Southwest and American Respond to Maintenance Workers’ Public Disputes

Stephen M. Keller  / Southwest Airlines

Southwest is negotiating with its mechanics union. Pictured is one of the airline’s Boeing 737s in Salt Lake City. Stephen M. Keller / Southwest Airlines

Skift Take: It is not rare for an airline’s operation to suffer when a major work group is unhappy with contract negotiations. Pilots and maintenance technicians have considerable authority to defer an issue, or to demand it be fixed right away.

— Brian Sumers

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U.S. Airlines Make It Easier to Redeem Frequent Flyer Miles: New Study

Bloomberg

Seats on a commercial airplane. The six largest U.S. carriers grew more generous from 2013 to 2018 as they sought to encourage mileage redemption, said a new study from IdeaWorksCompany and CarTrawler. Bloomberg

Skift Take: The six largest U.S. airlines have lowered how many frequent-flier miles they require for some domestic flight awards, a study says. But the prices to redeem miles have tended to decline in tandem with airfares. In many cases, that means airline miles aren’t as valuable as before. Plus, international redemptions have generally gotten worse.

— Sean O’Neill

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American Airlines and Hyatt Hotels to Share Elite Loyalty Benefits

Kevin Hackert  / Kevin Hackert, Flickr

An American Airlines plane at Frankfurt Airport. Kevin Hackert / Kevin Hackert, Flickr

Skift Take: Like Crossover Rewards and Rewards Plus before it, a new partnership between American and Hyatt may help elite loyalty members in both programs earn some extra perks. And with little cost associated, participation is a no-brainer.

— Grant Martin

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Why Europe Risks Falling Behind as a Global Tourist Destination

Giuseppe Milo  / Flickr

Tower Bridge in London is shown in this photo from November 2018. The UK saw international visitor numbers and spending drop last year. Giuseppe Milo / Flickr

Skift Take: Travelers will always want to visit Europe. But as the world continues to open up, there’s more competition for tourist dollars. Destinations will need to adjust accordingly.

— Hannah Sampson

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Lessons From Kashmir: When Violence Threatens a Fragile Tourism Economy

plynoi  / Flickr

Dal Lake in Srinagar is shown in this photo from April 2017. Violence between India and Pakistan raises new questions about tourism’s role in conflict zones. plynoi / Flickr

Skift Take: Despite conflict and instability, tourism remains an important part of Kashmir’s economy. But travelers should be cognizant of a lot more than safety if they choose to visit the region.

— Sarah Khan

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Who’s Really Winning the Direct Booking Wars Between Hotels and Online Travel Agencies?

Marriott

An XYZ lounge at an Aloft Hotel. Hotel brands and online travel agencies both remain focused on getting more respective direct bookings from consumers. Marriott

Skift Take: Arguments can be made for a number of sides, but the truth is there’s no true winner or loser here, if we’re being totally honest.

— Deanna Ting

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Marriott’s Growing Pains and 10 Other Hospitality Trends This Week

Marriott

Marriott Ritz-Carlton in Lake Tahoe, CA. In February Marriott kicked off a new marketing campaign for its loyalty program Bonvoy. Marriott

Skift Take: This week in hospitality, Marriott divulges the financial impact of its data breach and recent labor strikes, while hotel CEOs explore their mixed feelings around alternative accommodations. Plus, Marriott tries to turn “Bonvoy” into a greeting.

— Isaac Carey

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