JetBlue goes transpac? + Seattle battle + More 787s + Dirty planes + Centurion Lounge at MIA + New hotels for ATL SFO

JetBlue hopes to be able to sell these Singapore Air seats as its very own with a proposed code share agreement (Photo:  Chris McGinnis)

JetBlue hopes to be able to sell these Singapore Air seats as its very own with a proposed code share agreement (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

JetBlue adds transpacific service (kinda). Most of JetBlue’s code-sharing deals with foreign carriers are unilateral — i.e., the partner’s code goes on domestic JetBlue flights, but not vice-versa. But now JetBlue wants government approval for a new partnership with Singapore Airlines that puts JetBlue’s code onto flights from San Francisco to Singapore via Hong Kong and via Seoul; from LAX to SIN via Tokyo Narita; and from New York JFK to SIN via Frankfurt. Singapore’s code would go onto 16 domestic JetBlue routes.

‘Battle for Seattle’ heats up. Alaska Airlines and Delta are ramping up efforts to outdo each other with new Seattle routes. In the latest round, Alaska said that next spring, it will add 27 more daily departures at SEA, to destinations including Boise, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Fairbanks, Palm Springs and Sacramento. That’s in addition to new service starting this spring and summer to New Orleans, Tampa, Baltimore, Detroit and Albuquerque.

Southwest Airlines mobile boarding passes now available at all US airports

Southwest Airlines mobile boarding passes now available at all US airports

Meanwhile, Delta plans to add SEA service to Spokane and Calgary on November 3, and to Maui, Bozeman, Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta on December 20.

Southwest finishes boarding pass rollout. Southwest Airlines said its passengers at airports throughout the U.S. can now use mobile boarding passes on smartphones and other electronic devices, and that its iOS and Android apps have been upgraded to provide flight status, boarding position and gate information. “Travel information will update in the app beginning 24 hours prior to a flight allowing customers to check in and access their mobile boarding pass from the homepage,” Southwest said.

New 787 routes coming. After the troubled rollout of the 787 Dreamliner, the FAA seems to be gaining confidence in the aircraft. Boeing said the agency will now allow 787s to fly routes that take them up to five and a half hours from the nearest airport; the previous limit was three hours. Air Canada, which starts flying its first 787 next month between Toronto-Tokyo Haneda, has revealed plans for the interiors of its international Dreamliners. And pilots at American Airlines have started 787 training; the first of its 42 Dreamliners arrives in November, although AA hasn’t yet said where it will fly them.

Study: Aircraft interiors are bug-friendly (esp seat pockets). Here’s a cautionary tale for travelers: A two-year FAA-funded study conducted by Auburn University found that dangerous bacteria can survive for up to a week on surfaces that passengers come in contact with aboard commercial airlines — “particularly the porous material such as arm rests and seat pockets,” the researchers said.  

AIRPORTS

Inside the big bright new Queen's Terminal (T2) at London Heathrow (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

Inside the big bright new Queen’s Terminal (T2) at London Heathrow (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

Heathrow’s new T2 opens. London Heathrow’s brand-new Terminal 2 will open for business this Wednesday, June 4, when United moves its operations there from Terminals 1 and 4. The new T2 will bring together all 23 Star Alliance carriers at LHR, as well as Aer Lingus, Virgin Atlantic’s Little Red and Germanwings, with moves scheduled over the next several months. The airport also issued a list of all the new shops and restaurants in T2. The spacious new terminal replaces the old T2, which was demolished in 2009. Known as the Queen’s Terminal, it will be dedicated by Her Majesty on June 23. Check out the TravelSkills slideshow from our sneak peek at United’s posh new business and first class lounges at T2!

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AmEx lounge coming to MIA. But who knows when? American Express announced plans to open an 8,000-square-foot Centurion Lounge — its fifth — at Miami International, although it didn’t give an opening date. AmEx already operates lounges at DFW and LAS, and plans to open others this year at New York LaGuardia and San Francisco International. For some strange reason, American Express is being coy about opening dates for all these lounges…

HOTELS

Atlanta, San Francisco get new hotels. Hyatt Hotels has cut the ribbon on what it calls “the first new full-service build in Atlanta’s Central Perimeter market in 25 years” — the 177-room Hyatt Atlanta Perimeter at Villa Christina. It’s inside the Perimeter and minutes from the Buckhead neighborhood at 4000 Summit Boulevard. In San Francisco, the 153-room boutique Hotel G has opened at 386 Geary Street; it’s a remake of the former Hotel Frank/Fielding Hotel.

In Case You Missed It…

>Check out our new guide to secret social media sites for business travel insiders.

>Is InterContinental Hotels Group going to be absorbed by Starwood?

>The 116 Protea Hotels in Africa and the Middle East that Marriott recently acquired can now be booked through Marriott central reservations and Marriott.com.

>Delta has resumed seasonal JFK-Copenhagen service, and United has done the same in the Chicago-Edinburgh market.

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–Jim Glab

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