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Airlines Sue the TSA, Hilton Guests Can Choose Rooms & More

by on August 2, 2014 · 6 comments

in Airline Industry, Delta, Flying Blue, Hilton, Saturday Recap, Southwest, Virgin America

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Here’s a recap of points, miles and travel industry news from the past week:

The TSA removed their security fee cap, and now airline groups are slapping them with a lawsuit

The TSA removed their security fee cap, and now airline groups are accusing them of violating federal law.

Airlines Suing the TSA Over Security Fee Uncapping: This past Wednesday, July 30, 2014, two airline lobbying groups - Airlines for America and the International Air Transport Association – sued the TSA over one key detail of the administration’s recent security fee hike. With Congress’ approval, the TSA has raised its security fee from $2.50 to $5.60 for each leg of a flight, but they also made the non-Congress-approved decision to uncap the previous cap of $5.60 on each one-way trip and to levy an additional $5.60 on any domestic stop of four hours or international stop of 12 hours. The airline groups bringing the lawsuit contend that the removal of this fee cap, which can significantly raise the price of a multi-stop flight itinerary, violates federal law. (h/t Dallas News Business)

HiltonHHonorsDigitalFloorPlan_HR

By the end of 2014, Hilton’s updated HHonors app will allow guests to select rooms in more than 4,000 Hilton properties.

Hilton Gives HHonors Members the Freedom to Choose Their Own Rooms: By the end of this summer, Hilton Worldwide plans to roll out updated HHonors desktop and mobile apps that would allow members to choose their own rooms at Waldorf Astoria properties, Conrad Hotels, Hilton Hotels, Hilton Garden Inns, Homewood Suites, and Home2 Suites. In the Fall, Hilton plans to add US-based DoubleTree and Embassy Suites properties as well. These apps would allow guests to sign into their program accounts as early as a day prior to their stay to view digital floor plans and choose specific rooms (based on availability), as well as make special requests for in-room amenities. (h/t Skift)

A branding concept for the possible new Canadian budget airline, Jetlines

A branding concept for the possible new Canadian budget airline, Jetlines.

New Low-Budget Canadian Airline Jetlines Plans to Launch in Spring, 2015:  A new Canadian budget airline called Jetlines hopes to secure funding by October 2014 and launch next spring, offering airfare for travel in Canada that will be as much as 40% cheaper than WestJet and Air Canada. Based out of Vancouver with a fleet of Airbus A319s, the carrier plans to save its customers money by cutting every possible amenity and providing most of its service at secondary airports throughout the Great White North. (h/t Global News)

Shamu_Plane_new

Southwest’s Sea World-branded Shamu and penguin planes will soon be painted over

Southwest Airlines and SeaWorld Part Ways: In the wake of the bad publicity from the documentary “Blackfish,” as well as urgings from advocacy groups P.E.T.A. and Change.org, Southwest has decided to end its 26-year partnership with marine mammal park SeaWorld. The two entities will no longer cultivate opportunities between their passengers and visitors, and Southwest will return its three planes with Sea World-customized paint jobs to the company’s usual color scheme. (h/t USA Today)

Virgin America

Virgin America has just filed for an IPO – a sign of an upswing in the US airline market.

Virgin America Files for IPO: Low-cost airline Virgin America, Inc. looks poised to expand its presence in the recovering US airline market, having just filed for an initial public offering of shares. The top-ranked airline, in which Sir Richard Branson has a 22% stake, presently offers flights to 22 cities in the US and Mexico. Virgin America’s biggest shareholder is VAI Partners, with a 76.1% stake, and Barclays and Deutsche Bank Securities are the lead underwriters for this offering. The number of shares and the listing exchange have yet to be announced. (h/t Reuters)

Delta has embedded in-flight entertainment on 140 of its domestic aircraft, and will now make them free to most passengers. For aircraft without IFE, free access to entertainment will be provided via video player apps for mobile devices.

Delta now offers free entertainment to most passengers via its seat-back embedded (IFE) systems. For aircraft without IFE, free access to entertainment will be provided via video player apps for mobile devices.

Delta to Offer Free Entertainment on Domestic Flights: In case you missed it, yesterday (August 1st) Delta Airlines rolled out Delta Studio, the carrier’s own branding of a Gogo wireless in-flight entertainment (IFE) system called Gogo Vision, and now offers free access to movies, TV shows, music and video games on all of its domestic flights that last 90 minutes or moreDelta passengers can access free Delta Studio entertainment through seat-back screens where available or via a video player app downloaded on their own smartphones, tablets or laptops. I’m hoping this kicks off an industry trend!

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Flying Blue now offers its Promo Awards on a monthly basis

Air France/KLM 50% Off Flying Blue Promo Awards for October-November: Also in case you missed it, now through August 31, you can book Promo Awards for Flying Blue, the mileage program of SkyTeam partners Air France, KLM and Air Europa, for as little as 50% of the miles normally needed on certain routes and in specific cabins for travel October 1-November 30. While these awards used to be released every two months, Flying Blue now updates them each month instead.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Explore

    Regarding HHonors room choice, this is potentially a game changer. I’ve long wanted this capability. The only downside is that unless you’re familiar with the hotel, you don’t really know where the best view is, or negative aspects of specific rooms.

    The staff usually has a pretty good handle on these things, so I can still see calling them for advice. There will also be demand for a “Roomguru” to supplement Seatguru – although the number of hotels and unique rooms will be overwhelming.

  • wildearthman

    You are WRONG AGAIN about the TSA increase. You REPEATEDLY in your posts have been in error when you say that the fee has increased from $2.50 to $5.60 PER LEG. Wrong! It is now $5.60 per ONE WAY — I just booked a round trip with 3 legs each way and the total is $11.20, just $1.20 more than the old system which was $2.50 per leg and $5 max per one way
    Don’t be so sloppy

  • Ryan F

    Don’t be so angry. Why so bitter? I count at least a half dozen posts in which the “per leg with more than 4 hours of layover” is identified. How many of your legs have over 4 hours of layoff, wildebeestman?

  • Dan’s the Man

    Just start a website roomguru.com

  • doc poteet

    Wow..perhaps we don’t need to be do angry and unhappy….at least keep it to yourself…using your words….
    Don’t be so……. pissy

  • Mark C. Palmer

    Just to clarify, the A4A and IATA haven’t filed a lawsuit against the TSA, rather they filed a Joint Petition for the court to review the new TSA Rule increasing the security fee.

    My post on it @travelblawg for those further interested:
    Airlines Seek Court Review of TSA Fee Increase, Launch Social Media Campaign
    http://travelblawg.boardingarea.com/airline-groups-ask-court-review-tsa-fee-increase/

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