Korean Air updates biz class. New “Prestige Suite” business class seats are coming at Korean Airlines, offering 180-degree recline, privacy panels that can be raised or lowered, 17-inch video screens with smartphone-style touch-screen handsets, and a configuration that lets window seat passengers get into the aisle without disturbuing their neighbor. The new seats will first appear on KAL’s A330-300s between Seoul and Guangzhou, Singapore and Hanoi, and will be installed on all of the airline’s new long-haul planes, including A330-300s, 777-300ERs, 747-8s and 787-9s. Meanwhile, Korean and American Airlines have announced a new code-share pact; although it only affects one route — with KAL’s code going onto AA’s Seoul-DFW flights — it has some observers wondering about the Korean carrier’s intentions regarding its membership in the SkyTeam alliance, since American is part of the competing Oneworld group.
Stormy travel. A new winter storm is bearing down on the Northeast and airlines have started issuing waivers for flights through Tuesday Feb 10. Delays at Boston Logan are already in the two-hour range. Heavy rain in the Bay Area is having a huge impact on San Francisco flights, too, with delays approaching 2.5 hours. Plan accordingly! See FAA Airport Delay map
Related: Why SFO suffers so much during rain
JetBlue-Icelandair code-share. JetBlue has filed for government approval to begin code-sharing with Icelandair. The airlines’ plans call for JetBlue’s code to go onto seven Icelandair routes from the U.S. to Reykjavik as well as eight connecting routes from there to Europe, while Icelandair would put its code on a number of JetBlue’s domestic routes from New York JFK and Boston.
How does your airline smell? From the Wall Street Journal regarding so-called airline signature scents: “Delta’s offering is Calm, a [lavender-and-chamomile mixture] that it sprays in airplane cabins and infuses in the hot towels it gives out in premium classes. It has been spreading Calm for about two years, joining a handful of other carriers vying for olfactory distinction by developing their own individualized odors. The fragrant fliers include United, Turkish and Air Canada’s low-cost Rouge. Spain’s Iberia is close to launching its own aroma, and Alaska Airlines is working on one.” Full story.
Business airline flies Newark-London. La Compagnie, which introduced all-business-class service last summer between Newark and Paris, is adding another aircraft, and that will allow it to kick off Newark-London flights on April 24. But it won’t fly into Heathrow or Gatwick — instead, La Compagnie will operate from London’s Luton Airport, about 32 miles north of the city center. The airline’s 757-200s have 74 seats in a 2×2 configuration. The London service will initially operate four times a week, increasing to six by June, and La Compagnie is offering an introductory fare of just $1,007 roundtrip for travel through June 30; purchase deadline is April 24- that’s quite a deal for business class across the pond. Would you bite?
The CLEAR Card’s six-month gift card is specially priced this week only (thru Feb 14) at just $49– that’s nearly half off the standard price of $90. Read all about it here: 8 things every frequent flyer wants
The easiest way to tell the difference between at MD-80/90 and a Boeing 717? The 717 has an unpainted outline near the “stabilizer” at the top of the tail’s T shape. See it above? Check our Planespotting 101 series for more tips!
Mine’s bigger (or busier) than yours. Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson airport officials have long been proud of holding the title for “world’s busiest airport”, which they have held since 1998 and retained again in 2014 — but only in terms of passenger count. Measured by flight activity, Chicago O’Hare beat out Atlanta last year with 884,586 scheduled flights vs. ATL’s 846,777 — no doubt helped by ORD’s addition of a new runway in late 2013. Atlanta still reigns supreme in passengers, however, with 96.1 million in 2014, a gain of 1.9 percent. But to be safe, the city has formed a committee of business leaders to figure out how Atlanta can hold onto its number one ranking. Meanwhile, Dubai last year surpassed London Heathrow for the first time in international passengers (70 million vs. 66 million), claiming the title of world’s busiest international airport.
Hotel news: Hilton, Four Seasons, Hyatt etc. In news of hotel openings and rebrandings this month, Hilton has cut the ribbon on the 389-room Hilton Munich Airport, providing direct access to the terminal building; it’s a rebranding of the former Kempinski … A pair of Bogota, Colombia properties have closed for renovations in preparation for reopening later this year, both as new Four Seasons hotels. They are the historic Hotel Casa Medina Bogota and the modern Hotel Charleston Bogota … Hyatt opened its third hotel in Istanbul; the five-star Hyatt Regency Istanbul Atakoy is in the upscale Atakoy residential area, not far from the airport and from Taksim Square … Another new Hyatt has made its debut in Manila. The twin-towered Hyatt City of Dreams is less than two miles from Ninoy Aquino International Airport and not far from the SMX Convention Center … Fairmont Hotels has a new location in Indonesia — the 380-room Fairmont Jakarta is in the Senayan Square complex in the heart of the central business district.
Hilton comes to Love Field. The former Wyndham Hotel at Dallas Love Field, just a quarter of a mile from the airport, is now the DoubleTree by Hilton Dallas-Love Field. The 244-room hotel went through a $2 million renovation prior to rebranding; it offers free Wi-Fi and a shuttle service to the airport or anywhere within five miles of the property.
In Case You Missed It…
- How to beat the tourist crowds in New York City (be sure to see your helpful comments!).
- Etihad’s two kinds of service to the U.S.
- Singapore Airlines will add premium economy seating.
Did you miss Saturday’s issue of our weekend edition? Here ’tis:
United discounts awards + Delta eliminates chart + More Starbucks + United packs 777s + Southwest challenges Delta
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