United Hopes To Draw Rich Business Travelers With Business Class Isolation Pod Seats

United Hopes To Draw Rich Business Travelers With Business Class Isolation Pod Seats

With an eye toward drawing big-spending business travelers, United Air Lines plans to rebrand and redesign its business class on international flights. Called “Polaris,” the new branding replaces seats with an “onboard suite” that gives each passenger aisle access and walls to isolate them from other passengers. They call the configuration “sleep-focused.” The Polaris brand will also go on lounges in eight major airports around the world. [More]

Ninara

6 Months Later, No One Knows Why My Ticket Home From Nairobi Was Canceled

When traveling, sometimes you wish you could stay in your destination forever… or at least for another week to enjoy it more. A woman from Pennsylvania extended her trip to Kenya last year by an extra week, but not because she was having such a wonderful time. Her return tickets had been mysteriously canceled, and no one could tell her why it had happened. [More]

(Zeetz Jones)

Delta Flight Attendant Charged With Sneaking 1,500 Mini Liquor Bottles To Sell On Craigslist

According to the police in Memphis, TN, when a flight attendant for Delta Air Lines left work, she would sometimes pick up some mini liquor bottles from the plane and bring them home. Taking a few bottles every day really adds up, and ultimately she has been charged with taking 1,500 bottles –– not to drink, but to sell on Craigslist. [More]

Lyft

Lyft Agrees To $27 Million Settlement To Keep Drivers As Independent Contractors

Last month, the judge rejected a proposed settlement in a class action against ride-hailing app Lyft, saying that the $12.25 million offer was too low and didn’t account for business expansion in California since the original class action was filed. The company has now agreed on a revised settlement, pending the judge’s approval. [More]

JLaw45

Group That Is Totally Not A Union Can Represent New York City’s Uber Drivers

The people who drive for Uber in New York City are independent contractors and not employees of the ride-hailing service, at least according to current laws. Drivers know that, but want a union-like group that would advocate for workers’ concerns with the company, even if it doesn’t engage in collective bargaining to set fares. Uber has agreed to work with a non-union, the Independent Drivers Guild, which will meet with the company and help drivers appeal when they’re “deactivated,” or fired. [More]

Boss Meg

JetBlue Gives Plane Full Of Passengers A Free Flight After Four Babies Cry

A crying child on a flight can be a difficult endeavor for passengers and parents alike. In an attempt to create goodwill between fussy babies and exasperated passengers, JetBlue provided travelers with an unusual incentive on a recent flight: endure the cries and get a free flight.  [More]

Adam Fagen

American Airlines Apologizes For Preventing Musician From Bringing Violin On Board

American Airlines has apologized to a concert musician who wasn’t allowed to board a flight carrying her 18th-century violin, despite the airline’s policy that says small musical instruments can be treated as a traveler’s carry-on. [More]

Port of Seattle

American Airlines Flight Turns Around After Bird Strike Leaves 2-Foot Dent In Plane

A bird might be small compared to a jetliner, but get a whole bunch of them together and they can do some pretty serious damage. Passengers on an American Airlines flight out of Seattle found that out yesterday, when the plane was forced to turn around after a bird strike left a two-foot dent in the nose of the aircraft. [More]

Aldebaran Robotics

Adorable Multilingual Robot Goes To Work On Cruise Ship, Never Gets Seasick

Pepper is a very popular robot, working as a concierge and sales assistant in retail environments all over the world. The 4-foot-tall humanoid android is able to detect and respond to humans’ emotional states, and will eventually be able to perform a variety of jobs that require interacting with the public. Its newest assignment: multiple Peppers will go to sea on Costa cruise ships. [More]

CBS LA

Baby Book From Lost Luggage Mysteriously Reappears On Family’s Doorstep 3 Months Later

When a family from near Los Angeles traveled with their toddler to visit family on the other side of the country, they gate-checked a carry-on suitcase that contained family treasures, including their wedding album and their daughter’s baby book. Somewhere during the flight, the bag went missing or was stolen. They assumed that the albums were gone permanently, but then a mysterious car dropped the book on their doorstep and drove away. [More]

airlines470

Passengers Suing Spirit Airlines Over In-Flight Brawl Sparked By Boombox

Three passengers who were aboard a Spirit Airlines flight when a brawl broke out over an overly loud boombox are now suing the carrier, claiming that Spirit “failed to protect” them from harm. [More]

Moyan Brenn

Trump Hotel Collection Investigating Another Possible Customer Data Breach

Last fall, we learned that payment systems in Trump Hotel Collection properties had been compromised with malware, compromising customers’ payment card numbers for more than a year. Now reports from the banking industry indicate that there might be another breach in one or more Trump hotels –– the second in less than a year. [More]

Sigma.DP2.Kiss.X3

KLM Passengers Can Use Facebook Messenger To Access Boarding Passes, Flight Info

Facebook is continuing its efforts to transform Messenger from simply a chatting platform into a customer service portal with a foray into travel: the social media company announced a new partnership with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines that will let the carrier’s customers access their boarding pass and other flight information through the Messenger app. [More]

The Frugal Traveler

Passsengers On Exploded Megabus Get Inadequate Compensation For Bags, Can’t Get Legal Help

When a Minneapolis-bound Megabus caught fire and exploded last month in the suburbs of Chicago, no passengers were injured. Their baggage, however, was destroyed, and that’s how they learned how difficult it is to get compensation when everything in your bag has burned up in a bus explosion. Even having a travel writer for the New York Times on board isn’t enough to recuperate the full value of everything they brought on the bus. [More]

Masaru Kamikura

Uber Can Only Use Livery Drivers In Moscow, Motorcycles Confiscated In Bangalore

Ride-hailing app Uber wants to provide transportation services around the world, but taxi service laws are very local, forcing them to fight city by city for each of their services to exist legally. In Moscow and Bangalore this week, cities were able to limit the service’s growth, including confiscating drivers’ motorcycles in India. [More]

Larry Smith

Hotels.com Leap Day Coupons Less Useless Than They Appear

Last week, we tried to figure out a promotion from Hotels.com that had an extremely lengthy list of hotels specifically excluded from a coupon. We’re glad to note that not only was that promo not as bad as we thought, but a new coupon from the hotel aggregator clarifies things a bit for the easily confused. Like us. [More]

Hotels.com Leap Year Promotion Specifically Excludes Pretty Much Every Hotel Everywhere

Hotels.com Leap Year Promotion Specifically Excludes Pretty Much Every Hotel Everywhere

Marketers are having a lot of fun with the idea of Leap Day, which is nice: it’s a fun non-holiday that everyone who uses the Gregorian calendar can appreciate, but that a marketer didn’t have to invent. One promotion at Hotels.com seems like a nice idea –– in a virtual drawing, customers can choose a coupon worth up to 29% off their total hotel bill –– but the key question is, which hotel? [More]

You Can Use Amazon Payments Instead Of Your Credit Card On Southwest Flights

You Can Use Amazon Payments Instead Of Your Credit Card On Southwest Flights

Southwest Airlines could have partnered up with a number of online payment services to let passengers log in to their accounts instead of pulling out their credit cards to pay for in-air WiFi and entertainment, including on their own devices. [More]