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On the Go – March 21, 2024

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March 21, 2024

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.


United, Delta Among “Most Innovative” Companies (Source: Fast Company)
Fast Company has named United Airlines one of its “most innovative” companies for 2024, honoring United in the corporate responsibility category for its Sustainable Flight Fund, which supports research on sustainable aviation fuel. Delta Air Lines is included in the travel category for rolling out free Wi-Fi to passengers, adding specialized hardware to each of its nearly 1,000 planes.

Why Flying Is Still Safe Despite High-Profile Problems (Source: NPR)
Despite a string of high-profile flight mishaps on United Airlines flights in recent days, commercial air travel is still very safe, experts say.  “Planes that we fly on today, they’re safer than they’ve ever been,” says Anthony Brickhouse, a professor of aerospace safety at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla.


Orlando, FL, Airport Has Big Expansion Plans (Source: WKMG-TV)
Orlando International Airport’s ambitious growth plans don’t stop at adding 24 gates to its Terminal C, said Greater Orlando Aviation Authority CEO Kevin Thibault, who said the Florida airport aims to take advantage of its large land holdings to build a whole new Terminal D and add space for electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles. “I can fit JFK, MIA, and LAX in my footprint,” Thibault said.

AI Is Transforming The Airport Experience (Source: The Examiner)
AI technologies are transforming airports by improving operational performance in areas such as baggage handling and upgrading passenger experiences with more seamless check-in. “AI isn’t meant to replace that human interaction” but “to enhance it and really give tools to our folks so that they can better anticipate needs, solve for problems before they even become problems, and some of the things that they can do now is to focus on connecting flights,” said Celley Buchanan, vice president of airport operations and customer service for Alaska Airlines, which is also working on computer vision programs that predict how full overhead bins will be.

MSP Again Named Best Airport In North America (Source: Metropolitan Airports Commission)
Airports Council International (ACI) has named Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) as the Best Airport in North America through its global passenger survey program. The achievement is for the 25-40 million passenger category.  This recognition marks the third straight year—and seventh out of the last eight years—that MSP has received the Airport Service Quality (ASQ) program title. In addition, MSP is a member of the ACI World Director General’s Roll of Excellence following four straight years of Best Airport in North America awards between 2016 and 2019.


Hilton Plans New Hampton Prototype (Source: Business Travel News)
Hilton Worldwide plans to launch in early 2025 a new North American prototype for its upper-midscale limited-service Hampton by Hilton brand, the hotel company announced Wednesday.  The new prototype features a layout that will allow for more guestrooms within the same hotel footprint, according to Hilton, along with an “optimized” suite room layout “for better site efficiency.”

347-Room New-Build Kimpton To Open In San Antonio (Source: MeetingsNet)
When the Kimpton Santo opens this summer, the hotel will bring 347 guest rooms and 13,000 square feet of event space to the artsy San Antonio Southtown neighborhood, just a 10-minute walk from the Henry B. González Convention Center.

Ground Transportation

Hertz CEO Scherr To Step Down, West To Assume Role (Source: Business Travel News)
Hertz’s Stephen Scherr will step down from his CEO role and member of the company’s board of directors on March 31, the company announced Friday. Hertz also named Gil West, former COO of Delta Air Lines and GM’s Cruise self-driving car unit, as its new CEO and member of the board of directors, effective April 1.

Uber, Lyft Vow To Leave Minneapolis If Law Enacted (Source: Business Travel News)
Ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft will cease services in Minneapolis beginning May 1 should a new law go into effect that would raise the minimum pay for the companies’ drivers, each company said.  The Minneapolis city council initially passed the measure last week, which would increase driver wages to the equivalent of the local minimum wage of $15.57 an hour, according to the Associated Press. The companies would have to pay drivers at least $1.40 per mile and $0.51 per minute for a ride, or $5 per ride, whichever is greater, excluding tips.

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Author SteveN

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