will include 23 international gates and will “be built on the current footprint of Terminal 1, Terminal 2, and Terminal 3,” said New York Gov. Kathy Hochul. “That’s big. That is a large space.”

Las Vegas’ McCarran Airport is Now Harry Reid Airport (Source: Travel Weekly)
Las Vegas airport known as McCarran since 1948 officially becomes Harry Reid International Airport on Dec. 14. A small ceremony with government officials and members of Reid’s family is to be held at the airport to make the new name official. Reid, a Nevada native, served in the U.S. Senate from 1987 until his retirement in 2017 and was Democratic majority leader from 2007 until 2015.

Hotels

Hotel Rates Skyrocket 25.5% Since 2020 (Source: Skift)
The price of hotel rooms has helped the inflation rate skyrocket. Hotel rates have risen 25.5% since November 2020, according to the US Labor Department, and a separate report forecasts a 13% increase in 2022.

Hilton Permanently Extends Point-Expiration Policy (Source: Business Travel News)
Hilton Hotels Corp. permanently has extended its Hilton Honors point-expiration policy to 24 months from the date of last activity from 15 months, the company announced. In September, Hilton had paused point expiration until Dec. 31, 2022, and extended Honors status through March 31, 2023. 

Leisure Travel

10 Best Small Towns in France For Beautiful Beaches And Vineyards, Mountain Trails, And Medieval Castles (Source: Travel + Leisure)
Skip the line at the Louvre and visit these small towns in France, where the crowds are fewer and the pace is slower. It must be hard being a small town in a country that’s home to one of the most iconic cities in the world. But while Paris gets all the attention (and most of the tourists), clever travelers — both French and foreign — plan excursions to some of the country’s lesser-known destinations, many of them small towns.

Hard Rock Taking Over And Rebranding The Mirage In $1B Deal (Source: Travel Weekly)
Hard Rock International is buying the Mirage hotel-casino operations in Las Vegas from MGM Resorts International for $1.075 billion in cash, the companies announced on Monday. Hard Rock plans to rebrand the property and build a guitar-shaped hotel tower. MGM Resorts said it will retain the Mirage brand, licensing it to Hard Rock royalty-free for no more than three years while Hard Rock completes its plans to rebrand the hotel-casino.

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SteveN

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