A sampling of industry news that caught my attention today:
- Virgin America recorded its first ever Q2 profit, netting $8.8 million. The airline’s CEO cited success in Newark as a primary driver, though cautioned long-term sustainability at EWR needs to be studied after the peak and profitable summer season. Is it too little too late for Virgin America?
- A US Airways from from Shannon to Philadelphia was quarantined after landing safely earlier today due to a phoned-in bomb threat. Nothing was found, as is usually the case, and I hope they catch the idiot(s) who made the call.
- Flying Turkish Airlines +/- 3-days from your birthday or wedding anniversary? You can now request a free celebration cake to be delivered to your seat in-flight. There’s no word if the plane is required to sing happy birthday to you.
- You can earn up to 7,500 United MileagePlus bonus miles when purchasing Marriott gift cards from today through September 7. Plus, be sure to check out Marriott’s MegaBonus promotion where you can earn a free night in a category 1-5 hotel after every second paid stay (max 2 free nights).
- Hilton’s luxury brand opened the new Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates last week. The property features 346 rooms, an 18-hole championship golf course, a private beach and more.
- Accor Hotels (the likes of Ibis, Mercure, Sofitel and Novotel) will offer free Wi-Fi at 194 properties across Britain and Ireland. The hotel group had previously dropped Wi-Fi charges at 500 hotels in the Asia-Pacific region last year.
- And the world’s unfriendliest city is… Newark, New Jersey. Conde Nast Traveler revealed the results of its annual readers’ choice survey giving shame to Newark, but praise to the world’s friendliest cities, including Charleston (South Carolina), Galena (Illinois) and Savannah (Georgia) here in the U.S.
- The Terminal 2 expansion at San Diego’s Lindbergh Field is set to open next Tuesday, August 13. Additional gates, expanded security and new food concessions have been added, as well as an upper level departures ramp.
- A major fire broke out in the arrivals hall of Nairobi’s international airport in Kenya, East Africa’s largest hub. Several airlines tweeted that their flights were being diverted or canceled.
- It seems like every week a new “what flight attendants really think of you” article is published. But this one caught my attention for some funny tricks FAs play on unsuspecting passengers. I loved the ashtray/lavatory door gag.
– Follow Darren Booth on Twitter, @FrequentlyFlyin, for more airline, hotel and travel industry news, reviews and opinions.