Week in Review
Airlines aren’t the only ones facing complications recently, with HEI Hotels & Resorts announcing a malware attack lasting more than a year on 20 of its properties. According to Skift, customer payment card data from tens of thousands of transactions may have been exposed, though it is difficult to estimate the total number of customers affected by the data breach.
Hotels are beginning to move away from full-service properties and towards select-service rooms to reflect consumer desires. Skift reports a shift in what consumers want, noting that guests prefer basic amenities like Wi-Fi and gyms, as opposed to 24-hour front desk service, spas and full-service restaurants. USA TODAY shares certain companies are also experimenting with keyless entry technology that enables guests to bypass the front desk and access their rooms using smartphones. With business travelers embracing self-service personalized travel options more than ever, now is the perfect time to introduce new technologies.
Following the technical glitches Delta and Southwest faced in the past month, Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) wrote to the leaders of 13 U.S. airlines, expressing their concern for airlines’ IT systems. The senators expect the airlines to reply and address the IT policy and procedure questions outlined in the letters, shares Skift.
Aside from system outages, members of the aviation industry are concerned with keeping threats from cyberterrorists and hackers at bay. According to Tnooz, industry leaders recently gathered at IATA’s Annual General Meeting in Dublin to discuss various ways to maintain security in the ever-changing, risk-laden world we live in.
Los Angeles Times reports a 12% drop in complaints against U.S. based airlines in the first half of 2016, due to a decline in fares, cancellations and delays. Airline industry representatives claim the drop is a result of investments in products, services and amenities that travelers want and expect, like new planes and upgraded lounges.
Cathay Pacific and Dragonair recently increased the baggage weight allowance by 10kg for travelers in all classes. Buying Business Travel states the revised system will come into effect mid-September. Delta is also undergoing changes, with the addition of a new service from Boston to San Francisco and Nashville. Travel Daily News details the expansion of its existing service as well. In addition to a change in flight schedule, Delta is introducing business class suites with doors. According to USA TODAY, Delta will be the world’s first airline to have an all-suite business cabin with a door for each suite.
The same outlet reports news of a slimmed-down menu for trans-Atlantic British Airways routes. Passengers in economy are offered a choice between a small chocolate bar and another snack, as opposed to the usual second meal before arrival. China is considering easing restrictions on in-flight mobile phone usage. According to Bloomberg, legislation to amend regulations limiting in-flight use of mobile phones and other electronic devices is underway.
Travel Daily News reports Brussels Airport welcomed a whopping 2.4 million passengers in July, making it the second busiest July in history. Indonesia’s capital Jakarta just opened a $560 million airport terminal, shares USA TODAY. At more than 250 million people, Indonesia is one of the world’s fastest growing travel markets.
Uber’s first self-driving fleet supervised by humans in the driver’s seat is set to arrive in Pittsburgh this month. According to Bloomberg, customers will be able to hail the custom Volvo XC90s using their smartphones.
Check back every Friday for a round-up of the week’s top business travel news all in one place on the GBTA Blog.