Ovation's weekly client e-newsletter, the Informed Traveler, keeps readers updated on travel industry news and trends.
Following is a recap of August's Top 5 (most clicked by Ovation clients) e-newsletter stories.
1. Amtrak Gives First Look at New Acela Express Trains
Amtrak has provided a first look of its new Acela Express trains set to debut on the Northeast Corridor in 2021, reports USA Today. The new trains will provide a smoother and more comfortable ride, with interiors that will have more spacious leather seats with dual tray tables, lighting, electrical outlets and USB ports. Each train car will have six LED screens to provide real-time information such as location, train speed and conductor announcements. Other amenities will include Wi-Fi and an advanced seat reservation system. To read more, click here.
2. Delta Will Fly Newest Jets With Fewer Middle Seats on Key Business Routes
Delta Air Lines' newest planes will be equipped with fewer middle seats to improve passenger comfort, reports Skift. The new Airbus A220-100, a high-tech airplane with wide seats and a roomy quiet cabin, is set to be the first of its kind flown by any airline. With a two-by-three seat configuration, the new A220-100 has fewer middle seats than typical larger jets, and provides passengers with a more comfortable experience when flying. Delta expects to take delivery of the A220-100 early next year. To read more, click here.
3. TSA to Consider Ending Security Screenings at Small Airports
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is considering ending security screening of passengers at smaller airports in order to focus security efforts at larger airports in the U.S., reports Skift. A new proposal suggests the removal of passenger screening at about 150 airports that serve planes with 60 seats or fewer. By removing the screenings at smaller airports, the TSA would save money and move screeners who have a lot of time between flights to larger airports with more passenger traffic. In a statement, the TSA said no decision has been made, noting that any changes would be preceded by "a risk assessment to ensure the security of the aviation system." To read more, click here.
4. American Airlines Ending Basic Economy Carry-On Ban
Beginning September 5th, American Airlines will allow passengers with basic economy tickets to bring a free carry-on bag and not just a personal item that fits under the seat in front of them. American Airlines CEO Doug Parker elaborated on the change, stating: "For the price-sensitive customers who are the buyers of this, there is another big airline that doesn't charge for carry-on." American has been relaxing its basic economy policies in recent weeks; for example, the airline began allowing travelers who have purchased basic economy seating to upgrade to standard economy, without having to pay a change fee, as American is now allowing travel agencies to buy out of basic economy through its secured travel agent portal. To read more from USA Today, click here.
5. Delta Testing Upscale Dining in International Economy
Delta Air Lines is planning to test a more upscale dining offering for economy flyers on international flights as part of the economy service offering, reports Travel Weekly. Passengers will be offered a welcome glass of sparkling wine or sparkling water along with an appetizer service, upgraded entrees and meals served on plates. "Delta constantly listens to customer feedback and is now testing innovative ways to make our culinary experience onboard feel more like dining at a favorite restaurant. As part of that, we are conducting a test on select international flights where flight attendants will deliver an enhanced Main Cabin dining experience that we'll use to gather customer feedback," said Delta spokeswoman Savannah Huddleston. To read more, click here.