Ovation's weekly client e-newsletter, the Informed Traveler, keeps readers updated on travel industry news and trends.
Following is a recap of July's Top 5 (most clicked by Ovation clients) e-newsletter stories.
British Airways has lost a UK court bid to halt a pilot strike at the height of the summer travel season, reports Bloomberg. The ruling potentially clears a path for the airline’s first walkout by cockpit crew since the 1970s. Judge Elisabeth Laing gave British Airways permission to appeal her decision. John Cavanaugh, British Airways' attorney, told the court that the appeal may be heard at the end of this week or the beginning of next, though no date has been confirmed.
Federal Express (FedEx) has begun offering expedited US passport services at its 2,000 retail locations nationwide in partnership with online service RushMyPassport, reports Travel Weekly. The service enables travelers to one-stop-shop for rushed passport processing, renewals and government-compliant passport photos. The cost of the FedEx expedited service ranges from $99 for a 10-12 business day rush renewal to $449 for an overnight renewal or new passport. Applications can be filled out at FedEx retail locations.
Amtrak has announced the launch of Acela Nonstop, a new offering with direct service between New York Penn Station (NYP) and Washington, DC Union Station (WAS). According to Amtrak's press release, service will begin Monday, September 23rd. The initial weekday only schedule includes one southbound (NYP-WAS) and one northbound train (WAS-NYP) per day with an approximate trip time of two hours and 35 minutes. The southbound train will depart NYP at 6:35 a.m. and is scheduled to arrive at WAS around 9:10 a.m. The northbound train will depart WAS at 4:30 p.m., and arrive at NYP around 7:05 p.m. While the Acela Nonstop is currently available once per day between NYP and WAS, Amtrak will be weighing potential expansion in terms of location and frequency.
The Department of Transportation (DOT) has awarded $477M in airport infrastructure grants to upgrade 264 airports in 44 states, the Pacific Islands, and Washington, D.C., reports Airport Technology. U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said, “Infrastructure projects funded by these grants will advance safety, improve travel, generate jobs and provide other economic benefits for local communities.” Selected airports will use the funds for reconstruction and rehabilitation of runways, building firefighting facilities and for the maintenance of taxiways, aprons and terminals. Overall, the funding is aimed at improving the airports’ safety, emergency response capabilities and capacity.
Delta Air Lines is adding new perks to its economy class on long-haul flights in an effort to improve service, reports Condé Nast Traveler. Beginning in November, all main cabin economy travelers on an international route (defined as any flight longer than six hours, or shorter flights with Delta One and Delta Premium Select cabins) will receive perks such as complimentary cocktails, hot towels and à la carte dining options. Economy Class travelers will also be greeted upon boarding and offered a "Welcome Aboard" Bellini after takeoff and will also be treated to farewell chocolates during the descent.