A sampling of industry news that caught my attention today:
- There’s word that JetBlue may reveal its new first class-style premium seat on Monday in San Diego at the Global Business Travel Association conference. The new product is expected to appear on select Airbus A321 transcon flights in 2014, including JFK to LAX.
- American Airlines has reportedly updated its upgrade prioritization to drop check-in time as a criterion when determining order on the list for both domestic and international flights. The time/date you request the upgrade is the relevant metric, after status, fare class, etc. (Hat tip: View from the Wing via Getting Status)
- Hawaiian Airlines is ramping up Oakland service with new seasonal flights to Lihue and Kona in the summer of 2014, as well as increasing its Honolulu nonstops to daily (up from 4/week) beginning January 5. And remember… Hawaiian is a great option for Virgin America Elevate point redemptions.
- Rob Lovitt over at NBC News has an interesting article about seven strange hotel jobs, including a Duckmaster at The Peabody Memphis, a Fish Valet at the Fairmont Vancouver Airport and a Guacamologist at The Ritz-Carlton Dallas. Who knew?!
- A former Ritz-Carlton in Sydney will reopen in January as an InterContinental Hotel. It’s located in Double Bay, about halfway between the central business district and Bondi Beach.
- It had a soft opening last month, but the Airspace Lounge at JFK is now officially open in Terminal 5, serving JetBlue, Hawaiian and Aer Lingus. Amenities include power outlets at every seat, free Wi-Fi and showers. Entry fees begin at $25 (includes a $10 “premium food and beverage” credit), but is complimentary for American Express Platinum cardmembers.
- The U.S. State Department has issued a worldwide travel alert through August 31 due to an unspecified al Qaeda threat. The focus of the threat is primarily in the Middle East and North Africa, though the alert spreads caution globally.
- Finally, check out this American Airlines Boeing 727-100 seat map from 1987 I posted earlier today. And here are the top 10 viewed vintage airline seat maps from my series.
– Follow Darren Booth on Twitter, @FrequentlyFlyin, for more airline, hotel and travel industry news, reviews and opinions.