Ovation's weekly client e-newsletter, the Informed Traveler, keeps readers updated on travel industry news and trends.
Following is a recap of May's Top 5 (most clicked by Ovation clients) e-newsletter stories.
1. DELTA TO TEST FREE IN-FLIGHT WI-FI
Delta Air Lines is offering free Wi-Fi on select flights in a test to determine whether it will become the second major U.S. airline to offer free in-flight internet service, reports USA Today. JetBlue has offered free onboard Wi-Fi since January 2017. Starting May 13th, Delta's two-week test features free Wi-Fi on 55 daily flights. The flights, all within the U.S., will change daily. Travelers will be notified via email, Delta's mobile app and on board. No streaming will be allowed. The airline will monitor the usage rates on the flights with free Wi-Fi and will survey travelers to see what they used it for, how the service was and whether they see value in it.
2. REPORT SUGGESTS AIRLINES' BAGGAGE TRACKING IMPROVED DELIVERY BY 66%
Baggage delivery rates at airports have increased by 66% due to the introduction of additional tracking points by airlines, reports Airport Technology. According to a report published by IT firm SITA, the upward trend in baggage delivery can be seen in airports across the world. The report highlights that baggage tracking is carried out at the check-in and aircraft loading stages, as well as during transfers and arrivals. This has helped to decrease the mishandling rate and boost the delivery rate.
3. DELTA MAKES IT EASIER FOR PASSENGERS TO KEEP THEIR FREQUENT FLYER STATUS
Delta Air Lines has introduced a new program that will allow passengers to reclaim their lost frequent flyer status, reports Business Insider. The new loyalty benefit, Reclaim My Status, gives frequent flyers who have earned Delta Medallion status the opportunity to restore their previous status if a major life event such as a career change or a medical issue reduces their opportunities to fly with the airline. Each customer must submit an application for the benefit when they are ready to resume their frequent flyer level travel schedule again. If the application is approved, the customer would automatically receive three months of their previous Medallion status.
4. AMTRAK'S NEXT GENERATION ACELA CARS TAKING SHAPE
Amtrak is buying 28 new sets of power cars and passenger coaches from French manufacturer Alstom SA, reports MarketWatch. The train model, known as Avelia Liberty, is from a family of trains already in use in France and Italy, Amtrak executives say. The new trains will be slowly entering the existing Acela service and will have a top speed of 160 miles an hour, up from 150 miles an hour on the current fleet. The trains will be built to tilt up to 6.3 degrees, allowing trains to run faster in curves and save energy by avoiding braking for some turns. Amtrak says the new trains will carry one-third more passengers with a maximum capacity of 378, up from the current 304.
5. AMERICAN AIRLINES, DFW AIRPORT STRIKE DEAL TO BUILD NEW $3 BILLION TERMINAL
Dallas Fort Worth International Airport and chief tenant American Airlines have agreed to build a sixth passenger terminal, Terminal F, according to The Dallas Morning News. They'll also update Terminal C, which opened with the airport in 1974 and is the only original terminal that has not been renovated. Together, the projects will cost up to $3.5 billion, and Terminal F could open by 2025, officials said on Monday. DFW has more than 1,000 daily departures to 250 cities and currently expects 73 million travelers in 2019. The new terminal will have up to 24 gates, which will address increasing congestion at DFW as well as future growth opportunities for American and over two dozen other airlines.