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Here’s a roundup of the week’s points, miles and travel industry news you may have missed:
Reminder: American Airlines and US Airways are merging reservations this week
Starting today (July 18, 2015), American Airlines and US Airways will begin merging their reservations systems. The airlines will slowly phase out the US Airways reservations system (called Shares) and begin retraining employees (about 9,000 at airports and 2,000 reservations agents) to use American’s system (Sabre). During this 90-day change period, all new reservations beyond October will be made through the American Airlines reservations system, including those booked through US Airways customer service or USAirways.com, which will redirect to AA.com.
At the end of the 90-day period, the US Airways reservations system will shut down completely, and any reservations that were made through US Airways for future flights prior to the transition will migrate to the American Airlines system. That being said, if you plan on making reservations for flights beyond October, we’d suggest doing so through American Airlines to avoid any possible problems. Read more about the merger here.
Avianca Sells 30% of LifeMiles Subsidiary to Private Equity Firm
Private equity firm Advent International will acquire a 30% stake in Avianca LifeMiles. Avianca Holdings will receive $343.7 million, and will maintain a 70% shareholding interest in LifeMiles.
Earn 3,000 Virgin Atlantic Miles with Your First Rocketmiles Booking
Rocketmiles is offering 3,000 bonus Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles when you make your first hotel booking. This offer is only available to new Rocketmiles customers. Use the promo code VS3000 when making your hotel reservation, or use this link. You must reserve before 11:59 pm CT on July 31, 2015.
New Airplane Seat Design Forces Airport Passengers to Face Each Other
Zodiac Seats France (part of Zodiac Airspace) recently patented a new seating arrangement: the economy class cabin hexagon, in which passengers face each other. The seats flip up when passengers stand (like they do at movie theaters), and this new seat layout could allow for up to 80 more seats on a plane. It’s still unclear whether any airlines will actually run with this new concept, but at least this super-awkward seating would give you four more inches of legroom!
EU Approves Sale of Aer Lingus
The European Union has approved the sale of Aer Lingus to the International Airlines Group (IAG, owner of British Airways, Iberia and Vueling). The Irish government has provided backing, and Ryanair has agreed to sell its 30% stake in Aer Lingus. IAG has also committed to working with competing airlines to help connect passengers to Ireland on long-haul flights to/from the UK and Netherlands.
Win a Trip to the Florida Keys
You could win a four-night/five-day trip to the Florida Keys by taking a photo of yourself enjoying the outdoors (anywhere in the world), uploading it to Twitter or Instagram and using the hashtag #SeizeTheKeys. Then, fill out the entry form here. The winner will receive a gift card for $1,000 to be used toward airfare, four nights of hotel accommodations, a Budget car rental worth $300, two Key West VIP Attractions Passes, two bike rentals at the Gates Hotel Key West, two tickets to Keys Cable & Adventure Park, a two-hour gift certificate for Cable/Wakeboard in Marathon and two education programs at the Turtle Hospital in Marathon, FL.
The contest is open only to legal residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada who are at least 21 years old at the time of entry. Enter by July 31, 2015 at 11:59 pm ET.
Know before you go.
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