While we were away in August (see post), the biggest travel news story seemed to be Delta’s computer outage, which wreaked havoc on summer travel plans, cost Delta $100 million, and exposed how airlines have wiggled out of previous arrangements to honor each other’s tickets in such cases. What a mess!
Nearly every major hotel chain rolled out new fall promos last month, all of which require registration. We’ve included links to them below.
After plowing through emails and notifications, here are the stories that caught our eye (in no particular order). I’m sure we probably missed a few, so please help us catch up by adding your two cents in the comments! (Next up in our catch-up is a big airline routes update, so stay tuned…)
Lufthansa is first European carrier to join PreCheck: Up til now the only international carriers with PreCheck were Air Canada, WestJet, Aeromexico & Etihad
Easiest 500 Virgin America Elevate points ever: An easy no-brainer- just sign up for an email alert
FTC warns that rental cars might be able to steal data from your phone: Yikes! Connecting your phone to car via USB or Bluetooth could set you up for a breach
Alaska Airlines produces a hip new mood-lit video designed to woo Bay Area travelers: Conservative Alaska Air’s first foray into hipness. But no real news about fate of Virgin brand. Thoughts?
United changes Mileage Plus award rules for multi-leg trips: Screws continue to tighten on frequent flyers
Delta’s new business class suites with privacy doors for A350: But it’s going to be a while until you can get cozy in one of them
British Airways axes half its JFK-London City all-biz-class flights: Looks like Brexit is taking a toll on the high end of the market
American’s new ad campaign suggests that you need so bone up on your Travel Skills! 😉 See it yet? Thoughts?
American now offers free Main Cabin in-flight entertainment on domestic flights– following in the footsteps of Delta
If you apply for more than five credit cards every two years, you should read this: New “5/24” rule stymies credit card points hobbyists
Most major hotel brands rolled out fall bonus promos- go ahead and sign up for all of them, because you never know where you might be staying!
Marriott’s popular MegaBonus is back and it’s choosy (registration required)
Double (or triple) your Starwood SPG points this fall (registration required starting Sept 12)
Double points for every stay at all Hilton portfolio hotels (registration required)
Stay five nights, get 5,000 points (plus plus) from Hyatt (registration required)
New high-end Chase Sapphire RESERVE card offers 100K sign up bonus: Did Chase make this bonus too good? Rumors swirl about delays/changes due to high demand. When shopping for a new card, please be sure to use our new card resources pages! It helps us help you.
SFO Parking rates hit new high- some up up 40%: Apparently the airport is trying to encourage use of public transport options by jacking up prices for individual cars
Fly Virgin America by Sept 30, earn 999 Elevate points (Registration required): Another easy no-brainer if you fly Virgin a lot
Virgin America to lay off 225 management workers as Alaska Air merger approaches: I guess we all saw this coming. We still wonder if a JetBlue merger is in the works…
Amtrak’s new Acela trains in the northeast will hit top speeds of 220 mph: Currently, trains run at 135-150 mph. See the video of the sleek new trains
Check out the slick new Turkish Airlines lounge at Washington-Dulles: Not as grand as its Istanbul counterpart (pictured) but a nice addition at IAD
Korean Airlines introduces no-show fees on long-haul flights: Joining Emirates, Singapore and JAL in this unusual practice. If you can’t make your flight, just call ahead and let them know– or you’ll pay.
U.S., Mexico agree to open up air routes, frequencies: Could lead to cheaper flights for spring break- and more nonstops
KLM plans to retrofit its A330s with new business class: Its B777s, 747s and 787s already have it
FAA clears Indonesian carriers to fly to the U.S: Garuda could come back, but would you?
Delta starts deploying RFID baggage tracking technology systemwide: Good news for the few TravelSkills readers who frequently check bags
Delta quietly boosts prices of SkyMiles business class awards: Yet another unannounced sneaky move
Google teams with Waze to challenge Uber, Lyft in San Francisco: Getting paid to carpool. Would you?
We have a big new airline routes update coming next. But what did we miss? Please share what you think are the biggest travel news stories over the last month in the comments below!